Jet Pens, a site that sells Japanese pens


Over at Cool Tools, Michael Aaron Dennis recommends Jet Pens, a site that sells Japanese pens.

Japanese pens are simply the coolest pens on the planet. Whether for writing notes, manga, or drawing, Japanese pens are the best. The finest are .18mm while the widest are brush pens that will allow you to practice your kanji. They also come in colors that will never see the inside of a Staples or and Office Depot.

The best place to get them is a web site called Given the exotic character of the merchandise, the prices are fine, but the extras, such as Japanese stationery, erasers, pen holders, and notebooks are simply amazing. Where else can you buy erasers that are also a game of balancing the erasers in an ark on your desk? And the colors, ranging from yellows and pinks to the office standards, are just awesome.

Hold on to you wallet.

Jet Pens


  1. Or if you live anywhere near San Jose, CA there is a Kinokuniya bookstore that sells tons of awesome japanese pens, paper, art supplies and books.

  2. BB, my love for this site knows no bounds. Back in 1985 I purchased a Japanese “shaker” mechanical pencil when I was in Seoul. Flew back to college in the states and the only A I have ever received on an Organic chem exam was when I was using this pencil. Soon after, I lost it!!!!!!!! I went to every stationary store describing this pencil to completely nonplussed clerks. Needless to say I never achieved another A in OChem…not even close.

    I FOUND THE SHAKER PENCIL, and it looks like I might be able to get it anywhere now…won’t be retaking OChem though.

    I don’t they have them at Kinokuniya store, I’m sure I looked.

  3. Jet Pens is great. Terrific writing instruments, terrific service. They’re my source for Uni-Ball Signo .38s, which I’ve never seen in a U.S. store.

  4. That’s it. I’m sick of all this “Fine Tip Fountain” bullshit that’s going on in the stationary system right now. Japanese pens deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

    I should know what I’m talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Japanese pen in Japan for 2,400,000 Yen (that’s about $20,000) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even write whole novels with my Japanese pen.

    Japanese smiths spend years working on a single pen and fill it up to a million times to produce the finest writing implements known to mankind.

    Japanese pens are thrice as sharp as Western pens and thrice as dark for that matter too. Anything a fountain pen can draw, a Japanese pen can draw better. I’m pretty sure a Japanese pen could easily illustrate a full manga volume including the kanji.

    Ever wonder why western artists never bother drawing manga? That’s right, they’re too scared to compete with the disciplined Japanese and their pens of creation. Even in World War II, American soldiers targeted the men with Japanese pens first because their rhetorical power was feared and respected.

    So what am I saying? Japanese pens are simply the best pens that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better categorization. Something that seems a lot more representative of the artistic power of Japanese pens in real life, don’t you think?

      1. You’re only popular if you pop the collar.

        By the way, which one of you was responsible for showing 4chan to Xeni?

    1. I’m sorry, but even if I assume that wasn’t a cleverly structured sarcastic rant against overly critical pen aficionados, you sound ridiculous.

      To post something like that to the broad public here, both with normal people and experts in many things abound, you sound like you’re taking yourself too serious to be joking. In any case, if you’re for real, it’s probably the equivalent of Stradavari talking to a harmonica playing wandering musician- both know quality exists, but only the first has seen it at a level he can comprehend. To everyone else, he’s crazy. And bragging of wealth is never a sign of wisdom. Maybe that’s why you’re still practicing after 2 years? In any case, you have my envy to be able to spend 20,000$ on a pen. You had either have way too much money, or studied the ideal Japanese pen qualities for at least a decade. I hope it’s the latter.

      Ok, I’m done playing the baiting ass. I love this post because I thought I was the only one that actually cared about Japanese writing instruments. I bought a handmade Sailor Sapporo model fountain pen (oddly enough, where I lived) with a special reversible cross-nib, so the main side writes a medium line,and flipping it writes huge, bold, sweeping lines.

      I LOVE this pen. Playing with Sailor pens for hours, and all the special nibs, made me love writing for the first time-

      If you ever, ever get a chance to write with a normal (not emperor style) Sailor fountain pen of any size with a Naginata togi (togi is tip), TAKE IT. I’ve written with many fountain pens- that nib is like writing with your own finger, it pulls so light and smooth it will blow your mind.

  5. Whoa. Next, show me a site that sells Canadian junk food and I’ll just hand over my whole damn wallet.

  6. I recently ordered from there actually. I bought several different versions of the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga, a mechanical pencil that rotates the “lead” as you write. It actually is a pretty awesome idea. My regular .5mm mechanical pencils would always develop a chisel-tip and then break. The .5mm Kuru Toga wears evenly, and thus can handle the pressure I exert during writing. No more broken lead. Yes, I could have also gone up to .7mm to prevent breakage, but the Kuru Toga is so much cooler.

    The mechanism works by rotating the lead every time the pencils touches-down onto the paper. This makes it effective for handwriting, but not drawing. When I draw, at least, I keep the pencil down on the paper for much longer.

    I bought the .5mm, .5mm high grade, .3mm and .3mm high grade. The .3mm versions still break on me, but I’m learning to write with a lighter hand because I like the super-fine lines. The high grade versions are a bit nicer since they have more weight to them.

  7. Ah, my beloved QE405. It’s a perfectly balanced 0.5mm pencil with a huge twist eraser. Light weight, all-plastic, sturdy.

    Pentel stopped making them for a while; when I visited Japan I scoured stores to see if they had just left american shores. My japanese friends thought I was crazy!! But, no, they were truly gone. I came back to the US and bought some new-old-stock from ebay, and now I have enough to last quite a while.

    Pentel reincarnated them as the Twist Erase Frost series (transparent colors), but the 0.5mm seems to have stopped production again.

    While it’s not in daily use anymore, I still have the pencil that took me through senior year of college.

  8. Jetpens is a wonderful store. I don’t know if I would have been able to physically write both a virology final and an immunology final (within an half-hour of each other no less!) if I didn’t have a Platinum Preppy with Noodler’s Air Corp Blue-Black. I also have a Lamy Safari Al-Star, but find that the Preppy outperforms in nearly every way (this may be due to the Lamy forming a nearly microscopic crack that spontaneously developed on the feed on the opposite side of the nib). The best thing about Jetpens are the prices. The Preppy is $3, half of anything on Amazon and at just the right amount where dropping it in lab isn’t going to absolutely ruin your day. They also give free US shipping on orders over $25.

  9. In addition to Japanese pens they also have some nice inexpensive German fountain pens made by Lamy and Pelikan.

    7thumbs: I also have a Platinum Preppy and I think that may be the most fountain pen for the money in existence. A $3 pen (I got mine for free with a bottle of ink actually) that writes smoother than almost every fountain I’ve used under $100 or so. I keep mine filled with Noodler’s Legal Lapis.

  10. I get lost in this site. So many wonderful pens that would change my life or maybe perhaps summon some robots.

  11. Please consider spelling “stationery” correctly.

    It’s actually a very interesting word. From Wikipedia:

    Originally the term “stationery” referred to all products sold by a stationer, whose name indicates that his book shop was on a fixed spot, usually near a university, and permanent, while medieval trading was mainly ambulant, by peddlers (including chapmen, who sold books) and others (such as farmers and craftsmen) at non-permanent markets such as fairs. It was a special term used between the 13th and 15th centuries in the manuscript culture.

  12. Thank you thank you for making me think to actually go online and look for a mechanical pencil. (Duh!)

    I bought a package of the Pentel “Original Quicker Clickers” years ago. Recently, I found that they are no longer available in stores. All of the other “clicker” mechanical pencils have the button up too high and the barrels are almost all too fat.

    I immediately went to JetPen after reading this post, but did not find what I was looking for.

    However, it made me realize that perhaps I could Google “Pentel” and find it.

    Sure enough, the “Original Quicker Clicker” is right here

  13. Oh God, first the post about the Pilot pens and now this. Twice in one day. Mmm, that Pentel Graphgear 1000 looks nice.

    (Speaking of the Pilot pens from earlier, did anyone find that model for sale anywhere on the intertubez? I looked, but none of the pen barrels I saw matched the ones in the ads.)

  14. Oh I’m so glad to see this here! I’ve used JetPens for a while and LOOOOVE them! I have a multi-color pen that takes 0.3mm inks and I use it to do my art, I love thin pens. They featured my art once on their site. *grin*

  15. I have replaced all my quad point refills for the jet pen unit. So help me, if they ever come out with a Cross refill that is .04, I will replace those as well.

    1. I got a job lot (12? 24?) of Uni-Ball Gel Impact UM153S Black from These pens are expensive, but just so much better than any alternative I’ve found.

    2. I am also very much interested in finding a similar store in the UK. Good pen suppliers are hard to come by.

  16. I’m mildly amused because here in Singapore these things are *all over the damn place*. My company stocks its stationery cabinets with them because they’re cheap.

  17. The Pilot pens from the previous post look like the Pilot G-Tec-C to me. It’s the international version of the Pilot Hi-Tec-C. Both are sold through jetpens.

  18. if you are in San Jose, there is a Daiso shop in the GReat mall of Milpenis. They are all over, actually, and online:

    their stock changes often, but they stock a nice selection of “bargain” Japanese pens, inks, and stationary.

    online does not show what is in shops…

    just saying…

    and? Penisland? really? REALLY?

  19. This website is amazing! Thank you for sharing! I found pens I used to use back in middle school. As a desk monkey and writer, quality pens are hard to come by.

  20. For Japanese pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, binders, stationary, and other office supplies, check out Mai Do at Santana Row in San Jose.

  21. I’ve got several Lamy Safari fountain pens. relatively inexpensive, a good flow, and a nice nib on them. Plus, they come in purty colors.

  22. Damn, just when I was thinking about getting me some new brush pens, BB blogs about what looks like one of the best pen shops on the web. I can easily see myself spending 100+ $ now …

    Damn you, Mark!

    (Also, thanks. Finally a good alternative to my current supplier)

  23. If there was a B&M store near me so I could try out some of these, I’d be broke pretty damned quickly.

  24. Thanks Mark for your kind comments! We at JetPens think we have the coolest products on the planet too! We’re happy to entertain office workers with balancing erasers any day. We’re trying our best to spread the experience of smooth, fine writing instruments from JetPens one pen at a time! ;)

  25. As a mechanical pencil fetishist I clicked right on over there and loaded a couple of cool items into the basket, only to find the shipping costs to Europe are scary!!
    Instead I found & bought one of the ones I liked at Cult Pens in the UK – much cheaper shipping to Italy and a nice range of stuff :^)

  26. Seriously, what possible purpose do “pens” serve?

    I haven’t touched a “pen” in weeks. I doubt I have handwritten 200 words since January.

    Just a few hours ago, I was cleaning out and changing briefcases and noticed that I had gone two months without any pen.

    For a mad moment I thought about digging out my fancy-pants fountain Waterman or a gift Cross (certainly not my dried up Rapidograph). Quickly, I came to my senses and just tossed in my bisexual stylus-cum-pen that I use for sketching on my iPad and iTouch.

    Texting, tablet input, GoogleMail, email, keitai eWallet, efunds transfer (there are no checks here in Japan), Skype, yada, yada, なんとかnantoka, who the farkque still needs a “pen”?

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