A Comparison Guide to Popular Mainstream Pens

Have a favorite go to pen style, but looking to venture into the world of luxury pens? Here’s our Dayspring Pens’ staff look at the good, better, and best options for these most popular daily writers.

The Pilot G-2

A truly beloved everyday pen, the Pilot G-2 is an incredible entry level pen that demands loyalty through its smooth flow, fine point, and reliability. But it’s not necessarily the kind of pen you can give as a nice gift or show off in a boardroom. Here are some of our Dayspring Pens offerings that rival the G-2 and won't disappoint.

Braxton Set

 
DISCOVER

Good - Braxton Rollerball 

If what you are looking for most in a pen is uninterrupted ink flow and easy writing, the Braxton Rollerball takes those principles and adds a little flair. A medium-fine point, the Braxton offers quick drying that doesn’t bleed across the page. The pen has all metal construction and 18kt gold plated finish. Ink can easily be refilled with It also automatically comes as a set with a matching Braxton twist action ballpoint. Expect a more medium barreled pen compared to the slimmer barrel of the G-2 and since the pen is capped, it will not have the quick click action to write. 

Pros: 

  • • uninterrupted ink flow
  • • comes in set with Ballpoint
  • • medium barrel size
  • • medium fine point
  • • all metal construction

 

Cons: 

  • • no finer point available
  • • capped rollerball


Cross Edge Pens

DISCOVER

Better - Cross Edge

Getting closer to the click action of the G-2, the Cross Edge is a futuristic looking pen that introduces Cross’s line of capless rollerballs. This pen has a deceptively shorter profile when you first see it. In order to write with the Cross Edge, the top portion of the barrel slides up to elongate the pen and reveal the tip. This design makes the pen very portable since closed it will fit in a pocket and is a good option for the fidgeter who is constantly clicking the G-2 open and closed. 

Pros: 

  • • balanced profile 
  • • spring loaded clip
  • • no skipping gel ink flow
  • • lifetime mechanical warranty by Cross
  • • can also be easily converted to a ballpoint with a Cross jumbo medium point refill

Cons: 

  • • large barrel size compared to the G-2 so it may take some adjusting if you previously only used slimmer pens
  • • 0.7mm medium point so if you prefer a finer point, this might not be the best pen for you. 


Parker Jotter

DISCOVER

Best - Parker Jotter Gel Pen

The good ol’ Parker Jotter Gel rings in as the cheapest, but far and away the best pen comparison to the Pilot G-2. A Dayspring staff and personal family favorite, the Jotter has been in continuous production by Parker since 1954. It shares about the same size, width, and weight as the G-2. All metal construction means it can take the beating of a daily user that gets dropped, crushed in the bottom of a bag, and all the wear and tear of daily use. A firm click mechanism also makes the Jotter super satisfying to click.

Pros:

  • • 0.55mm tip for those looking for fine writing line
  • • unbroken, fast drying gel ink line when writing
  • • light weight durable build
  • • affordable price with engraving included
  • • slim barrel size
  • • easy to replace refill
  • • two year Parker mechanical warranty


Cons:

  • • no ergonomic rubber grip like the G-2
  • • nothing else really...it’s a pretty dang great pen...I’m bias.



The Zebra F-301

Known for its distinguished look and stainless steel body, the Zebra F-301 is a popular go to for its just right barrel size, durability, and firm plastic grip.

Cross Coventry

 
DISCOVER

Good - Cross Coventry

Cross’s newest addition to their entry level pens, the Coventry is definitely a more affordable, accessible pen for the person new to the luxury brands. All metal construction gives it durability like the Zebra and no plastic grip should be an easy transition for anyone already a fan of a firm pen grip. The Coventry has an attractive profile and a slim to medium barrel size that will be comfortable to any hand size.

Pros:

  • • All metal construction
  • • Lifetime Cross mechanical warranty
  • • easy to refill
  • • available in a variety of finishes
  • • No ink leakage


Cons:

  • • longer profile than the Zebra, may not fit as comfortably in a pocket
  • • chrome finishes will show finger smudges
  • • requires twist-action to open over quick click-action
  • • 1.0mm medium point refill vs .7mm of the Zebra


Parker Ballpoint Pens

DISCOVER

Better - Parker IM Ballpoint

Rolling in as the better option is the Parker IM Ballpoint. Parker has been making ballpoints since 1954 for good reason. With their patented Quink, a fast drying ink, they have dominated the market of quality ballpoints for decades. The IM line represents their cross between luxury and affordability with fine metal appointments and high gloss finishes at a $30 price point. The IM ballpoint is also click action like the Zebra for easy, quick pen writing and has a black lacquer finish around the grip which will be the most similar feel to the hard plastic grip of the Zebra.

Pros: 

  • • fast drying ink
  • • fine metal appointments and lacquer finishes
  • • comfortable writing weight
  • • 2 year Parker mechanical warranty
  • • comes with 1.0mm medium point, but .7mm fine point refills available

    Cons: 

    • • more medium barrel size to the Zebra
    • • lacquer finish less durable than all metal construction of Zebra
    • • ink line smooth, but not particularly dark


      Hemisphere Ballpoint

      DISCOVER

      Best - Waterman Hemisphere Ballpoint

      Hands down the most premium brand we carry, Waterman has built its over 135 year old business on quality and reliability. The quality of their nibs and points can be seen by the fact that 100 year old pens are still being used today. The key to a Waterman ballpoint is that it will look incredible, work flawlessly, and last a lifetime or longer. High quality materials make the pen durable, but visually pleasing and decades of designers and craftsmen have worked to refine and perfect the feel of the ball on the paper, the flow and responsiveness of the ink, and the weight in hand of this pen.

      Pros:

      • • reliable, all metal construction
      • • high glass lacquer or stainless steel finish
      • • fine metal finishes
      • • non smearing ink
      • • twist• action ballpoint release prevents accidentally opening ballpoint
      • • three year Waterman warranty against defects
      • • slim barrel size the same as the Zebra


        Cons:

        • • comes standard medium point blue ink in pens

        The Stick Bic

        Ah the Stick Bic...we have all used it at the doctor’s office, bank, borrowed one from a friend. The most common and used ballpoint in the world. It’s the kind of pen you don’t mind losing or buying in packs of 40. Why do we like Stick Bics? They are easy, abundant, and tend to work when you need them. Here are some ballpoints that will massively elevate the writing of the convenient Stick Bic user.

        Monroe Pens

         
        DISCOVER

        Good - Monroe Ballpoint

        The Monroe Ballpoint by Dayspring Pens will write just as well as the classic ballpoint in a much better body. This standard ballpoint offers click• action so you will not have to worry about losing the cap and an ergonomic rubber grip for comfort. It is a solid pen in a variety of colors and finishes that’s meant to be functional and usable over prestigious.

        Pros: 

        • • Click action
        • • Ergonomic grip
        • • 1.0mm medium point
        • • lightweight

         

        Cons: 

        • • less durable
        • • finishes will show wear and tear if dropped or kept in pockets with keys


        Cross Tech 3

        DISCOVER

        Better - Cross Tech3+

        The Cross Tech 3+ is a huge step up from the Stick Bic with technical engineering and professional design. A multifunctional pen, the Tech3+ holds two ballpoints (one black ink, one red ink), a mechanical pencil, and a screen stylus all in about the same sized diameter of the Stick Bic. Twisting the barrel releases the various writing styles and the Cross ballpoint design leaves a solid fine line that easily works well all paper types from high gloss to notebook paper. With durable all metal construction, the Tech3+ isn’t so fancy your afraid to use it, but looks a heck of a lot better in an important meeting than pulling out the gray plastic Stick Bic.

        Pros: 

        • • two ballpoints and a mechanical pencil in one
        • • oily smooth ink flow that doesn’t skip
        • • medium fine point
        • • all metal construction
        • • lifetime Cross mechanical warranty

          Cons: 

          • • takes special Cross refills


          Century II Ballpoint

          DISCOVER

          Best - Cross Century II Ballpoint

          At the other end of the spectrum from the Stick Bic, the Cross Century II Ballpoint is unquestionably a luxury pen. The preferred pen of the Obama Administration, the Century II offers the reliability of a professional grade ballpoint in a durable body, high quality finish, and precious metal appointments.

          Pros:

          • • medium point
          • • steady ink flow
          • • twist action
          • • durable body
          • • luxury finishes and design
          • • Lifetime Cross mechanical warranty
          • • medium slim barrel size


            Cons:

            • • fancy pens have fancy prices…
            • • losing this pen will be stressful



            The Uni-ball Roller Pens

            If you are a fan of the Uni-ball Roller Pen, you are probably looking for the smooth, fast drying, liquid flow of a good gel pen. The key to this pen isn’t necessarily the feel of the body or the material of the pen, it is all about how it writes. You also probably hate lending them out or losing them so you keep track of this bad boy. Let’s look at some luxury pens that will hold up to the Uni-ball.

            Cross Click

             
            DISCOVER

            Good - Cross Click

            A gel pen through and through, the Cross Click Pen focuses pretty much entirely on the writing. This simple pen doesn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles. It is a metal pen, maybe covered in a matte lacquer depending on the color you choose, that is meant to click open, write well, click closed, and get thrown right back into your bag. A sleek slim barrel, sturdy tip, and satisfying click all back up the .7mm point gel.

            Pros:

            • • .7mm medium point black gel ink
            • • easily refillable
            • • click• action
            • • Cross lifetime mechanical warranty


              Cons:

              • • slimmer barrel size than the Uni• ball
              • • no finer point size available


              Classic Century Rollerball

              DISCOVER

              Better - Cross Classic Century Rollerball

              Arguably one of the most iconic and most highly rated Cross pens, the Classic Century is a good ol’ pen for the fans of a slim barrel. Cross guarantees an uninterrupted ink flow and the pen is very well balanced with or without the cap placed on the end of the pen. This pen is meant to last for 40+ years and is easily refillable and portable. All in all, it will only disappoint if you aren’t used to slim pens.
              .

              Pros: 

              • • 7mm gel rollerball ink in pen
              • • all metal construction
              • • black lacquer grip
              • • lifetime mechanical warranty

                  Cons: 

                  • • slightly slimmer barrel than the Uni-ball
                  • • no finer points available


                    Waterman Expert Rollerball

                    DISCOVER

                    Best - Waterman Expert Rollerball

                    One of the most highly ranked and celebrated pens by Waterman, the Waterman Expert, like all Waterman pens, is just a step above. Completely uninterrupted ink flow, almost no bleeding, quick drying times...and that’s just how the pen writes. Ultimately, with this pen you are buying the surety of over a hundred years of engineering. As a fountain pen company, Waterman understand liquid ink better than most. The pen also has sturdy construction, a comfortable cigar shape, and fine metal appointments so it looks and feels great in your hand. I personally have never been let down by a Waterman pen, especially not their rollerballs.

                    Pros:

                    • • all metal construction
                    • • high gloss finishes and fine metal appointments
                    • • enamel brass barrel gives balanced weight
                    • • will fit Pilot G2 refills
                    • • classy
                    • • three year Waterman mechanical warranty


                        Cons:

                        • • you’re on your own for cons with this pen.