Nobody manually writes out entire books anymore, but authors need to bring an abundant supply of pens regarding book signings. But which should you stock up on?

The best pen for an author to bring to a book signing event is the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Ink Pen, which is comfortable, smooth writing, retractable, and has beautiful, long-lasting ink. It’s also refillable, so you never have to throw it away.

Other excellent pen options are:

  • The Pilot Dr. Grip Ballpoint Pen for an ergonomic edge.
  • The Scriveiner Luxury Fountain Pen, for an artistic touch.
  • The Fisher Space Pocket Pen for the utilitarians out there. 

Continue reading for a detailed description of these pens and why each comes out on top as the best in their category. Beyond the overall best, you can evaluate your choices based on function, variety, beauty, and comfort.

Best Overall: Pilot G2 Premium Gel Ink Pen

Though not the cheapest of pens, the Pilot G2 is still affordable for the many perks that it comes with.

The gel ink pen has long-lasting and smooth-writing gel and comes with a comfortable yet sturdy rubber grip and is retractable for carrying it around on the go. The pen comes in four different point sizes:

  • Ultra-fine.
  • Extra-fine.
  • Fine.
  • Bold point.

The Pilot G2 is also refillable, so you’ll never have to throw this lovely pen away, even when the ink runs out. 

Pros

  • Quality ink: This long-lasting, fast-flowing gel ink has a thick texture and a stunning bold color. It writes smoothly and produces clear, continuous lines. 
  • Comfortable: The pen’s rubber grip means you can write comfortably for long periods. 
  • Retractable: The Pilot G2 is retractable, meaning you can put it into your new shirt pocket or leather bag without worrying about random lines and leakages. 
  • Refillable: You can keep the body of this pen for quite a while, even after the ink runs out because Pilot Gel Ink Pen Refills (available on Amazon.com) in a range of colors are readily available. 
  • Variety: This pen is available in four-point sizes and 20 different refill colors, making it extremely diverse and suitable for any pen-related task. 

Cons

  • Cost: The Pilot G2 has a long list of advantages, so the price isn’t totally unjustified. However, it still costs more than some would like for a reasonably plain pen. 
  • Gel ink: Gel ink, though luscious and bold, can run out much faster and take longer to dry, making smudges more likely and refilling more frequent. 
  • Weight: This pen is quite a bit heavier than some of the other pens on this list, which can get uncomfortable with prolonged use. 

Most Ergonomic: Pilot Dr. Grip Ballpoint Pen

If you want a pen focused on ergonomics and comfort, you could scarcely do better than the Pilot Dr. Grip Pen. The Arthritis Foundation has approved and endorsed it for ease of use, and it isn’t hard to see why. 

This sleek design and rubber grip make it so easy to hold, and the gorgeous gel ink is so easy-flowing that you need minimal effort to move the pen across the page. Plus, it’s refillable and retractable and has a special weight on the nose of the pen. 

This is a great all-around option, but even more so for people who struggle with joint and muscle pain but don’t want to waste money on something pricey. 

Pros

  • Comfortable: The soft rubber grip is sculpted to fit comfortably in the user’s hand, allowing the user to write for long periods without getting tired. 
  • Quality ink: The excellent quality gel ink is long-lasting and flows freely from the tip of the pen, making writing with it effortless.
  • Refillable: You don’t have to keep buying versions of the same pen because you can just buy refills and insert them when the ink runs out. 
  • Convenient: The retractable ball tip element makes it so much more convenient for carrying around and avoiding smudging and leakage. 
  • Affordable: The Pilot Dr. Grip Pen is affordable and comes in packs of 3, meaning you’ll never have to go without this fabulous pen. 

Cons

  • Weight: The Pilot Dr. Grip Pen is slightly heavier than other pens, which can be an advantage for some but could be an issue for those who prefer a lighter pen. 
  • Less variety: As far as variety goes, this pen doesn’t have many color and design choices. However, this doesn’t diminish the quality of the pen. 

Most Luxurious: Scriveiner Luxury Fountain Pen

If you’re looking to show off at a book signing, this exquisite luxury fountain pen will make you stand out. This pen is branded as a luxury, but it’s actually very affordable for an item this beautifully made. 

It has two perks that make it very practical:

  • It’s refillable.
  • It has a selection of nibs for writing, calligraphy, and more. 

This is a fantastic choice for fountain pen enthusiasts, collectors, or even authors who want to make a good impression at their book signing event. 

Pros

  • Beauty: The Scriveiner is black lacquer with a 24-karat gold and brass finish.
  • Variety: It comes in chrome and black and has 3 nib attachment choices, including extra fine, fine, and medium. Ink cartridges are available in black and blue. 
  • Ease: This weighted, balanced pen glides across the page effortlessly. As well as never tiring of looking at it, the user will never tire of writing with it. 
  • Convenience: The pen has great quality ink and a converter that allows the user to fill it from either a refill cartridge or an ink pot.

Cons

  • Costly: Though a steal for the quality, this pen is much more expensive than most would be willing to pay for a pen. 
  • Weight: This pen is significantly heavier than your average pen and is harder to use for prolonged periods.

Most Versatile: Fisher Space Bullet Pen

This pen is small, sleek, lightweight, and has a cap and clip for added convenience. They’re so versatile, and in fact, they’ve literally been used on the International Space Station!

This is an incredible pen with surprisingly advanced technology for such a nondescript-looking object. It’s beautiful, don’t misunderstand, but it’s far plainer than the others on the list. 

There’s little it can’t do.

The Fisher Space Bullet Pen is the ideal choice for someone who’s always on the move and needs something portable but also wants the longevity and sturdiness that often come with more bulky pens. 

Pros

  • Convenient: With its pressurized ink cartridge, this pen can literally be used anywhere, from any angle. It’s also very lightweight despite being made of brass and steel, has a clip for your shirt or bag, and has a cap to avoid leakages. 
  • Long-lasting: This pen lasts quite a while, about three times longer than the average pen, and its steel alloy shell is not likely to get damaged anytime soon. 
  • Refillable: This exceptional pen can be used again and again with its refill packages in different sizes. 
  • Comfortable: The Fisher Space Bullet Pen has a matte finish and is relatively small, meaning it’s so simple to hold, use, and carry around. 
  • Price: This pen comes at an excellent price, especially considering it’s refillable and lasts so long. 

Cons

  • Lack of variety: The point sizes are limited compared to other pens. 
  • Size: The pocket-size convenience of the Fisher Space Bullet Pen sometimes works against it, as the smaller size means it can be less comfortable and easier to lose.
  • Ink type: This is a ballpoint pen, not a gel pen, which means writing with it isn’t as smooth and produces a less sophisticated finish. The pen drags more than it would with gel ink and produces less consistent lines. 

Comparison Of Great Pens

Now that we’ve stripped back the layer and looked at what makes each of these pens the best in their category, it helps to condense this information into a table:

PenWeightInkPoint sizeMaterial
Pilot G2 Premium Gel Ink Pen9.6 oz (272.15 grams)Gel: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Light Green, Apricot Orange, Orange, Pink, Light Blue, Purple, Blue Black, Sky Blue, Forest Green, Honey Yellow, Baby Pink, Coral Pink, Rose, Wine Red, Violet, Brown.Ultrafine, extra fine, fine, bold.Plastic, rubber. 
Pilot Dr. Grip Ballpoint Pen‎2.72 oz (77.11 grams)Ballpoint: Black, Blue, Red. Medium. Plastic, rubber.
Scriveiner Luxury Fountain Pen5 oz (141.75 grams)Gel: Black, Blue. Extra fine, fine, medium, or broad. Brass, gold, lacquer. 
Fisher SPace Pocket Pen‎1.28 oz (36.29 grams)Ballpoint: Black, Blue, Red, Fine, medium. Brass, aluminum, steel. 

Key Takeaways

All factors considered, the Pilot G2 Premium Gel Ink Pen rises above the rest as the best pen. It’s light, convenient, comfortable, has variety, and affordable. It has its downsides of course, but compared to the other pens on the list, it performs the best overall.


Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.