Before I ordered my first set of gel pens I did literally several weeks of research on them due to the expense of most sets. I read hundreds of reviews on amazon and anywhere else I could find information. When I finally bit the bullet and ordered a set, I got the one that had the best reviews on amazon and hoped for the best. They turned out to be a great purchase and I'm very happy with them. Since then I have bought several other sets without any research and they have turned out fine as well. So I'm not sure you can really go wrong with any gel pens, but I do recommend reading reviews because a lot of people will post pictures and that was integral in my purchasing decision.
These are my opinions on the pens that I have, in no particular order.
Someone here on FJ mentioned they had ordered this set of pens and I liked the bright colors, so decided to give them a try. I love them! If they had ALL the colors, I would probably use them exclusively. They are absolutely the smoothest gel pen that I have found. They lay color beautifully and without the annoying lines you get sometimes when coloring a large section. It does take a minute for them to dry, so you want to be careful not to drag your hand over a newly colored area or it might smear. They are archival quality ink and I have never had problems with bleed through when using them. I highly recommend these.
These pens are good. The colors are vibrant and there is a wide range in colors. I don't use them for very large areas because they get streaky due to my coloring style. They are fine for small/moderate sized areas, however. I've had no bleed through with these. They feel a little "cheap," in that they bottoms are a bit loose and they rattle a bit when you use them, but they color fine and I've never had one break or anything like that.
These pens are nice. They are fine tip, which I normally like in a pen, but when coloring large areas with these, I find they get a little skippy and don't have the best coverage. For smaller areas, they are just fine. The colors are very pretty. I keep a scratch pad with both my pens and colored pencils so I can test colors to make sure the outside color is really the color you are going to get. There is no worry about bleed through with these, in my experience.
This was the first set I ended up buying after all my research. I really like them and would definitely buy them again. They are very smooth in laying down color. The variety in colors is pretty large. They do come in a carrying case, but I keep mine in a tub as you have seen in an earlier post. There is no bleed through with these pens.
I picked these up on a whim at A. C. Moore and really like them. They have a soft grip on them so coloring in large areas is easy on your hand. They have a plain and metallic version of each color. I do find the colors are a bit more "matte" than some of the other pens, but the colors are still very lovely. The one I have are a medium point and they are good for covering large areas, as well as smaller details. There is no worry about bleed through with these, in my experience.
One of the main complaints I read about when reading reviews is that the barrel looks full, but they run out quickly. I bought my first set of gel pens in July and have yet to lose one pen to dryness or running out of ink. If you get more than one set, you will end up with some duplicates in colors. Red is red is red. However, the colors other than the "basic" colors you do get a lot of variety. Sometimes it's only a little and you feel like you colored something the same color, but once everything is dry you can see the nuances.
I will be doing another post on the other types of markers I have as well. I am trying to keep the posts a readable length, which is difficult because if you have been on FJ for any amount of time, you know Verbosity is my middle name
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