A Personal Stationery Review

Photo Credit: Emma Kingwell

Photo Credit: Emma Kingwell

Emma Kingwell, Staff Writer

Over the summer, I always want to go back to school, but when school actually starts, I find myself missing the summer. In fact, not long after school starts, motivation starts to slip away, and I’m not the only one that feels this way. 

One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after long periods of being focused, because we all deserve a break, and breaks tend to work better in intervals to prevent us from burning out. Treating yourself with new stationery is a great way to reward yourself, and you can put it to use for school. Stationery also makes great gifts, especially with the holiday season coming up. 

You can’t get anything done without your supplies, so make sure they’re good quality! I have compiled a list of my favorite stationeries that are good quality and affordable.  

A score of one is the best in any category – from affordability to comfort, and first up are the basics: a pen and pencil.


  • Black Pen verdict: Pentel Energel (has 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1.0 tip) 
      • Affordability: 3/10
      • Durability: 1/10
      • Comfort: 3/10 
      • Smoothness: 1/10
      • Smudging: 2/10 
    • Other options: Pilot Juice, Muji gel pen, Dong-A Fine-Tech
  • Mechanical Pencil Verdict: Muji 0.5 clear mechanical pencil
      • Affordability: 4/10
      • Lead breakage: 5/10
      • Comfort: 4/10
    • Other options: Kuru Toga, Papermate Clearpoint

When annotating in English class, highlighters are important. Generic highlighters often bleed, and I don’t like the fluorescent and neon colors that they come with. With a wide range of colors, you can color-code different topics and organize your thoughts. 

  • Highlighter verdict: Zebra Mildliners
      • Affordability: 6/10
      • Bleeding: 2/10 
      • Smudging: 2/10
      • Colors: 1/10 
    • Other options: Pilot Frixion

An eraser is essential for school as well, and it is extremely annoying when erasers leave marks all over your paper. Bad quality erasers leave you worse than where you started. 

  • Eraser verdict: Sakura Sumo Grip – the rubber that comes off the eraser rolls together, making it easier to clean up. 
      • Affordability: 2.5/10
      • Smudging: 1/10 
    • Other options: Muji, Pentel Hi-polymer eraser, Tombow Mono eraser

Using different colored pens is a good strategy when note-taking and studying. Similar to using different colored highlighters, you can categorize topics that are important by writing them with a different color. 

  • Colored pen verdict: Pilot Juice 0.38
      • Colors: 1/10
      • Smoothness: 2/10 
      • Smudging: 0/10
      • Affordability: 3/10
    • Other options: Pilot G-2 pens, Zebra Sarasa pens, Muji gel pens

Now that you have all your stationery in order, you should have a sturdy pen case.  If you keep loose stationery in your backpack, you are more likely to lose it, so pen cases are worth your investment. 

  • Pen case verdict: Lihit Lab
      • Affordability: 4/10
      • Capacity: 1.5/10 
    • Other options: Delde pen case, Muji acrylic pen case


In closing, it is important to remember that good stationery doesn’t necessarily mean good grades. How you study and stay focused is what counts; so no one should be stressing about the quality of their supplies if it doesn’t currently interfere with their work. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the stationery and have a happy holiday!