An Overview of Gel Pens

Two generations before us, fountain pens were the only option available. Those were the days of inkpots, from which the fountain pens used to be refilled. As we approached the end of the 20th century, there was increased research of finding out inks which left a deeper impression and which lasted longer in the pen. It was in Japan that the first gel pen was invented by the Sakura company.

It used a water based gel that has pigmented gels. Usually iron oxides and copper phthalocyanine are used to make these gels. These are then mixed with biopolymers, and of course, water. Some of the common biopolymers used are xanthan gum and tragacanth gum.

Gel pens have become very popular because they afford a greater control to the writer than fountain pens.Also, the writing is smoother, and the tip being metallic, doesn’t wear away like felt tips. Even if the surface on which you are writing does not absorb the gel, you can leave a mark with gel pens. The ‘bleeding’ of regular ink on paper is not seen when you use gel pens.

When you are buying a gel pen, there are some basics you must check. This can be done easily by asking for a paper and writing on it a few times. Check if the lines are irregular or not. If they are, that means the ink flow might not be consistent, and you should avoid it. If the pen feels too heavy or too light in your hands, you should ask for a heavier/lighter one. Finally, choose the gel colour depending on the usage planned. For most administrative or office work, blue or black is the most preferred colour. But if the purpose is slightly more artistic or meant for highlighting certain parts, then other brighter colours are chosen.

You are welcome to find out more about the huge variety of gel pens by visiting