The Best Gel Ink Pen

Two of the best gel ink pens for me are Tul pens and the Pentel EnerGel pens. But which one is the best gel ink pen? Tul Gel Pens vs Pentel EnerGel pens, the pen battle of the century. Which pen will be victorious? Which pen will claim the title Best Gel Ink Pen? Read on and you will find answers to these burning questions.

Best Gel Ink Pens-Image shows gel pens scattered on a black surface
Gel Pens

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Gel Pens

I love pens and markers! Pencils are okay, but not as fun for me, but give me a pen or marker any day! I talk about some of my favorites for journaling here! But we are here to talk about Gel pens!

Gel pens have been around for years. The first gel ink pens lacked in quality but were a new concept and they were such fun! As consumers, we didn't expect high quality, because the inks were pretty and vibrant, and again, just fun!

Gel Ink

Since its creation gel ink has greatly improved in quality. Having a high-quality pen makes the days of drag marks and ink skips obsolete. Tul and Pentel gel ink dries quickly and they don't drag on your paper. In journaling or planning, this is a top reason to use a specific pen. No one wants drag marks or ink skips in their planners or journals. Another plus for these pens is the vibrant color of the ink. The ink doesn't dull when it dries and smearing is minimal because of the fast-drying ink.

The Best Gel Ink Pen

Tul vs EnerGel

For the sake of comparison, the pens are both .7 mm, both are gel ink and I'm using the same colors. Also for the purpose of this review, I am only talking about colored gel ink pens. I could go on and on about the blue, black, permanent markers, ballpoints, and others, but for the purpose of this review, I am focusing on the color ink gels.

Tul vs EnerGel Pens Gel Pens pictured lined up, colors are teal and purple.
Tul and EnerGel Gel Pens

Tul Pens claim:

  • Smooth-flowing ink of the GL series pens offers balance and precision as you write.
  • Designed to resist fading and smearing, so your writing stands up over time.
  • A textured grip provides a comfortable feel and control.
  • A Stainless-steel clip allows simple attachment to a shirt pocket or notebook.
  • A gel pen with a 0.7 mm tip creates easy-to-read lines.
  • Bullet-point pen with a 0.7 mm tip and assorted bright ink colors in a pack of 14 to stock your space.
  • Colors include black, blue, red, green, sky blue, blue-black, turquoise, pink, violet, lavender, orange, yellow, lime, and brown.

Pentel EnerGel pens claim:

  • the best qualities of liquid and gel ink are blended into a super-smooth ink and delivered via an exclusive ink/tip technology
  • 0.7mm metal tip produces distinct, medium lines
  • Latex-free Comfort ZoneĀ® grip for added control and comfort
  • Distinguished looking barrel and convenient retractable tip add appeal
  • Made of 54% recycled plastic and part of the Recycology line of products
  • Available in 12 ink colors: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Violet, Brown, Orange, Navy, Lime Green, Sky Blue, Pink, Turquoise
  • Refillable with Pentel LR7 refills

Tul Pens

Tul Pens have become very popular recently. On social media, these pens have been all the talk! You should see some of the hashtags that have been created because of Tul pens! The top pen on everyone's wishlist is Tul. They are the home brand of Office Depot, but can also be purchased on Amazon, at Walmart, and a few other retailers.

Pentel Pens

I haven't heard much chatter about these pens. They are an ink gel pen that's been on the market for a while. They are also sold at Office Depot. Pentel has a long history in the writing implement department.


Starting the comparison with the price point. It seems fitting since we all are trying to use our money wisely and purchase a quality product.

Tul Pens are sold in packages of 22, 8, and 4 sets. There is a variety of colors including Brights and Metallics. They range in prices from $22.99 down to $7.99. Tul pens are not refillable.

Pentel EnerGel Pens are sold in packages of 12, 6, and individual pens. Pentel pens range from $28.99 down to $3.49. Refills for the Pentel pens start at $4.49.


Both Tul Pens and Pentel pens are available online and in stores. The popularity of Tul pens is making them scarce in some stores, but so far they have not sold out online.

Weight of Pen

The Tul pen is heavier than the EnerGel pen. Neither pen is cumbersome to write with, and while you can feel the difference when holding the pens, it doesn't change the way the pen performs.


Tul-writing with the Tul Pen is smooth, and there are no skips in the ink. When I pick up the pen mid-stroke it does not smudge, and there is not a noticeable ink spot when I continue writing.

Pentel-writing with the Pentel Pen is also smooth, and there are no skips in the ink. Picking up the pen in mid-stroke does not smudge, and there is no noticeable ink spot when I continue writing.

Paper Bleed

Paper– Using a lined white legal pad there is no paper bleed-through with either pen. Using a Paper Studio bullet journal with white graph paper, coloring in a few squares, there is no bleed-through. There is also no ghosting on the previous page with both pens.

Transfer– Each space was colored with the pen and after a ten-second count was pressed to the other page, the Tul Pen did transfer a light amount of ink to the other paper.

Smudging-I colored more squares on the same page and counted to ten then wiped my finger over the squares. There was no smudging with either pen.

Writing sample

Writing sample of Tul Pens and EnerGel pens


Finding the best gel pens can be a daunting task, but hopefully, this guide will make it a bit easier. These pens are very similar in all aspects, and it's hard for me to pick a favorite. Both of these pens are quality ink gel pens. They both write well and have great pigmentation. They don't bleed through paper. Both are easily available and while the price does vary, there are usually coupons and discounts available at Office Depot to bring the cost down. Here is a comparison chart that can be a quick reference for Tul and EnerGel pens.

Download your own copy.

I think either pen would be a nice addition to your collection or if you're like me, just buy both! The more pens the merrier!!