It might seem like a simple question, but it’s come to us a few times. So let’s get down to it: where are the S-Gel pens made?
Let’s start things off by noting that this isn’t a dumb question because it’s not immediately clear where these gel pens are manufactured. Let’s assemble the clue we can and see what comes up.
According To The Packaging
The S-Gel’s packaging should clearly state some information about where the pen is manufactured, but in this case it’s quite limited. The blister pack and the cardboard box varieties both state that the S-Gel is “assembled in the U.S.A.”
This isn’t a definitive statement about where the made is made though. What this means is that some or all parts of the pen were imported into the United States and that when in the US they underwent a “substantive transformation,” which is what the Federal Trade Commission requires to carry this label.
What we do know about the pen after seeing this label is that it was not “Made in the USA.” To be a US-manufactured product, the FTC says that all the parts of the pen (or essentially of the parts) would have to be made in the US. It’s not enough that some parts were made in the US or that the company that owns the Sharpie brand — Newell Brands — is headquartered in the US.
We know that Sharpie markers are made in Mexicali, Mexico, as well as in Maryville, Tennessee, so it’s a distinct possibility that the S-Gel pens are made there as well, but nothing is explicitly stated by Newell, Sharpie, on the pen, or on the packaging about a specific location.
Evidence of US-Made Parts
While some of the parts of the pen are definitely made outside of the US (based on the assembled in label), some parts do seem to be made in the US.
This isn’t definitive but the refill on a S-Gel 1.0mm gel pen we bought carries the serial number “P2 0020 US 03 10”. While the “US” in that string of characters might be random, is seems entirely possible that it indicates the refill being made at a US manufacturing plant.
Much more importantly, on the side of the pen barrel, right under the clip it clearly says “USA”, which means that, at the very least, the barrel of the S-Gel was made in the United States. We have no idea where the rest was made, because none of the other parts carry a label or stamp.
Partly Made In The USA
So where was the S-Gel pen made? It wasn’t entirely made in the US, but it was partly made in the US and then it was manufactured in the US. This doesn’t entirely answer the question, but it’s the best information we have at this point.
Hope this answers this popular question. If you have any more information, please do reach out!