Types of Pens You Need in the Classroom – 2023 Guide

Believe it or not, there are many types of pens. While each may have a special function, another agenda of a pen’s design is to create a fashion statement.

If teacher pens work both as a writing tool and an instrument for learning, have you been wondering which types of pens you need in the classroom, the ink these pens use, and which one should you get?

woman writing

What are the types of pens you need in the classroom?

In every teacher’s line of work, they often raise the question, “Which pen to use? Sign pen, grading pen, marking pen, fountain pen, gel pen, ballpoint, rollerball?” Wow.

Additionally, writing by hand has several advantages, including taking notes, sketching, painting, and coloring. So, with all the gorgeous pens available nowadays, who can blame instructors for buying every kind of pen they can?

The best teacher pens should make a teacher’s tasks all sorted out, artistic, and appealing. Below, I rounded up the types of pens that you need in the classroom.


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Ballpoint Pens

ballpoint pen on a paperThis is the most common and well-known pen type. These pens use oil-based ink that distributes fast-drying ink as soon as it comes in contact with the paper. Because the ink here is used as a lubricant, one can continue writing as long as the ball rotates notwithstanding pressure.

Because ballpoint pens write uniformly and cleanly, all teachers use them. In comparison to other inks, the pen is not fussy. It has long-lasting refills, is simple to use, and is widely accessible. The continuous cap on ballpoint pens prevents the ink from drying out and makes them incredibly dependable.

The ballpoint offers different tip sizes – the medium tip measures about 1.0 mm and the fine tip at about 0.7 mm. With ink rolled into a hard sphere of 0.5–1.2 mm – the tiny rotating ball made of steel disperses ink as you write. Ideal for all-around writing.


Soft-Grip Pens

red ballpen and a paperTeachers who write excessively frequently get calluses on their hands as a result of using writing implements repeatedly. Pens with a soft grip are the only thing that can make them feel more at ease. This is ideal for them because their work involves extensive, lengthy writing practically every day.

An effective grasp can reduce discomfort in the finger. Unlike slick plastic or metal surfaces, soft-grip pens have a rubber grip that makes them softer and simpler for fingertips to stick to.

An effective grasp can reduce discomfort in the finger. Unlike slick plastic or metal surfaces, soft-grip pens have a rubber grip that makes them softer and simpler for fingertips to stick to.


Marker/Felt Pens

Colored Pencils, Felt Tip Pens, CrayonsMarker pens or felt pens are widely loved by teachers for their special effects like color mixes. They are made with a porous tip with fibrous materials.

In a felt pen, the marking material is fluid allowing for smooth marks compared to those made by dry drawing mediums. Known as the mark-maker, medium-sized ones are ideal for coloring projects while larger types are the favorite for writing on large surfaces like whiteboards, cardboard, and corrugated boxes.

You can choose if you like a bullet, cone, or slanted chisel tips that write perfectly on any non-porous surface. Marker pens or felt pens have the ultimate control over how much ink or paint is laid down with each mark. It helps the ink flow freely producing highly saturated colors that teachers need to be able to create bright, bold art projects.


Gel Pens

colored gel pensThe well-known gel pens are those wonderful pens with color-pigmented inks suspended inside a water-based gel. The ink is thick and opaque, making it easier to see than other pens on dark surfaces. The ink takes longer to dry even though it produces color lines that are finer and more controlled.

Gel pens come in bright neon colors that teachers need for vivid writing, drawing, making illustrations, and even for color-coding texts on planners. The pens can be used on smooth and non-absorbent surfaces since they are less likely to bleed through the other side of the paper. If you are fond of coloring books or mandalas, gel pens are wonderful.

Generally, the gel ink tip measures between 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm., very much capable of creating a nice sharp edge on the line. If you’re an elementary teacher, you’ll love the range of neon, glitter, metallic, pastel, saturated, blurred, vibrant, shady, shiny, see-through, glow-in-the-dark, and invisible effects of colors in gel pens.


Multi-functional Pens

a multifunction penThere are pens designed with more than one function. A multi-functional pen means one pen with a multi-purpose function to give you a multi-purpose option.

A multi-purpose pen typically serves as a ballpoint pen, felt tip pen, highlighter, and mechanical pencil. Some have an eraser included. You can complete several activities with one writing utensil thanks to these features. You’re lucky to find one with a multi-color option, which might be useful for doodling, coloring in text, and drawing.

This type may be a bit expensive but with all the functions it offers, would you say no to it if you have the budget?


Pens for Lefties

pens for left handersMany teachers are left-handed. While they can use any type of pen, there is a tendency for the ink to smear as their hand moves from the left to the right. One solution is to use a specially designed pen with a nib that flows smoothly when pushed so that you get an even ink flow.

But there’s good news for left-handers!

This pen contains quick-drying ink. Clearly, it implies that all typical writing surfaces won’t look cluttered for left-handed people. Soft rubber is also used for the grip, allowing for pleasant writing. If you are a leftist, you will appreciate smear-free writing. Some left-handed pens now even have a binder and pocket clips thanks to technology.


Stylus Pens

Person Holding White StylusWith today’s technology learning, stylus pens do help both teachers and students work on devices. They allow for more controlled writing, drawing, or sketching so that the screen will be free of smudges. This pen is a perfect tool to navigate through an iPad, tablet, mobile, and other trackpads.

Did you know that a stylus pen should be on the list of useful classroom supplies for elementary teachers? Like a casual ballpen, the stylus is also elongated with a slightly pointed tip for more precision while using touch screens. It is designed to provide a good grip perfect for little hands.

You are lucky if you find pens that are made with a ballpoint tip on one end and a touchscreen stylus on the other end. They may be a bit pricey but worth an investment.


In Conclusion

The best pen for teachers is one that helps them do their tasks easier, makes bold markings, and allows them to work with convenience while preventing hand injury. The pen design also matters. Other than it helping you solve certain writing tasks, a style that makes you feel good while using it can enhance creative expression.

So, among the list above, which type of pen is your favorite?

Do you know of other pens that should be made into the list of pens for our educators? We would love to hear your comments.