Did you know there's an official presidential pen?
The past several U.S. Presidents have agreed on a specific brand of pen and pen refill to use in the Oval Office. It's the Cross Century II black and gold pen and Cross Porous Point refill (blue or black depending on the President).
I find the pen itself unattractive, so I decided to test out just the refill against other refills in its class...you know, for fun. I tested the Mont Blanc Fineliner refill ($9), the Sakura Micron 05 ($5), and the Sharpie Pen ($5) against the Cross Porous Point refill ($5). All four are the same type of refill, with small differences (size of line, bleed through, smoothness, build quality, etc.). I wrote on a variety of papers both smooth and course.
To my shock, the best turned out to be the Cross, the President's refill. I say shock, because Cross is the kind of pen brand usually given to graduates and bought at Staples. It isn't expected to be the best, just the best in proximity to your home or office. Nevertheless, it was the smoothest, cleanest refill of them all.
So, the next time you see the president sign an executive order and wave it around in a gif, know that it was a great writing experience, no matter what you think of how it's being used.
This post originally appeared in my personal newsletter.