Best Pens 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

March 9, 2021-Kirk Hale

Our Top Picks

Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen
PILOT EasyTouch
  • Pack of 18 ballpoint pens
  • 1.0 mm medium-sized nibs
  • Quick-drying ink for a clean writing experience
  • Ink is available in three colors- black, red, and blue
uni-ball ONYX Rollerball Pen
Sharpie S-Gel
  • Pack of 12 gel pens
  • Medium point 0.7 mm nib size
  • All black
  • Comes with no-bleed technology
INC R2 ROLLERBALL 0.7 MM Tip
Paper Mate Gel Pens
  • Pack of 14 assorted gel pens
  • Available in different colors
  • 0.7 mm medium-sized nib
  • Ink dries 3x faster

A pen is the most basic writing instrument and yet it can be so difficult to choose one out of the thousands that are available today. There is a particular type of pen designed for every task like journaling, taking notes, coloring, letter writing, and more. Other than the types of pens, there is also the question of comfort and ease of writing that also makes one pen more favorable than the other. 

We have put together this article to provide you with the answers to all your queries regarding the best pens. There are many brands available in the current market and they sell a variety of pens to suit your needs. In this article, we briefly discuss pens manufactured by the top contenders and what makes those pens special. By the end of this article, you will surely be able to figure out your requirements and the type of pen that best meets them.  

Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Pens

1. Understand The Types Of Pens

There are different types of pens available today and before you buy the best pen, you must have some basic knowledge about each of these types. 

1. Fountain Pen- This is a pen type that has been around for centuries and is a timeless classic. A pointed nib is used in the pen for the ink. There are three sources from which the ink in a fountain pen flows- a built-in reservoir, cartridges, or a converter that holds the ink. A feed system is provided through which the pen pulls the ink from the source using gravity and capillary action. 

To fill the reservoir, you can use a syringe, a pipette, or an internal piton-style filling mechanism. There are a variety of nib sizes that you can choose from and they all offer different line widths. Fountain pens provide you with more choices as compared to ballpoint pens. Hence, it is more customizable according to your style and requirements. 

There is also a huge range of ink colors you can select from. Since fountain pens are refillable, they tend to be more eco-friendly. They can be used repeatedly over a long period of time. You can even use bottled inks instead of disposable refills and cartridges which makes it a boon for the environment.   

Given all these factors, fountain pens have often been referred to as the most difficult pen to use. It requires a lot of maintenance unlike other pens and can be finicky as well. You might take some time to get used to the writing style if you are a first-timer. 

2. Roller Ball Pens- This type of pen uses liquid ink that is usually water-based and provides extremely smooth writing. The ink is fast-flowing and creates dark lines. The mechanism used in the pen is similar to a regular ballpoint pen, the only difference being the water-based ink. The most common tip sizes that you will find in rollerball pens ranges between 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm. 

Since these pens have such a fast-flowing ink, they have thin tips to avoid leaking too much ink on the paper that can easily make a mess. A smaller ball is used in this pen as compared to a ballpoint pen. The ink used in rollerball pens tends to dry quickly which is an advantage as it prevents smudges and leakage. It is a great choice of a pen if you are a left-hander and also for fast writers. 

The ink for these pens comes in a variety of colors mainly because there are more water-soluble dyes available along with pigments. As mentioned earlier, this type of pen writes smoothly, and hence, you do not need to put any extra pressure on the pen. Despite these exceptional features that make them some of the best rated pens, there are a few cons of the pen as well. 

It is prone to bleeding and feathering. While writing, the ink tends to bleed through the paper and leave a mark on the next page. Since they use more ink, it does not last as long as ballpoint pens. If you have a habit of leaving your pen uncapped, there is a high chance that a rollerball pen will leak and leave your clothes and notebooks messy. This is why it’s a bad option for traveling. 

3. Ballpoint Pens- Here we have the most common and popular type of pen or the ballpoint pen. These pens were initially designed as an alternative to fountain pens which tend to leak ink at times . As opposed to fountain pens, ballpoint pens are cleaner and easier to use. They use an oil-based ink that writes smoothly without any skipping. 

It is the best everyday pen available in the market and used by a range of people from students to take notes, corporate workers, artists to paint and draw with, journal writers, and so on. Even industrial designers rely on ballpoint pens for shading. Their tip size ranges from 1.0 mm to 7.0 mm, that is, from extra-fine tip to medium-sized tip. 

Ballpoint pens are less trouble and the ink dries up quickly so that there are no spots or bleeding. The ink refill is long-lasting. In fact, out of all the pens, ballpoint pens tend to last the longest. Hence, if you are looking for an economic and durable option, this is the one for you. 

The ink, however, can accumulate at the tip and cause a  mess on the paper. This can create a blob of ink and dirty your books, clothes, bags, etc. Despite this drawback, most users have praised the pen variety for being extremely comfortable to write with, especially when you are writing fast.

4. Gel pens- A gel is the second most commonly used pen in the world. It uses pigmented ink where the ink is suspended in water. The texture of the ink is thick and opaque. It creates bubbles on the surface before the ink is soaked in. The lines  created by these pens are thus sharper and more precise but take a while to dry. You have to be careful and avoid blotching.

The mechanism or style used by gel pens is the same as those used in rollerball pens or ballpoint pens. The tip size available in these pens ranges from 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm. It comes in a wide and vibrant range of colors so that you can use the pens for sketching and journaling as well. There is very little bleeding or feathering caused by gel pens. 

These pens have a couple of limitations.. It takes a long time to dry which is always risky as it can create a real mess on the paper. Lastly, gel pens let out more ink while writing and hence run out quickly. You have to replace them frequently if you are an avid writer. 

2. Type Of Writing

Once you have figured out the basic details about the different types of pens available, you need to understand which one suits your type of writing. To boil your choice down to a single type of pen with a particular design, mechanism, and nib size, you must remember what kind of writing you want to use it for.. Do you need pens for taking notes, sketching and coloring, bullet journaling, designing, or simply for signing documents? This will determine the best pens that you ultimately choose. 

If you are a student who needs to frequently take down notes with a pen and need something light but also writes fast for a long time, gel pens and ballpoint pens are a great option. These are also quite economical and hence, are considered to be extremely beneficial for students. Artists, designers, and cartoonists might require pens with a broader nib if they use pens for coloring. In that case, rollerball pens are the most sought-after option. 

You might be someone who occasionally forgets to cap the pen after using it. This can lead to the ink drying up over time and you will have to throw away the pen. Uncapped pens are highly recommended for such people. These are easy to use and less time-consuming. Moreover, you can just click the rear button once you are done writing and the nib will withdraw inside.

For journaling, you require pens that provide a larger range of colors because you might want to make your journal colorful. Quick-dry inks like that of ballpoint and rollerball pens are ideal for this purpose as it keeps your work neat and tidy. 

3. Left-handed Or Right-handed?

There are fewer left-handed individuals as compared to right-handed ones but the brands that are sensitive to the needs of both is truly the best pen brand that you could ask for. Choosing the right pen can be a tricky business for lefties as it completely depends on how you hold a pen and whether you tend to smudge the ink with your hand by mistake. 

If that is the case, as a lefty, you need pens that come with quick-drying ink. Fountain pens and gel pens have ink that takes almost a minute to dry properly. While there are a few people who can manage this drawback, most cannot and hence, tend to make ink blotches across the paper.  

Ballpoint pens once more come to the rescue for such writers as it contains quick-drying inks. A left-hander also needs a pen that does not skip and writes smoothly. While skipping is a problem for everybody, it is more so for left-handers because of their style of writing. Technology is rapidly evolving and we now have a few water-based inks as well that dry up real quick and hence, can be considered by left-handed writers. 

4. Budget

Budget is probably one of the last factors that you need to consider before buying a pen. Great pens are available at almost every budget and that is something you need not worry about. It all boils down to your requirements and wishes.

We can guarantee you that unless your wishes are not too quirky or over the top, you will find a pen that fits into your pre-decided budget. Ballpoint pens and gel pens are the most common choice of pens as budget pens as they not only cost less but also last for a very long time. 

Fountain pens are the type of pens that can get slightly expensive as the design becomes more and more sophisticated. There are gold-plated fountain pens that are meant mainly to be used as gifts and that is a one-time buy that you can accommodate.

However, if you are running on a tight budget and want to get your hands on a fountain pen, search for the simpler ones that are comfortable to write with instead of the high-end ones. 

5. Brand

While the brand is an important factor to consider for most products, when it comes to pens, you will find a lot of them that have been manufactured by unknown brands and yet perform extremely well. Yet, buying a branded pen has its advantages.

There is always a guarantee on the quality of the pen as you are assured that the best materials and ink have been used to design it. They offer warranty periods within which if you notice any discrepancy in the pen, you can contact the customer care of the brand. 

Branded pens look stylish and they come with the promise of longevity. Since the materials used are of premium-quality, the pens last for a very long time. You can gift a branded pen to a loved one or a colleague at work on a special occasion. Using a branded pen always reflects well on your style and personality. However, do not simply rely on the most expensive brand to provide you with the best pens

Some well-known brands that people use across the world are Pilot, Paper Mate, Uni-ball, and Pentel. 

Top 17 Best Pens 2021

1. PILOT EasyTouch

Top Pick

PILOT EasyTouch Best Pens
  • Pack of 18 ballpoint pens
  • 1.0 mm medium-sized nibs
  • Quick-drying ink for a clean writing experience
  • Ink is available in three colors- black, red, and blue
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Pilot Corporation is a Japanese pen manufacturing brand that produces a range of stationery products as well as jewelry, and other writing instruments. However, it is best known internationally for its pens that include ballpoint pens, gel pens, rollerball pens, and fountain pens. The pack of 18 ballpoint pens fromPilot is available in 3 colors- red, black, and blue. 

The pens boast of a 1.0 mm medium-sized nib that produces thick, dark lines every time you write. This is a retractable pen that makes it even easier to use and a great option for individuals who forget to cap their pens. It is also refillable and comes with a translucent barrel with a visible ink supply so that you can keep an eye on it and never run out of ink. The form-fitting rubber grip is yet another reason for buying these pens as it makes them extremely ergonomic. 

Ergonomic pens are a great choice for those people who need to write for a long time or take notes at a rapid speed. Comfort becomes the most important thing and these Pilot pens offer you just that. You can also use pens for journaling or sketching. The best part is that you get the entire bunch at a very reasonable price. 

Pros
  • Quick-drying and bleed-proof ink
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • The rubber-grip makes it ergonomic
  • Smooth writing
  • Retractable and refillable pens
Cons
  • Tends to skip a lot
  • Packaging can be improved

2. Sharpie S-Gel Gel Pens

Budget Pick

Sharpie S-Gel Gel Pens
  • Pack of 12 gel pens
  • Medium point 0.7 mm nib size
  • All black
  • Comes with no-bleed technology
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Sharie S-gel pens are available in a pack of 12 and all the pens are black. They come with a medium point 0.7 mm nib size that is bold and perfect for precise yet vivid writing. Unlike most other gel pens that are prone to smearing and bleeding, this one boasts of a no-bleed technology that prevents any kind of bleeding and feathering. The contoured rubber grip makes for a comfortable writing experience. 

This is a great choice for left-handers as there is no smearing involved. These are retractable pens that are very easy to use. It ranks high on the style factor as well. The pens not only write well but have been designed to look good too. The brand name is carved just below the grip and it makes the pen look even more stylish with a touch of simplicity.

Pros
  • No smear and no bleed technology
  • Contoured rubber grip for extra comfort
  • Vivid ink colors
  • The nib facilitates a smooth writing experience
  • Modern design and eye-catching style
Cons
  • The nib can be scratchy
  • Some have complained of frequent skipping

3. Paper Mate Gel Pens

Paper Mate Gel Pens
  • Pack of 14 assorted gel pens
  • Available in different colors
  • 0.7 mm medium-sized nib
  • Ink dries 3x faster
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The Paper Mate gel pens are a great choice regardless of your needs. The most important aspect of this pen is that the ink dries 3x faster compared to any other gel pen available in the same range. The pens are available in 14 different shades that include pink pop, red rush, orange rise, yellow twirl, limelight, luscious green, teal zeal, cocoa delight, and more. 

The smooth and colorful ink looks beautiful on the paper and it will motivate you to write more. Every pen has a medium size 0.7 mm nib the thickness of which makes it ideal for journaling, coloring, or sketching. Generally, people are worried that gel pens can lead to smearing since they use water-based ink. However, in the case of the Paper Mate gel pens, there will hardly be any bleeding or smearing.

Pros
  • Ergonomic comfort grip
  • Quick-drying smear-proof ink
  • Available in 14 different colors
  • Assists in smooth writing
  • Great for left-handers
Cons
  • None found

4. PILOT G2 Premium Roller Ball Pen

PILOT G2 Premium Roller Ball Pen
  • Pack of 12 retractable and refillable rollerball pens
  • Fine point nibs
  • All black ink pens
  • Rubber grip for comfortable writing
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We have yet another pen from Pilot and this time it’s a pack of 12 rollerball pens. They are available in a single shade and that is black. This pen is truly the ideal pen for overachievers as it assists in smooth, free-flowing writing. While this pack contains only the fine point pens, Pilot also offers the same pen with a variety of other nib sizes like ultra-fine, extra-fine, and bold point. This is also the most long-lasting rollerball pen you will come across among all the top brands. 

There is a comfortable rubber grip on these pens that makes your writing experience cramp free. It offers long-lasting comfort all day long and you will not even experience any amount of ache in your hands. These pens work without any skipping and there is also no smearing on the paper. Pilot is a brand with over 100 years of experience in the field and hence, can be trusted when it comes to quality.

Pros
  • Retractable and refillable pens
  • The rubber grip makes it ergonomic
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in a variety of nib sizes
  • Durable and long-lasting
Cons
  • Occasional smudging


5. Parker Jotter Originals Fountain Pen

Parker Jotter Originals Fountain Pen
  • Medium nib fountain pen
  • Includes black and blue cartridge
  • Scratch-free plastic body
  • Glossy back finish pen
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Parker pens are extremely popular among the high-end pens that are also presented as gifts to friends and colleagues on special occasions. The pen has a stylish and sophisticated design that makes it a great fashion statement. The glossy black finish has a retro touch to it which will remind you of the fountain pens used decades ago. It is a combination of the modern and the traditional. 

Ranked as one of the world's best pens, the Parker Jotter Originals fountain pen has an ultra-resistant body that will not get damaged easily. Durable material has been used to make it. Its scratch-free plastic body prevents any scratches on the surface of the pen and this maintains the stylish, clean, and glossy look for a long time. You can experience the ultimate pleasure of writing with the feather-shaped medium nib that produces smooth and free-flowing ink. 

Lastly, the pen comes with a black and blue cartridge that can be used to refill once the ink is over. Available at a reasonable price, we recommend you try this pen if you are looking for the perfect amalgamation of a posh design and comfortable writing. 

Pros
  • Medium-sized durable stainless steel nib for smooth writing
  • Glossy finish for a beautiful design
  • 2 different colors of cartridges provided
Cons
  • The plastic body is not durable

6. PANDAFLY Precision Micro-Line Pens

PANDAFLY Precision Micro-Line Pens
  • Up to 10 size black micro-fine liner ink pens
  • Waterproof ink
  • Designed especially for artist illustration, sketching, calligraphy, anime, technical drawing
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Pandafly brings to you this set of 10 micro-line pens that have been specially designed for artists, illustrators, painters, and so on. These people require really fine point nibs to draw precise lines and that is exactly what the Pandafly pens offer. The pens come in assorted tip sizes that include 9 micro nib sizes to choose from and that one soft brush tip. Even regular writers can use these pens daily.  

The black ink is waterproof and it will not smear or bleed through the paper. Furthermore, the ink is non-refillable, non-toxic, archival quality, odorless, and not at all prone to skipping. It can be used with watercolors, markers, and ink. The best part is that the ink is also photocopy friendly, that is, it will not dissolve the toner in the machine. 

These pens are extremely easy to use as they come with a coded cap and a pocket-clip cap. It is lightweight, has an ergonomic grip, and exceptionally durable. The brand guarantees a replacement or an immediate refund if a customer is not 100% satisfied with the pen. 

Pros
  • Available in assorted tip size for all requirements
  • Waterproof and non-toxic ink
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Ideal for precise writing
  • Eco-friendly packaging
Cons
  • The black is not dark enough and it does not seem very opaque

7. Pentel EnerGel RTX Gel Pen

Pentel EnerGel RTX Gel Pen
  • 12 retractable liquid gel ink pens
  • 0.7 mm medium-sized tips
  • Available in 12 ink colors
  • Combination of liquid and gel ink
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Pentel is one of the topmost pen brands that is giving tough competition to the rest of the brands in the current market. It combines the best of liquid and gel ink to give you these 12 retractable pens. The liquid gel ink dries fast so that even left-handers can use it without any smearing or smudging. 

The pens are known to be smoother than gel pens manufactured by some of the leading brands. It comes in 12 different colors like black, blue, pink, orange, green, purple, and more. The barrel design of the pen is sleek and extremely stylish. This makes the pens look professional and they are the perfect writing tools for your office desk. 

A latex-free grip makes for a comfortable writing experience and you get to have maximum control over the pen. Pentel offers a limited lifetime warranty on the pens.

Pros
  • Retractable pens
  • Available in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Great pen for left-handers
  • No smear and smudge
Cons
  • None found

8. uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens

uni-ball Vision Rollerball Pens
  • Pack of 4 rollerball pens
  • Fine point 0.7 mm nib size
  • All black pens
  • Protected against water, fading, and fraud
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Uni-ball is a brand that is internationally popular for its range of pens. Here we have the uni-ball vision rollerball pens that come in a pack of 4. All the pens are black and they boast 0.7 mm medium-sized nibs. The ink is reliably smooth and offers a free-flowing writing experience that you will always enjoy and never get tired of. 

There is a transparent window through which you can keep an eye on the ink supply. This way you will know how much ink remains and you can refill it accordingly. The color intensity is consistently maintained no matter how long you write for. It is accompanied by the smooth flow of the ink as it greatly affects your handwriting and creates quite the impression on paper. 

The uni super ink is water-proof, smear-proof, and free of any fraud. It is completely free of toxins and acid. This archival quality ink ensures that documents written with the pen last for years without fading. Lightweight and extremely portable, these pens are travel-friendly and there is never any leakage or damage. Get home the best pens and enjoy writing more than ever.

Pros
  • Archival quality ink that does not fade
  • Water-proof
  • Available in 12 colors
  • Free-flowing and fluid ink
  • Ergonomic grip
Cons
  • Not refillable
  • Prone to skipping occasionally
  • Not suitable for everyday use

9. uni-ball 207 Retractable Gel Pens

uni-ball 207 Retractable Gel Pens
  • Pack of 12 retractable gel pens
  • Ink color is only black
  • 0.7 mm medium nibs for vivid lines
  • Water-resistant ink
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We bring to you yet another uni-ball product which is yet another example of how great the brand is. Most customers that have used either of their pens have reported that they were 100% satisfied. Here we shall briefly discuss the features of the Uni-ball retractable gel pens. It comes in a pack of 12 and is available only in black. The nibs are medium-sized at 0.7 mm which is ideal for making precise lines. 

The archive-quality ink ensures that there is no smudging or smearing on the paper. It is also resistant to water so that you do not have to worry about your notes getting damaged in the rain. The ink color remains vibrant and does not fade. The sleek barrel of the pen gives it an elegant look and the comfort grip makes writing comfortable. 

Pros
  • 3-way protection against water, fading, and fraud
  • Vibrant and consistent ink-flow
  • Rubber-grip for a firm hold
  • Sleek and stylish design
  • retractable
Cons
  • Prone to skipping in the beginning
  • Not compatible with glossy paper the ink might get smudged

10. Zebra Pen F-301 Ballpoint Pen

Zebra Pen F-301 Ballpoint Pen

  • Pack of 12 ballpoint pens
  • Stainless steel body
  • Fine point 0.7 mm nib
  • All black pens with non-slip grip
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Zebra is a stationery brand that offers its customers a multitude of products that includes some of the world’s best pens for beginners. The Zebra F-301 is a set of 12 black ballpoint pens which are great instruments for writing on an everyday basis. It comes with a stainless steel barrel which is extremely durable and shields the body  from any damage. The pens have a fine point 0.7 mm nib designed for precise yet vivid writing. 

What makes this pen appealing to most users is the easy-glide ink performance and the stylish design of the pen. It has been made shorter to fit into your shirt pocket which makes this pen one of the most portable pens in the world. Being a retractable pen is just another added advantage for those who dislike having to cap the pen every time they use it. You can refill the pen with the Zebra F-refill and it also features a non-slip grip that makes writing very comfortable and easy.  

Pros
  • Stainless steel durable barrel
  • Firm grip for comfort
  • Retractable and refillable
  • Modern and stylish design
  • Made to fit shirt pockets
Cons
  • The small length of the pen is a concern for people with large hands
  • Prone to smearing

11. Erasable Gel Pens

Erasable Gel Pens
  • 15 colorful erasable gel pens
  • Fine point 0.7 mm pens
  • High-quality ink for less smearing
  • Suitable for drawing and writing
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Linen brings to you this pack of erasable gel pens that are available in multiple colors ranging from red, blue, green, purple, yellow to black, and more. All the colors are extremely vibrant and eye-catching. They come with an attached eraser at the top end of the pen and you can use this to erase any mistake you might have made on paper. However, remember to erase only once the ink has dried. 

All the pens boast a 0.7 mm fine size nib that is suitable for sketching, drawing, journaling as well as regular writing tasks. There is an ergonomic grip on the pen which makes it easy to hold the pen for a long time as you write without experiencing any pain in your arms. You can even refill the pen once it runs out of ink. The high-quality ink promises a smear-free and neat writing experience that you will thoroughly enjoy. 

Ideal pen for illustrators and sketch artists looking for some superior quality erasable and colorful pens to work with. 

Pros
  • Attached eraser at the top end
  • Vibrant colors
  • No fading, smearing, or bleeding
  • Service guarantee provided
Cons
  • The ink is not quick-drying
  • It might skip occasionally or for a little whilein the beginning

12. BIC Cristal Xtra Smooth Ballpoint Pen

BIC Cristal Xtra Smooth Ballpoint Pen
  • Pack of 10 extra smooth ballpoint pens
  • 1.0 mm medium point nibs
  • Roll-proof and hexagon-shaped barrel
  • All black pens
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BIC is a popular name when it comes to pens, especially gel and ballpoint pens. It is one of the best pen brands in terms of quality and price. This product consists of a pack of 10 extra smooth ballpoint pens with 1.0 mm medium point nibs. The ink offers you consistent writing that is smooth as butter and never skips. The sharp and effortless lines on your paper are proof of this. 

A comfortable writing experience is created with the roll-proof, hexagon-shaped barrel that  gives you immense control over the pen. The barrel is transparent so that you can keep a check on the ink levels from time to time and refill the pen when required. This pack contains only black pens which is a great thing for those who need the pens for note-taking or simply writing but might not be as useful for artists and illustrators.  

Pros
  • Ergonomic grip for controlled writing
  • Free-flowing ink
  • Transparent barrel to check ink levels
  • Suitable for writing for long durations.
  • Smear-proof and bleed-proof
Cons
  • None found

13. Amazon Basics Felt Tip Marker Pens

Amazon Basics Felt Tip Marker Pens
  • Pack of 24 assorted color felt-tip pens
  • Water-based ink with high pigmentation
  • Medium nib size for pre
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Amazon Basics has started manufacturing a range of products of their own and this set of felt tip marker pens is just one of them. It is a pack of 24 felt tip pens of multiple colors ranging from blue, yellow, red to pink, orange, and green. The ink is water-based and highly pigmented which means that the mark on the paper is vibrant and vivid. It is also smear-resistant so that your work remains neat at all times. 

The pens are great for art projects and can be used by both kids as well as adults. It is a favorite among artists, illustrators, journal enthusiasts, etc. Bullet journaling is especially a colorful activity benefit from the availability of such felt-tip markers. The tip of the pen is great for detailing work as well as for filling. The pen has a durable plastic exterior that protects it from any damage. There is a matching cap and a metal clip provided. 

Pros
  • High pigment and smear-resistant ink
  • Water-based ink for smooth writing
  • Durable plastic exterior for extra protection
  • Great for filling and coloring
Cons
  • Scratchy on the paper initially
  • Ink runs out very fast

14. Sakura Pigma 30062

Sakura Pigma 30062
  • Pack of 6 micro blister card ink pen
  • Includes a variety of sizes from 0.2 mm to 0.5 mm
  • Professional inking pens 
  • Rich black ink
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Sakura Pigma is an efficient pack of 6 micro-tip pens that have been specially designed to assist illustrators, comic artists, archivists, watercolor artists, laboratory professionals, and so on. All the pens come with black ink that writes smoothly so that your writing is crisp and consistent at all times on the paper. It also assists in skip-free writing. 

The Pigma ink is of archival quality so that whatever documents you use to the pen to write on remains eligible and does not fade for a very long time. Along with these factors, the ink is also waterproof, resistant to chemicals, and fading. It is bleed-free, pH neutral, and dries very quickly which prevents any amount of smearing or blotching on the paper. 

The line widths of the pens are precise so that it becomes ideal for artists and writers alike. The set includes one of each size ranging from 0.2 mm to 0.5 mm nib size.

Pros
  • No bleeding and smearing
  • Archival quality ink
  • Waterproof
  • Fine point tips for sketching and illustrating
Cons
  • Splitting of hair when too much pressure is applied
  • Runs out of ink quickly

15. BIC Gel-Ocity Quick-Dry Gel Pen

BIC Gel-Ocity Quick-Dry Gel Pen
  • Pack of 12 gel pens
  • All blue
  • Medium point retractable pens
  • Quick-dry ink for neat work
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BIC is here yet again with another set of pens; this time it is the Gel-Ocity quick-dry gel pens that write very smoothly. Ranked as the best everyday pen, this gel pen consists of ink that dries 3x faster than any other water-based ink. Thus, you can trust the pen to keep your work neat and clean with minimum smudging and smearing. While this pack contains only blue pens, there are others available in different vibrant colors. 

The gel pens have a comfortable full grip barrel that allows you to hold the pen and write for long periods without getting tired or your hands painting. The nib size is 0.7 mm medium which is suitable for writing purposes. The price of this set of pens is an additional reason why people buy it and love using it so much. If you are a student looking for pens that are durable, long-lasting, good quality, and reasonably priced, you must try out the BIC Gel-Osity gel pens. 

Pros
  • Quick-dry gel ink
  • Retractable pens without any caps
  • No smudging or smearing
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Prone to bleeding

16. TUL Retractable Gel Pens

TUL Retractable Gel Pens
  • Pack of 12 retractable gel pens
  • Bold, vibrant, and skip-free writing
  • Medium point 0.7 mm
  • Pearl white barrel
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TUL is one of the best pen brands that brings to you this pack of 12 retractable gel pens. The 0.7 mm medium nib assists in smooth writing and it is extremely comfortable to hold so that you can write for hours. Furthermore, the rubberized comfort grip adds to the comfort levels of the pen. Optimal balance and precision are offered by the metal tips that never skip. 

The bold and vibrant colors of the pen are eye-catching. You can make your notes with them and they will make reading the notes an easier task. Lastly, the pens have a pearl white barrel that makes the pen look super stylish and chic. Carrying around a regular but sophisticated gel pen like this can be a style statement on its own. 

Pros
  • Metal tip for precision
  • Bold and vibrant colors
  • Pearl white barrel
  • Ergonomic grip
Cons
  • Ergonomic grip

17. Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen

Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen
  • Lustrous chrome ballpoint pen
  • Glossy surface 
  • 1 black medium ballpoint refill is provided
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
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The last product on this list of best pens is the Cross Classic Century lustrous chrome ballpoint pen. It has a glossy surface and a sleek body that makes the pen look sophisticated and stylish. The ink-flow of the pen is consistent and it dries quickly which makes the pen ideal for left-handers. This ballpoint pen writes smoothly without any obstruction or skipping. 

It is accompanied by a black medium ballpoint refill that can be used once the pen runs out of ink. Cross also provides a lifetime mechanical warranty on the pen so that if you experience any dissatisfaction, you can always take up the problem with the brand. They will either replace the pen or refund your money, depending on the situation. 

Pros
  • Refillable and retractable pens
  • Comes with a free refill
  • Warranty offered
  • Glossy, stylish surface
Cons
  • The sleek body might be uncomfortable for some people to hold; especially those with large hands

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Makes A Great Pen?

The most important feature of a pen is the comfort level it offers you. The pen can be thin or thick and of any type but ultimately it all boils down to how comfortable it feels in your hands and whether it serves the purpose for which you bought it. 

Q2. What Kind Of Pen Does Not Smear?

Ballpoint pens are the most reliable when it comes to smearing and bleeding. They have an oil-based ink that dries quickly so that your work is always neat and tidy. These pens even prove beneficial for left-handers. They write smoothly and the ink is long-lasting. 

Q3. How Long Do Pens Last?

While this depends on one pen to another, the average period for which pens tend to last is 7 years. This is assuming that someone uses 1 to 2 meters of ink to write with for an entire year. 

Conclusion

A pen is the most basic writing instrument and yet if you do not have the best, your writing style can be greatly impacted. A pen must be comfortable and have great quality ink so that you can write, draw, sketch, or do any other task with the utmost ease and enjoyment. We hope that this article helps you find the best pens available so that you can put your writing cap on and create some excellent work. 

Kirk Hale


Kirk developed a passion for writing since the age of 8, since then, he has been collecting pens and then extended the hobby to collect stationery and art supplies. An extension of that hobby resulted in this blog about pens, pencils and everything in between.
Pentorium is one stop shop for information on pens, pencils, stationary and digital art. 
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