people's choice

The Best Pens on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

While we’ve written before about all sorts of stationery goods — including bullet-journal supplies for beginners, colored pencils, and our editor-tested ranking of the 100 best pens — here, we’ve rounded up the best pens as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Related Articles: 100 Best Notebooks | Drawing for Beginners

Best-rated pen

More than 85 percent of the over 11,000 reviewers gave the InkJoy gel pen five stars, and we thought it was the best of all the gel pens we tested (and came in 23, out of 100 overall, in our ranking). One purchaser says they first tried these out on a co-worker’s recommendation, and they were “hooked within thirty seconds: First of all the ink dries quickly, so I didn’t smudge it, at all. Ever. Second, they write so smoothly. Third, the colors are vivid and bright and fourth, the pens feel nice in your hands! I have to hide these pens from everyone else because they are always trying to run off with them.” Purchasers tend to love the bright colors, the rubber grip, and the smooth quick-dry ink. “These pens have me finding excuses to write,” says one reviewer. “I generally hate gel pens because I smear them so quickly when I write, but these are amazing.”

Best-rated (less expensive) pen

“These cheapo pens do a better job than most expensive ones,” writes one reviewer, and more than 80 percent of users think this pen works great, too. “They get the job done, flow nicely, and don’t run out of ink quickly,” one says, even though they cost about 30 cents per pen. “I also have a terrible habit of leaving the cap off but they don’t dry up.” They “write smooth and don’t smudge,” one says. And not only are they long-lasting but they’re relatively inexpensive, which for one reviewer means “it’s no big deal when they ‘walk away’ as they inevitably will when co-workers ask to borrow them.”

Best smooth-writing ballpoint pen

BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pen, 60 Count
$8 for 60

At a price of $5 for 60 pens, “value” comes up in review after review — but many reviewers don’t even mention this affordable price as a reason to buy this pen, instead focusing on its dependability and smooth writing. This pen also appeared on our list of the best pens, as a classic choice for a reliable, inexpensive pen. (Author Curtis Sittenfeld happens to be a fan, too). As one reviewer puts it: “60 pens for this price — amazing! And these are great pens! I’ve bought cheap pens where the ink only comes out after you scribble frantically to get it flowing, but these things write smoothly right from the beginning. I bought a box for my friend (never can find a working pen at her house) and now she thinks I’m a goddess!” Another says, “These pens are so inexpensive that they’re practically free. My plan is to saturate the population with them so that no one ever again has to steal a pen. Who’s with me?!”

Best no-bleed pen

“When Sharpie launched this pen that doesn’t bleed I did cartwheels,” says one reviewer, and nearly of a quarter of reviewers were just as excited about these no-bleed pens. “They do not smear while writing like so many other pens do,” says another. One says this claim holds up “even when using it to write on dinky recycled paper that I got from the dollar store, it doesn’t bleed out onto the pages below.” One leftie even says that they “don’t have trouble with these smudging.” Others just like the way these write. “Sharpie Pen is my go-to writing instrument for beautiful, permanent, ‘write on virtually anything’ writing needs,” one says. “Every single day. The sturdy, fine tip and smooth tip edges provide a consistently smooth, ‘get out of the way’ delivery of clean, smudge-proof penmanship.”

Best pen for lefties

Uni-Ball Jetstream Ballpoint, 12 Count
$24

We featured the Uni-Ball Jetstream in our list of the best pens, at No. 98. While it wasn’t necessarily a huge hit with our testers, the pen has a vocal fanbase on Amazon, many of whom are lefties who appreciate its fast-drying ink that “dries almost instantly” and doesn’t smudge when they write. As one lefty says, “Being left-handed, I have always had a problem of ink smearing and making a mess, not just on me but also on the card or letter that I was writing. I also have not been able to find a pen that doesn’t skip, one that writes smoothly and just feels good using it. This pen solved all of my problems! I love using it. It puts the fun back into writing!” Another raves, “Writes really smooth and dries quickly. A must have for left-handed people!”

Best disposable fountain pen