When it comes to ballpoint pens, some are far superior to others. There are factors like the smoothness of writing, tip size, and durability of the body. But one of the biggest debates is whether to use a capped pen or a retractable pen. For those of us that prefer retractable, we’ve created a list of the best retractable pens.
We compared, researched, and analyzed the best retractable pens on the market today. We researched the quality of ink, the boldness of the tip, the smoothness of writing, the durability of the casing, and the general design and style of pens in order to find the best retractable pens and not the mediocre ones.
By the end of this list, you will be able to make the best decision about which retractable pen is right for you.
Best Retractable Pens:
1. BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry Retractable Gel Pen
Along with standard black ink, you can also get this retractable pen in a variety of colors as well. The medium point tip, as well as the comfortable grip on the barrel, makes for a smooth writing experience.
Fans of the Gel-ocity pen say that they are the best retractable pen on the market and frequent users have purchased this pen multiple times.
The easy flow of this pen from the long-term Bic company would be perfect for your daily retractable pen usage.
- Even though this is a gel ink pen the ink dries three times faster than other leading gel pens.
- The full-length grip along the barrel of the pen makes for comfortable writing even during longer sessions of journaling or note-taking.
- The pens are affordable with a pack of 12.
- Because these pens are meant for long-term writing, the ink can run out faster than with other pens so you may need to re-order more often than with other pens.
2. Zebra 29411 F-701 Ballpoint Stainless Steel Retractable Pen
The all-stainless steel casing makes this a very durable pen and the stippled grip makes writing easier without the pen slipping out of your hand. The easy glide of the ink makes writing comfortable and the fine point is excellent for drawing fine details.
Users like the easy flow of ink for both writing and drawing. Many people boast that this is the best pen available today.
Zebra is an integrity brand with quality products and are well known for their exceptional retractable pens. For the price, this pen is worth the investment.
- The smooth click of this pen makes it one of the best retractable ballpoint pens.
- The heavy-duty stainless steel makes this pen extra durable and long-lasting. It is great for construction workers or people with physically demanding jobs who still need to take notes.
- Refills for this can be stainless steel but maybe being phased out to plastic cartridges so if you care about the durability of your cartridges be sure to do your research before buying.
3. PILOT EasyTouch Refillable & Retractable Ballpoint Pens
This classic-looking retractable rollerball pen from Pilot may look simple, but it packs a punch. With a medium-point tip and refillable cartridges, this pen is affordable and perfect for taking notes.
The EasyTouch features a comfortable rubberized grip for extended writing and the refills are easy to replace. The affordable price means you can buy these pens in bulk and keep them around wherever you might need them.
Frequent users of these pens have praised the pens as being the best. A number of people have trouble figuring out the right pressure to use, but when you do these pens work great.
These affordable classic pens are well worth a purchase.
- Various colors are available with the click-top and rubberized grip matching the color of the ink.
- The quick drying in of the EasyTouch ensures no smudging for neatly written notes.
- The ink has occasionally been known to skip on the page, so take this into consideration if you are a light-pressure writer.
- The ink tends to run out quickly with these pens, so if you like them be prepared to buy refills.
4. BIC Atlantis Original Retractable Ball Pen, Medium Point
This retractable pen has a durable metal pocket clip and a comfortable grip to make long-term writing easier and more comfortable. The medium point writes smoothly to make your experience more enjoyable.
Frequent users of the Atlantis are loyal customers of this style of pen and some even say they would never use a different pen ever again.
The variety of colors and affordable prices make this sleekly designed pen perfect for everyday writers and note-taking students.
- This style of the pen comes in a variety of barrel colors that match their ink colors, including purple, green, pink, and others.
- You can have the confidence of purchasing a well-trusted and long-lived brand like Bic.
- Every once in a while the retractable click may jam.
5. Zebra F-301 Ballpoint Stainless Steel Retractable Pen
This is one of the most popular Zebra brand pens on the market and is by far one of the best retractable pens and one of our top picks. The metal body makes the pen durable and easy for writing and drawing during travel.
The Zebra F-301 features a fine point tip and plastic grip. The stainless-steel body of the pen makes it virtually indestructible and up to any task.
These sturdy pens are loved by many for their smooth writing and durability, and many people consider this their primary pen for any writing assignment.
Because these are one of the best sellers of such a reputable brand, and because they are so affordable, the Zebra F-301 is worth a spot in your pen collection.
- Two pens for a cheap price, making it a great investment for a writer looking for a quality retractable pen.
- The smooth ink flow and plastic grip make writing for long periods of time more comfortable.
- The level of ink in these pens is lower than most other retractable pens, but the price point is affordable as a refill.
6. Skilcraft U.S. Government Pen – Medium Point – Blue Ink
If you are looking for a retractable pen worthy of a government stamp then Skilcraft has the product for you. This simple design is reminiscent of original retractable pens and the ink will not smear.
This pen has a plastic body with a metal pocket clip and is stamped with “Skilcraft US Government” on the side. It is a slim design so better for smaller hands.
Users of these pens love the slim design and the sturdy metal pocket clip.
A simple pen that is plastic yet durable. Perfect for a “purse pen” or for an office supply pen, this Skilcraft is definitely a classic.
- Skilcraft boasts that this pen can write up to one mile of ink without skipping or smearing.
- The ink writes smoothly without any smearing or skipping.
- The metal trim may chip some of its paint after long use.
- While the ink is known to not smear, it may skip from time to time.
- The ink is blue so if you prefer black ink this pen may not be for you. Therefore, for you, we have compiled a list of the best black pens today, and you should familiarize yourself with them.
7. PILOT Dr. Grip Center of Gravity Refillable & Retractable Ballpoint Pen
The pen is constructed with even weight distribution to make writing as comfortable as possible. The medium point of the tip is especially good for people having trouble with their handwriting.
People who use this pen love the smoothness of the ink and boast that it works excellently for people with various hand disabilities.
The dependable brand of Pilot with the comfort and width of the Dr. Grip makes this pen perfect for anyone who has trouble with their handwriting.
- The large width of this pen and the soft grip make this pen.
- This pen boasts a superior center of gravity that makes writing much easier and more comfortable for your hand.
- This pen is on the pricier side.
- It is not a refillable pen so you will have to purchase another full pen when the ink runs out.
8. Sharpie Grip Pens, Fine Point
Sharpie is another leader in the class of writing materials and these retractable Sharpie pens are no exception. Unlike the markers, however, these pens won’t bleed through to the other side of the page.
This two-pack of retractable pens has a fine point and marker-like tip that, unlike rollerball pens, will not skip at all. The comfort grip assures that you can write for hours without hurting your fingers.
Some people have gone as far as to replace all the pens in their collection with these retractable felt-tip pens.
If you are looking for a non-skipping pen with marker-style ink that won’t bleed through the page then this Sharpie retractable pen is just what you need.
- These long-lasting pens are a bargain.
- The ink is guaranteed to never skip because it is a marker-style tip instead of a rollerball.
- If not properly cared for, these pens can dry out rather quickly.
- The retractable clicker on these pens is a bit bigger and clumsier to use than with other pens.
Making The Decision
If you looking for bujo (bullet journal) supplies, you might be also interested in brush pens and markers for bullet journaling.
Now that you have the relevant information on the best retractable pens available to you, now is the time to decide which you prefer! With an array of pens to choose from it can seem overwhelming to choose just one.
While there is always the option to purchase multiple pens, if you are looking for one specific pen there are things to take into consideration. Of course, personal preference plays the biggest part in this decision, so some factors you may want to take into consideration are:
- The thickness of the body of the pen.
- Width of the tip and whether you want a fine, medium, or bold point.
- Whether or not there is a comfortable grip on the pen.
- The cost per pen. Some pens come with multiples in a pack so while the price may be more, the cost per pen could be less.
- Quantity of pens. Are you looking to stock your home office? Or would you rather just have one special pen to carry around?
After reading this list and considering your personal preferences, we are sure that you will find the right retractable pen for you today!