The Best Erasable Pens

The Best Erasable Pens

Mar 18, 2021 | Traditional Illustration Materials US

How times have changed, way back in my school days a spelling mistake on an important essay would mean a total page re-write or would have me reaching for the white correction fluid (Wite-Out!) – neither of these options was ideal, to say the least.

Skip ahead 25 years (okay maybe 35 years), and behold the invention of erasable pens – brilliant. Giving adults and children alike the best chance to create without fear of mistakes, whether for art, design, illustration, or for the written word – the erasable pen has landed.

Best Erasable Pen Round-up.

In this overview, I aim to answer the popular question “What are the best erasable pens?” and have provided a great round-up of the top available pens and ink technology, with a clear list of the main pros and cons for each brand/type of on offer.

I have put the types of erasable pens into a category – The best “gel ink pen” and another being the Best “fiber pens” with the third Category being “Erasable Highlighters”. I’ve covered a range of erasable pen brands and given my opinion, features and benefits for each.

Side note: I have not covered whiteboard markers in this roundup – although whiteboard markers are technically erasable, they are not the focus of this article.

So let’s get started …

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* Category 1 *

The Best Erasable Ink Pens / Gel Pens

Erasable gel pens

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Pilot Frixion Rollerball, Capped Erasable Pens


Details about these erasable pens:

* Made by popular and reliable brand Pilot.

* Black, Red, Blue, Capped

* A Nib Size Of 0.7mm

* Line Width Of 0.35mm

* The pens came in a great range of colors – 8 pens in total.

Assorted Colour Pack of Frixion Pens – 8 Pens – Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple / Violet, Pink, Light Blue & Red

When these landed on the doormat, I couldn’t wait to give them a try. Turns out that they are fantastic. The range of colors is fantastic and they are fine enough to write small, or for creating fine detailed work when drawing. As you’d expect from normal gel pens I suppose but with the added bonus of being ERASABLE!

Removing the ink worked very well by rubbing the writing with the built-in eraser end of the pen (as you would when using a pencil). You will need a decent quality of paper though as not to cause any rips.

One of the best features of the PILOT FriXion Pen is that is was very comfortable to use. If you are writing or drawing for long periods, it’s essential to have a pen you feel comfortable with. The pens have a soft to the touch tube that provided a firm but comfy, non-slip grip.

One thing to note is that although you can erase the ink, it does leave a slight trace (and it is very slight) of where the line used to be. If you think about it, even pencil when erased tends to leave an impression of where the line used to be. If once the ink is erased you write over with the correct information, it is a very neat solution. Of all erasable pens I have tried, these are definitely the best, both in terms of writing & drawing quality and of course, the eraser.

Great pen for inking cartoons ready for scanning and you can clean up any mistakes as you go saving time later.


* Great range of gel ink colors

* Comfy to use

* Good customer reviews

* Refillable ink erasable by friction/heat

* 0.7 mm Nib Tip

* FREE Delivery in most areas


* Supplied loose rather than in a pack

PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable, Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Pen


* Fine Point,

* Assorted Color Inks,

* 7-Pack Pouch

* Smooth, Durable, and Precise Writing

* Perfect For Students

* Create fearlessly

The Pilot Frixion Clicker erasable gel pens are lovely pens to use with a soft grip and they certainly provide a smooth writing experience. As above, these erasable gel ink pens are a great alternative to the capped pens and also offer a superb range of colors. The quality of the ink is really very good as you would expect from gel pens. Something to note is that the ink is easy to remove using the integrated eraser, very similar to a pencil.

I was very pleased with the quality of these top brand pens in the erasable pens sector. Whether using them as a writer or artist I’m sure you will find these pens excellent value for money.


* Erases well

* Retractable nib – Fine Point

* Great range of colors

* Comfy to use

* Refillable

* FREE Delivery in most areas


* Need to ensure the pen is retracted when not in use to avoid drying up!

Paper Mate EraserMate Erasable Pen


* Ink color = Black

* Pack of 12

* Tip Type = Ballpoint

* Medium

* Ink becomes permanent after 24 hours.

Here’s another great erasable pen option from big-name Papermate – a much thinner pen to hold which will suit some better than others. My personal choice is a thicker pen with a comfy grip, but this style of pen is fine for those wanting a slimmer barrel.

Since Papermate came out with the first erasable pen way back in 1979, they have improved and honed the technology to bring you a top-quality pen that you see today.

Again as with the previous Papermate, the ink is not erasable after 24 hours which again will suit some purposes but not others. If you are using such a pen for a crossword or Sudoku and you leave it half done, realizing a mistake has been made the next day will hinder the ability to correct it.


Ink becomes permanent after 24 hours


Very well priced

Good customer reviews

FREE Delivery in most areas

Ideal for crosswords etc


The eraser doesn’t always erase completely on some paper types.

ParKoo Retractable Erasable Gel Pens

ParKoo Retractable Erasable Gel -Pens


* Clicker Gel Pen

* Fine Point0.7mm

* Assorted Color Inks for Drawing Writing

* 14-Pack

* Nontoxic ink

So after giving these ParKoo pens a test run, I found they are great for the price! 14 great colors, the draw / write well and erase well too. They work using a new “thermo sensitive ink” which is erasable ink that disappears with friction. Simply use the rubber tail tip on the end of the pen to erase. I found it left no residue and did not tear the paper (it was a good grade of paper so that’s a good tip).

If you have a budget in mind but want good results, these are a great choice. They come in a good range of fun colors and will suit adults and children alike for a variety of school work, business projects and can be ordered as part of your ongoing office supplies.


* Nontoxic ink,

* Acid-free, non-bleeding

* Erases well (thermosensitive ink)

* Retractable

* Inexpensive compared with other brands

* Good range of colors


* Although great for the price, I prefer the Frixion pens as they offer a smoother drawing experience.

* The ink skips here and there.

* Some low score customer reviews.

uni-ball TSI Erasable UF-220 Erasable Ink Rollerball Pen


0.7mm nib

Thermo-Sensitive ink technology

This set contains five pens in the colors, Pink, Orange, Sky Blue, Green and Violet.

Refill available

These pens offer great value for money. Cheaper than some other brands yet still offering a smooth and comfy writing experience. I’ve used this pen for a while now, here in the office/art studio and it seems to be lasing well.

Uni-ball does warn you that the thermo sensitive ink is not secure and is therefore not recommended for writing cheques or signing official documents. This is the same for any of the erasable pens on the market but a good point nonetheless.


* Well priced, especially when buying the pack size

* Pens Write and Erase well

* Lasts well

* Capped so won’t easily leak in a pocket

* No more pencil marks when sketching


* As all erasable pens, not suitable for legal documents.

* Category 2 *

The Top Erasable Felt/Fibre Tip Colouring Pens


PILOT FriXion Fineliner Erasable Marker Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 12-Pack


Assorted, Pack of 12 colors marker pens

The 2.5 mm polyester felt tip

Frixion ink

Gives a 0.69 mm coloring stroke

Starting off the products line up with the excellent Pilot Frixion Felt / Fibre Tips. These colors really nicely and the tips are not too thick, so adding detail and line work is easy. The colors are not vibrant or bold, more of a pastel shade so will suit certain types of art and illustration work, but maybe not others. Like the gel ink pen in the same brand, they erase using friction or heat. Having the ability to correct something and amend mistakes is great. I found that it’s also possible to lightly erase areas in order to blend or shade rather than block color.

The Pilot Frixion Fibre Tips I think would work very well for the adult coloring books which have become very popular, as any overrun can be easily fixed and the project saved.

Overall I was very pleased with these and would highly recommend them.


* Excellent color range

* Best for illustration work, definitely good for revision,

* student schoolwork & art.


* The colors are not bright, they’re more like pastels

* Category 3 *

The Best Erasable Highlighters

Crayola Take Note 14 Erasable Highlighters and 1 Bonus Permanent Marker

Crayola Take Note 14 Erasable Highlighters


* 14 vibrant colors

* Bonus Permanent Marker

* Clear ink tips on the other end for magically erasing the colorful highlights

* Recommended ages 8+

Top brand Crayola has released a brilliant highlighter pen, or rather a range of colored highlighter pens and I can say they work brilliantly.

As with the magic pens, it’s a simple case of using the “magic” ink to erase the ink, however, instead of having a separate pen to do this, it is very cleverly built into the other end of the pen.

Great for highlighting documents with the ability to remove as required.


* Bonus Permanent Marker

* Great range of colors

* Erase Well

* Didn’t bleed


* It’s not possible to highlight an area that was previously erased

* Some colors a little dark to use as a highlighter

What are the best erasable pens?

This is of course subject to personal opinion. I personally have found the best erasable pen to be the Pilot range of retractable erasable gel ink pens as the best for sketching and drawing However the Frixion ColorSticks Erasable Gel Ink Pens were the best for coloring in. These are our opinions, but you can read a good number of customer reviews to make an informed decision if they are the right choice for you and your individual project.

Are erasable pens worth it?

Yes, they certainly have a place in illustration and also day-to-day use. It’s possible to create more freely knowing mistakes and unwanted can be erased. an erasable pen/gel pens are perfect for crosswords, sudoku puzzles, and making notes. Great for sketching too with the option of erasing any mistakes or unwanted sketch marks. Of course, the fiber pens are better for coloring and rendering, unique designs can be made by erasing parts of the design, or simply having the option to get rid of mistakes and overruns is great. Why not stock up for office supplies and include an erasable pen, go on, give it a whirl.

What is the smoothest pen to write with?

In this review, the smoothest erasable pen to write with was this pen – the flow of the ink was good without skipping, the ink quality was also good and it was a smooth pen to sketch and write with. Retractable erasable gel ink pens are also available in this range, which is handy if you prefer not to have to cap the pen when not in use. Smooth writing and for me in particular, smooth sketching is very important from a pen and was one of the main criteria I was looking for when making the comparisons and reviews.

Do FriXion pens fade over time?

Since I started using an erasable pen for my illustration work, the ink on the page has lasted well and not faded. The ink colors are not as bold as permanent pens, but I’ve not found that they fade further over time. I read a number of customer reviews before buying and reviewing these pens, and I can’t recall there being a problem with the pens fading.

Believe it or not, the first erasable pen range was invented by Paper Mate back in 1979. They took 10 years researching and developing it before its release. Fading (and smudging) used to be a problem with the early pens, however, a long time has passed and since then there have been vast improvements in ink technology. This of course means the ink will stand the test of time for considerably longer.

Nearly all pens will fade over time and this of course includes the erasable variety. Factors that affect the speed of fading include the type of paper used, temperature conditions & light exposure. I have found nothing to suggest that erasable pens are more susceptible to fading than others.

What is the best erasable pen?

So I hope that in this round-up you have learned more about the types of erasable pens available. The best is always subjective to your individual needs and you writing style and therefore I’ve aimed to give information on a good range of pens so you can make that decision for yourself. We’ve covered fiber tip/colors marker pens with a good variety of ink color, gel pens, pens that are always erasable and those that are only erasable for 24 hours, pens that need a special eraser pen to remove the ink, highlighters, and much more.

Do erasable pens work?

In a nutshell, they do work very well, but with varying success depending on a number of factors. The type of erasable pen and brand make a difference, but also the paper you are using the pens on. Thin paper or paper that bleeds will not hold up to the friction required to create the heat that erases the ink and will therefore not give great results. Good paper stock and the right erasable pen for the job are the secrets to getting the best out of these types of writing instruments.

Although erasable pens do work, it has to be mentioned that there is normally a faint ghosting line where the ink used to be. This was the case across all of the brands, with some performing better than others. From an artist’s perspective, it’s similar to the faint line you get when rubbing out pencil marks from a design. If the sketches are to be scanned for digital inking, then faint lines will not be picked up on the scanner, and if they are, it’s easy to clean up using photo editing software such as Photoshop.

What are erasable pens called?

Here are just a few terms I used when looking for information on an erasable pen.

Obviously “erasable pen” comes to mind but to narrow your selection, here are a few phrases that refer to the types and brands:

Erasable marker pens, erasable ink pens, frixion pens, frixion clicker, frixion fineliner, frixion ball, retractable erasable gel ink, frixion colorstick, erasable pens fine point, gel pen, pilot frixion ball, writing instruments

Are erasable pens allowed in exams?

Not a good idea! 100% definitely not. All of the erasable pen brands I looked at do state in the description or on the brand website that they are not to be used for exams, for legal and official documents, or for writing cheques. I can’t imagine writing an exam for it to be accidentally erased (by heat), how heartbreaking that would be!

For legal documents, banking, and school exams, it’s far better and more reliable to use a normal permanent gel pen or ballpoint.

How to look after your erasable gel pen

Here’s how you can extend your erasable pen’s life:

After using the erasable pen it a good idea to wipe the tip – this will remove any excess ink. If the excess ink remains, there is a good chance it will harden and will therefore block the flow. The result is a reduction in ink transfer to the paper.

Using a soft cloth or disposable towel will be sufficient to remove any dried ink or excess ink. Keeping the pen clean will prolong the life of the pen and will give the smoothest ink flow possible.

It’s important to store your pen correctly. Storing the pen upsidedown will prevent the ink from flowing to the tip due to gravity. If it’s stored upside down for a long period of time, this may affect it’s performance and lifespan.

Treat it with care. Physical damage to the case, nib, or rollerball will ultimately cause uneven ink to be distributed on a page or even no ink to be released at all. Even small amounts of impact can cause damage so avoid dropping or using to tap a beat while waiting for inspiration to take hold. Make sure that they do not roll off tables, or fall any distance to avoid shock and impact.

Only use on suitable paper. Using on other surfaces can affect the performance.

Products Summary

As soon as you get to know all of the different types of erasable pens available, you’ll soon be able to see which is the best fit for your needs. For me, I really liked sketching using the Pilot Frixion Rollerball Erasable Pens as these offered superb overall quality and comfort. To color in with, I loved the Pilot Frixion Erasable Fibre Tip Colouring Pens, offering a great range of colors and I liked the fact they were not too bright or bold. Using the fiber tips it’s possible to get some great effects using the eraser, and not erasing the ink color fully lends itself to blending. I do hope the content in this article provides you with knowledge and inspiration for you to start a design or art project of your own.

Student Advice

My advice for students in the United States wanting the best pen for sketching or writing notes, I personally liked the Pilot range. For art students, the Frixion Fibre Tips would be the pens of choice.

Our Choices

We wanted to show the best erasable pen available in each category for a range of uses. All of the pens above have the green light from myself and my team at Big Red Illustrations. Each pen’s use is specific to the type of pen. Check each of the items when making an order.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only.


United States

Thermochromic ink/thermosensitive ink

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Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adam's wealth of knowledge and experience enables him to consult and advise artists and illustrators all over the world.