5 Great Pens for Geeks

Regular readers know we have a fondness for novelty pens, the ones that are usually more cool than useful. So, we get extra excited when we see pens that are both fun and functional.

These are some of our recent favourites.

Slanda Self Balancing Pen

Slanda pen – When you reach out for this pen, it reaches back.

The Slanda from Gustav Innovation is designed so that it stands up on your desk, ready for you to grab it whenever you need it. Named for the Swedish word for ‘dragonfly,’ the Slanda can twirl on its tip, lay down flat, or perch at a perfectly convenient angle.

Slanda Ballpoint Pen Turquoise

You can see it here in action on this YouTube video:

Unfortunately, the pen maker’s site is longer on advertising rhetoric than details about the pen itself, but it appears to be a refillable ballpoint, with either wood or plastic barrels.

Still, it would be handy just to have a pen that stands around, waiting to be used.

Bolt Action Tactical Pen

Bolt Action Pen – The pen that helps you deal with annoying co-workers.

Everybody is jumping on the ‘tactical’ self-defense pen bandwagon these days, and this one is another entry into that crowded niche.


This one, as its name implies, uses a clever little bolt-action mechanism to advance and retract the writing tip. You fidgeters will know what that means – a toy to keep your hands busy when you are bored.

Bolt Action tactical Pen

You can see it here in action on this YouTube video:

Even better, what we picture is something like this: lean back in your chair, take aim at that co-worker who always sounds like he’s yelling on the phone and ‘pew, pew’ at him with imaginary blobs of ink. When you’re finished with that target, use the bolt to load another round and move on to the next annoying person.

We aren’t sure, but presumably its a ballpoint, so you can also write simple things with it. Neat, right?

Recycled Paper Pen

Paper Pen

Paper Pen – No paper goes to waste with this one.

The pen is simple as can be. Just a ballpoint refill fitted into a barrel made of rolled up A4 paper. Each pen is made to order using existing sheets of leftover paper collected from various offices. This means no new paper is generated, and each pen has its own unique look, depending on the pages used.

Obviously not a workhorse pen, but useful for taking down messages and the like, or for giving away to customers and co-workers.

The only drawback: These pens are pricey, going for €3 each, plus shipping.

Telpen Telescopic Keychain Pen

Telpen Telescopic Keyring Pen

Telpen Telescopic Keychain Pen – Forgot your favorite pen? No worries, you still have another one.

The Telpen isn’t really sexy cool, but it is a huge boon to the absent-minded among us. The problem with most keychain pens is that they are too big, especially if you carry your keys in your pocket and get jabbed all the time.

This one solves that problem by collapsing into a convenient 2-inch cylinder when its not being used. When you need it, just expand it out into an almost regular-sized ballpoint pen.

It comes with three black-ink refills.

BaliYo Butterfly Pen

As long as you remember your car keys, you will have a pen to write with. And if you lose your keys, well, you probably have a bigger problem than just needing to write something down.

BaliYo Pen

BaliYo Pen – Because sometimes, you just have to entertain yourself.

This is a pen from a knife company, based on the design of the famous balisong or butterfly knife. The handle splits into two pieces that fold back to reveal the barrel of the pen, and flip back to cover it.

Yeah, we know, not exactly a ‘useful’ feature…but look at the video! You can do tricks with your pen while you’re eating breakfast!

And, in terms of writing use, the pen does use the Fisher Space Pen refill, which means you’ll always be able to write with it underwater, upside down or at the North Pole.

So, what do you think…any of these pens must-haves for your collection? Seen any recently that you like? Let us know!


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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

2 thoughts on “5 Great Pens for Geeks”

  1. You can just make your own paper pen!
    I’ve done it before, using extra refills. Just use a little scotch tape t
    It’s a bit thin to my liking, but if you have extra refills that you would like to use, this is a great way! You can even use different colored paper. 3 pounds is way too steep for what it is. You can save some trees yourself, avoid the shipping fees, and have fun experimenting!


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