Papermate Inkjoy Gel Review and battle of the gel pens – which is best?

I love a good pen.

It’s probably my biggest stationery weakness and I have way more pens in my collection than I would ever need.

My favourite pen of all time is probably the Pentel Energel. I prefer gel as the writing is smooth and this pen is just the more perfect one I’ve ever used. I tried different colours and the result is always the same – beautifully smooth writing. No skipping at all. I feel like they’re a little undervalued in the planning community with Pilot getting all the mentions thanks to the G2, Juice and Frixion models.

Papermate Inkjoy Gel

Then the Papermate Inkjoy Gel arrived. It took a ridiculous amount of time to reach the UK and during that time I kept seeing Facebook and Instagram posts of how amazing they were. When they finally arrived (in Sainsburys and Amazon that I’ve seen so far) I had to snap up a pack! I paid £8.70 for a pack of four which is still a little more expensive than I’d normally pay but I had to try these amazing sounding pens. The range of colours readily available in the UK isn’t amazing but hopefully they’ll expand them. To start with I just bought the basic four colour pack. 

I started using these right away and was pretty happy with them. These were generally smooth to write with and only skipped a little during use.

I did however find the nib a bit thicker than other 0.7mm pens I’ve used and I found them a little thick and bulky to hold. 

Alongside that, I just generally didn’t like the look of these pens. They seem a little like toys.

I’ve been using the black in my Filofax for a few weeks now and I’m pretty happy with it. I’m getting used to the wider barrel but my writing still isn’t as neat as with other pens.

Given I now had a collection of some of the best gel pens around, I thought it would be good to do a little compare and contrast and see if my favourite had changed!

The pens

I had my line up – the Papermate Inkjoy; Pilot Juice; Pentel Slicci and Pentel Energel. These are my favourites of all the gels I see regularly recommended aside from the Slicci. I feel like the Slicci is way overlooked but is a lovely pen to use. 

It’s amazing to see the difference in these pens that all supposedly have the same size nib? While you can see very little difference between the Pentel Energel and the Papermate (towards the bottom of the list of swatches) the Pentel feels finer to write with.

There’s a slight amount of bleed with the Papermate (which you can’t really tell in the pictures but is there I promise!) but not with any of the others. You can just about tell from the swatch above that the Pilot Juice is the one that skips the most. Strangely, I have other colours in the Juice that don’t skip at all.

The two Pentels are (still) my clear favourites. They’re smooth to write with, have minimal skips and the ink is strong without any bleeding. The Slicci is one I tend to use in my planners because it’s a little finer and fits in the pen holders a bit better. The Energel is great for note taking and is my favourite to use at work. Something to note is that the range of colours is definitely better with the Slicci range than the Energel.

It’s all about the Pentel

So this little comparison only served to reinforce what I already knew. Pilots are seen as the best pens out there but I just don’t agree. They’re not tested here but I’ve used both Frixions and G2s and they don’t compare at all. The ink in the Frixion is too weak and the G2 isn’t smooth to write with. I think next time I want to expand my pen collection I’ll definitely be trying some new Pentel varieties.

Have you got a favourite gel pen I’ve not mentioned? Let me know in the comments below!

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