TUL New Pen Review (and Giveaway!)

TUL pens in display box

The fine folks at OfficeMax sent me a selection of their new and improved TUL pens last week. The set included the TUL rollerball, ballpoint, gel pen and marker pen. Prices start at $5.99 per 4-pack of gel pens up to $17.99 for a dozen of the ballpoints.

TUL Pens

Aesthetically, the TUL brand pens are quite pleasant with minimal branding and simple black-and-silver colors. The gel and ballpoint are retractable deisgns while the rollerball and marker pen are standard cap designs. All have simple metal clips to keep pens secure in pocket.

TUL pens

The first thing I noticed using the tools was that they were all very usable.

The rollerball created a deep, wide black line. It took a little time to dry because it laid down a lot of ink. It is a bit wide for my preference but is a good solid medium rollerball. At best, I would describe it as water resistant but definitely not waterproof.  If you need a stash of rollerballs for your office, its a good option.

I immediately loved the line quality of the fine Marker Pen. It had a firm felt/fiber tip and a dense ink color. This was my favorite pen of the bunch.

The TUL gel pen was a medium width blue ink pen that wrote very smoothly and was notably waterproof. My only gripe was a little give in the pen tip. It was not seated tightly in the casing giving it a little play. I find a lot of retractable tools do this so maybe most people are not as bothered by it as I am. Otherwise, the gel pen was a good tool.

The ballpoint was another story — but take it with a grain of salt as ballpoints are seldom a hit with me. There was A LOT of play in the pen tip of the ballpoint and even after a few minutes of writing, the ballpoint had developed the squidge of inky debris around the tip requiring that I wipe it off on a separate piece of paper to avoid a clump on the paper. Do I have issues with ballpoints because I’m left-handed? I don’t know but generally speaking, we are not on speaking terms. That said, it did write quite smoothly and evenly for a ballpoint.


Once I tested the writing quality of each, I wanted to compare them to their more familiar rivals.

As soon as I was using the marker pen, I knew it was trying to compete against the Sharpie Marker Pen and the Marvy LePen, and to be honest, the TUL Marker Pen outperformed both. The ink color was darker and pretty waterproof. The line weight of the marker pen was comparable to both as well, its just the ink was a much deeper, richer black.

The TUL ballpoint was quite smooth so I put it head-to-head with the Uni-ball Jetstream. While the ballpoint wrote smoothly for a ballpoint, when compared to the Jetstream, it was no competition. The Jetstream writes like a gel pen. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a gel. So, while the TUL is a good ballpoint, its not reached the magical place that the Jetstream has.

I usually have trouble getting rollerball pens to write (I think its another left-handed dilemma) but the TUL rollerball worked for me with no problems. When I put it up against the most common rollerball I could find, the Sanford Uni-Ball rollerball, the TUL rollerball outperformed in a big way — at least for me.

Sadly, I did not have a good gel pen rival to compare the TUL blue medium gel to so I had to settle for the Sarasa 04 grey — which is a bit like comparing apples to bananas. That said, the TUL gel pen is a smooth writer and, because of the wider point, was not at all scratchy on the paper the way some of the finer gel pens can sometimes be.

SO… who would like to win a set of these pens? Leave a comment below and tell me which pen you’d like to compare with a favorite in your arsenal.

FINE PRINT: Voting ends at 10pm on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 (US Central Time). You do not have to be registered in this district to vote. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced by Friday. Prize is being shipped directly from TUL/OfficeMax. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear.

PS: Big thanks to TUL/OfficeMax for letting us review their products and provide a set to giveaway to our readers!

0 comment on TUL New Pen Review (and Giveaway!)

  1. Tim Verpoorten
    November 12, 2012 at 11:48 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the review, I’d love to see how the rollerball stacks up against my Pilot Hi-Tec C’s.

  2. 25swf
    November 12, 2012 at 11:49 am (3 years ago)

    I would love to try the Tul market pen!

  3. Bart N
    November 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a set TUL’s!

  4. Dave
    November 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm (3 years ago)

    I would love to sample the roller ball versus my Levenger golden tortoise.

  5. Jumps
    November 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to sample the TUL against my Stabilo.

  6. Ashli
    November 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to try the rollerball against my Retro51, the marker against my Staedtler fine liner, the ballpoint against my brother’s awesome (but completely unidentifiable and unmarked) ballpoint that he got in the lab, and the gel against my hi-tec c!

  7. Mark
    November 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Cool review. The marker pen seems to have a nice crisp line to it.

  8. Josip
    November 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to compare the marker pen to my uni pin fine line 0,3. Thanks.

  9. Kimberly
    November 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm (3 years ago)

    I want to try the new TUL!

  10. Norm Shechner
    November 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm (3 years ago)

    I have to admit that the marker pen fascinates me. if I don’d win one I may just go out and purchase one.

  11. Editor
    November 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm (3 years ago)

    I would love to try out these new TUL pens! :)

  12. Allie
    November 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I would love to compare the roller ball to the Pilot Precise Grip pens I’ve been using.

  13. Rebecca S.
    November 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm (3 years ago)

    The marker pen looks really useful–thanks for the detailed review!

  14. A. Rivera
    November 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I just want to try it when compared to some of the not so neat (read: cheap) pens they use at my workplace.

  15. Inktronics
    November 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm (3 years ago)

    The Rollerball compared to Pilot V5 RT.

  16. Ryan Palm
    November 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm (3 years ago)

    I tried the Tul pens a while back, and while not terrible, I wasn’t terribly impressed either. Would love a shot to try these new ones!

  17. Valerie
    November 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I would love to try these out! I love my Pilot Hi-Tec C multipens and I would test them out against the TUL gel pen. And I’d try the ballpoint against my Pilot Dr. Grip G-Spec pen.

    vivaciousv1114 [at] gmail [dot] com

  18. Arleigh
    November 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to see if that marker pen can really outperform my sharpie pens

  19. Marilyn
    November 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm (3 years ago)

    TUL gels are already my favorite pens, but my second favorite is Staples Optiflow rollerball, so I suppose I would like to try the TUL rollerball for a comparison!

  20. Jason Paul
    November 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm (3 years ago)

    I am surely curious to give these a try, I certainly enjoy their looks!

  21. Alisia
    November 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Pilot G-2 I have a lot of pens, but this one comes close to the pens!

  22. Kara M
    November 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm (3 years ago)

    I usually like a nice, thin line, but the rollerball has got me interested! I wonder how it will compare to my favourite Hi-Tec Cs…

  23. Jessica Ann
    November 13, 2012 at 8:53 am (3 years ago)

    I’d love to compare the marker pen with my Pentel Hybrid Technica 03. I just moved and have been writing letters nonstop. I’d love to try the TUL pens out!!!

  24. Juliana
    November 13, 2012 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

    I had a Tul rollerball and it is by far my favorite pen I’ve used, however, it has ran out of ink! I’d love to try the other pens they have to offer; I’d love to compare the gel to Pilot G2. Thanks!

  25. Olivia
    November 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm (3 years ago)

    the Tul mechanical pencils are quite nice as well

  26. Stephanie
    November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to test the rollerball against my Pilot V7.

  27. geoff
    November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d like to compare the ballpoint to my retro51
    but really I want to doodle with the marker pen. it looks pretty fantastic.

  28. Nlfwolfe
    November 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm (3 years ago)

    This could be fun. And a rival to the Le Pen? That I have to see.

  29. millicent
    November 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm (3 years ago)

    The rollerball up against a Retro 51 ??

  30. rminnj
    November 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm (3 years ago)

    neat pens..like the waterproof blue.

  31. Keith murphey
    November 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm (3 years ago)

    This was a great review and very informative thank you for your time!I would love too see you compare one off them to the schneider xtra document our the schneider xtra hybrid


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