The Best Pens of 2019 image

While we can easily use our smart devices to create just about anything—reminders, notes, letters, novels, and even art—sometimes nothing beats the feel of a slick pen on a crisp sheet of paper.

In fact, some studies have linked writing by hand (as opposed to typing on a computer or phone) to increased learning, better creativity, and stronger focus.

But if you want to try working the old-fashioned way, you’ll need the right tools. We’ve selected some of the best pens for all of your writing needs, including your best choices for comfort, value, and quality.

Best Pen Brands

Pens can be a topic of fierce debate in the writing world. But if you haven’t already declared your undying allegiance to a particular brand, consider picking up one of these.

1. Best Pen For Easy Writing

The Pilot Better Ballpoint Pen

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If you’re in need of a dependable, quality pen for everyday use but don’t want to break the bank, this is the ballpoint for you.

What makes it great: This retractable ballpoint pen delivers an elegant smoothness and holds up to everyday wear. Featuring a stainless steal point and a non-slip grip for comfort, it promises consistently smooth writing. The Better Ballpoint is refillable and has a transparent ink barrel, so you’ll know exactly when it’s time for a refill or new pen.

Point size: 0.7mm

Cost: $13 for a pack of 12

Best for: students, writers, or frequent note-takers

2. Best Value

The Bic Cristal Xtra Bold Ballpoint

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You’ve probably picked up hundreds of these in your lifetime, because the Bic Cristal is found everywhere: doctor’s offices, motel rooms, your mom’s purse—you name it, and a Bic is probably there somewhere.

What makes it great: The 1.66 mm ball offers a smooth flow, perfect for daily use. For heavy-duty writing, Bic gets the job done even without all the frills and will let you know when it’s time for a refill with its transparent barrel. And when you do run dry, pulling a new pen from your pack will cost you little more than a quarter.

Available colors: black, blue, red

Point size: 1.66mm

Cost: $7 for a pack of 24

Best for: frequent writers and notetakers looking for great value

3. Best Ergonomic Pen

Pilot Dr. Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point

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Whether you suffer from arthritis or are trying to hold off that nasty writer’s cramp, the Arthritis Foundation recognizes the Pilot Dr. Grip as one of the best pens for comfort.

What makes it great: The pen is designed with perfect weight distribution for comfortable writing and offers a double layer comfort grip to reduce writing fatigue. The Dr. Grip is retractable and refillable.

Available colors: black, blue

Point size: medium (1.0-1.2mm)

Cost: $8.22

Best for: ergonomic needs

4. Best Gel Pen

The Pilot G2 Retractable Premium

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The Pilot G2 is the king of gel pens, offering a consistently strong and smudge-free performance suitable for school, the office, or at home.

What makes it great: This gel pen is known for lasting longer than most, and doesn’t smudge easily like many gel pens are prone to do. Offering a comfortable contoured grip, the G2 is an elegant and smooth option that comes in a variety of colors and is also refillable.

Available colors: black, blue, navy, green, red, purple

Point size: fine 0.5-0.7mm)

Cost: $11.37 for a pack of 12

Best for: Smooth writing and detailed illustrations

5. Best Luxury Pen

The Waterman Expert Deluxe Obsession Ballpoint

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If you’ve got some cash to spare, you may want to consider treating yourself to this Waterman ballpoint that was designed to reduce stress.

What makes it great: The Waterman’s trademark blue is known to have a soothing effect, so you might find this pen comforting even on your most stressful of days. Coming in at less than $100, this handmade pen also contains blue ink that flows with smooth precision. Despite its somewhat bulky shape, the pen offers a comfortable grip, especially if you have to write for extended periods.

Available colors: blue

Point size: Medium (1.0-1.2mm)

Cost: $98

Best for: writers who need to destress

6. Best Fine Point Pen

The Sharpie Fine Point

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What makes it great: You won’t find any bleedthrough with this Sharpie! This fine point pen offers a consistent flow and dries instantly. You’ll still get the boldness and durability that Sharpie is famous for, but without the chunky print of their classic markers. this pen is perfect for filling in your most important details.

Available colors: 10 color options, including black, blue, green, red, orange, and violet

Point size: 0.8mm

Cost: $4.84 for pack of 2

Best for: filling in or drawing details

7. Best Pen for Lefties

The Uni-Ball Jet Stream Retractable Ball Point

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No, we didn’t forget about all you leftie writers! Quick-drying ink is a must for avoiding smears, and the Uni-Ball Jetstream ensures that you can write smoothly and smudge-free.

What makes it great: This ballpoint’s ink dries incredibly fast, so you can ensure that no mess will be left behind. The ink also transfers in a gentle glide that requires less pressure, making it a more comfortable option. The Uni-Ball boasts stainless steel accents and an embossed grip. Ink is available in black, red, or blue.

Available colors: black, blue, red

Point size: 0.7mm

Cost: $12 for a pack of 3

Best for: left-handed writers

8. Best Pen for Writing Outdoors

Uni-Ball Power-Tank Retractable Ballpoint

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Pens aren’t just for offices—sometimes you need to scribble an important note outdoors, especially if you’re a reporter or work in nature. The Uni-Ball Power-Tank was designed to hold up to nature.

What makes it great: Not only does this pen offer a smooth flow and fast-drying ink, but it was designed to work well even on wet surfaces and in extreme hot or cold weather. Its pigment-based ink protects against water, fading, and even fraud.

Available colors:  black, blue

Point size: 1.0mm

Cost: $20.99 for a pack of 12

Best for: Writing outdoors or in extreme conditions

9. Best Fountain Pen

The Scribe Sword Fountain Pen

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Fountain pens aren’t just for the Oval Office and nineteenth century writers. The Scribe Sword Fountain Pen will add a touch of class to your office without breaking the bank!

What makes it great: This elegant fountain pen promises a superb weight balance and ink flow for fine writing and optimal line thickness. Featuring a stainless steal body, the pen also comes with six international-sized ink cartridges.

Available colors: black, blue

Point size: Medium

Cost: $29

Best for: Writers seeking an elegant fountain pen on a budget

10. Best Pen for Color-Coding

Pilot Multi-Pen Body, Hi-Tec-C Coleto 500

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Sometimes you just have to add a little more color to life. Whether you are an avid planner or simply want a variety of color options for your journal, this customizable Pilot Coleto makes staying colorfully organized easy.

What makes it great: Users can order the exact colors and point sizes they want in order to mix and match pen bodies with refills for the perfect custom pen. Note that ink cartridges are sold separately, but color sets come in a variety of sizes, from 0.3-0.5mm.

Available colors: 15 color options including black, aqua blue, baby pink, and apple green

Point size: 0.3, 0.4, or 0.5 mm

Cost: $6 for pen body plus cost of cartridges

Best for: Highly organized planners who use color-coding

The Best Pens for Writers

Finding the tools that work best for you can make your writing experience more enjoyable and even boost your productivity. Give one of these fantastic options a try and see what wonderful things you can create!

What are some of your favorite writing tools? Feel free to share in the comments below!


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