The Best Pens and Markers for School

Because every student needs a reliable pen.

The Tombow Dual Brush Pen on a yellow background

Few things in life are more rewarding than a good pen gliding on paper. For this year’s back to school shopping haul, treat your kid to the best of the bunch, from smooth felt-tips to assertive highlighters. Here are some of our favorite pens and markers and get ready to toss a few into your kid’s spiffy new backpack.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Pen

Perfect for an outdoorsy youngster or school newspaper editor who needs an upgrade from their chewed-down BICs, the Rite in the Rain pen works on wet paper, though grease, and mud, and boasts a pressurized ink cartridge that allows it to work in extremely high and low temperatures. You may very well want to borrow it — or get your own — and take it on your next camping trip.

Buy Now $16

Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Available in 96 different colors (there’s even a “Colorless Blender Pen” for blending and shading), each of these pens includes a flexible brush tip on one side and a fine-tip point on the other. An ideal companion for your kid’s after-school art class, solo illustration endeavors, or even journaling, the water-based ink is also odorless, acid-free, and blendable.

Buy Now $0

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, Medium Point (24-pack)

What kid wouldn’t love stocking up their pencil case with a collection of these colorful writing utensils? A superb porous pen for writing, drawing, or block lettering an Instagram quote (as the case may be for your 15-year-old), the quick-drying ink won’t smear or run. An Ultra Fine style is also available.

Buy Now $20

Sharpie Clear View (four-pack)

The transparent tip makes it easy to see what you’re highlighting, making for a neat page that’s a far cry from mom and dad’s tattered homework planners of yesteryear. The chisel-end and barrel design also makes these swanky neon tools easy-to-hold.

Buy Now $6

Tombow MONO Drawing Pen (3-pack)

Your kid can pick how fine they want to go with this pack of pens with sizes 01, 03, and 05, a solid range of choices for everyday writing and illustration needs alike. Your seventh grader a Beatrix Potter in the making but notorious smudger? Thankfully, this water-based pigment ink dries instantly. Bonus: The sturdy nibs withstand firm pressure without becoming contorted.

Buy Now $8

The Sheaffer Lime Broad Nib Calligraphy Pen

The Sheaffer Calligraphy Collection makes scrapbooking, journaling, or even writing thank you cards a joy with your choice of nib (broad, medium, or fine) and blue and black cartridges. Before you know it, they may even recall these fine calligraphy pens when designing their wedding cards.

Buy Now $8

Sharpie Art Pen (12-pack)

You’ll appreciate the hard case to help keep the school supply closet less of an avalanche; kids will dig the bright colors and fade and smear-resistant ink. Even though the fine points create intense, precise lines, the acid-free ink won’t bleed.

Buy Now $14