Almost all of us use pens fairly regularly in either our work or personal life to keep notes, write lists, make little sketches or more detailed drawings and express ourselves. For a lot of uses, you’ll probably be able to use a decent generalist pen, but there are actually a wide range of more specialised pens that are each more useful for certain tasks than others. If you find that you’re spending most of your time using a pen on one or two specific tasks, then I recommend investing in one of the pens on this list to make your life easier and your work better.
For me this is one of the most regular uses that I have for my pens, and I can really recognise the difference in the speed and quality of my writing when I use a better pen, rather than a little Bic ballpoint that I picked up from beside the till in WHSmith. This will entirely be down to your personal preference, but I prefer a pen that glides across the page with little resistance. I would recommend giving the Uni-Ball Jetstream Retractable a go, it moves easily across the page and the ink dries quickly making it perfect for taking notes during a class or a meeting.
One of the benefits of writing with pens is that you can inject a level of your own personality into your writing that you just wouldn’t be able to achieve with printed text. Your handwriting can be a signature all in its own and writing a letter in delicate lettering can be a very satisfying experience. I would suggest the Rotring ArtPen Calligraphy pens. They’re light, easy to write with and use cartridge ink, making them either the perfect introduction to calligraphy or a reliable addition to your tool kit.
Although some people prefer to use pencils when drawing, you’ll often find yourself using a pen to finish things off or give some definition. There really is no such thing as the perfect drawing pen, because your style can be so different, and you’ll likely be looking for a couple of different pens to use for different strokes. I’ve included 3 different drawing pens on this list, to try and cover the broadest range of uses.
When it comes to general drawing or sketching, I’d recommend picking up a few pens with different point sizes, so that you can reach the level of coverage and detail that you’re after. The Sakura Pigma Micron range of pens are one of the best choices out there. If you’d like to pick up one, before committing to a full set, I’d recommend picking up a 0.5mm as this is about as close as you can get to a general use nib size.
Sometimes you might find that you’d like to achieve a brush like stroke when you’re drawing with ink. Brush pens can be an important part of your arsenal if you’re regularly working on bigger pieces or if you’d like to achieve a more expressive look. I would suggest the Pentel Colour Brush Pen for this. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to achieve a wide range of strokes using this pen, and you’ll soon be able to find your own personal style.
Applying link work to your drawings and illustrations can be a delicate process, which can often make or break a piece. The Faber Castell Pitt Artists Pens are my top recommendations when it comes to line work. With a variety of tip sizes to choose from, you’ll be able to find the right size for your piece and achieve bold, smooth line work that’ll really add a whole new level to your work.
Despite all the recommendations I’ve been making in this list, I can’t stress enough that there is no such thing as the perfect pen for a job, it all comes down to your personal preferences and what you can achieve with the tools at hand. I’d recommend looking online and reading some reviews to find the right pens for you.