The Definitive Guide to Pen Selection (2022)

You’ve come to the right place if you’re wondering how the heck to pick a nice pen out of the millions of fantastic pens available around the globe.

Writing style, ink, construction, the type of paper you often use, the reasons for purchase, and even some environmentally friendly aspects of pen shopping will all be covered in this complete guide.

If you need some suggestions for your pen pick, I also have a list of some of the top pens that have been tested at the end of this article.

Let’s begin with…

Writing Format

Simply said, writing style refers to how ink is applied to the writing surface by the pen. There are many different styles available.


A good ballerina can adapt to any dance style like Step Up taught me. The hip-hop ballerina of pens is the ballpoint pen. It is the most adaptable and may be used on almost any writing surface.

In essence, ballpoint pens have tiny ball rolls at the tip that, when pressed, disseminate ink with an oil base. They are frequently more readily available, less priced, and ready to use at any time. Like those miniature orange peanut butter cracker packages.

Pen fountain

On the other hand, fountain pens are the Cinderella of the pen world. Beautiful to look at and use, but perhaps not always the most sensible (Who in their right mind flees from true love wearing just one high heel?)

In fountain pens, the feed is used to push liquid ink all the way to the nib, or point of the pen. They are adaptable to the user’s handwriting, and they enhance the beauty of your signature. Their sole drawback (for some users) is that they demand some level of maintenance and upkeep.

Some users adore having a hand in keeping their pens in working order. However, if left alone, water-based ink will dry up just like the characters who stole the cursed jars from the Mummy.

Fortunately, a fountain pen can be quickly cleaned and refilled with ink to resume use. The best fountain pens feel elegant and delicate, but they can withstand heavy everyday use just like any other pen. So don’t be deceived by the glass shoes; they actually deliver 


The best of both worlds between a ballpoint and a fountain pen is a rollerball (also known as a rolling ball or a select tip pen). You get a smooth writing experience without a care since they combine the liquid-based ink of a fountain pen with the same small ball mechanism of a ballpoint pen.

A Gel Pen

Technically, gel pens are really just rollerballs. In high-end pens, the phrase is frequently used interchangeably. They have a writing pen for students similar to a rollerball.

What sets gel pens apart? Gel ink, I guess.

The distinctions are significant to note here, but we’ll return to them when we discuss inks.

Gel and water-based ink used in gel pens have a very small adhesive quality that makes it stick to almost any surface. Gel ink doesn’t need to penetrate the surface as deeply as water-based inks do in order to capture and emerge clear.

However, many rollerball pens also use the same ink as gel pens. At that time, the distinction between gel pens and rollerball pens is merely formal.

Writing in that old Lisa Frank notebook you still have stashed in the back of your closet requires gel pens. (What’s even the point if you aren’t using a gel pen to write in your journal about your sixth-grade crush?)

Felt-tipped pens

An archival pen or markers with a Crayola fragrance are both examples of felt-tip pens.

The writing tip is created by pressing together porous fibers. Writing results from the fibers absorbing the ink. The best examples of Felt Tip Pens are markers, highlighters, and even the amazing Micron Pens.


Bring out your Palm Pilots and clay tablets, everyone! The stylus has returned. Stylus pens are perfect for writing on computer screens and other flat surfaces now that we’re so focused on all our fancy tablets.

Styluses are considerably more frequently seen as an optional feature and history of ballpoint pen unless you are purchasing one together with your tablet.

A fantastic chart by Bexley pen that breaks down the many sorts of pens and their applications is worth checking out as a final note regarding the fundamental pen types. Top-notch material.

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