In the wonderful world of pens and pencils, pencil cases often don't get the attention they deserve. Yet they are the ones who bring order to your collection of writing instruments while keeping them safe and out-of-the box new. We're turning the spotlight on pencil cases; whether you're a student, artist, working professional, or just need an all-around stellar pencil case, here are our hand-picked recommendations.
Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case: This pen case is incredibly versatile, with 5 main compartments of various sizes and the ability to carry 17-24 pens. It's shaped like a medium-sized book with rounded corners, and fits nicely into a backpack, making it the perfect companion to a student. The nylon fabric is easy to clean, and there are compartments suitable for extra cartridges, erasers, calculators, and pocket notebooks. If you love office supplies but hate sorting through clutter, this pencil case is highly recommended.
Kokuyo C2 Tray Type Pencil Case: This sharp two-tone nylon case has an appealing box shape that, once unzipped, turns into a tray. Not all of the items inside will be immediately visible, particularly if the case is full, but things are certainly much easier to find. This feature makes it extremely convenient to bring to class. The no-frills design has a minimalist appeal, and works wonderfully if you have a large set of writing instruments to carry about. In the absence of a bag, you can also dangle the case comfortably from the button strap.
Also consider: Saki P-666 Roll Pen Case
Midori Brass Pen Case: We love the sophisticated look of the Midori Brass Pen Case for working professionals. The pen case has a nice weight and the brass material has a lovely sheen. The lid comes off completely and snaps to a secure closure. It gives a luxurious touch to your office desk while storing and protecting your pens at the same time. It's also convenient to carry around, as its slim shape slips into any laptop or business case comfortably.
Kokuyo Will Stationery Actic Pencil Case: The Will Stationery Actic is streamlined and sturdy, with protective sides and very solid construction that can take a beating without showing any serious scars. It stands up easily on desks and bookshelves, doubling as a pen holder with a small footprint. It's also the perfect size to slip into a laptop bag or purse, and its sleek body wouldn't look out of place on an office desk. With a capacity of 8-10 writing instruments, you can carry all of your necessities. It's also available in a mini size.
Also consider: Saki P-660 Roll Pen Case
Saki P-662 Pen Case: An artist's workspace is susceptible to the occasional mess or two, and a pen case that can rough and tough it is always a good choice. This roll-up pencil case not only helps keep all your art tools organized, it’s easy to clean because of its vinyl material. The transparent material also allows you to see exactly which tools are in your pen case for you to find what you need quickly.
Kokuyo Neo-Critz Transformer Pencil Case - Double-Zipper: Artists often carry their tools with them wherever they go, especially when inspiration may strike at any given time! The Kokuyo Neo-Critz Transformer Pencil Case is another recommendation for artists. Its double zipper design is convenient, allowing you to grab pens from both sides of the case. What's more, this pencil case transforms into a stand, perfect for those times when you're out and doing some impromptu art. You can have all your tools in one place in an easy-to-see-and-grab format. To see it in action, check out this video.
Nomadic Noma Travel CG-04 Pen Case: Perfect for travelers, this wallet-style pen case folds up to fit into any bag or backpack. Featuring several pockets and a mesh pocket for any knick knacks, your essentials are organized and easy to access. It can withstand any expedition with its 210D Nylon Ripstop fabric, the material used for making parachutes due to its light weight, high strength, and tear-resistance.
Raymay Spalding Stretch Pen Case: Incredibly slim when empty, this pen case stretches to fit up to 35 pens or even a standard 500 ml water bottle! This is handy for travelers as the pen case will fit whatever items they need, but won't add bulk to their carry-on or bag. It's a great light and durable choice for any traveler.
Lihit Lab Smart Fit Double Pen Case: This pen case can hold pretty much anything you need. With two types of storage in one case, you can store larger items in the open pouch, and use the organizer side for pens and pencils. The pen organizer side also lies flat when open, for you to clearly see its contents. This makes the pencil case easy to use and navigate. The Smart Fit Double Pen Case is a great all-purpose pen case, suitable for many applications.
Raymay Double Zipper Color Pencil Case: The Raymay Double Zipper Color Pencil Case is another all-around pick. We're fans of the classic pen pouch shape, and with two zippered compartments, you can sort pens from pencils or other items easily. The nylon material is easy to clean, so your pen case always looks brand spanking new. Its long skinny shape lets it slip easily into whatever space you have left in your backpack or bag.
Also consider: Kutsuwa Duplex Canvas Pencil Case
Kutsuwa Dr. Ion Super Mega Pencil Case: In case the name didn't tip you off, this heavy-duty pencil case is... well, quite big. It's the size and shape of a rounded lunchbox, with a very solid handle attached to the top, and metal rings on the sides for a long shoulder strap (not included). The construction is superb, and there's a wonderful assortment of pockets, pouches, dividers, and slots for you to organize your stuff. You can fill it with your fountain pen collection, school supplies, cosmetics, or any number of other items. In the event of the apocalypse, it'd be a great bug-out bag for absolutely essential items. Anybody with a penchant for organizing clutter into neat little trays and compartments will enjoy configuring this pencil case.
Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case: If the Dr. Ion Super Mega Pencil Case is a little too intimidating for you, don't fret--we have the next best thing. The Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case has several compartments for you to not only store pens and pencils, but also cards, pencil leads, chapstick, and other small items. When you lift up the velcroed flap on the front of the case, there's an additional compartment with mesh pockets in different sizes to carry those miscellaneous items.
Also consider: Kutsuwa Dr. Ion Mega Pencil Case
Quiver Double-Pen and Single-Pen Holders: These Quiver Pen Holders are handy for bringing one or two pens with you in a convenient and hassle-free way. We like the durable leather material and how the elastic band allows you to securely attach it to an A5 size notebook or Apple iPad Mini case. That's one less thing to have to carry!
Cubix Simple Colored Pen Case: The minimalist doesn't need fancy mesh pockets or multiple compartments. Perfect for the low-key user, this no-fuss no-frills pen case features a balanced triangle shape that keeps it standing on your desk. It’s a nice size for storing all of your must-have pens and other small essential items.
Also consider: Kokuyo Will Stationery Actic Mini Pencil Case
Lihit Lab Otomo Pencil Case: The Otomo is a triangular pouch made from nylon, and functions much like a wristlet. The interior holds 10-12 pens, and is printed with a chocolate brown polka-dot design that matches the pink exterior quite nicely. The two slim pockets sewn into the main compartment are great for cards, ink cartridges, or lead refills, and the side pocket accommodates extra items like a USB drive, chapstick, and gum. In a casual office setting, the Otomo is an ideal companion.
Mark's Eiffel Tower Pen Case: Add a little piece of France to your everyday carry! This charming pen case features an antique-style print and a cute Eiffel tower charm as the zipper. With one zippered compartment, it holds up to 11 pens, but you can use it to carry other things like craft supplies or cosmetics.
Also consider: Saki P-661 Roll Pen Case
United Bees Split Pen Case: With its comically large zipper and a fun assortment of colors to choose from, your friends will definitely do a double take when they see it. As silly as the zipper is, it's fully functional and the case itself holds a good amount of pens. The pen case is not proportional to the size of the zipper--it has a slim shape that allows it to fit comfortably into your backpack or bag.
Raymay Big Zipper Pen Case: With a zipper even bigger than the one on the United Bees pen case, this pen case looks like it came out of a cartoon! The fun felt material gives it an interesting texture and the interesting color combinations are sure to be a conversation starter. The Big Zipper pen case isn't just for laughs--it has enough space to hold up to an impressive 35 pens.
The zippered pouch is a classic style, and very recognizable. Zippered cases can be as simple as a single pouch with a zip closure, or something more complex like the Nomadic PE-09 Flap Type Pencil Case that features multiple compartments. Because they keep everything securely enclosed, they're viewed as highly portable and versatile.
Wallet style pencil cases like the Nomadic Noma Travel CG-04 Pen Case are relatively low capacity, but offer the best visibility. Your writing instruments are spread out, so you know exactly where everything is, and tools aren't constantly shifting around. Wallet cases are also slim and easy to slip into a laptop bag. However, the pockets are usually open on one side, so the case must be stored upright to prevent pens from falling out.
Book style cases are typically deep and high capacity, with a "hinge" along the side. Many, like the Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case, have a wide assortment of compartments and pockets. Book style cases are ideal for anyone that wants to carry a lot of supplies, but can be somewhat bulky.
Roll up (or wrap) pen cases are usually made with softer materials like cloth or leather. Like the wallet style cases, roll cases tend to have great visibility, making it easy to find the tool you're looking for. The flap on top keeps the pens from falling out, and the tie cord wraps it all up into a pretty little bundle. There's something very artisanal about the design that artists will appreciate. See the selection guide for more.
Standing pencil cases like the Kokuyo Neo Critz Transformer - Double Zipper are basically pouches that can be converted into pencil holders. They have a small footprint, while still managing to keep everything decently visible. Students with limited desk space will appreciate the multi-functional design of the Neo Critz and its ilk.
These pencil cases can be opened up to be used as a tray. Tray-type pencil cases are convenient for artists and students alike to use as they work. The tray provides clear visibility and easy access to the tools inside. When your work is finished, simply close the pencil case and it transforms back into a secure pouch that can be carried with you anywhere.
Hard cases made of metal or plastic are protective in some ways, and damaging in others. For an example, throwing a hard case in your backpack with a laptop could result in scratches not only to the laptop, but to the pen bodies inside (particularly if they're nice fountain pens). At the same time, hard cases display their contents quite well when left on a table or bookshelf.
Protective cases made from leather, canvas, silicone, polyneoprene, and nylon are relatively soft, and won't scratch the pens and pencils within. They tend to be flexible, can stretch if needed, and are usually easy to clean. Students, artists, travelers, and anyone that puts their tools through a beating will probably want a protective case. Nylon is especially tough and portable.
Portable, convenient, and even fun, a good pencil case is a must-have for any stationery junkie. What kind of pencil case do you prefer? Tell us what essentials you carry around with you in the comments below!
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