If you’re the type to sweat the small stuff—including lame writing implements—you’ve come to the right place. Here are nine super-smooth options worth leaping over the table for. (“hey, that’s my pen!”)
Best Gel Pen
Some retractable pens feel (and sound) shaky; this one is solid and glides effortlessly across the page. Quick-dry ink minimizes the risk of smudges. Available in blue, black, and red.
To buy: Starting at $30, pack of 12; Yahoo! Shopping
Best Fountain Pen
An old-fashioned nib is fun and fancy and gives each stroke John Hancock elegance. Steps up penmanship for important letters and makes filling out forms less of a chore. Available in seven colors.
To buy: Starting at $3 each; Yahoo! Shopping
Best Classic Pen
So beloved, the design has barely changed since its 1963 debut. With its soft tip, the pen relates to paper almost like a tiny brush and needs only a light hand. Available in 16 colors.
To buy: Starting at $8 for a set of 8; Yahoo! Shopping
Sleek, chic, and ultra-thin, it feels delicate in the hand. Plus, one tester left this pen uncapped for a whole weekend and discovered it still delivered a rich, fine line on Monday. Available in 18 colors.
To buy: Starting at $1 each; Yahoo! Shopping
Best Ballpoint Pen
Perfectly weighted, with an hourglass shape and a rubber grip, it’s downright silky on the page. The white body is easy to spot in your bag. Available in blue, black, and red.
To buy: Starting at $16 for set of 12; Yahoo! Shopping
Best Superfine Pen
So sharp, it’s almost scratchy, this pen is a favorite of the Real Simple art department. It worksgreat for checks, since the microfine tip delivers legible carbon copies. Available in blue, black, and red.
To buy: $7.50 for 12, officedepot.com
Waxy, weird, and fun to use. Most important, it won’t dry out. (Warning: Could inspire excessive highlighting.) Available in five colors.
To buy: Starting at $6.80 for a 4-pack; Yahoo! Shopping
Yes, you read that right. Now you can mark important sections without rummaging around the room for sticky notes. The barrel on top contains 50 refillable flags.
To buy: Starting at $5 for a pack of 2; Yahoo! Shopping
Highlight and erase without harming the paper. Imagine the possibilities when it comes to marking up text-books. Available in five colors.
To buy: Starting at $4 for a pack of 3; Yahoo! Shopping