If you're a writer, artist, or businessperson who still writes things down on paper rather than always using a computer, you may appreciate a fine, name brand pen. These are usually much smoother and easier to use when writing and may even be very valuable over time. When you're ready to choose a fine pen, either for yourself or as a gift, note a few quick tips to ensure you choose the right one and are happy with your choice for years to come:

1. Ballpoint, roller ball, and fountain

Ballpoint and roller ball pens are similar in that they have a type of ball at the end of the cartridge that glides ink over the paper. However, a ballpoint pen doesn't allow the ball to actually move in all directions, as does a roller ball pen. Ballpoint pens may need a bit more pressure for writing, so they may not be good for authors and artists who will use the pen for extended periods.

Fountain pens are easier to work with as they require even less pressure, and may help to improve your handwriting since you need to use consistent force to make all your lines and swirls consistent. Fountain pens also give you more control over how thick or thin lines will be; the more force you apply, the thicker the line. This is good for artists or those writing with calligraphy and similar styles. However, the ink used with fountain pens is typically much thicker and may bleed through very thin papers, so it may not be a good choice for use with journals and similar types of books.

2. Know the materials

A fine pen will be made of natural materials such as gold, silver, bone, and the like. Cheaper pens will be made with plastic; they may look very nice, but this material has very little value and won't feel as comfortable in your hand. Always check the material of any pen no matter its name brand and price.

3. Consider cleaning

Fountain pens need the most cleaning, as you need to clean out the pen every time you change the nib or cartridge, and the ink can easily spread to the tip of the pen and then dry out. Roller ball pens also require more cleaning than ballpoint, as the movement of the roller ball spreads ink inside the cartridge. Ballpoint pens need less cleaning, and the oil-based ink they typically use won't dry up as easily. Opt for this type if you don't have time to care for your pens and clean them as needed.

If you want to know more about pens, try contacting a company like Parker Pens for more information.