Pens are one of the best gifts for formal occasions. However, it can be hard to hone in on the best pen for a gift that’s worthy of such an exchange. For one, the device needs to have a noteworthy exterior. What’s more, the pen needs to offer a clean, smooth transfer of ink. On top of that, it needs to be durable enough to withstand years of use. When you give someone a pen, you want it to last them a lifetime.
10 Best Pens for a Gift – Review
1. Waterman Carène Black Sea Fountain Pen – Editor’s Pick
Show your devotion with this exquisite inky black fountain pen. Waterman is a French company with an extensive pen-making history. The Carène is an exemplary writing utensil with a glossy barrel and silver-plated accents. The nib is made from stunning rhodium-plated 18-karat gold. It comes packed in a midnight blue gift box that’s perfect for special occasions.
Waterman pens have been handcrafted and assembled in France for over 130 years. The Carène is one of the company’s top-tier options. The expertly crafted nib produces smooth, blemish-free lines. Treat your loved one to a pen that will bring their writing to life. Then demonstrate your attention to detail by tossing in a bottle of their favorite color Waterman ink.
- Palladium-plated clip and trim
- Glossy black finish
- Rhodium-plated 18-karat solid gold nib
- Waterman gift box with a converter
- Crafted in France
- Eight optional ink colors
- Company is over 100 years old
- Glides smooth
- Wide lines
2. Pilot Custom 823 Plunger – Best Filling System
Pilot’s 823 Custom is yet another solid performer with a gift-worthy presentation. This pen boasts a black barrel with a transparent viewing window. The window displays the plunger mechanism within the pen’s walls. A gold clip and trim supply the pen with an undeniable amount of sophistication. With that said, the 823’s dominating characteristic is its 14-karat gold nib.
At well over $250, this pen is the ideal gift for momentous occasions, such as weddings and graduations. It’s capable of pounding out some rather impressive lines. Of course, its plunger filling system offers the utmost convenience. The system prevents writers from running out of ink in the middle of a sentence. On top of all that, the pen comes in a refined blue gift box with a built-in ink converter.
- Plunger filling system
- Skeletal body with transparency window
- 14-karat gold nib
- Elegant gift box with built-in filling mechanism
- Fits 1.5 milliliters of ink
- Gold trim and clip
- Great hand feel
- End caps
- Atypical aesthetics
3. Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Fountain Pen – Most Budget-Friendly Pen
Fountain pens are far from a dime a dozen. Nevertheless, there are plenty of affordable gift-worthy options. The Parker Sonnet is an inexpensive pen that makes a memorable present. The Sonnet boasts a black lacquer barrel with charming 18-karat gold trim. On top of that, the pen features a gold clip that is engraved with Parker’s proprietary arrowhead design. What’s more, this sensational writing piece is packed neatly in a Parker gift box.
The Sonnet boasts a fine nib that’s capable of producing smooth, even lines. The ink flows to the nib from a handcrafted ink reservoir. The pen looks and feels great. Despite that, it is a bit top-heavy. Of course, there’s no denying that it is a refined writing tool. Anyone would be lucky to have this piece on their desk.
- Black lacquer barrel
- 18-karat gold trim
- End caps
- Gold clip and cap with engraved arrowhead pattern
- Comes with Parker gift box
- Handcrafted ink reservoir
- Fine steel nib with stylish pattern
- Black ink
- Ink dries out easily
4. Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen – Most Practical Fountain Pen
Truth be told, not all occasions call for $300 fountain pens. The Kaweco AL Sport is a more practical option for non-milestone occasions. We believe the Kaweco makes an excellent Christmas or birthday gift. The pen is available in several colors, including rose gold, brass, and deep red. It comes in a vintage Kaweco gift tin.
The Kaweco has a sporty shape with defined contours that embrace the natural movements of the hand. The nib is narrow. As such, it offers smooth, artistic aspects to words and markings. The pen comes with six black ink cartridges. At just over $50, it is a steal. It’s the perfect way to introduce young ones to the world of fountain pens.
- Comes with a fine nib and six ink cartridges
- Available in a range of colors
- Vintage Kaweco Gift Tin
- Less than $100
- Defined contours
- End cap
- Heavy yet bell-balanced
- Smooth, uninterrupted lines
- Excellent gift
- Modern aesthetics
- Inferior materials
5. Beiluner Luxury Fountain Pen Set – Budget-Friendly Fountain Pen Kit
Beiluner’s luxury fountain pen kit comes at a price that can’t be beat. For just under $20, you can land your hands on a luxury pen, ink refill converter, gift case, and six cartridges. Before you assume this deal is too good to be true, hear us out. This pen boasts a sleek stainless steel exterior with classic details. It has a smooth body with bullet-like contours. The pen has a little weight to it. However, it’s light enough to ensure comfort during seemingly endless writing sessions.
We love that this classic pen comes with a clip and cap. You can put it in your pocket without risking embarrassing mistakes. The stainless steel nib is also worth babbling over. This medium-sized piece offers ample ink flow. If you want to improve your penmanship, the Beiluner is a way to do it. This affordable fountain pen is trusted by many. Why not grab a personal one while making a gift purchase?
- Six black ink cartridges
- Stainless steel nib
- Sharp stainless steel body
- Classic style
- Gift box that doubles as a converter
- Sightly weighted
- Precision cap
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Low price
6. Waterman Hémisphère Ballpoint Pen – Top Midrange Ballpoint Pen
Waterman’s Hémisphère Ballpoint is a designer pen with plenty of writing power. Its sleek lacquered barrel and 23-karat gold accents complement its on-paper performance. While this pen is inexpensive, it has designer qualities that can’t be denied.
The Hémisphère will set your friend or loved one up for a lifetime of superior writing sessions. This pen is refined yet rugged. It’s the perfect gift for career milestone or graduations.
- 23-karat gold trim
- Medium point
- Comes with blue ink cartridge
- Sophisticated dark blue Waterman gift box
- Black lacquered barrel
- Slim clip
- Flawless lines
- Perfect for gifting
- Rough on paper
- Inferior twists
7. Parker Jotter Premium Bond Street Black GT Ballpoint Pen – Best Retractable Pen
It’s hard to explain how much we adore this ballpoint pen by Parker. The pen features a durable stainless steel barrel with a glossy black finish. Gold accents and a tapered clip give it a classic look that pen-enthusiasts will not be able to resist. We love that the tip retracts with a click of a button. As such, there’s s no reason to worry about staining your pockets or bags.
Due to its modest price, the Parker ballpoint is a great present for college students and career professionals. Its sophisticated exterior makes it the perfect accessory for business meetings. Do you have a friend who writes for hours but doesn’t want to be caught with a disposable? They’re probably a great fit for the Parker!
- Stainless steel barrel
- Glossy black finish
- Parker gift box
- Compatible with gel ink
- Engraved with an arrowhead design
- Gold accents
- Great weight
- Refined lines
- Great for extended writing sessions
- Poor angling
- Plastic components
8. Cross ATX Brushed Chrome Ballpoint Pen with Etched Diamond Pattern – Best Swivel Action
We love the feel of Cross’s chrome ballpoint pen. It boasts a machined carbide ball that dispenses smooth, break-free ribbons of ink. The tip rolls across a paper with the utmost precision. It’s capable of producing refined turns and bleed-free swivel. It doesn’t even matter what type of ink or paper you are using.
The Cross AT has a sophisticated urban aesthetic that may not be for everyone. The stainless steel barrel boasts an engraved diamond pattern as well as a glossy lacquer finish in the color of your choice. The base of the pen is smooth and easy to grip. Then pen also features a thin clip securing the pen to a pocket. The pen includes a single black refill. However, it is compatible with many other ink colors and widths.
- Carbide ballpoint
- Low maintenance
- Excellent swivels
- Retractable tip
- Easy to hold
- Available in a range of finishes
- Compatible with a range of ink colors and widths
- Machined diamond pattern on steel
- Urban design
- Noisy click
9. Fisher Space Bullet Pen – Most Versatile Pen
Do you need a pen that you can take to infinity and beyond? The Fisher Space pen is the only option on our list that has been publicly approved by NASA astronauts. According to the manufacturer, this pen functions in the zero-gravity conditions of outer space. On top of that, it works at temperatures ranging from -30 to 250 degrees. Did we mention that you can use the Fisher to pen letters under the sea? You’d be hard-pressed to find a writing utensil that can take a harsher beating.
Not only is the Fisher incredibly durable, but it is also rather attractive. The pen boasts a rounded barrel with matte black paint and a removable black clip. Then pen is covered by a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. In case you were wondering, the Fisher is also a surprisingly great writer. The pen’s flagship pressurized cartridge provides a seemingly never-ending stream of ink. It’s not going to pull off the delicate lines of a designer fountain pen. However, it’s certainly the most durable and versatile pen on our list. Not to mention, its part in the space race is worthy of a conversation.
- Works at every angle
- Writes in gravity-free space
- Removable clip
- Matte black exterior
- Gel ink
- Approved by NASA
- Writes underwater
- Lines can be faint
10. Bastion Executive Bolt-Action Ballpoint Pen – Best Self-Defense Feature
Rounding out our list is a luxurious ballpoint pen with a hidden self-defense feature. At first glance, this device looks like a functional and elegant writing tool. It has a sleek stainless steel exterior. The Bastion serves as a status symbol as well as an emergency escape route. The cap boasts a glass breaker that will serve its owner in the most extreme situations.
The pen isn’t reserved for crime scene scenarios. It’s also a premium writing device with the potential to produce clean, uninterrupted lines. On the downside, it can be a bit clunky and loud. Nevertheless, it ha a refined exterior and serves its purpose on and off the paper. If you want to show your loved one that you care, you can’t go wrong with the Bastion Bolt-Action.
- Bolt-action tip
- Refillable cartridge
- Doubles as a glass breaker
- Great self-defense gift
- Durable barrel
- Tip gasket
- Smooth ink release
- Stainless steel clip
What to Look for in a Best Pen for a Gift?
Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of pens for sale? We’ll help you hone in the perfect pen to present to your loved one. Before you delve into the specifics, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types of luxury pens.
What are Ballpoint Pens?
A ballpoint pen has a tiny ball at its tip. As the ball rolls across a paper, it transfers a stream of ink in its path. Ballpoint pens utilize heavy oil-based inks. They are the most versatile luxury writing utensils. As such, they are the best pick for writers who require pens for everyday use.
What are Rollerball Pens?
Rollerball pens are very similar to ballpoint pens. A rollerball pen also features a small ball at its tip. However, rollerball pens require water-based rather than oil-based inks. As such, they produce similar results to that of fountain pens.
What are Fountain Pens?
Modern fountain pens boast a refillable ink reservoir and a pointed nib. Their reservoirs are filled with water-based inks. The ink flows freely onto the nib. After which, it is transferred to the surface of a paper. Fountain pens are a bit more complicated than ballpoint pens. They require more maintenance and attention to detail. With that said, they are also capable of creating some of the most refined markings.
Many people have trouble understanding the hype around luxury pens until they’ve tested one out for themselves. Quality pens are typically heavier and more balanced than run-of-the-mill writing tools. With that said, you’ll want to steer clear of heavy pens if you’re planning on writing extensively. Excess weight can be taxing on the hand and wrist.
The only true way to judge a pen is by scrutinizing its proficiency on paper. A pen should be able to produce a clean, uninterrupted stream of ink. The line may be fine or thick depending on the size of a pen’s nib or ballpoint. Regardless of a tip’s thickness, the lines should be consistent from one side of the paper to the next. What’s more, the ink should never appear to bleed or become thin.
Fountain pens require ongoing maintenance. For one, you must rinse the tip of the pen (the nib) after each use. Also, you must refill the cartridge when the ink runs low. A fountain pen may have an ink bladder, a replaceable cartridge, or plunger system.
To refill an empty ink bladder, you must use a piston converter to transfer the ink from your replacement ink cartridge. This process can be messy and time-consuming. As such, it isn’t for everyone. If pen maintenance wouldn’t appeal to the recipient of the pen, opt for a ballpoint pen with a replaceable cartridge.
Last but not least, think about the look of the pen. Classic luxury pens typically boast glossy metal or lacquered barrels. Common colors options include silver, gold, black, and red. However, there’s an endless array of color/texture combos on the market.
Some pens feature engraved barrels, while others are completely smooth. It’s common to see pens with silver or gold trim around the tip, middle, and bottom of their barrels. Most pens also feature functional clips.
The exterior of a luxury pen is what sets it apart from lightweight disposables. If you’re giving a pen as a gift, make sure that it is tailored to the recipient’s style. If you’re unsure of their preferences, select a pen with a timeless style and classic colorway.
How Much Should I Spend?
High-quality pens range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Rest assured, there are gift-worthy options on every end the spectrum. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of refillable pens under $50. If you’re looking to commemorate an important milestone, then you’re better off with something in the $100 to $200 range.
When to Give a Pen as a Gift
At this point, you are probably wondering when to give a pen as a gift. Pens are great gifts for all occasions. They are tailored toward creative, intellectual people with a hankering for the written word. However, someone does need to log 4,000 words per day to qualify as the recipient of a pen. Writing tools are used by everyone from real estate agents to grocery buyers.
Many people utilize their computer for day-to-day writing. However, that doesn’t mean the pen is a tool of the past. Important documents are still signed in ink. What’s more, we feel like love notes should always be handwritten. We could go on and on. However, the point is that the pen is one of the most timeless and versatile gifts.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 10 most giftable pens. We aimed to make your purchase easier while also providing you with several viable options for all occasions and budgets. Buying a pen doesn’t have to be hard. All you have to do is hone in on a well-performing piece with plenty of aesthetic charms. The adage is right; it is the thought that counts. Why not nail the gift too?