Most of my day is spent in front of digital screens. However, I have increasingly found that writing on paper feels different and I like jotting and annotating on paper. Plus my son uses a lot of stationery for his school and writing. All of this puts me in touch with a lot of stationery and frankly there is a lot of terrible stuff out there. These ratings are a reference for me to not buy the terrible stuff and get the good stuff.
TWSBI Eco T
Large pen that is transparent. I got the medium nib. I feel that it has the right weight and a huge ink reservoir that can be filled by a twisting piston. My favorite pen for writing at home. Too large and heavy to carry outside though.
- Writes as smooth as a great fountain pen. It is unbelievable, like a dream!
- I have tried the 0.7 mm in light blue. This thickness is right for me.
- One of the quickest drying gel pens.
- The clicker is not smooth, but I can live with that.
- The rest of the pen exterior is decent, not as many features as the Japanese pens.
Uni-ball Signo 207
- Writes as smoothly as you expect from a gel pen.
- I have tried the click pen version in 0.7 mm in black. Line is thicker, almost like a 1.0 mm.
- Takes forever to dry, almost as long as a fountain pen.
- Ink is supposed to be fraud resistant, so a good choice for signing and for checks.
- Great exterior, has the most comfortable feel in hand.
PILOT FriXion Synergy Clicker
- The killer feature of this pen is that its writing can be erased by using the eraser on top.
- Writing feel is at the level of a good ball pen, not a gel pen. This was surprising to me, since I expected it would feel like a gel pen.
- Erasing works, but needs quite some force and it does leave faint residue and paper will be slightly depressed from that force.
- The retracting is on the side since the top is occupied by the eraser. Sliding action is decent, not great.
- I have tried the XFine 0.5 mm in black, red and blue. It turned out to be too fine, the line is too thin for my taste. The nib is too thin too, feels like it would break with pressure.
- The whole pen is too thin and light and feels a bit cheap in the hand.
- Writes better than any other ballpoint pen. Very smooth, just a tad worse than a good gel pen.
- I have tried the M (medium) size in red. Line is thick like a 1.0 mm.
- Great clicker and great feel in hand.
- This is a version of the classic BIC pen. Writing action is OK, there is some force needed, so not ideal for personal use.
- I have tried black in 1.0 mm.
- Sells in large packs for a few dollars. So very low price.
- Maybe good for travel or handing out to others for quick use or as backup. I would not use this as my primary pen.