Pens have a simple function but remain irreplaceable in a wide variety of situations. Some sign checks, others leave messages on birthday cards, and then there are those that decorate a page with their colorful and glittery capabilities. You know, best gel pens!
Whether you discovered these unique pens during their trending days in the 90s or through your artsy side, there’s no denying that they hold a certain appeal traditional ballpoint varieties lack. Their ability to make a page pop with color, decorate blank space in shimmering glitter, and create visually stunning places them in a class all their own.
If you’re looking to pick up a few of these colorful delights, then it helps to know which ones are the best gel pens on the market. We’ve rounded up ten of the top models available in this article to help you make the best purchase possible.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Our goal is always to provide you with the most honest, accurate information possible. We aren’t fans of sales pitch articles, and we certainly don’t want to become one. So, we take great strides to deliver well-thought-out lists that highlight the best products on the market in any category, even gel pens.
To start, we take a look at customer reviews. A company can make any claim they choose, but customer experiences tell the real story. Through these individuals’ experience with the product, we gain an in-depth look at how it performs and if it lives up to its claims.
Next, we look at testimonials. The first step here is to determine whether they are genuine or false reports to boost sales. If we do find them accurate, then this is another excellent way to find out what a product is really like.
After that, we consider the data surrounding a product or service. Fine or medium points, how long the gel lasts, and other functions were a focus for this list of best gel pens. A quality build is also something we looked at, making sure these models weren’t cheap or junk.
Finally, we consider the general reputation of the brand. Paper Mate and BIC are well-known names when it comes to pens, dominating store shelves thanks to their commitment to quality. However, this factor comes last in our determination. Some lesser-known companies can produce far superior products.
Top 10 Best Gel Pens
After taking all of the above into consideration, this our list of 10 gel pens worth your money. Each contains a detailed description that highlights its strong and weak points, which we’ve added a star rating system for. Five-star products start at the top, with lesser star ratings trickling down to tenth place.
This set of gel pens from LolliZ features 48 colors exclusive to the brand, ensuring your bases are covered for artistic creations. Each pen is broken down into the following categories:
- 6 Standard
- 6 Neon
- 12 Glitter
- 10 Metallic
- 8 Milky
Transparent outer shells make it easy to tell which color you’re picking up, while a 1.0mm point creates a smooth glide and excellent hold (virtually no drying time). This set also contains four trays with individual inserts for the pens. All gel is acid-free, and LolliZ even includes a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
These Paper Mate gel pens feature a 0.5mm fine point to keep your writing and drawings as neat as possible. The ink comes out smooth, drying three times faster to reduce any smearing. The sleek, ergonomic design of these pens also makes them easy on the hands during long hours spent drawing.
This pack comes with the following colors:
- Jet Black
- Charming Purple
- Pure Blue Joy
- Bright Blue Bliss
- Teal Zeal
- Luscious Green
- Red Rush
- Pink Pop
Backed by Paper Mate’s history of high-quality products, these pens are an easy choice. From their build to design and use, they’re an excellent product.
The medium point pens by Paper Mate offer the same benefits as their fine point counterparts. These feature a 0.7mm point. However, they do not come with the three times as fast drying speed promise.
You can purchase the medium point pens in six packs ranging from ten to 36 pens, each offering a wider array of colors than the size before it or doubling the number of colors you receive. Colors include the lineup from the fine point pack as well as:
- Orange Rise
- Yellow Twirl
- Slate Blue Spin
- Wild Berry
- And Cocoa Delight
Uni-Ball is another well-known name in the pen industry, and their gel pen carries on their tradition of quality craftsmanship. Their patented ink is specially formulated to permeate paper, preventing check washing or document alteration. It is also acid-free, water resistant, and archival quality.
The textured grip provides comfort, while the metallic accents provide a stylish look. A retractable tip keeps the ink from drying out and eliminates the need for a cap. You can order these pens in bold, medium, micro, and ultra-micro point.
If you’re using gel pens for more than signing checks, you can choose the assorted color pack. It comes with five black pens as well as the following colors:
- And Light Blue
These gel pens by Color Grand are designed with artists in mind. Their design is meant to make your time using them peaceful and pleasurable, while the rainbow assortment of colors can help you create whatever you wish.
This pack of 36 includes 12 glitter pens, 12 neon pens, and 12 regular pens in colors ranging from violet to silver. If you’re an art student or someone who simply loves to color, then this set is designed to make your passions shine.
This is the original BIC gel pen featuring the traditional ergonomic grip and retractable design. Ever popular, the fact that you can still buy one of these decades later shows how well they are made. The translucent barrel allows you to see its ink level, while the 0.7mm medium point creates vivid lines.
To color, you’ll need to purchase the “fashion” pack. It contains two shades of purple and green along with blue, orange, yellow, and pink. All BIC Gel-ocity pens are refillable, which means you can save money by purchasing ink instead of new pens. It’s a solid choice for any project.
If you’re looking for something luxurious, then Parker Johnson’s model fits the bill. Consistently smooth and precise, their gel pens are excellent for signing checks or writing cards with their fluid writing capabilities. The retractable design allows you to save ink, too.
Each Parker Johnson comes in a gift box that contains the 0.7mm point pen, a refill cartridge, and a warranty leaflet. While you can’t color with these black-only pens, you can select the exterior color. Each pair beautifully with the stainless steel barrel.
You read that right. This pack of gel pens contains 108 unique colors for you to color your heart out with. See through packaging allows you to easily pick out your color of choice, while the smooth tip makes sketching and fine drawing simple.
The ink inside is acid-free, and the entire build is non-toxic. Each pack comes with:
- 28 Glitter pens
- 14 Neon Glitter pens
- 19 Metallics
- 18 Neon pens
- 17 Pastels
- 4 Swirl pens
- 8 standard colors
- And a 100% satisfaction guarantee
When it comes to signatures and writing, the Pilot G2 offers a wide range of points to choose from. Their design is comfortable to hold, their ink flows smooth and even, and you have a few colors to choose from.
This is one of the longest lasting gel pens on the market, which is good news for students and anyone in an office setting. The company dares you to compare the experience of using their pen to the likes of BIC and Paper Mate. While it does make an excellent writing pen, especially the ultra-fine point model, we would say it’s on par with similar pens that share the same design.
10. Fiskars 48 Pen Set
Fiskars keeps things simple with their 48-piece pen set. The outside is clear plastic, and the inside is an acid-free gel. They range from 0.8mm to 1.0mm points, giving you a little room to work with. The colors are a rainbow assortment of fade-resistant pigment ink, perfect for coloring anything or simply drawing.
While there’s nothing fancy about this gel pen set, it’s an excellent choice for stocking up on colors or if you’re an art student. If 48 pens sound like a little much, their 12 pack offers plenty of colors as well with metallic options by designer Lia Griffith.
Those are the best gel pens on the market, but how can you know which one is right for you? You already know that gel pens create a clearer script with low viscosity ink, but how can you decide between them? We put together this buying guide to help you make the best decision.
The first aspect to take into consideration is point size, which determines the thickness of your ink. You might find that you prefer a bolder point for coloring and a finer point for little details, but that depends on how you choose to use the pen.
If you’re just signing checks or writing cards, an ultra-fine point might be the best option to ensure each letter is crisp and clear. The same can be said for note taking. When drawing colorful images, you’ll often need multiple point sizes to get the job done.
Bleed refers to how far the ink spreads past the point size. Some pens bleed more than others, and people usually prefer a pen that hardly bleeds at all. You can still create this effect by holding the point down on paper, but it shouldn’t happen when simply writing or drawing.
Have you ever written with a pen only to find that part of a line is missing? That’s what happens when a pen skips, it stops releasing ink for a moment. Avoid this at all costs.
High-quality ink doesn’t fade over time. Look at the testing notepaper in any store to see what other individual’s writings look like now. If they’ve lost their color or aren’t sharp to the eye, the pen’s ink faded.
Some pens dry faster than others. If a pen doesn’t dry fast enough, you run the risk of smearing the ink. While this can be beneficial for certain artistic techniques, it’s generally unfavored. Stick with something that dries quickly, testing any pen by running your hand over freshly applied ink.
You either need color, or you don’t. There’s no need for Charming Purple or Neon Glitter Green on a check, just like most drawings can’t rely on black and blue alone to get the job done. Decide what you will use the pen for, then pick the option that suits you best.
If you decide to go with color, you might be surprised to learn that a pen’s casing can be deceiving. What looks like navy blue could come out more like indigo. A bright yellow might end up looking duller than you thought. For this reason, always test the color to see if the pen’s case matches before you buy.
You might want a refillable pen to help save on cost. Gel pens have the shortest lifespan of any pen, and the ability to add in an ink refill when coloring or writing can be a lifesaver for artists and businesspersons alike. If you’re not set on a project and not signing any important checks, then you might be alright with whatever color still has ink.