10 Best Gel Pen Options For Writers

Shopping for a gel pen? Check out these best gel pen options that would be a great addition to your writing toolbox.

A gel pen provides a smooth-flowing writing experience. If you spend a lot of time signing documents, taking notes, or making art, and looking for an ink pen, a gel pen can be a great choice. Gel pens come in a wide range of colors with opaque liquid ink that flows smoothly across the page.

One of the perks of writing with gel pens is that most of them are refillable. So when you find one you love, you don’t have to throw it out when it runs out of ink. Instead, you can add more ink when your favorite pen starts to run dry. In addition, they usually feature a rollerball tip that allows the ink to flow smoothly out of the nib.

Yet there are many different gel pens on the market, so how can you choose the best pens for your needs? The answer will depend on what your goals are. Do you want colored pens for creating art or standard ink colors for office and school use? Is durability important to you or the overall look of the pen? Do you want a medium point for everyday writing or a fine point for precision? After answering these questions, you can begin shopping for gel pens.

Below you will find suggestions on the top picks for gel pens, along with information about their price points and their pros and cons. Study the list, and find the best pen or pen set for your needs.

Best gel pen for writers

1. Pentel Energel Infree

Pricing: $4

Use for: Everyday writing

People who love gel pens love the Pentel Energel Infree because of its smooth writing and quick drying time. It also has a low price, which is another perk. This combination of good features and a low price point makes it one of the best gel pens. This gel pen has a rollerball tip. The barrel is clear plastic and has a rubber grip for writing comfortably. A top button allows the user to retract the pen when not in use. It comes in multiple ink colors, including turquoise and orange, in addition to two colors of blue and traditional black. It also has refills.

Pros
  • Retractable pen
  • Smooth
  • Quick dry
Cons
  • Higher price point
  • No lid
  • Only clear body
Pentel BL77TL-10 EnerGel Ink Ballpoint Pen, 0.03 inches (0.7 mm), 10 Colors
  • Features: Gel ink ballpoint pen that writes quickly and dries quickly
  • Ink Colors: Black, Red, Burgundy, Blue, Blue, Black, Orange, Rough Gray, Pink, Turquoise Blue, Violet
  • Ball Diameter: 0.03 inches (0.7 mm)
  • Material: Rear axis / Crown = Recycled PC Knock / Front shaft = ABS resin plating; Grip: Elastomer; Clip: Iron
  • Size / Weight: Width 6.0 inches (153 mm) x Depth 0.7 inches (17 mm) x Length 4.5 inches (115 mm) / 5.7 oz (147 g)

2. Uni-Ball Signo 207

Pricing: $2

Use for: Office use and everyday writing

The Uni-Ball Signo 207 is another excellent gel pen for this list. I feel the ink is what makes this stand apart. It is archival quality ink, and it is even water-resistant. In addition, the pigmentation makes it fraud-proof. You can choose from four writing sizes ranging from 0.38 to 1.0 mm. I also like this pen because of its handsome design. The rubber grip is made from sneaker-style rubber and is quite comfortable and durable in your hand. In addition, the pen comes in nine colors and has a plastic barrel and colored grip.

Pros
  • Widely available
  • Archival ink
  • Attractive design
Cons
  • No lid
  • Fine tip is almost too fine for writing
  • Some users find the casing too wide
Uni-Ball Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pen, 0.5mm Micro Point, Black, Pack of 6
  • Pack of 6 Uni-Ball Signo 207 Retractable Gel Micro Point Pens with Black Ink
  • Uni Super ink is specially formulated to become trapped in paper, helping prevent criminal check washing and other document alteration.
  • Textured grip provides superior writing comfort and control making this pen truly a pleasure to write with.
  • Stainless steel, retractable tip for added convenience. Refillable design with a stylish translucent ink window and attractive metal accents
  • Archival-quality, acid-free ink is quick-drying and fade- and water-resistant.

3. Zebra Sarasa Dry

Pricing: $3

Use for: Drawing and office use

The Zebra Sarasa Dry gel pen is the top gel pen of the Sarasa line. One of the biggest reasons I love this pen is the fast-drying ink, drying 85% faster than traditional ink dries. The style also looks better than most office pensso you will feel chic holding this one. This pen is a rollerball pen design. The 0.4 and 0.5 mm sizes are best if you are looking for quick dry times to reduce smudging, but it also comes in 0.7 and 1.0 mm sizes. This pen also features a rubber grip, a top button retractable design, and a spring-loaded clip. It comes in blue and black ink and a few pastel colors.

Pros
  • Extremely fast-drying ink
  • Sleek design
  • Limited smudging
Cons
  • Limited ink colors
  • Not as fast drying in larger sizes
  • Plastic clip
Zebra Sarasa Dry Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen 0.4mm Assorted 5 Axis Colors Pens With Black Ink & Red Pen With Red Ink With Original Stylus Ballpoint Touch Pen
  • Equipped with ultra-quick dry DRY Gel : Ink contains new ingredients that easily penetrate the paper. It soaks into the paper immediately, so it won't get dirty even if you touch it immediately after writing. The drying time has been shortened by about 85% compared to conventional zebra products. (When writing on plain paper with 0.4 mm)
  • Smooth writing taste : By using a low-viscosity gel-like ink, we have achieved a smoother and lighter writing feel. Using a dark dye color material, the writing lines can be seen more clearly than before.
  • Convenient to carry : Equipped with a large and easy-to-open binder clip, it is easy to carry in your pocket or notebook.
  • Ball diameter : 0.4mm
  • Ink : 5 Black Ink Pens and 1 Red Pen with Red Ink. Water-based dye

4. Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Pen

Pricing: $3

Use for: Everyday writing and note-taking

If you are looking for a great everyday pen, then the Pilot Hi-Tec-C gel pen is good. This is a capped gel pen, not a retractable one, with a clear plastic body and cap. It is a needle point tip that comes as small as 0.25 mm and has a smooth writing mechanism with good ink flow, unlike many other fine-point pens.

I found extended writing pleasurable with this pen. However, you do sacrifice quick-drying ink for this smooth writing experience. Like most affordable needle-tip pens, this one does sometimes experience skips. However, it is a high-quality pen if you want something that writes well for fine lines.

Pros
  • Great for small handwriting
  • Can write on thin paper
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Longer dry time
  • Possible smudging
  • No rubber grip
Sale
Pilot Hi-Tec-C 04 Gel Ink Pen, Ultra Fine Point 0.4mm, Black Ink, LH-20C4, Value Set of 5
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C 04 Gel Ink Pen, LH-20C4
  • The diameter of a lead : Ultra Fine Point 0.4mm, Color : Black Ink
  • Won the Good Design Award in 2012, natural ball rotation with less friction area than ordinary ball point pen is possible
  • Value Set of 5

5. Pilot Juice Up

Pricing: $4

Use for: Journaling and note-taking

The Pilot Juice Up pens have great ink and a sleek, modern design. Though it has limited color options compared to the standard Pilot Juice, the Pilot Juice Up is the premium option for this pen. The pen comes in both pastel and metallic options. If you want to add this pen to your basic office supplies, you will also find a basic blue.

It is available in 0.4 mm fine tip and 0.3 mm hyper fine tip. This pen has a rubber grip to make writing more comfortable. In addition, the pen features a retractable design and click top. It can be a little scratchy to write with, but overall it is a high-quality pen in interesting colors for bullet journaling and more.

Pros
  • Pastel and metallic inks are available
  • Long-lasting
  • Form-fitting rubber grip
Cons
  • Japanese limited version
  • Fine tip rips thin paper
  • No thicker tip is available
Pilot juice up 04 Retractable Gel Ink Pen, Ultra Fine Point 0.4mm, Pastel & Metalic, 12 Colors, Sticky Notes Value Set
  • Set contains 12 x Pilot juice up 04 Retractable Gel Ink Pen, Ultra Fine Point 0.4mm, Pastel & Metalic, 12 Color Ink + 1 x Compact 5-color Sticky Notes.
  • Pilot juice up 04 Retractable Gel Ink Pen, Ultra Fine Point 0.4mm, Pastel & Metalic, LJP-20S4, Rubber Grip. 12 Color : white, pastel orange, pastel green, pastel blue, pastel violet, pastel pink, gold, silver, metallic pink, metallic green, metallic blue,
  • Stationery JP Compact 5-color Sticky Notes 100 Pieces Ecology Type, NBM02454. It's convenient to carry them with you.
  • Modern Style Body with knock indicator.Form-fitting rubber grip for writing comfort.
  • This product is a Japanese limited version.

6. Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pen

Pricing: $2

Use for: Office pen

The Pilot G2 is a standard retractable gel pen sold primarily in 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm sizes with blue and black ink, though other colors and styles are available. This pen is so popular in the office world, and chances are you have used one in the past to sign a credit card receipt or bank document. Its low price and good function make it perfect for these uses. The Pilot G2 is refillable and has a retractable design. This pen writes smoother than a traditional ballpoint pen and is available in bulk, which makes it great for commercial uses. It is affordable and easy to find, with a plastic clip and a rubber grip.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Replaces standard ballpoint pens
  • Many ink colors
Cons
  • Refillable through third-party refill
  • Can have some bleed through
  • No fine-tip nib

7. Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pen

Pricing: $1

Use for: Office and school pen

Another highly affordable gel pen that works well for office and school use is the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pen. Available in blue and black ink, this pen has bold ink color that flows smoothly and spreads well. If you wish, you can also purchase a multi-pack with various colors for journaling and note-taking purposes. Even though this is an affordable pen, it has fast-drying ink, so it rarely smudges. It comes in a 0.7 mm tip design and is a retractable pen. The one downside is that this pen hasn’t much character, but it gets the job done and does so smoothly and comfortably.

Pros
  • Very low price point
  • Total of 21 colors
  • Smooth writing
Cons
  • No fine tip
  • Boring aesthetics
  • It does not come in multiple tip sizes
Sale
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point, Black, 10 Count - 1951640
  • Bold gel ink brightens your writing
  • Smooth ink keeps the ideas flowing across the page
  • Colorful gel ink brightens your writing
  • 0.7mm medium point spreads ink beautifully
  • Includes: 10 jet Black gel pens

8. Pentel EnerGel RTX

Price: $2

Use for: Editing, margin notes, and general writing

The Pentel EnterGel RTX pen makes a great choice to add to this list because it is incredibly smooth. It also has a sleek design but a lower price than some luxury pens on this list. The pen has several tip sizes, including a 0.3 mm ultra-fine tip. These pens have fast-drying ink that will not smear or smudge. They also do not bleed through the paper. These writing instruments are great to have around and are affordable enough that you can stock up on them if you wish. You can find these pens in a wide range of colors.

Pros
  • Refillable
  • Bulk option
  • Great for small spaces
Cons
  • Less durable than higher-cost pens
  • Less sleek look
  • Many plastic parts
Pentel Energel 0.3 MM Ultra Fine Rtx Retractable Liquid Gel Pen - Needle Tip - 6 Pack Of 3 Black Ink & 3 Blue Ink Deluxe Pens
  • Extra fine micro point tip for super thin line, Great for editing, margin notes or general writing
  • High quality fast drying non smearing pens - pental energel liquid gel ink dry so quick even left handed writers love it - no smears, no globs, smudge free, and dont bleed.
  • EnerGel ink writes more smoothly than the leading brand (Internally tested to be smoother writing than the leading gel pen on standard writing paper)
  • Sleek and stylish barrel design with nice metal accents for a Professional look
  • Pentel has been supplying writing instruments for over 70 years and has received the Deming Award. Expect a high standard of quality from our EnerGel 0.7 mm Liquid Gel Ink Pens.

9. Sharpie S-Gel

Pricing: $1.50

Use for: Note-taking and general writing

The Sharpie S-Gel pen comes in a wide range of colors for one of the more affordable price points of the pens on this list. It’s another great one for buying in bulk. It has a no smear, no bleed design, and bold gel ink colors. The 0.7 mm tip is a good option for everyday writing. Though this pen is from Sharpie, it is not necessarily a permanent ink pen.

The contoured comfort grip on this pen is made from durable and cushioning rubber. It comes in multiple point sizes ranging from an ultra-fine 0.38 mm to a bold 1.0 mm to meet a range of needs. You will find a wide range of ink colors as well. They also work great for lefties as well as people who write right-handed.

Pros
  • Contoured rubber grip
  • Multiple ink colors
  • Multiple tip sizes
Cons
  • Runs out of ink quickly
  • May not write on non-standard paper
  • Sometimes smudges, despite claims
Sale
Sharpie S-Gel, Gel Pens, Medium Point (0.7mm), Assorted Colors, 12 Count
  • Gel pen with no smear, no bleed technology
  • Intensely bold gel ink colors offer always vivid writing
  • Contoured rubber grip for a comfortable writing experience
  • Medium Point (0.7mm)
  • Includes 4 black, 4 blue, and 4 red gel ink pens

10. Sakura Gelly Roll

Pricing: $2

Use for: Art and journaling

The Sakura Gelly Roll pen is a traditional gel pen that is the same as the original creators of the gel ink idea. It is ideal for art and journaling because of the opaque gel ink and the many available colors. They will write on most surfaces, and they even write on skin. Sakura makes multiple tip sizes and every color of the rainbow. You can purchase them in multi-packs that have multiple tip sizes in the same pack to allow you to make beautiful art. This is a capped pen with no rubber grip and a fully plastic barrel.

Pros
  • Writes on all paper colors, including black
  • Multiple colors available
  • Original gel pen design
Cons
  • Not long-lasting
  • Cap is easily lost
  • No rubber grip
Sale
Sakura Gelly Roll Gel Pens - Fine Point Ink Pen for Journaling, Art, or Drawing - Classic White Ink - Assorted Point Sizes - 6 Pack
  • Sakura Gelly Roll Pens: These pens don’t bleed through paper and make a lasting mark
  • Bright, Opaque White Ink: Gel pens have vibrant white ink that flow creamy smooth onto paper
  • Assorted Point Sizes: This white pen pack contains 2 pens of each size: 05 Fine, 08 Medium, 10 Bold
  • Unlimited Ways to Create: Gelly Roll pens offer unlimited possibilities to create something unique
  • High-Quality, Every Time: Japanese quality color pens from Sakura, the inventors of gel ink

Selection Criteria

Choosing the best gel pens was not easy with so many types of pens. However, I chose these writing utensils because they write smoothly and represent various uses. You’ll find gel pens in this list that works well for everyday writing, professional writing, and offices. So whether you are looking to do some art or need a smooth-writing pen that can accompany you to work, one of the pens on this list will work well. I also chose some of these pens because of their aesthetics. If you are signing important documents, you want a pen that will look professional and write well, and several on this list do both.

Why You Can Trust Me

I am a handwriting specialist, writer by trade, and art lover. These combine to make me the ideal person to help you choose your next gel pen. I find nothing quite as satisfying as the smooth glide of a quality pen across the paper, and I enjoy doodling, note-taking and journaling with the best of them. I know a quality pen when I hold one in my hands, and I am happy to pass that knowledge on to you.

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best writing apps!

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit