When ballpoint pens were first sold in America in 1945, hundreds of people queued up to buy them, even though they cost the equivalent of $150 in today’s money.
Times have changed. Nowadays these pens are a very affordable, but which ones should you choose for your stationery cupboard? Take a look at our 7 budget ballpoint pens.
A highly durable pen with a ball of tungsten carbide, which is twice as dense as steel. You’ll be able to get up to 2km of fine-point handwriting, without streaks and blobs. Look at the Bic Boy next to the logo and you’ll see he has a ball for a head.
With 10 brilliant colours in one pack, you’ll be able to have a ballpoint for every project. These pens use special self-sealing ink, developed by a chemist called Fran Seech that dries quickly when exposed to air (he actually produced this in his California kitchen in the 1940s).
Designed to fit comfortably into your hand, this has an ergonomic rubber grip to help you keep writing for longer. Its transparent barrel means you’ll always know when the super smooth ink is going to run out. The company behind this brand started life in 1796 as a paper mill and paper supplies business in the UK.
A handy multifunction pen, this allows you to switch colours at a click. Ideal when you are checking documents or lists, or when information needs to be recorded in different colours.
A useful retractable ballpoint, it has a comfy rubber grip and a line width of 0.6mm. The Japanese founder of this brand wanted a name that would be memorable in international markets. So he opened an English/Japanese dictionary, Japanese-fashion from the back, and chose Zebra, because these are gentle animals and have a great family instinct.
With great ink flow, this ballpoint is a good choice for taking down shorthand and notes, for example, at meetings. You can be sure that the tip does not get clogged up because it is cleaned every time the cap is replaced.
This uses an ‘elite’ ink which is like a blend of liquid and gel inks. You get the fast-drying quality of the ballpoint, along with the solid lines of gel pens. And the ink is tamper-proof, resisting damage by many elements, including alcohol, acid and oil. Because it is quick drying this ballpoint is also ideal for left-handed people.