Best Gel Pens 2017 – Top 10 Guide & Expert Reviews

The best gel pens are in high demand by artists and adult coloring book enthusiasts. That’s because gel pens produce rich, vibrant, and lasting color in a wide variety of tones like Metallic and Neon. Gel pens can be used to color entire pages or with other mediums to create more dynamic artwork, and are great for artists of every experience level.

We’ve selected the top 10 best gel pens on the market, representing a range of tones and colors. All the gel pens in our list feature the smoothest, most reliable application whether you prefer wet or dry ink. Keep reading to find the best gel pen kit for your next art project.

Tips When Using Gel Pens

  • Start by making a color reference chart whenever you get a new set of gel pens. Test the color, line thickness, and wetness for each pen. This is important because even the best gel pens have misleading cap colors, and different pens within a set can draw differently.
  • To keep your gel pens working their best, be sure to firmly secure the cap whenever the pen isn’t in use. Otherwise your pens will dry out and become unusable. Also, be sure not to drop or shake your pens. Doing so creates air bubbles within the gel, causing them to skip.
  • Many people want the best gel pens for their “juicy” application. Wet ink is easier to manipulate, blend, and smear for effect. If you don’t like using these techniques, or prefer not to worry about smearing your work, look for quick drying gel pens.
  • Gel pens are water based, and may have difficulty drawing over oil based or wax based mediums like colored pencils. On the other hand, the best gel pens are perfect for use over water based paints and markers.
  • Typical gel pen point sizes run from .4mm to 1mm. The larger the tip, the thicker the line, and the more ink dispensed at once. Smaller points are better for detail work and writing, while thicker tips are ideal for coloring.

Top 10 Best Gel Pens Comparison Guide

PictureNameUnique ColorsPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameUnique ColorsPriceRating (1-5)
1. ColorIt's Gel Pens For Adult Coloring Books Premium Ink Gel Pens Set With Case48$$4.8
2. Glitter Gel Pens by Color Technik Best Assorted Colors Now with More Ink30$4.7
3. Gel Pens Set with Carry Pouch from SMOOV Non-toxic Gel Ink36$4.7
4. Glitter Gel Pens with Metallic Set Professional Coloring Pen by Doodle Art Pro24$4.6
5. Sakura Gelly Roll Pens Artist Gift Set58$$$4.5
6. Reaeon Gel Pens Coloring Set for Adults Coloring Books Drawing Art Markers100$$4.5
7. Arteza Gel Pens Acid Free & Non Toxic60$4.4
8. LolliZ Gel Pens Tray Set48$4.2
9. OfficeThink ULTIMATE Gel Pens Set ZERO Duplicates Ergonomic Rubber Grips130$$4.1
10. ECR4Kids GelWriter Gel Pens Set Premium Multicolor70$$4.0

Reviews of the Top Rated Gel Pens

1. ColorIt’s Premium Ink Gel Pens Set With Case

Against all the competition, ColorIt’s Premium Ink Gel Pens are our number one choice. It’s clear from the moment you open the box that this set of 48 uniquely colored gel pens is high quality. They come in a zippered soft case that keeps pens well organized and brilliantly displayed so you can see all colors at once. You also get the magnetized carry box which contains 48 refills, one for each of your pens.

Refilling your pens is made easy, too. Each gel pen and refill is labeled with a color and number so you won’t be left guessing. The ColorIt Premium Ink Gel Pens Set includes Metallic, Neon, and Glitter tones with a heavy focus on reds, yellows, and oranges.

Although these are quick drying gel pens, almost every color in our test pack drew smoothly without skipping or scratching the paper like other quick drying pens. You can expect a couple duds in any large pack of gel pens, but since this set comes with refills for every color you have less to worry about. This set is also covered by a 30-day refund or replacement guarantee, solidifying its place as the best gel pen set.

2. Glitter Gel Pens by Color Technik

For many gel pen lovers, it’s all about the glitter. Color Technik is here to deliver with their 30-piece set of richly pigmented Glitter Gel Pens. Glitter gel pens usually write smoothly no matter which brand you use, but Color Technik went the extra mile to ensure a flawless drawing experience with bold 1mm points. Ink comes out very wet and takes a few seconds to dry, allowing you to blend easily with other colors.

Every color in this pack is vibrant and bright with heavy doses of glitter. You’re treated to a rainbow selection of hues, including black and gray. Use these pens for sparkly accents, or color your whole picture in glitter, the choice is yours as these gel pens are long lasting.

The Glitter Gel Pens by Color Technik come in a clear sleeve with individual pockets for each pen. It’s not the best gel pen case we’ve seen but it’s hard to complain considering the price of this set. These gel pens are the best value for high shimmer glitter.

3. Gel Pens Set with Carry Pouch from SMOOV

It can be difficult to discern artist quality gel pens from the rest, but you’ll have no doubt when you lay your eyes on SMOOV’s 36 Gel Pen Set. This exuberant set comes with 36 unique colors in Glitter, Metallic, Neon, Pastel, and Bold. This includes one standard blue and black gel pens with finer .5mm tips for writing. All other gel pens in this set feature wider .7mm tips for coloring.

This set comes in a lovely box where each pen has an insert for safe keeping. The display box makes it easy to choose your colors, but the pens can be difficult to remove. In all, however, this is the safest way to store your gel pens to reduce bubbles.

We love the color selections in this kit, especially the high sheen, reflective metallic tones. Every color in the kit worked smoothly from the first line, true to the manufacturer’s name. Whether you buy these gel pens for yourself or as a gift, the recipient won’t be disappointed.

4. Professional Coloring Gel Pens by Doodle Art Pro

Even gel pen kits with the largest array of colors can too often focus on one end of the spectrum. We love the Professional Coloring Pens by Doodle Art Pro because it prioritizes color beautifully over 24 unique Metallic and Glitter shades. This includes plenty of blues, purples, and greens that other kits lack.

In addition to having an excellent color selection, these best gel pens outlast the competition with 25% more gel. Drawing with them is effortless, and they pour a lot of ink with light pressure. Perfect for fans of heavy, wet gel pens that glide across the page.

5. Sakura Gelly Roll Pens Artist Gift Set

Trusted by professional artists and enthusiasts alike, Sakura’s Gelly Roll Pens are the standard many people use to compare all other gel pens. This Gelly Roll pack comes with and incredible 72 pens in 58 unique colors.

Of course, this is Gelly Roll, so you’re not limited to standard tones. This set features Metallic, Moonlight, Stardust, Classic, and Shadow tones. This set also includes Sakura’s famous Classic White #50 gel pen, perfect for highlighting and drawing over darker colors. They may be more expensive than the competition, but you won’t find a more varied and quality set of gel pens around.

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