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Which pens are best for writing checks and signing legal documents?

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Showing 1-25 of 67 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 8, 2013 7:49:00 PM PDT
Steve M. says:
I recently got some Pentel gel pens, and I started wondering which pens were best for writing checks and signing legal documents. According to at least two sources, gel pens are best, but I am curious to know what other people think. Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue, or a personal preference?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2013 8:01:33 PM PDT
Pilot B2P - Bottle to Pen - Retractable Gel Roller Pens Made from Recycled Bottles, 2 Pen Pack, Fine Point, Black (31605)

These are the pens I use to write all my reviews. Could not be happier with them. I had a pack of twelve and have almost used them all up. Two left.

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 8:45:08 PM PDT
Teahouse Fox says:
Every contract I've ever signed has been in generic ball point ink. I hardly ever write checks anymore. When I did, it was a ball point pen. Gel for a while.

Now the only thing I use is a fountain pen with a Noodler's 'bulletproof' ink. Short of destroying the check itself, that stuff does not budge.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2013 10:33:16 PM PDT
Catrinka says:
>>These are the pens I use to write all my reviews. <<

Just curious, write out your reviews first in pen and then later type them into your computer?

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 1:43:44 AM PDT
BIC For Her Fashion Retractable Ball Pen, Medium Point, 1.0 mm, Assorted-Fashion Ink, 2 Count (FHAP21-ASST) This is my favorite, most ladylike pen.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 2:29:24 AM PDT
Brent Butler says:
Anything in which you can supply disappearing ink.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 3:46:12 AM PDT
Steve, you are correct. My company held a security awareness fair (your tax dollars at work) and the ink aspect was discussed as some inks are easy to perform "check washing." They gave us a special gel pen that wouldn't wash. The Uniball 207, black ink is another alternative to Pentel. Funny. I can't remember the last time I wrote a check.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 4:28:13 AM PDT
RWM says:
Curious question, Steve. I recently did a search on Amazon because I needed something similar. I came up with, and purchased, these: uni-ball Power Tank RT Ballpoint Retractable Pen, Blue Ink, Bold, Dozen (42071)

Not a bad product!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 7:45:12 AM PDT
K. Rowley says:
I use these... They work well, and I like using medium-point pen.

uni-ball 207 Retractable Medium-Point Gel Pens with Uni Super Ink, 4 Black Ink Pens (33960)

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 8:16:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2013 8:18:43 AM PDT
It's hard to go wrong with Uni-Ball and check wash, though I feel Uni-Ball's durability has declined since Sanford took over the company.

Don't believe this one has check wash, but it is hard and fine. My cousin the lefty loves it:
Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Retractable Liquid Gel Pen, 0.7mm, Needle Tip, Black Ink, 3 Pack (BLN77BP3A)

I also like to sign an original doc. in blue because it is harder to photocopy (color copies cost more).

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 8:44:25 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
Thanks to everyone for your help. On a related issue, I have read that gel pens are not "permanent". What is the difference between ink that is impervious to check washing, and "permanent" ink?

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 10:10:20 AM PDT
I'm not an expert, but a forger "washes" a check by removing any appearance of it by chemical or other liquid means that do not visibly wear away paper (as opposed to abrasion or erasing, which is quite apparent on safety paper, like checks, and abrades even regular paper). A gel pen may smear, and it may be the dickens to remove the smears, but the ink laid down may fade over time. Permanent inks -- and the earliest go back to the fountain-pen era -- were developed so that critical elements like signatures would not fade over time. An ink that is resistant (I myself would not say "impervious") to check washing is good and stubborn against liquids but those are not necessarily the same qualities that endure. What are called permanent inks go back to the liquid-ink era and are still available, and have a good track record. If a manufacturer develops an ink (strictly speaking, ink medium) that he claims is permanent but is based on newer technology (say, within the last thirty years), he can only prove what was is written with it will stay visible for those thirty years.

Parenthetically (and I'm sure many readers know this), a package of "permanent" ink pens based on newer technology or even use of well-proved permanent ink are prudent purchases, but if said writing is done on high-acid or highly-coated (like the common photocopy "flat" that feeds most printers most of the time) or is stored with much exposure to air or sunlight, the ink may be able to outlast the doc but what's the use of that? There are many recourses to the person of average means who does not have access to clean-room or lab standards: so-called "thesis" paper, document paper, storage files that help resist sunlight and air. As for checks--well, it's getting to be a rare thing that the actual physical check is going to be hauled out of storage for probative reasons. IMO a person who is dissatisfied with long-lasting ink on safety paper would do better getting a check-writing machine. They are readily available at supply stores and have the dual advantage of printing in long-lasting ink and making a physical impression on the check paper. That's where the phrase "cut a check" came from. In the long run, no guarantees (the smartest forgers these days are probably the ones who hack computers), but it's best to think in terms of the whole document (or check) and what could happen to it. Ink alone could lead to a false sense of security.

Sorry if "TMI" - hope I answered your question. - a.s.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 10:28:43 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
Thanks. I am not up on all the latest shorthand. What is, "IMO", "TMI", and a.s?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 10:32:34 AM PDT
Catrinka says:
IMO = in my opinion
TMI = too much information
as = Allen Smalling

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 10:35:43 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
Thanks. Color me informed:)

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 10:46:00 AM PDT
Cathy was very tactful. With slight rewording, she could have said, "In my opinion, too much information, 'as' in the reviews of Allen Smalling." No one says "TMAA" for "too many acronyms and abbreviations," but I am guilty of that and I apologize.

I hope the post was useful anyway. I don't want to be an SOB.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 10:53:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2013 12:58:05 PM PDT
RWM says:
I like the fact that these, uni-ball Power Tank RT Ballpoint Retractable Pen, Blue Ink, Bold, Dozen (42071), "Write upside-down, in temperatures down to -20° C and even in zero-gravity." Of course, it's been a while since I've been exposed to such unusual and extreme conditions, but it's comforting to know I have the flexibility should the need arise once again! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 11:07:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2013 11:12:18 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
It was, Allen, thanks. And you are intelligent and well informed, as well as amusing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2013 11:10:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2013 11:13:58 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
RWM, are you an astronaut, or a world explorer?

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 11:20:21 AM PDT
Steve M. says:
Oh, one of the things that got me thinking more about pens is that a while back one, and maybe two checks were stolen from our mailbox. I had been writing checks for all our bills. Now I call most of the companies and use there automated service. I still write a check for the electric bill, as they won't take VISA. And I have to write a check for anyone who does work at the house, like the gardener.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 12:05:28 PM PDT
I felt a little guilty the other day when a professional-solicitation outlet got ahold of me regarding a group I support. I did make a pledge, but insisted on paying by check. The guy at the other end was REALLY pushing the use of plastic. I explained why I'd rather not, but along the way learned (much to my surprise!) that his employer gives him a bonus of $2.50 for every credit card donation he processes, but nothing for pledges to be paid by check.

I use credit for most in-person purchases over about $20, and practically all Internet purchases. (If I recall correctly Amazon wasn't even taking personal checks way back when I first set up an account, but apparently at some point they realized they'd be missing a few sales if they didn't open up the possibility of taking a personal check.) I've got a buddy who even joined PayPal but linked his billing to his checking account, but I for one see no use in that. I use checks for donations (including church), paying the doctor, subscribing to magazines, rent, and utilities. I still see benefits in all of those, but I realize I may be on the wrong side of history. I was just about go put the gas bill on auto-deduct when local TV reported on the case of a local woman who was out thousands because of a slipped decimal using this allegedly superior system.

On a more enjoyable note, I've been reading some of your recent reviews. Good goin'!

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 12:38:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2013 12:49:03 PM PDT
Steve M. says:
I hope you are referring to MY reviews. If you are, thank you very much!:) I am a paraplegic with Spina Bifida, and have skinny legs. Consequently, most men's shorts are too big and baggy on me, so I decided to see if I could find women's shorts that didn't look too girly, and that would fit okay. These fit pretty well considering, though I am going to try one size smaller. If the waist is big enough, they should fit even better. They also make pretty good pajama bottoms.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 12:49:49 PM PDT
I write very few checks because of having things stolen from the mailbox and then I found our health insurance premium payment in my backyard a month old, almost lost our insurance.

When I worked at the bank someone on the cleaning crew stole some loan checks and made them out in pencil, just wrote the name of the loan officer (she had a name plate on her desk) in print. And a store up in Maine cashed them. Printed pencil. People try anything.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 12:53:30 PM PDT
Oh I probably should have said I use the Avant pens with blue and black Silk Scribe ink refills. They have gel refills too. But, the silk is smoother. That is smart what Allen does with blue ink.

Posted on Jun 9, 2013 1:00:32 PM PDT
Steve M. says:
Thanks again everyone! I LOVE these forums. They are fun, fascinating, and informative.
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Discussion in:  Top Reviewers forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  67
Initial post:  Jun 8, 2013
Latest post:  Jun 25, 2013

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