Best Gel Pens For Coloring In 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Over the past few years there has been a huge rise in the sales of coloring books. Where pencils are the old favorites which have been used by children for decades and now by adults, we have also seen a rise in gel pens for coloring.

Gel pens have made a big impact in the world of coloring for their smooth texture and ease of use. If you’d like to take up coloring or wish for something a little different than pencils, gel pens are a great alternative. We also love markers, they provide a great alternative to pencils and gel pens. 

Here I shall give you my picks for the best gel pens for coloring you can currently buy.

At a Glance: Our Choice of the 5 Best Gel Pens For Coloring On the Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer's Tips: What you need to know when buying the best gel pens for coloring

Why gel pens?

  • Gel pens are a new writing implement which have become a lot more popular over the past 10 years, especially for coloring. They are different from pencils or felt-tip pens in that they use ink which is suspended in a water-based gel. This allows the ink to become thicker and opaque which shows up clearer on darker surfaces. There is also the case that pencils need to be sharpened, pens are too thin and paints are too messy. Gel pens are a great product which have none of these issues.

Ink size?

  • When buying gel pens you may see some information saying 0.4mm or 1.4mm. These are simply stating what the size of the ink would be if you drew a straight line. Anything 0.8mm or less is very fine, 1-1.2mm is medium and anything over 1.4mm is bold. When coloring, sometimes you need thick lines and sometimes you need thin, have a think before buying.

So, on with the show folks! Here are my picks for the 5 best gel pens for coloring!

5 Best Gel Pens For Coloring

1. Sakura


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The Sakura gelly roll set is a great introduction into the world of gel pen coloring. This particular set has 10 pens of an assortment of colors and the ink size is 0.6mm. The Sakura brand is well known in the anime world, anyone wanting to color in that genre would love this set.

  • Well known brand
  • Okay price for 10 pens
  • Nice range of colors
  • 0.6mm is very fine, make sure this is what you want
  • More suitable for writing and outlines of coloring

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2. Artlicious Deluxe

Artlicious Deluxe

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When picking out the best gel pens for coloring, I have to mention a budget item in which most people would be able to afford. The Artlicious Deluxe is sold at a fantastic price considering you get 60 gel pens included. These range in colors and in categories such as metallic, glitter, neon and pastel. Therefore anyone wishing to get started in coloring or to try out different gel pens; you will find the Artlicious a perfect buy.

  • Excellent price
  • 60 pens included!
  • Great range of colours and types of pens
  • May be intimidating for someone new to coloring
  • A lot of pens included, need storage at home
  • Ink may not be as good a quality as the more expensive pens

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3. Shuttle Art

Shuttle Art

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This set is very similar to the Artlicious set in that you get a great number of pens for a decent price. Shuttle Art includes 120 gel pens of different colors and types such as neon, swirl and pastel; a great set to try out some different coloring styles.

  • Good price
  • Great number of pens and styles
  • Can help with a great number of coloring styles
  • Too many pens can cause intimidation
  • Ink may not be as long lasting as more expensive pen sets

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4. Promarx


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The Promarx set is for professional quality needs; wanted by people such as artists and comic book drawers. You only gain four pens in this set for only a little less than the Artlicious set. However, what you lose in price you gain in quality. Promarx gel pens simply glide over the page and give a wonderful, warm texture to any coloring. The standard set by the Sakura brand is met here.

  • Excellent quality
  • Great texture to colors
  • Expensive
  • Only 4 colors

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5. Kaisercraft


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This Kaisercraft set comes with 12 pastel ink gel pens, perfect for any coloring book fanatic. A handy plastic case is included to keep you losing any while switching colors. The pastel colors look beautiful on darker paper and the quality of the ink is second to none. They write smooth as silk and can be easily blended with other gel pen colors.

  • Average price
  • Good quality
  • Writes beautifully
  • Fine line- much better at outlines than coloring in
  • All pastel colors, not much variety

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So what are the best gel pens for coloring?

I love coloring books and even buy children’s ones just for a bit of fun. Gel pens are quite a bit different to use than your standard pencil; so I would suggest different packs for your coloring needs. Are you a gel pen user already? Buy the Artlicious, its sheer number of pens would make anyone happy. Are you new to the whole gel pen arena? I would suggest the Kaisercraft, a few pens of a few colors will get you used to the difference in using gel pens before spending lots of money.

Overall my winner for the best gel pens for coloring goes to the Sakura set. They are great quality pens which look wonderful in various pictures. Yes, they have fine lines but anyone with a bit of patience will appreciate how lovely they color in.

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