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Hannah Wong / BuzzFeed

5 Fancy (and Not-So-Fancy) Pens That Make Excellent Gifts

Plus all the lovely people you should give ‘em to

Recently we gathered a small panel of BuzzFeeders to test a handful of pens — or writing implements, as no one likes to call them — for our highly subjective review of the best pens

We scribbled. A few doodled. At least one person chicken-scratched. Then we filled out feedback surveys and left better scribes than we came. 

And while not all the pens we tested are worthy of your time, we happened upon a few that are worthy of someone else’s time. Because you know what makes for a delightfully unexpected present? A pen!


Perhaps it’s because we live in mostly digital age, but a stylish pen with a bow can add gravitas to any occasion, whether it’s commemorating a personal milestone or simply expressing gratitude. It’s also a thoughtful way to simultaneously say, “Thank you,” “I take you seriously,” and “Yep, I’m classy AF.”  

So below, we rounded up five giftable pens — all tested and vetted by us — along with the people you should gift them to. All you’ve gotta do is remember the handwritten note. 

Cross Pen Gift

For the College Grad Who Has No Idea What’s Next

The iconic Cross Classic Century Satin Chrome pen makes an ideal graduation gift: It’s a subtle way of saying, “Sorry, but you’re going to have to write your own checks now.” With a lightweight barrel and a twist-open design, it’s available in more than a dozen finishes to suit every budding adult’s taste. 

Cross Classic Century Ballpoint Pen, $15+ at Amazon

Schon Designs Pen Gift

For Your Friend Who Basically Lives Outside 

Schon Design’s screw top ensures they’ll never have to worry about accidentally losing the cap in the middle of the woods or dropping it into a lake. Its pocket clip makes it easy to carry, and a polished aluminum body gives it heft without seeming too heavy (though if the giftee prefers a heavier pen, it’s also available in brass and copper). Schon pens are manufactured in Massachusetts, and each comes with its own companion notebook. 

Schon Design Classic Machine Pen, $70+ at Schon Design

Fisher Space Pen Gift

For Your Work Wife’s Work Anniversary

Made from brass with a chrome finish (we’re also fans of the matte black and brass offerings), Fisher makes a great on-the-go writing pen, writes in extreme temperatures and conditions, and looks cool, too. Space pens are designed to work anywhere — even in zero gravity — and since the ink is hermetically sealed in its cartridge, there’s no danger of it leaking on important work assignments. 

Fisher Space Pen, $18 at Amazon

Zebra Pen Gift

For Your Friend Who Just Quit Her Job to Go Travel

The Zebra Stainless Steel Retractable Ballpoint Pen looks like a $30 pen, but it actually goes for just over $5 a pop. Its knurled grip and sturdy stainless steel barrel make the Zebra an ideal travel companion. Gift one (or three!) with a set of stamps in exchange for the promise of a postcard.

Zebra Stainless Steel Retractable Pen, $7 at Amazon

Machine Era Pen Gift

For the Boss Who Finally Gave You That Promotion

The Machine Era Pen’s brass finish takes on a golden-brown patina with use. Its body is ergonomically weighted to create a superior balanced writing experience, and the pen’s attractive design makes it an ideal showpiece for signing lines that are dotted, or — honestly — just doodling during meetings. 

Machine Era Pen, $38 at Machine Era


Every product covered here is independently selected by opinionated humans. But so you know, buying stuff through our links may earn us a small share of the sale or other compensation.

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