You can never have too many pens, especially if drawing or designing is your profession. After all, there is a pen for every type of stroke, from highlighting to outline. A solidly constructed black pen, however, can be difficult to find; too often the pens don’t ink enough, they don’t smooth across the page or worse, they flow all over your work surface. But the perfect pen exists, and we’ve researched some of the best. Read our recommendations below.
1. Sakura Pigma Micron Pen Set
These classic pens offer everything you would want in a drawing tool. They deposit an opaque black ink that dries in seconds, and they glide across the page without skipping. The lines are crisp and consistent – you won’t encounter any smudges or smudges with them. They are also archival and perfect for use with other mediums like watercolors and alcohol markers; you can layer them below or above without losing daring. This set includes eight pens with different nibs, including a brush tip pen.
2. Pandafly Precision Micro-Line pens
If you like arming yourself with pens in a wide range of nib sizes, consider this option from Pandafly. You get nine 0.2-1.0 millimeter tips, two sizes larger than the Sakura set, plus a pen with a brush tip. These pens flow great with little pressure and draw crisp lines, and their nibs do not wear out easily. Compared to our top pick, however, we find that the black ink is not as pigmented.
3. Art-n-Fly fine point white gel pen
If you are looking for a pen for writing on dark paper or for adding highlights to your illustrations, you may need one with white ink. We’re fans of this affordable white gel pen that comes in a set of three. The rollerball tool delivers ink evenly and smoothly with negligible streaks, and white is reliably opaque to produce even lines that stand out very well on the page. These pens also offer comfort, with a subtle rubber grip with a nice flex.
4. Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen
This classic pen is designed from start to finish with great care for the professional draftsman. Perfectly balanced and housing a refillable ink tank, it features a durable tip that allows ink to flow easily and a double-sealed cap that keeps it airtight when not in use . Expect heavily pigmented ink that won’t smear, feather, or smudge. This is a professional level pen, so it requires more maintenance than your typical Bic; in particular, it needs regular cleaning to avoid clogging.
5. Brusarth pigment liners
If you’re on a budget, get a bundle of these fine point pens. One package includes eight pens with 0.2-0.6 millimeter tips and one brush tip pen, so you’ll have a wide variety of widths to work with. In terms of performance, they write smoothly and draw crisp, even lines with just a little feathering. Don’t expect longevity from a more expensive pen, but they write better than other unsophisticated pens and are a reliable staple to keep on your desk.