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Ballpoint pens are beloved for being long-lasting, smudge-proof, and bleed-through resistant—making them great all-purpose pens for jotting down notes, journaling, signing, and doodling. Because they’re so common, there’s a misconception that they’re always drab, coming in enormous packs from the office supply store. But with a bit of sleuthing, you can find some really gorgeous designs.
We’ve chosen our favorite ballpoint pens that are worthy of display.
Ohto’s ballpoint pen has a unique, gorgeous design, with a hexagonal body and a satisfying clicking action that resolves by pressing a button on the side of the pen. An aluminum body gives these pens a nice weight in the hand, plus the the 0.7mm pen tip writes super smoothly.
German brand Kaweco’s ballpoint pens merge design and function. Its iconic, octagonal body packs a remarkable amount of ink into a 4.1-inch-long body. The shorter length allows you to stick it in more types of pockets.
Parker Jotter’s pens look elegant and streamlined, with a robust stainless steel body that shines. This timeless ballpoint was designed in 1954, and will never go out of style (which is especially important, as the ink will last you years). There are multiple style options to choose from. You can also refill this pen with Parker gel inserts.
Moleskine may be known for its minimal leather-bound journals, but their pens are just as worthy of praise. Made to fit on notebooks, specifically, the pen clip wraps around the back, making it especially convenient for tucking onto the front cover. A rectangular body helps the pen sit flush.
Stabilo is the artist’s pen brand, most famous for its felt-tipped fine drawing pens in a range of colors. The company’s ballpoints are also a joy to use, with the same orange body design, and a 0.5mm drawing tip for precise sketching or note taking.