Best Pen Reviews 2018

A good pen doesn’t just deliver smooth strokes and vivid curves; it also adds a little extra to your personality. So, while some people are particular about having both benefits in a pen, others pay a little more attention to writing performance. In any case, the writing performance seems to be the common denominator for everyone who likes to tag a name to a pen. If you spare a few minutes with this buying guide, you’ll get to make an informed choice from the best pens from the top five pen brands. Please, note that we also have individual reviews for pens (fountain, ballpoint, and gel pens all included), if you want even more options.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Tip
Ink
Colors
Count
Our Top Choice
Uni-Ball Signo Retractable Gel Pen
Uni-Ball manufactures and supplies a wide range of quality writing instruments to many countries all over the world, with a commitment to innovation and quality.
Textured grip for comfort. Skip-free and smooth ink delivery. Waterproof ink. Protects notes and signatures against fraud. Dries quickly. Suitable for left-handed persons. Light.
Not refillable.
Rollerball
Medium; micro
Gel; black; blue; red
Black/blue/red
1; 2; 3; 8; 12
Best Value
Zebra Telescopic Ballpoint Stylus Pen
Zebra is a writing company that boasts an outstanding team of ink laboratory experts who work tirelessly to produce unique ink formulas that perform excellently on any writing job.
Stylus pen for touch screen devices. Ballpoint pen retracts for portability. Special ink formula delivers bold and vivid lines. Durable brass construction. Stylish design.
We wish it had a grip for extra writing comfort.
Ballpoint
Large
Black
Grey/Light Blue/Navy/Pink/Violet
1; 2
Waterman Expert Black Fountain Pen
Waterman has a great wealth of experience in producing some of the finest pens ever made. Its commitment to customer satisfaction has endeared it to quite a number of people.
Cigar-shaped black and gold-plated barrel. 23-karat gold-plated nib and trim. Engraved with a mark of originality. 3-year warranty. Sophisticated and handcrafted. Skip-free.
The medium nibs write thicker than some customers will like it to.
Fountain
Fine; medium
Blue
11 colors
1
Pilot Precise V5 Retractable Ball Pen
Pilot Corporation, USA is the 3rd largest producer of writing tools in the US. It’s been providing its customers with laudable writing solutions for more than 6 decades.
Fine tip is precise. Airplane safe. Rubber grip. Smooth and skip-free lines. Retractable for storage. Durable metal clip attaches easily. Refillable. See-through barrel.
Its refills are not easy to find.
Rollerball
Extra fine; fine
Black; blue; red; green
Black/blue/red/green
2; 3; 4; 12
Paper Mate InkJoy Ballpoint Pen
Paper Mate started in the 1950s and has provided its customers the best writing tools ever. Reviews on its high-quality products show its commitment to excellence and innovation.
Ultra-smooth flowing ink. Requires little pressure to flow. Delivers reliable and skip-free lines. Retractable design. Rubberized grip for writing comfort. Set of assorted colors.
Won’t deliver the ink well unless the protective ball is taken off.
Ballpoint
Medium
10 colors
10 colors
24

(Updated )
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Watch Our Pen Review

How Do I Choose the Best Pen?

Ever heard about the legendary quill pen that Abraham Lincoln used to sign the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation Act? For starters, it was auctioned for a whopping $74,500!!! Relax! Pens don’t cost that much… lol. The point is, said pen probably didn’t cost more than a few pennies at the time it was purchased for Honest Abe, but because of the historical feat this pen helped the whole of the United States achieve, it has become a prized possession only the high and mighty can afford.

Pens have signed many great things into law, birthed ideas that outlived their owners, and scripted a better life for many people all over the world. And it is indeed mightier than a sword.

We really don’t need to go so deep to let you in on the importance of having a pen. Whether you like it or not, you need a pen almost every other day. You will do well not to compare a pen that flows with ink on a paper with a stylus pen on your smartphone. What happens when you run out of power supply?

A pen may be all you need to differentiate a college student from a business mogul. A student is more likely to go for something that just writes well and can withstand impacts that come from the hustle and bustle nature of an average student life. Nothing fancy or sophisticated, like a business man’s choice. He wants to be sure that he doesn’t have to replace his precious pen every time it rolls out of his notebook to the ground, so he goes for budget-friendly ones.
Price
If the pen you love is accessorized, it means you’ll pay more for it than you would for plain pens. For instance, pens with ink refills and/or clips tend to be pricier than the ones that don’t have these accessories. By and large, pens fall within a price range of $5 and $400. Cheap pens may seem attractive at first glance, but as soon as you hold them, you can tell they won’t last for long. So, you must ensure you avoid them due to poor quality and lack of performance.
Features
If you’d love to own a pen that satisfies your writing needs, there are a few things you must consider or you’ll make a wrong choice. Here are a few:
  • Type: Ballpoint, fountain pen, or rollerball
  • Tip: Fine, extra-fine, or medium
  • Ink: Color and flow
  • Design: What it looks like and how it’s made
  • Grip: How if feels in your hand
Construction and Design
If you’re looking for something that enhances your personality, then you should pay attention to design. How will it look when it’s attached to your pocket or journal? Would you like a touch of gold or chrome? Something elegant and stylish? There’s always something to fit your aesthetic needs. But be sure to consider all other important features of a pen before you settle for aesthetic appeal, or the pen will be pretty useless eventually.

What type of pen tickles your fancy?

Pens are divided into a few types according to the type of delivery system they have. Here are the common types:
  • Fountain Pens: This type of pen has a reservoir of ink that flows through a nib by capillary action. Fountain pens deliver smoothly and require little to no pressure when you write with them. But rumor has it that they leak easily. Many brands take this into consideration during the manufacturing process. Nonetheless, they function best on acid-free and bonded papers.
  • Ballpoint Pens: They have a small rolling ball that dispenses ink with every stroking motion. Because they rely on gravity to flow past the rolling ball, ballpoints do not work effectively when they’re used in sideways or angular positions. In any case, they don’t leak easily like the fountain pens.
  • Roller Ball Pens: Pens of this sort combine the features of the ballpoint, porous, and fountain pens. They dispense ink through a rolling ball, contain fluid ink, and write smoothly like porous point pens. Like fountain pens, they also perform better with acid-free paper.
Performance and Ease of Use
The tip of a pen will affect your handwriting. So, in order to avoid unpleasant experiences with pens that portray your handwriting poorly, you should know that tips have either fine or medium points. If you have small handwriting then you should opt for a pen that has a fine point tip; otherwise, go for a medium point tip. Doing this is one step to having a pleasant writing experience.

Even though the barrel of a pen seems like it shouldn’t matter, it actually does and it plays a part in your writing comfort. For instance, if you have large hands or you hope to buy a pen set for someone with large hands, then broad-barreled and long pens will be your best option. On the other hand, if you have small hands, narrow and not-so-long pens will fit your hands well. You may also want to add the extra writing comfort that comes with soft rubberized pens.

What is the Best Pen?

Having gone through our informative buying guide, we can rest assured you have all you need to select a pen that suits your taste. Let’s take you to the review section for detailed information about our featured products.
Our Top Choice
The Uni-Ball Signo Retractable Gel Pen with Micro Point has a specially-formulated ink that preserves your notes even when they’ve been exposed to moisture. Its textured grip provides comfort while writing. Write with class when you use the Uni-Ball Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pen with Bold Point. It writes with a specially formulated ink that dries quickly and stays trapped in paper.
Uni-Ball Signo Retractable Gel Pen with Micro Point – Available in Multiple Pack Sizes, Colors and Point Styles

Uni-Ball Pen 1950499 – 1-Count – Micro Point – Black


Features
Uni-Ball is a subsidiary of the Japanese Mitsubishi Pencil Company which distributes high-quality writing tools to more than a hundred companies. Like some other distributors in other countries, Sanford is saddled with the responsibility of distributing Uni-Ball’s products in the United States and Canada. Its line of products includes wooden pencils, rubber stamps, office automation supplies, and pencil sharpeners—all of which deliver excellently well on performance.

The Uni-Ball Gel Pen with Micro Point comes with matte black, red, and blue ink colors. Its 307 gel ink enhances your writing performance by producing clear and bold skip-free lines. The ink also offers protection against fraud, fading, and water because it dries quickly and stays permanently on paper. Further, its 0.5-millimeter micro tip makes accurate and precise strokes even on glossy paper without blobbing.

Thanks to its textured and comfortable grip, you can take control of your writing, which allows you to write in class and style.

Here are a few more Uni-Ball Pens:
  • Uni-Ball Signo Gel Impact Pens with Broad Point: It has a textured rubber grip for your writing comfort.
  • Uni-Ball Power Tank with 1mm Nib – 3-piece Pack: This pen will write clearly when it’s upside down.
  • Uni-Ball Onyx Roller Stick-Dye Pen: You can attach it stylishly to your pocket with its pocket clip.
  • Uni-Ball Jetstream Ballpoint Stick Pen: Its hybrid ink prevents smearing.
  • Uni-Ball Vision Elite Roller Ball with Red Ink: Its waterproof and permanent ink prevents document fraud.
Best Value
The Zebra Ballpoint Stylus Pen allows you to make notes on your touchscreen device and pen your thoughts down on paper on-the-go. It extends to full length in writing position and retracts to a size that fits into your purse. Write with ease by choosing the Zebra Retractable Ballpoint Pen. It has a sturdy and durable metal clip that allows you to clip it to your pocket so that it’s always within reach.
Zebra Telescopic Ballpoint Stylus Pen – Available in Multiple Colors & 2 Pack Sizes

Zebra Pen ZEB33621 – Midnight Blue – Single Pen


Features
Zebra makes some of the finest pens in the writing instruments industry. It has an excellent team of ink laboratory experts who are constantly revising and developing ink formulas for an improved writing experience. Its extensive and unique range of products includes highlighters, ballpoint pens, correction pens, mechanical pens, and gel rollers. With Zebra Pens, you’re assured of optimal satisfaction, quality, and excellent writing performance.

The Zebra Telescopic Pen incorporates the benefits of a stylus pen and a ballpoint all in one writing tool. It glides with ease on touchscreen devices and delivers brilliant and bold strokes of black ink on paper with noticeable ease on your fingers.

Its 1.0-millimeter ball point tip glides smoothly on paper with an ultra-smooth ink delivery that doesn’t skip, while its quick-dry feature ensures smudge- and smear-free strokes on your notebook.

This pen extends to a full length when you want to write with it and retracts when you’re done writing. This makes it portable and suitable to have in your purse without the risk of leaving any ink stains.

It boasts a quality brass construction that assures you of durability, balance, and long-lasting performance. This pen is also available in fashionable colors that you may like.

Zebra has other great pens that you may like. They include:
  • Zebra Ballpoint Pens with Knurled Grip: Its unique grip design makes holding it easy.
  • Zebra Gel Stainless Steel Pen with Refill Cartridges: Its durable steel construction offers a long-lasting experience.
  • Zebra Retractable Gel Pen with Medium Point: It has a rubber grip that provides a comfortable writing experience.
  • Zebra Sarasa Clip Ballpoint Pen: You can attach it to your bag or pocket with its durable pocket clip.
  • Zebra Mini Ballpoint Pen: Its slim design makes it easy and convenient to carry around.
The Waterman Expert Black Fountain Pen adds style and sophistication to your personality when it sits pretty in your pocket. Its 23-karat gold-plated nib delivers smooth lines and vivid curves that are smear-resistant on paper. Add a touch of blue elegance to your notepad with the Waterman Hemisphere Blue Ballpoint Pen. It delivers calming and brilliant blue strokes of your thoughts on paper.
Waterman Expert Black Fountain Pen – Available in 2 Nib Sizes & Multiple Colors

Waterman Pen S0951640 – Fine Nib – Black and Gold


Features
When it comes to high-quality and sophisticated pens, Waterman ranks high on the list of manufacturers. With a long-standing history of innovation, design, and remarkable excellence, it continues to blaze the trail of its founder’s creativity and ingenuity. Every Waterman pen spells class, elegance, functionality, and durability. And this is why the demand for its pens keeps increasing every year.

The Waterman Expert Fountain Pen accentuates your style and stirs up your creativity with its elegant Parisian design. It features a fine blend of deep black color and a 23-karat golden gleam on its trim—a finish that makes it stand out wherever it’s placed.

Your handwriting gets extra suppleness with its smooth and gentle curves, while the Waterman ‘W” mark of genuineness on its nibs assures you of its originality.

This streamlined nib glides smoothly on paper and delivers bold lines and vivid curves. The ink flow stays smooth and skip-free even when you haven’t used it for several days.

It also has a tight-fitting cap that protects your fabrics from being stained when the pen comes in contact with them.

Here are some other classy pens by Waterman:
  • Waterman Hemisphere Essential Matte Black Pen with Gold Trim: It produces clean lines of black ink on paper.
  • Waterman Perspective Rollerball Pen with Black Refill: It assures you of writing convenience and comfort.
  • Waterman Allure Metallic Ballpoint Pen: Its packaged in a durable gift box for gifting purposes.
  • Waterman Kultur Phileas Translucent Fountain Pen: Its fine nib produces precise lines.
  • Waterman Ballpoint Refill for Ballpoint Pens: It fits all Waterman ballpoint pens perfectly.
Pilot’s Precise V5 Retractable Rolling Ball Pen with Extra-fine Point offers you the benefit of its see-through barrel which lets you know the level of ink supply you have at any time. Its extra-fine tip delivers precise lines for creative lettering styles. You can also take advantage of the Pilot Precise V7 Stick Rolling Ball Pen. Its unique ink formula provides consistent and smooth strokes with your handwriting.
Pilot Precise V5 Retractable Rolling Ball Pen with Extra-fine Point – Available in 6 Color Variants & 4 Pack Sizes

Pilot Pen 26052 – Black – Pack of 3


Features
Pilot attributes its success to the quality of the products it offers and the commendable efforts of its research team to provide innovative solutions. Its main goal when it comes to solving the writing needs of its customers is to make writing a pleasurable experience for them. Pilot adheres strictly to the standards of quality control in manufacturing its products and today, it’s known globally as the third largest producer of writing instruments in the United States.

Its Precise V5 Retractable Rolling Ball Pen comes in a pack of 3 refillable pens (pack sizes for 2, 4, and a dozen are available as well) that deliver remarkably smooth and skip-free lines on paper without bleeding.

The ink dries quickly and evenly so that the left-handed writer doesn’t have to worry about smudges or smears. The combination of its textured rubber grip and its ribbed nozzle makes holding it comfortable and easy on your fingers.

It also features a translucent barrel that allows you to see the supply of ink you have left at any time so that you can plan a refill for continuous use.

It’s equally suitable for use in an upright position and even on airplanes. More so, its extra-fine tip provides precision in writing so that you can craft letters for decorative purposes.

Here are a few others from Pilot:
  • Pilot Precise P-500 Gel Ink Rolling Ball Pen: Its needle point provides precision in writing.
  • Pilot The Better Ballpoint Stick Pen: Its ribbed grip provides writing comfort.
  • Pilot Razor Point Marker Stick Pen: It features a metal collar for long-lasting use.
  • Pilot EasyTouch Ballpoint Stick Pen: The ink is protected with a stylish and secure cap.
  • Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen: It has a unique fountain pen nib that ensures smooth writing.
The InkJoy Retractable Ballpoint Pen with Medium Point delivers assorted colors of bold and skip-free lines that enhance the beauty of your handwriting every time. What’s more? It has a rubberized grip that ensures your writing comfort. You can also choose the Paper Mate Profile Stick Ballpoint Pen. It comes in a pack of 12 bold, black ballpoint pens that bring out the best in your handwriting.
Paper Mate InkJoy Retractable Ballpoint Pen with Medium Point – Comes in Assorted Colors

Paper Mate Pen 1904804 – Medium Point


Features
Paper Mate’s mission is to do life with you—from your first attempts at writing ‘til when you need to make a grocery checklist in your old age. It has served many students and even professionals for well over 50 years in many countries of the world. As a leading producer and supplier of all things writing and art, Paper Mate continues to develop innovative ideas and proffer solutions that encourage the free flow of creative ideas in the most comfortable and affordable manner. It keeps expanding its broad range of products to accommodate the needs of its customers.

Choose to write smoothly and effortlessly with the Paper Mate InkJoy Retractable Pen. It comes in a pack of 24 pens that deliver bold and clear ink in assorted colors.

Each one delivers promptly on its first contact with paper and requires no pressure from your grip when it’s being used. Hence, it produces skip-free and smooth lines any time.

Your writing comfort is equally guaranteed with its rubberized grip. And you can rely on its metal clip for a long-lasting writing experience.

These pens also retract easily to protect your purses, bags, and clothes from ink stains. Its 1.0-millimeter point provides solid lines that are suitable for the everyday style of writing.

And in case you run out of ink while using this pen, it allows you to refill without hassles.

Here are some other pens from Paper Mate:
  • Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pen: The tip of this pen is protected against fraying with frequent use.
  • Paper Mate Write Bros Ballpoint Pen: Its easy-to-hold barrel guarantees your writing comfort.
  • Paper Mate FlexGrip Ultra-Retractable Ballpoint Pens: Its retractable feature protects your clothes against ink stains.
  • Paper Mate Profile Elite Retractable Ballpoint Pen: It writes vividly with reliable skip-free ink.
  • Paper Mate ComfortMate Retractable Ballpoint Pen: It offers smooth and reliable writing with its super-smooth ink.

Get the Best Pen of 2018!

Thank you for reading through our buying guide and reviews. We’re glad to know that you’re in a better position to make the best choice. For a wider selection, feel free to use the navigation links we have provided you with to see what else these brands have on offer.

Our Top Choice
Uni-Ball Signo Retractable Gel Pen
Best Value
Zebra Telescopic Ballpoint Stylus Pen
Waterman Expert Black Fountain Pen
Pilot Precise V5 Retractable Ball Pen
Paper Mate InkJoy Ballpoint Pen