The 5 Best Pens


They say that the only thing mightier than the sword is the pen. If that’s the case, then you better be wielding a pretty powerful pen.

What Is a Pen?

A pen is an office supply that can be used to write or draw with ink. The ball or nylon tip is fitted into a metal or plastic holder, which makes up the pen. The most common types of pens include ballpoint, rollerball, fountain, and felt or ceramic tip pens.

The use of pens dates back to 3,000 BC, when the Ancient Egyptians created the reed pen. While the pen has improved greatly over the years, there are still some options that stand out above all the rest.

Top 5 Pens

Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens

The Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pen is one of the most popular pens available and the #1 selling gel pen in America. It features a translucent barrel and contoured rubber grip. The thick ergonomic wide comfort grip and well-balanced design will allow you to write comfortably all day with less cramping. The Dynamic Gel Ink formula won’t bleed through and is smear-proof, which makes it great for left-handers. It is very precise and offers a smooth writing experience. Reviewers tend to agree that the ink lasts for a very long time, so you won’t need to purchase refills anytime soon. In fact, Pilot claims that these pens will write longer than the average gel ink pens.

Pilot pens are a favorite with writers everywhere. They have stellar reviews online, including more than 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Good Housekeeping selected these as some of the best pens available and Lifehacker selected them as the best budget pens available. The pens are available in 15 vibrant colors, in multiple barrel style options, and with either bold point, fine point, extra fine point, and ultra fine point tips. There are also a number of Pilot collections available, such as the Professional Collection and Fashion Collection, so you can choose the perfect pen for your personal style. This box of 12 pens is a great deal and because each pen lasts about twice as long as the average gel ink pen, this box should last you for years.

Currently $11.89 on Amazon

uni-ball Jetstream RT Fine Point Retractable Roller Ball Pens

The uni-ball Jetstream RT Fine Point Retractable Roller Ball Pens feature uni Super Ink, which is specially formulated to resist water and fading, helping to secure your documents and prevent check and document fraud. The unique hybrid ink has the smoothness of a gel, but the quick-drying properties of a ballpoint pen. It glides effortlessly across the page and won’t bleed through, so you can easily create vivid, precise lines. The quick-dry ink minimizes smudges, making it ideal for left-handers. The pen features a beautiful design, high quality materials, and bright, vibrant ink. The sleek design features a retractable tip, embossed grip, stainless steel accents, and a cushioned grip for increased writing control and comfort.

The roller ball pen is available in black, blue, and red ink. After a thorough comparison, The Wirecutter selected it as the best pen on the market, Pen Addict selected it as one of the top ballpoint pens, Lifehacker selected it as one of the best budget pens, and Real Simple selected it as the best gel pen. This pack of three pens is backed by a satisfaction guarantee and stellar online reviews.

Currently $8.99 on Amazon

Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen

The Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen is just about the most affordable Cross option you are going to find. It features an iconic mid-century modernist design and a classic chrome finish that will feel smooth in the hands. The sleek pen has a patented propel-repel ball pen mechanism and trademark conical tip. The slim, well-balanced pen can be used for hours with minimal hand cramping. It offers consistent ink flow and precise writing. It comes with a black medium ballpoint refill.

If you are going to get a nice pen, it should be one that can realistically last you a lifetime and is backed by a manufacturer's lifetime mechanical warranty. While this Cross pen is more expensive than the other options on our list, the ink lasts for a very long time, so you won’t need to worry about buying an ink refill anytime soon. Cross has been creating award-winning pens since 1846, Good Housekeeping recommends this pen, and it is backed by stellar online reviews. Cross has a number of beautiful options, like Star Wars inspired pens, so if you don't like this classic design, you are sure to find the right one for your office.

Currently $19.39 on Amazon

Pilot Dr. Grip Limited Retractable Rolling Ball Gel Pen

The Pilot Dr. Grip Limited Retractable Rolling Ball Gel Pen is in a league of its own. If you need to use a pen all day, this is the one to reach for. The wide ergonomic comfort gel grip and well-balanced design will allow you to comfortably hold and use the pen for hours, without fatigue or cramping. It is commended for ease of use by the Arthritis Foundation, so it is ideal for people who suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel. There is no smearing, so it’s also perfect for left-handers. It writes smoothly and is very precise with no visible ink bleeding. It has a medium tip and is available with black and blue ink refills.

Studies conducted by the Georgia Tech Research Institute found that Dr. Grip pens are almost twice as comfortable as competitor brands. The attractive pens are available in a range of barrel colors and styles. If you aren’t a fan of gel pens, then Good Housekeeping recommends the Pilot Dr. Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen because the ink lasts for a long time, so you won’t need to buy refills anytime soon.

Currently $8.49 on Amazon

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

The Lamy Safari Fountain Pen has such a following that it’s almost hit cult classic status. The modern, upscale pen features a minimal, solid-color-and-clip design. Made of sturdy ABS plastic, it is built to last. The charcoal black matte fountain pen has a black steel fine nib and a flexible shiny chrome clip. The fine tip writes very smoothly and precisely, so you can master it in no time. It comes with a Lamy ink cartridge, so you can start using it right away.

Coming from the world-famous Lamy brand, you can count on this pen to last reliably for years. Pen Addict named this one of the top fountain pens and reviewers and publications like The Newsprint tend to agree that Lamy creates some of the highest-quality pens on the market. It is Amazon’s #1 best seller in fountain pens and has stellar reviews online, including more than 700 five-star reviews on Amazon. This pen is so impressive that it also makes the perfect gift for any man or woman in your life.

Currently $25.99 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best pens. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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