Gel pens have gained popularity among teachers. I myself have quite a collection of these vibrant pens. If you’ve been using them for coloring, highlighting, emphasizing important notes, and planning – how well do you know your pens? What are the qualities you should look for in a gel pen?
Gel pens have been loved due to their wide array of color choices, ink style, and great overall user experience as well. It can offer teachers visually identifiable and distinct writing compared to other writing pens.
But whether gel pens give teachers the best of all worlds, still, not all are made equal. Let’s talk about some of the qualities you should look for in a gel pen.
<<Are you looking for gel pens? We reviewed the top 10 best gel pens for teachers in 2020. Take a look!
5 Qualities Of A Good Gel Pen
1.) Ease of Use and Comfort
First, check if the pens look and feel good on the hands. Like in any other items that teachers will use for work, it is expected that it is easy to use, will provide comfort and convenience, and is not overall complicated to use in any way.
Commonly pen barrels are made out of plastic, but some are made from wood, metals, resin, and other types of material, but most gel pens are usually made from plastic materials.
You may want to look at the alignment of the cap and barrel when it closes because this will be a frequent thing that you will encounter when using the gel pen, as some gel pens have stubborn caps that might need a little work to close it off completely.
You can also check the pen for any ridges or burrs on the side of the barrel, this is usually to enhance your grip to the pen but this may cause your fingers to be sore if you’re going to use the pen for some heavy-writing activities.
Writing for a prolonged period of time is a normal task for teachers, this is why it’s best to opt for a pen that can offer both ease of use and comfort to alleviate the stress and pressure on your hands during this strenuous activity.
You would also want to know where you prefer to use a click style pen, where you just click the other end of the pen to release the cartridge when you are ready to use it. It can also double as a fidget toy for teachers who like to just press on clickable pens when they get stressed.
Capped typed pens are also a popular option for teachers as a clip is also usually attached to it that can help secure the pen to where you want to attach it. Twist-styled pens are also a great option but are careful as the nib can come out and stain clothes when put into pockets.
2.) Writes in Clear, Bold, and Precise Lines
One more thing to love about gel pens is their ability to give you rich, vivid, and bright colors that can only be experienced when using gel pens.
Do you like your gel pen to have the ability to write in a clear, bold, and precise line.? The ink that is used in a gel pen is a low viscosity ink that is available in a different variety of colors.
It is made up of iron oxides and copper phthalocyanine mixed with biopolymers to act as a thickener resulting in the water-based and distinct ink of gel pens. The ink used in gel pens can work on all types of surfaces even on smooth and dark surfaces as well.
But since not all gel pens are made the same, you have to look into how the gel pen you are eyeing performs when it is used to write on actual paper. You can do this by scrolling through the reviews section, especially on online selling platforms.
3.) Smooth Flowing and Quick-Drying Ink
Smooth flowing and quick-drying ink is a top priority.
As teachers needing to write tons of important notes and events down on paper, it is important for the gel pen that you will choose to purchase to have smooth flowing and quick-drying ink that can keep up with a teacher’s pace when they are on a writing marathon.
One flaw that I have noticed when using gel pens is that they do need to take a bit more time to dry down compared to ballpoint pens and other types of pen, but still I understand that it is because of the thicker ink that gel pens use to create its noticeable lines when writing.
But there are brands of gel pens that offer quick-drying and smudge-free ink that dries under a second when you use it for writing. Left-handed teachers can still enjoy gel pens thanks to these features!
Teachers also don’t need to viciously shake gel pens just to get them working, because most gel pens are pressurized to keep the ink flowing smoothly, this is to make sure that there is no skipping lines insight when you are using a gel pen.
4.) Keep Special Features In Mind
Some gel pens offer specially designed barrels to accommodate the perfect balance when you are writing even for long hours. This will help lessen the cramps that your hands may experience when writing.
There are also ergonomically designed gel pens and gel pens that are equipped with comfort grip features, and of course, a recent new crowd favorite refillable gel pens!
Yes, you can opt for refillable gel pens, which not only saves you money, it is also earth-friendly in terms of disposal of single-use pens. You can extend your use for refillable pens, you just need to take care and store it properly to avoid any damage to the pen itself and for it to increase its longevity.
You can also opt for gel pens that offer a stylus tip at the other end of the pen which makes it convenient for teachers who are usually using touchscreen gadgets like smartphones and tablets.
Some gel pens are also furnished with LED lights that can be very convenient for teachers using deep bags because sometimes it’s like a black hole in there and you just can’t find where that darn pen is.
Clips are also something useful especially for teachers, they can just easily slide the pen in their shirts pocket or on the pockets of their pants.
5.) Guarantees and Warranties
As an amazing tool that adds a spectrum of colors to your teaching life, gel pens are already a form of investment. You can opt for high-end pens that cost much more compared to normal pens.
There are also those that come with a warranty. This will keep you assured that if any issues arise, you’ll be able to have them replaced. Some brands may even offer lifetime warranties for any defects encountered in their products.