2022 Back to School Supply List for Pen Enthusiasts

It's that time of year again and back-to-school is upon us. For 2022, we refreshed our best recommendations for writing tools and accessories that provide utility, value, and excitement to students.

Building on last year's list, we surveyed Goldspot team members that are going back to school in the fall, sharing their favorite items for the classroom.

Many of these back-to-school stationery items are suggested in the video below. Read on to find the newest and best recommendations in fine writing school supplies.

In developing this school supply list, we made our suggestions based on three criteria:

  • Limited budget - students have a higher sensitivity to budget.
  • Quality item built to last - because you shouldn't have to sacrifice quality for cost.
  • Makes work, studying, and writing fun - these items put the "fun" in function.

Regardless of whether you're shopping for middle school or college school supplies, these writing essentials are great for all ages. Even if you're already out of school and working, you can still enjoy the benefits of these excellent writing tools and accessories.

Best pens for writing/ note taking

Caran d'Ache 844 Mechanical Pencil - $24, $19.95 sale

  • Swiss made, click-top 0.7mm pencil
  • brightly-colored, hexagonal design iconic of the brand's pencil heritage
  • eraser under cap

Caran d'Ache Nespresso Pencil Set - $24.75, $19.80 sale

  • set of 3 woodcase pencils
  • limited edition collaboration with Nespresso
  • made from responsibly sourced FSC Swiss beech wood
  • HB lead made with 25% recycled coffee grounds
  • Awesome smell. Seriously, it's worth a sniff.

Pilot Frixion 4-color multi-pen - $16.35, $12.95 sale

  • Erasable gel ink technology, disappears with friction
  • Write in 3 colors - Red, Blue, & Black, EF 0.5mm
  • includes backup refills in each color

Lamy 2000 4-color multi-pen - $99, $79.20 sale

  • German-made, textured makrolon finish w/ stainless steel front section.
  • Push-action mechanism that uses gravity to select the various color inserts.
  • Spring-loaded clip.

Retro 51 Tornado - starting at $30, $24 sale; $40-$60 for special editions

  • Many styles available - Dr. Grey - human skeleton, Dmitri - periodic table, Albert - equation for E=MC2, Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • Twist-top rollerball pen uses gel ink rollerball or parker-style ballpoint cartridges.
  • Collectible limited editions.

Best pens you'll probably find at the office supply store

Pilot G2 Retractable - starting at $1.74 each

  • Smooth-writing gel ink in several color choices
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design.
  • Buy them by the dozen or individually.

Pilot friXion Clicker - starting at $2.93 each

  • Heat-sensitive ink erases when friction is applied to the paper.
  • Convenient, retractable design. No cap!
  • Refills available in several colors.

Rocketbook Wave - $27

Now, you didn't think we would put together a complete back to school supply list and not include any fountain pens, did you? Since most US schools do not focus on penmanship in their curriculum, it is likely that today's students never get a chance to write with a fountain pen. It's a shame because they are missing out on one of the most pleasurable, personal writing experiences that will make note-taking and essay writing infinitely more enjoyable.

Best Fountain Pens for Students

TWSBI Swipe - $26.99

  • Cartridge/converter fill fountain pen
  • #4 size Jowo German stainless steel nib
  • EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm stub
  • TWSBI jumbo ink cartridge provides a quick and easy way to fill your pen.
  • includes two types of high-capacity converters: a traditional screw-type piston converter and a spring-loaded pump converter.

TWSBI Eco - $32.99

  • piston-fill, larger ink capacity, bottle-fill only
  • includes wrench & silicone grease for maintenance
  • #4 size Jowo German stainless steel nib
  • EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm stub
  • many colors available, including special editions

Pilot Capless / Vanishing Point Decimo - $180, $144 sale

  • Convenient, retractable 18kt gold fountain pen nib
  • Includes Pilot proprietary cartridge/converter (CON-40)
  • EF, F, M nib sizes
  • Slimmer, slightly less expensive than standard Vanishing Point
  • Phoebe's personal favorite. Goldspot is sending her off to college with this pen!

Best Pocket EDC Fountain Pen

Kaweco Sport - starting at $25

  • Pen measures 4.06 inches / 106mm capped.
  • Faceted cap posts on the back for a comfortable 5.27 in. / 134mm length.
  • #5 size German stainless steel nib
  • EF, F, M, B, or BB sizes (calligraphy also available)
  • Fills with international ink cartridge, Sport converter (sold separately), or by eyedroppering the barrel.
  • Durable resin body can withstand the daily rigors of school and work.
  • Many colors and styles available. Add a pocket clip if you prefer.

Stylus pen for iPhone or iPad

Fisher Cap-O-Matic Ballpoint Pen with stylus - $34.50 sale $29.33

  • Fisher's pressurized refill writes in zero-g, extreme hot & cold environments.
  • Touch capacitive stylus for modern touchscreen devices.
  • Keeps your devices fingerprint free while precisely writing or drawing on the screen.
  • Less costly finishes and models without the stylus

Best School Notebooks


  • Smooth, 90gsm French-milled paper.
  • Fountain pen-friendly, doesn't bleed-through, feather, etc.
  • Blank, graph, or lined page rulings.
  • Staplebound - $4.50, Spiral-bound - $13.95
  • Pocket-sized Roadbook- $11.00

Rhodia Pads

  • Formats for ideas of all sizes.
  • Smooth, 80gsm French-milled paper.
  • Perforations make it easy to remove pages.
  • Blank, steno, graph, dot grid, or lined pages.

Beyond pens, ink, and paper, make studying fun with these cute school supplies guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Pen holder for desk

Crab Pen Holder - $7.95

  • 8 colors styles made from PVC plastic
  • Crab claws can hold writing tools of various sizes and weights.
  • Super adorbs. I mean, how could you not?
  • Crabs in this photo are holding Narwhal Pens.

Pen / pencil case for carrying to class

Itoya Sidekick Pen Case - starting at $15.95

  • Magnetic flap attaches the case to book covers.
  • Single pen case and zippered pen case options.

Rickshaw Pen Sleeves - starting at $19.00

  • Featuring colorful prints and designs, some of which match certain pens.
  • Super comfortable polyester plush lining keeps your pens snug and comfy.
  • Made in San Francisco, USA


  • Regardless of the tools, the curiosity to learn is the most important item you need to supply.
  • Mistakes will be made, but that's what erasers (and extra paper) is for.
  • Investing in yourself and your process always pays off.

Best of luck to all graduates moving up to higher education. We hope that this list helps outfit your tools for achieving great success.

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