6 Most Popular Types of Pens

Even though we are communicating through technology more frequently these days, physical writing is going nowhere anytime soon. Although most of us communicate with one another via email or text message, we still find ourselves engaging in the art of putting pen to paper at some point. As such, you might not readily be aware of the types of pens that have been on the market.

Whether you’re signing off a cheque or a writing a name on a contract, this guide will get you up to speed on the main types of pens along with their own respective uses.

The following are the six most popular types of pens in the market:

Type #1: Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are the most common types of pens in the market. You’ll find at least a few of these popular business office supplies inside every administrative workspace. A ballpoint pen primarily uses an oil-based ink, allowing it to dry faster than other types of ink. This is necessary for when you need to jot a few things down quickly without your hand accidentally smudging the ink all over the document you are writing on.

Also, the ink in these types of pens is rather thick. This contributes to its overall longevity, as thickness directly correlates to minimal ink being used. An easy, reliable, and inexpensive option, you should always have a few of these around your work space just in case.

Type #2: Marker Pens

A type of pens that comes in multiple formats, each for their own respective usage. Marker pens can come in four types of ink, which are pigment, water, alcohol, and oil-based. For pigment and water-based marker pens, the best application of the ink would be on a traditional piece of paper or similar material.

For alcohol and oil-based marker pens, the best surfaces to apply the ink would be on non-paper media. This can include exteriors such as plastic or glass. Marker pens can also include permanent markers and highlighters. Since they range in many ink sources and point sizes, they are a great option for writers and creative-minded folks alike.

Type #3: Stylus Pens

A pen that has been retrofitted to fit our non-paper media surfaces such as tablet computers and smartphones. A stylus pen has a rounded, rubber point that helps the user navigate touchscreens. Sometimes, writing with a finger on a digital device can be cumbersome at best and completely unsynchronized at worst.

The stylus pen seeks to rectify that issue completely. Although it may feel a bit strange upon the first couple of tries, most stylus pens can quickly be adapted to in no time. The advantages of using a stylus pen also includes minimizing the potential of scratching on your device’s touchscreen and removing the visual hindrance of fingerprints.

Type #4: Rollerball Pens

Rollerball pens are extremely similar to ballpoints in terms of design, but they opt for a water-based ink instead. This allows for the ink to flow and soak faster onto a piece of paper. Rollerball pens are also easier on the hand to use, since they require less pressure to be used during the application.

If you don’t mind slowing down the pace of your writing, this creates a more comfortable writing experience. For longer periods of writing, or for more important pieces of documentation, it is recommended to use these types of pens instead of a ballpoint.

Type #5: Gel Pens

These types of pens take characteristics from both ballpoint and rollerball pens. Although it is inherently water-based, the type of ink used by a gel pen is essentially a gel that is a combination of water and oil bases. This enables the writer to minimize the risk of smudging, while also maintaining a smooth and relaxed experience that is similar to using a rollerball.

Gel pens often come in a variety of colours as well because the ink used holds the pigment together well. If you want to use something different for coloring or for drawing on darkened surfaces, grab a gel pen. You are only limited by your imagination!

Type #6: Dip Pens

The dip pen can be considered as one of the forebears of writing utensils. Similar to the quill feather, this type of writing utensil has a metal nib and handle, and was mass produced very cheaply in the nineteenth century. Unlike many modern and contemporary pens, they don’t have a fixed reserve of ink inside the utensil.

As the name implies, these types of pens have to be dipped into an inkwell once the writing starts to dry. Although mainly obsolete by today’s standard, dip pens remain in use by artists who practice their craft in areas such as calligraphy or comics.

Pens are the world’s oldest writing utensil and have evolved overtime to match different needs. Sometimes, leaving a digital mark on a touchscreen doesn’t quite cut it. For creative-minded folks, going back to the drawing board will usually always involve using a physical type of pen in some fashion. All in all, you won’t find a writing tool better equipped to work on the surface you end up choosing!

Kelly Young is a writer born and raised in Toronto. Proud of her simple and cozy life, a perfect evening for Kelly would be to snuggle up in bed with her cat and a well-written historic memoir.