Best Pens for Writing: 14 Options to Pick

by | Sep 20, 2022

best pens for writing

If you’re a fellow stationary nerd, you might be wondering what the best pens for writing are on the market.

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out what’s a good fit for your projects.

After all, as writers, don’t we all dream of running away to the woods with a pen and paper to write the next great book?

Just me? Maybe. Either way, you’re probably also a pen fan like I am.

It’s never a good time when you’re trying to write something important and your pen keeps failing you.

With all of that in mind, we’re going to deep dive some of the best pens out there for what kind of writing you like to do and materials you prefer to write on.

It won’t cover every single option out there, but it will at least get you started in the right direction.

Pens based on what you write in

One of the top things you need to keep in mind about selecting a pen, is that you’re going to have to figure out what you need based on what kind of materials you write on.

The pens you’re going to pick for a basic bullet journal are different from the ones you’re going to pick for a leather-bound journal with rougher paper.

There are so many different pens from fountain pens to ballpoint pens, and each one will write on your paper differently.

Some will smudge, some will bleed through, so you’ll need to keep in mind your favorite kind of paper to write on.

You might also have a personal preference for what you use. Personally, I love ballpoint pens on any kind of paper for fast notes, but I love gel pens for my bullet journal. I’ll use a fountain pen for journaling every once in awhile because it simply feels old-school.

Factors to consider

Before you pick out a pen, you’re going to need to list out a few things.

First, what notebooks do you want to write in most?

If you already know the types of notebooks you write in on a regular basis, you can take a look at their paper thickness and quality to get an idea of what kind of pens will work. For example, you might have a Leuchtturm1917 with 120gsm paper. That kind of paper can hold up to most pens.

On the flip side, if you use a Hobonichi Techo that uses 8mm thickness for its paper, you’re not going to want a pen that bleeds a lot.

You’ll also need to consider if you need any hand or grip support in a pen. Some people need the extra support or have arthritis. There are pens designed with extra support in mind.

One last factor you’ll want to consider is portability. If you have a pen with a pen loop, you’ll want to pick one that is a size that can fit in there. Some pens are heavier than others and not always easy to carry around all the time.

Some of the above factors may matter more than others, so you’ll just need to know what you care most about.

Pen types

There are a wide variety of pen types, but there a few basic types you should know.

  • Ballpoint pens – Most common type of pen out there. The ink is built to dry quick
  • Rollerball pens – The ink doesn’t dry as fast but it’s water-based ink
  • Gel pens – These contain water-based ink, which can make it thicker than other types of ink
  • Fountain pens – These are the old-school pens you most likely know as a writer. You’ll want to pair these strictly with thicker paper
  • Felt-tip pens – Have a felt tip that give a different writing style and experience

Multi-Purpose Pens

If you simply want a solid pen that can work on almost any surface, this is the list you want.

The Uni-ball Jetstream RT

This Uni-ball pen has the best of both worlds: the ability to write quick, like gel pens do, but without the smudges.

Fisher Space Pen

The Fisher Space pen not only has quality writing ability, but it also has a cool look to it. It’s a perfect pen to carry on the go, so if you were looking for a smaller pen.

It’s known for being able to write anywhere, even in zero gravity.

Uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens

The Uni-ball vision elite pens are great for quick writing on the go. With the 0.8mm tip, you’re going to get thicker writing than in some other pens, but that’s perfect if that’s what you need in a pen.

Sakura Pigma 30068 Micron Pen

Micron pens are known for their quality, especially when it comes to creating specific, tiny designs. While they’re commonly used for art, they’re a great choice for writers as well, or anyone who needs to draw in their journals as they write.

They come in a wide variety of colors and tip sizes, so you can use them for designs and added colors.

Parker Jotter Ballpoint Pen

Parker is one of the more well-known pen brands. They have a sleek style and are often built to hold up over years of writing.

Gel Pens

Pentel Gel Ink Pen

The Pentel gel ink pen is one of the best gel ink pens on the market. Gel pens are known for smudging, but these are built to dry fast.

PILOT G2 Gel Pens

The Pilot G2 pens have been a staple for writers for a long time. They come in a ton of colors and can be found at most major stores. People who bullet journal or use those types of journals mention this as a popular choice.

MUJI Gel Pens

MUJI pens aren’t for everyone, but they’re a great choice if you need a solid pen that won’t break the bank.

Paper Mate Gel Pens

While the Paper Mate gel pens aren’t the fanciest pens on the market, there’s something to be said for a cheap pen that holds up over time. These also can be found at most major stores.

Best Pens for People That Need Hand Support

Another factor to consider when choosing a pen is if you need grip support with your writing. Here are some of the best if you do.

PILOT Dr. Grip Center of Gravity Ballpoint Pen

This PILOT ballpoint pen is designed with keeping your hand supported while you write.

This pen is also recommended by the Arthritis Foundation and as an added bonus is also refillable so you can keep using it over time.

The Best Pens for Writing: Expensive Options

If you are looking for a great gift option or are willing to spend more than usual on a pen, we have some of the best options.

Scriveiner Black Lacquer Rollerball Pen

This Scriveiner pen makes a beautiful gift along with being a great writing tool. It has a jet-black finish with 24 karat gold and comes in a beautiful box, which makes it a perfect desk accessory.

Montblanc Meisterstuck Black Pen

Montblanc is one of the most well-known pen companies out there, and their prices reflect it. This Montblanc pen is stunning and writes like a dream.

As a company, they have a ton of options to choose from so you can find the perfect fit for you.

Caran D’Ache Retro Fountain Pen

For those who prefer fountain pens, you can’t go wrong with the Caran d’Ache fountain pen. It has a stylish look and smooth writing.

PILOT Namiki Vanishing Point Collection Refillable & Retractable Fountain Pen

The PILOT Namiki pen includes an elegant gift box. They have been making pens for over 100 years so these are not pens that are going to let you down.

Next Step

Hopefully, you have a better idea of the best pens on the market to help you in your writing. Picking the right pen won’t make or break your writing, but it sure can help the words flow when you know you’ve found “the one.”

Let us know in the comments what writing project you’re working on. And if you are trying to find your way in the writing world, this assessment can help:

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

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