Work pens have come a long way since the days of the quill. Today it seems there are as many types of pens as there are people to use them. Everything from gold plated fountain pens to super cheap disposable ballpoints that form the bulk of pens sold worldwide. In this review guide we’re going to take a look at the top pens for work. For this list we’re going to assume that you have a position of some authority and that you are looking for more than one of those disposable convenience store pens. We’re going to start with our 3 favorites and then go from there. Remember the opinions expressed here are those of our product review experts.
Let’s jump right into things with our top 3 picks for the best work pens. These outstanding examples of writing technology constitute our Hall of Fame when it comes to high quality pens.
If it can be said that there is an iconic name in pens it’s Montblanc. They’ve achieved their lofty status by continually crafting high quality writing instruments since 1906 and this black ball point pen from their Cruise Collection is no exception.
Throwing shade at the Montblanc Cruise Collection black ballpoint would be like trying to find fault with a Lamborghini. It’s the one writing instrument recognized from the courtroom to the boardroom to the break room for its consistent excellence.
- Body of black precious resin for a clean, classic look.
- Platinum coated clip.
- All the panache of having the gold standard of office pens resting in your pocket.
- German engineering excellence.
- A Montblanc pen will set you back real money.
Fisher “Space pens” occupy a somewhat unique position as equal parts high-quality writing instruments and curiosity. Still, they produce a line as beautiful as the lines of the pen’s exterior. And if you ever find yourself in space well, they have you covered there too.
The ink cartridge inside this incredible writing instrument is pressurized so that the ink is force-fed to the tip. As a result you’ll never find yourself at an angle at which the pen won’t work. Beyond that though it’s just a beautiful pen.
- Internal pumping mechanism means the “space pen” will write at any angle.
- Also fully capable of writing in sub-zero temperatures.
- High quality steel and brass construction.
- Maybe the only con is that it’s been typecast as a “space pen” instead of simply as a “great pen”.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of the Uni-ball Impact Gel Pen is the pigment-based inks they use to produce their compelling lines. Those inks bond with the paper creating marks that are both distinctive and completely tamper-proof.
Due to the tamper-proof, secure nature of the line they produce the Uni-ball Bold Point Impact Gel Pens are ideal for those who work in security or law enforcement where your word is your bond. They’re also ideal for signing contracts or other documents.
- The pigment based ink won’t fade in the sun or run if it gets wet.
- These pens are available with an array of ink colors and tip sizes.
- The extra-smooth grip provides a high degree of comfort.
- They tend to run dry quicker than some other pens.
The remaining pens on our list have all earned the right to be here. They’re high quality writing instruments each with their own defining characteristics and strengths.
Parker Jotter Stainless Steel
The Parker Jotter sports a classic sleek profile and would seem right at home in the hands of a CEO or a General Contractor. It’s durable as all get-out and dependable as the sunrise. If you’re looking to nudge your image upward a bit this is a great place to start.
If you want to quietly make an impression pull the Parker Jotter out of your pocket when it’s time to sign that contract. No one will say anything but everyone will take note. That’s not hyperbole, it’s a fact. And isn’t that what luxury pens are for after all?
- Looks as good as it works.
- Stainless steel construction throughout makes for a pen that feels substantial.
- Easily produces a confident line.
- The diameter may be a bit narrow for those with bigger hands.
Smith & Wesson Military Tactical
The Smith & Wesson Military Tactical Pen is every bit as imposing as you’d imagine coming from one of the world’s premier firearms manufacturers. It’s a ballpoint pen fabricated from tough anodized aluminum and has a rich black finish tip to clip.
Here’s a great pen for the law enforcement or military person on your gift list. The pen is tough as nails but also produces a clear, crisp line and because it screws on the cap won’t get lost if things get gnarly. Not in the category of great boardroom pens but one any officer will appreciate.
- Edgy design seems perfectly appropriate.
- Provides a comfortable, no-slip grip that makes writing effortless.
- Cap screws on and off for added security.
- You may find yourself unaccustomed to the screw cap, trying to pull it off or snap it on.
A solid retractable pen from Pilot that won’t bowl you over with its styling but is dependable, durable and affordable. The ribbed finger grip allows you to achieve a nice firm hold with little effort.
The Pilot Retractable Ballpoint pen is a solid entry on our “Best Of” list by virtue of its build quality, dependability, line quality and price. Pilot retractable pens combine classic styling cues and modern touches like the transparent barrel to create a unique, if unspectacular look.
- A combination of high quality plastic and stainless steel.
- Makes a beautiful and consistent fine line.
- Smooth extension and retraction.
- Probably not for the executive office but a great office pen regardless.
Parker Jotter Retractable
The second of the Parker pens on our list this one also sports the company’s simple, timeless design cues coupled with outstanding build quality and a consistent line.
Another of Parker’s timeless pens, the lacquered retractable ballpoint pen says you mean business. The line quality is not what you’ll get from the Montblanc but the black lacquered barrel is almost worth the price of admission all by itself.
- Tasteful, understated design and quality materials say this is an adult pen.
- Is comfortable to hold and stays where you clip it.
- Authoritative, satisfying click.
- May find yourself using it just to hear the click.
When you move up to fountain pens you’re leaving the ordinary behind and stating in no uncertain terms that you’re a person of refinement and taste. This Parker IM Fountain pen makes a quiet but unmistakable statement every time you click the cap.
Based just on looks other pens would have a hard time beating the Parker IM Fountain Pen. This is not a particularly practical writing instrument. What it is is a pen that can help define a person or a moment the minute it’s brought out of the pocket and uncapped.
- Beautifully crafted with black lacquered finish and gold trim.
- The generous shape makes for a comfortable hold.
- Looks like a fountain pen that should cost much more.
- Ink dries out quickly and has to be “restarted” quite often.
The Pilot Razor Point is the only fiber tipped pen on our list. It’s here because there are plenty of professionals out there for whom a fountain pen or ballpoint simply won’t do. Graphic artists, architects and more will find the fine line to be right in keeping with their needs.
Ultra-fine line, fiber tipped pens aren’t for everyone and they’re not intended to be. But the people that need them will find them indispensable. Occupying a grey area between marker and pen the Pilot Razor Point makes your technical drawings or graphic artwork shine.
- Barrel and cap are color coded to indicate the ink color within.
- Works with a straightedge or template to create sharp, concise lines.
- Available in a dizzying array of colors.
- Don’t press down too hard on the tip.
Best Bang for your Buck
These are the pens we consider to be the best all-around values.
You don’t use the DAVSTRØM Carbon Fiber Ballpoint pen to mark moving boxes. You use it to make an impression on the person sitting across from you at your desk or on the other side of the conference table. It’s a consciously stylish pen but somehow doesn’t seem indulgent.
This is an impact writing instrument designed to give those who may not necessarily have several hundred dollars to drop on a pen something to crow about. It looks and feels like a much more expensive pen and the line it creates is typically clean and clear. A great overall deal.
- The weave pattern on the barrel is carved from high gloss carbon fiber.
- Comes in a custom designed box.
- Produces a smooth, even line with little effort.
- You’ll want to show it off but you’ll probably need to restrain yourself.
Ideapool Handcrafted Rosewood
If you’re an executive or legal professional the IDEAPOOL Rosewood Ballpoint is the pen for you. Elegant and beautifully engineered it produces a clear, confident line every time. It looks like $200 pens, but no one has to know it isn’t.
If you’re looking for a pen that denotes your stature without requiring you to liquidate assets to buy it this is the pen. The styling is first rate, the feel is comfortable and the line quality is consistent. If you’re after a classic look at an affordable price look no further.
- Natural rosewood in the barrel and cap has a lustrous, hand-worked finish.
- Throwback design with contemporary refinement.
- 100% money back guarantee. Almost unheard of in a pen at this price.
- The design, the line and the price mean there are no ‘cons’ here.
Here are some common questions people have about work pens.
What’s the best pen for work?
Any of the pens in our Hall of Fame will qualify as a potential “Best pen”. That said, if you are a lawyer in a prestigious firm you may want a luxury fountain pen like the Ideapool. If you are a corporate executive a high-end ball point like the Montblanc may be more suitable to you. And if you are an architect you may want something more practical like the Pilot Razor.
Which style of pens is best for lots of writing?
Typically that would be ballpoints. They don’t need to be refilled constantly and the line they produce is predictable and of consistent quality. There are many models of ballpoint pen so whether you would like something luxurious or something more prosaic there is a ballpoint pen for you.
What pen is best for a left hander?
Because of the particular mechanics of writing left handed some pens – most notably fountain pens – can become clogged with paper as you write. Because of this ballpoint pens or even plastic tipped pens like Sharpies can be useful for those who write left handed. There’s no tip to clog and the line quality is nice and even.
What pen is best for a right hander?
Any of the pens above will serve you well if you are right handed.
What pens don’t smudge?
Typically ballpoint pens are prized both for the consistent quality of their line and the fact that they don’t put so much ink on the paper at any one time that it will wind up smudging.
Things to Consider When Buying a Professional Pen
When purchasing a work pen, particularly a high end work pen, there are a number of things to consider. We can’t say “You should pick this or that pen”; that is up to you. But make sure you give some thought to each of the following:
Type of Pen – The basic types of pen are rollerballs, ballpoints, fountain pens and felt tips. Which one is right for you will in large part depend on your position within the organization, how often you use your pen and what you use it for. You don’t want to take out a 29¢ pen you bought at the 7-11 to sign an important contract. Likewise, there’s no need for fountain pens on a loading dock.
Price – Luxury pens like the Montblanc profiled above can run as high as $200. That’s a lot to spend on a single writing instrument, yet it may be necessary to maintain a certain image. Choose the pen that is right for your situation and then pay whatever you need to pay for it.
Materials – Many executive pens are made from high quality resins while true luxury pens will have cap and barrel hand-crafted from celluloid, hardwoods or silver. Of course some will even come with gold plating. You may also want to consider the finish material. Natural lacquers produce a beautiful deep finish that glows. Other finish options are colored resins and less expensive, paint-based lacquers.
Line Quality – Most high end writing instruments will produce a full, consistent line. On the other hand there are fountain pens which are designed specifically to produce a variety of line qualities depending mostly on the nib you’ve chosen but also on the amount of pressure you apply, the ink flow and the angle you choose to write at.
Work pens are a little world unto themselves that play a subtle but important role in telling the larger world who you are and where you’re going. We hope you found this information helpful and be sure to check back soon for more product reviews, guides and information from gearhungry.com.