A Guide to the Best Pens: Expensive Pens, Cheap Pens, and Everything in Between

Let’s talk about pens! Whether you opt for affordable or expensive pens, our guide to the best pens has something for everyone. We’ll cover pens for a wide range of preferences, uses, and budgets, including the best fancy pens, fountain pens, travel pens, journaling pens, calligraphy pens, and more.


 


 

larry says

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? We carry dozens of different pens available in a variety of package sizes, from 1 pen to bulk boxes. Browse the Blue Summit Supplies pen catalog.


 

Cheap Pens vs. Expensive Pens

Do you need to spend a lot of money to get a quality pen? It really comes down to your personal preference. There are many quality options that are both affordable and easy to order online, but an expensive luxury pen can make a statement.

 Luxury Pen Graphic

When deciding whether you should opt for a $2 pen or a $200+ pen, consider how often you use a pen in the first place, who will see you use it, and how often you lose your pens.

If you commonly sign a lot of important documents or meet with important clients in person, a classy pen from a well-known brand can help you stand out. On the other hand, if you generally work from home, a luxury brand name pen might not be worth the big price jump. How often do you misplace your writing supplies? If you often lose your pen, you should consider affordable options that can be purchased in bulk.

The best place to buy pens is online or from your local office supplies store. Amazon carries many varieties of pens, but check if local businesses carry the pens you are looking for first. Blue Summit Supplies carries a large catalog of pens that can be ordered online and shipped directly to your business, school, or home. If you are considering purchasing a luxury pen that costs $100 or more, we recommend going into a supplies store so that you can test the pen in person before making a commitment.


 

Best Cheap Pens

Best Cheap Pens

Sometimes, simple is all you need, especially when you’re providing pens for an entire office or classroom. Paper Mate Comfort Grip Ballpoint Pens are simple, effective, and affordable. They are built with a triangular barrel for a more natural grip and feature a medium retractable ballpoint.

Features/Benefits:

  • Affordable
  • Triangular comfort barrel
  • Retractable ballpoint
  • Best Luxury Pen

    Best Luxury Pens

    Looking for pure luxury from your pen? The luxurious Cross Retractable Ballpoint Pen

    is made from polished chrome with a 23 Karat gold-plate. It’s ideal for boardroom meetings, signing checks, and portraying success. This is one pen you don’t want to misplace!

    Features/Benefits:

    • Cross brand
    • Incredibly smooth writing
    • 23 Karat gold-plate
    • Chrome barrel
    • Contoured clip
    • Refillable
    • Can convert into a ballpoint or felt-tip pen
    Best Cheap Fountain Pens

    Best Cheap Fountain Pens

    A fountain pen doesn’t need to be expensive to showcase your unique, classy style. You can find a quality refillable fountain pen for between $20 to $40 online.

    A less expensive pen is a better option for those who aren’t used to writing with a fountain pen. You may find you don’t like the writing style, so it would be a shame to purchase a $200 pen you won’t ever use.

    The Matte Black Forest Fountain Pen has a classic design, crisp look, and is an ideal fountain pen for beginners. It comes in matte black as well as a number of other shades and metallic finishes.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Affordable
    • Converter included to use bottled ink
    • Available in multiple shades/finishes
    • Available with a fine point or bent point
    • Refillable (ink not included)
    • Comes in a metal pen case
    Best Luxury Fountain Points

    Best Luxury Fountain Pens

    Cross makes some of the best fountain pens for writing, including the Cross ATX Brushed Black PVD Fountain Pen. It has an ergonomic design with a brushed finish and etched diamond pattern that’s both classic and modern.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Brushed black finish
    • Available in multiple shades/finishes
    • Comfortable tapered barrel
    • Integrated clip
    • Personalized engraving possible
    • Comes in a premium gift box
    Best Colored Fountain Pens

    Best Colored Fountain Pens

    You have two options when it comes to colored fountain pens. You can use a regular fountain pen (like the ones we’ve suggested above) and fill it with colored ink, such as red, blue, or other more vibrant colors. For this method, you can only use one color ink refill at a time. When one cartridge is finished, you can replace it with another color cartridge of your choosing.

    For a simple and cost-effective alternative, you can purchase non-refillable fountain pens that come in a package of multiple colors. The ZEBRA Assorted Colors Fountain Pen Set is cartridge-free and contains seven different shades (black, blue, red, green, purple, turquoise, and pink) all in one package.

    Features/Benefits:

    • 6mm fine point
    • Includes multiple colors
    • No need to refill
    • Available in bulk packages
    Best Colored Pens

    Best Colored Pens

    Paper Mate Inkjoy Ballpoint Pens come in a package of fun assorted colors. The pens create bright, crisp lines and have a retractable click. The package includes magenta, red, orange, green, turquoise, blue, purple, and black.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Assorted colors
    • 1mm point
    • Translucent barrel
    Best Pocket Pens

    Best Pocket Pens

    Need a pocket sized pen that can travel with you wherever you go? The NarwhalCo (3.35") Small Pen is ideal for pockets, wallets, planners, purses, and passport cases. It comes in packages of two pens with a shiny silver finish that is also available in red or teal. The pen includes a lifetime warranty and free refills, so long as you still own your NarwhalCo pen.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Pocket size (3.35 inches/8.5 cm)
    • Lightweight
    • Sturdy metal to withstand travel
    • Available in silver, red, or teal
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Includes one black and one blue refill box
    • Free refills

     

    💡 Travel Journal Ideas for Your Next Adventure

    Best Pens for Journaling

    Best Pens for Journaling

    The Gelly Roll Sakura Gel Pen is a must-have for many bullet journalers. Noted for being “ice cream smooth,” its crisp black line doesn’t bleed through the pages and can be used for a number of different spread designs.

    Features/Benefits:

    • 3mm fine line
    • Smooth lines
    • Waterproof
    • Fade-resistant
    • Doesn’t bleed through bullet journal pages

     

    💡 Learn How to Use a Bullet Journal for Work and Organization

    Best Colored Pens for Journaling

    Best Colored Pens for Journaling

    Gelly Roll pens come in a wide range of colors that are perfect for bullet journal users. The lines are crisp and smooth for creating spread designs, and the pen ink doesn’t fade or bleed through the pages. They come in a huge assortment of colors and textures, including classic, moonlight, and metallic.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Many different vibrant colors and textures
    • Various line sizes available
    • Many can write on black paper
    • Smooth lines
    • Waterproof
    • Fade-resistant
    • Doesn’t bleed through bullet journal pages
    Best Calligraphy Pens for Beginners

    Best Calligraphy Pens for Beginners

    Hethrone Calligraphy Fineliner Pens are ideal for calligraphy enthusiasts and beginners alike. The pen set comes with 12 different pen tips ranging from 0.2mm to 3mm for experimenting with different calligraphy styles and art projects.

    Features/Benefits:

    • 2mm to 3mm tips
    • Clear labels to identify tip styles
    • Quick drying
    • Waterproof
    Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy

    Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy

    Brush pens are ideal for calligraphy, illustrations, artwork, journaling, and more. The Tombow 62038 Fudenosuke Brush Pens come in a two pack with black brush pen tips in two different sizes. These are ideal for sketching, lettering envelopes, and designing bullet journal spreads.

    The Tombow 56167 Dual Brush Pen Art Markers come in a pack of 10 colors with large brush tips. These can be used for both artwork and calligraphy for bold and vibrant strokes.

    Features/Benefits:

    • Fine, medium, or bold strokes
    • Flexible brush tip
    • Available in black or a variety of vibrant or soft colors
    • Non-bleeding

     


     

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Jordan's passion for travel led her to design a career as a remote content marketer. Nearing 1000 published articles, she's spent the past decade using her interdisciplinary education to research and write content for a wide variety of industries. Working remotely, Jordan spends half of the year exploring different corners of the world. At home, she's content exploring fictional lands—Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Game of Thrones, Red Rising, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings.

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