There are many reasons for preferring a gel pen to a traditional ballpoint version, not just for the thinner, more elegant writing lines, but also for making your handwriting look a lot neater. If you are the type to take notes on a regular basis, then perhaps you owe it to yourself to replace your old ballpoint pens with gel-based models. These pens are known to not only be easier to handle but also a lot easier to care for.

Part of the reason why people switch to gel pens is due to the practical nature of these pens and the versatility they are capable of. We say this because on average, a gel pen can help you fit a lot more writing on a standard page or notepad, allowing you to save an awful lot of space in the process. At the same time, gel pens are renowned for making anyone’s writing look neater by virtue of their thinner lines, which is also bound to help with your drawing to some extent.

Having said that, let us point out that not all gel pens are necessarily better than ballpoint pens, especially the ones made by reputable manufacturers with a long tradition in the business. For the most part, however, a high-end gel pen is bound to provide more benefits than a ballpoint version, not just due to its reliability but also for its practical nature. Let us then find out what are the ten best gel pens the market has to offer and what to look for when buying one.

Best Gel Pens – Reviews

10Fine Point White Gel Pen Archival Ink Tip

Uniquely constructed with a premium grade ballpoint and high-quality gel ink, the Fine Point White Gel Pen for Artists allows smooth and vivid writing and drawing that is ideal for illustrations, sketching and coloring. Thanks to its special Archival ink, this white gel pen is water resistant and smear-proof. Featuring a 0.7mm fine point tip, it comes with a special rubber grip that helps with added comfort when utilized for long periods of time. Perfect for wedding invites, photographs and drawing on black paper, this pen is free from toxic chemicals and acid contents.

9Feela Retractable Blue Ink Gel Pens

Including 15 retractable gel pens with 15 ink refills, the Feela Retractable Blue Ink Gel Pens set features pens with a larger ink capacity with wider ink tubes that offer longer writing sessions. Featuring a 0.7mm point, these pens come with special gel ink that comes with a quick-dry technology that dries in seconds and prevents smudging. Offering consistent smooth and vivid lines, these pens are ideal for both left-handed and right-handed users. Thanks to its translucent body, users can monitor the level of ink. Uniquely designed with a contoured body it helps in eliminating fatigue and offers a smooth writing experience.

8Pilot FriXion Ball 0.7mm Erasable Gel Pen

Available in a set of 6 pens, Pilot FriXion has introduced special fine point erasable gel pens that come with a 0.7mm fine tip. Unlike most gel pens, these pens include an eraser at the top of the pen that allows users to write and erase as many times as they wish without damaging their documents. Thanks to the latest Thermo sensitive gel formula, the ink automatically disappears with friction. We should also point out that these pens can be easily refilled with new gel ink refills and are conveniently retractable.

7BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry Retractable Gel Pen

Uniquely constructed with a 0.5mm fine point, BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry Retractable Gel Pens are perfect for official and professional use. Featuring a retractable design, these rollerball pens include a smooth gel ink that is reliable and lasts longer than most gel pens of their kind. Thanks to their semi-translucent body, these pens allow an easy monitoring of the amount of gel being utilized over a period of time. Made from reliable high-quality materials, these gel pens come with a rubberized grip that helps with optimum control and makes them easier to hold. Quick-drying, smear, smudge-proof, and anti-fade, BIC gel pens are the ideal choice for anyone working a job that requires constant writing.

6Parker Jotter Gel Pen

Filled with a special colored gel ink, the Parker Jotter Gel Pen offers a smooth, detailed writing experience. Light in weight and designed with a sleek body, this gel pen is extremely reliable and comfortable to use. Thanks to its quick dry ink, it helps with less smudging and smearing and delivers neat results. Featuring a special retractable design that is convenient and quick to use, this gel pen comes with a barrel made from stainless steel with a matte black finish with shiny trims and a pocket clip for quicker access.

5Sunacme Retractable Black Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen

The Sunacme Retractable Black Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen is waterproof, fade proof and does not smudge or smear. Known for its performance and high quality, this pen comes with a semi-translucent body that allows easy visibility of the amount of ink remaining. Offering a smooth and vivid writing experience, this pen can be ideally utilized in offices, schools, or at home for almost any writing task. Designed with a trendy textured grip, it helps with optimum control and comfort. Including a 0.5mm fine tip, this pen is retractable and can be refilled with relative ease.

4BIC Gel-ocity Original Retractable Gel Pen

Offering a smooth writing experience, the BIC Gel-ocity Original Retractable Gel Pen is uniquely designed with a special grip that is contoured to help with added control and comfort. Constructed with a stylish translucent body, users can view the level of ink available at any given time to assess how much gel they have left for future projects. This durable gel pen also comes with a 0.7mm point that creates perfectly smooth lines making it ideal for different types of writing. Featuring the latest in easy glide systems, this gel pen can be utilized for long writing sessions without the fear of drying out.

3Uni-Ball UM 153 Signo Broad Point Gel Pen

Perfect for illustrators and professional artists, the Uni-Ball UM 153 Signo Broad Point Gel Pen Set comes with sturdy, reliable pens with a 0.8mm fine point. These pens are designed with a high-quality ballpoint tip and special gel ink that allows smooth, precise and clear-cut drawings. Ideal for drawing accents, adult sketching, highlights and more, these pens come with archival ink that is quick drying. Free from toxic chemicals and acid, they are waterproof and smear and smudge resistant. These 12 fine gel pens can be utilized for scrapbooking, making cards, and coloring, writing on black paper, envelopes, and much more.

2Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens

The Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens Set features ideal gel pens that can be utilized for large-scale writing, shading purposes, drawing bold lines, and for general writing. Featuring a fine 0.7mm tip, they come with acid and toxic free gel ink that is archive safe, a carbide ball, a soft ergonomic grip that is specially cushioned for added comfort and offers a smear free, precise and smooth writing experience. Retractable and refillable, the grip is uniquely contoured to offer optimal control at all times, a feature all quality pens should possess.

1Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Retractable Pen

Thanks to its quick-drying technology, the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Retractable Pen dries thrice as fast as other gel pens and helps prevent smudges and smearing. Available in an array of vibrant colors, this gel pen brightens up your writing and drawings. Designed with a special grip around the entire barrel, it helps in optimum control and adds an extra layer of comfort. Equipped with a fine point tip, the ink glides smoothly across the paper without any breaks. Last but not least, we should also point out that the pen comes in various colors to choose from, including Charming Purple, Wild Berry, Orange Rise, Lime Light, Teal Zeal, Jet Black, and many more.

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An Extensive Guide To Gel Pens

Anyone who hasn’t used a gel pen for their writing or day-to-day art activities is missing out on one of the most joyous experiences anyone can enjoy. That’s because these pens are not only extremely creative but because they use a low viscosity ink, they provide one of the smoothest writing experiences available. Another thing that makes them great to use is that they’re available in all of the colors of the rainbow. And since a lot of the times, they’re refillable, these pens can be quite cost-effective in the long run as well. It’s no wonder that these pens have vaulted over the popularity of rollerball pens, ballpoint pens, and stick pens to become one of the most popular pens sold today.

As great as these pens are in general, it doesn’t mean that all of the ones currently being sold in hobby stores, art shops and online are the best gel pens available. While the majority of them are great, there are a few different types that aren’t as good as they should be. To help our readers sort out the great gel pens from the not so great ones, we decided to go ahead and write this article that will shed some light on these pens and arm our readers with the information they need to buy the best ones possible.

The History Of Gel Pens

Gel pens were first invented during the 1980s by the Sakura Color Products Corporation. This corporation based in Osaka, Japan created Gelly Roll gel pens in 1984 and then introduced them to the American market not long after that. After they were introduced in the U.S., they saw a surge in popularity that would result in American schoolchildren buying these pens in mass.

They were so popular during this time, that just about every school in the U.S were filled with at least some students packing these pens in either their backpacks or binders. It wasn’t really surprising to most people who used these pens that they would become so popular, especially with their bright fluorescent colors and smooth writing styles. Everyone from students to graphic artists and architects would begin using these pens, so it seemed like their popularity would never wane.

Unfortunately, their popularity did wane—at least, it did momentarily. During the 1990s and early 2000s, these pens experienced a decline in popularity and seemed destined to be relegated to the dustbin of history, as just another 1980s fad such as parachute pants, jelly shoes or shoulder pads. However, just a few years ago, something miraculous began happening. Newer generations began to take notice of these pens and now they’re as popular as ever before.

The Advantages Of Gel Pens

Now that we’ve covered the history of gel pens—from the 1980s fad it once was to one of the most respected writing implements of the 21st century, it’s time to talk about some of the advantages of using these pens. Let’s see what makes these pens so worthwhile to use, shall we?

They Are Extremely Smooth

One of the main advantages of gel pens is that they are extremely smooth to write with, and unlike ballpoint pens, their ink doesn’t smear easily. This smoothness of writing, coupled with the pens brilliant colors, make it bolder than just about any other type of pen. It’s no wonder that these pens are widely used by artists and graphic designers all over the world.

They’re Great For Inscription Or Illustrative Purposes

Because they use an opaque ink that’s very viscous, the ink of these pens tends to pop out at the reader.

They Are Available In A Seemingly Limitless Number Of Variations

There probably isn’t any other type of pen that has more variations than gel pens. These pens are available with points from 0.2mm to 1.5mm in size, with a variety of different grips, and with a seemingly endless array of different inks.

They Are Extremely Affordable 

Since these pens cost $2 or less, they’re affordable enough for just about anyone to own and use.

How To Buy The Best Gel Pen

Since we’ve learned quite about the history of these pens, as well as why everyone should consider using one, it’s time to find out which gel pens are the best ones to buy. Don’t worry, though. These pens aren’t very complicated, so this section won’t be too extensive. It will be just long enough to give the reader a good grasp of the basic features they should be on the lookout when searching for a new gel pen. Now that we’ve stated that fact, let’s jump in.

Choose A Proper Color

Probably one of the first things any prospective gel pen buyer is going to want to do is to consider the colors they intend on using. These pens come in a variety of different colors from metallic to neon and just about everything in between. And while some of these color types will be suitable for some people, they won’t be suitable for everyone. For example, a student might want to buy pens with a neon color profile, but that certainly wouldn’t be the choice of pen color for the vice president of a multi-million dollar company, so the consumer should consider what color is appropriate for them.

Consider The Pen’s Point Size

It’s also a good idea to consider the size of the pen’s point. As we stated earlier, pen tips come in sizes from 0.2mm up to 1.5mm, so consumers should consider how thick they want their lines. If the person using the pen is an artist, then they may need a variety of sizes for illustrative purposes. For most students, however, gel pens in the 0.5mm to 0.7mm range are properly the best ones for doing homework.

Consider The Pen’s Grip

The last thing the consumer is going to want to consider is the grip of the pen. And that is by and large more of a personal choice than anything else. Some people like gel pens that don’t have a grip at all, other than the plastic barrel of the pen, while other people might find a rubberized grip more comfortable. It all depends on the personal preferences of the user and their writing style.