Several factors may inform your decision when you’re choosing the best pens for writing. Are you scribbling down some quick notes on a legal pad or making creative entries in your planner? Are you designing an invitation or a thank you note? Maybe you’re just looking for a pen to help you take notes in class.
Whatever your purpose may be, you’ll need the perfect pen to get the job done right. You’ll want to consider the type of ink, the ink color, the pen tip, and the paper on which you’ll be writing. If you’re left-handed, you can’t afford to leave that out of the equation.
Use this guide for the best writing pens to make your decision. Our exhaustive research resulted in these outstanding products. Any one of them, or a combination of them, is a welcome addition to your collection of trustworthy handwriting tools.
Best Pens for Writing:
1. uni-ball Vision Elite – Best Rollerball PensView at Amazon
Rollerball pens are always an excellent choice if you want a high-quality writing instrument that won’t break the bank. Among the best affordable pens for writing is the uni-ball Vision Elite.
Rollerball pens generally are preferred over ballpoint pens because they represent a step up in quality while not being quite as expensive as a fountain pen.
In particular, this product from uni-ball offers a steady and vivid flow of ink.
The company refers to the ink as Super Ink, which is noted for its ability to withstand exposure to water and sunlight.
Additionally, these are good pens to write with because they take advantage of the unique uni-flow ink system, a mechanism that ensures smoothness and excellent color intensity.
Customers love these pens because they last a long time, and promise smooth ink flow and intense color.
Other things that people like about this offering from uni-ball are the comfortable way the barrel of the pen feels in the hand and the fact that this pen won’t explode during commercial airline flights. However, critics say that the ink flow is so heavy that it tends to bleed through most types of paper.
User reviews for this rollerball pen are glowing. Plus, testing revealed that this pen has a smooth flow of ink and plenty of staying power. Be certain to use thicker paper.
- Smooth, dependable ink flow
- Comfortable writing
- Vibrant, varied ink colors
- Choice of bold point or micro-point
- Refillable version available
- Ink has a tendency to bleed through paper
2. BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry – Best Retractable Gel PenView at Amazon
Gel pens are the preferred writing instrument for many people who like more saturated color and smoother action across the writing surface.
That describes our choice of the best gel pens for writing. With quick-drying ink, you won’t have to worry about smears.
A full grip on the barrel ensures your comfort, and you’ll love the choice of ink colors. These include the traditional blue and black as well as a variety of fashionable colors like green, pink and purple.
These are considered good pens for handwriting because their smooth flow is virtually unparalleled.
It’s also worth noting that these pens are retractable to prevent accidental ink transfer. A 0.7 mm medium point is perfect for many applications.
People swear by these pens because they are comfortable to hold and because of the vibrant ink. According to customers, the writing is always smooth with these pens. Nonetheless, some users note that the is rather flimsy and that the ink may not dry quite fast enough for lefties.
If you love gel pens, then you’ve got to give these BIC products a try. The ink flow is excellent, and you’ll love the way that these pens glide across the page.
- Comfortable in the hand
- Smooth across any writing surface
- Varied and vibrant ink colors
- The pen clip is rather flimsy
- Ink may not dry fast enough for left-handed users
3. Cross Edge Jet Black Selectip Rollerball – Best Pen for Gift
View at Amazon
For some people, writing must be an experience. They want an elegant pen that looks fantastic. They are the reason why we reviewed the best luxury pens for writing. This is one of our more expensive options.
However, devotees claim that it’s worth every penny. The black pen is the most popular one, but this pen also is available in blue, pink, red, titanium, and teal.
We consider this the best fine-point pen for writing. It is a gel pen so you’ll enjoy smooth movement across the page. If you prefer ballpoint pens, then you can refill this one with the appropriate Cross refill.
Also worth noting is the slide-open technology that makes it possible to operate the pen with one hand. A click closes the pen again. A lifetime mechanical guarantee gives you peace of mind.
Customers say that this pen feels great in the hand as its profile is not as slim as other luxury pens, and that’s a good thing because it makes the pen easier to hold for long periods of time. However, some critics argue that the ink begins to “stutter” when writing extensively.
If you want a pen that gets noticed, then try the Edge from Cross. Ink stuttering is a rare problem that should not impair your enjoyment of this writing tool.
- Elegant design
- Great pen colors
- Feels fantastic in the hand
- Glides smoothly across the page
- Ink tends to stutter during extended writing sessions
4. Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Retractable Liquid – Best Gel PensView at Amazon
No list of great writing utensils can ignore the needs of left-handed writers. Prone to excessive smearing, left-handed people often find that handwriting is an exercise in frustration.
Not so with the best writing pen for left-handers, which we believe is the Pentel EnerGel Deluxe. One set, with five pens, costs pretty cheap, which is an excellent value.
Lefties say it’s a totally fair price, especially considering the quality of this writing instrument. Pentel says that these are the best writing pens for college based on their “high-performance ink technology” which combines the most attractive characteristics of gel and liquid inks.
This ensures a smooth experience and ink that dries faster without smears or smudges.
Filled with black ink, this pen is available in body colors blue and pink. This retractable pen has a 0.5 mm fine tip so it’s perfect for writing in small spaces.
Many left-handed writers swear by this pen because of the quick-drying ink and the comfortable way it fits in the hand. Bleed-through is minimal, and people appreciate that these pens are refillable. Critics argue that these aren’t the most durable pens. If you tend to press hard, you make or break them.
Left-handed writers will love how quickly the ink in these pens dries. Chances are good that you’ve never had a pen that smeared and smudged less.
- Excellent gel/liquid ink combination
- Smooth flow across the page
- Quick-drying ink is ideal for left-handed use
- Some critics note durability issues
5. Paper Mate Flair – Best Felt Tip PensView at Amazon
A felt tip pen, which also is called a marker, features a tip manufactured from pressed felt fibers. The ink in felt tip pens is alcohol-based, resulting in saturated colors. People call these Paper Mate.
Flair pens are the best felt tip pens for writing because of their ability to draw thin and dramatic lines. These also are comfortable writing pens.
People say that they are easy to grasp during long writing sessions. The black ink shows up well on every type of paper. With a 0.7 mm tip, this instrument can easily create slender or bold lines. Smear and fade resistance ensure that your writing lasts.
Each tip is equipped with a point guard to protect against fraying. While black is the most frequently used color, this model is available in a wide range of bright colors suitable for journaling, coloring, card making, and more.
Fans of these pens are enthusiastic about the smooth writing, and they like the ability to vary the thickness of the lines they draw. Most impressive is the fact that the ink typically doesn’t bleed through. However, some people note that the pens dry out fairly quickly. Be sure to always replace the lid after use.
Paper Mate has a great felt tip pen in this product. If you like saturated colors and a smooth flow, this is the perfect pen for you.
- Ability to draw fine lines and bold lines
- Smooth flow of ink
- Bright, saturated colors
- Pens dry out quickly
6. Fisher Space Pen Bullet Chrome FinishView at Amazon
The reliable ballpoint pen is the workhorse of the writing world. People use this pen every day. A tiny sphere in the pen tip that rolls to dispense ink was an innovation when the pen was introduced years ago.
Today, it is the most widely used pen model. The Fisher Space Pen is the best ballpoint pen for writing because it lets you elevate your everyday note-taking.
It works in space, and it can write at any angle. If you find yourself in physically awkward positions when writing, this is the solution for you. This pen works because the ink cartridge is pressurized. Along with a tungsten carbide ballpoint tip, this is a tough pen that looks elegant. It’s also possible to write on wet or stained paper.
With brass and steel construction, this is a durable option. Plus, it’s capable of operating in extremely high and low temperatures.
Customers love these high-quality writing pens, noting that they are small enough to stow in a pocket. The flow of the ink is great, and this pen writes in any conditions. Unfortunately, some people with larger hands find the Fisher pen’s small size a liability.
This pen has been a history-maker since its introduction in 1948. If you want a reliable ballpoint pen with a little something extra, take the leap with the Fisher Space Pen.
- Works in adverse conditions
- Can write anywhere, even in space
- Sleek, innovative design
- It May be too small for some people
7. Pilot Metropolitan Collection – Best Fountain PenView at Amazon
The fountain pen is an old-fashioned yet classic choice. People love this pen for its flexible nib, which makes it possible to be incredibly creative. Some people who use a fountain pen love some scratch against the paper, and the liquid, water-based ink is divine.
At least, that’s the case with our pick for the best fountain pens for writing, the Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen. This type of pen is notorious for leaks, resulting in stains on clothing and paper. However, the Pilot seems to have solved most of these problems.
This pen is so well designed that it deserves its place among the top writing pens, especially for those who are new to fountain pens.
The medium nib is neither too narrow nor too wide, and you get a high-quality pen at a good price. A brass barrel and stainless-steel accessories make this a luxurious yet affordable pick.
Customers appreciate the design and careful manufacturing of these pens. This makes them easy to use, particularly for beginners. Think of it as an affordable way to try fountain pens. However, critics think the barrel may be a bit narrow for people with larger hands.
If you’ve always wanted to try a fountain pen, this is your opportunity. Despite a really affordable price, this is a great entry-level fountain pen.
- Affordable fountain pen
- Good ink flow
- Comes with a press plate converter
- Virtually no scratching during the writing
- Pen barrel may be too narrow for comfort
8. Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Rollerball PenView at Amazon
If you use a written planner, then you know that you need specific pens. You want several color choices. Moreover, you want pens that aren’t going to bleed through to the next page.
That’s what we considered when choosing the pens for writing in a planner. Our pick is the Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Rollerball Pens.
We love the bright, vibrant colors and the way that the gel ink flows so easily. Also admirable is that you can get a set of eight pens in various colors.
That’s an economical choice and one that you won’t regret. These are the best-colored pens for writing because they are so comfortable to hold. Plus, these pens tend not to dry out as quickly as other gel pens, improving their staying power.
Nothing is more annoying in a planner than when the ink bleeds through to subsequent pages. This is never a concern with these pens, which seem to dispense just the right amount of ink.
Customer reviews suggest that people love the smooth and even flow of ink as well as how quickly it dries. Nonetheless, some question how durable these pens are.
People who use planners are bound to love the colors and versatility of these G2 pens from Pilot. Enhancing the look of your planner has never been easier.
- Bright, vibrant gel inks
- Comfortable grip
- Smooth movement across the page
- No bleed through
- Pen durability is questionable.
9. Pilot FriXion Clicker RetractableView at Amazon
This pick is notable because its ink is erasable. This makes them the ideal solution for people who hate to write with pencils but still want the flexibility of an eraser.
These are the best erasable pens for planners because they have colorful gel inks that look great. Nonetheless, you can cleanly erase an entry when your plans change.
If you’re looking for cool retractable writing pens, it’s hard to go wrong here. They come in a pack of seven that includes basic colors like black and blue along with some more creative options.
What makes these pens unique is their Thermo-Sensitive gel ink. The friction of erasing causes the ink formula to disappear. Accordingly, it’s possible to write and re-write without damaging the page.
Customers love these pens for note-taking, journaling, planning, and more. They say that the ink flows nicely and that the pen is comfortable to hold. Some people have noted problems with leaving documents in a hot car, which can accidentally erase the ink. Placing the papers in a bag in the freezer typically restores the ink.
Aside from the quirk of accidentally erased notes, these are fantastic pens. The erasure mechanism works so much better than it did on older model pens.
- Erases ink without damaging the paper
- Smooth, consistent ink flow
- Bright, saturated colors
- No bleed-through to subsequent pages
- Take care when leaving documents in hot cars as the ink may disappear
10. Pilot Parallel 2-ColorView at Amazon
Calligraphy has been popular for centuries. These days, it may be used to create works of art, write letters or keep a journal.
People love the freedom that calligraphy pens give them. The Pilot Parallel Pen is the best beginner calligraphy pen because it’s so easy to use.
Beginners have no problem getting comfortable with this pen, which arrives with both black and red ink cartridges. The 2.4 mm nib is a middle-of-the-road choice that makes sense for many applications.
One of the reasons why this product is such a great choice for beginnings is all of the other items in the package.
There are instructions for use, a nib cleaner, and a pipette. Accordingly, it’s an all-in-one package that has everything you need to get started with calligraphy.
Moreover, the ink is easy to load in the cartridge, something that novices will appreciate. There do not appear to be any glitches in the writing process. Instead, this pen glides across the page.
Customers love this pen’s Parallel Plate nib technology, which is what makes it possible to create sharper calligraphic lines than ever before. Color blending appears to be successful with this pen. However, some users have experienced the feathering of the ink.
These are great writing pens, especially if you’re new to calligraphy. You’re certain to find a new creative outlet thanks to this product from Pilot.
- Steady ink flow
- Nib technology that makes calligraphy easier
- Easy to hold
- Occasional ink feathering annoys some users
Tips for Choosing Writing Pens
Before choosing the pen for you, it’s important to understand the broad categories of available pens. Ballpoint pens are affordable and ubiquitous.
You use them everywhere, and they are certainly convenient. However, the ink is oil-based and has a tendency to clump, making these pens most suited to things like to-do lists.
Rollerball writing pens
The rollerball pen is a step up in sophistication, boasting a finer tip and water-based ink. Perhaps the biggest downside to these pens is their tendency to leak or explode under high pressure.
Fountain writing pens
Fountain pens offer an elegant, Old-World charm. With the ability to customize the nib and refill the ink, these pens can last a lifetime. Nonetheless, you do have to learn to write with them, and the risk of leaks is fairly high.
Gel pens for writing
Gel pens give you similarly bold, saturated lines when compared with fountain pens. However, they tend not to leak, and they are unlikely to bleed through paper. Some people may not like that gel ink needs more time to dry.
Felt tip pens for writing
Felt tip pens are excellent when bold lines and a distinctive style are needed. They leave a bold sweep of ink, but they cannot be used on thin paper.
Try each one of these options before making a decision. It may be that the humble ballpoint pen is perfect for your grocery list but not at all what you’d want for your planner. For that, you want something more distinctive and colorful like a gel pen.
Fountain or calligraphy pens for writing
Other people want to make an impression by using a fountain or calligraphy pen. The upshot is that you have to settle your writing goals for each project before you start. If you’re dashing off a quick note, a ballpoint or rollerball pen will do.
When you’re recording events on the family calendar, a felt tip pen may be the way to go. Each one has its advantages for that particular task.
Writing pen for lefties
You’ll also want to consider whether you are right- or left-handed. People who are left-handed tend to favor pens with quick-drying ink. Fountain pens and gel pens may be particularly difficult for lefties to use.
Nonetheless, there are pens on the market that feature quick-drying ink so that left-handed people can communicate more clearly with the written word.
If you plan to do a great deal of writing, then comfort is of paramount importance. Pens have barrels that may be narrow, wide, or somewhere in between. The size of your hand and the way you grip a pen may dictate how comfortable those pen diameters are.
People with large hands tend to prefer a larger pen. However, these can be difficult to comfortably grip for people with smaller hands.
Additionally, think about whether or not the pen has any cushioning or a tactile accessory that assists with keeping a comfortable hold on it. Such features may prevent slippage and allow you to keep a more relaxed grip on the pen. This may mean that you will be able to enjoy longer writing sessions without cramping and discomfort.
Paper is another vital consideration when choosing a writing instrument. A thick, heavy paper can be used with almost any pen because it will prevent ink from bleeding through even under the most concentrated flow. The thinner paper requires more consideration.
A fountain pen or felt tip pen is virtually guaranteed to bleed ink through the page, rendering the reverse side unusable. If it’s important to you that you be able to use both sides of the page, then it’s advisable to use a pen that is less likely to bleed through such as a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pen.
Choose the Best Writing Pens for You
When it comes to pens, there isn’t one category or model that is the absolute best. The reality is that your choice of a pen will largely be determined by the project. Do you need to make a big, bold statement? Then perhaps you’ll be most successful with a felt tip pen or a calligraphy pen. Do you need to make small entries in your planner? Then maybe you will choose a gel pen with a fine tip.
The pens for writing are the ones that are appropriate for your project. Make a point of purchasing several different pens that are designed to suit a variety of purposes. Keep them on hand so that you have choices when a new project arises, and use this guide as a starting point.