Standard Pens

Resources

There isn’t a vast amount of information out there for pens that aren’t fountain pens but
Pennaquod will let you search pen blogs for reviews of hundreds of pens of all kinds.

The wonderful Pen Addict podcast covers pens of all kinds and if your interest is more in pens for artwork then the Art Supply Posse podcast is excellent.

Rollerball Pens

Rollerballs use liquid ink, which is to say it’s water-based, much like fountain pen ink, which some of these pens can in fact use. A good rollerball can be a pleasure to write with, giving a strong and consistent line, but liquid ink isn’t usually waterproof and can have feathering issues on cheap paper and might skip on, for example, greeting cards.

Recommended

  • Karas Kustoms EDK Pen Review Karas Kustoms EDK bolts I have often been accused of being a bit awkward. There is a reason why this happens and it’s not unrelated to the fact that I am. Sometimes. Allegedly. This awkwardness means that I go out of my way to find things to like that are a little off the beaten track, which is positive, ...
  • Lamy Vista Rollerball pen review Lamy Vista rollerball posted The Lamy Vista rollerball is a refillable pen that’s available with a medium tip with black, blue, red or green ink. It costs around £10 ($15) in the UK. The Lamy Vista is the same classic shape as the Lamy Safari only made with clear instead of coloured plastic. It’s very well made, as is always ...
  • Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint rollerball pen review Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint rollerball pen review The Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint is a refillable rollerball pen, available in a 0.7 size, writing a 0.5mm line, and also a 0.5 size (the V5), and in red, blue, green and red. The black version is properly black, which, sadly, makes a nice change from the grey you so often get. There’s a nice ink window ...
  • Retro 51 Tornado rollerball review Retro 51 Tornado rollerball pen end There was a time when Myke Hurley used to talk about the Retro 51 Tornado so often that it became a pen-that-should-not-be-named on the Pen Addict podcast. Is Myke completely mad or did he know what he was talking about? Or, at least on the podcast, trying not to talk about. The build quality of the ...
  • Schneider Breeze rollerball pen review Schneider Breeze rollerball grip shape The Schneider Breeze is an ergonomically shaped refillable rollerball pen. The standard version is available in four different colours (orange, pink, green and blue) and comes with two blue cartridges. Replacement cartridges are available in a range of different colours. There is also a snazzy Breeze Neon range with some different barrel and ink colours. Ergonomic, ...
  • Stabilo Worker Rollerball Review Rollerball ink isn’t the most practical, tending not to be waterproof and prone to feathering. However I find them very enjoyable to write with and if I’m not using a fountain pen it’s more than likely it will be a rollerball of some kind that I pick up instead. I received this item as part payment ...
  • Staedtler Triplus Roller, Fineliner and Color Pens Staedtler Triplus review Staedtler make just about every kind of pen and pencil in this Triplus range. The range is distinguished, unsurprisingly, by the triangular barrel. I’m taking a look at the Roller, Color and Fineliner pens. Thank you to Staedtler for sending me, a very lone time ago now, these pens to try out. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Staedtler have really ...

Others

Drawing Pens

Most of these pens have a fibre tip, the OHTO Graphic Liner being a notable exception. They should give a strong and consistent black line that’s quick to dry and waterproof.

See below for colouring pens and brush pens.

Recommended

  • Aristo GeoCollege Pigment Liner Drawing Pen Review Aristo GeoCollege cap Aristo in an Austrian company that’s been making drawing instruments since 1862. Price: £2.20 Tip size options: 005, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08 Barrel options: black with different coloured tips, according to the tip size Ink type: waterproof, lightfast pigment ink The GeoCollege Pigment Liner is a drawing pen with a fibre tip protected by a metal sleeve. ...
  • Copic Multiliner SP drawing pen review Copic Multiliner SP drawing pen capped The Copic Multiliner SP is my favourite drawing pen. It’s also pretty good for writing with. Copic make disposable Multiliners and refillable Multiliner SPs. The SPs have aluminium barrels that are a pleasure to hold and use. They are light but feel well constructed, making them perfect for extended periods of writing or drawing. Replacement tips ...
  • Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment Drawing Pen Review Faber-Castell Ecco tip Faber-Castell is better known for the Pitt drawing pen but if you look hard enough you can find this alternative: the Ecco Pigment Liner. I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions. Price: £2.80 (UK) Tip size options: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, ...
  • OHTO Graphic Liner pen review OHTO Graphic Liner pen review The OHTO Graphic Liner, beloved of pen addicts everywhere and beloved by me. It’s a pen that draws you back. I find excuses to use it. It lives in my pocket. Share this:Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new ...
  • Sakura Pigma Micron drawing pen review Sakura Pigma Micron drawing pen review The Sakura Pigma Micron is an excellent drawing pen that is also pretty nifty for writing with. It’s my pen of choice for sketchnoting primarily because it dries quickly and tends not to smudge when I’m filling in with colour. There are a range of tip sizes from 005, writing a 0.2mm line, to 08, writing ...
  • Staedtler 308 Pigment Liner drawing pen review Staedtler 308 Pigment Liner branding The Staedtler 308 pigment liner is a fibre-tipped drawing pen available in 9 different line widths (0.5mm to 0.8mm) with black ink. I’ve found it difficult to find very many good drawing pens. The Copic Multiliner is a great and so is the Sakura Pigma Micron but apart from those I’ve not found any that I’ve ...

Others

Multipens

Recommended

  • Pilot Coleto multipen review Pilot Coleto multipen review The Pilot Coleto is a multipen like no other. There are refills available in 15 different colours: Brown, Black, Blue Black, Violet, Aqua Blue, Blue, Clear Blue, Orange, Red, Pink, Cherry Pink, Baby Pink, Apricot Orange, Apple Green and Green and in three different sizes (0.3mm, 0.4mm and 0.5mm). There are refillable pencil and eraser units. There are four different ...
  • Platinum Double Action R3 Multipen Review Platinum make a few different multipens and I reviewed one of them way back in October 2014. This pen is a step up from that plastic version but costs only a couple of pounds more. I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are ...

Others

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink. They will write on most paper (including glossy greeting cards) without any significant issues. They can be used to produce some amazing art because it’s possible to get some shading from them (unlike just about any other kind of pen). However, they tend to skip and aren’t as pleasurable to write with as a good rollerball or gel pen.

Recommended

  • Blank Forces X1 and X2 EDC Pen Review Blank Forces X1 X2 closeup of etching Blank Force’s X1 and X2 pens are the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign from last year. I interviewed Kevin Hayes, the person behind Blank Forces, back in November. Now that the pens are available to buy online I thought it would be a good time to review them. Rather excitingly, I have a follow ...
  • BN Works BNdot Ballpoint Pen Review bn-works-bndot-featuredBN Works are just about to launch an Indiegogo campaign for what they describe as the One & Only Retractable EDC Pen. They sent me a review sample back in the middle of August so I’ve had a little while to try it out. Price: $65 early bird price on Indiegogo Tip size options: fine Barrel options: stainless ...
  • Karas Kustoms Render K Pen Review Karas Kustoms Render K review Karas Kustoms now make a comprehensive range of machined metal pens but it all started with the Render K, launched on Kickstarter four years ago. I can’t count how many times I almost bought a Render K but the price of shipping one from the USA to the UK and then paying customs charges made it ...
  • Retro 51 Tornado Touch Ballpoint review and giveaway Retro 51 Tornado Touch moustache Retro 51 are well known for making wonderful full-sized rollerball pens. This pen, the Retro 51 Tornado Touch, is a relatively new product and it continues the same excellent quality, albeit with a ballpoint refill. The design of the pen is stylish, even to the point of just about getting away with the little moustache at ...
  • Tombow Airpress Ballpoint Pen Review When most people think of a pen that will write on just about anything, just about anywhere, they think of the Fisher Space Pen. There are, however, some alternatives, such as the very reasonably priced Tombow Airpress. I bought this with my own money at the usual consumer price. These are my own honest opinions. Price: $10 ...
  • Uni Jetstream 0.7 ballpoint review Uni Jetstream top of clip The Uni Jetstream SX-217 is a hybrid ink ballpoint with a 0.7mmm tip. It’s available with black, blue, blue-black or red ink. It’s also available with a 1.0mm tip but that feels so different to use it might as well be a different pen. The Jetstream costs about £2.50 in the UK and $3 in ...

Others

Gel Ink Pens

Gel ink consists of pigment suspended in a water-based gel. This gives a really strong line and many many colours are available. Some gel pens are able to write with incredibly thin lines. They can have issues on glossy paper and are sometimes a little slow to dry. On the whole, though, gel ink pens are excellent all-round choices.

Recommended

  • Ateleia Brass Pen Review Ateleia Brass Pen tip The Ateleia Brass Pen is a simple pen that will take a range of refills, depending on the inserts you buy it with. One set will allow you to use Pentel EnerGel, Uni-ball Signo 207 and DX or MonteVerde Rollerballs and the other lets you use the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Pilot G2, Schmidt Rolling Ball or ...
  • Ensso Pen Uno Review The Ensso Pen Uno was the result of Kickstarter campaign back at the end of 2015. It was delivered on time and is now available on Kickstarter again, together with a pencil option. This is a review of the pen I received after pledging $25 in the original campaign. Price: $30 through the current Kickstarter campaign; ...
  • Machine Era Original Brass Pen Review Machine Era are based in the USA and make metal products including wallets, key rings and, of course, pens. The Original, as the name suggests, was (almost) their first pen and it has since been joined by a stainless steel version and a brass ‘version 2’, which has a clip. (Note that although this pen is ...
  • Pilot Juice gel ink pen review Pilot Juice gel ink pen clip The Pilot Juice is a gel ink pen that is available in three different tip sizes (0.38, 0.5 and 0.7mm) and a large range of colours. (Thirty-six colours in the 0.5mm size, fewer in the other sizes.) The grip is comfortable and slightly squishy. The barrel is clear plastic and a good sensible size. The ink is ...
  • Stabilo pointVisco Gel Rollerball Pen Review Stabilo pointVisco rollerball pointy end The Stabilo pointVisco is a gel ink rollerball available with ten different ink colours and one line width (fine). It costs around £1.35 in the UK. Stabilo describe this pen as a “Rollerball with a completely new gel formula” and I have no idea what makes it new or special but, regardless, it is a good ...
  • Ti2 TechLiner Gel Ink Pen Review Ti2 TechLiner tip The Ti2 TechLiner is a machined metal pen available direct from the manufacturer for between $60 and $125. It comes with the Uni Signo 207 gel ink refill and will also take a Jetstream hybrid ink ballpoint. It will no doubt take others too. It’s available made from titanium, brass, copper or bronze in a ...

Others

Brush Pens

Recommended

  • Platinum Fude Brush Pen Review Platinum Fude Brush review I’ve been enjoying dipping my toes into the world of refillable brush pens. I’m a long way from ever being able to use them to write with but they’re so much fun for drawing. You can get lovely little sketches done in just a few moments. It was therefore either a happy coincidence or a ...
  • Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen Review Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen Review I’ve been slowly building up my collection of Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens for a few years but I have to admit it wasn’t until quite recently that how to use them properly really clicked. They’re a combination of felt-tip pens and watercolour paints but require a different approach to both to get the best ...

Others

Colouring Pens

Recommended

  • Paper Mate Flair Pen Review Paper Mate Flair in a mug The Paper Mate Flair has been around since 1966 and you can see that in its design. It’s got that classic 60s feel to it: no bad thing at all. Price: £1 (UK) $1.70 (USA) Tip size options: it’s called the M but the tip is actually quite broad. There is a version with a finer tip Barrel ...
  • Pilot Frixion Colour Pen review When I was at school, many many moons ago, I remember how an erasable pen felt like some kind of holy grail. We had to write in pen, we made many many mistakes, and we wanted to obliterate all those mistakes so our teachers would never see. All we got, though, were pens with granite-like ...
  • Staedtler Triplus Roller, Fineliner and Color Pens Staedtler Triplus review Staedtler make just about every kind of pen and pencil in this Triplus range. The range is distinguished, unsurprisingly, by the triangular barrel. I’m taking a look at the Roller, Color and Fineliner pens. Thank you to Staedtler for sending me, a very lone time ago now, these pens to try out. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Staedtler have really ...
  • Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen Review Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen Review I’ve been slowly building up my collection of Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pens for a few years but I have to admit it wasn’t until quite recently that how to use them properly really clicked. They’re a combination of felt-tip pens and watercolour paints but require a different approach to both to get the best ...

Others

Pens that use the D1 refill

D1 is a standard size for a pen refill that many multipens and machined pens use. Here’s a guide to D1 refills to help you find one that you might like.

Recommended

  • Blank Forces X1 and X2 EDC Pen Review Blank Forces X1 X2 closeup of etching Blank Force’s X1 and X2 pens are the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign from last year. I interviewed Kevin Hayes, the person behind Blank Forces, back in November. Now that the pens are available to buy online I thought it would be a good time to review them. Rather excitingly, I have a follow ...
  • Platinum Double Action R3 Multipen Review Platinum make a few different multipens and I reviewed one of them way back in October 2014. This pen is a step up from that plastic version but costs only a couple of pounds more. I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are ...
  • Retro 51 Tornado Touch Ballpoint review and giveaway Retro 51 Tornado Touch moustache Retro 51 are well known for making wonderful full-sized rollerball pens. This pen, the Retro 51 Tornado Touch, is a relatively new product and it continues the same excellent quality, albeit with a ballpoint refill. The design of the pen is stylish, even to the point of just about getting away with the little moustache at ...

Others