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Express Your Thoughts With the Best Pens Available

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Express Your Thoughts With the Best Pens Available

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Purchasing a Quality Pen: A Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who loves journaling, pens are an important part of your writing arsenal. Used for centuries, these helpful tools allow you to express your thoughts in an artistic manner while adding some flair to your writing. From writing down grocery lists to creating sketches, pens are invaluable tools that make our lives easier every day. You might think that all writing instruments are the same, but there are actually many different types and brands of pens that perform differently depending on their purpose and use case. You can find them in almost any color imaginable, with everything from glittery tips to rainbow ink. That said, we’ve reviewed some top-rated pens of 2023 that’ll make your writing stand out.

A good-quality pen not only enhances your overall writing experience, but it also keeps your writing intact for longer and doesn’t bleed through the paper or leave smudges. Finding the right pen isn’t as simple as it sounds. That’s why we’ve put together a thorough buying guide to help you pick the perfect pen to write with ease. 

Different Types of Pens

Ballpoint pens

Ballpoint pens were invented back in 1945 and usually use oil-based ink, which has a sticky texture and dries up quickly. The drawback is that you have to press down against the paper a bit harder to get it to write because it doesn’t glide smoothly. 

Rollerball pen

These pens use water-based ink and glide smoothly on the paper, keeping hand cramps at bay. The downside is that the ink takes longer to dry and may smear easily. Plus, rollerball pens are a bit difficult for left-handed persons to use. 

Gel pens

Gel pens have water-based ink and are pigment-based rather than dye-based. So, the consistency of the ink, and thus your writing, is a bit thicker. Gel pens are more user-friendly than other options on the market and come in a range of assorted colors to make notes. You should avoid purchasing inexpensive gel pens because their tip dries out and you may need to replace them more often. 

Felt tip pens

Felt tip pens come with porous tips and are also known as marker pens. These pens cover a range of permanent and non-permanent marker-type options.

Fountain pens

These are the most advanced writing tools and you have to refill the ink to keep writing. They are commonly used with dye-based inks that come with disposable carts or refilling jars. While fountain pens may be used on standard paper, you should use them on thicker paper to ensure that the ink doesn’t bleed through. 

How To Choose a Pen


Metal pens, which are frequently made of brass, chrome, or copper, have sleeker shapes and last longer. Plastic pens are low-cost options but may break easily.


If you’re a student who writes for hours, you should get a pen that has a rubberized grip, which is comfortable to hold and doesn’t put too much strain on your wrist. Some pens also come with ribbed ergonomic grips for the ultimate comfort, and foam pads to protect your fingers.


While all pens are lightweight, their weight describes how the writer feels when writing with the pen for an extended time. If the pen is heavy, it may be difficult to write with, and may not glide across the paper as easily. 


Most commonly, you’ll find pens with black and blue inks, but you can get pens in virtually any color. While these common colors are suitable for legal papers, you can use assorted colors to make notes on different subjects or to highlight important points. 

Different Pen Designs 

Click style

When you press on the top part of the pen, a spring-loaded ink cartridge comes out of the casing, and the tip locks into place, allowing you to start writing. When not in use, you need to click the top part again, and the cartridge will return to its original place for safer storage. 

Cap style 

These pens come with a cap to keep the ink from creating a mess when not in use. You can put the cap on the back of the pen when you’re writing to keep from losing it. These options also come with a clip to hang the pen to your pocket, journal, or any other document. 

Spin style

If you spin the top of the pen, the tip will pop out, allowing you to begin writing. When you’re done writing, spin it again for the tip to retract inside the barrel for safe and mess-free storage.   

01 Sakura Pen

The Sakura Pigma Pen has a fine gel tip that is ideal for both writing and sketching. The unique ink formula creates a smooth, even line that’s easy to read, while the durable rubber grip provides a comfortable writing experience. It’s also waterproof, so your work will be preserved even in the case of water damage. 

These pens come in a set of eight and feature a variety of tip sizes, which make them ideal for comic artists, illustrators, watercolor artists, archivists, and laboratory professionals alike. Made with single pigment colors, they’re quick-drying, so you won’t have to worry about smears or bleeding through the paper. They are also suitable for outdoor artists with their fade and chemical-resistant properties. With all these amazing features, this pen is unquestionably the best overall. 


  • Waterproof and chemical-free
  • Fade-resistant formula 
  • Ideal for writing, drawing, and illustration


  • Takes longer to dry

02 Paper Mate Pen

The Paper Mate Pen is the perfect choice for any writer looking to add a little flair to their writing. This pen features an elegant and discreet barrel style that makes it comfortable to hold, while its waterproof ink resists smudging and smearing. The ink dries within seconds, so your notes are always legible and easily readable. This option won’t bleed through paper, so your drawings and diagrams will be clear and crisp every time. 

This pen even comes with a point that protects it from fraying so you can use it for years to come. With its fine tip, this option provides a smooth writing experience with minimal resistance. This set contains 24 pens in a range of assorted colors, so you can use them for writing grocery lists, doodling, and everything in between. It’s available at an affordable price, making it the ideal choice for budget-conscious writers.


  • Doesn’t bleed through the paper
  • Felt tip for smooth, smudge-free writing
  • Available in bold and vibrant color range


  • The tip might feel a little flimsy
Paper Mate Pen

03 Sharpie Pen

The Sharpie Pen is a good choice for people who want a straightforward writing instrument that’s easy to use and comfortable to hold. With its intensely bold gel ink, you can be sure that your writing will be clearly visible and legible. With a variety of tip sizes, this choice is suitable for many types of projects. These pens are suitable for writing on all types of surfaces, and won’t bleed through onto the next page. 

You won’t need to worry about smudges or blobs with this superior writing instrument. It also features a contoured rubber grip that makes it comfortable to hold, even after hours of writing or sketching. Plus, they come in a range of colors, so you can get your point across with style.


  • Intensely vivid ink color
  • Comfortable grip for hours of use
  • Available in assorted colors


  • May be difficult to write with
Sharpie Pen

04 Zebra Pen

Are you looking for a pen that will write smoothly, comfortably, and reliably? Then Zebra pens are the perfect writing tools for you. This pen is made with high-quality components and features a soft, latex-free, rubberized grip to ensure comfort in your hand. With a fine point rollerball, it features low viscosity black ink, so it glides across the page with ease. 

It has a plastic barrel that provides medium visibility so you can see how much ink is left. Plus, it features a medium-point tip, which makes it a great option for students, professionals, and anyone who just needs a reliable writing tool that can keep up with their busy schedule. Thanks to its convenient metal pocket clip, you’ll never lose your pen again!


  • Comes with a pocket clip
  • Low viscosity ink for vivid colors
  • Latex free grip for added comfort


  • Doesn’t resist smearing

05 Pilot Pen

The Pilot Pen is the ideal tool for taking notes, signing contracts, and even jotting down grocery lists. This pen features an ultra-fine tip that allows you to write with precision. It provides a consistent flow of ink that won’t smear or smudge.

The transparent barrel lets you see how much ink is left, so you’ll never run out unexpectedly. With a quick twist of the barrel, you can replace the ink cartridge with a new one. It has a retractable design that keeps the tip protected from dirt and other contaminants when not in use. But the greatest part about this pen is its sturdy pocket clip. You can clip it onto your shirt pocket or pants pocket, or even use it as a bookmark while you’re reading. 


  • Retractable and refillable design
  • Rubberized grip to avoid hand cramps
  • Available in 27 colors


  • Ink may be unreliable

People Also Asked

How can I stop the ink from bleeding through the page?

If your pen’s ink bleeds through the page, you can either try using a thicker paper or switch to a rollerball or ballpoint pen, because they virtually have no bleed-through.

Which pen should I choose to sign a legal document?

If you frequently sign legal papers or contracts, a fountain pen makes a great choice. This looks both traditional and modern and gives you complete control over your writing. 

Can I use a fine liner pen for writing?

Absolutely, fine liner pens are perfectly fine for writing, and a lot of students and professional writers prefer using them because of the unique feel and crisp, thin line you can draw with them. 

Denise McNamara

Aug 10, 2022

85 Articles Published

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