Top 5 Pen Recommendations - Overall
- Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 mm - Vibrant, smooth, and consistent.
- TWSBI 580 - Hard to beat the value and versatility.
- *NEW Ti2 TechLiner - This pen has a real shot at the #1 overall spot.
- *NEW Retro 51 Tornado - I always have one in my backpack. It's about time it makes this list.
- Ohto Graphic Liner - Still amazed how good this pen is.
Top 5 Micro Gel Ink Pens
- Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 mm - More consistent than the Hi-Tec-C.
- Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm - The finest, crispest lines going.
- Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.4 mm - Super sharp lines, great clip. Needs more love!
- *NEW Uni-ball Signo RT1 - If you are lucky you can find these in your local office supply store.
- Pilot Juice 0.38 mm - A better option than the G2. By far.
Top 5 Pens In The Store
- Uni-ball Jetstream - Stay away from the 1.0 mm.
- Uni-ball Signo 207 - "But what can I buy at Staples that is good?" This.
- *NEW Uni-ball Vision Elite - I've been overlooking this one for too long. The new BLX line got me back on track.
- Sharpie Pen - Would be #1 if it was more durable.
- Pentel EnerGel - People swear by their EnerGels.
Top 5 Fountain Pens - No-Brainers
- TWSBI 580 - TWSBI should be Taiwanese for "Great value."
- *NEW Sailor 1911 - Can't go wrong with the standard barrel or the Black Luster model, which I own. Amazing nib.
- Lamy 2000 - The perfect combination of style, performance, and price.
- Pilot Vanishing Point - An elite writer, especially on the fine end of the spectrum.
- Edison Beaumont - From "I'm not sure" to "I can't put it down" in short order.
Top 5 Fountain Pens - Some-Brainers
- Edison Menlo - Great build and filling system plus fully customizable.
- *NEW Nakaya Portable - My first Nakaya. I made the right choice.
- *NEW Pilot Murex - Is this even fair? This pen elicits emotions I can't begin to explain.
- Pilot Custom Heritage 912 - The PO nib is that good.
- Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket - Step up your eyedropper game. Masuyama nib option to boot.
Top 5 Fountain Pen Inks
- Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai - Blue Black inks are my favorites, and this one tops them all.
- Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa - I swap inks a lot and this one always makes the rotation.
- *NEW P.W. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw - Amazing color and shading with this one and easier to come by than ever before.
- Sailor Sky High - Better than Kon-Peki? I think so. Also, is it fair to keep discontinued inks on this list?
- *NEW Sailor Yama-dori - I've never been a teal guy but red sheen on blue inks is hot.
Top 5 Blue Black Fountain Pen Inks
- Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai - It tops my overall ink list too.
- *NEW P.W. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw
- Sailor Blue Black - I've come around on this one and love it in my Sailor pens.
- Pelikan Blue Black - Not available in the US but worth tracking down.
- Lamy Blue Black - One of the best bangs for your buck.
Top 5 Plastic Tip Pens
- Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka - One of the biggest surprises I have tested.
- Sakura Pigma Micron - Everyone can, and does, use Microns.
- Copic Multiliner SP - Beautiful and refillable...and expensive.
- Sharpie Pen - Readily available and solid choice.
- Uni Pin - Solid entry level drawing pen.
Top 5 Paper Products
- Doane Paper Idea Journal - Beautiful, durable, and portable.
- Rhodia Dot Pad - My favorite fountain pen paper.
- Field Notes Memo Books - Love the seasonal releases.
- Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration - As good as Rhodia and more portable, but costs more.
- Tomoe River Paper - Might be #1 when it becomes readily available in more formats.
Top 5 Multi Pens
- Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto - So many options and a great refill makes it tough to beat.
- Uni Style Fit - Late to the game but compares well to the Coleto.
- Zebra Sharbo X - Only cost (initial and ongoing) keeps this from being #1.
- Uni-ball Jetstream - The best ballpoint multi pen option by far.
- Zebra Prefill - If you like the Sarasa Clip this is as close as you will get in a multi pen.
Top 5 Ballpoint Pens
- Uni-ball Jetstream 0.5 mm - Sharp, fine and solid lines. Elite, but not for everyone.
- Pilot Acroball 0.5 mm - More like a 1A with the Jetstream.
- Pentel Vicuna 0.7 mm - A big surprise with its pitch black ink.
- Pilot Dr. Grip 0.7 mm - The best of the traditional ballpoints.
- Zebra Surari 0.5 mm - 0.5 mm or nothing for the Surari.
*NEW Top 5 Roller Ball Pens
- Retro 51 Tornado - This may be the most recommended pen on this entire page.
- Morning Glory Mach 3 - Extremely underrated pen. In fact, I need to stock up on a few more.
- Uni-ball Vision Elite - A great writer with an impressive feature set.
- Lamy Tipo - Surprisingly good stock refill, also swappable for G2 compatible refills.
- Kaweco AL Sport - The pocket rocket of pens.
Top 5 Kickstarter Pens
- Ti2 TechLiner - I'm in love with my Kickstarter gonzodized version.
- Karas Kustoms Render K - Hard to beat the simple beauty of the Render K.
- Tactile Turn Mover - A complete surprise, and an amazing grip.
- BIGiDESIGN Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus - Refills galore fit the Ti.
- *NEW Karas Customs INK - Brand new and so good.
Top 5 Extreme Weather Pens
- Tombow Airpress - My pressurized refill pen of choice.
- Fisher Space Pen - The classic, but not the best writer.
- Uni-ball Power Tank - Writes great, could use a more durable barrel.
- Tombow Airpress Apro - Smaller, slimmer sibling of the Airpress.
- Pilot Down Force - Solid clip and barrel, average writer.
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