Everyday Carry

Back to School: The Best Pens to EDC in 2019

Authored by:
Ed Jelley
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
Back to School: The Best Pens to EDC in 2019

Related Gear:
  Write in Style – Best EDC Pens in 2023
  The 15 Best Laptop Bags [Find the Right Bag For You]
  The Top 8 Everyday Carry Wallets for Men in 2023 (EDC Wallet)

Although laptops in the classroom are quickly becoming the norm, an EDCer stays prepared with a pen in pocket just in case. When it comes time to jot down notes, plan your schedule, or tackle some homework, having a pen you enjoy can help you ease back into the school year a little more smoothly. This year has seen some great updates for popular pens, so in this round-up we’re showcasing the best you can carry in and out of school.

Tactile Turn Bolt Action Pen (2019 Update)

Tactile Turn’s Bolt Action Pen (formerly the Slider and Glider) has undergone some pretty significant updates to both the look and design of the pen, resulting in a refined all-metal pen with a satisfying deployment mechanism. In conjunction with a stronger spring, the new bolt shape is faster, smoother, and more satisfying to click. They come in a variety of durable metals to stand up to EDC, all precision-machined to feature a uniquely tactile ribbed grip section for added control. You can pick one up in a variety of everyday carry-friendly metals in either a long (Pilot G2 style refills) or short size (Parker style refills).

Check It Out

Zebra F-701 (2019 Update)

The most budget-friendly EDC pen out there is now better than ever. For just around $7, you now get an entirely metal pen. Previously, the F-701 had a few key components made from plastic. Zebra took notice that people would often modify their pens to be entirely metal, and now offer it as the standard option in their line. The knurled grip, durable body, satisfying click mechanism, and low price tag are hard to beat. If you’re on a shoestring student budget, this is probably your best bet.

Check It Out

Moonman C2 Fountain Pen 

A fountain pen might be a nice upgrade to your writing routine, especially if you find yourself taking page after page of notes. This new offering from Moonman is an eyedropper style pen, meaning you fill the entire body cavity of the pen with ink. When filled, it will hold over 1ml of ink. Paired with a fine nib, you can write for a very long time on a single fill. The clear body of the pen not only looks cool but it also lets you keep track of how much ink you’ve got left. Fountain pens require minimal pressure to write with, so you can help cut down on hand cramps too. The Moonman offers a lot for the price, making it an excellent entry into the fountain pen world.

Check It Out

Pilot G2 Limited

It’s hard to argue with the classic G2. Pilot’s most popular pen lays down a dark, silky line of gel ink that’s archival and waterproof once dry. We like the G2 Limited version because of the more premium feel of the body. The stock G2 is clear plastic and rubber, and the experience leaves something to be desired. On the Limited model, you’ll find a metallic body, sturdy clip, and beefed up rubber grip to ensure a comfortable writing session.

Check It Out

Pokka Pens 8-Pack

If you’re the type who shows up to class without a pen, the 8-pack of Pokka Pens might just be the solution for you. These tiny pocket pens extend when uncapped to a comfortable length to write with, but stay small when capped to go unnoticed in a pocket or bag. Since the pack comes with 8, you can leave a few in the bottom of your bag or in the dash of your car and always be prepared to write. Pokka Pens are available in a ton of different colors and patterns, perfect if you want to match the rest of your EDC.

Check It Out

Zebra Delguard Mechanical Pencil

Whether it be math or chemistry, you might not always want to write in pen. Zebra’s Deguard mechanical pencil is an excellent option if you find yourself reaching for lead instead of ink. This isn’t just a straightforward mechanical pencil though, there’s some interesting engineering that goes into the writing tip to keep your lead from breaking. A system of springs and collars inside of the body cushion the lead from breakage on two separate axis. At the end of the day, it provides a solid writing experience without the annoyance of broken lead.

Check It Out

Palomino Blackwing 602 12-pack

Palomino’s Blackwing 602 is appreciated far and wide by pencil aficionados (there are literally dozens of us) for its silky smooth writing experience. These pencils feature a smooth and firm graphite core that perfectly balances the darkness of the line on the page without burning through too much lead. Sharpening a wood pencil might not be ideal during class, but if you prepare with a few pre-sharpened Blackwings, the writing experience is hard to match.

Check It Out

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Multi Pen

Bring some color to your notes with Pilot’s Hi-Tec-C Coleto multipen. This slim pen body accepts four of Pilot’s Hi-Tec-C refills—a smooth gel pen that’s achieved a cult-like fandom throughout the stationery world. Having four colors of ink available at the click of a button makes it super easy to organize your notes while adding some visual flair. We like the Coleto since refills are readily available in a ton of different color options.

Check It Out

There you have it, our favorite pens and pencils for back to school 2019. If we missed your favorite, let us know what it is in the comments below!

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (9 total)

Bruce W Ray ·
I'm surprised you didn't mention the Fisher Space Pens. They can: write upside down, under water, in extreme conditions, and their ink lasts a long time (I use mine a lot, and I haven't changed the ink in a couple years. They also have a price range of $6.00 to $700.00, so there is something for everyone!
Chris Smith ·
I have Tactile Turn's copper bolt action pen in the short version. I prefer using Schmidt's p950 megaline ink refills and I have to say it's my favorite pen. I get alot of compliments at work and enjoy filling out the mountains of paperwork every day with it.
EDIT: I'm leaning more towards the Schmidt easyflow 9000 and I plan to try the Monteverdi soon. The Schmidt Megaline was a huge let down. It started off great and was perfect for the documents I fill out every day, but then the leaking and blotting began. And so far it has been the same with every megaline refill I switch too, which is unusable for me since I fill out dozens of control documents daily for pharmaceutical products that I make. Have had no problems with the Easyflow 9000 so far.
Drew ·
One I’ve been using since Chem 101 is Pilot’s Friction pens. Erasable ink, changes everything.
My recommendation is the Everyman Grafton Pen. All metal clicky pen that can be had for $35 and takes Bic Gel, Uniball Jetstream, Pilot G2, Fisher Space Pen, Monteverde Ballpoint, and both Parker Gel and Ballpoint refill cartridges

I load mine with Pilot G2 1.0s. Worth a look.
Rude374 ·
Hey man thanks for this. I hadn't seen these before but I'm definitely ordering one.
Glad to share-- That's what this site is all about.

Welcome, by the way! Looking forward to seeing what you carry
Shane Harrington ·
Tul pens from Office Depot will run circles around a Zebra!
Tony Davidson ·
Good selection of various types! I recently picked up the F701 from my local bigbox store for a little over $5. I was thrilled to see that they had the latest version. Keep up the great reviews.