If I could only use one pen it would probably be the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel. They write so smoothly. I’ve had mine for years and they still write like new. If they’re out of your price range or hard to obtain where you live, here are some alternatives that are a bit cheaper.
All of these pens are 0.7mm (my favorite pen tip size!)
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Price = $15 USD for 14 pack
Retractable, pretty rainbow colors and no ink skipping. I have the 10 pack but there’s a bigger 14 pack as well.
Now let’s compare..
Looks very similar doesn’t it?
The only difference appearance-wise is the clear bottom of the pen tip. I actually prefer this pen body to the PaperMate as you can see the entire ink cartridge so there’s more warning when the ink’s about to run out.
Price = $14 USD for 16 pens
A recent find of mine, these have exactly the same pen body as the BLOT, but with slightly different colors (e.g. the purple is brighter while the BLOT is a muted purple and the Paper Mate falls somewhere in between).
Price = $13 USD for 12 pens
Each pen brand comes in a pack with these colors:
- Light Blue
- Dark Blue
- Dark Green
Note: I only have the 10 pack Inkjoy Gel pens but it also comes in a 14 pack with a dark green, brown and denim blue.
The Inkjoy Gel can also be purchased individually or sometimes in packs of 2 or 3 colors. I’ve only seen the BLOT and Paper Studio gel pens sold in a pack.
Here’s a comparison of the pink ink in all 3 pens. The pink is slightly brighter than the Inkjoy and BLOT. This is true for most of the colors. The Inkjoy and BLOT are very close with the Paper Studio colors close, but slightly brighter.
Unlike most pen brands, you can actually see the yellow ink in all of these. Each of them comes with a Teal pen too!
All 3 pen brands write smoothly however the ink feels like it comes out thicker in the Paper Studio.
Ghosting & Bleed Through
Here’s the backside of my pen test that I did in one of my Plum Paper notebooks (70lb text / approx. 105 GSM paper).
Which brand is best?
I like all 3! If you don’t mind pens that have similar ink colors and write smoothly like the Inkjoy (but look different e.g. retractable or with a pen lid), here are some other gel pens I recommend:
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