Free shipping from $50

Best Pens for Lab Notebooks

In the realm of scientific research, precision in recording data is as crucial as the experiments themselves. This makes the choice of writing tools paramount. Alongside the indispensable lab notebook, the pen and its ink play a critical role in ensuring your work is accurately and permanently recorded.

At VELA Sciences, we recognize the significance of this relationship, so we've meticulously tested several popular pen brands focusing on their ink properties to guide you in selecting the perfect pen.

Evaluating Pen Performance

Our tests concentrated on several critical attributes of pen ink that influence their suitability for scientific applications:

1. Feel Test

Using 0.5 mm tip pens, we assessed the fluidity and smoothness of ink flow. TwoHands stood out for its exceptionally smooth ink, making writing effortless. All other brands tested also performed well, offering a consistently smooth writing experience due to their high-quality inks.

2. Bleed Test

We switched to a 0.8 mm tip to examine ink dispersion and penetration into the paper. Prismacolor ink showed a tendency to spread more than others, which might be a concern for fine, detailed entries. In contrast, other brands showed minimal to no bleed, attributing to their ink formulations that promote sharp and clean lines.

3. Show-Through Test

In this test, we heavily applied the pens to check if their inks would seep through to the other side of the page. Only Prismacolor exhibited slight show-through, while the inks used in other pens provided strong coverage without compromising the other side of the paper, ideal for maximizing notebook space.

4. Best for Writing Test

Analyzing both 0.5 mm and 0.8 mm tips, we recommend the 0.5 mm for extensive writing tasks. Its ink delivers a finer, more controlled output, perfect for detailed lab reports and journals. The 0.8 mm tip's bolder ink is excellent for labels and headings where standout text is beneficial.

5. Smear Test

We tested how quickly the inks set by checking for smudges at short intervals after writing. Prismacolor inks showed impressive resistance to smearing, closely followed by COPIC, whose ink formulations also proved resistant to smudging, making them ideal for fast-paced lab environments.

Your Guide to Buying

Micron Pens

Micron pens are both individually and in packs, widely available on Amazon. Their inks are known for consistency and durability, making them a reliable choice for scientific writing.


While COPIC pens are on the higher end price-wise, their ink quality justifies the cost. Sold individually and in packs, the best purchases are found on Amazon and directly from COPIC’s website.


These pens are the most budget-friendly, offering low-cost options without sacrificing ink quality. Their inks perform well across various tests, providing a balance of cost and quality.


Only sold in packs, TwoHands pens offer inks that rival the more expensive brands in quality. The value is exceptional, though they are slightly harder to find.

Learn More with VELA Sciences

Selecting the right pen for scientific work involves more than just picking a tool; it's about choosing the best ink that ensures clarity, permanence, and precision in your lab notebook.

With our detailed testing and insights into ink characteristics, VELA Sciences empowers you to make the best-informed decisions, ensuring your tools are as precise and reliable as your research. Equip yourself with the right pen to complement your VELA lab notebook and elevate the accuracy of your scientific documentation.

Leave a comment