Most folks would agree that writing with a pen is a world different than writing with a pencil – even if the two writing instruments look shockingly similar on the surface. Writing with a pen is permanent and unforgiving, whereas writing with a pencil gives you a lot more freedom to erase and rephrase your thoughts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were pens that write like pencils, offering the fluidity of writing that pens bring to the table while still being easy to erase if you need to? Well, you are in luck – there are pens that write like pencils. The trick is finding the right ones for the job!
That’s where our detailed guide comes into play, though.
Below we cover (almost) everything you need to know about finding the best pens that write like pencils. These are the kinds of writing instruments that are going to help take your writing to the next level without the permanence of traditional pen ink.
Are There Any Pens That Write Like Pencils?
Yes, you bet there are pens out there that write just like pencils – giving you the erasability of a pencil while at the same time offering the fluid writing experience and the permanence of a pen (once the ink has had plenty of time to dry, of course).
Obviously, though, these kinds of pens are a little bit harder to track down. They aren’t your average ballpoint, that’s for sure.
You really have to know what to look for in these kinds of pens. You really have to focus on a couple of key qualities, qualities that all the top options have in common (and qualities that the “best avoided” pens that write like pencils just don’t share).
One of those qualities, of course, is overall build quality.
Pens from major pen manufacturers – we’re talking about companies like Paper Mate, Bic, Sharpie, Parker and Pilot – are usually head and shoulders better than pens from lesser-known companies and manufacturers.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that these specialty pens are so challenging to manufacture.
Major manufacturers have the research and development budget to invest in these specialty inks and erasers, whereas lesser-known operations generally have to cut corners.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into the benefits of these kinds of pens and then cover some of our favorite options today to help you speed up your search.
Benefits of Pens That Write Like Pencils
The biggest (and most obvious) benefit of pens that write like pencils is having the ability to erase your writing, go back and change things, and then continue writing along as though you are working from a fresh piece of paper.
Initially, “erasable ink” was pretty terrible at actually being erased.
Sure, you might be able to get some of the ink up off of the paper with those old pens. But, for the most part, you were going to be dealing with a whole lot of ghosting (faint marks left behind from the old writing).
Today’s erasable pens, though – the best ones, anyway – don’t suffer from those problems.
Instead, you’re going to get true erasable ink from these pens, exactly what you’d expect from high-quality pencils.
Secondly, once the ink from these pens has had time to “cure” – something that usually only takes an hour or so at most – the ink is going to be just as permanent as it would have been with a traditional pen.
You really do get the best of all worlds here!
Our Favorite Pens That Write Like Pencils
Paper Mate EraserMate Erasable Pen
One thing that people love about this Paper Mate erasable pen is that it can write at any angle whatsoever, including upside down, just like the Fisher Space Pen (not an erasable option).
It doesn’t hurt that this Paper Mate erasable option also has a rock-bottom price tag in line with most other budget ballpoint pens. You can pick up a bundle of these erasable pens for next to nothing!
ParKoo Retractable Erasable Gel Pens
Available in up to 10 different colors, if you love to write with gel pens (and plenty of people prefer gel ink to ballpoint pen ink) this is the way you’re going to go as far as erasable pens are concerned.
Smooth writing, fluid and gorgeous, and with one of the better erasers on the market today, there’s just something about this pen that separates it from the rest of the pack. You can comfortably use it with art projects and on sketches, too, thanks to the high level of erasability.
Sharpie Liquid Pencil
This is a really innovative product from the folks at Sharpie. Unfortunately, I don’ know if they manufacture it anymore. You can still find it on eBay and in some stores.
Instead of giving you ink that is erasable like most of the other options on this list, Sharpie delivers a “liquid pencil” utilizing liquid graphite and not ink at all.
This pen feels like a pen when you are writing (your writing is going to be smooth and fluid) but the end result is going to look just like you’d been writing with a pencil. The liquid graphite does cure pretty hard after a few days, though. That makes completely erasing your work after a couple of days a bit of a challenge.
These liquid pencils can be hard to find nowadays, though. If you come across a box you’ll want to snap them up ASAP!
Pilot Frixion Ball Erasable ColorSticks Pens
Pilot is a top-tier brand responsible for making some of the best gel pens on the planet, and this erasable option is no exception.
It writes a lot like the legendary G2 line of pens from Pilot, is available in a multitude of different colors, and isn’t going to fight you when you want to erase what you have written.
Paper Mate InkJoy 100ST Ballpoint
Another great option from Paper Mate, this erasable ballpoint isn’t quite as smooth a writer as some of the other options on this list. But it does erase really easily and can be erased a couple of days longer than any of the other options here, too.
Well worth your consideration!
All in all, finding pens that write like pencils becomes a whole lot easier when you use the info highlighted above (and run through our recommendations).
With the exception of the Sharpie Liquid Pencil (which is getting rarer and rarer to find these days), most of these pens can be picked up for just a few dollars more than “regular” pens – and making the switch isn’t hard to pull off at all.
Good luck going forward!