Pen Review: Gelly Roll 64-Piece Gel Pen Set

gelly rolls

Hoo, boy! When I decide to go down the path I pretty much take the WHOLE ROAD. In the case of the Sakura Gelly Roll pens, I got the whole kit-and-caboodle! That’s right, I got the Sakura Gelly Roll 64-Color Set Box ($80). I mean, really? How was I supposed to pick just a handful?

The pens came in a translucent plastic box divided into five sections and the wrapper has a color key on the reverse that I could fill in see what each color looks like. Don’t you just want to dig your fingers into each of these compartments and pull out all the pens?!?! The box is a standard plastic art supply tackle box but did not add anything to the cost of the purchase of the all these pens and gave a nice way to keep them all organized. The 64-pen set works out to $1.25 per pen which is cheaper than buying the pens individually so the case is basically free. WIN!

gelly rolls

The 64-color set includes 17 classic/regular pens (in 0.3 mm and 0.4 mm), 14 metallic pens, 10 Moonlight pens, 13 Stardust pens, and 10 Shadow Pens (5 in gold shadow and 5 in silver shadow).

The Classic Gelly pens (0.3 mm and 0.4 mm) glide on in a gloss look and dry to an opaque matte finish. These are available in fine and medium point and include on opaque white which is probably one of the most popular options. The white is a great pen for adding in highlights on drawings, using as a “white out” pen or for writing on dark papers. The Gelly Roll Classics look like matte paint when dry which is part of their appeal.

The Metallic pens (0.4mm)  have a fine mica metallic sheen and are opaque making them great for dark stocks.  The colors included a range of jewel tones, gold, silver and copper plus a black metallic which reminded me of asphalt.

The Moonlight colors (listed as 0.5 mm but its seems much wider) are fluorescent and/or super opaque bright colors but take an age to dry and are a pretty wide point. Despite the slow dry times and wide tips, I find myself reaching for these over and over.

The Stardust pens (listed as 0.5 mm but its seems much wider), particularly the clear which is one of my favorite, are glitter with an archival ink base. The glitter may flake away but the colors will remain true. These also had a bit longer dry time but not as long as the Moonlight or Shadow pens.

The Shadow pens (0.7 mm) are the strangest of the bunch, in my opinion. These pens will halo with either silver or gold with a core of the ink color. They are very thick, viscous color and take some time to dry but would be fun for decorating envelopes or letters. They are definitely a bit too broad from general note-taking.

gelly rolls

I tried to photograph my samples from a couple angles to catch the light and show the tinkly effects of the various pens but I think I’ll end up having to put together a quick video just to show off the full effect at some point.

gelly rolls

gelly rolls

gelly rolls

Strangely, my favorite colors in the set ended up being the Moonlight Fluorescent Vermillion, the Stardust Sky Star, the Metallic Emerald (that was sort of a “duh”), the Stardust Clear glitter, the Classic medium orange, and the fine Classic Royal Blue. I pulled those out and added them to my daily pen case. I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to utilize the Shadow pens but I suspect envelope addressing will be their forte.

If you think you might ever want to go down the Gelly Roll Rabbit Hole, I think you’re going to have to buy the whole 64-pen box. You’re going to want ALL OF THE COLORS. I know I did and I’m glad I did. Yes, $80 is a lot of money but then I think how much I spend on one fountain pen and it all goes back into perspective.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Back when dark papers were all the rage I loved to use the Gelly Roll pens. I had all the pastels and what metalics there were at the time. I also enjoyed using one they don’t seem to have now for writing on regular paper – a swirly multi-color with pastel pink, green, blue and yellow all in one pen. Nice that they’ve boxed them all up together now. I’d be a little overwhelmed by so many choices! Thanks for a fun review.

  2. Dear me, I do love gelly rolls to but not all, will have to think about this when some start to go dry. I use them a lot for accents.

    1. I have had jelly roll pens for 20 years some I forgot found after 10 years and they worked fine. Other brands that were with them were dried out. Unless you leave the lid off the don’t dry out.

  3. Getting the entire humongous set is the only way to truly appreciate any art medium, I think. 😉 What a cool set and storage box!

    – Tina

  4. My heart belongs to the year 2000, when my friends and I spent hours drawing on our hands with these pens. I have a hand-dyed yarn line, and named a base Glitter Gel Pen after these bad boys 🙂

  5. Nice! I remember using these back in the late ’90s/early ’00s, they still look the same. I don’t have $80 to spend on a massive pen set right now, but you inspired me to get the 16-pen metallic set (you get an extra gold and silver) on Amazon. I’ve been using Sakura Micron pens to write my Postcrossing postcards–I don’t like using fountain pens because it runs when it gets wet and feathers on the pulpier cards–and they work fine, but I’ve been wanting to switch to something more aesthetically interesting.

  6. I happened to be on the Dick Blick website, looking for book binding supplies, after reading your post. They have a 74-pen set, and it took me a while to figure out that it included fine (0.3mm) versions of the Moonlight set. Ninety dollars instead of eighty, so it’s a comparable deal.

    My girlfriend has fallen into the adult coloring book craze. These pens could present some interesting possibilities.

  7. i want this sooooo bad!!!! I think ive became an addict and its all because this pen i try every set just to see if it even touches the way the gelly roolz write!!!! but after reading this im def. looking at this from another level…(there is no other pen)) i need to stop buying all the cheaper sets and just give in!!!!!!!!

  8. Could someone please tell me how many diffferent colours are in the range? Like all together? I’m not to fussed about the widths but I’d love to find a full colour chart somewhere that’s easy to follow!

  9. These pens are far better than any pens I have used for coloering in adult coloering books. I’ve tried different brands and it’s hard to stand up to gelly roll Sakura. The different colors and fill of the pen between your fingers is amazing.

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