Bic Round Stic Grip, the Best Pen Ever


Sometimes, the best things are not necessarily the most expensive, or easy to find. Such is the case of the Bic Round Stick Grip, a pen that may be one of the best pens ever.

Of course, Marcel Bich & Edouard Buffard’s original great pen is the 1950 vintage Cristal, that classic of offices everywhere. But I am not a fan of it, even though it has flat sides so that it does not roll. First, the Cristal is quite hard plastic, and while its ok, when you get used to the Round Stic, you don’t want to go back.

And others might like the Bic Click, or the Bic Banana. Or the multi-color Bic pen, that switches from red to blue to black to green. Frankly, they are all elegant classics, but the Grip is the best.

They have changed them over the years, and the stripes on the outside of some of the pens are no longer. The red ones are valued by editors everywhere, as you can use and forget the cap.

There are several reasons why the Round Stic Grip which is decades old, is great.

bicbanana vintage
Better than Bic Banana? Why of course!
  • It lasts. And lasts. And lasts. You can leave the top off, and it does not dry out or become, well, unevenly sketchy.
  • It is easy to use. The plastic is sort of slightly soft, and the grip toward the index finger area is different from the base of the pen.
  • The roller ball at the end of the tip is large enough to make a good splash on the page, but not too big to be a mess.
  • The pen is inexpensive. Oh sure, there are cheaper pens at Staples and such, but this one lasts so much longer than the really cheap ones, it is a bargain.
  • It actually looks pretty good. There are no odd colors on the outside, and few bumps and such that make the pen larger than it needs to be.

The problem is that it is harder and harder to find; Walmart at this writing does not stock them, and neither do many major office supply stores. In addition, there are a number of versions, the Ultra, which promises long life, and the Grip, which has the little striped band at the top. Frankly, the Grip with the stripe at top is superior.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. This pen is the best ever. The one that has the word grip in big red letters on the packaging , that is the one we are looking for. Bic changed the design years ago and it’s still a fine pen but it’s not the same. The original are very hard to find. Be careful looking on Amazon. People have ordered this and gotten the newer design instead. Yeah false advertising.

    1. Author

      thank you for the clarification on the new or old version….. agree the new one is not bad….

  2. Hi! I agree that the clear barrel is the best pen ever. But i can’t find them anywhere! The picture in the article is the one, but the Amazon links are not. Do you know where we can get them?

  3. Bic has always made a good product. I have a four-color Bic Clic, a relatively-simple design that goes back several decades. I remember them from private school years ago; all of the teachers had one. Red was for correcting tests, projects and essays, of course. Blue was for research or an encouraging note from a teacher; black was for everything else. And you know you were in trouble when a note from your teacher was written in green ink! So now, probably more for sentimental reasons than anything else, I have one. I may purchase a few more.

  4. The best time of the year to buy these (and other office supplies) is the week right after school starts. What were loss leaders to get customers into stores are discounted even further to pennies on the dollar.

  5. Agree its a good product. Keep up the high standards you’ve set. I’ve always enjoyed a good writing instrument. Thanks

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