Top 5 Pens for Teachers: What’s Your Favorite?

Best Pens For Teachers

Pens are one of the fundamental items in a teacher’s arsenal, so it’s essential to find suitable pens. Teachers won’t only use them for marking papers.

Pens make life easier — or harder — to do our job. Have you ever used a gel pen that needs to be held at EXACTLY the right angle or it won’t write? Grrrr.

And, of course, we need these writing utensils for students who may not have them on hand. But you want to ensure they’re high-quality pens that are long-lasting, too. 

This article will go through some of the best pens available for teachers to buy on

We’ll go through the pros and cons of why you should get these pens and explain how we justified our options with our buying guide. Now let’s move on to what pens we recommend for you.

Best Pens For Teachers Reviews

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens

These are best sellers on Amazon, and for a good reason. This pack of twenty-four pens comes in an assortment of colored markers. They use a quick-drying water-based ink that will resist smearing and won’t bleed through paper.

The medium point allows for some bold yet expressive lines, but the point guard prevents the tip from fraying even if you use them repeatedly.

There have been cases where these pens have lasted for several semesters, but they may vary depending on the amount of ink in them. As an aside, despite their quick-drying tendencies, smearing might not always be avoidable.

You should also use them on the correct type of paper, as there have been reports of ink bleeding through on thin paper. However, they appear to be a great choice otherwise.


  • Doesn’t Bleed Through — You don’t want your ink to bleed through the paper, so these are great for writing comments without ruining your students’ work.
  • Dries Quickly — You won’t have to worry about how long the ink will take to dry, so you can write any comments quickly without having to wait for them to dry.
  • Point Guard — Prevents the tip from fraying, which is excellent for extended use and helps when you want students to use them for coloring.
  • Variety of Colors Available — These all come in an assortment of twenty-four colors, which means there’s a selection of pens to choose from.


  • Amount of Ink — The ink may run out quickly, which can be a challenge, especially if they need to last a while.
  • Smearing — Some colors will smear, so it’s best to keep an eye on this, or the smears may ruin your writing quality.
  • Better for Thicker Paper — There have been reports that they bleed through on thinner paper, so you should focus on using them for thick paper.

You can also find a variety of Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens from Walmart.

Paper Mate Gel Pens

Paper Mate has made a selection of gel pens that dry three times faster than other gel pens on the market. You’ll find that when you grip the pen, it does so ergonomically, so you can write quickly and comfortably.

They aren’t too thick and have a 0.7 millimeter medium point that helps spread the ink. Even better? The ink is both colorful and smooth, so if you want to add a boost to your writing, you can do so with ease.

There is a selection of colors available, with this pack containing fourteen colors. You may find that depending on the batch.

They may not last as long, as there have been some issues with the ink, primarily when used with lighter colors. Depending on the batch, there might be some issues with your pens leaking, 


  • Dries Quickly — Dries at three times the speed of a regular gel pen.
  • Ergonomic Grip — This makes them easier to hold so you can write comfortably.
  • Variety of Colors — There are fourteen different colors to choose from, so you don’t only have one color available.
  • Love These! — These are my go-go pens (NOT to be shared with the kiddos)


  • Pens Leak — There have been reports of pens leaking by customers in reviews.
  • Amount of Ink — While the ink’s quality starts promising, the amount of ink that lasts is less than you might expect.

Also available as a 14-count pack from Walmart. 

PILOT G2 Premium Refillable Ball Pen

Marketed as the ideal pen for overachievers, the PILOT G2 features an ergonomic rubber grip and has various points. PILOT has designed these pens to last for a long time, and it’s refillable too.

They’re perfectly suitable for school and the office so that you can use them in different areas, and overall, they’re best suited for being used in various projects.

Unfortunately, the packs are only available in black, but despite advertising the length of time they’re meant to last, it would appear they don’t last as long as you’d expect. These may not be the best option for your classroom if you’re looking for durable pens.


  • Ergonomic Rubber Grip — This makes the pen easy to hold and provides a more comfortable writing experience.
  • Refillable — You can get refillable ink cartridges for the PILOT pens, so you don’t have to worry about throwing them away.
  • Different Points — If you need a fine, medium, or bold point, you should be able to find whatever type you need.


  • Durability — The pen may break if it falls on the floor, which may be an issue depending on the age of your students.
  • Amount of Ink — Some customers have reported that despite being advertised as long-lasting, they can dry out quicker than expected.

PILOT G2 Pens are also available from Walmart

Pentel Energel RTX Liquid Gel Pens

Pentel has made pens that dry quickly and write smoothly with a latex-free ergonomic grip. These pen grips have matching colors with the grip and the ink color to make them easy to identify.

Pentel even suggests them for left-handed users who might struggle with smearing with other pens. Unfortunately, these pens appear to have had some issues with durability, and customers have reported that they crack after different periods.

There have also been some complaints about the ink used in these pens, and some have found they run out quickly.


  • Suitable for Left-Handed Writers — If you have left-handed students, or if you are left-handed, then you don’t have to worry about ink smearing.
  • Ergonomic Grip — The ergonomic grip is latex-free and even matches the color of the pen’s ink.
  • Dries Quickly — The ink won’t smear after you use it, and you won’t need to worry about blots appearing on the page.


  • Amount of Ink — Depending on how you use your pen, you may find that the amount of ink in the pens is lower than expected.
  • Durability — The pen’s point has been known to crack, making them unusable.

Walmart also has a pack of black and blue Pentel Energel RTX Liquid Gel Pens.

PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable Refillable Gel Pens

The PILOT FriXion clicker pens are erasable, with a clicker on the head, making it easy to remove mistakes. They’re available in several vibrant colors and are refillable, with an ergonomic grip to make them easy to use and write with.

They don’t bleed through either, even through thin paper. However, you should remember that the ink reacts badly with heat, so this may be a significant issue when using these pens.

You may also find that despite the advert for vibrant colors, these are lighter than advertised, but it’s uncertain if this is due to the amount of ink left in the pens. 


  • Erasable — You won’t have to scratch any mistakes and can easily erase them.
  • Ergonomic Grip — This makes writing easier so that it won’t be uncomfortable when writing for long periods.
  • Doesn’t Bleed Through — Even for thinner paper, you’ll find that these pens won’t bleed through.
  • Refillable — You can get ink cartridges to replace any ink they’ve run out of.


  • Amount of Ink — There have been reports in later batches that the ink runs out faster.
  • Light Ink — While PILOT advertises various bright colors, there have also been comments that the ink appears more diluted than it should.
  • Heat — If the ink comes close to heat, it starts to fade. 

Walmart has a selection of PILOT FriXion Erasable Pens available. 

Buyer’s Guide

This buyer’s guide describes how we came up with this list and what points we rated these pens on. Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the best pens for your classrooms.

Whether Ink Bleeds Through

When you buy a pen, you don’t want it to bleed through your student’s work and through to another student’s, especially when you’re marking.

If you spread these around the classroom, you wouldn’t want the ink to go through their schoolwork. It can also be an issue if they have exams, as illegible work can harm their results even if they have the correct answers.

How Quickly Ink Dries And Does It Smear?

Teachers must write quickly, especially if they want to get all the marking done in one go. Smearing can significantly impact whether any marks are eligible, and you want to ensure your students can write with pens that won’t ruin their hard work either.

If your students hand in their notebooks to you for marking, you wouldn’t want the pages to stick together due to the ink not drying quickly enough.

Amount Of Ink

The amount of ink is a recurring problem for all pens, but in many cases, it does depend on luck. Some batches do have pens that have a lower amount of ink, or for some reason, the ink dries in the cartridge.

In this article, we have been honest in confirming that all pens have had issues with the amount of ink, but it doesn’t seem to be for all batches available.

If you run out of ink, this can impact your work speed, and you may spend more time trying to make the pen work than you do marking. A worst-case scenario is the pen runs out, and you won’t be able to finish your work on time. 

Refillable Or Not

Refillable pens can be helpful as then you just need to splash out on ink cartridges instead of entirely new pen sets. By replacing the ink cartridge, you can save the amount of plastic waste thrown away.

While environmentally friendly pens are available on the market, a refillable pen can be a step in the right direction for the environment.

Left-Handed Writing

Some manufacturers design their pens to be easier for left-handed writers. If you’re left-handed, you may have noticed you struggle with smearing ink, but we felt we should mention this separately.

Most pens are designed for right-handed writers, so we have included this factor in the list if you prefer left-handed pens.

Ergonomic Grip

You’ll be writing for long periods, and ergonomic grips can make writing so much easier on your fingers. By having an ergonomic grip, you won’t have to worry about the pen digging into your fingers.

These also give you more control over how you write, and you can hold onto them more manageable than if they did not have a grip. 

Durability And Leaking

Your pens need to last, and you don’t want to open a pack of pens only to discover that they’re falling apart. Leaking can be a significant deal breaker for pens, and if you need your pens in the classroom, you can’t risk them breaking when they drop to the floor.

The pen’s durability may even correlate to whether they’re even suitable to write with. If you find some pens worse than others, you may have to buy more pens to ensure you have enough available. 

Point Size And Guards

Depending on the pen type, you may want to know if there’s any risk of them fraying if you have a felt pen. Knowing there’s a point guard makes you feel more secure, knowing that your pen will last longer.

You may also want to see the size of points available. While most of these pens have a medium point, there are other sizes available for bold or fine pens. 

Color Of The Ink And Varieties Available

You may want to consider marking your students’ works in different colors. You may also be interested in using them as classroom coloring pens. Having a variety of colors can help, so in this article, we mention whether there are a variety of colors available for you and your students or not.

As an aside, we should also note if the ink is lighter than advertised, or you may be disappointed or assume that the ink is running low. While some teachers prefer to have blue and black pens available in preparation for exams, colorful pens can be an excellent choice for the classroom.

Temperature Reaction

Last but not least, one of the pens on this list struggles with heat. If you have any situations where your classroom temperature has risen, you should know if this is a risk.

Due to the temperature, you wouldn’t want the ink to be suddenly faded and unreadable. If the temperature affects the ink, it could happen at any point after the ink dries. We should give a fair warning if the ink disappears due to heat. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Color Should You Mark Students’ Work?

In the past, red has been classed as too aggressive when marking your students’ work. Marking in a green pen can improve your students’ work.

Nowadays, marking your students’ work in various colors has become more acceptable. But ideally, green and red still maintain strong popularity with teachers.

Should You Use Gel Pens Or Rollerball Pens?

Rollerball pens tend to have the smoothest writing, as the ink doesn’t require a lot of pressure. However, if you want to write more precisely, you can use gel pens, which are available in various colors.

Gel pens tend to write smoothly as they are similar to rollerballs, but they tend to produce thinner lines.

What’s The Difference Between Rollerball And Ballpoint Pens?

Ballpoint pens tend to use thick oil-based ink, and rollerball pens tend to use water-based ink. Rollerballs are more closely related to fountain pens, so the two ink styles are distinct when you write with each of these pens.

Why Should You Use Gel Pens?

Gel pens are better for precise writing and have a variety of colors available. These produce thinner lines and are best used to reduce hand stress due to the large grips they have around them.

The type of colors may also mean that it’s easier for you and your students to concentrate depending on the colors used.

Why Should You Use Rollerball Pens?

Ballpoints are great for everyday use, but rollerball pens tend to be a higher quality pen and are better for left-handed writers.

They generally have a higher quality and are close to fountain pens. They write smoothly but may not be suitable for people with small handwriting.

Why Should You Use Flair Pens?

Flair pens are widely regarded by teachers everywhere for their reliable ink flow and vibrant array of colors. Many teachers have Flair pens somewhere in their classrooms.

They’re also sturdy, making them popular with students and teachers alike.

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