The 6 Best Colored Pens in 2024

Best Overall

Sakura Micron Pens

Sakura Micron Pens – Precision-tipped, vibrant ink pens ideal for detailed, colorful writing.
Best for Calligraphy

Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens

1 (2)
Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens – Elegant, diverse color range fountain pens, perfect for artistic calligraphy.
Best for Journalling:

Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen

1 (3)
Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen – Smooth, bold ballpoint pens with a comfortable grip for everyday journaling.

Best Colored Pens

Colored pens are more than just a piece of stationery; they are the unsung heroes who help students, artists, professionals, and hobbyists bring their ideas to life, arrange their thoughts in a logical way, or leave their mark with style and accuracy. The versatility and necessity of colored pens are demonstrated by their widespread use across several fields. Every profession relies on colored pens to bring their ideas to life: architects with detailed blueprints, designers with lively sketches, writers with annotated manuscripts, and students with color-coded notes.

We know how difficult it is for many people to find the right set of colored pens, despite the importance of these tools in many aspects of our lives, including school, work, and leisure. Customers are frequently left perplexed by the abundance of options available, struggling to determine which package is the best for their unique needs. In response to this issue, we have put together an exhaustive tutorial that will walk you through the exciting world of colored pens. To help you narrow down your options, we have compiled a list of the top colored pens, each one carefully chosen for its exceptional ink quality, long lifespan, user-friendliness, and adaptability.

To avoid smudge or bleeding while writing and to get vibrant colors, high-quality ink is essential. Make sure the pens you choose can endure regular usage by checking their durability. Reliability and endurance are important considerations. An ergonomic design that reduces hand fatigue is essential for those extended periods of writing or drawing. Another important consideration is the colored pen’s versatility; the best ones should be able to go from bold highlighting in texts to delicate detailing in graphics with ease. 

On top of that, we get that different situations call for different types of colored pens. In order to help you discover a pen that meets your needs, we will explore the best solutions for different uses. Here, we will showcase solutions that are perfect for artists who need pens with a wide range of colors and a high level of precision for detailed artwork. Designed for note-taking and data classification, these pens are both functional and visually beautiful, making them ideal for students and professionals looking for an organizing tool. Finally, we will exhibit pens that provide consistency and accuracy, which are crucial for sketching and drafting, to individuals working in the field of design and architecture.

Choosing Your Color: Pens vs. Markers for Every Task

If you want your artistic expression, note-taking, or organizational projects to turn out the way you want them to, then you need to know the difference between colored pens and colored markers.

Intricate drawings, complex schematics, or handwriting in tight places all call for a high level of precision and control, which colored pens—often offered in fine and ultra-fine tips—offer. Colored pen ink is either water-based or gel-based, so writing with them is easy and consistent. Particularly helpful for left-handed writers or those who need to take notes rapidly, this ink has a tendency to dry rapidly, minimizing the chance of smudging. Colored pens are a must-have in many classrooms, workplaces, and personal planners due to their convenience and portability.

The tips of colored markers are wider, and the ink is more vivid and opaque. They work wonderfully for highlighting words, coloring expansive regions, or making expressive lines. Most markers use either water-based or alcohol-based ink, and the ink’s permanence and bleed-through characteristics vary with paper quality. Although they take a little more caution because they bleed through paper more readily, alcohol-based markers are well-known for their durability and fade resistance. While markers made of water are less likely to bleed through, they might not be as vibrant or last as long as markers made of alcohol.

Although colored pens and markers are both useful tools, choosing one over the other really depends on what you need to accomplish. Using colored pens is the best option for precise, fine-tuned tasks or writing. Markers are more suited for expressive, daring work or coloring big areas. Whether you’re taking notes, drawing a design, or starting a coloring job, knowing these subtleties can help you choose the proper tool.

Selection Criteria for Top Colored Pens 2024—Buying Guide

If you’re new to colored pens and want to choose the best one for your needs, by now you would have realized that the process deals with more than just picking out a rainbow of hues. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the pen’s features and how they complement your desired writing style, whether that’s for detailed note-taking, creative pursuits, or organizing duties. 

The quality and composition of the ink is crucial to a colored pen. Due to their low smearing danger and rapid drying time, water-based inks are preferred for note-taking and general writing. In contrast, gel inks provide a more fluid writing experience and produce rich, colorful results, making them ideal for projects that call for a daring and expressive touch. 

How precise and artistic your writing or drawing will be is directly correlated to the size and type of tip on your pen. Sharp and exact lines are provided by fineliners, which usually range from 0.3mm to 0.8mm and are ideal for detailed work. Calligraphy and expressive art benefit greatly from the versatility of brush tips, which allow for a range of stroke widths. In contrast, bullet tips provide a constant line width, making them ideal for coloring or continuous writing.

When you’re going to be sitting for hours on end drawing or writing, comfort is of the utmost importance. Try to find writing instruments that are ergonomically designed, with soft grips that won’t tire your hands out. You can get a lot more done with a solid pen that is comfortable to hold and has good balance if you pay attention to its overall construction.

Working with a diverse color palette allows you to fully express your creativity while also accommodating different organizational methods. Be sure the pens come in a wide variety of colors with high pigment saturation if you want your designs to stand out. Also, make sure the ink maintains its color consistency throughout its lifecycle.

Think on how long you think the pen will last and whether or not you can get refills for it. Not only are refillable pens a great eco-friendly choice, but they also keep all of your favorite colors in stock, so you never have to buy a new set.

Choosing the perfect colored pens is an art/science hybrid that necessitates giving careful thought to factors including ink quality, tip type, comfort, color range, and durability. 

The 6 Best Colored Pens in 2024

  1. Overall Best Pens for Colored Writing: Sakura Micron Pens
  2. Best Colored Fountain Pens for Calligraphy: Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens
  3. Best Colored Ballpoint Pens for Journalling: Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen
  4. Best Colored Rollerball Pens for Left Handers: Paper Mate® Gel Pens
  5. Best Fine-Liner Colored Pens for Sketching: STABILO point 88
  6. Best Erasable Colored Pens: Pilot FriXion ColorSticks

1. Overall Best Pens for Colored Writing—Sakura Micron Pens

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Archival ink 
  • Pen Type – Water based ink pen
  • Tip Type – Fine tip
  • Quality – 10/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About Sakura Micron Pens

With their perfect combination of accuracy, longevity, and vivid color expression, SAKURA Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens are the gold standard of colored writing utensils. Those who want the highest level of performance and longevity, whether they are professionals, artists, or enthusiasts, choose these pens for their archival-quality ink. Based on a five-star review, “My daughter is an art student pursuing a dual degree in advertising design and television and broadcasting. These are literally the ONLY pens she will use. I’ve been purchasing them for years and she always asks for more at every gifting opportunity. Her art style is very detailed and crisp, and these tried and true Microns never disappoint her! The ink quality is long lasting as well. Pieces that are years old still look like they were created very recently.”

The ink, which comes in a variety of colors in addition to black, is designed to withstand fading, smudging, and water, so your artwork will stay sharp and vibrant for a long time. These fineliners are great for technical work, expressive journaling, and note-taking also because of their 0.8 nib size, which is just right for the combination of fine detail and notable effect. The constant and smooth production of their fine line makes writing a breeze.

Although the sturdy build provides a long service life, the ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use for long periods of time, whether writing or sketching. However, keep in mind that as the tip is made of fine metal, if you are heavy handed, you might damage it.

This eight-pack set gives you a versatile toolbox for all your creative or professional projects, with a mix of black and different hues. According to a professional crafter, “I bought this for making quilt labels by hand. It works perfectly! The colors are rich, fine lines, and the ink doesn’t bleed.” Even though the current pack lacks some basic colors, the company offers a wide array of options. Color consistency is ensured with fineliner pens by using color from single pigments.


  • Color variety in 85+ nib sizes and colors
  • Chemically stable, single pigment inks ensure color matching every time
  • Smooth writing for precise lines 
  • Fast drying ink with minimal bleed


  • Not very wide color variety in this particular pack, lack of basic colors


2. Best Colored Fountain Pens for Calligraphy—Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens

Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Dye based ink 
  • Pen Type – Fountain pen
  • Tip Type – Fine tip pens
  • Quality – 9/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens

Calligraphy aficionados who wish for a burst of color with the classic elegance of fountain pen writing will find the Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens to be a great option to explore. In addition to serving as writing implements, these pens stand as fashion statements and examples of the harmonious coexistence of traditional and modern artistic practices.

Designed with color enthusiasts and calligraphers in mind, the Ooly Color Write line provides a spectrum of vivid shades that elevate writing to a whole new level. Calligraphy relies on the delicate, flowing lines that are possible because the ink flows smoothly across the paper with each stroke. “I’m a huge nerd for pens, especially specialty pens like these. My collection is massive. But these are at the forefront of that collection because they have the most even and smooth ink flow, in such interesting colors!” exclaimed a connoisseur of the art.

Incorporating contemporary features that appeal to users today, the design of the pens pays tribute to the tradition of fountain pens. A variety of calligraphic styles can be achieved with this pen because of its precisely built nib, which allows for a constant flow of ink and is flexible enough to accept different writing pressures and angles. 

These pens are well-liked not just for their performance but also for their ergonomic design, which allows to maintain comfort and control even throughout lengthy periods of writing. And yet another five-star review that sums up our sentiment, “Wow, these are my all time favorite fountain pens. They have a wonderful smooth silicone grip to them. They are beautiful colors and they write like a dream. The ink flows smoothly but never puddle or smears.”

Lastly, it’s worth noting that there are some negative opinions regarding this line that are based primarily on the fact that, for individuals new to the art, fountain pens require preparation before use. As explained by a longterm user, “I’ve been using affordable fountain pens for at least 15 years now. They looked like cotton candy and I wanted them for making notes in my daily planner, even though I was aware they might require some work beforehand. They made the cut! Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that you’ve to prepare the cartridge to get the ink flowing when you use them for the first time. It takes a few minutes to open the pen, turn the cartridge upside down and get the ink flowing into the steel nib. So, if you’re new to ink cartridges you may think the pens are somehow flawed. They’re not.”


  • Perfect pen to write smoothly due to the fountain drip nib, especially for hand lettering art
  • Thick ink flow for solid lines
  • Rubber grip and ergonomic design for long hours of use


  • Lack of black ink for everyday writing
  • Not a great option for left handers, due to the angle of the quill (You may want to check the Lamy 1230636)

3. Best Colored Ballpoint Pens for Journaling—Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen

Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Oil based ink 
  • Pen Type – Ballpoint pen
  • Tip Type – Bold point tip
  • Quality – 10/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen

The Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pens are a fantastic option for those who want to keep a journal since it combines a sturdy construction with colorful ink that is both comfortable and reliable. 

These pens are known for their vibrant, highly pigmented ink, which adds a burst of color to any notepad. Having a streak-free writing experience is crucial for retaining the aesthetic appeal of your journal entries, and the colors are both brilliant and constant, providing precisely that. 

Among the many things that set Paper Mate Profile pens apart is how comfortable they are to use. This pen writes for long periods of time without experiencing hand tiredness because of its contoured, comfortable grip. Journalists who spend a lot of time writing down their ideas and thoughts would benefit greatly from this ergonomic emphasis.

In addition to being functional and portable, these ballpoint pens are designed with a retractable mechanism. The ink stays wet and one-handed operation is a breeze thanks to the click mechanism, which is also dependable and practical. This, in addition to the pen’s strong clip, makes it an ideal travel companion, allowing you to jot down ideas whenever the mood strikes. As confirmed by a delighted user, “The retractable feature adds convenience, eliminating the need for caps and ensuring that the ink stays fresh and ready to go.”


  • Best pen for everyday note taking, journaling and simply making a to do list, thanks to its constant writing performance
  • Rich colors that stick out
  • Good selection of colors in the package
  • Fast writing due to smoothness of these pens


  • Not a great option for small handwriting, due to the bold tip

4. Best Colored Rollerball Pens for Left Handers—Paper Mate® Gel Pens

Paper Mate® Gel Pens

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Gel pen 
  • Pen Type – Rollerball Pens
  • Tip Type – Medium point pens 
  • Quality – 10/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About Paper Mate® Gel Pen

Smudging is a common problem for left-handed writers. So, if you’re a lefty who values cleanliness in your writing, you should definitely check out the Paper Mate® Gel Pens. These pens are a lifesaver for left-handed writers because of their famously fast-drying ink formula. Beyond our extensive testing, even left handed customers agree “I think the gel of these pens dries super fast, I’ve written left handed with these pens and have had no smudging.”

The gel ink in these pens is designed to provide a steady flow, so every stroke is smooth and unbroken. Those who write with their left hand, who may use different pressure and angles, will find this fluid writing experience especially helpful. As a result of the ink’s smooth and pleasing glide, writing stops being a stressful experience.

One more thing that makes them stand out is their wide color selection. Whether you’re taking notes, sketching, or organizing your thoughts, you can express yourself fully with the brilliant colors of these 14 pens. The vivid colors and high saturation of the ink provide for eye-catching, entertaining, and engaging writing in a wide variety of colors. 

With these pens, comfort is of the utmost importance. The ergonomic design, with its supple grip, makes it easy for left-handed people to write for long periods of time without any pain. “Handling the pen itself is nice because it’s a little thicker but not too thick so you get a nice grip on them.” commented a verified buyer. Yet, they are not only convenient, but also long-lasting. The sturdy build guarantees that the pens can endure regular use.


  • Ink dries fast enough to even use them on watercolor paper, to add shadows and details to your art
  • Pen glides smoothly when making thin lines, even though this is a medium tip pen set
  • Soft grip allows hours of comfortable use


  • Yellow color ink is not really noticeable on white paper. Could be used for watercolor paintings instead.

5. Best Fine-Liner Colored Pens for Sketching—STABILO point 88

STABILO point 88

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Water based ink pen
  • Pen Type – Felt tipped pens
  • Tip Type – Metal enclosed felt tip pens 
  • Quality – 10/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About STABILO point 88

The STABILO point 88 fineliner pens are an excellent choice for artists and sketchers who value precision, brilliant colors, and dependability in their drawing tools. These fineliners, known for their characteristic hexagonal striped style and legendary performance, have established themselves as a drawing community staple.

The point 88’s fine tip, which measures only 0.4 mm, is ideal for people who require intricacy and detail in their work. It enables the development of clear, crisp lines, which are required for sketching, whether you’re setting down basic ideas, constructing intricate drawings, or adding fine details to a work of art. The metal-encased tip not only adds durability and lifespan to the pen, but it also gives unparalleled precision, making it excellent for use with rulers and templates without risk of damage.

Color diversity is another notable element of the STABILO point 88. The palette offers a wide range of colors, from soft pastels to deep, rich tones, allowing artists to add depth and life to their sketches. The water-based ink is designed to be vibrant and consistent, so that each hue stands out while remaining in harmony with the rest of the palette. In the words of a happy buyer, “The quality of STABILO ink is undeniable. It glides smoothly across paper without smudges or bleeding, producing clean, vibrant lines. These felt-tip pens are durable and reliable, making them perfect for daily use.”

Furthermore, these fineliners are created with user comfort in mind. The pen’s lightweight, hexagonal form provides a comfortable grip and keeps it from rolling off the table, making long sketching sessions more efficient. Despite their fine tip, these pens are remarkably durable, allowing them to be left uncapped for extended periods of time without drying out due to their long cap-off time.

However, keep in mind that if you use them for school, “as they are water based, they do not highlight well but if you highlight first then write, they smudge LESS but there is still smudging.”


  • Very fine tip to use with stencils and rulers
  • Stabilo makes almost any color imaginable, including neon and pastel options
  • Great pen for small letters, as it writes smoothly even against rulers


  • Not a good option if you are looking to sketch thick lines; good pens to sketch a finer line
  • Packaging is a little flimsy, so you need another storage solution

6. Best Erasable Colored Pens—Pilot FriXion ColorSticks

Pilot Frixon Colorsticks

Selection Criteria

  • Ink Type – Gel pens 
  • Pen Type – Erasable pen
  • Tip Type – Felt tip pens 
  • Quality – 10/10
  • Ink Flow – 10/10

About Pilot FriXion ColorSticks

Those looking for erasable pens without sacrificing quality or vibrancy will find Pilot FriXion ColorSticks to be a game-changing solution. A unique thermosensitive ink technology is used by these pens, making it easy to erase mistakes without leaving any residue. As it allows them to fix their work without worrying about their mistakes being permanently recorded, this feature is ideal for students, professionals, and artists who need leeway and grace when they write or draw.

Whether you’re working on a creative project, taking notes, or organizing, this set offers a rainbow of vibrant hues to suit any taste. The vivid and distinct hues improve the overall aesthetics and legibility of any piece of writing or artwork. By providing consistency without the need for excessive pressure, the smooth ink flow further enhances the writing experience and reduces hand fatigue after lengthy use.

Their erasability is one of the most notable features of these pens. Due to their innovative ink compound, which becomes invisible when heated by friction from the rubber tail tip, they erase neatly, unlike conventional erasable pens that typically leave behind smudges or wear down the paper. Documents will always look nice and professional thanks to this clever method.

The Pilot FriXion ColorSticks are ideal for users of any age due to their ergonomic design, which makes them comfortable to grasp and features a slim, lightweight body. Another great thing about them is how long they last. As cited by a longterm user, “You can buy pen refills instead of ordering these pens all over again, which is a huge plus! Refills are normally cheaper, so I recommend getting the pens and just buying refills when they run out.”


  • Environmentally friendly, as they offer refills
  • Comfortable tip sizes, for both bold writing and detailed sketches
  • Variety of ink colors 


  • High initial cost, but refills balance the price point out over time


Discover the exciting and ever-changing world of colored pens with our in-depth guide. We’ve highlighted the best options across several categories to suit most needs and tastes. Ooly Color Write Fountain Pens combine classical beauty with a rainbow of hues, making them great for calligraphy, and SAKURA Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens are suitable for precise, archival-quality writing, sketching, and journaling. We also explored the Paper Mate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pen’s usefulness and vivid color output for journaling, as well as the STABILO point 88 fineliners’ precision for sketching. Also, for individuals who need to erase mistakes, Pilot FriXion ColorSticks are an eco-friendly and forgiving solution thanks to their revolutionary erasability.

The ink quality, tip precision, and comfort of each product were carefully considered in order to meet the different expectations of artists, students, professionals, and hobbyists. Finding the right colored pen to enhance writing, sketching, and organizing activities can be a daunting undertaking, but this guide is here to make it easier for readers. There is a colored pen available for every creative or practical need, whether you want vivid colors, fine detail, or the option to erase and redo.

Scroll to Top