Pens have been used for over 5,000 years to write history, letters, by people to pass along information. And with time, wide varieties of pens have been developed. Pens that can write on almost any surface, be it granite, ceramic, black paper, or wood. People use different kinds of pens for a different situation that perfectly fits their preference. From fancy, elegant pens to normal ball-point pens, the variety of pens available in the market is endless. Following are some types of pens widely used:
1. Fountain Pen
Initially, fountain pens had to be dipped into ink to write but with time and development, they now hold ink internally. Fountain pens have a tip similar to a quill and that is what makes it very smooth to write. Fountain pens are used mostly in business settings, calligraphy, and writing formal wedding invitations. Fountain pens have water-based ink, a flexing nib, short ink life, although ink is refillable and can be permanent or non- permanent.
2. Ballpoint pens
Ballpoint pens work best for fast or long writing, like taking notes or journaling. Fountain pens can take up your time filling ink in them and clearing smudges, so that is where fountain pens are replaced with ballpoint pens. Ballpoint pens use a thicker ink and only write when the tip is in motion. Ballpoint pens are primarily used in exams, business meetings, advertising, and marketing. They are affordable, no maintenance as such is required and have a long ink life. Easy to use and less smudging.
3. Rollerball Pen
Rollerball pens are very much like fountain pens that use liquid-based ink. Rollerball pens are a combination of ballpoint pens and fountain pens which have characteristics of both, body style like a ballpoint and liquid-based ink like a fountain pen. The Rollerball pen was invented in Japan. A fountain pen that doesn’t have to be refilled: perfect deal! These pens were invented in 1980. They have water-based ink, fixed ball tip, short ink life and smears easily.
4. Gel Pen
Gel pens are the same as rollerball pens, but with liquid-based gel ink. They come in different colors ranging from metallics, to glitter, to neon and, sometimes they are even scented for a beautiful writing experience. They are great not just for writing but also for coloring and drawing. Gel pens were invented in 1995. They have a rich ink color, short life span, dry out easily, thick water-based gel ink, and vibrant.
5. Felt-tip pen
A Felt-tip pen in simple terms is basically a marker pen or highlighter. They are good for decorating, coloring, drawing, highlights, and for DIY projects and they can literally write on any surface, be it iron or wood or even a whiteboard. There is a felt-tip pen for every purpose/ every surface to write on. Felt-tip pens were invented in 1960 and have four ink types- pigment, water, oil, and alcohol-based. They have a porous tip and transparent ink options.
6. Novelty pen
Novelty pens are usually used for tradeshow giveaways that show a lot of personality with different shapes and textures. They are in paintbrush shape or even have a mesh-top head and come in a wide variety of designs and colors. Novelty pens can be textured ( rubbery or fluffy) and unique.
7. Stylus pens
Stylus pens date back to 1300 BC. Primarily used for arts and crafts, scientific instruments, smartphones, tablets, and computers. An interesting thing about Stylus pens is that they can write on clay surfaces, tech devices, and glass too. They are tactically used for digital devices. Have rubber, fiber, and swede tip options. They have small and slim design options and mimic ink pen movements.
8. Dip pen
Dip pen is a historic type of pen that is no longer in common use as writing instruments but is used in calligraphy. It is made up of a metal nib mounted on a holder made of wood. A dip pen usually has no ink reservoir and must be dipped in ink while drawing or writing. Nowadays, they are used in illustration, calligraphy, and comics. A fine-pointed type of dip pen is Crowquill which is used by various artists.
9. Ink Brush
Ink brush was used in traditional brush calligraphy. The body of the brush is made from either bamboo or other precious materials like silver, gold, or red sandalwood. The head of the brush is made from the hair of animals like rabbits, deer, chicken, goat, tiger, etc. These are again historic pens like dip pens which are rarely used these days.
10. Reed pen
The body of a reed pen is made with either wood or bamboo. They are still used in some parts of India and Pakistan by young school students to write on ‘takhti‘.