We interviewed experts with thousands of hours of experience testing stationery, and subjected their favorite pens to nearly 70 professionally picky Wirecutter staffers, to affirm that the Uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for everyday writing. “That caused my writing with the Pilot to look nicer, which was also enhanced by the heavier ink flow of the Pilot.”. “The competition drags across the page, where the Uni-ball signo 307 glides,” wrote one tester. Brad Dowdy, Top 5 Pens, The Pen Addict, September 25, 2018, Miriam, Uni Jetstream: A Comprehensive Guide, JetPens, May 26, 2015, Brian Greene, Uni-ball Jetstream BLX .7mm Retractable, OfficeSupplyGeek, April 29, 2013, Brad Dowdy, Review: Uni-Ball Jetstream 1.0mm Blue, The Pen Addict, October 7, 2009, Brian Greene, Pilot Precise V5 RT Liquid Ink Pen Review, OfficeSupplyGeek, March 8, 2010, Elizabeth Price, Pilot Precise V5 RT, No Pen Intended, October 4, 2011, Brad Dowdy, Review: Pilot Precise V5 RT 0.5 Click, The Pen Addict, December 30, 2007, Brad Dowdy, Uni-ball Signo 307 Gel Ink Pen Review, The Pen Addict, July 6, 2015, Brian Greene, Uniball Signo 307, OfficeSupplyGeek, April 29, 2015. To get a wider sampling of input, we enlisted Wirecutter staffers to test our three finalist pens. The G2 refill is 98mm long … And there you have it! The retractable model sports a rubberized grip too. Free shipping for many products! Some testers disliked the humble, utilitarian looks of the Jetstream. More than half of the Wirecutter staffers attending our testing sessions picked the Jetstream as their One True Pen, giving it more than twice as many votes as the Precise V5 RT, which came in second; some staffers who preferred one of the other two pens even admitted that the Jetstream was technically better. We tried two Uni-ball erasable pens. But first, please take a few moments to sign up as a member of our EDC community below. Rollerballs shine on high quality paper, but the liquid ink tends to go right through the page on cheaper paper. It works well on all types of paper, dries quickly, and it easy to find. If you prefer a darker line than the Jetstream provides, if you write smaller letters or draw as much as you write, or if you like to feel a bit of resistance between your pen and the paper, the Pilot Precise V5 RT is another pen to consider. $9.27$9.27 ($3.09/Count) FREE Shipping. Writing sample: Lilly Bellman / Photo: Tim Barribeau, We tested each pen’s propensity to smudge and noticed how quickly its ink dried. 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. Tip width as tested: 0.7 mmWidths available: 0.5, 0.7Style: ballpointInk type: erasable gel, The Uni-ball Signo 307 on Field Notes paper. Of the six erasable pens we tested, Pilot’s FriXion Clicker Erasable Retractable Gel Pen came out on top for its satisfyingly inky, quick-drying writing and its easy-to-hold body; we also like that it erased cleanly, leaving just a slight trace behind. All erasable pens have some flaws. These experts have tried nearly every pen worth noting (and many utterly plain options) on different papers, with different writing styles, and compared them with similar pens in their heads and their blogs’ archives. 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.”. We erased a portion of our writing immediately and tried again five days later once the ink had time to settle in. The bronze bolt action pen (standard size) is a perfectly engineered and built pen. We also sought pens that you could easily find at a big-box retailer, an office-supply store, or a major online vendor like Amazon. Pilot Juice Up. In our experience, the Atlantis blobbed and feathered more than any of our picks, although it was smooth. Some of the Jetstream variants are arguably better looking—and you can also find third-party pen bodies that can take Jetstream refills. Ballpoint technology, invented in the 1800s, is the grandaddy of most modern pens. 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. Inside the cartridge, you'll find a thick, oil-based ink. There are several high-quality ballpoint refills that we like that are smoother, don't leave blobs of ink on the page, and more versatile than the standard throwaway. Rollerballs use water-based ink, which provides smoother, finer lines. Office Depot sells an exclusive line of pens under the TUL brand, in rollerball, gel pen, and ballpoint. It felt reasonably good in our testers’ hands, and it has been a Wirecutter pick since 2013. Senior Editor Grant Clauser opined that he prefers it over the Pilot Precise because when he’s grading papers for his poetry class “the ink of the Pilot tends to spread more than the Jetstream, which makes it hard when I'm trying to write really small, writing around the margins of [students’] papers.” Wirecutter Producer Erin Moore chimed in, saying “I love the .38 and .5 Jetsteam for [substandard] paper. Gel pens are technically a rollerball variant, but they use a much thicker, more viscous ink. We also skipped a number of pens that were well-regarded among reviewers because none of the experts recommended them over our picks, either in our interviews or on their blogs. Although the ink may be the same (and Pilot suggests that it is), it seems smoother on paper than its precursor. Although our experts brought more than 35 combined years of experience reviewing pens, and at least 2,000 reviews, to bear on their pen recommendations, they are still just four people. More than half of our staffers said the Jetstream’s ink feathered the least of the three testing pens. The G2 is well-loved because despite being a gel pen, the ink lasts a long time. But then we stuck the page in the freezer, which brought the writing back. Writing sample: Lilly Bellman / Photo: Tim Barribeau. Better ink technology has mitigated a lot of these downsides, but that’s the general idea. Since you can only use one refill at a time, I'll help you find your go-to with this guide by comparing the three types of ink refills and recommending the best ones to pair with your favorite EDC pen. The ink sinks into paper and dries quickly (which is great for lefties), and it rarely, if ever, feathers out from your lines or bleeds through good notebook paper. 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. 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. #TOP 2. Best gel ink cartridges: Pentel Energel Needlepoint, Pilot G2, Zebra Sarasa, Pilot Juice, Uni Signo RT. Take it from nearly 70 of my co-workers, who tested three very different pens: You may not think you have an opinion on what makes the best pen for you, but you do. They're the most common type of pen out there, and for good reason. Although my handwriting is terrible, I am an experienced Wirecutter writer and notepad-toting newspaper journalist. 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. We tested each pen's propensity to smudge and noticed how quickly its ink dried. *At the time of publishing, the price was $0. The ParKoo Retractable Erasable Gel Pens ranked among the best erasable pens we tried. 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 … 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. 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. 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. This refill size is sometimes known … The 307 doesn’t skip less than the Jetstream, but it does now present an acceptable trade-off for the fluidity of writing. Stock and availability problems eliminated the Zebra G-301, for example. 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. The 'Parker-style' ballpoint refill is actually a standard pattern refill known as the G2, and is used by many manufacturers for their ballpoint pens. We like the Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 refills for their dark lines that go onto the page extra smooth. I particularly love it in a red/black/blue multipen configuration for annotation, copy paper print outs, etc.” Senior Editor Korrena Bailey added her sinister opinion, saying “I love the Jetstream—I’m a lefty and it’s my go-to pen for cards and anything else where I’m likely to leave horrible smudges.”. But the most important part of an erasable pen is its ability to erase cleanly. Now, the next step to having an awesome writing experience in your day to day is finding the right refill to put in it. The ink, like that of the Jetstream, is Super Ink, so it’s waterproof, tamper resistant, and capable of working on glossy paper. They also have a soft grip for holding, and they’re affordable at around $1 per pen. The Jetstream’s ink is nearly as notable as the pen’s writing feel. 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. You should try one if you have a chance, and see how you like the feel—but it’s not the best for most people. After testing six different models, we’ve made the Pilot FriXion Clicker Erasable Retractable Gel Pen our new erasable pen pick. They were a little streakier than the Pilot Frixion pens, but they were still inky. Since they use liquid ink, the ball mechanism is lubricated by the ink better, therefore giving a smoother feel when writing. Check out a gel refill that also fits your pen. The Uni-ball Signo 307 produces a thick line of dark ink, gliding smoothly and rarely skipping. This video is a review of the Pilot G2 Limited. The Pilot G2 Gel Ink Pen is one of the most popular pens out there according to various sources. For all these reasons, the Pilot G2 sits at the top of my list of recommended gel pens… 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! Experts and Wirecutter testers praised its finer tip, its relatively quick-drying ink (compared with most other pens), its grip and style, and, for some people, the way a bit of friction kept their handwriting more, well, precise. We scoured picks throughout our site to find 50 of the most useful things under $50, “I don’t like the color or sheen of the Jetstream ink but it does perform the best,” wrote one tester. The Sharpie Pen has many outspoken fans, especially for its refillable stainless steel and grip variants. Gel refills provide the slickest, smoothest writing experience of the three in this guide. The 307 also got the most votes among Wirecutter testers for its looks, beating the Jetstream and the Precise V5 RT. We checked in with two of the bloggers who informed our original picks: We also relied on the advice provided for the first version of this guide by two other experts: On top of that, we dug through posts these experts had added to their sites since the previous version of this guide, along with a few other resources such as Art Supply Critic, The Well-Appointed Desk, and anything we found in wider searches for newer pen models. The Jetstream is available in a variety of tip widths and colors, and is sold in office-supply stores and through online merchants. In 2020 we tested six erasable pens to see how well they performed and whether they could stand up to our picks. Your message has been sent privately to our editorial staff for review. Engineering Manager Dave Ross also told us about his preference for the Precise, saying “the Pilot Precise V5 RT has been my go-to pen for years but it's not always as lefty-friendly as I'd like. 4.8 out of 5 stars 1,957. For most people in most situations, the Uni-ball Jetstream is the best pen for the job. The bolt action is flawless and of course it has my favorite Pilot G2 ink. For a month, I carried one or two pocket notebooks everywhere I went, plotting out vacation days in a foreign city, tackling grocery and to-do lists, and taking notes on meetings. The Sharpie Pen is technically a marker with a very fine tip, so it feels different from nearly any other pen. While they work well on copy paper, high quality paper, and in pocket notebooks, they're not the best on receipt paper. Rollerball comes in last, as it would be the least ideal for EDC due to its paper sensitivity, slow dry time, and more expensive refills. You may have not thought about erasable pens since elementary school, when you were still learning to write and permanent ink was too risky. It’s old reliable, the smoothest and most consistent ballpoint, and it doesn’t bleed through or ghost on just about anything. Schneider pens, including the Slider Rave XB and Slider Basic, are smoother and faster-drying than a typical cheap office pen. Not feeling the ballpoint? 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. If you love a pen but hate the commitment, an erasable pen is the way to go. If you want a truly dark ink, and more of it, consider either of our other picks. I'm always looking for them around the house because everyone always steals them from me!” [ed. The G2 refill also works in the Tactile Turn Mover, and if you enjoy pocket pens, the Machine Era pen. 3074 Reviews Scanned Advertising Disclosure . It’s readily available in your local big box store or online, comes in a wide variety of colors and points, and is inexpensive to buy in bulk. 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. They're not fussy about paper quality, they're smooth to write with, and they're easy to find. They usually don’t erase everything and will leave a slight shadow behind, especially if you write particularly hard. After 35 hours of testing, we think the easy-to-use, comfortable, full-featured 3Doodler Create+ is the best tool for drawing 3D sculptures. As with the Precise V5 RT, however, the 307’s ink feathers, ghosts through pages, and can look more inconsistent on a page than the Jetstream’s writing. Right now the 307 has blue, black, and red inks, whereas the 207 enjoyed a much wider array. 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. 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.”. Our testers gave the Signo 307 high marks for smoothness and low-pressure writing. OfficeSupplyGeek and No Pen Intended have photo evidence of how the G2 performs. Compared with the ink from the other pens we tested, the Jetstream’s ink showed the least on the opposite sides of notebook pages. It … Wirecutter is reader-supported. While the Fisher Space Pen and Pilot G2 refills are the most popular, there are hundreds more to choose from (yes, really). Affordable, smooth, left-hand friendly, and filled with the best-performing ink, the Jetstream is a verified go-to pen. ... Best Gel Pen: Pilot G2 Retractable Gel-Ink Pens; Best Rollerball Pen: Uni-Ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pen; ... so users will need to have their own inkwell on hand to be able to refill it. Note: pen theft is a real issue, which we recommend combatting by buying 20 packs of your favorite pen, and giving them to all your loved ones so they won’t steal yours anymore]. Related Gear:    Tofty on Shapeways 3D prints adapters that will let you use a Hi Tec Coleto … One area where the Signo 307 falls short of its predecessor is in the availability of colors. 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. Always check the tip width (usually between 0.25 mm and 1.0 mm) and compare it against a similar type of pen (ballpoint, gel, or rollerball) whose ink lines you know and like. Sarasa Lv Refill … It doesn’t streak, skip, or bleed through the page, unlike some of the other erasable pens we tested, such as the Paper Mate pens, and it dries quickly so smudging shouldn’t be an issue. 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. Brian Greene of OfficeSupplyGeek previously described the Jetstream as “super smooth and solidly consistent,” and wrote in 2009 that it “effortlessly … glided across the paper,” to the point it felt like “what happens when you hydroplane in a car.” During our testing, one Wirecutter staffer wrote that the Jetstream’s “glide was the most smooth and relaxed,” and that the pen “felt more comfortable writing with minimal pressure.” Another said the Jetstream, compared with the Precise V5 RT and Signo 307, was “the only pen that didn’t smudge and didn’t skip.”. 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. If you want to buy a fountain pen but also have the option of using a Pilot G2 or similar refill, get one of these grips. Pilot also makes erasable markers (in bold and fine tips) and highlighters that we tested and liked. I have everything from an $8 Zebra F-701 -> all the way up to a $100+ EDC Pen. The Pilot G2 is a massively popular gel pen, a best seller in many stores and online. The R:E Erasable Gel Pen’s unique plastic eraser left almost nothing behind, but the off-black ink we tried was too light for our taste. They also stand apart from the rest of the crowd with four tip sizes to choose from, so you can have one for … Let us know in the comments below. We tested all three pens in their most common tip width—although you can track any of them down in thicker or thinner variants, those variants are often harder to find, so we erred in favor of what you’re more likely to get your hands on. 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. The Parker style standard G2 ballpoint refill is the most common pen refill on the market. Parker Jotter. The Pilot G2 is a massively popular gel pen, a best seller in many stores and online. We’re also fans of Pilot’s Erasable FriXion ColorSticks, but they don’t have a grip, a design that could cause some finger pain if you’re writing for a long time. If you're carrying a pen just to sign receipts, then avoid a gel refill. #TOP 1. It’s easy to find in stores, it writes smoothly on most paper, and it’s affordable enough that you won’t be heartbroken if someone permanently borrows it. 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. 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 The Signo UM-101 Gel Pen was inky and satisfying to write with, but it didn’t erase as well as the others, leaving a distinct shadow behind. And five days later, once the ink had really settled in, it erased just as cleanly as on day one. The Pilot FriXion Clicker Erasable Retractable Gel Pen is our favorite because it’s satisfyingly inky, it comes in a variety of colors, and it erased just as cleanly in our testing on day five, after the ink had time to settle in, as it did on day one. That lines up with what the expert bloggers told us. Some experts and testers liked that it wasn’t as smooth as the Jetstream, preferring the feel of its finer point. It's hard to read writing on both sides of a single sheet of paper because of the bleeding. But not everybody wants the smoothest writing with the fewest possible ink problems. Ink across the page in the availability of colors page, can easily and... Erased just as cleanly as on day five is one of the ’ 90 ’ s feel is a,! A portion of our writing immediately and tried again five days later, once the ink across page. ’ ve studied pen styles, ink performance, and vivid lines Medium rollerball refill $ 4.75 on. 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