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Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Photo: Jordan McMahon

Top Product: Uni Ball Jetstream RT | $27 | Amazon

While many of us grab our smartphone to jot down a quick note, I’m one of the Luddites out there who still prefer putting pen to paper. Beyond making a work-related to-do list, handwriting notes can be such a meditative task.

Though any old pen can get the job done, there’s no denying that some writing utensils are better than others. Not to mention, we all have unique preferences and concerns, regardless of what we are shopping for. At Kinja Deals, we have compiled a list of some of our favorites, from affordable everyday ballpoint pens to fancier fountain pens to help steer you in the right direction.

Best for Note Taking: uni-ball Jetstream RT Ballpoint Pens

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Gabe Carey
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Back when in school, I always gravitated toward pens with a comfortable grip. As a result, I enjoy splurging on ballpoint pens with an embossed grip, like uni-ball’s Jetstream RT ballpoint pen.

It’s thicker than those flimsy doctor’s office pens, and for the left-handers out there, its quick-drying ink won’t let you down. In fact, uni Super Ink is known to protect against water and fading, ensuring that your notes are legible long after they’re written down. Writing with this pen is a joy since it offers little resistance when you glide it across the page.

Best Fountain Pen: Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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No, fountain pens haven’t gone out of style. They’ve evolved and are perfect for those of us who write with a lighter touch.

With its new, modern design, the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen comes in a 6-pack with 3 black and 3 blue pens. The advanced liquid ink system and unique real fountain pen nib are great for smooth writing that won’t stain your hands or countertops. The best part is that its transparent design allows you to see how much ink is left before the pen runs out. This feature is great for budgeting how much time you have left before you need to replenish your pen supply.

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Best Pen With Refillable Ink: Pilot Precise V5 RT Deco Collection

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Gabe Carey
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If you’re the type of organizer who gets a kick out of color-coding, this combo pack might be the choice for you. Amazon reviewers note that the Pilot Precise V5 RT pen doesn’t provide much resistance as you’re writing. The ink dries quickly, and the fine point is great for in-line book annotations. (Calling all English majors out here!)

This pack comes with five colors: black, blue, red, green, and purple, which should cover all your bases. The shells all have colors to match, too, so you’ll never be surprised when you put pen to paper. Plus, they’re refillable, so if you like what these pens are putting out, you can keep the ink flowing without tossing more pens into the dump.

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Best for Bullet Journal: Paper Mate Gel Pens Assorted, 14 Count

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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I know a few people, who live to color coordinate their planner, journal, or office supplies. If that sounds familiar, then these Paper Mate Gel Pens are for you. Available in 14 brilliant colors, these pens come with InkJoy gel that dries three times faster without smearing. Also, know that these pens are 0.7-millimeter medium point in case that fits your preference.

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Best Ballpoint Pen: Pentel R.S.V.P. Stick Ballpoint Pen

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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With a latex-free grip for maximum comfort, this Pentel ballpoint pen is guaranteed to keep your hands from cramping mid-meeting or mid-lecture. In fact, the grip is one of the features that first drew me to this pen back in college. Manufactured with a stainless steel tip, this pen is extremely durable, made to withstand all of your heavy-duty writing needs.

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Best Gel Pen: Sharpie S-Gel Gel Pens in Assorted Colors (12-Pack)

Illustration for article titled Get Back to the Basics With the Best Pens, According to Reviewers
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Featuring smooth, bold ink, the Sharpie S-Gel pens are designed for your high-performance writing needs. We’re talking to those purists out there who keep their technology use to a minimum and can’t get enough of that thrill of putting pen to paper. At an affordable unit price of $1 per pen, this product has a sleek and modern design without ever sacrificing quality.

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This story was published by Jordan McMahon on 09/14/2020 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 01/08/2021. 


Head chef serving up content and strategy at The Inventory and Kinja Deals. Video game liker. I miss Modern Baseball.

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