Pen Review: Pentel GlideWrite Ballpoint Pens

Review by Laura Cameron

I’m always open to trying new ballpoint and gel ink pens and Pentel‘s GlideWrite (Office Depot, $13.99 for a pack of 10) pens are sort of a combination of both! 

The GlideWrite pens have medium point (1.0 mm) ball point tips in a white plastic barrel with a rubberized grip. They boast that they are retractable (true) and refillable (unverified, I was unable to find refill packages listed at retailers nor at Pentel). GlideWrites are available in black, blue or assorted colors.

To me, the most interesting feature about the GlideWrite pens is that apparently they use a mix of gel and ballpoint inks for a smoother flow. This creates a low viscosity ink designed to reduce buildup in your pen, while also creating a smudge resistant ink. My impressions on this are mixed.

The pens do write very smoothly to my touch and the ink is light and smudge resistant. I didn’t find any globs of ink on any colors the way you sometimes can in ballpoint pens. I didn’t FEEL anything in my writing, but if I look at the words I wrote close up, I still see the characteristic skips of the ballpoint pen in my lines. I tried to get a close-up of the Light Blue ink in which it was most obvious.

Overall, I didn’t think these were a bad pen if you’re looking for a few fun colors in ballpoint pens, and they do seem to perform better than some of the standard ballpoint pens. But if it were my money, I think I’d end up buying the PaperMate InkJoy Gels ahead of these. I realize comparing ballpoints to gel pens is kind of comparing apples to oranges (and Pentel has gel pen offerings) but I know I’d reach for the InkJoy Gels first over the GlideWrites. The InkJoy Gels are also quite a bit more expensive (Jetpens, $23.50 for a pack of 14) but I prefer the experience and the writing they produce.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Pentel of America for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks for the review! I bought a pack of these a couple of months ago and I felt that the ink smeared a little bit more than I would like—but I’m open to trying them again—maybe it was a bad batch.

  2. Glad to see this review — I really like this pen and it’s pretty close to my all-time favorite which is the Schmidt easy flow refills for Parker style pens. just this month (3/21) Pentel expanded the line to include two more-expensive models – they called them both refillables, The lower of the two price points is 3 for about eight dollars on Amazon, and it’s called the Signature line and it uses the same size insert that comes in the basic glideWrite,,,. They also added a nicer model called the Glide Write executive and its $8 or 9 for a single pen, It needs a different (smaller) refill, and has a nicer look and I thought a nicer grip as well.

    The problem is that the refills are NOT AVAILABLE yet which is really only a concern for the executive model because it’s a smaller refill THAT LASTS A LOT LESS,, I have written via email to Pentel USA twice in the last two weeks because the refill ran out in about four days—- REALLY nice to use but that’s a really short life. The item number for the executive model pen refill is BXTM 10 and for the signature and original light right RBXTL 10, — also, they are not listed for sale on the Pentel America website— Other places like Amazon, jet pens the name to did not have them yet either.

    if anyone knows how to get my hands on the BXTM 10 I would appreciate finding out— and thanks for the review

  3. Bought a pkg. of Pentel GlideWrite which came with a “free” pen of another color (Pink ish). Nice to have new pens. However, this pen is worthless. Blobs of ink on each word that I write. I also purchased the Pentel WOW! BK440, which is better so I guess I will have to write in black.

  4. Ballpoints over gels will be a definitive choice depending on the paper. The InkJoy gel seems to be as prone to bleed through as rollerball or (EF) fountain pen ink, which rules them out for an awful lot of paper. I do love the color selection of Energel and InkJoy gel pens, though.

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