JetPens.com is the online store that supplies fountain pens, gel pens, ballpoint pens and more writing instruments than I can list. They have a huge selection, but I was on the hunt for a hardworking, smooth-writing white pen that can write on colored stock as well as on acrylic and watercolor paint.
As a recovering perfectionist, I was hoping the ink would also be fast-drying. If the pen put down a smooth line, sold for a decent price, well, that would be a plus.
For a white pen to be good, the ink has to cover evenly. It also has to start when you put it on paper (no scribbling to get it started), and the line has to cover the black paper completely, without having to go back and re-ink a line.
That’s a lot to demand from a pen, but hey, I can dream. I tested three pens from JetPens–the Hybrid Gel Grip, the Uni-Ball Signo Angelic and the Uni-Ball Signo 153. Each of these pens has a distinct use, and each write an opaque white.
The Hybrid Gel Grip puts down a smooth, white line, dries matte and doesn’t smear after just five seconds to dry. I often use pens left-handed, and in my tests the pen did not write as evenly when used left-handed as it did right-handed. The pen writes a 0.8 mm line. The removable lid posts securely on the back and the non-slip grip is useful for those who have a strong grip or arthritis. Information on JetPen’s site says they are also excellent for pen spinning. It’s well balanced, but I can’t judge it as a spinning pen. Price: $2.00
I loved the Hybrid until I tried the Uni-Ball Signo Angelic. Uni-Ball and I had a tough start a few years ago, and I’ve never warmed to them. I will admit I was skeptical that I would get what I wanted from this pen. I was pleasantly surprised. The pen puts down a smooth, 0.7mm line of solid white writing. It does details well. It dries in under five seconds. Fills in gaps. Dries matte. I also tried it on red paper and was satisfied with the coverage. Because I like fine-point pens, I like the fact that a slightly steeper angle (pen held more vertically) gives you a slightly heavier coverage. In the sample above (underneath the first set of dots) you can see the ‘ail’ in ‘details’ seems to be heavier. These are also letters that give double strokes in cursive, but I enjoy the ebb and flow of this pen. Cap posts securely on back of pen for writing. Comes in additional colors. Price: $1.80.
For a smooth-writing, heavier line pen, choose the Signo Broad UM 153. This was my immediate favorite. The ink comes out bright white, in a creamy consistency and a smooth, flowy line. No re-writing. Dries to a semi-gloss finish that you can just barely feel as raised on the paper. Cap posts securely on back of pen. You can see a faint smear on the five-second test, but none on the 10-second test. Comes in other colors. Price: $2.25
Personally, I prefer the Uni-balls to the Hybrid. You can read the reviews with each pen and make up your own mind.
Full disclosure: The pens were sent for review from JetPens. I have not used them in every project I have planned.
Giveaway tomorrow, Thursday, June 2: In order not to profit from any pen I review, I will be holding a give-away in tomorrow’s post–where I’ll also review the fiber-tip Copic Spica sparkle pens.
13 thoughts on “JetPens Review: White Pens”
I’ve been looking for the Signo white pens and can’t find them in any local store, so, thanks for the recommendation. I just placed my order on jetpens.com and got a few colors and a cool-looking pencil case too. I’m a new fan!
When I placed my order at Jetpens, they showed up in two days. I was really surprised!
I love the words children and we adults use. Thanks, Quinn, I’ll remember that lid is accurate next time. 😀
Good review, as always.
My only bad experience with the favoured pen is I bought too many at one time fearing they’d go out of stock or increase the cost for a single item by ordering multiple times.
This was for me a mistake: pens do dry out over time and mine did.
Those lids, in fountain pen parlance, if I am not mistaken is: cap. 🙂
That’s a good point–and a mistake I’ve made myself–pens do dry out. And yes, pens have caps (which I used twice, to one lid), my son called them “lids” when he was learning to speak, as a cap went on his head, and I often still use it. Along with “lapkin” for napkin, and “the flat” for the top of any food item that hasn’t been used yet.
Awesome review Quinn – we really appreciate it!
You are welcome, I loved testing the pens.
Oh, thank you so much for this! I was just online last night shopping for a white pen and got so frustrated trying to find the best one for what I needed that I ended up throwing in the towel on the whole thing. Anxiously awaiting the giveaway! 🙂
I’ve had trouble with white pens, too. These three may be the answer.
thanks for the testing. wonder if you tried them on other types of finishes…gesso, acrylics, alcohol inks?
Yep–the UM153 works really well on black gesso, and over all acrylics. Works great over AND under Copics. Haven’t tried it on alcohol inks.
“…I often use pens left-handed…”
SNORT out loud! I love it. Worded all matter-of-fact as if it’s not a bit odd at all. And who knew they’d operate differently depending on what hand you’re using. (And lefty friends, I’m sorry to hear this).
Well I’m headed downstairs to sew left handed now. Thanks Quinn.
Best wishes! tj
Lefties of the world, unite! The group of lefties who hold their pens over the top will drag their hands through the ink. If the ink doesn’t dry fast, they leave a snail-trail of smear behind. It’s one of the reasons I love these pens–they dry left-handed fast. Many tools are made to balance or angle for right-handed people and don’t work the same when used left-handed–scissors, can openers, the computer mouse (I use the track pad left-handed), car doors–particularly vans, guitars and other stringed instruments. It’s not a comfy world for lefties. [Goes down the hall, whistling left-handed.]