No one should be surprised by the popularity of gel pens in the writing and craft community. Crisp lines and vibrant colours are appreciated by students, professionals, crafters and journalers who use them. However, choosing the best gel pen for everyone isn't an easy task: some prefer pastel colours, while others demand the finest tips. Instead of comparing every gel pen in this guide to each other, we've chosen the best ones that cover all the bases. Gel pens have a distinct advantage over other pens because of their opaque-looking ink that stands out on the page. However, not all gel pens are created equal. Use our handy guide below to find the best gel pens for all of your needs, whether you use one for daily note-taking, art or journaling.
What are Gel Pens?
Gel pens have only been around for a relatively short time. A gel pen, like ballpoint and rollerball pens, has a small, revolving ball at the end of the barrel. You write with the ball coated in ink from the reservoir, and that ink flows onto the page as you write along. Because the pigments are suspended in a liquid gel, gel ink is unique. It is common for gel pens to produce lines that are wider than a ballpoint and finer than a rollerball with the same nominal tip size. It's also easier on the hands because the ink flows without effort. If you aren't careful, gel inks can smudge if the water-based gel isn't dried quickly enough.
The Best Gel Pens of 2022
Zebra Sarasa Push-Clip Gel Pens
These gel pens from Zebra are a constant bestseller, and for a reason. The Sarasa Push-Clip Gel Pens have a water-based pigment gel ink that writes smoothly, dries quickly, and leaves lines that are consistently sharp. These super-smooth gel pens come in a range of colours, as well as a pack of 10 colours for when you can’t choose.Colourfuland resistant to water, fading or feathering are just a few of the features of this high-quality Japanese ink. In addition to the ergonomic rubber grip and a strong retractable 0.5mm tip, this pen has a large spring clip that makes it easy to carry in a shirt pocket or in a thick notebook. Shop the Zebra Sarasa Push-Clip Gel Pens Here!
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Gel Pens
The Gelly Roll by Sakura is the original gel pen, with Sakura first experimenting with gel pens in the 1980s. The Sakura Gelly Roll pens use a water-based pigment ink that is unique to the brand. The ink never dries out in the barrel thanks to the patented ink technology, and you can see exactly how much ink is left in the pen thanks to the transparent barrel. They’re great for colouring, sketching, making paper crafts, and even journaling. As a result, Gelly Roll Classic pens are ideal for use in legal documents and scrapbooks, as well as any written document - meaning they make a great addition to your desk or home office. Gelly Roll pens are available in a range of colours, including pastel and the ever-popular White Gel Pen, which shows opaque on paper, making it ideal for use on black paper and kraft paper, for card-making, bullet journaling and artworks. Shop the Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Gel Pens here!
Sakura Ballsign Kirara Metallic Gel Pens
Use Sakura Ballsign Kirara metallic gel pens to give your writing, drawings, and doodles a glimmering finish. They are available in a variety of colours and can write on a variety of surfaces, including glossy and matte, as well as light and dark coloured papers. A rollerball gel ink pen provides a smooth flow of ink and a well-defined line. The design of these pens is comfortable, making them an easy-to-use rollerball pen for long periods of time. They are also resistant to water and fading, making it ideal for long-term use, most papers will have no smudges, feathers, or bleed-through. The ink in these pens has a beautiful, subtle sheen to it with flecks of glitter. Shop the Sakura Ballsign Kirara Metallic Gel Pens here!
Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic Gel Pens
15 vibrant colours are available in the Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic gel pen range. With each stroke, the pens produce an array of distinct shades that appear differently depending on the paper colour (for example, black paper vs white paper) and the viewing angle. In terms of writing tools, the Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic Gel Pen is a tonne of fun. The colours of the ink are taken from nature and will appear different to the eye depending on the angle from which it is viewed. When written on black or white paper, the colour of the ink changes. Achieve bold lines with a 1.0mm diameter ball tip; a popular choice for bullet journalers and card makers. Shop the Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic Gel Pens here!
Sakura Moonlight Gel Pens
Sakura Moonlight Gel Pens use the same patented gel ink as the Sakura Gelly Roll pens, that works well on both light and dark-coloured papers, producing a bright and vivid result. There are no dull or lifeless colours in the Gelly Roll Moonlight collection. If you're looking for a paint pen-like writing tool for your planner or journal, the creamy, smooth, opaque ink is ideal. On high-quality white paper, colours pop brilliantly, while on high-quality black paper, hues pop even more. Using a black light source, the vibrant colours come to life. Drawing, doodling, and colouring are all made easier with this ink's creamy, smooth, and opaque consistency. Shop the Sakura Moonlight Gel Pens here!
Thanks so much for reading our gel pen review! Let us know if you try any out from this list. What's your favourite type of pen to write with? Let us know in the comments!
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