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The 5 most ergonomic ballpoint pens

Following our post from last week about the role of a good writing instrument in the summertime you will find below 5 suggestions of ballpoint pens that are particularly ergonomic and pleasent to use. Also, we will quickly go through the technique behind the ballpoint pen and why these instruments are technically so fascinating to me. Let’s say, the revenge of the “biro” pen.

Technique & History

First of all, a little bit of history on this one. The ballpoint pen made its appearance in the late 19th century when a guy called John J. Loud filed a patent (30. October 1888) for an instrument meant to be used to write “on rough surfaces” — such as wood, coarse wrapping-paper, and other articles where fountain pens could not. Although it could be used to mark rough surfaces such as leather, as Loud intended, it proved to be too coarse for letter-writing. So this was the end of the “first” ballpoint pen as an instrument to write letters. It took another 50 years until a gentlemen called Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian newspaper editor, later naturalised Argentine, filed a British patent on 15th June 1938 for a ballpoint mechanism coupled with the right ink-viscosity. 5 years later, the Biro brothers together with their friend Juan Jorge Meyne formed “Bíró Pens of Argentina” and filed a new patent in 1943. The ballpoint, or biro, pen was officially born.

Ballpoint pens were found to be more versatile than fountain pens, especially at high altitudes, where fountain pens were prone to ink-leakage. This is the reason why often they are used in “hostile environments” such as airplanes, boats and… on the beach. Interesting point, Bíró’s patent, and other early patents on ballpoint pens, often used the term “ball-point fountain pen”. So contrary to popular belief the ballpoint pen is quite sophisticated since if the ball socket is too tight, or the ink too thick, it would not reach the paper. If the socket is too loose, or the ink too thin, the pen would leak or the ink would smear. As often in life, the perfect balance and the right combination makes it. Let’s now have a look at our selection of ergonomic ballpoint pens.

otto hutt design04

Our first one, we are analysing, is a piece from a German manufacturer that actually has gained a lot of knowledge and experience in producing glorious pieces for other manufacturer. Inspired by the Bauhaus style, otto hutt is famous for its essential lines. And the design04 is a homage to aesthetic straightforwardness. Discreet design that is uncompromisingly subordinate to its purpose. But even though the design is very simple and straight, it still keeps a sophisticated touch. At least for otto hutt standards. It’s available in several finishes and also in a very “masculine” allblack finish which is pretty rare in today’s writing instruments but very nice, particularly soft to touch and therefore pleasant to use. With its 133mm length and 11mm diameter it’s a pretty small pen. With its cylindric shape, the design04 fits every hand, also large ones, and it’s very handy also if you maybe sweat a little bit on your hands, it won’t slip away. However, with its 42g of weight, it’s rather on the heavy side of life. Quality has its weight.

Montblanc Meisterstück Platinum Line Midsize

Actually, this one is an absolute evergreen, since the Meisterstück midsize ballpoint in platinum finish is probably the most gifted writing instrument ever. So versatile, so handy and it just fits every hand really. You can see here the midsize compared to the Classique, which is the one in yellow gold finish in the picture but the handling difference is immediately recognisable as soon as you write with it. In fact from our point of view, it’s the best choice since it’s almost as long as the LeGrand but not that bold. With its 142 mm of length but only 25g of weight, the midsize is very sharp when you use it. A perfect balance between front and rear and a diameter of 13mm gives you a good grip even if it has a slightly conic shape.

Caran d’Ache Léman

This one is the heavy-weight of the company but nonetheless an incredibly ergonomic piece. Actually, to be completely honest, this specific piece is a bi-color version of the Léman and therefore heavier than its monochromatic sisters. The Léman Bicolor Black evokes the lake Léman and its dark attire, the night descending. The silky lacquer gets all its intensity from the rhodium-coated silver. And this combination of colours makes it a very elegant writing instrument. The incredible manufacturing quality of Caran d’Ache is astonishing and you can actually feel it immediately under your fingers as soon as you pick up the Léman. As we said, it has its weight, no question. With 47g it’s even heavier than many fountain pens. But using it every day, you wouldn’t say at all that the pen is heavy. Quite the opposite. For a person with slightly bigger hands, this size and this weight is a real blessing. Talking about size, the Léman is 136mm long and has a diameter of 12mm at it largest point. Soft conic design and always quite cold since the metal on the back cools up the whole body.

Edelberg Hero 2.0

As the second Swiss Writing Instruments manufacturer, Edelberg’s first model, the Sloop has set many manufacturing and stylistic standards in the industry. They were the first one using Superluminova (R) on writing instruments. During the years, they launched only few new models but the technical research behind every model is at a very high level. The Hero 2.0 is a real lightweight and therefore really handy and easy to store. Available in several colours as you can see from the image, the Hero 2.0 is the slim version of the Hero, which is significantly thicker. I personally love the polished finish and the almost perfect balance between front and rear. In fact the Hero 2.0 weights only 18g and is 131mm long. With a diameter of 9.5mm it starts from the back with a cilindric shape, fades into an octagonal shape and then finally into a conic form. So 3 shapes in 1 instrument but still incredibly harmonious and appealing. Recalls the form of a pencil.

Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche

The Guilloche is one of the most fascinating ballpoint pens because it basically has a very traditional, almost conservative design. But a couple of years ago, Graf von Faber-Castell started to produce it in some very flashy colours such as Electric Pink, as the one in the picture, but also Gulf Blue, for the motorsport fans or Viper Green, which is a color of the super rare Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 of 1974. So all in all a super interesting model that unifies tradition and eccentricity without being pretentious or silly. The Guilloche is named after the pattern on the body of the pen and is a pretty universal pen. Means that it can be used by a man or a woman and it just looks right. It’s 133mm long and only 9mm thin. So very comfortable to use and to write with, since the balance is very good. The metal parts give the right touch of great quality, as we are used by Graf von Faber-Castell, and the right sense of balance as well as a reasonable weight of 27g. In particular in summer time, the resin in combination with the guilloche pattern makes sure that this instrument doesn’t heat up so easily and it will remain usable also at high temperatures.

So, I hope you enjoyed this short overview about some handy and ergonomic ballpoint pens and remember to keep writing in style.

Where to buy:,,,,


otto hutt design04

length: 133mm

diameter: 11mm

weight: 42g

Montblanc Meisterstück Platinum Line Midsize

length: 142mm

diameter: 13mm

weight: 25g

Caran d’Ache Léman

length: 136mm

diameter: 12mm

weight: 47g

Edelberg Hero 2.0

length: 131mm

diameter: 9.5mm

weight: 18g

Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche

length: 133mm

diameter: 9mm

weight: 27g

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