Few things are as frustrating as getting your hands on a nice, new pen, writing a couple of pages worth with it, and then discovering that it is drying out – or the ink is almost gone – and you need to get your hands on a new one!
Long-lasting pens are becoming harder and harder to find these days. Thankfully though, options like the BIC Cristal, Pilot G2, and Uni-Ball Jetstream (as well as a couple of others we highlight below) offer the longevity you’re after combined with a top-tier writing experience.
Best of all, none of the long-lasting pens we highlight below are going to break your bank account into tiny little pieces, either.
Let’s get right into it!
Just How Long Will Long-Lasting Pens Last?
There are a whole host of different factors that come together to determine how long your pens are going to last, including (but definitely not limited to):
- The caliber and quality of the manufacturing used to make that pen
- The quality of the ink, as well as the type of ink that’s used
- Whether or not your pen is “capped” or retractable
- How often you use your pen and how you write
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
As a general rule of thumb, though, you can expect your average “everyday” ballpoint pen to give you about 50,000 words worth of writing before it’s going to start spitting, sputtering, and drying out.
That’s maybe a hundred pages (or maybe a little more) worth of writing before you need to swap things out.
For some folks that means that your average pen is only going to last a couple of weeks. For others that means your average pen is going to last a couple of months.
It really all comes down to how often you are writing, how much you are writing, and how you treat your pens as well.
The average American goes through more than four pens a year, though.
Keep that in mind!
Improve the Longevity of Your Pens with These Tips
For starters, you can invest in only the highest quality pens (without breaking your bank account) designed specifically to last and last.
Outside of that, though, how you store your pens will determine how long they last in a major way.
Ballpoint pens, for example, love to be stored vertically. You want to make sure that the ink (pulled by gravity) is sitting just as close to the pen tip as possible at all times.
Store these pens horizontally and you’ll inevitably introduce air bubbles that cause all kinds of headaches when you want to write fluidly.
Gel pens should also be stored operate to prevent leaking, but they can tolerate horizontal storage a lot longer than a ballpoint can.
On top of all that, you want to make sure that you minimize air contact with the tip of your pen as much as you can.
Keep retractable pens retracted and keep the cap of capped pens locked into place when they aren’t being used.
Crazy temperature swings and even humidity issues can wreak havoc on the longevity of your pens as well. We’re not suggesting you keep your pens in a humidor next to cigars, but just know that climate conditions are going to have an impact on how quickly your pen gives up the ghost.
What Kind of Ink Lasts Longest?
Water-based inks are going to flow a lot faster and a lot smoother than most other ink options, which makes these pens a dream to use and right with – but it also means a lot more ink is going to flow out every time you write.
Oil-based inks (the kinds of inks you find in your average ballpoint pen) are a lot thicker. It’s almost like a gummy paste, even. This kind of ink can lead to streaky writing for sure (and it’s a lot less comfortable to write with over the long haul), but it’s going to last a whole lot longer.
Gel-based inks are a bit of a happy medium between water-based and oil-based options.
A quality gel-based (like the Pilot G2, for example) can go toe to toe with an oil-based pen as far as longevity is concerned, all while offering a much better writing experience to boot.
Our Favorite Long-Lasting Pens
Universally beloved as one of the most popular ballpoint pens money can buy, you’ll have a tough time finding any pen under the sun that can last as long as the BIC Cristal can.
The folks at BIC themselves advertise this pen as being able to write 1.5 miles worth of words before it starts to run dry. You’re not going to find too terribly many other options out there willing to make claims like that!
- Pens feature a 1.6mm bold point for vivid lines that stand out on the page.
- Translucent smoked barrel indicates ink level, so you aren't surprised by an empty pen.
A lesser-known Japanese to based pen manufacturer, more and more people around the world are learning about just how special this pen is every day.
Combining the best of both worlds with ballpoint and gel pen technologies, the end result is a ballpoint pen that writes super smooth like a gel pen would – but with the longevity of a ballpoint pen to boot.
A little bit on the more expensive side of things compared to some of the other options here (and not append you’re going to find that your neighborhood office supply store all the time), it’s well worth careful consideration all the same.
- Has a structure to prevent backflow of ink, reducing smudging
- Lightweight body makes it easy to write for long
- Ideal for journaling and taking notes
- Water-based colours provide smooth drawing and vivid colours
Almost just as universally beloved as the BIC we mentioned a moment ago, there’s just something about the way this Pilot G2 writes that keeps people coming back time and time again.
The best-selling gel pen in America (running away with the title, too), the gel ink in this pen is scientifically engineered to deliver buttery-smooth writing experiences and extreme longevity.
Expect this pen to last you at least a year (or more) of casual writing without breaking a sweat.
- Smooth & Long-lasting: Enjoy a smooth writing experience thanks to the gel ink that glides effortlessly across paper; G2...
Another pen that gets to be a little bit on the pricey side of things, the steep price tag on this pen is because of the “next generation” ink it utilizes.
Super smooth, very soft and flowing, and capable of producing extreme contrast when writing on different types of paper, the ink here is ultra-dark and dries very quickly.
At the same time, though, the ink doesn’t run as fluidly as a water-based ink would. And that helps it in the longevity department.
- Advanced Ink: Smear-resistant ink performs well in extreme heat or cold.
Now the last pick for the best long-lasting pens on the market today, this top option from Uni-Ball has a low viscosity “hybrid” ink that combines the best of both worlds from oil-based and gel-based inks.
You end up with a pen that writes smoothly, produces dark and consistent lines, and dries very quickly. But you also get a pen that can last you six months or longer before you need to think about reaching for another.
- Ballpoint Pen: Our black ballpoint pens combine the smooth, vivid writing of a gel pen with the quick-drying,...
Finding the right long-lasting pen becomes a whole lot easier when you use the inside info we highlighted above.
Check out the options we mentioned earlier. These really are the best long-lasting pens on the market today, and all of them are pretty reasonably priced.
You’ll love the way they are right, too!