The 10 Best Calligraphy Pens

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This wiki has been updated 13 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 picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Pilot Parallel Set

2. Daveliou 19-Piece Set

3. Lamy Joy

Editor's Notes

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.

4. Tombow Dual Brush

5. Kuretake Zig Memory System

6. Tombow Fudenosuke

7. Pilot Plumix

8. Sheaffer Calligraphy Box

9. Faber-Castel Pitt Chisel Tip

10. Speedball Lettering Set

Daniel Goldstein
Last updated by Daniel Goldstein

Daniel is a writer, musician, and frequent traveler with a bachelor’s in creative writing from the State University of New York. In recent years, his writing chops have developed alongside his musical skills, thanks to a rich double life. During the day, he apprenticed with “Rolling Stone” journalist and critic Will Hermes, and when the sun set, he and his NYC-based, four-piece band gigged at high-end venues across the northeastern United States. His affinity for sharing things he's passionate about has culminated in nine years of experience as a music teacher at elementary schools, where he honed his ability to simplify and elucidate concepts to the uninitiated. All considered, he feels most at home writing about instruments, audio electronics and backpacking gear.

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