Buttontapper Approved: TUL retractable gel pen

I am a stationery snob. To the point where I was reading a blog post about all manner of “stationary” that a writer might like, and I tracked down the writer on Twitter to ask him if he meant stationery with an E. (Word to the wise: This also landed me a job. Sometimes it pays to be a nerd about words.)

My point is that I can’t be trusted in places like Staples, Office Depot or OfficeMax, much less little boutiques that are filled to the brim with notebooks, pens and other writing supplies and doodads.

It’s an affliction.

Since I am thus obsessed, I am always trying out new pens. I am old-school enough that I occasionally enjoy writing things by hand, so I like to have the ideal pen nearby for jotting notes, scribbling poetry or otherwise occupying myself with handwritten doodles.

Lately, my weapon of choice is the TUL retractable gel pen. This thing rocks my world. Not only is it a click pen, which means it’s available at the push of a button instead of fiddling with a cap that can get lost, but it’s also a sweet gel pen that comes in both “fine” and “medium” points. Gel pens make me swoon, especially when they don’t bleed through my pages (which this one doesn’t, swoon!).

The TUL website also says these pens are “altitude safe,” which perplexes me, because a) I have no idea what that means and b) should I really be worried about my altitude when I’m writing? But I guess if you’re in Aspen, skiing the slopes, you won’t have to worry about this pen conking out on you, so that’s a plus, right?

These pens are made by OfficeMax, so you can only get ’em at—duh—OfficeMax. But goddamn, they’re worth it. They currently sell at 2 for $5.99, so they’re about $2.99 each, or you can get a pack of 4 for $6.29, which brings them down to about $2.32 each.

I dig the 0.5 mm fine point variety, but they also come in a 0.7 mm medium tip for you chunky lovers.

And that, my friends, is Buttontapper Tested, Buttontapper Approved.

(Semi-obligatory disclaimer: OfficeMax has not greased my palms in any way for this unsolicited approval/review. I get no kickbacks if you opt to purchase this product for yourself. I endorse this product because I use it and dig it; nothing more, nothing less. If you buy it yourself and don’t happen to groove on it, don’t blame me, man. I am just giving you a woman-on-the-street opinion, so do your own research, mmmkay?)

What’s your favorite writing implement?


  • Marilyn

    First visit to your blog, and the first entry I read is about my favorite-ever pen! I second your recommendation. I’ve been using these pens (and converting friends and relatives to them) for several years.

  • Laura Roberts

    That’s so funny, Marilyn! I only found them recently in the store (I try to limit my trips to office supply warehouses, for obvious reaasons), but they’re really great. A friend suggested that I try to get them to sponsor my blog and keep me supplied for life, which sounds like a good idea…

  • D.S. Jones

    Laura, those pens do rock!!! Have one on my desk and use it when not using my Smith-Corona Silent on first drafts. Never paid attention to the name on it–got mine free from a friend–who got hers for free, if you know what I mean. Hahaha. ;)