Best writing pen reviews

Table of Contents

Top 5 Micro Gel Ink Pens

  1. Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 mm – The only way I see this pen being unseated is if it is discontinued. It’s really good, and has begun showing up on US store shelves. (Buy)
  2. Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.4 mm – Super sharp lines, great clip. Needs more love! (Buy)
  3. Uni-ball Signo 307 – That Uni-ball continues to upgrade their core product is impressive. Now that they are available in 0.38 mm they are mine. (Buy)
  4. Pilot Juice 0.38 mm – Please discontinue the G2 and bring the Juice to the mainstream. (Buy)
  5. Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm – When it’s going well it’s a game changer. (Buy)

(Notes: If you like the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and need extra refills, buy the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica. It costs the same as just the standard refill, and comes in a wider array of colors. Also, the Pilot FriXion is the best erasable gel ink pen, and there is no number two.

Top 5 Pens In The Store

(Notes: If you want to argue that the Pilot Precise is better than any pen on this list I won’t disagree. I’ll just say that it is difficult to recommend any liquid ink pen ahead of these in the current market we are in.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens Under $50

  1. TWSBI ECO – An entry level piston-filler for the price of an entry level cartridge/converter pen. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Metropolitan – The battle for the best fountain pen for beginners is over and the Pilot Metropolitan has won. (Buy)
  3. Lamy Safari – The Safari used to top this list and is still a great choice if you are ok with the molded grip section. (Buy)
  4. Kaweco Sport – It isn’t just a great portable, pocketable fountain pen. It’s a great fountain pen period. (Buy)
  5. Platinum Preppy – Is there such a thing as a quality fountain pen under $5? Yes. Yes there is. (Buy)

(Notes: If this were the Top Fountain Pens For Beginners list, the Pilot Metropolitan would have held the top spot. The ECO is a better pen. Give me another year with the TWSBI GO and it may crack the list too. For fun times or your child’s first fountain pen, don’t sleep on the Pilot Kakuno.

Top 5 Fountain Pens $50-$100

  1. TWSBI 580AL – The same as the 580 before it, but improved with aluminum parts. (Buy)
  2. Kaweco AL Sport – The durable aluminum barrel makes this one of the best portable fountain pens on the market. (Buy)
  3. Lamy Studio – The Studio is the perfect step up for Lamy Safari fans. The nibs are identical and the metal barrel is much nicer. (Buy)
  4. Faber-Castell Ambition – I’m glad to see Faber-Castell making waves in a somewhat desolate category. Great style, build, and fantastic nib. (Buy)
  5. Lamy Aion – The latest from Lamy, and not without its detractors. I think it is a solid workhorse of a pen, and fun to use. (Buy)

(Notes: If I had my druthers this category wouldn’t exist. The only pen even remotely interesting to me is the Kaweco AL Sport. I’d be fine spending down or spending up and skipping this range completely.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens $100-$200

  1. Platinum 3776 – It’s been years in the making, and the 3776 is finally on top. The nibs are the best, and the styles have caught up to the rest of the market. (Buy)
  2. Sailor 1911 Standard – I’m calling an audible here: The 1911 Standard is better than the Pro Gear Slim. (Buy)
  3. Pilot Vanishing Point – An engineering marvel, the Vanishing Point is as fascinating to use as it is to look at. (Buy)
  4. Lamy 2000 – One of the most beautiful fountain pens ever designed and the perfect entry point into gold nib pens. (Buy)
  5. Pelikan M205 – Steel nib or not, this pen deserves a spot on this list. The quality of this pen, and the writing experience overall, justifies its placement. (Buy)

(Notes: If and when you get into fountain pens, this category gives you everything you need. Quality, performance, style, options – everything. I’d skip the $50-$100 range in all honesty. This is also where you can branch out into more custom brands like Franklin-Christoph and Edison.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens $200-$500

  1. Pilot Custom 823 – It’s expensive, and the barrel colors are limited, but I have a hard time not saying this is the best pen in this price range. The quality is superior. (Buy)
  2. Sailor Professional Gear – This is where I like the Pro Gear over the 1911 style. So much fun, so much quality. (Buy)
  3. Pilot Custom 912 – This is a workhorse of a pen. And like the Pro Gear, it has a wide variety of nibs available, including the Falcon. (Buy)
  4. Aurora Optima – These last two on the list are this low because they are on the upper end of this wide price range. The Optima is a new pen to me and I have been very impressed so far. (Buy)
  5. Pelikan Souveran 600 – The sweet spot for many in Pelikan’s lineup, the 600 series is just the right size all the way around with wonderful gold nibs. (Buy)

(Notes: Personal taste comes into play here more than anywhere else. You are spending a lot of money on a pen in this category, so be sure to get everything you want here, including style.)

Top 5 Fountain Pen Ink Brands

  1. Sailor – The perfect mid-range ink. The colors pop and it behaves wonderfully. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Iroshizuku – If you are going to pay for a premium ink, make sure it is one that performs as well as the inks in the Iroshizuku line. (Buy)
  3. Robert Oster – Talk about making an impression. Any color you can imagine is available, with great quality and pricing too. (Buy)
  4. P.W. Akkerman – As its popularity rises its availability increases, making it a great choice for any fountain pen user. The beautiful bottles are an added bonus. (Buy)
  5. Montblanc – High quality and great performance for cheaper than you think. (Buy)

(Notes: It is hard to rank basic ink lines when there is more variety in the premium lines, but stock Pilot and Lamy inks see a lot of use for me. For something off the board, I’m a big fan of KWZ.

Top 5 Plastic Tip Pens

  1. Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka – One of the biggest surprises I have tested. Makes up for lack of colors in feel and performance. (Buy)
  2. Copic Multiliner SP – Beautiful and refillable…and expensive. (Buy)
  3. Sakura Pigma Micron – The ubiquitous art pen. Everyone can, and does, use Microns. (Buy)
  4. Staedtler Pigment Liner – I was late to the game on this one but it has proven excellent so far. (Buy)
  5. Sharpie Pen – Readily available and solid choice. (Buy)

(Notes: The Uni Pin has been on and off this list for ages. Good quality and value.)

Top 5 Paper Brands

  1. Rhodia – The best all around writing paper in nearly every format you can imagine. (Buy)
  2. Apica – This brand keeps moving up the charts and I find myself reaching for it constantly. (Buy)
  3. Midori – The Travelers Notebook has shown people what good paper should feel like, and the growth of the MD lineup pushes them up the list. (Buy)
  4. Maruman – Slightly more expensive than Rhodia and slightly fewer options, but the quality is elite. (Buy)
  5. Leuchtturm1917 – High quality and wide availability make this a popular choice no matter your writing instrument. (Buy)

(Notes: Life and Kyokuto are two of my favorite Japanese brands. Field Notes and Write Notepads both make amazing pocket notebooks.)

Top 5 Multi Pens

  1. Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto – So many options and a great refill makes it tough to beat. (Buy)
  2. Uni Style Fit – Late to the game but compares well to the Coleto. (Buy)
  3. Zebra Sharbo X – Only cost (initial and ongoing) keeps this from being #1. (Buy)
  4. Lamy 2000 – For some reason I didn’t know this pen existed until last year. D1 refill compatible. (Buy)
  5. Uni-ball Jetstream – The best ballpoint multi pen option by far. (Buy)

(Notes: Anything by Pilot, Uni-ball, or Zebra in this category is a good choice.)

Top 5 Ballpoint Pens

  1. Uni-ball Jetstream 0.7 mm – Sharp, fine and solid lines. Elite, but not for everyone. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Acroball 0.7 mm – More like a 1A with the Jetstream. (Buy)
  3. Lamy 2000 – If you are looking for a cheap ballpoint, look elsewhere. The 2000 model is all over this list for a reason. (Buy)
  4. Fisher Space Pen – One of the most functional pens on the market, I make sure I have one – or at least the refill – close at all times. (Buy)
  5. Bic Cristal – The classic Bic deserves this spot on merit, not historical significance. It’s a great pen. (Buy)

(Notes: The Parker Jotter is an all-time classic that is a decent option. It will never crack the Top 5, but it is fun to use.)

Top 5 Liquid Ink (aka Roller Ball) Pens

  1. Retro 51 Tornado – This may be the most recommended pen on this entire page. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Precise V5 – This pen should be number one on popularity alone. (Buy)
  3. Uni-ball Vision Elite – A great writer with an impressive feature set. (Buy)
  4. Morning Glory Mach 3 – Extremely underrated pen. In fact, I need to stock up on a few more. (Buy)
  5. Ohto Graphic Liner – Somewhat of an outlier compared to the rest, but really great. (Buy)

(Notes: The remainder of Pilot’s V-Series should be on the list, as they are all tried and true writers and easy to get.)

Top 5 Machined Pens

  1. Ti2 TechLiner – It’s the ugly duckling that turns into the beautiful swan when you actually use it. (Buy)
  2. Schon DSGN 01A – I use this pen all the time when I just want to grab and go. (Buy)
  3. Sunderland mk1 – I really love this pen, especially as one of the few machined pens designed to post properly. (Buy)
  4. BIGiDESIGN Ti Arto – It fits all the refills! (Buy)
  5. Ajoto The Pen – This is such a well-made product it delights every time I use it. Only downside is the price. (Buy)

(Notes: The Pen Type-B is my personal favorite, and the Tactile Turn Mover is another great build that is Pilot Juice compatible.)

Top 5 Mechanical Pencils

  1. Rotring 600 – The mechanical pencil all others are measured by. And none have been able to topple it yet. (Buy)
  2. Uni-ball Kuru Toga – The most unique pencil on the list is also one of the best. Not a gimmick either. It actually works. (Buy)
  3. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 – From a technical pencil perspective, the Graph Gear compares well to the Rotring 600. (Buy)
  4. Uni Shift-Pipe Lock – Great design and cool functionality to keep the tip of the pencil protected. (Buy)
  5. Zebra Delguard – Zebra made a big move in the market this year with their unbreakable lead technology. (Buy)

(Notes: The Pentel Sharp is a classic, as is the Pentel Kerry with its capped barrel.

Top 5 Wooden Pencils

  1. Blackwing 602 – The modern pencil that all other modern pencils are measured against. The perfect amount of firmness and darkness. (Buy)
  2. Tombow Mono 100 – This was my gateway pencil from the fountain pen world into Japanese pencils. I was spoiled from the word go. (Buy)
  3. Caran D’Ache Swiss Wood – Pen lovers love to show off their fancy pens. This is the pencil equivalent. Plus, it smells wonderful. (Buy)
  4. Camel Pencil HB – What appears to be a simple pencil is a master class in Japanese design. Perfect form and function. (Buy)
  5. Mitsubishi Office 9850 HB – Don’t let the basic appearance and “Office Use” branding fool you. This isn’t your basic office pencil. Every time I use it, I give it the “Really?’ look. Yes, really. (Buy)

(Notes: The Mitsubishi Mark Sheet is a new fascination, as is the 2H Tajima Carpenter Pencil. The Caran d’Ache Natura School Pencil is another good one too.)

Top 5 Most Useful Pens

  1. Fisher Space Pen – This is more about the pressurized refill that the pen barrel, although the standard barrel is perfect for how this pen needs to be used. I use the refill in my Schon DSGN pen, which is the pen I carry the most on a daily basis. (Buy)
  2. Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 – My love for micro-tipped gel ink pen knows no bounds, and the DX is the runaway winner in this category. (Buy)
  3. Sakura Pigma Micron – The Micron is not actually my top pick for best plastic tip pen, but for some reason I find it with me the most because it can take a beating. (Buy)
  4. Uni-ball Jetstream 0.7 mm – Regardless of your opinion on ballpoint pens, there are situations in life where they are the best tool for the job. Make it the Jetstream. (Buy)
  5. Sharpie Permanent Marker – This pen doesn’t fit on any of the other lists, but it belongs in the conversation. When you need it, it is because it’s the only pen that can do the job. (Buy)

Top 5 Blue Black Fountain Pen Inks

  1. Sailor Blue Black – The dictionary definition of blue black, at least in my dictionary. It hits all of the right notes.
  2. Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai – Lighter in color overall than Sailor BB, and with more colors popping through in the shading.
  3. Pilot Blue Black – A smart man once told me that this is the only ink he trusts explicitly in all of his pens.
  4. Rohrer & Klinger Salix – Maybe the best iron gall ink I have ever used.
  5. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw – There is a brightness that peeks out from under the covers that many other blue blacks don’t possess.

Top 5 Orange Fountain Pen Inks

  1. Sailor Apricot – The first orange ink I ever latched on to, and the one I measure all others by. A perfect light shade with great character. (Buy)
  2. Papier Plume Sazerac – I didn’t realize what I was in for when I was handed a sample of Sazerac a couple of years ago in San Francisco. The most unique orange I use on a regular basis. (Buy)
  3. Akkerman #16 Oranje Boven – My idea of a pure orange. Few, if any, undertones of yellow, red, or brown, which are common. Not here. It’s just orange. (Buy)
  4. Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-Yake – It’s darker than Apricot, but has similar shading characteristics. (Buy)
  5. Montblanc Lucky Orange – I hesitate to put special editions on any list, but this one has been around a while, and doesn’t look like it is going anywhere any time soon. (Buy)

If you head to an office supplies store—either online or in person—you’re bound to find hundreds of pens to choose from. The only downside? It can be tough to determine which are the best pens and compare how the thousands of available pens stack up.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you. If you’re trying to identify the best pens for writing without spending hours researching, then look no further than these stellar options.

The best ballpoint pens for writing

Ballpoint pens use oil-based, quick-drying ink and feature a ball bearing at the tip. This ball bearing helps roll ink onto the page in a fluid manner that doesn’t require refined control of the pen. Over the years, ballpoint pens have become so popular that their invention is commemorated every June 10 via National Ballpoint Pen Day. Here are a few of the best ballpoint pens for writing:

  • Bic Cristal
    Bic is a classic pen brand for a reason. The ubiquitous ballpoint continues to live up to the hype thanks to its smooth writing capabilities.
  • Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen
    Cross is known for its attention to aesthetics, and this pen doesn’t disappoint. It’s also highly functional: The pen features smooth ink flow, long-lasting ink, and great reviews.
  • Pilot Dr. Grip
    This popular ballpoint features smooth ink release, a refillable ink cartridge, and a unique grip shape that minimizes wrist and hand strain while writing.
  • Uni-ball Jetstream
    Hailed as one of the best ballpoints available, the Jetstream features smooth, even writing, quick-drying ink, remarkable durability, and a variety of tip sizes.

The best ink pens for writing

Also known as rollerball pens, ink pens are ballpoints’ slightly flashier cousin. They use water-based ink for even smoother, finer writing that requires less hand pressure. Because the ink is more liquid, it tends to dry a bit slower than the oil-based ink of a ballpoint pen. Nevertheless, rollerballs remain one of the most popular pen types. Here are some of the best ink pens for writing:

  • Cross Classic Century Rollerball
    As with its ballpoint counterpart, Cross’ rollerball features a sleek aesthetic, fine lines, customizable tips, and a lifetime mechanical guarantee.
  • Morning Glory Mach 3
    A unique, almost Steampunk aesthetic sets this pen apart, as do its fine, unbroken lines, unique color options, and viewable ink supply.
  • Pilot Precise V5 and V7
    These classic models are built to last. They facilitate consistent ink flow and smooth, bold writing every time.
  • Retro 51 Tornado
    A retro aesthetic ensures this pen lives up to its name, while sturdy construction, customizable tips, and great reviews earn the Retro 51 Tornado its place among the best ink pens.

The best gel pens for writing

Gel pens have become increasingly popular over the last few years. They function much like rollerballs, but instead use a water-based gel to transfer pigments onto a variety of surfaces. They’re known for vivid lines and a huge variety of color options, and they’re especially revered among creatives for coloring projects. Here are some of the best gel pens for writing:

  • Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen
    This pen is well reviewed thanks to its clean lines, affordability, and compact size.
  • Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pens
    Instead of frantically searching for Wite-Out in order to correct mistakes, these pens allow you to erase and correct errors without having to start over on a project.
  • Signo 207
    This retractable gel pen enjoys similar acclaim to the Uni-ball Jetstream ballpoint. It is known for its fine point, which helps produce uniform lines.
  • Zebra Sarasa Rapid Dry Ink Gel Retractable Pen
    A number of benefits distinguish the Sarasa, including smooth, sharp lines, a comfortable grip, durability, a huge variety of colors, and quick-drying ink that helps reduce the risk of smudging.

The best pens for writing notes

Whether you’re penning a note to your boss, sending out “thank you” notes after a holiday or wedding, or simply telling a loved one they’re on your mind, using a fountain pen adds something extra. If you really want to impress, here are some of the best pens for writing notes:

  • Kaweco Sport
    Compact and portable, this beginner-friendly fountain pen fits nicely in a hand or pocket and features durable German construction. Its secure cap ensures you won’t get ink on yourself while on the go.
  • Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
    This pen is beloved for its modern aesthetic, durability, and interchangeable fine nib, which writes smoothly and is forgiving to people who are just learning to work with fountain pens.
  • Pilot Metropolitan
    Another beginner-friendly fountain pen, the Pilot Metropolitan is well-renowned among novice and pro fountain pen users alike. It’s reliable and easy to use.
  • TWSBI Eco
    You’ll need to get comfortable with filling the pen from an ink bottle, but if you can move past that hurdle you’ll find there’s plenty to enjoy about the Eco. It’s an entry-level fountain pen that is remarkably affordable given its quality.

Whether you’re in charge of supplies for a corporate office, a doctor’s office, a church, a school, or another organization, pens are for a vital part of any supply closet. In fact, providing employees, volunteers, and other community members with the tools they need is essential for increasing productivity. The next time you re-stock office supplies, don’t overlook the features and quality of your pen stash.

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Laura Newcomer

Laura Newcomer is a writer, editor, and educator with multiple years of experience working in the environmental and personal wellness space. Formerly Senior Editor at the health site Greatist, Laura now lives and works in Pennsylvania. Her writing has been published on Washington Post, TIME Healthland, Greatist, DailyBurn, Lifehacker, and Business Insider, among others. She has taught environmental education to students of all ages in both Pennsylvania and Maine, and prioritizes living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. She’s a big proponent of creating self-sustaining communities and accessible healthy food systems that care for both people and the earth. An avid outdoorswoman, she can often be found hiking, kayaking, backpacking, and tending to her garden.

There comes a time when picking up a pack of cheap pens no longer satisfies our desire for an exemplary writing experience.

Even in the age of taking notes on tablets and rarely needing to sign anything beyond a screen, we all still need pens. And why shouldn’t you have the very best pens for writing by hand? Handwriting can be a pleasure when you have the right tool for the job.

(Plus, writing by hand actually makes your notes more effective and helps you remember more of what you write down.)

Choosing the best pen sometimes happens by accident. This is usually the case when we discover there is a world beyond cheap, disposable pens or those with our dentist’s name monogrammed across the barrel. We come across a rollerball that glides effortlessly across the page. We borrow someone’s felt-tip and marvel at the inky beauty of its performance.

So how can you find the best pens for you without trying every single one?

The best pens for writing by hand cover a wide variety of types, and what works well for you always varies by person; however, your selection can be narrowed down to find the perfect one for you by a few specific differentiators.

How you hold your pen matters

How you hold your pen will determine almost immediately what pens will and will not offer a pleasurable writing experience.

For those that are heavy-handed, holding the pen traditionally but angling the pen nearly perpendicular to the paper, a super fine-line felt tip pen will expire quickly and provide a scratchy, jagged drag.

For those that are delicate with their pens, flourishing their letters with an angled barrel and gentle pressure, a ballpoint pen may barely make a mark on your paper.

If you hold your pen in a nonstandard way, like between your pointer and middle fingers while resting your hand on the paper, a rollerball pen may leave you with an inky mess.

And, of course, if you are a lefty, you know that ink, smudge, and drip are your worst enemies!

Pay attention to your handwriting over the next few days. Notice if your hand becomes sore after writing or if you have ink smudges on your hand or sleeves.

What do you write most often by hand?

Taking notes in a lecture setting, writing poetry on your back porch, and writing thank you letters to guests at your bridal shower are three very different writing occasions, each benefiting from different pen choices.

The best pens for writing in each of these will still vary according to your handwriting, but take into account your priorities for the result of your writing:

  • Legibility – How legible do you need the end result to be? Consider your audience and how easily you’d like what you’re writing to be reread in the future. If legibility isn’t a top priority, consider simplifying with a pen that flows quickly and doesn’t smear ink.
  • Style – How important is style and flair in your handwriting? For some (myself included), stylish handwriting is top priority always, so choosing a pen that fits your visual style will be more important than convenience or cost.
  • Environment – How much time and space do you have to capture what needs writing? If you’re in a lecture hall cramming as many notes as you possibly can, you’ll want a pen that flows quickly and easily, preventing your hand from tiring early. If you’re hand-addressing envelopes on a lazy Sunday morning, you might opt for something less functional but more beautiful.

As you pay attention to your handwriting over the next few days, take note of your most frequent handwriting environments and functions.

How often are you taking notes that no one needs to read? Would you like it if your journal were more stylish and legible? Keep these questions in mind and consider how you’d like your handwriting to evolve along your pen journey.

What kind(s) of paper do you write on?

When you’re searching for the best pen, matching that pen to the kind of paper you regularly use is an important consideration. I typically carry my journal with me everywhere, so when I’m browsing the pen section at my local art store – because you can typically test at an art store and buy singles, rather than packs – I can test a pen’s performance right in my journal.

This is a list of the most common paper mediums and their complimentary pens:

  • Notebook Paper: Thin, bright blue-white, matte surface, sometimes in a notebook but sometimes as a single sheet. Ballpoint, gel.
  • Legal Pad: Thin, but not quite as thin as notebook paper, a bit of a sheen to the paper’s surface, typically yellow or white with red lines, usually still attached to its pad. Ballpoint, rollerball.
  • Letter (Printer) Paper: Thicker than the former two, bright white, similar sheen to the legal pad, typically standing alone or inside of a binder. Ballpoint, fine line/plastic nib, fountain pen.
  • Journal or Notebook paper: These vary widely, but will fall into a few noticeable categories:
    • Thin paper, ink may bleed through. Ballpoint, rollerball, or gel.
    • Thicker paper, may be more of an off-white, but have a sheen to the surface. Fountain pen, plastic nib, rollerball.
  • Stationery Cards – Thick cardstock, typically white or just off-white, smaller writing area, absorbs ink well. Fountain pen, fine line, plastic nib, felt tip, marker.

Paper size, thickness, bleed, surface texture, color, and what’s under the paper (like more pages in a notebook, or a tabletop) will impact how a pen performs.

We want to avoid blurring, spotting, smearing, smudging, spreading, bleeding, and wiping the ink delivered by our pen. Sometimes that’s unavoidable, but knowing your paper and your handwriting will diminish these issues considerably!

A brief primer on how different pens deliver ink

Pens rely on air, ink (in a reservoir within the pen), and the pressure of your stroke to deliver ink to your paper. However, each pen does it differently.

Ballpoint: A small ball bearing in the tip of the pen rolls across the paper as you write, delivering oil-based ink from the cartridge, drying very quickly. These are the pens that, when they aren’t working, you scribble hard at the top of your paper in order to feed ink into the ball-bearing. Because the ball bearing delivers a lighter stream of ink than a fountain or gel pen, you may see more pressure-indent marks and a less prominent written result on your page.

Rollerball: Similar to a ballpoint pen, rollerball pens dispense ink by means of a ball bearing, but the ink is water-based or gel-based, leading to a richer pigment but slower drying time. Depending on the porosity of your paper, the viscosity of rollerball ink can spread as it enters your paper, making for thicker lines and letters.

Fountain: As you write, air flows upward through a small channel in the tip of the pen which causes the ink to flow out in a continuous stream. Thicker, more porous papers with a more matted surface texture will accept this ink well and dry quickly, whereas thinner or glossier papers may let the ink spread across its surface, creating a bit of a mess.

Fine Line (Plastic Nib/Felt Tip): Most fine line pens use water-based ink, and some even offer archival ink (which has the longevity to guarantee ink lasting on legal documents) and an tip and wick ink delivery system. The pressed fibers of the tip allows for the wick to soak up as much ink in one go and put it out on paper before it evaporates, at the same time preventing the air from entering the reservoir for as long as possible. It is advised to keep a cap on on the felt tip pens because the ink will dry-up if it experiences too much air time.

Gel: Gel pens use ink that is suspended in a water-based gel. Because the ink is thick and opaque, it shows up more clearly on dark or slick surfaces. Gel pens are often available in a variety of colors and appearances (see: glitter), but do not dry quickly on most surfaces, so can be subject to smearing.

How to choose the best pen for writing by hand

Even though this is the Ink+Volt blog, rest assured that I’m not biased when it comes to sourcing the best pens. While we do carry a stellar assortment of pens, a few on the following list are not sold by Ink + Volt, but are nonetheless worth your consideration.


Best: Caran d’Ache 849

An investment, but a worthy one. Fans love the Caran d’Ache 849 for its longevity (hundreds of pages) and for its extremely smooth, low-impact ink flow. The pen body is made from aluminum and painted with a thick lacquer, making for a sleek, chic appearance wherever you carry it.

Runner Up: Schneider Slider Rave Retractable

The grip alone on this pen’s barrel are enough to make it a top contender. Comfortable to write with with a smooth, richer-than-most ballpoint ink flow. Even though these have a plastic body, they don’t feel like an everyday “cheap” pen – they have a weighted balance to them that is easy on the stroke, even for heavy-handed writers.

My aunt, who is a high school French teacher, could barely contain her enthusiasm when she put a Schneider Slider Edge XB in red to her graded papers. She claims she’ll never use another red pen!

Roller Ball

Best: Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica

Before I embarked on this ‘best pens’ culmination, I wasn’t aware that I’d ever used a rollerball. The Pentel Hybrid Technica delivers ink like a fine tip or nib pen with the convenience and comfort of a rollerball, complete with a solid rubber grip. This pen offers the most style and flair of any rollerball I’ve ever tried, and it responds to a very light touch (good for any heavy-handed writers trying to give their hands a break!).

Runner Up: Pilot Precise V5

This was the first “nice” pen I ever used. It was the gateway to elegant ink dispersion and a smooth glide while scribbling never-ending notes in high school history class. The Pilot Precise V5 that helped my illegible scratch become slightly more decipherable, merely through line precision and ink clarity. If you’re a messy scribe or a quick writer, the Pilot Precise V5 is a great entry-level daily-use pen that’ll last for hundreds of pages.


Best: Pilot Metropolitan

Smooth, rich ink with a luscious delivery mark this pen, making for an elevated writing experience. The tip is forgiving and a bit thick, so finer-line writers may want to hold this pen lightly. The ink is refillable and fairly inexpensive, making this pen an accessible luxury that’s better for the environment.

Runner Up: Kaweco AL Sport

Kaweco’s pens are unique in that you can choose the fineness of your tip before purchasing and that when they are closed, they’re half the size of a typical pen. I typically write with a fine tip, making for thin lines and a smooth flow on lightly matted paper (glossier surfaces may experience smearing).

Fine Line

Best: Pigma Micron PN (Plastic Nib) Micron

This pen is as daily-carry as a wallet, phone, and chapstick. Though this pen doesn’t love a heavy-handed writer, it performs tirelessly for well over a hundred pages. Letters are crisp, lines are smooth, and as long as you keep the cap on, you shouldn’t experience leakage or smudging.

Runner Up: Pentel Stylo

Forgiving, beautiful, rich, and variable – the Pentel Stylo has a flexible tip for fine lines and broad strokes. Because of the flexible tip, heavy-handed writers and lefties can feel confident the delivered ink will sink into the paper quickly and dry in time to keep from smearing.

For a thinner line and doodle-friendly pen, my co-worker swears by the Le Pen, an instrument with a near cult following whose .3 mm tip makes for the crispest lines I’ve ever seen!


Best: Pilot FriXion Erasable

Skepticism abounds when it comes to erasable pens, because how could one actually work? Testing the Pilot FriXion pen in the Ink+Volt Planner and on the thinner, shinier paper inside the Leuttchurm 1917 Bullet Journal, I was shocked to find that there was barely an indent of the erased text left-behind. The pen itself is quite comfortable, and the only downfall is that placing the cap on the back of the pen while it is open covers the eraser.

Runner Up: UniBall Signo 151 or 153

The UniBall Signo 151 and 153, which come in a variety of colors, including metallics and white, can write on innumerable surfaces, leaving a luxuriously rich and glossy ink in their wake. Especially ideal for cardstock and thicker, more porous papers. These pens also last a really long time considering that they are gel pens, but can become messy or blurry if your pen angle is inconsistent.

Armed with knowledge of writing priorities and personal style, it’s up to you to choose the best pens for writing every little word you have to say. What’s your favorite pen?

Are you looking for the best ballpoint pen to add to your collection? Maybe you’re in search of the perfect retirement gift for a co-worker, or maybe you just enjoy bringing stylish accessories to the office.

Look no further, we’ve done all of the research and digging through endless options for you and have compiled an extensive list, narrowing down your choices to the top 14 ballpoint pens. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to select your ballpoint pen for purchase.

Quick Overview: Top 14 best ballpoint pens

  • Slim design that offers a sophisticated elegance to the pen
  • Ballpoint tip works efficiently and smoothly
  • Hand-crafted in France
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2. Fisher Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen

  • An extremely versatile pen that allows you to write at all angles
  • The original space pen, tested and approved by NASA
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3. Cross Beverly Pearlescent White Ballpoint Pen

  • Cross is a well-known brand for ballpoint pens, with 168 years of service
  • Elegant and sophisticated style wrapped into a quality ballpoint pen
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4. Waterman Expert Deluxe CT Ballpoint Pen

  • Looks great and functional for everyday use
  • Has good ink consistency and the ink can last long
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5. Fisher 400B Space Bullet Pen

  • Ballpoint is capped preventing any ink from getting where it’s not supposed to
  • A great pocket pen option, small and compact with lid
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6. SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Pen

  • Excellent build and nice metallic feel
  • Light enough that you can use it for a long time
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7. PARKER Sonnet Ballpoint Pen

  • A pretty pen that makes an excellent addition to any collection
  • Nice balance that makes writing consistent and smooth
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8. Pilot Axiom Collection Retractable Ballpoint Pen

  • The retractable mechanism is designed to be durable and smooth
  • Perfect weight distribution with a comfortable grip
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9. Parker Jotter Premium Bond Ballpoint Pen

  • 11 color options to personalize your ballpoint pen
  • Click retractable pen that operates smoothly
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10. Rotring 800 Retractable Ballpoint Pen

  • Non-slip grip made for long-term use comfort
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11. Xezo Legionnaire Twist Action Ballpoint Pen

  • Heavy and high-quality
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12. Bastion Luxury Executive Bolt-Action Ballpoint Pen

  • Stylish, functional, and luxurious wrapped into a single pen
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13. Cross ATX Basalt Chrome-Plated Ballpoint Pen

  • Pen has the perfect ratio of color and accents for style
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14. Creative Art Materials Caran D’ache Ballpoint Pen

  • Writes smoothly and efficiently
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Reviews – The Top 14 Best Ballpoint Pens

1. Waterman Hemisphere Ballpoint Pen, Gloss Black with 23K Gold Trim : Top Overall Pick

This pen really stuck out to us as we sorted through our ballpoint pen options. This ballpoint pen wins our top pick. It is perfectly designed to look like your classic-style ballpoint pen while providing the comfort and luxury that you may be seeking.

This pen is available in several different color sets. We have featured the black with gold trim because it really stands out and is an eye-catching option that is both classy and professional. The pen comes in a gorgeous padded gift box and includes a blue ink cartridge.


  • Slim design that offers a sophisticated elegance to the pen
  • Ballpoint tip works efficiently and smoothly
  • Perfect your signature and penmanship with this craftsmanship
  • Hand-crafted in France
  • Available in various color options
  • Perfectly balanced for comfortable use


  • The top part of the pen is loose fitting
  • The twist motion for retraction is not always smooth
  • Very short pen, somewhat undersized


2. Fisher Space AG7 Original Astronaut Space Pen: Best Ballpoint Pen Under $50

Ballpoint pens can quickly get very expensive. This Fisher Space is a great affordable option and we have awarded it as the best ballpoint pen under $50. Don’t be fooled by the price tag, this pen is still a great ballpoint pen.

This Astronaut space pen writes perfectly at every angle and is extremely versatile. The pen is a superior quality that won’t disappoint when you need it the most. The pen is sleek and stylish in a shiny silver finish. It has a very simple design that still provides a professional appearance and a sense of luxury. The box is inlaid with a felt-like fabric and has a cutout to firmly hold the pen when in case.


  • An extremely versatile pen that allows you to write at all angles
  • The original space pen, tested and approved by NASA
  • Pen has maintained original design from 1969.
  • Heavy pen made with brass and chrome-plated
  • Retractable click-pen


  • Pen no longer is marked with AG7 Fisher Space Logo Inscription
  • Handle with care as it can break from dropping


3. Cross Beverly Pearlescent White Ballpoint Pen: Most Stylish Pen

Award yourself with style and grace through this gorgeous pearlescent ballpoint pen. This pen is designed to be sleek and stylish and will certainly catch the eye of those around you. This pen looks and feels great and is also very affordable for a ballpoint pen.

If you’re not a fan of the pearlescent white, don’t turn away just yet. There are several other unique color options available for this particular pen. The unique aspect of this pen is that even with other colors, the pen remains elegant and stylish. This pen is certainly a winner.


  • Fashion-forward stylish pen
  • Cross is a well-known brand for ballpoint pens, with 168 years of service
  • Elegant and sophisticated style wrapped into a quality ballpoint pen
  • A style designed to have both feminine and professional traits


  • Color begins to chip off with moderate use after only about 6 months
  • Packaging and gift box appear cheap


4. Waterman Expert Deluxe CT Ballpoint Pen – Sophisticated and Highly Precise Pen

Waterman Expert Deluxe CT Ballpoint Pen stands apart from other ballpoint pens for being more than an accessory. It is a statement pen by being both sophisticated and practical. Its fashionable appearance comes from Parisian styling. It is a style that exudes executive tastes ideal for writers, note-takers, and those who have high expectations when it comes to pens.

A distinct feature of the pen is its cigar-shaped silhouette. As for the materials used to make the pen, Waterman claims they are of the highest quality. Waterman Deluxe Ballpoint Pen is ideal for a variety of uses, including when writing for business deals, calligraphy, or daily notes. Whatever the pen is used for, it promises to be in the highest standards always.

The precision, impressive aesthetic and high performance of Waterman ballpoint pens come from the fact that it is assembled by master craftsmen in France. The pen is available in two trims – chrome and gold – each looking as sophisticated as can be expected from a handcrafted pen. It is also available in different writing types such as ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen.

With every type of pen, you can expect different writing experiences. Still, Waterman ensures that it will be enjoyable to write whether you use the rollerball, fountain or ballpoint pen. They can promise this through the high-quality nib used for every Waterman Expert Deluxe CT pen.

This fountain pen, for instance,has a distinct streamlined nib. This is what provides the smooth, gliding writing experience when using the pen. The ballpoint pen is also smooth, as it is precise. The nib allows every line drawn to be flawless. It has been described that Waterman ballpoint pen has ink that does not dry out or bleeds as it is meant for high-precision writing.There is also the rollerball pen, which takes the price when it comes to control and comfort.

It is a pen made for enhancing the user’s creativity through its refined nib. The signature Parisian style that Waterman Deluxe Ballpoint Pen showcases makes the pen an ideal gift for special occasions. It serves a beautiful gift for celebrating anniversaries, graduations, promotions, and others.


  • Looks great and functional for everyday use
  • Comfortable to use no matter what and how long you have been writing
  • Has good ink consistency and the ink can last long
  • Smooth writing experience


  • The high cost of refills
  • Twist mechanism might be a little loose


5. Fisher 400B Space Bullet Pen – Matte Black: Plain and Simple

If you’re not impressed by the luxury and style that commonly accompanies ballpoint pens, you may be a fan of this bullet pen. This pen has a very plain and simple design but offers quality benefits that people typically look for in a ballpoint pen.

This Fisher pen is another style option for the popular space pen. The pen writes perfectly from any angle and even works in zero-gravity environments – just in case you’re planning a space visit soon. This pen is unique and versatile, shaped like a bullet. The pen is affordable and comes in a uniquely designed gift box that has planet surface imprints.


  • A versatile pen that works in various environments
  • Pen is made of brass, with a matte black chrome finish
  • Ballpoint is capped preventing any ink from getting where it’s not supposed to
  • A great pocket pen option, small and compact with lid
  • Durable, portable, and reliable in a ballpoint pen option


  • Cannot withstand excessive pressure applied while writing
  • Writing quality is not up to typical ballpoint pen standards


6. SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Pen – Best Multi-Function Pen

SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Pen is at the top of the list when it comes to inexpensive engineering pens. It is designed to meet all FOD or Foreign Object Damage requirements, thus ensuring it to work as intended. This ballpoint pen is a medium point with black and red ink and a 0.5-millimeter pencil. A medium point means it writes solid lines around 1.0 to 1.4 mm.

Being both a pen and pencil, it is quite a useful writing tool for anyone who often writes. It means you can use it not only for daily writing or taking notes but also for art, at least in some ways. It comes with a big enough cartridge for a generous amount of ink. Therefore, the ink is sure to last long, although it all depends on the amount of use. As for the pencil, it seems only one piece of lead can be loaded at time.

One unique feature of this pen is its special finish. The pen is made this way so that light won’t be reflected when using it. This SKILCRAFT ballpoint pen has a slender barrel. It is slim but has an incredibly well-balanced weight, so it does not feel uncomfortable when using it. Besides including black and red pens, as well as pencil, it comes with a screw-top eraser.

It fits tightly and securely on the top of the pencil, which, of course,matches all FOD requirements. The pen is a twist-action style. When the user needs to use either a pen or a pencil, they can twist the shaft to rotate the pen and pencil at a time. The SKILCRAFT ballpoint pen is highly durable, having been made with all-metal construction.

Perhaps the essential info about this pen is that it is made by Americans who are blind. They made this pen with pride, quality, and purpose. It is nice to know that with every purchase of SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Pen, more Americans with blindness can find jobs. It is truly a superb pen in more ways than one.


  • Excellent build and nice metallic feel
  • Light enough that you can use it for a long time
  • It has a matte texture that makes it ideal for people with slippery fingers
  • Has a good quality pen clip that slides smoothly into the pocket


  • The ink does not flow right away, so you must scribble on a scrap paper before you can use the pen


7. PARKER Sonnet Ballpoint Pen – The Elegant, Stylish Ballpoint Pen

Although it is just a pen, it would be nice if it looks good. PARKER Sonnet Ballpoint Pen does not only look good,but also has a timeless elegance to it. The main feature of the pen is the retractable twist mechanism. It makes the pen a lot convenient to use this way since there is no need for a cap when opening or closing the pen whenever it is used.

It comes with a medium tip, an adorned barrel, and a silver cap. The cap is made with chiseled sterling while the barrel features a gold-finished trim and clip. All these accents add to how elegant and stylish the Sonnet Ballpoint Pen looks. As the pen is assembled and checked by hand, it promises flawless quality.

When it comes to designs, the Sonnet Ballpoint Pen has an array of different options, including the Ciselé pattern. Each design hasintricate details crafted into the pen skillfully. These all add to the sophistication that this ballpoint pen promises to provide in each writing occasion. It is not only the pen’s designs that are handled by hand but also all the pens and nibs included.

The elegance of the pen also came from its stainless-steel body and lacquer finishes. Besides stainless-steel, options available include Red, Blue, Black, and Matte Black Lacquer. In a way, the Sonnet Ballpoint Pen is also a travel pen. It has an easy-to-carry design, which makes it ideal for bringing anywhere you want to travel.

It is perfect for note-takers, journal users, or anyone who has a habit of spontaneously writing. The pen also boasts smooth writing experience. It is due to the Quinkflow technology that the pen is equipped with that allows it to provide an optimal ink flow. When writing with Sonnet Ballpoint Pen, the lines are flawless, long-lasting, clean, and consistent in each stroke.

The Sonnet pen line exudes expert craftsmanship. It has PARKER’s timeless design, plus the high-quality feel that only an expert can do. It is why Sonnet Ballpoint Pen is the top choice of users looking for a stylish pen as a gift item. It even has superior quality packaging. Every PARKER Premium box with Sonner pen comes not only with the pen, but a welcome card, premium booklet, and other accessories.


  • A pretty pen that makes an excellent addition to any collection
  • Nice balance that makes writing consistent and smooth
  • Well weighted – not too light and not too heavy


  • The pen is too skinny and smooth for some users
  • Some refills need a bit of coaxing to work


8. Pilot Axiom Collection Retractable Ballpoint Pen: Best Retractable Ballpoint Pen

This is a great mix between simple and stylish with the retractable click feature. This ballpoint pen is the best retractable ballpoint pen option in our reviews. The pen is designed with a medium point for comfortable and stylish writing needs. The pen looks similar to your everyday click pen, but with additional elements that provide a professional appearance

The Pilot retractable ballpoint pen is available in 5 different color options to fit your preferences. The barrel of the pen is dimpled, adding a touch of extra style to the pen. The ink provided with the pen is blue but can be replaced with black. This pen comes in a stylish leather box.


  • High-quality retractable pen at an affordable price
  • Stylish with a professional design
  • The retractable mechanism is designed to be durable and smooth
  • Medium point tip with blue ink
  • Perfect weight distribution with a comfortable grip


  • Clicker tends to give out
  • The grip is a bit slippery and tends to side in your fingers


9. Parker Jotter Premium Bond Ballpoint Pen: Most Versatile Ballpoint Pen

The Parker Jotter Ballpoint pen is uniquely versatile in that you can interchange the ballpoint refill for a gel refill but still maintain the ballpoint pen style that you are seeking. If you prefer the gel ink, but want a professional looking ballpoint pen, this is a great pen option for you with that handy trick.

This ballpoint pen is available in more than 10 color options, giving it another positive mark for versatility. The barrel of the pen is made of stainless steel, in addition to the color that you choose. This pen is stylish and durable making it very desirable as a versatile ballpoint pen


  • 11 color options to personalize your ballpoint pen
  • Click retractable pen that operates smoothly
  • Smooth writing with either gel or ballpoint ink refills
  • Durable quality with an affordable price tag
  • Consistent writing with every use


  • Very lightweight
  • Pen tends to jam


10. Rotring 800 Retractable Ballpoint Pen: Most Standard Ballpoint Pen

Professional style meets durable build in the most standard ballpoint pen listed in our reviews. This ballpoint pen from Rotring offers smooth and precise movements with a retractable click pen that has a unique design. The pen does not look like you might expect a ballpoint pen to look but still has a great modern style.

The barrel of this pen is uniquely designed to deliver a firm and steady grip that won’t cause finger fatigue but will deliver smooth writing results. The pen is made with a full metal body that is available in either black or silver. The metal makes the pen durable and sturdy with less possibility of breaking easily.


  • High-quality blue ink pen
  • Unique hexagonal design
  • Non-slip grip made for long-term use comfort
  • Well-balanced
  • The pocket clip is removable


  • A pricy ballpoint pen option
  • Ink tends to run out quickly


11. Xezo Legionnaire Twist Action Ballpoint Pen – The Top Pick for a Wonderful Gift

Xezo Legionnaire Twist Action Ballpoint Pen is a one-of-a-kind pen perfect for a gift to others and yourself. It comes with a gift box itself, plus an extra ball pen refill. Also, the package includes a certificate and warranty card for 3 years. It is an amazing ballpoint pen that can provide both luxury and comfort.

The main features of the pen are the Twist Action, and German-made medium point ball pen. It is a classic design, but with a touch of uniqueness with its 18-karat gold-plated hallmark. The pen also has 18-karat gold and .999 pure platinum plating. It is a luxurious pen that exudes style and elegance.

This pen’s barrel comes in a distinct octagonal shape. It ensures that the pen is both completely balanced and comfortable. It is heavy at 1.4 ounces or 40 grams weight but is also sturdily built. It feels solid when held, which shows its high quality. As it uses twist-action, it does not have a cap and is more convenient for everyday use.

The pen comes in not only ballpoint but also rollerball and fountain versions. This gives you stunning options for the kind of pen you want. Xezo Legionnaire Twist Action Ballpoint Pen makes a beautiful gift, especially knowing that it is a limited-edition pen. Each one is numbered individually, so no two pens alike.

Every Xezo Legionnaire pen is also made of solid brass with fine hand-etched design of leaf patterns on four sides. It also has a linear ‘diamond-cut’ engraving that makes it even exquisite looking. With its luxurious plating and individual numbers, it makes almost like a collectible pen.

The unique ballpoint refillis also selectively interchangeable with different refills available in the market. These include cross, Montblanc, Schmidt, waterman, pelican, St Dupont, Conway Stewart, Dunhill, and many others. Such interchangeability makes the Legionnaire pen series ideal not only for luxury but for daily use as well. It is classically beautiful, as it pays tribute to the legionnaires of the French Foreign Legion. As it is designed with comfort in mind, it makes sense that it is one of the most highly recommended pens today.


  • Heavy and high-quality
  • Incredibly balanced that adds to ease of writing
  • Looks beautiful and stylish
  • Writes smoothly and legibly


  • Deep engraving leaves an impression on fingers and might not be that comfortable for other users


12. Bastion Luxury Executive Bolt-Action Ballpoint Pen: Best Luxury Ballpoint Pen

The Bastion Executive knew what they were doing when they titled this a luxury ballpoint pen. This pen is suitable for men and women in design with its stainless steel build. The pen delivers a functional sophistication and is made to be ultra-durable and versatile as well.

This pen is quite unique in its overall style and design. It can be paired as a self-defense tool and could even be used to break glass if necessary. This is a retractable pen that operates on bolt-action technology. The parts are made to last while the pen yells luxury to those who see it.


  • Bolt-action locks the ink cartridge into place
  • Fine tip with exquisite writing results
  • Pairs as a self-defense tool
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee from the company
  • Stylish, functional, and luxurious wrapped into a single pen


  • The pen is slightly heavy, which may take some adjustment
  • Does not work well with alternative refills of other brands


13. Cross ATX Basalt Chrome-Plated Ballpoint Pen: Graceful Sophistication

The Cross ATX ballpoint pen is the perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication. The pen is graceful in appearance but is also just stylish enough to catch the eye as a classic ballpoint pen. We’ve highlighted the Basalt Black option here, but it is available in a few other color choices as well to match your personal style.

This pen is well-balanced for efficiency and comfort. The grip handles well and does not slip. This pen has a great ergonomic design to allow you to write or sign in comfort with your ballpoint pen. This pen comes with black ink but the ink cartridge can easily be replaced. This pen even comes in a sweet boutique-style gift box made to impress.


  • Bold, medium writing with smooth ink
  • Comfortable design with excellent balance
  • Easy to hold with a moderate weight and height
  • Professional and graceful appeal
  • Pen has the perfect ratio of color and accents for style


  • Turning retraction mechanism sometimes sticks
  • The grip can be slippery


14. Creative Art Materials Caran D’ache Ballpoint Pen: Keeping it Simple

The Creative Art Materials ballpoint pen provides a quality pen option with a simple design. This pen at first glance might look like a mechanical pencil, but looks can often be deceiving. This pen offers quality in a simple appeal design that is available in 17 different color options so you can personalize your look.

The pen is affordable, comfortable, and durable. The hexagonal shape is a valued design aspect that many users appreciate. The pen is made of aluminum material so it is not overly heavy but offers a reasonable balance and size for optimal use. The clip is flexible and the clicking retractor is smooth and easy to push.


  • Writes smoothly and efficiently
  • A simple style that many appreciate
  • Medium-sized writing tip with smooth results
  • Tip retracts with simple click motion and stays in place
  • Feels solid and comfortable in your grip


  • Ink runs out quickly
  • At times, the clicking retractor mechanism sticks


Buying Guide

Not every ballpoint pen is created equally, it’s important to know what types of qualities you might want to look for in a ballpoint pen. Pens are made with a variety of styles, tips, grip options, weight distributions, and overall design.

Ballpoint pens are an investment because you are spending a larger amount of money for them so you want to make sure you choose one that won’t make you feel like you wasted your money in the end.

Let’s discuss some of the primary qualities that people tend to look for in ballpoint pens to give you a general idea of what you may want to consider. You can pick and choose which qualities are most appealing to your personal preferences.

Pen Tips

One of the primary considerations you will want to select with your ballpoint pen would be your pen tip. Ballpoint pens can come in fine, medium, or thick points. The size of the tip that you feel most comfortable could be dependent on your personal writing style.

If you write small, a fine tip will most likely be the best option for you. Most commonly, ballpoint pens are found with a medium tip. The medium tip is a great average tip option that the majority of people can comfortably use regardless of writing size or style.

If you already know that you prefer a specific size of tip, be sure to look for that feature as you work through your ballpoint pen options.

Is Ballpoint Better Than Gel?

Gel pens and ballpoint pens each have their own unique qualities. Overall, which is better is based solely on your own preferences. Gel ink pens often write darker because the ink is thicker, however, they are also more likely to smear.

Ballpoint pens tend to be more versatile and user-friendly and the ink dries almost instantly when used on paper. Gel, in comparison, takes a bit of drying time. Gel also tends to show up more vividly than ballpoint ink, but ballpoint ink still shows up quite sufficiently.

Ballpoint Pen Features

The ballpoint pen has many positive features that make the pen a universal go-to for business purposes of all kinds. The ballpoint pen also tends to have a professional style to it that many look for in their pens.

Here are some primary features and benefits of the ballpoint pen:

  • An improvement from the fountain pen with a filled ink cartridge and no blotching or smearing
  • Ballpoint pens typically do not leak ink
  • Ballpoint pens are versatile for all uses
  • Ballpoint pens have retractable or cap-covered points
  • Ballpoint pens are the go-to style for a professional pen
  • Ballpoint pens are easy and comfortable to use
  • Excessive pressure is not required for adequate writing and the tips do not tear the paper
  • Ink dries almost instantly when used on paper
  • Ballpoint pens vary in size and can often fit into a pocket.

Potential Negatives of a Ballpoint Pen

As with everything, when it comes to ballpoint pens you take the good with the bad. There are some features of ballpoint pens that stand out that you should be aware of as some individuals might find various features to be undesirable.

Keep in mind that these features are mostly based on personal preferences and they may not bother you at all. Determine whether these features would be important to you and you can narrow down your pen choices by finding the correlating information in a ballpoint pen and understanding how each pen reflects that quality.

  • Ballpoint pens tend to be heavier than other types of pens. This may take some adjustment.
  • Ballpoint pens typically have a click retracting mechanism or a turn retracting mechanism. These can have their own various glitches, such as sticking and jamming.
  • Most ballpoint pens are made with fine surfaces which can cause them to be slippery
  • Not all pens are made equally
  • Ballpoint pens tend to be more expensive

Familiarity & Experience with Pens

Most likely, you have had your fair share of experiences with various kinds of pens. You probably know better than anyone else what features you like the most and prefer in your pens. You also are aware of whether you want something colorful or something modern and professional.

As you search for the best ballpoint pen, keep in mind whether you want a luxury ballpoint pen, a retractable ballpoint pen, and the price point you’re willing to stick to for your ballpoint pen.

What we have provided here are detailed reviews that are meant to provide you with accurate review information so that you can make an educated decision on your ballpoint pen investment.


Our best advice to you as you scour through these pen reviews and try to determine the best ballpoint pen for your needs and preferences is to start by determining which features are most important to you. For example, is the ink color important and do you want a twist-style or click-style retracting mechanism?

Narrowing down your wish-list of features will greatly help you narrow down the list of options and hone into which pen will best fit your style. Next, consider whether you want a stylish pen or simply a functional pen. There are several of both of these options in the reviews listed above.

Last, but certainly not least, remember that this is YOUR pen. You may love the heavy pen with no grip while another person may prefer the simplest design they can find. We cannot determine which pen you will love most but we can certainly help guide you to the best pens on the market.

We have shared a variety of pens and styles that have various functionalities and color options. There is a versatile range and with the guide information and the knowledge of the reviews, you should now be set to venture into your best ballpoint pen purchase option!

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Ten Pen Set 0.7mm: A Review

These pens would certainly work well for students taking notes, for general writing, and for filling in all those fancy new adult coloring books. If I were to buy a set of these pens, I would choose the fine point (0.5mm size) simply because I prefer slimmer lines. The pens only come in 0.5mm and 0.7mm, and they are not refillable. The ten pack set costs $20.00; the fourteen pack set $28.00; or you can buy individual pens for $2.00 each.


  • The InkJoy gel pens write a super smooth, saturated line.
  • The pens are comfortable to hold in the hand and the grippy rubber helps, especially if you have sweaty hands like me.
  • The pen design is eye-catching.
  • InkJoy offers a good variety of colors.
  • The InkJoy is priced slightly lower than comparable gel pens from Zebra and Pilot.


  • The InkJoy pens are not refillable which just seems wasteful to me. I don’t know how long each pen lasts because I haven’t used them enough to get through all the ink. The ink amount seems quite adequate, but I prefer refillable pens.
  • The pens are fairly wide in diameter (10.6mm), so if you’re used to Pilot Hi-Tec C pens or other thinner gel pens, you might find these a bit wide.
  • On certain paper, especially Tomoe River and Traveler’s Notebook paper, there is considerable show through.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

What’s the best pen for an artist? It’s a difficult one to answer, because pens are used for so many different things. So in this post, we’ve gathered the opinions of artists, designers and other creatives to find out which pens should be in your desk drawer.

Read on and you’ll find out which are the best pens for drawing, of course, but also the best pen for writing, the best pen for sketching, the best pen for calligraphy and so on. In short, whatever you need a pen for, you’ll find the right one for you in this list. If you’re sorting out your full pencil case, take a look at our guide to the best pencils, too.

01. Copic 1.0mm Multiliner

A quality choice in all respects, this is the best pen for drawing

Sharp lines Minimal bleed Smaller tips very delicate Need to be stored securely

Picking the best pen for drawing was a close-run competition, but ultimately we had to opt for the Copic 1.0 mm Multiliner, which is a truly premium quality pen in all respects. The ink is densely pigmented, holds well on paper, and creates crisp, clean lines. Copic sells its Multiliners in a range of thicknesses, so you can pick the option that suits your artistic style best. Artists report they’re comfortable to use, and not scratchy – even in the finer sizes. Finally, the range is good value for money, and refillable.

Ben O’Brien, aka Ben the Illustrator, started using Copic pens a couple of years ago for the Inktober challenge. While he used a range of different nib options, his preference was for the 1.0 pen (although he also noted Copic’s Multiliner brush pen is “brilliant”). “I find thinner pens too scratchy, but the 1.0 has a luscious feel to it. I use it for ‘good drawings’, usually on textured watercolour paper.”

“Copic fine liners are great for drawing,” agrees interactive designer Sush Kelly. “I mainly use them for inking sketches; I wouldn’t waste these bad boys on notes and so on. I love the super-fine, refillable nibs; I tend to use a 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8.”

02. Pentel Brush Pen

A bit of a learning curve, but ideal for creating lines with character

Precise tip Great all-rounder Takes practice to get used to Ink can clump

With its hardwearing synthetic bristles, sturdy, precise tip and waterproof, fade-resistant ink, the Pentel Brush Pen runs a close second for our favourite all-round pen for drawing. The artists we spoke to commented that these pens are great for creating a variety of different line types – although the delicate nib does take some getting used to. The deep black pigment scans very well; ideal if you want to finish your artwork digitally. You’ll need to be careful transporting them though – the ink can leak or clump if the lid isn’t on tight.

Illustrator Ailish Sullivan has fond memories of receiving her first Pentel Brush Pen. “A guy on my illustration course gave me one and I was blown away,” she recalls. “I think I drew everything for the rest of my course with it, because it added character and a personal touch to every stroke. I have now dated this guy for 10 years… a love story started by a brush pen!

“I love the variety of lines you can get from the pen. If you want to get really expressive, the individual hairs create a great texture when you really sweep it across the page. When you want something really precise it can also perform well, with practice. When you want to add a feeling of weight, you can increase the pressure ever so slightly and get a bolder finish.

“It does take a lot of practice because it’s so delicate,” she cautions. “I’ve tried the Kuretake Sumi brush pen and Pentel Sign pen alternatives and they are much easier to use, but have less potential.”

03. Pilot V7 Rollerball

This fountain pen/ballpoint hybrid is the best pen for writing

Nice feel Thick line Not great for accurate drawing Not the cheapest

The Pilot V7 Rollerball is essentially a hybrid between a fountain pen and a ballpoint, and our favourite pen for writing. Comfortable to hold, it produces a clean, consistent line with no smudging, and there’s a transparent ink reservoir window so you can be sure of getting hold of extra refills in time.

Sush Kelly uses the 0.7mm version for everything from scribbling to-do lists to creating quick wireframes. “It has such a great feel,” he enthuses. “It possibly wouldn’t be so good for really accurate drawing, as the flow is quite quick for a rollerball. But otherwise, this is my go-to pen.”

04. Pilot BPS-GP Fine Ballpoint

This cheap, comfortable option is the best ballpoint pen around

Good for small details Comfortable grip Cheap to buy Can smear

If you’re looking for the best ballpoint pen, we’d recommend the Pilot BPS GP Fine. This smooth, stick ballpoint with triangular rubber grip is comfortable to hold, cheap to buy, and beautifully functional in use. However, like most ballpoint pens, ink clots can form on the tip, which will smear if they end up on your paper. This ballpoint pen includes 0.7mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm and 1.6mm options.

Most people use them for writing of course, but it’s not unheard of to use them for drawing too. Illustrator Gaia Brodicchia sometimes uses the Pilot for black and white interior illustrations. “Shading with it produces darker drawings than working with graphite, but the process is identical; it only requires a lighter hand,” she explains. “The Pilot Fine tip works well even on smaller details, which are usually an issue with other brands of ballpoint pen. It gives a really good tonal range. I actually keep one that’s a bit spent for the lighter areas, and a new one for the darker parts of the illustrations.”

These are quite hard to get hold of in the US, so a good alternative is Paper Mate’s ballpoint pens, which also feature a soft grip.

05. MoMa MUJI gel ink pen

A smooth flow and fine line make these the best gel pens

Consistent ink flow Refills available Pricier in the West than in Japan Delivery times can vary

Maybe it’s because we’re Japanophiles, but Muju’s MoMa pen with its unusual 0.38mm tip is our clear favourite for the best gel pen. These produce a thin line and consistent flow, and the ink won’t run when wet. You can also buy refills.

And art director, designer and illustrator Savanna Rawson uses them for the linework in her illustrations. “Originally I was most interested in using this pen for my quite tiny handwriting, but in the last few years have I been using them for drawing as well,” she says. “I find it great for the line work in my illustrations, which I then complete with watercolour washes. The ink doesn’t reactivate with the water, which is perfect.”

06. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen

These Japanese brush pens are perfect for calligraphy

Flexible tip Affordable price Requires learning curve Delivery times can vary

If calligraphy is your thing, the best pen for you is the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen. You might assume that the best calligraphy pens cost a lot of money. But actually, our recommendation is a brand that’s both made in Japan and delivers excellent results, yet is surprisingly affordable. Coming as a set, with one soft type and one hard type, these light pens are very easy to use, with a flexible nib that’s perfect for the nuanced lines and curves needed for crafting beautiful Japanese script.

“I recently got a proper calligraphy set with nibs and inks and all that,” says brand and marketing guru Aleksandra Tambor. “But my Tombow brush pens are still the best for quick calligraphy and lettering.”

07. Platinum Carbon Pen DP-800S Extra Fine

An ultra-fine nib makes this the best pen for sketching

Ink is waterproof Produces thin and thick lines Not suited to rough paper Nib a little scratchy

Specifically looking for a pen for sketching? Then we recommend the Platinum carbon fountain pen, with its ultra-fine nib. Unlike most fountain pens, the nib isn’t rounded off, so you can use it to create thick or thin lines. Your expressive linework won’t run with water either, thanks to the carbon ink. It’s also great value for money. Like some other pens on this list, there’s a learning curve on this one, as it can feel scratchy to start with.

Wil Freeborn, an illustrator and watercolour artist based in Glasgow, describes it as: “The closest I’ve found to using a dip pen on the go. Using it literally changed how I draw.” Freeborn uses this pen mainly for sketching. “It gives a really naturalistic expressive line, great for drawing in cafes,” he enthuses. “I use it with a Pentel Brush Pen, which pretty covers most of what I need. It needs quite a smooth paper to work, so wouldn’t really be suited with a rough watercolour paper.”

08. Sakura Pigma Graphic 1

This sketching pen is ideal for making bold marks

Consistent ink flow Bold line Not refillable Not available in other colours

It was a very close-run thing, but we’ve plumped for the Sakura Pigma Graphic 1 as our runner-up for best sketching pen. This pen, which combines water-based and pigment-based inks, is a seriously fine model, delivering a bold, consistent line and superb colour transferal.

Illustrator Anna Rose uses it for quick sketchbook studies, and finds it works particularly well for buildings, objects, food and lettering (although less so for people and animals). “The consistency of the ink and the way the pen tip glides mean I can get expressive lines and marks down immediately,” she says. “I also love the width of the line. With fine liners, I get too precious about lines. But the Graphic lays down a bold line, so it sort of forces me to be bold and really commit to the lines.”

09. Sakura Pigma Micron Pen

The best pen for line art and lettering

Less messy than a dip pen Good line variation Nibs can spit a little ink Lines can crack on some paper

The Sakura Pigma Micron is our pick for the best pen for lettering and line art. It creates a pleasingly dark line that bleeds very little, is archival safe, and won’t smudge when washed or erased over. The tips are fine but not too delicate, and they’re also odour-free. With a little practice, you can also use them to create a variety of line types – although if you’re wanting a lot of line variation, you’re better off with a brush pen. You’ll also want to add a marker to your pen set if you need to fill in large areas of shadow. Any downsides? Well, the nibs can sometimes spit a little ink, and the line can crack if used with some types of paper.

Cartoonist Aaron Uglum uses a Sakura Micron 08 for the majority of his line art and lettering, with a 01 for details such as eyes and mouths. He started out using a traditional dip pen with India Ink, but didn’t like the setup and clean-up time it required. “Eventually I moved to the 08 as my pen of choice,” he explains. “I liked being able to just pick up a pen and start inking. No worries about spilling the India Ink. And I could stop inking whenever and just walk away. No cleaning pen nibs. Very convenient. And it was still good ink.”
Concept artist Courtland Winslow is also an admirer of the Pigma Micron line, and regularly makes use of the 0.2mm version (the 005) in combination with a Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow (see number 13). Of the Micron, he says: “I needed a liner that wouldn’t run when washed or erased over, a good feeling tip that was both as thin as possible and sturdy, because I don’t have a very light hand.”

10. PaperMate Flair Original Felt Tip Pen

Add a splash of colour to your notes with these felt tip pens

Zingy colours No smudge or bleed Sturdy nibs Not great for covering large areas

PaperMate’s Flair Original felt tips are ideal for adding a splash of colour to your pen work. If you’re sick of looking back on your notes, only to be faced with an inchoate mass of scribbles, these are the felt-tip pens for you. The colours are vibrant and bold, and won’t smudge or bleed. They flow smoothly across paper and the nibs won’t fray. If you’re thinking of using these for illustration, be aware they’re better suited to outlines – you’ll want something chunkier for colouring in large areas.

Ross Middleham, content lead at the Met Office, uses them for scribbling, storyboarding and general note-taking. “I love making notes in multiple colours as it simply livens up the day. My fave is the hot pink, which really zings on a white page,” he says. “You can be confident that the stroke you want will be the stroke it makes.”

11. Kuretake no. 13 Brush Pen

The best pen for drawing people, animals and plants

Organic feel Varied line thickness Not ideal for still-life Not ideal for quick studies

Looking to draw living things? Check out the Kuretake Sumi brush pen. It offers a wide variation in line width to give your sketches an organic, dynamic feel that’s well suited to portraits, animals and plants.

“It’s refillable and fits a Platinum converter, which is very helpful because the ink that comes with it isn’t anything special or waterproof,” comments Anna Rose. “It would be nice if Kuretake supplied a waterproof ink themselves, though; I do worry that the Platinum may clog it up eventually.”

12. Berol Colour Fine Liners

The best pens if you’re on a budget

Cheap Strong and sturdy Nibs go blunt over time Limited range of colours

Short on cash, but still want a decent pen? Our budget choice is Berol’s Colour Fine range, which has a fine tip that’s suitable for detailed colouring and drawing. The perennial classroom favourite, these felt-tipped pens are available in a variety of colours (if you don’t want the full set, you can buy these individually), and are strong, sturdy and reliable.

“I have used Berol colour fineliners all my life, in all different colours. The bolder colours – especially the orange and light blue – have got a really good tone to them,” says O’Brien. “I have black ones littered around my desk, bag and house for writing lists and notes, and the colour ones I usually use for more experimental sketchbook work, or bringing a little colour to observational line drawings when I travel.”

13. Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow

The best pen for colour fills and shading

Minimal bleed 358 colours in range Not the cheapest Overkill for beginners

For colour fills and shading, you can’t beat Copic Sketch markers. The lines blend together seamlessly for block shading, and if you leave them to dry, they won’t bleed into each other much. They feature one brush tip and one wedge tip, meaning you can also use them for fine details. The full range includes a whopping 358 colours (buy the full set here, if you’re feeling flush), so you’re bound to find the shade you want.

Concept artist Courtland Winslow is a loyal user of the Copic Y19 Napoli Yellow, which he uses in conjunction with the Micron 005 (see number 9, above).

14. Pentel XGFKP/FP10-A Brush Pen

The soft, flexible nib can create both fine detail and sweeping lines

Soft and flexible tip Perfect for fine detail Ink takes a while to dry Some learning curve

The Pentel XGFKP/FP10-A Brush Pen is specifically designed for oriental artwork, cartoons and calligraphy. This light pen has a soft, flexible nib that’s great for both fine detail and graceful, sweeping lines.

As such, fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle illustrator Niki Groom, aka Miss Magpie, typically uses it at to add finishing touches to the end of any artwork. “I call this my desert island pen,” she says. “I use it to add names for live illustration work, and to make areas even more black if I’m not happy with the depth of colour.”

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Top 10 Wet and Dry Inks

Choosing the right ink for your fountain pen can be daunting, especially when there are so many inks on the market. If you’re a lefty or exploring using flex pens for the first time, it can be especially frustrating as these situations require a much more precise ink choice to avoid complications like smearing or hard starting. People will tell you try “wet” or “dry” inks… but what does that mean? Isn’t all ink wet? They are liquid after all! Fret not, we are here to set it all straight for you.

First off, most fountain pen ink is water based (with a few exceptions of iron gall), but, yes, they are all liquids. There are many different inks on the market and, as long as they are labeled fountain pen ink, they are safe to use in your pens. However, certain fountain pens and ink seem to play together better than others. Finding the perfect pen and ink match is part of the fun.

Secondly, the wetness or dryness of an ink is a matter of personal opinion just as much as it is the perfect symphony of pen, ink, and paper all working together for a beautiful writing experience. An ink that flows graciously and lusciously from a pen nib and results in very smooth, saturated writing would be considered a wet ink. The inks referred to as good shading inks are usually wet writing inks that can saturate the page with color. Whereas, an ink that flows rather conservatively and lightly out of a pen and does not leave a great deal of ink on the page when writing is considered dry. If you’re using a flex pen or have a pen that seems to have a hard time writing, you can try filling it up with a wetter ink to help with the flow issues. Left-handed writers may naturally gravitate towards a drier writing ink as well, as they will be less likely to smudge it when pushing the pen across the page. But everyone has their own features they look for in a good ink. Here is a brief overview of our favorite wet and dry ink brands overall and a few suggestions you can try to get the full wet and dry ink experience.


When thinking about wet inks, Noodler’s is, by-and-large, most people’s first answer. Nathan Tardif creates his stunning inks with a healthy dose of lubrication and pigment, resulting in a wet, juicy flow. Another brand worth mentioning for its wet inks is Diamine. With a rainbow of great ink shades, Diamine has an ink for everyone.

Here are our top 5 Wet Inks:

Colorverse Morning Star

Perfectly wet with the right kind of shade, Colorverse Morning Star is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a great new juicy ink to try. Check out April 2018’s Goulet Inksplortion to see this ink in action! Lydia describes it as the perfect ink with “surprise sheen”. Find it in a 65ml bottle or 2ml sample.

Noodler’s Cactus Fruit Eel

Noodler’s Eel series inks are the ultimate wet inks. They are lubricated and will have even your driest pens writing well. Cactus Fruit Eel is, in our experience, the most popular of this line and for good reason. The color is out of this world and the flow is unmatched. Sarah made this ink shine in Monday Matchup #33. Find it in a 3oz. bottle or 2ml sample.

Monteverde California Teal

Monteverde California Teal is a favorite for many of the Goulet team members. Like the rest of the Monteverde line, California Teal is a lubricated ink and flows wonderfully. It is a reserved color at first glance but packs a fun surprise under the right conditions. Kelsi mentions in her ink review that “the color is great because it’s not an outrageous color, but the sheen and the shading make it stand out.” Available in 90ml bottles, 30ml bottles, 2ml samples, and a 12 pack of cartridges.

Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo

For an ink with great character, it’s almost hard to believe that Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Budo is such a smooth-flowing, wet ink. This gorgeous magenta ink is well behaved and appealing in color. Many of the product reviews on the Goulet Pens site praise Yama-Budo for being a pinkish hue that even people who aren’t fond of pink love, not to mention being an ink that will never let you down and keeps on flowing. Find it in a 50ml bottle or 2ml sample.

Diamine Autumn Oak

Diamine Autumn Oak is a definite wet shading ink. In our review of this ink, it is noted that this ink will give you good shading no matter what nib size you are using. Although the dry time tends to be longer, you will never have to worry about Diamine Autumn Oak not flowing from your pen. The color is gorgeous too, the perfect rich autumn orange like the changing leaves. It is available in a 30ml bottle, a 2ml sample or an 18 pack of cartridges!


When asked about some good dry ink options, our Customer Care team unanimously responded with the Pelikan 4001 inks. This inks are great for anyone looking for a dry ink that won’t spread greatly when writing and will have a conservative ink flow. It is generally thought that dry inks are not as vibrant as their wetter cousins but these ink choices put that notion to the test. Another fantastic option for dry writing are the LAMY inks. These fun inks with the built-in blotting paper roll on the bottle are smooth writing while still dry flowing.

Here are our top 5 dry inks:

Platinum Classic Inks

The intriguing Platinum Classic inks are iron gall inks. They’re water-resistant and dry to a much darker color than what originally goes down on the page. You can see Platinum Classic Citrus Black in action in Monday Matchup #155. Shop both bottles and samples of these stunning inks.

J. Herbin Vert Empire

J. Herbin Vert Empire offers a delightful, muted green tone that is easy on the eyes and a drier ink flow that is great on all kinds of paper. The conservative ink flow eliminates any concerns about turning the notebook page before the ink is dry. Our Community Coordinator and resident lefty, Lydia, loves this ink and recommends it for lefties with a love of colorful inks. See more of Sarah’s whimsical bean stalk drawn in this ink in Monday Matchup #43! This ink is available in a 30ml bottle or 2ml sample.

Robert Oster Black Violet

Robert Oster inks offer a great variety of colors, faster dry times than with other brands, and super fun ink names. Black Violet is a reserved choice for any occasion. As the name would suggest, it is a dark hue with a hint of purple, making it office-appropriate with a hint of fun. It is available in a 50ml bottle or 2ml sample.


If you’ve ever bought a LAMY pen, you’ve had the chance to use this reliable blue ink from the included cartridge. A great choice for any occasion, LAMY Blue is a standard blue ink with an impeccable quick drying time. Use it in the office or on the go, whatever the occasion may be, you’ll have a easy time with this ink. You can try it in a 50ml bottle with built-in blotting paper roll or in a 2ml ink sample. It is also available in a 5 pack of cartridges.

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black

What list would be complete without the perfect black? Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black is the perfect dry workhorse ink. It has very little bleedthrough and a speedy dry time that allows for quick note taking. It is a low maintenance ink and plays nicely with a wide variety of pens. It is available in a 2oz bottle, a 2ml sample, and a 6 pack of cartridges.

Some other inks we suggested in a prior edition of this blog include:

Diamine Apple Glory
De Atramentis Gold
Rohrer and Klingner Alt-Goldgrün
Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black
Noodler’s Apache Sunset

Pelikan Violet 4001
Lamy Black
Monteverde Brown
Pelikan Royal Blue 4001
Lamy Blue-Black

There are other factors outside of the ink itself that can affect ink flow. Being mindful of the paper you’re using will help immensely in having a desirable writing experience. Writing on cheap printer or notebook paper can make even the driest inks feather and bleed in the right circumstances. Also, using a flex or stub nib, both of which put down a great deal of ink all at once, requires an ink that can keep up with that ink flow.

What are your preferences: wet or dry? Let us know in the comments below!
Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team