The Online News Magazine of Fairfax High School

Ink it Up: The Best Practical Pens

November 25, 2013

Have you been faithfully sticking to a generic biro? It’s time to upgrade your writing experience with better tools of the trade.


Best pen overall: Pentel RSVP


Point types: Fine and medium


The Pentel RSVP’s bargain price and outstanding features make it the best pen overall among the pens tested by Rebel Roar staff. (Photo courtesy of Photobucket.)

Tip type: Stainless steel

Colors: Black, red, blue, green, orange, pink, sky blue, violet

Comfort: 5/5

Its ergonomic design, thick barrel and latex-free grip allow the pen to remain comfortable even after writing for hours on end.

Ink: 4.5/5

The gel-type ink does not bleed through paper and flows smoothly with rare ink clots, which cannot be said for more expensive gel and rollerball pens. The ink-delivery system never leaks and the pen works until all the ink is used. The red is fainter than other colors but is still dark enough for easy reading.

Price: 5/5

This pen is truly a bargain. Heavily discounted on Amazon and available in bulk in club stores, the RSVP is cheap and its quality exceeds its price.

Where to buy: Online retailers, most chain stores.


Best pen for essays: Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball


Point types: Extra fine point and fine point

Tip type: Needle-point

Colors: Black, blue, red, green, purple, pink, turquoise

pilot precise v5 rolling ball

An uncomfortable grip means that the Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pen, with its otherwise strong performance, is best with shorter writing assignments. (Photo courtesy of Photobucket.)

Comfort: 2/5

Although the pen itself is light as a feather, its smaller barrel is not comfortable for an extended period of time. The ridged area meant for traction is cumbersome and imprints onto the side of the finger.

Ink: 5/5

The needle-point technology ensures skip-free, blotch-free and effortless writing with a fade-proof and waterproof ink. The ink-delivery system claims to remain unaffected by standard air pressure and altitude variations, although the pen may leak on airplanes.The colors are crisp and clear.

Price: 5/5

The V5 proves that you don’t always need to pay more for more quality. Although it may cost more than a traditional ballpoint pen, its performance is worth the extra money.

Where to buy: Online retailers, most chain stores.


Best erasable pen: Pilot Frixion


Point types: Fine

Tip type: Gel rolling ball


Perhaps the cleanest erasing erasable ink pen ever, the Pilot Frixion Pro’s hefty price and short life span make its usefulness limited. (Photo courtesy of Photobucket.)

Colors: Black, blue, brown, lime green, orange, pink, purple, red

Comfort: 5/5

With a thin rubber grip and a narrow barrel, the Frixion is uncomfortable after writing for a period of time although the pen itself is not heavy. The “eraser” is on the end of the pen, so the cap must be removed to erase.

Ink: 5/5

The Frixion is superior to both pencil and pen- it actually erases cleanly without tearing the paper and is smudge-free. However, the black ink is closer to a cashmere grey than a true black. The smooth gel ink also runs out faster than other Pilot pens (according to Pilot’s website, this pen can only write for a fraction of the distance of other pens). The pen is also not meant for important documents like take-home tests, contracts or college applications since heat causes the ink to disappear.

Price: 1/5

Even though the Frixion is an amazing pen, it is not worth the expensive price-tag. The ink runs out startlingly fast and refills are not available to American markets.

Where to buy: Online retailers, most chain stores.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Ink it Up: The Best Practical Pens”

  1. coach_hoffert on February 26th, 2014 10:56 AM

    I can’t believe you’re sleeping on the Pilot G-2 1.0 click pen… I used to swear by the 0.7, but the smooth writing and convenience of the click-pen style make this the best writing implement on the market. I’ve been recommending it to my classes (on my syllabus) for years. It’s definitely my #1 seed.

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