Skip to content

Not just your average “Red Pen”: Discovering the BEST pens for teachers

Have you seen all the pens around and are envious but wonder what (if any!) great benefit these hold for teachers?!  Well I’m here to help!

I was the person just *eyeing* all the “cool” pens and admittedly I have plenty of them. My collection has even grown since then, but I wondered when buying or looking at these pens which might *really* be necessary or how can they be formally ranked.

So here’s just one review – from one educator to another! *affiliate links are embedded* so you can grab some for yourself. I tried to make this somewhat science-y.  Make sure to ENTER the GIVEAWAY to win some goodies as well!

I’m only starting out with Teacher Tools, I classify these writing utensils used in teaching- more extensively for grading or everyday writing. NOT on the board, anchor charts, etc…

The criteria:

  • COST: are they pretty pricey?  Do you get as many pens per pack? 
  • FUNCTION: Do they smear? Bleed through? Do they last long? 
  • FUN FACTOR: How they look? Fun uses? Especially good for?  
  • OVERALL RATING: How I would rate them compared to the others here, based on their other category ratings.
Look for the FAN FAVORITE that was voted on Facebook and Instagram!  

First up- Flair Pens

The iconic teacher choice for years now. Let’s start with the positives…. I like the feel! Very smooth writing, choice of colors, and no smear. The felt tip leads to precision and I like the cap to keep ink in. Flairs tend to last quite some time I have found personally. A huge downside is their cost. They tend to run on the more expensive side but grabbing them on Prime Day or when they are on sale you can get them a cheaper.

Second – Ink Joy Gel Pens

Ink Joy Gel Pens have become a popular pen and there are definitely some perks to having them in your treasured pen caddy! Gel pens do have a tendency to smear but it is minimal. I love the deep rich bold colors these lean themselves too as they are great to grading and feedback because they are easy to spot vs. the more pastel options. I do like that these come in a capped or retractable option. The grip I like as well vs. pens like a flair that don’t offer a grip. These are a little wider though. Gels inherently tend to not last as long as other types of pens but the tradeoff of beauty really outweighs it.

Third – Sharpie Pens

Sharpie pens are newly introduced and one of the bonuses is familiarity. The design resembles the fine point Sharpies but even smaller. Personally I find these more fun to do details or accents vs. straight writing. They provide really unique colors that I find lighter than other brands – definitely unique in variety.

Four (the Underdog) – BiC Cristal Xtra Bold Pens

Last but not least – the Underdog! It get the stars for price but also functionality. I did the ratings and I am a little biased as a ball point pen is still a trusty fave. I find they last the longest especially versus a felt or gel pen. The especially bold colors lend themselves to easy grading, smooth writing, any use you can think of in the classroom. While some pens have special uses – these can be for all!

I have special spots for all of these in my caddy! What is your favorite pen? Why? Do you have a special spot to store them?

Bonus:  Here are some pen caddies that would be lovely as well:
I’m oogling over these myself…might need an upgrade!


Leave a Comment

How to make and print Bitmoji Stickers

What is a Bitmoji? A Bitmoji is a like a fun avatar you can customize.…

Your secret guide to Amazon Prime Day for Teachers or Educators

The Prime Day guide for teachers! If you want to see any other great ideas…

5 MUST HAVES for Open House (Back to School Night)

Are you ready for the perfect Open House (Back to School) Night?! I’m going to…

The SECRET Slime Ingredient You’ve Never Heard Of

Slime is ALL. THE . RAGE and rightfully so – I mean even as an…

Prefix Patients

Are you looking for a way engage students in content?! Why not let them be…

Nonfiction “level up” day

Many of you have asked about my Nonfiction Video Game Level Up day – all…

Positive Notes – Building Classroom Community!

This year I knew I wanted to start focused morning meetings with my students.  Once…

Top 3 – A First Day of School Post for Upper Elementary

How to have the best first day and set the tone for the rest of…

Emoji Intro Back to School Activity!

A back to school activity can be so tricky to come up with. Yes…you might…

10 Easy Stations for Building Circuits!

  Before moving to the older grades I was petrified of teaching electricity and circuits…