Whether you’re a connoisseur of the stationery arts or just looking for a good, reliable pen to replace those 50p bulk-buys from the supermarket, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’re taking a look at the best ballpoint pens of 2022 in various categories, comparing functionality, cost and, most importantly, style.
What Is a Ballpoint Pen?
In a ballpoint pen, a ball is held in a socket which restricts the flow of ink. As the ball is moved over paper, it allows the ink to flow and makes it much easier to use and write with than a fountain pen, which was the typical pen of choice at its conception.
The concept of a ballpoint pen had existed without any great success since the late 19th century, but in the 1930s, a Hungarian-Argentine newspaper editor, Laszlo Biro, and his brother, a dentist with a strong grasp of chemistry, combined their expertise to create a ballpoint pen that used a more viscous ink, reminiscent of newspaper ink.
This has since evolved into the ballpoint pen we know and love to this day.
What to Look for in a Good Ballpoint Pen
When you want to find the perfect ballpoint pen for you, there are a few considerations you should take into account. First is how you intend to use the pen; if you work in an office and want a pen for your desk, you might prefer a high-end brand with a clean, minimalist look, whereas if you’re a journalist that needs the best ballpoint pen for writing in the field, you’ll want a pen that can write anywhere.
Next, you’ll need to look at the pen itself. Some of the different features of good ballpoint pens include:
- Grip – is it a narrow or wide grip? Do you prefer a round, triangular or hexagonal barrel?
- Ink – what type of ink refills does the pen take? Do you need different colours available?
- Cost – are you looking for something more affordable, or a luxury brand?
- Style – whichever pen you choose, make sure you love how it looks!
Best Ballpoint Pens of 2022
Best Affordable Pen
With a soft grip and large, triangular body, this classic design from Faber-Castell has a push button mechanism so you can easily retract or extend the nib, and a clip to ensure it doesn’t roll away. Its line width is just 0.4mm, making it ideal for fine lines and one of the best ballpoint pens for writing notes in class or in meetings.
Recommend for: Students in need of a good ballpoint pen on a budget! (Don’t forget to have a look at our guide to the best pens for exams, too.)
Best Luxury Pen
This pen is part of Montblanc’s ‘Great Characters’ collection and celebrates the 35th president of the USA, John F Kennedy. Each element of the design is pertinent to his life, including the rich burgundy barrel which represents his Ivy-League education at Harvard and the three rings in the middle of the pen which represent his three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Ted.
Recommend for: Collectors and enthusiasts of US history and JFK. Also ideal for those looking for a classic, high-end pen for business or pleasure.
Most Aesthetically Pleasing Pen
When you’re using a high-quality ballpoint pen, you want to look good doing it, and that’s where Malta, from Cross’s Wanderlust collection, shines – literally. Comprising gorgeous shades of ocean blue in white lacquer with gold highlights and trim, this is the best ballpoint pen to be the envy of the office.
Recommend for: Showing off!
Best Themed Pen(s)
Montegrappa is known for its gorgeous limited edition pens, and their Harry Potter collection is no exception. Crafted from brass and stainless steel for durability, these pens effortlessly combine quality and style to create the perfect gift for any fan of the wizarding world. We couldn’t pick just one; there is a pen for each Hogwarts house, with intricate detailing and each house’s emblem and motto inscribed.
Cost: £315 per pen
Recommend for: Harry Potter fans.
Best Ballpoint Pen for Use Anywhere
If you tend to put your pens to the test (or if you just love to write anywhere and everywhere), the Fisher Space Pen 600 is the best ballpoint pen for you! Pressurised with nitrogen, this pen can write on almost any surface at any angle, including underwater or in extreme weather conditions. When closed, the pen is 4cm shorter than when open, ensuring it is easily portable, and a space shuttle emblem sits at the top of the barrel to remind you of your pen’s heritage.
Recommend for: Astronauts! Also ideal for journalists and researchers writing in the field, or anyone who struggles to write on sticky notes.
Best Pen as a Gift
This minimalist Art Deco design is infinitely chic, and one of our most popular ballpoint pens. Presented in a gorgeous, sleek gift box, the Calais by Cross is the best ballpoint pen as a gift for anyone with an interest in fine pens, without breaking the bank. As a modern take on a classic Cross design, you can’t beat the Calais.
Recommend for: Anyone who appreciates a good quality pen.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our stroll through some of the best ballpoint pens on the market. Of course, this is far from exhaustive; shop our full collection of ballpoint pens or narrow it down by different brands. To learn more about what goes into designing a pen or why fountain pens are so popular, take a look at our blog.