best pens for writing

Your best pens for writing are the ones you are familiar with and have with you. I think pens are very personal so it’s really worth trying a few pens to find out which you prefer. I’m really picky about the pens I use and have recently compared my best pens for writing.

Best Pens for Writing

All the following pens are black ink, tested on the same smooth, white cardstock.

  • Uni-Ball Signo retractable gel pen in black micropoint. This is my current favourite pen, but it’s not perfect, so I’m still looking. Sometimes the ink doesn’t fill in so it’s not as black as I would like. This is not a good pen for writing on shiny paper like photos.
  • American Crafts Precision Pen 03, pigment ink. I got a set of Precision Pens of various sizes (01,03,05, 08). This 03 is the second smallest size and it was okay for me. It seemed like the ink was more grey compared to the other pens, which I didn’t like.
  • Sakura Pigma Micron Ink 003. This is the smallest size I have in this brand. I really like very fine pointed pens, so this is my favourite Sakura pen. These Sakura pens feel like they have a square tip compared to the Uni-Ball Signo, which feels round. The square tip means that I had to almost hold the pen vertically to get it to make a complete stroke, which I found uncomfortable. I would not use the Sakura pens on rough surfaces like watercolor paper because the tip works best on a very smooth surface.
  • American Crafts Slick Writer F. I found even this fine size to be too big for me. It seems to be the smallest size available in Slick Writers. However, these pens are fantastic for writing on shiny surfaces, like photo paper.
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker, Ultra Fine Point. Sharpie pens bleed the most of all the pens I’ve tried in this review. They can be used on photo paper, like the Slick Writer, though I prefer the tip of the Slick Writer, which feels more precise than the Sharpie. Both the Sharpie and the Slick Writer requires some time to let the ink dry on shiny surfaces. I believe that this Sharpie is not archival safe, but there are other pens made by Sharpie that are archival safe.
  • American Crafts Precision Pen 05, pigment ink. I like a thinner tip on a pen, so I found this pen too thick.
  • Sakura Pigma Micron Ink 08. Trying larger sized pen tips confirms that I prefer the smallest sizes available, so I don’t like this pen.

Recommendations for Finding Your Best Pens for Writing

  1. Buy a pack of mixed-sized pens when you’re figuring out what size you like.
  2. Try the pens on different kinds of paper/surfaces. The pen that doesn’t work well on paper might work fantastic on photo paper.

What’s your favourite pen? Post a link in the comments.


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best pens for writing