Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Review Methodology

Unsharpen.com conducts hands-on reviews of pens, pencils, paper, stationery accessories, and related goods. All review content on the site and YouTube channel is developed through testing, research, and experience with pens, pencils, etc.


To date (5/20/22), Unsharpen has not received any product from a partners, manufacturer, supplier, reseller, or through a similar business relationship. The site and YouTube channel purchase all its own pens and other products for use and testing. We currently do not accept products as gifts, nor we do accept loaners, or for giveaway.

The results of all reviews are independent of any partnership or business interest.

While Unsharpen may receive compensation when a reader clicks a link and makes a purchase, the selection of products for review and mention is done independently and apart from any partnerships or commercial relationships. It is not possible to pay to get a good review, nor is it possible to pay to get your product reviewed on Unsharpen.com.

Reviews are designed to, whenever possible, deliver objective, repeatable outcomes. There is, of course, a large amount of subjective discretion when it comes to delivering a verdict about a pen or notebook but we strive to keep fact and opinion apart as much as possible.


In many of the listings and guides in this site ratings are featured. These are 1 through 5 star ratings based entirely on the opinion and metrics of the Unsharpen.com staff.

The rating take into account…

  • Build quality: Materials, fit and finish
  • Price (in terms of value, not in an absolute sense)
  • Refill selection
  • Quality of stock refill
  • Comfort
  • Design choices
  • Aesthetics

And then there are some secondary category that are taken into consideration as well, like…

  • Availability
  • If the pen is part of a larger family of products
  • Innovation the pen brought to the market

Unsharpen uses a 1-5 star rating system with 1/2 star increments. A rough rubric would be as follows…

  • 1 Star: Completely unacceptable level of quality. Doesn’t write.
  • 2 Stars: Seriously lacking as a writing instrument.
  • 3 Stars: A flawed writing device but it works and has some redeeming qualities.
  • 4 Stars: A very good writing instrument that is acceptable for everyday use. Some flaws are expected.
  • 5 Stars: A near flawless writing device with no significant problems. Any issues are outweighed by major advantages or features.

You can read our articles to learn more about our testing procedures. For example:

Or watch out over 500 Youtube videos to see our pens, inks, and papers get tested out.