How to Choose a Pen Tough Enough to EDC. Not feeling the ballpoint? Stock and availability problems eliminated the Zebra G-301, for example. It’s also airplane-safe, whereas the original was notably not. We gave all Wirecutter employees attending a three-day company meeting and workshop a Jetstream and a Precise V5 RT, along with a Field Notes notebook (the top pocket pick in our notebook guide), and asked them to take notes using those tools throughout the event. They’re available in a wider array of colors and require less pressure to use. Pilot used to be the king of the gel pens with its G2, but times have moved on and the G2 has stayed the same. Pens that use these refills. Gel inks come in a variety of colors and tip sizes from several brands, making it really easy to find one that suits your style. They also stand apart from the rest of the crowd with four tip sizes to choose from, so you can have one for … Writing sample: Lilly Bellman / Photo: Tim Barribeau, The Pilot Precise V5 RT on Field Notes paper. Both Dowdy and Price suggested to us in our most recent exchanges that the Precise V5 RT was worth considering. Best ballpoint ink cartridges: Fisher Space Pen, Uniball Jetstream, Schmidt EasyFlow 9000, Parker Quink. The G2 is well-loved because despite being a gel pen, the ink lasts a long time. Whether you occasionally work at a coffee shop or regularly reserve a desk at a coworking space, this gear will help you feel ready for anything. Or if you're still looking for that perfect writing experience, reach out and we'd be happy to throw some more recommendations your way! Gel refills provide the slickest, smoothest writing experience of the three in this guide. Paper Mate’s EraserMate Erasable Pens were drier than the others we tried, more like typical capped pens, and they didn’t erase as well at the five-day mark, leaving behind a very visible smudge. It’s smoother than nearly any other ballpoint, its ink flows without blobbing, skipping, feathering, or bleeding through pages, it dries quickly without smudging, and it’s better in every way than the free pens you may have gathered over time. Over the past five years, I’ve written dozens of guides. The Signo was the only pen for me that felt consistently comfortable for how I write,” wrote another. Sarasa Lv Refill … best rollerball ink pen refills. Some of our testers preferred the 307’s thicker, more textured grip compared with that of the Jetstream or the Precise V5 RT. Currently you can find three types of non-fountain ink pens that you can get on the cheap: ballpoint, rollerball, and gel pens. Ultimately, a ballpoint pen is going to be the best for all-purpose, everyday writing. For anyone who wants a bold, colorful pen for sketches or illustrations, the color selection and the dark, thick ink may appeal. But their inks tend to dry slowly on the page, can easily smudge and bleed, and can dry out inside the pen. If you prefer a darker line than the Jetstream’s, if you write in smaller, tighter letters, or if you like a bit of resistance from the paper whether you’re writing or drawing, the Pilot Precise V5 RT is another affordable and widely available pen to consider. Uni-ball's RT BLX Jetstream pens produce darker lines than the standard Jetstream ink, but only by a bit. For all these reasons, the Pilot G2 sits at the top of my list of recommended gel pens… The Uni-ball Signo 307 produces a thick line of dark ink, gliding smoothly and rarely skipping. Since they use liquid ink, the ball mechanism is lubricated by the ink better, therefore giving a smoother feel when writing. If you want broad lines and even more of a gliding stroke than the Jetstream offers, and you don’t mind some smudging, a bit of paper bleed-through, or the occasional feathering or ink pooling, the Uni-ball Signo 307 is a highly recommended gel pen. Pilot Juice Up. Pentel Lead Lead Refills Leads Refill Vintage Listo Listo Leads Pentel Mechanical Pencil Leads Color Pencil Leads Pencil Leads Pentel Refill Drawing Leads Refill Pencil Pencil Leads Refill.5 Lead.9Mm 3Mm Lead 6B 77274 888 Rollerball Ball Pen Refill Ball Point Pen Refills Parker Broad Broad Blue Cartridge Cross Cross Ballpoint Pen Fine Point Cross Pen Refill Cross Rollerball Refill … “I have a shaky hand, and I use a lot of pressure when I write or my handwriting is so illegible. Pilot G2-7 Retractable Gel Roller Pen, Fine Pen Point Type - 0.7 mm Pen Point Size - Turquoise Ink - Translucent Barrel - Pack of 12 Delivers super-smooth writing with its long-lasting, gel ink formula … Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen. The Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pen is one of the most popular pens out there according to various sources. We like the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refills for their dark lines that go onto the page extra smooth. We researched and tested over 30 pens to find the best pen for writing that's reliable, comfortable, and provides the smoothest writing experience. It is what many people think of when they think of buying a “nice” pen for a particular task. It’s old reliable, the smoothest and most consistent ballpoint, and it doesn’t bleed through or ghost on just about anything. We also filled in blocks of colors to see how well the erasers could handle denser writing without leaving streaks behind or tearing the paper. After more than a year of regular use, Staff Writer Thom Dunn extolled the virtues of the Pilot Precise, telling us “[it’s] the best affordable pen I’ve found so far, and I’m absolutely a convert to it.” But he also warned “however, it has made me understand the value of a pocket protector—I usually carry a pen in my pants pocket, and I’ve accidentally clicked the Pilot Precise open on more than one occasion, causing my pants to absorb a small spot of black ink.” Staff Writer Rachel Cericola added “I also love the Pilot Precise. So, what's your favorite refill? Personally, I’ve never been convinced that it was the best pen … It felt reasonably good in testers’ hands, and it has been a Wirecutter pick since 2013. Related Gear:    Numerous pen and refill makers offer gel and ballpoint refills that match this standard. If you’re looking for a pen that has a bit more character but may be harder to find, more expensive, or not quite as good for every possible situation, we’ve also assembled a list of some of our staff’s favorite pens. Pilot also makes erasable markers (in bold and fine tips) and highlighters that we tested and liked. Some experts and testers liked that it wasn’t as smooth as the Jetstream, preferring the feel of its finer point. The Bic Atlantis (available in 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm tips) was recommended to us by commenters and a couple of pen enthusiasts at a co-working space as a good-enough upgrade from traditional Bic sticks and crystal pens. “It reminds me of the ugliest, least nostalgic parts of the ’90’s,” wrote one tester. Rollerballs are the closest writing experience to using a fountain pen. If you believe their own packaging it is the #1 selling pen in America. The Refyne EP1 has the best of everything IMO PERFECT size for me at right around 4.3 inches long, takes Parker-style G2 refills, space pen refills AND my favorite hybrid ink, the Schmidt Easyflow 9000 M refills! Brian Greene of OfficeSupplyGeek writes that V5 RT pens “put down a very smooth line and seem to glide across the paper, while leaving a bright line that dries almost instantly.” Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict dubs the V5 RT “one of my go-to pens for any situation.” Elizabeth Price of No Pen Intended summarizes the V5 RT succinctly: “The design is great, the pen is comfortable, and the ink is dark, smooth, and consistent.”. But once you use any one of our picks, or the Signo 307 in particular, you notice that the G2 skips, feathers, and blobs more than other pens and takes a notably long time to dry. Luckily, one Wirecutter tester vouches for our suggested alternative: “My go-to pen is the Pilot G2; the Uni-ball Signo (307) feels the closest to it.”. If you like the feel and ink of the Jetstream, you can upgrade to one of the variants mentioned above or choose from a wide range of other colors and styles—start with a sampler pack, perhaps. But spend just two or three dollars on a good pen, and your handwriting can be more attractive—and possibly readable—thanks to smoother ink and better flow. The Ti Arto works because of a clever clutch mechanism in the tip that holds the refill … Rollerballs work like a ballpoint, with a small suspended ball that rolls the ink across the page. If you love a pen but hate the commitment, an erasable pen is the way to go. Disclosure : Everyday Carry is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Tip width as tested: 0.7 mmWidths available: 0.38 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 1.0 mmStyle: ballpointInk type: hybrid (low-viscosity ballpoint ink with pigments). We imagine the Pilot pen will erase long after the five-day mark, though we did not test past that time frame. But then we stuck the page in the freezer, which brought the writing back. The Pilot G2 0.38 Ultra Fine gel pen has the finest point tip of the G2 range and it writes very thin lines. We tested each pen's propensity to smudge and noticed how quickly its ink dried. It's very comfortable to hold and I love the way it writes. It has a slightly thicker grip than the Jetstream, and it has darker ink that doesn’t dry as quickly but performs well on most paper. The broader the tip, the more likely it will smear when wet. Affordable, smooth, left-hand friendly, and filled with the best-performing ink, the Jetstream is a verified go-to pen. It feathers least, dries about the fastest, and had the most uniform stroke width under variable conditions.”, The way ink glides out of the Jetstream onto the paper is its most significant differentiator from other pens. … Pilot Precise Retractable Rollerball Refills $6.49 View on Amazon Read Review. But the most important part of an erasable pen is its ability to erase cleanly. The Sharpie Pen has many outspoken fans, especially for its refillable stainless steel and grip variants. Our testers gave the Signo 307 high marks for smoothness and low-pressure writing. But they’ve come a long way since then and are a great alternative to a standard ink pen if you want the joy of writing in ink with the ease of erasing a mistake or seamlessly changing things in your planner. This refill size is sometimes known … But its ink doesn’t dry as quickly as the Jetstream’s, it requires more pressure to put ink on a page, and its ink tends to feather and skip more than that of our top pick. Our testing group agreed with our experts: The Uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for most everyday writing tasks. Reviewers ding the gel pen for a long drying time and recommend the line for stocking up an office more than buying a nice pen for yourself. And five days later, once the ink had really settled in, it erased just as cleanly as on day one. But ballpoints tend not to be especially smooth to write with. Unlike with other pens, which left streaks behind when we erased their marks days later, with the Pilot FriXion you can come back and update your calendar the week after and still erase cleanly. Its pigment-darkened ballpoint ink flows out smoothly and evenly, without skipping and with minimal pressure. The retractable model sports a rubberized grip too. We then took a hair dryer to our notebook to make the ink disappear—some types of erasable ink turn clear at 140 °F—and then left the notebook in the freezer in an attempt to recover the writing. OfficeSupplyGeek and No Pen Intended have photo evidence of how the G2 performs. Best gel ink cartridges: Pentel Energel Needlepoint, Pilot G2, Zebra Sarasa, Pilot Juice, Uni Signo RT. “I like a thicker line than the Jetstream provides,” wrote another. This pen isn’t the smoothest writing, but that slight bit of friction and its dark ink make it great for fine lettering or drawing. Parker Jotter. Ballpoints use oil-based ink solutions, which dry quickly on the page, don’t bleed through much, and don’t dry out easily in the pen itself. If you need a pen that can write anywhere (yes, even space), then consider those made by Fisher. It … They leave a dark line of ink behind, and look great on the page. Some G2 compatible pens will accept Pentel-style refills after trimming them down, so that may be worth a try. If you don’t love the feel of the standard Jetstream’s barely-there grip, the width of its tip, or the comparatively lighter color of its ink, you have a lot of options if you’re willing to venture outside your office-supply store. Grip Gel/Ltd, ExecuGel G6, Q7 Rollerball Gel Ink Pen Refills, 0.7mm, Fine Point, Black Ink, 3 Packs of 2 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,670 We tested it for this update. In contrast, the Paper Mate EraserMate we tried left behind significant marks on day five. I have to be careful writing greeting cards with it or it gets all smudgy...but it's fine writing in a notebook.”. In comments, those staffers who chose the V5 RT as their One True Pen repeated two themes: darker, richer ink on the page, and a bit of resistance against the paper, which demands more attention and could result in neater handwriting. The feel of the standard Jetstream pen is not its strongest suit. 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