14 Best Writing Utensils for Writers

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writing utensils

There is a good variety of writing utensils on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

If you can afford any writing utensil, it’s prudent to go and get the best writing utensil for writing (the one with the least drawbacks).

But if you are on a budget, you have to window-shop exhaustively to find affordable utensils that are as good as the premium products, or close.

But finding writing utensils that are perfect for writers isn’t always an easy task. That is why I have compiled a list of the best writing utensils for writers in a couple of categories.

Read on to find these writing utensils.

What Are Writing Utensils?

Any instrument that may be used for writing is referred to as a writing utensil. This contains bracket includes items such as:

  • Pens (fountain pens, ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, gel pens, etc.)
  • Pencil
  • Notepads (for note-taking, calligraphy, etc.)
  • Markers
  • Pencil Cups
  • Writing hardware and software

Lighting apparatus and furniture (i.e., Desk lamps, bulbs, etc.) are also writing utensils, but people generally associate the writing with the writing instrument in the list.

14 Best Writing Utensils for Writers

Here are the best utensils and other implements you need in your writing setup, presented in their categories.


PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pen

The Best Gel Ink Rollerball Pen

PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pen

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The black G2 Pilot is the king of gel pens, but the Pilot G2 comes with an assorted range of colors.

They are so smooth, they don’t smudge or bleed, they feel comfortable, and they include 4 point sizes. This Rolling Ball Gel Pen has you covered if what you want is a smooth, uninterrupted flow of ink.

And this is more affordable when you compare it to a lot of fountain pens.

What more could one ask for, right?

Well… you could ask for more color options. PILOT G2 Premium rolling ball gel pen set comes with 27 color options and multiple barrel styles.

Scribe Sword Fountain Pen

The Best Fountain Pen

Scribe Sword Fountain Pen

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If you are looking for a pen that feels comfortable in your hand, has a cap perfect for the nib and barrel, and at an affordable price, look no further!

The design is simple, but the craftsmanship is outstanding—and when the ink starts flowing smoothly and evenly from that stainless steel nib, you know you have got yourself a remarkable steal.

This is one of the smoothest writing instruments you will ever have the privilege of writing with. Not only is it better than other pens in its price range, but it can easily outperform some expensive pens that come with18 karat gold-coated nibs.

I recommend the Scribe Sword Fountain Pen for anyone interested in calligraphy.

Uni-ball Jetstream RT Retractable Ballpoint Pens

The Best Ballpoint Pen

Uni-ball Jetstream RT Retractable Ballpoint Pens

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The Uni-ball Jetstream RT Retractable Ballpoint Pens are smoother and have cleaner lines than most ballpoint pens.

The pens are fine point which is great because it makes for plentiful yet neat lines while writing.

This pen is so smooth that it looks like it’s just gliding across your paper. The pen was designed to withstand fairly heavy use, and the longevity makes it look way cheaper than it is.

This ballpoint pen is a general fitter, I find it simple enough for personal use (journaling, taking random notes, etc.) and just professional enough to use at the office.


Moleskine Classic Notebook

Overall best

Moleskine Classic Notebook

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The Moleskine Classic Notebook’s paper has a smooth texture that is ideal for writing with a ballpoint pen. It’s also thick enough to hold gel pens.

And if you don’t have a desk nearby, the hardcover is sturdy enough to write on while sitting on your lap or your arm.

The books are available in different colors, which is a good thing considering that there are varied preferences on colors. Therefore, the Moleskine notebook comes with a variety of covers ranging from reef blue to classic black and Scarlet red to myrtle green.

Moonster Leather Journal Writing Notebook

Best Leather Cover

Moonster Leather Journal Writing Notebook

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This book has a vintage or antique feel about it and I remember saying that looks that made me think that “I could write spells in it.”

The one-of-a-kind leather cover, as well as creamy-textured blank paper, made me love this before I’d write a single word in it.

The unlined papers, which measure 7 by 5 inches, are recycled from leftover garment industry cloth in India.

This notebook will appeal to eco-warriors because the recycled is tree-free and acid-free.

I recommend you try using the PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pen on this journal paper (Thank me later!)

PAPERAGE Lined Journal Notebook

Best Lined Journal

PAPERAGE Lined Journal Notebook

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You can securely use most pens, pencils, and markers without ghosting or bleed-through on this journal’s paper. The journal paper is thicker than normal notebooks & writing pads, made with 100 gsm acid-free paper in light ivory color.

The notebook is sturdy and the paper inside is smooth and paper thick, so you don’t have to ­­­­­­­

The thread-bound notebooks are made to lay flat, making writing simpler for both right and left-handed people to keep a journal, take notes, or plan.

Paperage lined journals come in a variety of beautiful and fun colors. The set includes different page styles: Lined pages for note taking, Dotted for bullet journaling, and Blank pages for sketching.

The journals also include inner pockets for IDs, notes, receipts, etc.


Palomino Blackwing 602

Overall best

Palomino Blackwing 602

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The history of these pencils dates back to the 1930s when Blackwing built a cult following.

This item is pencil royalty.

It is said that John Steinbeck used these pencils. Blackwing even makes The Blackwing 24, a pencil that pays tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning author. It is rumored that Chuck Jones used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and countless other Looney Tunes characters.

Blackwing 602 pencils are made with top-quality materials, including Genuine Incense-ceda and have a solid and smooth Japanese graphite core that is ideal for writers, musicians, and everyday usage.

When you want a smooth, consistent line without over-sharpening, this is the tool to use.

The barrel of Blackwing 602 pencils is made with the finest materials in the world, including Genuine Incense-cedar from California and premium Japanese graphite.

Amazon Basics Woodcased #2 Pencils

Best in the affordable range

Amazon Basics Woodcased #2 Pencils

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When it comes to pencils, I look for an ordinary (basic) product that can do the job properly!

It might be selling at a low price, but this isn’t a low-quality pencil. Unless you’re trying your best aiming to get graphite on your fingers, you’re going to have fewer issues about smearing words and getting your hands dirty from graphite.

You might have a favorite brand that meets your professional needs, but they will cost you a good dime.

So, I recommend these pencils if you need pencils in bulk. For example, when you want pencils to distribute to your students.

ECOTREE Wood & Plastic Free Rainbow Pencils

Best Aesthetic  

ECOTREE Wood & Plastic Free Rainbow Pencils

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One of the reasons I like these pencils is the color. Rainbow-like colors make these beauties an ideal giftable item.

The inner body of the ECOTREE wood & plastic free rainbow pencils is made of recycled paper and the pencil is biodegradable, making it more special for all people who care about the environment.

Although they are strong and break-resistant, these paper pencils are much easier to sharpen than other pencils.


Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser

Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser

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The Pentel eraser is comfortably soft and does not smear what you’re trying to erase.

It does a fantastic job with a regular pencil, but it’s also amazing with soft pastels. It works well with colored pencils, although they’re difficult to erase regardless of the eraser.

Anything that requires a normal eraser is easy for the Pentel hi-polymer block eraser—and you will only need very little pressure.

Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

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This is a pen-style, precision tip eraser, which also comes with 2 Eraser Refills.

The precision ensures that you don’t have to repeatedly try to erase the same small area and that helps you to avoid damaging the paper.

This also means that you erase small details and make crisp lines. I recommend this if you like sketching when outlining your books.


Calligraphy is more than ‘beautiful handwriting’ or ‘a skill of handwriting.’

It’s the art of creating beautiful symbols by hand and properly arranging them. It requires mastery of a set of skills and techniques for arranging and inscribing words in such a way that they convey integrity, harmony, a sense of genealogy, rhythm, and creative zeal.

Apart from that, practicing calligraphy requires proper writing implements such as the 32-piece Mont Marte Calligraphy Set.

Mont Marte Calligraphy Set

Mont Marte Calligraphy Set

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Although the packaging may vary, the kit includes Calligraphy Pens, Calligraphy Nibs, Ink Cartridges, Introduction Booklet, and Exercise Booklet.

A brand-new set comes with four classic style refillable calligraphy pens, five classic nib grades (extra-fine, fine, medium, broad and extra broad nibs), 20 ink cartridges (in different colors, i.e., black, brown, green, pink, orange, and yellow), a booklet with included letter-by-letter introduction and other beginner tools, and exercise booklet for practicing and refining your calligraphy skills.


sharpie permanent marker
Sharpie permanent marker

Sharpie 30162PP Permanent Markers

Sharp markers are the gold standard for permanent markers, and writing is always a breeze with the fine point.

Will mark nearly anything you need it to, whether it’s clothing, metal items, paper, or plastic. And… once the ink dries, it does not smear or rub off.

Word of advice, the word ‘permanent’ is kind of true, so avoid using it to mark yourself because it does not wash off your skin easily—and keep out of your young children’s reach.

They are perfect for coloring because—apart from the fact that they dry quickly—the intensely vivid colors produce eye-popping effects.

Pen/Pencil Cup Holder

Choices & Change Retro shabby Chic vintage Pencil Holder

Choices & Change Retro shabby Chic vintage Pencil Holder

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This antique typewriter pen holder by “Choices & Change” is a great gift for writers on Christmas, birthdays, book signing events, or any special occasion. The space for holding pens, pencils, and other desk accessories measures 2.8″ x.2″ x 2.8″

It’s nostalgic and a great addition to any writing desk, and the vintage look goes well with fountain pens and calligraphy pens.

It is roomier than other holders whose designers focus on the aesthetic part of their product while ignoring the writer’s needs.

In addition to the roominess, the holder is heavy and sturdy.

Top 3 Writing Software

scrivener 3 for windows

Scrivener (Best for writing books): There are a lot of different writing programs out there, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive and professional-level program, Scrivener is worth a look. Features like the corkboard, outliner, and full-screen writing make writing easier—especially the organizational part.

Word (Best for short reads and academic work): Microsoft Word is a legendary word processor and a lot of people are familiar with this software. It’s simple enough for everyone to use but still sophisticated enough to get the job done. Although Scrivener is superior for writing novels, some famous writers still use Word, and it still works perfectly for them.

Google Docs (Best online word processor): it’s easy to find reasons to love Google Docs; it’s free, very easy to use, and instantly saves your document in the cloud. Its collaboration features are incredible, and they allow users to invite co-writers and editors to work on the document, collaboratively make changes, add suggestions, and hence share ideas while writing.

Budgeting for Writing Utensils

Budgeting can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to money spent on things like personal care, clothing, and necessities.

It becomes even more complicated when you’re trying to figure out how much money should be set aside for things that seem of little relevance, like writing utensils.

You start asking yourself questions like, “with all the different types of writing utensils and apps (like Scrivener, MS Word, and Evernote), why would I need to spend money on pen and paper?”

Well, the answer is simple: digital technology is often unreliable. With pen and paper, you don’t have to worry about batteries dying or not having an internet connection.

Below are some tips you can use when budgeting for writing utensils:

1) Identify your needs

Do you need specific types of pens for different projects? Do you want notebooks that are easy to take with you? Which utensils will best meet those needs? Write down all the features that are most important to you, then prioritize them from one to ten (one being the lowest priority).

This way, it’s easier to see what is non-negotiable and what is negotiable. Budgeting is all about making decisions, so it’s important to be clear from the beginning about your needs.

shopping for pens in a store
A woman looking for pens and other writing supplies in a store.

2) Rank alternative options

Now that you’ve identified what your needs are, write down approximately how much each utensil will cost. If a lot of utensils can’t be avoided due to necessity, then rank them according to priority and order the list according to price from lowest to highest.

If there are a lot of similar items that could do the trick or task equally well—for example, if you need notebook paper but there are several types available—then try ranking them based on other factors such as size, color, use (i.e., writing vs. drawing), etc. Write down the prices below those, and continue until you’ve ranked all the items you’re considering.

3) Budget for alternatives  

After you’ve completed your ranking, look at how much money is available to spend on each item and allot that amount accordingly. If there’s a high price item that can’t be avoided then try putting more of that money into it while cutting back from other areas, or vice versa if another item is low priority but quite cheap.

Keep in mind that the most important thing here is giving yourself what you need within your budget. What matters most is being able to have options, so you don’t get stuck without a backup system when technology fails us! Now put together a list of everything that needs to be bought, along with a tally of how much it will cost. Shop and spend wisely!

Final Words on Writing Utensils for Writers

The first step to finding the best writing utensils is determining exactly what kind of pen or pencil you want.

It’s entirely possible that having only one kind might end up frustrating you because it doesn’t handle well enough to write all documents; on the other hand, it could make life easier if your demanding criteria are met by one tool rather than multiple ones all trying to do roughly the same thing.

Either way, you can see that it’s smart to try out a couple of utensils before choosing the ones that’d do the job for you. 

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.