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The Best Gel Pens

🕚 Updated March 2022

Gel pens are an excellent writing and drawing tool to create cool art and designs. These pens come in unique and vibrant colors for a variety of projects. With many options available, here are the best ones we recommend.

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  Top Choice Best with Refills Best for Everyday Use Largest Set Best with Permanent Ink
  Shuttle Art
Gel Pen Set
Gel Pens
Premium Gel Pens
Aen Art
Gel Pens For Adult
S-Gel Pens
Our SummaryA unique gel pen set with 120 colors in glitter, neon glitter, metallic, neon, pastel, swirl, and standard.122-pack of gel pens that are fitted with a comfort grip that's easy to hold.Perfect for overachievers, this 12-pack of premium gel pens are refillable and retractable come in ultrafine, extra-fine, fine, and bold point.These artist-quality 160-pack gel pens are high-performance and include 80 refills.A 12-pack of permanent gel pens that feature no-smear technology.
Pros120-value pack, seven types of pen colors, carrying case, good for craft projects.60-pack, six pen types, great carrying case, 60 refills provided, 0.8 to 1.0 mm tips.12-pack, retractable, long-lasting ink, rubber gripper, various fine tip points.80-pack, 80 refills, carrying case, five coloring sheets, six pen types, various tips, rubber grips.12-pack, no smear/bleed technology, contoured grip.
ConsPens may require priming, ink may not flow.No additional refill options.Ink may scratch over time.Some pens may not color smoothly.Not fast-drying, ink may skip.
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The Best Gel Pens

Person using a gel pen to color a flower design.

Buying Guide for Gel Pens

Set of colored pens on paper background
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Why buy gel pens?

Whether you’re simply jotting down notes, doodling, or writing a letter, gel pens are a great way to spruce up any plain piece of paper. Gel pens are typically available in various colors pen thicknesses, and some even contain erasable ink.

What should you look for in gel pens?

  • Colors: Consider what colors you will need for your writing or art project and if the selection suits your needs. Some sets will include every hue and shade you can imagine, possibly in glitter or metallic form. Others may be more subdued and offer neutral tones, while some brands provide a basic black pen for everyday use.
  • Thickness: Gel pens typically come in a range of tip sizes, so you can opt for fine points if you’re doing more detailed work or regular tip sizes for everyday writing. Tip sizes usually range from 0.3 mm to 1.0 mm.
  • Left or Right-Handed: Some gel pens even have cushy grips designed for right and left-handed writers; some are just for lefties.

What special ink effects do gel pens have?

Some gel pens have erasable ink, which is an excellent option for those practicing their handwriting, doing math, or even writing in a journal. Some gel pens even have a marbled effect, where the ink comes in out in different colors while writing. Gel pens are water-based ink that takes longer to dry and can smudge if you’re not careful. There are also waterproof inks on the market too.

Our Picks for the Best Gel Pens

Top Choice

Shuttle Art Gel Pen Set

A unique gel pen set with 120-colors in litter, neon glitter, metallic, neon, pastel, swirl, and standard.

Pros: This value pack of gel pens contains what you need and more to create fun doodles and designs. Inside the cute travel packaging, there are 120 unique gel pens. The pens come in seven different color types: glitter, neon glitter, metallic, neon, pastel, swirl, and standard. The pens are nontoxic and acid-free. Use them for all your projects, including scrapbooks, sketching, drawing, writing, and even bullet journaling.

Cons: Some colors may require priming before writing, and it may be challenging to get the ink to flow.

Bottom Line: Each gel pen is long-lasting, with durable tips that provide smooth-writing quality. With a vast size and variety of color types, you can use them for most art projects or letters.


Best with Refills

Soucolor Gel Pens

122-pack of gel pens that are fitted with a comfort grip that's easy to hold.

Pros: This set of gel pens comes in a great carrying case for on the go. There are 60 pens in this set, and it additionally comes with 60 matching color refills and an adult coloring book. This set has six types of pens, including glitter, pastel, neon, rainbow, and classic. Each pen is fitted with a comfortable grip, making it easy to hold and comfortable for writing and drawing. The pens come in both 0.8 mm and 1.0 mm tips.

Cons: Although this pack comes with refills, there is no way to purchase additional refills once used up.

Bottom Line: These gel pens dry fast, so there will be no smearing, which is excellent for coloring books.


Best for Everyday Use

PILOT Premium Gel Pens

Perfect for overachievers, this 12-pack of premium gel pens are refillable and retractable come in ultrafine, extra-fine, fine, and bold point.

Pros: The retractable pilot G2 gel pen is ideal for overachievers with its smooth writing and long-lasting ink. This pen has a comfortable rubber grip and is available in ultrafine, extra-fine, fine, and bold points. The pen can be refilled and is excellent for writing or school notes.

Cons: The ink may become scratchy over time.

Bottom Line: This gel pen is an exceptional writing instrument well-suited for most needs, whether for writing or doodling your favorite sketch.


Largest Set

Aen Art Gel Pens For Adults

These artist-quality 160-pack gel pens are high-performance and include 80 refills.

Pros: This gel pen set comes with 160 pens tucked nicely into a carrying case, with five coloring sheets for practice. The set includes 80 pens with 80 matched refills, including glitter, metallic, pastel, neon, rainbow, and classic pens. The set contains 40% more ink in each pen and refill so that they will last longer. The tips are 0.8 to 1.0 mm tips with soft grips for comfort.

Cons: The metallic, neon, and pastel pens do not color as smoothly.

Bottom Line: The coloring gel pen set is nontoxic and acid-free, which allows for smooth application on coloring books, crafts, letters, and more.


Best with Permanent Ink

Sharpie S-Gel Pens

A 12-pack of permanent gel pens that feature no-smear technology.

Pros: This 12-pack of pens contains smooth, bold ink that meets a stunning design to create a high-performance gel pen. It features no-smear, no-bleed technology, and it delivers always-vivid writing. The pens each have a contoured rubber grip for comfortable use.

Cons: It is not a fast-drying pen, and the 0.7 mm may skip while writing.

Bottom Line: This pen’s sleek, modern design is eye-catching and provides most people with an excellent finish and writing experience.

Final Thoughts

Gel pens are an exceptionally fun type of pen that comes in varying colors, writing applications, and can feature a comfortable grip for your writing and doodling needs. The bold-colored inks are sure to bring endless fun to your projects.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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