The 10 Best Calligraphy Pens
This wiki has been updated 6 times since it was first published in July of 2019. The art of calligraphy can seem intimidating, but with the proper writing implement, even beginners can start on the right foot. We've curated a list of our favorite pens, ranging from affordable, prefilled marker styles to those with traditional nibs that require dipping in ink, so you can choose whichever you feel most comfortable with. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
August 27, 2019:
Most of the options we've included in this ranking are best for beginners and intermediates. Serious calligraphers often opt to use traditional dip pens, preferring to choose each component — holder, nibs, ink — separately, each on its own merits, rather than buying an all-in-one bundle like some of the ones we've included here.
With that said, even professionals use some of the pens we've chosen for our list. You'll often find the Pilot Parallel (#1), the Lamy Joy (#3), and the Tombow Fudenosuke (#6), for example, in the collections of artists. The Tombow Dual Brush (#4) and the Kuretake Zig Memory System (#5) are both popular choices among illustrators, too.
When it comes to understanding the difference between nibs, it's important to differentiate between the two most common types: italic nibs and flex nibs. The former, which you'll find on the aforementioned Pilot Parallel and the Lamy Joy, are best for Gothic and Italic styles. Flex nibs, on the other hand, have two tines that can separate or press against each other depending on the amount of pressure you apply. This allows for more variety in line width. The majority of nibs we've included on this list are italic nibs, so be sure to take that into consideration when choosing the right one for you.