Ballpoint Pens to Take Your Writing to the Next Level

We here at Bookstr assembled a list of the best ballpoint pens to take your writing to the next level. What’s your favorite type of pen?

Book Culture On This Day On Writing

Ah, ballpoint pens, those unassuming staples of any self-respecting writer’s repertoire. Fountain pens have elegance, quill pens have… antiquity, but it’s ballpoints that make the world go round. You’ll find them on just about every desk on planet earth, primed and ready to write the next great novel, or maybe just the next great memo. Either way, we’re eternally grateful for the writing they’ve done (or, more accurately, the writing we’ve done with them), and we’re ranking our favorites in honor for the love of all pens.

Pilot G2

Verticle-Pilot-G2-pen ball points pens

It’s this writer’s personal favorite from the list, but I won’t be biased. My best story involving the pen came midway through my semester abroad, when I lifted my roommate’s Pilot G2 0.7 off his desk to jot something down. I forgot to return it, and he returned hours later to find his pen still sitting on my desk. He got very serious then. He asked me, stone-faced, what rationale I had to use another man’s Pilot G2 0.7 without permission. Doing so was effectively sacrilegious to him, and being a Pilot user for years, I could understand completely. Rare is it to find a pen simultaneously so comfortable and intimate to wield, and the Pilot G2 delivers unceasingly.

Working with the Pilot is an exercise in patience; the slow-drying ink can be a technical nightmare for those writers who dash along the page with abandon. There’s a beast to be tamed in the Pilot G2’s effortless strokes and glistening wake, but that challenge alone creates a relationship between writer and tool. And what Pilot lacks in quick-drying ink, it makes up for with its personability. In the afterglow of your final triumphant dash, with the ink crystalizing to pristine blackness before your eyes, you just might fall in love with it.


– Ball size: Ranges from 0.38 to 1.0

– Drying time: slow

– Prime usage: note-taking, journaling

Parker Jotter


Dubbed “The pen you see in every movie” by Dayspring Pens, the Parker Jotter is perfect for the writer with a special place in their heart for pop culture. It’s appeared in countless films and TV shows from The Office to The Shawshank Redemption, amassing a reputation as one of the most recognizable pens in the world.

Beyond its fame, the Jotter’s long term success speaks to its efficiency as a writing tool. Parker’s been around since 1888, and the venerable name behind their product is no joke. The Jotter’s mass-produced quality might not be as flashy as some higher-end ballpoints, but the pen’s sturdy and sleek design makes it a staple of any aesthetically-pleasing workspace. Thankfully, current models don’t explode after three clicks (GoldenEye).


– Ball size: 1mm

– Drying time: fast

– Prime usage: office space work, superspy activities

BIC Cristal


For those writers who just can’t part with their classroom days, lovingly spent jotting story ideas and character sketches in the back of the classroom with whatever was handy, BIC has the ideal tool. Readers will perhaps best recognize the company for its lighters, but any former public schooler worth their salt will know it for its pens and mechanical pencils (I personally could tuck away the better part of a history lesson by chewing and twisting that plastic clip doohickey to oblivion).

Beyond fidgeting ability, however, the BIC Cristal is as versatile and reliable as it is recognizable. It has cemented a steady usage among those in the business and education industries, more often than not present on the desktops of everyone from college professors to company executives. It’s the everyman’s pen; sturdy, not too flashy, and efficient as hell.


– Ball size(s): Ranges from 0.8 to 1.6

– Drying time: fast

– Prime usage: jotting, note-taking, and distracting from jotting and note-taking

The quality of a writer’s writing, be their tool ballpoint-tipped or ostrich-feathered, will come from the skills and talents of the writer themself. It helps, however, to have a tool you can rely upon for all of your literary exploits.

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