The winners in a massive roundup of the 100 Best Pens are surprisingly affordable


Originally published at:


Oooh pretty. And of course I am weird, I hang out here don’t I.


Pilot G2, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.


Pilot Precise V5 is #16, but it will always be #1 in my heart.


I like the uniball Signo 307 because you can hit it with a wet q-tip and it’s just soluble enough to make a wash, but not enough to ruin the original line. Wood q-tips stay soggy-free and so work better.


And I finally see one of my favorites at Number 8. The Retro 51 Tornado. I used the hell out of one and I have 2 pencils from them as well. Well worth the $20 or more depending on the barrel designs.

ETA for the pen it takes a standard refill so you can change it out to a gel pen if you like. The joy of this writing utensil is the weight and feel of it.

I need to try one of their fountain pens.


I am just in love with my yellow-bodied bic 4-color CMYK pen, thank you!

bic CMYK 4-color 1

bic CMYK 4-color 2

Not exactly available in stores or online…


My favorite fountain pens for drawing are the Duke 551 Confucius with the crazy large fude nib, and the Franklin-Christoph 66 Stabilus.

Using the 551 is like troweling ink on with a palette knife, but it is surprisingly controllable.

And the form of the F-C 66 resembles an artist’s paint brush, but with a nib instead of bristles. I like it because I can draw with my fingers well back from the nib, up the handle, which I prefer.


Sadly, for now, it’s been “Strategist’d” and is only available from third-party sellers for $25+ apiece. Hopefully it’ll be restocked.


I’m pretty happy with the Pentel R.S.V.P. series both medium and fine point. Not great great great but comfortable for long stretches and affordable and findable.


Came here to say this. Thank you, by the way, for checking the list to see where my true love resides. I would have been heartbroken if the V5 didn’t make it.


The link they post for the Hay “Bullet” ballpoint, as well as the top Google link, both lead to 404 pages. Peak quality there :+1:


None of my favorites were there :frowning:

Zebra F-301 - perfect ballpoint that’s also a discreet tactical steel “little friend”

Copic Multiliner 0.2 - pigment ink hairline makes every note an engraved invitation

Waterman Exception - luscious; OMG, the square sections align perfectly


very pleased my favorite not special at all Pilot Precise V5 (&7)s rated so high. I’m not crazy.


If you live near a Kinokuniya check there. They have an excellent pen and pencil selection.


I wonder why the Pilot Precise V5 and Pilot G2 were rated so highly but the even better Pilot P-500 wasn’t on the list. It takes the best from the other Pilots without many of their drawbacks.


I’m not, but now that you mention it, there’s a pretty excellent Japanese grocery/goods store not far away, and I bet they’d have something similar!


This is the kind of article I bookmark in my “Things I want” folder, amongst dozens of weird items I will probably never buy and a few I can’t afford.


And just like that I buy 100 pens. DOCTOROW!

(Seriously though, the best pen is a Lamy Safari fountain pen in Extra-Fine. I try to collect every year’s special color release. My latest acquisition is purple with purple ink in celebration of Mrs. Zimmerman from The House with a Clock in its Walls.)


I much prefer the Parker Jotter XL to the original Parker Jotter. And I’m disappointed that Tactile Turn didn’t show up, although I like the fact that Karas Kustoms did.