* Prices may differ from that shown
As a private tutor I have to do a lot of writing, and having dodgy joints I have to use a pen that doesn't involve putting much pressure on my hands and wrists. I discovered this Staedtler 430 Stick Ball Pen many years ago whilst I was a student myself, and I'm still using them to this day.
These ball point pens come in a variety of pack sizes: I've seen them sold in packs of 20s and 50s as well as separately. They are available in green, blue, black and red although I've only ever used the black and red variants. On their own they cost around 50p, with boxes of 20 going for around £4. They are widely available, at least as single units, in Wilkisons, WHSmith's and virtually all stationery shops.
The pens come in two parts: the main barrel and the lid. The lids are made of a heavy-duty plastic coloured according to the ink colour of the pen. They have a clip attached which is embossed with ridges, meaning that it can be fixed securely to sheets of paper. Unlike many other biros I've tried, the clip does not snap off easily; instead the plastic gives and bends, and it takes a lot of work to snap it off! This is very useful when one of my students starts to fiddle with the top!
The barrel is made of transparent plastic so the ink cartridge within can be easily seen. This is very useful as it's possible to gauge roughly how much ink is left in the pen. On the side of the barrel is the Staedtler name and logo, along with the product name (Stick 430M) The nib itself is made of a gold-coloured metal.
There is a fine-nibbed variant of this pen which has a yellow plastic barrel.
I love my Staedtler ball pens! Unlike so many other pens I've tried I don't have to press hard on the paper, and the ink doesn't stop/start flowing, making it much easier and more comfortable for me to write. The barrel of the medium variant is also a little chunkier than that of comparable pens, again making it more comfortable for me to use.
I've used the red variant for marking students' work and the black variant for extensive pieces of writing, including both notes and essays. According to the Staedtler website, these pens have an automatic pressure equalisation system, which I suppose is why the ink flows so freely: using pens without this mechanism could create a partial vacuum from time to time which would stop the ink flowing.
As noted above, the pen lid clip doesn't break easily, and being able to see how much ink is left within the pen is really useful.
One of these pens lasts me around a term of heavy-duty use, which I consider an excellent lifespan for a pen of this price. I understand refills are available although, as these pens are so cheap, I've never investigated them.
In conclusion, these Staedtler 430 Stick Ball Pens are my go-to biro of choice for everyday use.
Item: Staedtler BallPoint Pen (430m)
Bought from: Local Newsagents (But you can but these pretty much anywhere)
As much as I love my computers I also still really love to hand write ideas, notes, lists and take notes in meetings and where possible I favour 2 makes of pen. In this review I will go over the Steadtler ball point pen and will hopefully later review Bic's.
This is a clear plastic pen that has a coloured lid and stopper on the end. You can see through the barrel section of the pen and can see that the ink tube is blue. The lid and the stopper in the end of the ink barrel are also colour coordinated to match the colour of the ink so you can see at a glance what colour of pen you are picking up. (They come in red and black too)
When the lid is on this pen it is 13.5cm long so will easily fit in any standard size of pencil case or desk tidy. For holding and writing with; without the lid the pen is 13cm long, so a good size to hold if you prefer to write without the lid on. I much prefer to write with the lid secured on the end of the pen and together that makes it 17cm long. I do that because it means I am less likely to lose the lid. The lid is a great size and can be pushed securely on to the top of the pen without fear of falling off mid sentence.
The barrel of the pen is octagonal and isn't tough on your fingers at all and you can grip it quite tightly and write for a good half day before you feel any sense of soreness/bruising on your fingers. That would be if you were writing not stop in a meeting or exam, but for general daily use I never notice any pain. If you did you could hold the pen slightly lower down because the barrel actually smoothes out to be flat towards the nib so no need to be touching the octagonal part.
Length of use and quality:
It all depends how often you use your pen as to how long it will last, but I will say that this pen doesn't blot or leak so no ink is wasted and just the right amount comes out when writing with it. No need to blow on writing inside birthday cards before you pop them in the envelope either. As it is a ball point pen it writes very smoothly too, no need to scrape the pen over the paper to get it to come out. As the barrel is clear you can also see if this pen is due to run out so you have time to get a replacement. Nothing worse than being in a meeting and your pen runs out or having a great idea that you can't finish writing down. As much as this is not by any means an expensive pen the brand is overall know for good standards and reliability and even when attending important meetings I don't feel the need to buy an expensive pen to look professional, I know that Staedtler is a good brand and will look the part.
Overall if I can get my hands on one of these pens I will and have been known to buy them myself rather than using the cheaper pens that my employers provide for free. If I need to use a pen regularly I prefer to use one I enjoy writing with.
I bought a pack of 50 (blue ones) from Amazon for around £8 a year and a half ago, after trying one out in Rymans. Once you have been writing with these for a while the ink flows surprisingly smoothly and you can write much more quickly. At school i end up writing a lot and i go through these pens quite quickly, if i use only this pen for all my work then i finish a pen within a couple of weeks. During exam season this is reduced to about a week, since i end up writing so much. I would definitely suggest choosing an appropriate colour; i chose blue without realising that the exams i had to do could only be done in black ink, so i ended up using these pens for anything else. The plastic that is used to make these pens is very thick so it will not break, even if your pencil case ends up at the bottom of your bag which is good because the last thing you want to do at the end of a hard day is find that all your books are covered in ink!
Every house needs something to write with, even in these modern times where we type and text more than putting an actual pen to paper.
When I think of a cheap, disposable ball point pen I immediately think of Bic Biro. It was only today when I was balancing the wobbly household accounts, rather aptly using a red pen, that I noticed my humble ball point was not a Bic but a Staedtler Stick.
Staedtler Stick, like Bic, make a variety of cheap, disposable ballpoint pens, a quick look on a amazon.co.uk shows me that they come in the expected colours of black, red, blue and green and a pack of 10 assorted colours can be yours for the super low price of £3.85 + 99p postage.
Although my pen has sadly lost its cap it still gives excellent writing results every time. The caps not only protect your pen from bits of fluff and dust sticking to the ballpoint end they also have a plastic clip so you can secure them in your shirt pocket or to the piece of paper you are writing on so they don't roll away.
The barrel of the pen is a hexagonal shape and made of clear plastic, not only is this comfortable to hold for long periods of time, it also enables you to see how much ink you have left. As I previously mentioned the Staedtler Stick is a disposable pen so once the ink runs out you can not buy refills and must, unfortunately, throw your pen away.
The Staedtler Stick has a medium width of 0.35mm, this is very nice to write with and looks just right on paper. I have never suffered with any scratchiness when writing with the Stick, the ink has always flowed well right to the end of the pen, in the same vein I have never suffered with a Staedtler Stick flowing to fast and leaving splotches of sticky ink on my paper. I have had my red Staedtler Stick for absolutely ages and I have written a lot with it, they never seem to run out they just get lost.
I personally feel the Staedtler ballpoint pens are of a better quality then Bic Cristal ballpoint pens, they just seem to be made a bit better I have never had one run out, go scratchy, fall to bits or leak like I have experienced with pens from the other brand. Given a choice I would rather buy and use a Staedtler Stick than a Bic Cristal.
Thank you for reading.
I am a big fan of Staedtler products, they're always good quality and they aren't as expensive as Bic. These pens are no different.
The pens come in boxes of 50 or you can buy 10 off Amazon although most sellers don't sell them boxed in order to save on postage. The box can be recycled but the pens have to be binned sadly. They are also not refillable. The pen cover at the other end of the pen is really difficult to get off so it's a non starter even if they were!
The pens come loose inside the box and can easily be opened along the perforated edge. The perforation is actually quite handy because rather than just opening a box and emptying them all over your desk, this box can be used as a desk tidy to keep them in neatly. I believe this is only on the 50 box though.
Their write out length is excellent, I can write several exercise books worth before they run out but they noticeably start to loose ink after about 50 pages. The ink lasts well and even in hot rooms doesn't dry up or go crusty on the tip. Not so much can be said of the over priced Bic biro's.
These cost around £6-8 for a box of 50 or about £2 for 10. Much better to buy in bulk so you don't have to pay postage and you have a nice desk tidy like box to keep them in. I also recommend re using the box for things like erasers and other pens when you're finished using it for pens. Saves throwing it away at least.
I find they're excellent to write with, really comfortable, ink flow is perfect, the tip is the right size and the width of letters is perfect for my handwriting at least. They are also quite comfortable because towards the end they round off and are really smooth. Great for those who hold the pen right at the end, just a few millimetres of the page.
It's always handy to have a few lying around so i'd recommend getting a box of ten, but if you're buying from Amazon check the description and make sure they're not loose in a jiffy bag.
Overall then these top Bic, they are the best biro's i've used. They write for ages and are comfortable to use. The ink is high quality and doesn't leave blobs or smudgy patches all over my work, so highly recommended.
Staedtler is a well known brand providing stationery items in this country, and it does make some very good products. Some of which I use everyday, their coloured thin liners and pencils for e.g. However I try not to use the stick biros if possible, and why will soon be revealed.
The Staedtler 430 stick ball pen in the clear medium, and opaque yellow fine, have been staple stationery equipment in my area of local government for a long time. The medium as depicted in the dooyoo picture is what I am reviewing. When using these in work they have proved a fairly decent and reliable pen. However they can get rather gloopy when warm, and when they get further than halfway down the ink reservoir for some reason; this results in smears and blotches on your work. Actually where I was going with this part of the review was that as local government sources the pens in large quantities. I wondered if there a slightly different quality of pen provided for commercial users than for individuals, because as you will see for personal use I find them awful. However when I think back to my time in local government, (in a secretarial and library worker capacity) these pens were even then pretty annoying. You would often get what looked like a 'perforated' line when writing, when the ball would stick and only every other letter or so would be visible. We would also get our fair share of false starts when the pen just refused to work. These problems seemed even more obvious with the fine line stick pen. These problems weren't as regular as with home use pens but in retrospect I think this is because in work the pens were warm and in almost constant use. So if you are using these pens put up with the blotches and keep them warm.
The Staedtler stick pen comes in four colours, black, blue, red and green. I have used all of the colours, and have found them rather wishy washy. The black being almost a purply black, the blue, red, and green being almost translucent, and rather light as if the pigment isn't very dense within the carrier fluid.
The barrel of the pen in the medium is clear, and I like this as you can see how much ink you have left in the pen, so you are not frantically scribbling thinking the ball has stuck again, when it's actually empty. The form of the barrel is similar to the Bic Cristal having a hexagonal shape so it doesn't roll easily, it has the name of the company on the barrel, and it feels rather nice and sturdy in the hand, feeling more 'solid' than its Bic counterpart. The nib is similarly sturdy, metal and looks quite like the Bic nib; the medium gives a line of about 0.38mm. The pen comes with a coloured cap with 'clip' which matches the colour of the ink (as does the stopper in the end) so it is easy to see what you are looking for. Most of the time it fits fairly snugly, and doesn't come off leaving you or the inside of your bag looking like mobile graffiti; this is more likely to happen when the nib starts blotching and belching ink all over your fingers. The cap is also ventilated, as are most these days, this is to allow for the passage of air, should you or a loved one be stupid enough to suck it into your airway (this is less of a stupid accident if you are under ten or so and a good feature). However do not try this out at home as you will still have to go to A&E to have the object removed, and the whole process is bound to make your eyes water.
As mentioned above the thing I find a little strange with these pens is that whilst they seem to perform ok (at best) in work, when my husband buys them from a high street retailer (I never buy Staedtler biros) without fail they end up in the bin in frustration. In my and the rest of my families experience the ball sticks, and or scratches. When you snatch up the pen to jot down information during a phone call or similar, you inevitably have to jump start the damn thing by scrawling randomly and firmly on anything to hand. Even then it sometimes refuses to work leaving you to impress the details into the paper, in the hope that you can do a 'brass rubbing' of it later. The blurb claims that these pens have a 'regulated ink flow' I have seen no evidence of this during use.
I find that when I try and snap these pens in half in a stationery rage incident (usually after or during a phone call); they don't even give you the satisfaction of a snapping and crunching noise. In fact they don't even break apart, I suspect they are treated in some way so that they don't break into dangerous pointy bits, DAMN! .. Although if you have children and pets I reluctantly admit that this is probably a good thing. So if you check out my waste bin after my husband has been on a shopping trip you'll find an interesting modern sculpture composed of tangled and abused biros.
This is the technical stuff as taken from Amazon where they can be bought in boxes of ten for £1.81, perfect for creating twisty plastic mazes for your hamster to play in.
* Staedtler Stick 430 Med Black 430M-9
* Premium quality ballpoint pen with cap and clip
* Black ink
* Medium line width (0.35mm)
* Regulated ink flow to avoid blobbing and scratching
* Extremely long write out length
Made in Germany
Dimensions: 140 x 60 x 30 mm