20 Best School Supplies for Middle and High School in 2020
Having the best school supplies makes all the difference when it comes to the student’s experience. Low-quality supplies won’t stand up to use, and you’ll have to replace them.
That’s why we undertook a comprehensive review of typical school supplies. Although our efforts were geared toward college students, kids at other academic levels also may benefit from our expertise.
Keep reading to discover how you can get equipped for the new school term.
- 20 Best School Supplies for Back to School or College:
- 1. Cross Classic Century Satin Chrome Ballpoint Pen
- 2. Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
- 3. Ohuhu 40-color Alcohol Marker
- 4. Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil
- 5. Ticonderoga Pencils
- 6. Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers
- 7. X-Acto School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
- 8. BIC Wite-Out Brand EZ Correct Correction Tape
- 9. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
- 10. Clever Fox Dotted Notebook
- 11. Mead Composition Books – 3 Pack
- 12. Avery Mini Binder Filler Paper
- 13. Case-it Mighty Zip Tab 3-Inch Zipper Binder
- 14. Swingline Stapler
- 15. Derwent Colored Pencils
- 16. Copic Marker 12-Piece Set
- 17. Westcott Titanium-Bonded Scissors
- 18. Elmer’s Glue Sticks
- 19. Dell XPS Notebook
- 20. Mancro Laptop Backpack
- Making the Decision
20 Best School Supplies for Back to School or College:
1. Cross Classic Century Satin Chrome Ballpoint Pen
The humble ballpoint is a staple in classrooms. It’s affordable, functional and disposable. However, this selection has a reputation for being the best ballpoint pen in the world.
That reputation is deserved thanks to the beautiful satin chrome finish. It looks fantastic, and features like consistent ink flow, a reliable twist mechanism for opening and closing and a lifetime mechanical warranty mark this Cross ballpoint as a quality investment.
People love the metal construction and durability of these pens. Still, critics are disappointed that Cross pens are no longer made in the USA.
2. Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
With medium points and an excellent selection of colors, this is a great choice for anyone who wants to color-code their notes. A point guard prevents each tip from fraying, making this the best quality felt tip pen.
The 0.7 mm tips on these pens combine bold and delicate lines. Smear and fade resistance ensures that your writing is clear, and Paper Mate says that the ink won’t bleed through most paper.
Users love how quickly the ink dries on the page. Nonetheless, some people are unhappy with how fast the ink runs out.
3. Ohuhu 40-color Alcohol Marker
With broad and fine tips, you can highlight large and small sections. The ink is highly pigmented, and color-coded caps make it easy to find colors. A carrying case keeps everything organized.
People who have tried these highlighters appreciate the ability to refill the ink. Unfortunately, some people find the square shape of the pen uncomfortable.
4. Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil
This is the best mechanical pencil for drawing and writing thanks to its fantastic grip. It’s chiseled metal that’s inlaid with soft pads to ensure hours of writing comfort. A dual-action retractor promises smooth lead advancement.
Easy to refill and with a 0.5 mm tip, this is the perfect mechanical pencil for school. It performs well with templates and rulers, producing clear, dark lines.
People praise this pencil because the leads don’t break. Nonetheless, users occasionally are troubled by a plastic barrel that breaks easily.
5. Ticonderoga Pencils
These are the best pencils for writing if you’re planning for heavy use. This set of 30 number-two pencils is a bargain, and you already know how reliable they are.
These come pre-sharpened to save time. Writing is smooth thanks to the proprietary graphite formula, and the latex-free erasers ensure a clean finished product.
Because they are pre-sharpened and erase easily, many people love these pencils. If there’s a complaint, it relates to the packaging, which sometimes fails.
6. Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers
Even the best erasable pen doesn’t always have the most effective eraser. That’s where these classic Pink Pearl erasers come to the rescue. Because they are latex-free, you can trust them not to smudge.
With a flat face and sharp corners, you can erase everything from large to small sections. Whether you’re sketching or filling in answers on standardized tests, you can trust these erasers to function perfectly.
People love this set of three erasers because they are nostalgic and work great. Nonetheless, a few users complain about a sandpaper-like residue on some paper.
7. X-Acto School Pro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener
With tons of built-in versatility, this is the best electric pencil sharpener for classroom or personal use. It’s a heavy-duty model that’s designed to take a beating. This means that you can expect years of continued use.
The electric motor is powerful yet quiet. When not in use, it doesn’t draw power. Sharpening is accomplished with a flyaway cutter that automatically stops when a pencil is perfectly sharpened.
Fans praise this model for its quality and precision. A few had problems with it overheating when sharpening a large number of pencils.
8. BIC Wite-Out Brand EZ Correct Correction Tape
When erasing isn’t appropriate, using correction tape is the obvious alternative. This pick for the best correction tape review comes from BIC Wite-Out, perhaps the best-known brand.
This tape uses film instead of paper to make it stronger. A soft rubber grip is comfortable to hold, and the translucent dispenser shows you how much tape is left. With more than 39 feet in each dispenser, you’ll be covered for a while.
People love the value of this 10-pack. Especially since some people noted that some dispensers work better than others.
9. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
This is definitely not an old-fashioned spiral notebook. Instead, our pick for the best spiral notebooks for college is environmentally friendly thanks to its reusability. It comes with a Pilot Fixion pen and a microfiber cloth so that the pages can be cleaned and reused.
This is a 36-page notebook with dotted-grid paper on which you can record thoughts and notes. Then use the app to send your notes to the cloud where you can access them forever. Clean the notebook and use it again later.
10. Clever Fox Dotted Notebook
Bullet journaling is one of the best ways for students to stay on top of complicated schedules and assignments. Thanks to thick, 120 gsm paper, a sturdy cover and a pen loop, this is one of the best designed dotted notebooks on the market.
The Clever Fox also has three ribbon bookmarks that make it easy for you to find your place. An elastic strap keeps the book closed, and the 5.12″ b 8.27″ size is perfectly portable. Stickers and numbered pages keep you organized.
People love the thick paper that prevents ink from bleeding through. However, some are bothered by the dots being closely spaced when compared to competitive products.
11. Mead Composition Books – 3 Pack
Each notebook in this pack contains 100 sheets of college-ruled paper. College-rule is the preferred size for keeping neat notes. With a sewn binding, this is the best quality composition notebook for an affordable price.
These notebooks hold their pages securely, and the absence of a spiral binding means snag-free use. In fact, this is one of the things that people love best about these composition books. Nonetheless, some people feel that the paper is too thin.
12. Avery Mini Binder Filler Paper
This high quality binder paper is sized at 5.5″ by 8.5″ for use with a three- or seven-ring mini binder. The college-ruled lines are ideal for taking notes or writing a journal.
With 100 sheets, there’s plenty of paper here for a semester or a quarter of notes. The medium-weight paper stands up to constant use.
Many people swear by this binder paper for use with a planner that uses ring binding. This makes it perfect for bullet journaling. A few critics say that the holes are placed too close to the edge of the paper.
13. Case-it Mighty Zip Tab 3-Inch Zipper Binder
This heavy-duty, durable binder is big enough to handle all of your classes. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to stay organized. All of this is packaged as the best 3 ring binder for school.
This binder is equipped with five color-tabbed expanding files and a gusseted zipper. With a handle and shoulder strap, this binder is portable. Plus, it’s made with ripstop material to ensure durability. Interior mesh pockets hold your supplies.
People love the durability and capacity of these binders, but some users feel that it’s too large.
14. Swingline Stapler
Swingline may be the best-known name in staplers. This metal model is considered the best stapler because of its metal construction. The inner rail is specifically designed to resist jams so that you can rely on its accuracy.
This stapler opens for tacking and pinning and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
People swear by this classic stapler in the classroom and at home. A few complaints say that they wish the 20-page capacity were larger.
15. Derwent Colored Pencils
These watercolor pencils from Derwent come in a wooden box that holds all 72 pieces. This is an incredibly high-quality set that’s worth the price. If you’re looking for the best colored pencils, your quest is complete.
Each colored pencil is break-resistant and easy to sharpen. The hexagonal barrels are easy on the hands, and the water-soluble color is rich. You can easily layer colors and add water for watercolor washes.
Fans praise the array of colors and the ability to use these pencils wet or dry. Occasional comments suggest that some people wish the colors were brighter.
16. Copic Marker 12-Piece Set
Copics are considered all-around good markers. This set features 12 colors in a plastic case. They are expensive, but there are few better alternatives.
Each of these markers is refillable and has a replaceable nib. Alcohol-based ink dries fast and is permanent. Artists swear by Copic markers, frequently buying all of the colors. Some buyers say that the case arrived cracked.
17. Westcott Titanium-Bonded Scissors
This set of two high-quality scissors is an excellent value. Because the blades are titanium bonded, they are three times harder than stainless steel.
Because of their strength, you can use these scissors on cardboard, fabric and other materials. A limited lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind.
People love these scissors for their long-term, trouble-free use. Nonetheless, some people wish that the plastic handles felt sturdier.
18. Elmer’s Glue Sticks
Most people love Elmer’s glue. This is the same excellent adhesive in glue stick form. This is the best glue stick due to its ability to adhere to cardboard, paper, foam board and other surfaces.
This glue is photo safe, acid-free, washable and non-toxic. Users appreciate that it glides on smooth, but some would prefer for the sticks to be bigger.
19. Dell XPS Notebook
When a laptop is required, it makes sense to get one that’s small but powerful. That describes our pick for the best laptop. It’s fast, energy-efficient and measures 13.3″.
With plenty of memory and a sleek look, people praise this product. Nonetheless, a few critics find it too small.
20. Mancro Laptop Backpack
This waterproof backpack is designed to accommodate a laptop of up to 15.6″. The main pockets are large enough to allow for things like books, binders and clothes. Secure inside pockets for phones and wallets place this among the best backpacks for college.
With padded shoulder straps and nylon fabric, this is a durable and stylish choice. However, a lack of padding on the bottom is lamented by some.
Making the Decision
If you’re looking for the best school supplies to outfit yourself or a child for a new term, then use this list. Our comprehensive review uncovered the 20 best supplies that will help to ensure success. From pencils to a laptop, you’ll be the best-equipped student at your school