Got a pen? Isn't it odd that whenever you really need one, they're so hard to find. Not here. We've found lots of pens and pencils and other interesting writing instruments that won't leave you grasping for air when you need to jot down a note or take down a number. Here are nine products from nine different writing instrument manufacturers. Space limitations allow us to list only one product per manufacturer. For a detailed look at each manufacturer's complete line of writing instruments be sure and visit their Websites.
The Ticonderoga EnviroStik from the Dixon Ticonderoga Co. is the manufacturer's first environ-mentally conscious pencil and is 100 percent recyclable and nontoxic. By using EnviroStiks, which are produced from sustained-yield wood, using no rainforest wood and only pure California cedar, consumers can contribute to the preservation of rainforests and the overall health of the planet. The barrel of the EnviroStik boasts a velvety natural finish, and the pencil writes with silky precision. Adorned with a recyclable ferrule and degradable eraser, the EnviroStik is available in 10-count packaging. * www.dixonticonderoga.com
The BIC Mechanical Pencil eliminates the mess that wood-cased pencils create when being sharpened. This stylish, yet practical mechanical pencil has two and a half times the lead of a wood-cased pencil, in fact, 0.9mm No. 2 lead, which is ideal for office use. The BIC Mechanical Pencil comes in five pastel barrel colors and features a smudge-free eraser and three strong No. 2 leads in each pencil. It's available in a 10-pack with a suggested retail price of $3.99 or a 24-pack with a suggested retail price of $7.34. * www.bicworldusa.com
The latest addition to the growing family of STAEDTLER's Maxum lineup is the Retract-a-Gel pen with a 0.7mm medium point, a retractable tip, and a rubberized grip. Available in five assorted colors (black, blue, red, green, and purple), the acid-free ink is also smear proof, scratch free, permanent, fade resistant, and quick drying. The barrel accents correspond to the pen's ink color. Maxum Retract-a-Gel Pen is available in the following configurations: a two-pack blister card, black ink ($2.99); a five-pack blister card, black ink ($7.49); a three-pack blister card, assorted ink colors ($4.49); and a five-pack blister card, assorted ink colors ($7.49). * www.Staedtler.US
Perfect for the multitasking professional, the Executive from Parker Pen offers multiple functions in a sleek, metropolitan look. The Executive has two pen modes, a pencil, and a highlighter or stylus all-in-one. It uses the advanced technology of the Quatro Multifunction system that saves space while optimizing output. The stainless steel clip doubles as the release mechanism and displays Parker's signature arrow. * www.parkerpen.com
The Century II Starlight Pen from Cross features a galaxy of engraved, silver-plated stars that twinkle against frosty pearlescent finishes. Offered in celestial shades, like midnight blue, twilight gray, or sky blue, the Starlight Pen has jewelry-like polished chrome appointments and a graceful curved clip. The ballpoint version of the Century II Starlight Pen lists for $65; the Selectip rolling ball model is $80; and the fountain pen is $95. All Cross pens have a lifetime mechanical guarantee. * www.cross.com
The Uchida St. Tropez Petite retractable ballpoint pen is only 4 1/8 inches long. It uses black ink and has a medium tip and a convenient stylus at the opposite end for PDAs. It has a sleek, contemporary design with an integrated matching clip. The body is available in six sleek finishes, including violet, black, blue, red, silver, and gold. * www.uchida.com
The Reporter from Tombow is a classic three-in-one ballpoint pen with a slender barrel and features a no-slip comfort grip, a spring-loaded clip for clipping onto items like a notebook or binder without breaking, and a reduced clicking noise when changing ink color. By using the unique touch system, users can quickly change ink colors from black, blue, or purple, with each color having a different shape for easy identification. The slender barrel and no-slip grip make the Reporter a comfortable choice for everyday writing. The fine point pen is refillable, one color at a time. * www.tombowusa.com
Zebra Pen Corp. recently announced the launch of the new Zebra Eco line of writing instruments. With the introduction, the company is doing its part to help protect the Earth by manufacturing writing instruments that are environmentally friendly, using limited resources. Over 70 percent of each Zebra Eco product is made from recycled materials including; car headlights, CDs, cell phones, plastic shopping bags, and car battery encasements. The new Eco line consists of the Ball Point Pen, the Mechanical Pencil, the Gel Pen, the Double-Ended Highlighter, and the 3-Color Retractable Ball Point Pen. * www.zebra-eco.com
The uni-ball 207 Premier pen from Sanford has a responsive gel cushion grip for writing comfort. Its pigmented ink helps prevent check washing. The pen has a 0.7mm medium point and black ink. Also available from Sanford is the 207 uni-ball pen with a 0.5mm point and a selection of fade-and water-resistant ink colors, including black, blue, light blue, purple, red, orange, green, and pink. * www.uniball-na.com
Cullen, Scott. "Featured product: writing instruments.(BIC Corp.)(Dixon Ticonderoga Co.)(Staedtler Inc.)." OfficeSolutions 25.1 (2008): 40+. Academic OneFile. Web. 31 Oct. 2009.
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