The Best Pens for Your Writing Task

We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s a right tool for every job.” Well, here at, that phrase is much more than a nugget of wisdom from everybody’s handy grandpa—it’s a mantra. Some may call us obsessed, and we’re ok with that. Because if you really think about it, the pen is a tool nearly everybody uses every day. In fact, the pen may be the most-used tool ever.

And now that you’ve thought about it, we bet you’re wondering if you’re using the best pens for whatever writing job is at hand. Luckily for you, we’ve been thinking about this for more than 60 years, and we love nothing more than sharing the wisdom of our pen toolkit with you.

Best Pens for Writing Checks

Best Pens for Signing Documents and Cards

Best Pens to Store in Your Purse or Car

Best Pens for Writing Essays or Long Documents

Best Pens for Writing Checks

These days, many people make the majority of their payments electronically, but there are still times when writing a physical check is required. You may not realize it, but using the correct pen for writing a check is actually vitally important because the wrong pen may make your check “washable.”

Check washing is a form of fraud where ink is chemically removed from a check so that it can be re-written. Most inks can be washed from a check using a basic, easily-obtained solvent like acetone, but some inks are much more difficult to wash away.

Gel ink is more difficult to wash off than ballpoint ink or rollerball ink because it’s water- and pigment-based. Its less viscous nature allows tiny particles of pigment to actually embed themselves in the paper of a check. One of our favorites is the Metro Gel Pen, which offers contemporary styling and an especially smooth writing experience.

Best Pens for Signing Documents and Cards

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

When you are signing an important document or greeting card, you want your signature to look crisp, bold, and dignified—and you absolutely don’t want smears or smudges to mar the effect.

This is another type of writing for which gel ink pens are ideal. Gel ink glides most smoothly across the paper, which helps create a clearer line and reduces the likelihood of skipping. Plus, gel ink dries most quickly, so you don’t need to worry about your heartfelt message morphing into a personal Rorschach test once you put Auntie Fran’s birthday card into its envelope.

We say that the Newport Gel Pen is one of our favorite signing pens. Not only does it have ultra-smooth ink, but it its elegant appearance can help that little extra bit of gravitas to the experience.

Best Pens to Store in Your Purse or Car

If you’re looking for a pen to keep stashed in a purse, car glove box, gym bag, or…wherever…we have ideas for that, too.

For this, you need a trusty pen that you can rely on after possibly not using it for quite some time, but that you don’t mind removing from your daily rotation and can afford to lose. Your “stash pen” should also be capped, so you don’t discover it open and lying in wait somewhere ready to spring a leak or stab you as you blindly search for it in the bottom of your abyssal bag.

How about our Value Stick Pen? Not only does this ballpoint pen have the necessary cap, but it comes in just about every color you can imagine, so it will be easier to identify at the bottom of your bag than the standard black-barrel pen. Plus the ballpoint ink takes literal years to dry out and at this price point, you can afford to buy enough of these classic ballpoint pens to keep one stashed in every bag you own!

Best Pens for Writing Essays or Long Documents

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Just like with taking notes, using the right pen for writing essays or long documents can make a huge difference.

When the ideas are flowing, you need to be sure your pen’s ink is flowing just as quickly. Not only does this help you get all those brilliant thoughts onto the paper before they vanish, but it also helps to reduce hand fatigue. And anyone who has had to frantically scribble a long exam or struggled to keep up with a fast talker during a meeting knows hand fatigue can be a killer.

In addition to smooth-flowing ink, the best pens for writing essays or long documents also have a comfortable grip that helps keep the hand relaxed. One of our favorites is the Contour Chrome Pen, which not only features a comfy grip but also uses our SmoothWrite™ ink—taking the (physical) discomfort out of extended writing tasks.

So there you have it: the best pen for the most common writing tasks. Still not sure? Give one of our friendly pen geeks a call for a more personalized recommendation. While you’re at it, don’t just stop finding the perfect pen for yourself—we’d love to help you choose the custom pen that best fits your business, as well!’s Picks for The Best Pens

Looking for the winners and runner-ups by popular pen categories – from gel pens to ballpoint and more? See our blog post on the best pens of 2019!

Katie H.

Katie in a nutshell? Well, for a start, she thinks custom pens are just about the coolest thing ever. Don’t you?

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