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The Best Calligraphy Pens for 2020

Do you want to customize wedding invitations, handcrafted cards, journals, and sketchbooks? Let your artistic and creative hands try the art of calligraphy. But how can you find the best calligraphy pens?

best calligraphy pens

Creating a calligraphy masterpiece is all about choosing the right type of pen and ink. But with the plethora of pens calligraphy on the market, selecting the ultimate pen set can be pretty challenging. There are significant factors to consider first such as your writing technique and skill level or experience.

In this article, I will walk you through a lot of important points for choosing the ideal set of calligraphy pens for your preferences and needs. I’ll help you narrow down the options through an in-depth roundup, reviews, and buying guide.

Best Calligraphy Pen Reviews

1. STAEDTLER Calligraphy Pen set

This 33-piece STAEDTLER calligraphy pen set is probably one of the stylish pen sets I’ve seen. It looks impressive and would be great as a gift.

At a glance, the metal storage tin strikes me as a fancy professional set. It surprises you with enough selection for the nib sizes and pen bodies that both students and experienced artists can enjoy.

The nibs are interchangeable and you can switch between five different types. It also allows you to customize your pen with four pen bodies.

When it comes to the ink cartridges, there are 20 color options to choose from. You can spruce up your handcrafted cards, wedding invitations, or creative doodles with an array of lovely colors. This includes black, blue, green, yellow, pink, orange, and brown.

In terms of performance, the pen glides on smoothly and the ink doesn’t bleed. Its nibs feel so nice in my hand that don’t bother me with any thought of a flimsy product. Unfortunately, the ink doesn’t seem to flow well at times.

This set lets you work on your craft but I admit it isn’t the best one out there. However, it has decent quality pens that can be your starting point and learning curve for calligraphy. Plus, this is also a very budget-friendly option for amateurs.

Pros
  • A set of good calligraphy pens for beginners with 20 ink cartridges
  • Offers 4 changeable nibs and 5 pen bodies
  • Lends a smooth and neat application
  • Non-bleeding ink
Cons
  • The ink sometimes doesn’t flow well
  • Not the best option for professional calligraphy artists
Overall, this calligraphy set is an affordable choice for novices. If you’ve just been developing your calligraphy skills and working on your styles, you can practice with this set and hone your techniques.

2. PILOT Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set

For stunning calligraphy and lettering, this 4-piece set of modern calligraphy pens from PILOT takes it up a notch with a variety of nib sizes.

Its versatility amazes me. As each pen has its respective size, it is much easier to customize the consistency of lines and letters. You can draw fine or intricate details and thick lines.

The ink runs on the pens neatly without bleeding. I also didn’t experience any spotting or streaking. It goes smoothly and creates sharp lines.

In regards to its aesthetic features, it doesn’t come with traditional fountain pen nibs and rather looks like any regular pen. It exhibits a minimalist and contemporary take on typical calligraphy pens.

Because the body lends a familiar feel of a normal pen, I think it makes a difference and adds to comfortable writing and lettering. It can also be a good option for artists who can’t handle pressure very well or are heavy-handed.

If you want to break into calligraphy aside from other pen types, you can go with this set. Plus, it includes an instruction book that will help beginners to produce different calligraphy styles. The nib cleaner is also an extra treat!

The set comes with additional calligraphy inks but the selection of colors is limited. This set only has red and black ink. For me, it’s just a minor issue, though.
Pros
  • Offers different consistencies with 4 nib sizes
  • The ink doesn’t bleed or leak
  • Exhibits a comfortable pen body with a modern style
  • Contains extra inks and a nib cleaner
Cons
  • Limited ink options
Needless to say, these fancy calligraphy pens are easy to work with. The modern touch on its design delivers neat and sophisticated results.

3. Mont Marte Calligraphy Set

If you want to get started with calligraphy, these elegant Mont Marte are among the right calligraphy pens for beginners. Whether for your hobby or career, it can help you discover the art of classic writing and lettering.

You can practice and refine your skills with five classic nib grades. This pen comes with fine and extra fine nibs that can accentuate the details of your work. The medium, broad, and extra broad nibs are great for creating various consistencies of calligraphy scripts and writing.

It is packed with 20 ink cartridges in seven different colors. This allows you to begin with the primary shades while experimenting with playful colors for decorative styles.

When used on a calligraphy paper, the pen renders a seamless drive. It doesn’t wobble. Each nib writes seamlessly according to its designated thickness. It’s easy to control, especially the broader sizes.

I also want to highlight the stylish fountain pens with gold and silver accents on the clips. Not only do they look refined with its design but they also don’t feel flimsy.

It also includes an instruction booklet that introduces the principles of calligraphy art as well as a lot of useful tips. I find this very useful and practical option for beginners. But if you’re an experienced artist, you’ll also enjoy the replaceable cartridges and convenience in use.

I’ve switched between the cartridges and didn’t find any trouble. Luckily, it has a nice ink flow that doesn’t cause any messy leaks.

However, cleaning the nibs was a bit of a struggle. It also dries quickly when left unused for a long time.
Pros
  • Includes 5 nib sections, 4 pen bodies, and 20 ink cartridges
  • An excellent set for beginners as easy to use and doesn’t feel wobbly
  • Lavishly beautiful fountain pens
  • Hassle-free in changing the ink cartridges
Cons
  • A bit difficult to clean the nibs
  • Fast drying nibs
Despite that, this artistic set is quite a steal for calligraphy students and learners. It offers good quality pens that can improve your craft.

4. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens

For advanced calligraphers that often work on Chinese characters or Western calligraphy, these Tombow brush pens could be the perfect pair for those jobs.

You’ll have a soft tip pen in green ink for heavier and darker details, while the hard tip in blue is for intricate and thinner lines. Each stroke seems to be on point that emphasizes the edges and features of the characters.

I think brush lettering becomes a lot more doable with these tips. The soft tip has a buttery feel that lends an outstanding smoothness in every glide. The hard tip does the same and only demands lighter pressure.

With such an innovative design, you can also use it for graphic designs, illustrations, and various styles of calligraphy without a hitch. That’s why I consider it one of the best calligraphy brush pens I’ve tried.

Brush pens tend to bleed easily but this one doesn’t. The ink flow is superb and each color is very pigmented. Besides being odorless, it also leaves no messy leaks and smudges.

New calligraphers won’t also need to shy away from these pens as they require minimal effort and control to produce consistent and creative strokes. The tips are very flexible that allow you to construct decorative details using various techniques.

It exhibits an understated design that resembles an ordinary pen. It is comfortable to hold. That’s why you can easily get a hang of it.

The only downside is the non-refillable ink cartridge.
Pros
  • Offers hard and soft tips
  • Very flexible and controllable tips to lend a comfortable feel
  • The ink flows nicely without leaking or smearing
  • Able to create various thicknesses and depths
  • Provides effortless lettering or drawing
Cons
  • Not refillable calligraphy brush pens
These brush pens are a topnotch art media for professional artists and beginners nonetheless. They showcase a versatile and handy design that flourishes your artwork with neat and precise details.

5. Plotube Calligraphy Pen Kit

This calligraphy pen kit from Plotube takes me back to the traditional calligraphy in the olden days. It exhibits an exquisite vintage design that you can give as a beautiful gift or a treat for yourself.

Beyond the packaging are aesthetically handcrafted calligraphy pieces. The collection contains a luxurious wooden dip pen, antique holder, and stainless steel nibs. Crafted with 11 different calligraphy nibs, you can explore a wide range of writing patterns and styles.

If I want to make illustrations or write a variety of font styles and characters, I can change the nib sizes without any hassle. I think this would be advantageous for those who often switch between nibs for fast and flexible writing.

It also comes with four bottled inks – red, green, pink, and brown. It doesn’t have the usual black and blue inks but these fancy colors are fun to play with. These pigmented shades add a nice pop of colors that would look superb with journals, cards, and wedding invites.

Moreover, each nib size offers superior control and stability. The pens run smoothly. The ink flows nicely that leaves your writing neat and smudge-free.

This cool set seems to have the ideal calligraphy tools, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced artist. It also includes an exercise booklet, which is a major bonus for amateurs. It’s not just a manual but also a detailed guide along with pictures of different penmanship styles.

When you’re not using the pen, the little holder is very useful to keep the ink from drying. Each ink bottle also has a small rubber stopper that holds it in place and prevents any spillage.

However, you just have to be extra careful when dipping the pens into the ink as it can get messy at times.
Pros
  • Comes with 11 different nib sizes and 4 ink bottles
  • Includes a wooden dip pen for a more traditional touch
  • Replaceable and easy to write nibs
  • An elegant kit for new and professional calligraphers
  • Inserts a booklet for thorough guidelines
Cons
  • The ink sometimes gets messy
Anyhow, this calligraphy kit is more than just the fancy features and vintage details. The interchangeable nibs and variety of inks deliver an exceptional performance that makes calligraphy much easier to do.

6. Kuretake ZIG Calligraphy Pens

Calligraphy markers are also amazing starter pens because of their flexible felt tips and convenient design. Not to mention their portability that you can easily pack and store when you travel. You can take advantage of these features with this calligraphy pen set by Kuretake.

First of all, the range of colors is quite pleasing in the eyes. For calligraphy students who want to venture into a spectrum of shades, this set is definitely a delight. Surprisingly, the colors are vibrant and true to their pen casings.

Every marker has two tips: fine (2.0mm) and thick (3.5mm). Contrary to dip pens and fountain pens, you won’t have to change the nibs to customize the size.

The fine tip complements illustrations and letterings with more complex details. The thick tip balances the artwork with heavier consistencies and deeper shades.

What I like about these pens is the ease of use and seamless transition. The tips seem to be denser and sturdier than other markers I’ve tried. Such a design enhances precision and control, keeping it very beginner-friendly.

I’m glad that they don’t look washed out. As the ink is water-based, you can also add a few artistic tweaks to your work. You can use a water brush pen to blend the colors and create dramatic effects.

Unfortunately, the ink cartridges are not refillable and interchangeable.
Pros
  • Offers 12 vibrant colors with blendable water-based ink
  • Designed with dual tips for different thicknesses
  • The sturdy tips provide hassle-free writing
  • Portable and convenient to use
  • Easy to hold and control
Cons
  • Non-refillable ink
This pen set is an excellent kit for first-time calligraphers, anyway. The color selection and flexibility of felt tips are suitable for studying the basics and diverse styles of calligraphy.

7. Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen

If you’re trying out calligraphy for the first time, you can start focusing on a single nib size until you master a certain depth, style, and technique. With that in mind, this fountain pen from Sheaffer might be the ultimate pick for your calligraphy projects and crafts.

It comes in a vibrant teal casing that is crafted with a medium nib. I’ve used it on a calligraphy paper and the tip didn’t feel wobbly or flimsy.

Because of this design, it gives off a polished transition that lends a neat and even application. Besides that, I believe that the rubber grip around it makes a difference. It keeps your hand in place for better control and adds comfort when writing.

With the designated nib size, constructing lines is much easier to do, particularly the thicker ones. As it adds a nice depth, the broad nib is suitable for writing Roman characters and cursive handwriting. I also think it elevates the pigment. Surprisingly, it does not bleed.

One impressive calligraphy pen review is it lets you see and track the ink level. Hence, it is called a viewpoint fountain pen. And when it’s all used up, you can swap the barrel for a new one. Thankfully, it includes an extra ink refill.

With its convenience in use, this pen is one good way to start with calligraphy. But if you’re after different nib sizes, this may not be the best option for you.
Pros
  • A good beginner calligraphy pen features a medium nib
  • Writes smoothly without bleeding
  • Offers a rubber grip for added comfort and control
  • Allows you to check the ink level
Cons
  • One nib size only
Still, it is a delightful piece of writing instrument that won’t break your bank. It writes very well and lets your creative hand develop the basics of calligraphy.

8. AIVN Calligraphy Set

One of the best calligraphy dip pens I’ve tried is this 17-piece set from AIVN. Not only does it feature a classic and sophisticated presentation, but it is also loaded with the essentials for calligraphy.

This collection offers a generous variation of stainless steel nibs. Each of the 12 sizes provides an exquisite edge that delivers smooth writing in every stroke.

Included in the set are two ink bottles in colors black and brown. I’m pleasantly surprised that the nibs can hold a great amount of ink. Because of this, I won’t have to dip the pen very frequently. This also prevents any messy drips.

In terms of design, the long wooden pen renders a nice feel in the hand that provides a comfortable writing experience. As it is also lightweight, it delivers superior control and stability.

If you’re getting into calligraphy for the first time, the instruction booklet that comes with the set would be another perfect treat. The antique pen holder is also a practical addition to the collection. It keeps the ink from drying when the pen is not in use.

Moreover, the vast range of interchangeable nibs maximizes the lettering and writing styles you can try. With such a stunning array, both beginners and professionals can indulge in its performance.

I just have a little concern with the nibs as some of them don’t fit well.
Pros
  • Offers a wide lineup of stainless steel nibs
  • Lightweight and comfortable pen design
  • Easy to hold and control
  • Includes an introduction booklet
  • Comes with 2 ink bottles
Cons
  • Some nibs don’t fit very well
Nevertheless, this is a nice looking set. It stands out with its ergonomic design and versatile nibs that calligraphers of all levels can have fun with.

9. Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen Set

The Pilot brand has never failed to impress me with its amazing lineup of calligraphy pens and ink. One of which is the Pilot Parallel. This modern pen set has four parallel plate nib designs that vary from thin to thick edges (1.5mm, 2.4mm, 3.8mm, and 6mm).

The sharper tips are critical for very fine details and Gothic lettering. The larger nibs work great for large handwriting and adding decorative accents. Because of its versatility, it paves the way for trying out different lettering styles and techniques.

I also find the metal nibs very sturdy. They are not dull. They don’t break or wear out as you use it. With its durability, the pens are able to deliver clean, clear, and accurate strokes.

Plus points for the excellent ink flow. Not only does this enhance the quality of writing but it also minimizes any ink leakage—no messy drips and bleeding. And when the ink runs empty, there are extra cartridges for backup!

The flexibility of these calligraphy pens is also pretty impressive. If you want to tweak your artwork or handwriting with additional tints, just use two pens to combine the colors. Just let the nibs touch and you’re good to go!

They look like regular pens at a glance. That’s why they’re comfortable to hold and that makes a lot of difference in writing. The sleek and slim features also exhibit portability.

The only downside is the limited available ink cartridges. I thought it would be nice if there were some shades of blue or green.
Pros
  • A set of flexible pens with four parallel nibs
  • Allows you to create various forms of writing
  • Does not bleed and leak
  • A great ink flow
  • Delivers precise lines and details
Cons
  • Only two colors cartridges
Overall, these trendy pens are a breakthrough in traditional calligraphy. The innovative metal nibs are all about precise and smooth writing that can produce exceptional results.

10. Tombow 56190 Beginner Lettering Set

For brush lettering neophytes who want to develop their skills, this Tombow Beginner Lettering set has all the calligraphy essentials you’ll need.

It is a compact set loaded with so much more than it appears: two dual brush pens, a drawing pencil, a calligraphy pen, a permanent marker, and an eraser. It also comes with a lettering pamphlet that lets the user try the basic techniques and styles.

The brush tools showcase versatility with their double-sided tip design: flexible and fine tips. The same design goes with the black permanent marker. It’s easy to create big and bold letters with a flexible tip while the fine tip produces precise and intricate streaks.

These felt tip calligraphy pens give off an effortless glide in every stroke. The tips are smooth and soft but not flimsy. They are rigid enough to flourish the letters and characters without smearing. Not to mention the water-based ink that is blendable and smudge-resistant.

Besides these superb pieces, the calligraphy brush pen is another surprise. The elastomer tip does an excellent job creating a variety of line widths, especially in modern calligraphy and embellished handwriting.

I also find the drawing pencil and eraser a useful addition to this set. Without a doubt, you want to save your work from errors and uneven textures. You can sketch lines and drafts before filling in the characters with a permanent marker or brush pen.

I don’t have a lot of issues with this set. I just hoped the ink had lasted longer.
Pros
  • A set of versatile double-ended brush pens
  • Allows you to create varied line widths
  • Delivers effortless writing performance
  • Great to use for modern calligraphy and hand lettering
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Not a long lasting ink
Despite this minor problem, this starter kit is an innovative introduction to brush lettering and calligraphy without spending an expensive outlay on the tools you need.

11. Speedball Art Products Oblique Pen Set

This Speedball Oblique Pen Set boasts its 6 different nibs that are suitable for Copperplate and Spencerian Scripts.

Although this works great on certain script styles, calligraphy newbies can also give this a shot. The appearance might seem intimidating but I find the nibs beginner-friendly. Aside from that, these nibs feature a high-quality design that many professionals will use.

Each nib has a particular feel and flexibility. The ones with pointed tips are reliable for copperplate, while others produce varied line widths for different styles of calligraphy writing.

It goes well with any kind of ink. I’ve tried dipping it in bottled ink and I’m impressed how the nibs can hold a great amount of ink—no need to dip the nibs too often. Not only can it prevent any spots and drips, but it also allows uninterrupted writing.

Putting them together is also not a problem. I can easily switch between the nibs for varied line consistencies and styles. The pen is plastic which makes it lightweight and comfortable to use.

However, the plastic material feels flimsy at times. It also does not include any ink.
Pros
  • Offers a great range of high-quality nibs
  • Ideal for Copperplate and Spenserian scripts
  • Produces different line widths for varied writing styles
  • Lightweight oblique holder
  • Hassle-free assembly
Cons
  • Not included an ink bottle
Nonetheless, this set has an impressive selection of nibs that you can use for cursive scripts and other calligraphy styles. The stunning oblique pen holder also offers a different kind of writing experience.

12. Mancola Glass Dipped Crystal Pen

The aesthetics are on point with this Mancola Rainbow Crystal Pen set. It is all about shimmers and dazzling vibrant colors that would look splendid on invitations, personalized cards, illustrations, and other handcrafted items.

The kit includes 12 different colors of glittered ink choices, which I think is a lavish collection to spruce up your craft. Each shade renders an elegant effect on every stroke. It’s also fascinating to see that the colors are very pigmented while keeping its ravishing sheen.

Apart from these gorgeous hues, I think the pen is a stellar piece of this set. It is carefully crafted from a crystal glass material that makes it an exquisite calligraphy pen.

It has a short nib with a pointed tip that’s ideal for creating defined lines. It also writes and draws smoothly on paper.

Given its remarkable design, I thought it was difficult and messy to use. But, it does otherwise. The ink stays on the nib every time I dip it in the ink bottle. I won’t have to keep on dipping a lot of times.

When applied on paper, it spreads the ink evenly, making it less likely to bleed through paper or cause ugly smears. If you need to switch between colors, there’s no hassle in cleaning the nib. Just wipe it gently with a wet cloth, dry it with a towel, and you’re all prepped for another shade.

Unfortunately, the pointed tip of the nib has its drawbacks. It should be handled with light pressure; otherwise, it will dig into the paper. The nib is also fixed and can’t be used for other styles.
Pros
  • Offers 12 assorted ink colors
  • Includes a crystal glass pen
  • Short nib with a pointed tip for precise lines
  • The nib holds an ample amount of ink
  • Bleedproof and smudge-resistant ink
  • Hassle-free in cleaning the nib
Cons
  • Not replaceable nib
  • The nib may rip the paper when handled with heavy pressure
Nevertheless, this brand is more than just a stylish appearance. It may not be your usual tool for traditional calligraphy but it provides superb details for decorative handwriting.

What to Look for When Buying Calligraphy Pens

best-calligraphy-pens-for-beginners

Style of Pen

The pens used for calligraphy come in two types: dip pens and cartridge filled pens.

Calligraphy dip pens retain the traditional design that looks like something straight out of a vintage pen collection. This style is typically streamlined with a wooden body and a stainless steel nib.

Ink bottles are usually included. Another advantage of dip pens is the vast availability of interchangeable nibs. This allows you to optimize your writing style with consistent lines and strokes.

It takes a bit of practice when using these pens, though. As you have to dip it in the ink bottle, it can get messy at times. This may result in heavy streaks of lines and inconsistent textures.

On the other hand, cartridge filled pens are quite the opposite. These pens showcase a contemporary design. They often look like fancy fountain pens embellished with silver or gold accents. Some resemble the features of regular pens.

Because of its familiar feel in the hand, it’s safe to say it is an easy calligraphy pen that can save your artwork from lots of ink mess. Besides its convenience in use, these pens can create fine lines that can be very useful for drawing intricate elements and writing characters.

Some of these pens, however, have non-refillable ink cartridges. If it’s all used up, you may have to purchase another pack of pens. If ever the cartridge is refillable or replaceable, the manufacturer sometimes requires a specific ink that you can purchase from that same brand.

Another drawback is the fixed nibs. Modern designs have a limited selection of nib sizes. Hence, this can narrow down the range of writing or lettering styles. But, sometimes, you’d be lucky enough to find pen sets with interchangeable barrels to change the nibs.

Type of Nibs

There are two common types of nibs: Italic nibs and Flex nibs. The major difference between the two is the shape of the tip.

Flex nibs have round tips that form a consistent line width, no matter what direction or angle you’re using. That is why it is ideal for everyday writing. You can use it in your journals, notebooks, or signing documents. You’ll also find this kind of tip in most fountain calligraphy pen nibs.

Italic nibs are easy to identify with their wide and flat tips. It has rounded edges that can produce a variety of line widths. It can create crisper edges as well. Such a type can draw broad vertical lines and narrow horizontal lines. This also makes it easy to use for writing and making illustrations.

Take note that consistencies of strokes may vary, depending on the orientation of the nib on the paper. Therefore, Italic nibs may demand particular positioning to achieve accurate results and desired styles.

Thus, many experienced artists and professional calligraphers find this more suitable for customized calligraphy and decorative lettering.

Oblique nibs are an exquisite tip shape but not as common as Flex and Italic nibs. An oblique tip exhibits a 15-degree angle. This peculiar shape delivers understated line widths wherein the broadest line takes place in a diagonal form – from upper left to lower right.

It is sometimes referred to as a left oblique or right oblique depending on the cut. One example of this is the Speedball Art Products Pen Set.

Size of Tips

Besides the shape, the tips of nibs also vary in sizes. But do know that every tip size delivers a crucial effect on your writing. Hence, it is highly significant to consider this factor.

A large tip creates broader and thicker strokes, making it more applicable for bold handwriting. It also showcases the quality and pigment of ink. Besides that, I notice that the ink flows fast and steadily. Thus, it provides a smooth and easy writing performance.

However, the common problem with large tips is the tendency to bleed through the paper or smear, particularly when used on low-quality papers.

Meanwhile, when the tip is smaller or finer, the strokes are thinner. The line width is also more consistent, making it applicable for compact lettering and writing. A lot of people opt for this size because it resembles the feel and function of a regular pen or a ballpoint pen.

Unlike larger tips, smaller tips are less likely to bleed through the paper. The ink also doesn’t tend to overflow, thereby making them more forgiving with the quality or type of paper.

But as broader nibs have their share pitfalls, so do finer nibs. Unfortunately, a narrow tip may not always write smoothly.

Ink Cartridges and Ink Flow

The ink is an integral part of calligraphy pens. Therefore, if you’re using a high-quality pigmented calligraphy ink, you can expect better ink flow. And when the ink flows smoothly, it lubricates the nibs faster, resulting in effortless and comfortable writing experience.

Dipping calligraphy pens have separated ink bottles. Although they can tolerate a wide range of inks whether coloured or not, it is best to invest in trustworthy brands that offer topnotch quality inks. You also have to make sure to choose an ink that’s specifically made for dip pens.

India ink and Sumi ink are some of the ones I’ve tried that worked great with dipping pens. But whatever the brand is, I always look for a calligraphy ink that is thick, pigmented, and dense as it stays in the nib much longer. However, it should flow evenly and smoothly. As much as possible, I avoid inks with shellac as it can damage the nib.

Some fundamental properties I also consider are the longevity and lightfastness of ink. It should not fade or wash out easily over time.

Cartridge filled pens, on the other hand, often require certain brands or kinds of inks. It depends on what the manufacturer recommends. That’s why it is better to stick with the suggested ink type for reliable and optimum performance.

Although some ink cartridges are non-refillable, there are pens sets that offer refillable calligraphy pens. Some manufacturers provide extra cartridges in a vast range of colors besides the common black, red, and blue shades.

Besides that, there are vibrant coloured inks in some calligraphy pen kits that you can use to modify your work with embellishments. Apart from the vivid hues, some inks have glitters for a beautiful sheen. This is also available in dip pen inks.

Grip and Comfort

In calligraphy, the design, size, and feel of your pen can also make a lot of difference.

For dip pens, you can check the material and the shape. As you can see, wood is the most common material for these pens. It highlights an ergonomic body to provide a comfortable feel in the hand. Typically, the shape around the nib is larger and thicker.

Some brands, however, modify these pens using other types of materials such as crystal glass, metal, or plastic. Besides the changes in its form for aesthetic purposes, some exhibit a lightweight design while others feel slightly heavier.

Personally, I prefer a heavier dip pen as I think it’s more solid, stable, and much easier to control. However, this factor greatly depends on your preferences. You should choose the weight that lets you work with ease.

On the other hand, a cartridge pen often looks like an ordinary pen. Some brands of fountain pens, brush pens, and markers add rubber grips to elevate comfort and control.

Brush Pens and Markers

Many calligraphers resort to brushing pens and markers to illustrate modern calligraphy. Brushes have felt tips, while markers have synthetic fibers. They both glide smoothly on paper and deliver amazing results, particularly when writing Chinese and Western characters.

Aside from these features, they also stand out in terms of portability and convenience in use. They are also less likely to leak. You can also put them away for storage or carry them in your bag easily because of their sleek and slim design.

With regards to the price tag, they are not very costly. Many brands also offer a wide range of colors, thereby allowing you to define and decorate your work with a variety of vivid hues.

Take note that brush pens should be handled carefully to optimize the use of ink and prevent them from bleeding through the paper. It may also demand superior control to deliver consistent strokes. Thus, they are typically recommended for advanced calligraphers.

Beginners won’t need to shy away from these pens, though. They can learn how to use it properly until they develop their skills and techniques.

Consider Your Skills

It is imperative to determine your skills when looking for the best pens for calligraphy. If you purchase a professional calligraphy pen set without any experience in this form of art, learning would be tough. It’ll also be a waste of money, time, and effort.

That’s why it’ll be better to start with the student-grade lettering sets to study the basics of pen calligraphy. You’ll also be able to figure out which style of pens and types of nibs you’re more comfortable with.

Considering this, some of the beginner sets on our lists that you can try are Tombow 56190 and Mont Marte Calligraphy tool kit.

Other Important Factors to Consider

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What is the best calligraphy pen?

With a ton of choices on the market, it is really hard to tell which type and style of pen suit your skills best. These pens vary in brands, styles, types, and prices. But if you’re having a difficult time to decide, you can consider the features listed below to find the best pen for calligraphy:

  • The ink should be pigmented
  • The pen writes smoothly in every stroke
  • It can produce crisp and neat lines
  • It has long-lasting and lightfast ink
  • It lends a comfortable feel in the hand

The aforementioned factors can help you out. But, at the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preferences, needs, and skills.

How does it work?

A calligraphy pen or marker greatly depends on how much pressure you put in it. The heavier the pressure, the wider the lines it can produce. It does otherwise when you use the pen with less pressure. This may result in thinner lines and strokes for precise and intricate elements in your work.

It takes patience and practice when doing this, though. If you put too much pressure, the ink will likely overflow, causing it to smudge or bleed through the paper.

For fountain pens and traditional dip pens, the selection of nib designs and sizes also work to create varied line widths. Aside from the amount of pressure, a calligraphy pen also relies on the hand position and how you control it.

Who is this for?

Calligraphy pens are for professional calligraphers, experts, beginners, aspiring artists, hobbyists, creative learners, and everyone who wants to venture into the world of calligraphy. These pens aren’t limited to a bracket of users as many reputable and popular brands provide a vast lineup of calligraphy pens that are accessible to all levels.

What are the different types of calligraphy pens?

The most common types of calligraphy pens are dip pens and cartridge filled pens. However, to accommodate a larger bracket of users and calligraphers of different skills, manufacturers have developed a variety of modern pen designs. This includes cartridge filled pens such as calligraphy markers, brush pens, and fountain pens.

Manufacturers also customize dip pens with fancy details. Besides the classic wooden material, some pen designs are embellished with gold and silver accents. Instead of wood, there are dip pens that utilize a sturdy plastic material for a lighter feel.

Why do you need calligraphy pens?

It is because regular pens can’t carry out what calligraphy pens can do. These pens are innovatively designed to execute modern and traditional pen calligraphy. The vast array of nib sizes and shapes delivers a massive impact on writing and lettering, thereby showcasing different styles and techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most trusted calligraphy pen brands?

Staedtler, Pilot, Mont Marte, Tombow, Kuretake, and Sheaffer are among the most trusted brands that offer some of the top calligraphy pens. They’ve been widely known not only for high-quality calligraphy pens but as well as other art products at reasonable prices.

These remarkable brands have been pioneers in the field of arts and crafts. Their expertise has developed innovative art tools throughout the years including an immense lineup of calligraphy pens and accessories.

How to use a calligraphy pen?

This depends on what type of calligraphy pen you’re using and your preferred style of calligraphy. Although it is best to check the manufacturer’s manual for the complete instructions, here are some tips you can take note of:

For dip pens:

  1. Choose the nib for your desired lettering technique or calligraphy style. Make sure it is compatible with your pen holder.
  2. After choosing your preferred nib, check if it fits perfectly in the pen holder. Try it on a paper if it is steady or feels wobbly.
  3. Try holding the pen in your hand. It should lend an excellent grip to make sure it won’t slip in your hand when you use it. You may also check the weight to determine whether a heavy or light pen body feels more comfortable to hold.
  4. Choose the correct type of ink.
  5. Prepare a calligraphy paper or a high-quality paper. Don’t settle for low-quality papers or those that aren’t for calligraphy pens as these types won’t hold the ink very well. This may result in bleeding and smears.
  6. Before dipping the pen into the ink, make sure to hold the pen as you would with a pencil or in any way that’s comfortable for you.
  7. Dip the nib of the pen. Remember not to submerge the whole nib in it but only just right up to the level of the nib hole. Otherwise, it will cause ink clutter. The tiny hole in the nib serves as a reservoir that keeps the ink. When you start writing, the stored ink will lubricate the nib for smooth and effortless writing.
  8. To prevent the ink from dripping, shake the pen off gently to remove any excess ink.
  9. Start drawing strokes and lines on a scrap paper first. This lets you practice the pressure and technique that you would use. If you’re using the pen for the first time, this process will help you know how the pen works until you get a hang of it.
  10. Dip the pen back to the ink when you notice that the sentences or lines start breaking.

For cartridge filled pens:

  1. Hold the pen with your dominant hand. You may hold it as you would with an ordinary pen or any position that feels more comfortable. Some fountain pens have a rubber grip that you can use for a more pleasant feel.
  2. Prepare a calligraphy paper. Don’t use low-quality or very thin papers to prevent the ink from bleeding through.
  3. Position the pen at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Keep your hand steady as you write or draw.
  5. If you’re using it for the first time, try it on scrap paper first. Practice your hand for a few strokes until you figure out how much pressure you should put in it and how you would control it.
  6. Don’t push the pen too hard to avoid any ink overflow. One technique I’ve learned is to let the hand write rather than the fingers for better control and pressure.

What should I buy to start calligraphy?

If you prefer dip pens, look for calligraphy supplies that include a pen holder, ink, and different nib sizes. Beginners should consider broad and medium nibs as they are much easier to use and control.

For fountain pens, you may consider buying pen sets that have available nib sections and ink refills or ink cartridges. The basic blue and black ink will do if you’re after brush pens and markers. Much better if it includes an instruction or exercise booklet for a step-by-step guide and samples of calligraphy styles.

Whatever brand or kit you’re planning to invest in, just remember that your first calligraphy kit won’t have to be expensive or look fancy. As long as it has the essential tools such as the pen, ink, and nib, you’re good to go.

If you aren’t still sure which calligraphy kits you should get, you can start with the aforementioned popular and trustworthy brands for their recommendations for beginner sets.

Do you need a special pen for calligraphy?

Yes, you do. While ordinary pens might work, they can’t accomplish what calligraphy pens are able to. Calligraphy is an expression of art in the form of consistent strokes and decorative handwriting. But to carry out the lettering styles and designs you want, you should choose among different types of calligraphy pens such as dip pens, fountain pens, brush pens, and markers.

Where to buy?

You can check your local arts and crafts store for the availability of calligraphy pens. But you’d be happy to know that these lettering tools are accessible even at popular retails stores such as Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot.

Other than that, some of these trustworthy calligraphy pen brands have set up their official stores online for hassle-free shopping. They provide complete details of their products that will help you decide which calligraphy kits are ideal for your skills and needs.

You may also find these items at well-known e-commerce websites such as Amazon and eBay. They offer affordable deals and discounts from time to time. Besides the marked down prices, you may also find a lot of consumer reviews that can be helpful when deciding on a purchase.

How to care and clean?

To keep your calligraphy pens in top shape, proper cleaning and storage is a must.

If you’re using a dip pen, make sure to clean the nibs after each session. Use lukewarm water and wash the nib gently. Dry it with a soft cloth afterward.

Remember not to leave the ink dry on the nib as it may interrupt the ink flow and hence, it will be clogged eventually. If you have a case, put the pen away for safe storage.

For fountain pens, keep them in an upright position as much as possible to prevent any messy spills and ink leakage. This can also apply to dip pens. Aside from that, don’t forget to put the cap back on after every use to keep the ink from drying.

While some of these tips are helpful, make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended care and maintenance of your pens.

Conclusion

Everyone can try the timeless craft of calligraphy. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced calligrapher, you can always find the best calligraphy pens that can keep up with your skills.

These innovative pens don’t need to be pricey, come from a high-end brand, or showcase flashy features to turn your artwork to perfection. You just have to settle for the right kind of tools. In this way, you can take delight in practicing and learning every aspect of calligraphy.

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