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Career pen affair



Didn’t make it to the job fair last week? Here’s what you missed.

Not all booths supplied free pens, but of those that did, here are the results:


Weight: 8.51 g

Length: 141 mm

Ink colour: Blue

Pen colour: Cherry burst red and metallic

For the most part, a pen of average quality. Nothing terribly surprising or unique about its maneuverability or balance. Under 9 grams, it’s in the light pen category and does feel that way. There’s a slight rattle caused by the ink cartridge in the pen but overall it’s an adequate pen for note taking.

— 4/10


Weight: 8.04 g

Length: 144 mm

Ink colour: Blue

Pen colour: White and admiral blue

Communitas pulls no punches. Their pen doesn’t pretend to be metal and it knows what it’s worth. It’s still on the light side for a pen but its full plastic jet moulded construction gives it an appearance of durability. Its blue highlights may also be considered a plus by some because they serve as a reminder of what the ink colour is.

— 6/10


Weight: 13.45 g

Length: 151 mm

Ink colour: Blue

Pen colour: White, metallic, black grip

Not surprisingly, the accounting firm supplies a true accounting pen (comes with a highlighter), with a classy twist-click to open. This, and being the second heaviest of the pens puts it in the heavyweight category, in both weight and quality. It boasts quite a tight fit and finish, and bringing up its rating even further, the pen sports a comfortable rubber finger grip. A potential negative is that the contoured shape, combined with its length and weight may make the pen feel slightly top heavy. With that said, this pen shouldn’t pose a problem for extended writing tasks. MNP nearly scored a perfect 10 point rating but their use of blue ink and the weightiness of the pen only just brings them down to a lesser score.

— 8/10


Weight: 11.12 g

Length: 151 mm

Ink colour: Blue

Pen colour: Gloomy economic future grey

Not surprisingly, the Government of Canada has the most unique and expensive-looking pen. Plastic construction, double-ended, featuring a highlighter on one side and a blue ink tip on the other. This pen scores some major style points. However, it loses even more points, because once opened up, you’ll notice that its ink cartridge is half the size of any other. No surprise here, Government of Canada.

— a deficit of -4/10


Weight 7.62 g

Length: 136 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: Metallic royal blue, silver metallic highlights

Another conventional design, similar to CIBC in styling. A small plus for this pen is the added rubber finger grip. Where this pen truly pulls ahead of the pack is its black ink cartridge. Feel free to sign documents with this bad boy, no one will think you’re still in grade school.

— 7/10

Lexxon Training

Weight: 8.33 g

Length: 138 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: Ruby red, silver highlights

This translucent red pen with a red rubber finger grip falls in the mid-grade range for style and functionality. There’s nothing outstanding about the design; however, its rubber finger grip is the softest of the group. This is also a black ink pen — a feature that brings the pen slightly above the pack and out of the low-mid category.

— 7/10

Elements Casino

Weight: 8.48 g

Length: 141 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: Silver and metallic silver

The casino’s pen shares the same design as the CIBC pen but is for some reason 0.03 g lighter. Mostly the same can be said for the casino’s version of the pen, style preference will come down to colour. This pen will receive a full two points more than the CIBC pen for offering black ink.

— 6/10


Weight: 10.45 g

Length: 143 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: Fancy-pants blue, black, metallic silver

Some may call it cheating or double dipping but for whatever reason, Communitas offered two different kinds of pens. This is definitely the better of their two pens. It fits into the higher quality category and while it may not be a contender for top three, it is by all means a solid choice, certainly because of its black ink.

— 8/10

Langley Fiat:

Weight: 7.45 g

Length: 138 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: White, vermillion

The only pen to challenge cylindrical pen norms and attempt the three-sided triangular prism. Most people are accustomed to a full cylindrical grip but a three-sided pen does provide a compedative grip, especially if you use the conventional pen grip technique taught in elementary school. Consider this a fancy Bic pen. Its two impressive features are the three-sided design and black ink, other than that it’s quite standard.

— 6/10

Pacific Coast Fruit Products Ltd:

Weight: 11.40 g

Length: 139 mm

Ink colour: Blue

Pen colour: Silver, metallic silver, black grip

A notable feature to this pen is it has by far the most rigid pocket clip. It might be your pen of choice if you expect to be doing a lot of aerobics in between signing and writing tasks. After taking the pen apart, it was reluctant to slip back together smoothly. But as a counterpoint to that, it also contains a larger than standard ink cartridge. That would be fantastic if it wasn’t blue.

— 6/10

City of Chilliwack:

Weight: 10.30 g

Length: 144 mm

Ink colour: Black

Pen colour: Emerald, clear

The City of Chilliwack does some good work. Theirs is the only pen to say “no way” to the typical ball point ink and try gel ink instead. This Paper Mate design also utilizes its “Zany grip” rubber finger grip, not quite as comfortable but comparable to the Lexxon pen grip. While this pen doesn’t try anything too bold style-wise, its writability is strong and it may be the top writer’s pen.

— 9/10

BC Corrections:

Weight: 14.77 g

Length: 153 mm

Ink colour: Black, blue highlighter

Pen colour: Silver, royal blue

BC Corrections quite surprisingly offers a relatively unique pen style. On one end is a blue highlighter, on the other, when activated by a slide mechanism, a black ink tip appears. The most unconventional feature is the abovementioned slide mechanism. It is simple to use and after several test phases it was easy to see that this feature is quite a functional one. Rather than picking up the pen to click it, then repositioning the pen in your hand to write, it can be picked up in writing position and engaged with the thumb. This pen is the longest and heaviest of the group and may be unwieldy at times, but for the most part functions very nicely as a go-to, everyday carry pen.

— 8/10

The winners:

City of Chilliwack

A pen is a pen, and pens are used to write. The City of Chilliwack’s simple design doesn’t wow the jury with style points but its green colouring definitely brings it up a few notches. Where this pen pulled ahead was with writing smoothness. This is truly the writer’s pen.

BC Corrections

While the BC Corrections pen lost big points for style, its functionality (which includes the blue highlighter) brings it to second place. The fun, thumb-activated slide button is both unique and practical. Overall, it’s a quality pen and useful for many circumstances.


Takes the bronze for combining class, sensibility, and functionality in an enjoyable design. If it only had black ink it would have easily pulled into second and possibly first if the City of Chilliwack pen showed any signs of dysfunction.

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