Calligraphy is a beautiful and exquisite form of writing which requires minimal tools other than the best calligraphy pen and some ink to create decorative lettering and symbols. While it may be a delicate art that can only be finessed and perfected with both practice and patience, having the right calligraphy supplies before you get started can really help. The better your calligraphy pen, the more impressive will be your end results. In case you are wondering what the difference is between a calligraphy pen and that fountain pen you already have at home from your graduation day, essentially it’s all about the nib. That’s the element that stylistically creates the different strokes and angles for your lettering. So let’s take a look at some of our recommendations for best calligraphy pen that will have you creating professional looking manuscripts and documents and elaborate pieces of artwork.
The Best Calligraphy Pen
Pilot produce exceptional writing instruments and this fountain calligraphy pen from their Metropolitan collection is an excellent example of their craftsmanship which will certainly enable you to enhance your penmanship. This Pilot MR pen has been designed with writing performance in mind and has also been built to last with a durable brass barrel and sleek premium finish.
It’s a very timeless and elegant looking nib pen that’s beautifully engineered with plenty of sophisticated features. Available in four stylish colors, black, burnished silver, champagne or gold, it also makes a wonderful present for a graduation or work promotion. The fountain pen from their range comes with a fine nib which is perfect for practicing more intricate style calligraphy lettering and is supplied with 1 Pilot black ink cartridge and one pilot press plate converter. It’s a beautiful tool for anyone who loves to write and is affordably priced. Make sure you also check our guide to the best bolt action pens.
Sleek fountain pen design
Fine nib fitted
Supplied with one black ink cartridge and a press plate converter
Polished sleek finish
Durable brass barrel
- Weight3.2 ounces
We’ve picked out a 2-pack of pens next from the popular brand Tombow. Their Fudenosuke Brush set features both a soft and a hard tip and features an easy to use and flexible brush tip which is perfect for beginners to the art of calligraphy who are perfecting their lettering and drawing technique.
With the two tips, you can easily create the extra fine, medium as well as coarse strokes that different font styles require by adjusting the pressure on the nib. The pens are already filled with water-based pigmented black ink so are ready to use immediately. The ink runs smoothly and consistently, and the pens are lightweight and easy to handle plus inexpensive too. You can achieve good contrast between those up and down strokes and as a beginner, grow in confidence using these Tombow Fudenosuke lettering pens. Be sure to also check out our list of the best fountain pens for more great items like this.
Dual pack with both soft and hard tips
Flexible brush head is easy to use
Create extra fine, fine and medium lettering
Supplied with water-based pigmented black ink
Good contrast possible between up and down strokes
- Weight0.32 ounces
Our next calligraphy pen set is from the Sheaffer Viewpoint range and is a blister pack of two pens. Featuring classic stainless steel nibs which are easy to clean and maintain, these pens have a fine nib which is great for delicate and intricate lettering styles. Included with your purchase Sheaffer has also added two of their classic black Skrip ink cartridges.
These fountain calligraphy pens conveniently feature a window in the barrel so that you can easily monitor and change your ink when required. The pen is available in a striking range of bold and contemporary colors which are bound to add a splash of vibrancy to your desk space and everyday writing experience. They represent fantastic quality as well as great value for money and are perfect for a whole range of versatile handwriting projects. With a rubberized traction grip, the Sheaffer Viewpoint calligraphy pen is easy to hold and handle and won’t slip when you are attempting a delicate up to downstroke. From entry level up to experienced users, these pens are a fantastic creative choice for any budding calligrapher. Our handy guide to the best EDC pens features more great products like this.
Dual pack of fountain pens with stainless steel nibs
Supplied with fine point
Feature window on barrel so you can monitor ink supplies
Texturized soft grip rubber barrel
Provided with 2 Sheaffer Skrip ink cartridges
- Weight0.32 ounces
Up next we have an exquisite designer gift set from Scribe Sword which is a beautifully presented pointed calligraphy pen. It’s both beautiful to look at and exceptional to use. With superior, quality craftsmanship and a strong focus on design, this brushed stainless steel mounting pen in blue features sumptuous polished accents. It’s all presented in an executive style stitched case which will look wonderful on your desk. The stainless steel nib effortlessly glides across the paper to deliver beautiful brush strokes, consistent lines, and just the right ink flow. Supplied with a precision machined medium thickness nib, you can create optimal lines and reproduce a host of popular and intricate fonts.
Everything you require is included in this presentation gift set including full instructions and a generous supply of ink. You receive six international six ink cartridges in classic black that have an airtight snap seal so that the ink is conserved and doesn’t dry out. Tastefully designed, this Scribe Sword Fountain Pen sets combines the antique style of writing with a sleek and modern designed pen for exceptional writing experience. This high-quality set makes a truly thoughtful and beautiful gift idea. Love this product? Check out our review of the best writing pens for our top picks.
Beautifully crafted brushed stainless steel fountain pen
Equipped with highly precise medium nib
Six international size cartridges included
Exquisitely stitched presentation box
Steel nib delivers optimal ink flow
- BrandScribe Sword
- Weight9.6 ounces
We’re back with Tombow now, and we’re taking a look at their flexible brush tip calligraphy style pen which makes trying out new lettering a breeze. Made from resilient and hard wearing flexible nylon tips, this dual tip marker features both a flexible as well as a firm tip on either end. The water-based ink is blendable, odorless and non-bleeding as well as being both acid-free and non-toxic too so if you have younger members of the family looking to try out their calligraphy skills for the first time, the Tombow 56621 Dual Brush Pen is a wise choice.
You do get the best of both worlds with this Tombow dual brush pen. The flexible tip end can be used as a paintbrush to achieve a range of different brush stroke thicknesses and so is perfect for lettering as well as illustration work. The nylon fibers are resilient and can withstand pressure without breaking. The tips are also self-cleaning too so you can bend and mix colors without being concerned about ruining or staining your marker tip.
Flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker
Brush tip works like a paintbrush
Water-based ink is fully blendable
Resilient nylon fiber brush retains its shape
Use brush pressure to create fine, medium and bold strokes
- Weight0.48 ounces
Specially designed for Calligraphy, this unique Itoya Doubleheader Marker is perfect for unleashing your creativity and bringing that special finishing touch to a whole host of lettering projects. The advanced double headed design delivers two highly chilled pen points to work with. There’s a think 1.5 mm end which is excellent for smaller and more intricate designs, along with a thicker 3.0 mm end that can administer bold and distinctive lines and lettering.
Available in a choice of colored inks, the ink supplied is all water soluble and acid-free so these Itoya doubleheader makers can be used by the younger members of your family too, introducing them to the wonderfully creative world of calligraphy. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best mechanical pencils.
Unique double ended tip design
Supplied with a medium and a fine tip
Perfect for a host of lettering and creative projects
Available in a choice of ink colors
All ink supplied is acid-free
- Weight1.6 ounces
You don’t need to be a fan of calligraphy to have heard of Parker. The iconic company, established back in 1888 is globally recognized for its exceptional range of writing instruments, and with their Parker Jotter Fountain Pen, they have reimagined their original Jotter dies as an exquisite fountain pen. This modern looking fountain pen brings a whole new refined sensibility to the art of fine writing.
Comprising of a beautiful stainless steel barrel, this is a stylish pen with a streamlined and contemporary silhouette and high shine trims. With a feather-shaped nib, you can create gorgeous lettering and lines, and the medium width ensures lots of flexible control and execution of up and down strokes.
Stainless steel barrel accented high shine fountain pen
Special edition fountain pen version of popular Parker Jotter
Presented in elegant Parker presentation box
Supplied with one large blue ink cartridge
Delivers soft and smooth, consistent strokes
- Weight2.4 ounces
We’re back with popular calligraphy and writing supplies brand Sheaffer next and looking at their beautiful teal colored Fountain pen which comes with a user-friendly and versatile medium nib. Operating now for over 170 years, you can be assured of style, quality as well as a luxury when you purchase a pen from this favorite brand.
The Sheaffer Calligraphy Viewpoint pen is a great pen for beginners through to more experienced calligraphers and can be purchased either as a single pen, a mini kit or a maxi kit. Sheaffer color code their nibs so you can instantly pick out the correct one for the project you are working on. Fine is pink, Medium is Teal, and Lime Green is Broad. With the mini and maxi kits, you also get full how-to instructions in case you are new to calligraphy and delicate writing techniques. Sheaffer also offers a 1-year warranty with all purchases.
Viewpoint pens feature visible ink barrel
Comes with versatile medium nib
Perfect for beginner through to experienced calligraphers
Modernly designed fountain pen with an updated cap and clip
Offered with a 1-year limited warranty
- Weight0.64 ounces
This Joy Calligraphy Pen from LAMY is an exquisite writing tool that is bound to inspire the handler to create beautiful, inspiring lettering and words. Handwriting is the hallmark of the writer and an expression of their personality and to do justice to that, you need a tool that feels natural in your hand and allows that creativity to flow. With this LAMY fountain pen, you can achieve just that thanks to its ergonomic design which comfortably fits in hand.
Constructed out of shiny black plastic, this pointed pen is perfect for all kinds of handwriting from invitations and place cards, to menus and certificates. It’s a very modern and streamlined looking silhouette of a pen with that attractive and slim stainless steel nib which is perfect for all your lettering requirements. It comes supplied with one blue T10 ink cartridge. It’s a beautiful writing tool which is comfortable and natural to use and achieves consistent writing results.
Calligraphy style fountain pen
Stainless steel 1.1 nib supplied
Ergonomic grip design
Flexible clip of spring brass wire
Supplied with one blue T10 ink cartridge
- Weight0.64 ounces
Our next fountain calligraphy pen is from Sailor, and it’s the Fude De Mannen in Bamboo Green. It’s an elegant and striking looking and performing pen that has a specially designed nib, ideal for creating those intricate calligraphy style letters and fonts. Even if you are new to this art form and just getting started putting pen strokes to paper, the Sailor Fude De Mannen is an excellent choice. Currently, in Japan, these style of fountain pens are growing in popularity over the traditional brush pen for calligraphy.
With a practical and comfortable ergonomic grip, you have much more control and precision over the pen and the strokes you can make across the paper. The pen can be supplied with either a high angled “Watatake” nib (55-degrees) for fine lettering, and low angled “Kon” nib (40-degrees) for more bold lettering. The line weight and fonts you can create are related to the angle you use.
Fountain pen design with steel nib
Two ink cartridges supplied
This version is the high angled 55-degree Watatake nib
Creates beautiful lines and lettering
The perfect pen for calligraphy and drawing
- Weight0.64 ounces
If you are looking for a gift idea for someone creative in the family, then this Kentaur Calligraphy Fountain Pen Set will make a truly personal and memorable gift. It’s a fully comprehensive kit that includes everything the budding new calligrapher requires to get started with their creative pastime.
The set features an elegantly styled blue metallic fountain pen body with three separate interchangeable nibs along with seven different ink cartridges in various colors. The nibs provided are 1.1mm / 1.5mm / 1.9mm and are the best combination for achieving the western calligraphic styles. If you’re not sure what those even are, a hand instruction and practice booklet is included so that you can practice those different nib techniques to create different styles of lettering.
Elegant metallic fountain pen body
Three nibs included with varying thicknesses
Five different colored Austrian inks included
Perfect for beginners through to experts
Includes practice booklet
- Weight8 ounces
Calligraphy Pen Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Calligraphy Pens
Here at Gear Hungry, we like to the hard work so that you don’t have to. Our team of researchers is dedicated to honing down all the products out there on the market place into one comprehensive and representative list of the best that category currently has to offer, be that Calligraphy pens or Label makers! We review consumer feedback, combine that with our own knowledge and opinions, to form unbiased buying guides so that you can ultimately make your own decision.
Reviews - always a valuable resource, scouring consumer views from customers who’ve tried and tested the products and left their honest feedback is a vital part of the research that we do.
Quality - nothing makes it onto our list unless we can be assured that it represents excellent value for money and will deliver a quality user experience.
Brand - it’s essential that we put forward an unbiased and representative cross-section of all the best brands in a category and don’t just feature the market leaders.
Calligraphy Pen FAQ
Q: Are fountain pens and calligraphy pens the same?
A: Fountain pens and calligraphy pens are indeed very similar, and you would be excused for getting the two mixed up as the terms are quite commonly interchangeable, however, there are a few but none the less important differences that set them apart from each other.
A fountain pen uses an ink solution that is made up of a solvent and a solute so that you get a consistent solution that has been designed so that it won’t clog the fountain pen and it will deliver a smooth and even writing result across the surface of the paper. It’s a think ink consistency and not best suited for dipping a nib into, which is generally the process for calligraphy although both fountain and calligraphy pens can be used with appropriate cartridges too.
Calligraphy inks tend to be more highly pigmented with their color being made up, like a paint, from ground up the solid matter as opposed to the diluted or dissolved dye coloring found in a fountain pen. A Calligraphy ink will clog up a fountain pen due to its thicker consistency.
Essentially a calligraphy pen is a subtype of the fountain pen and belongs to the same family in that respect, but each requires different upkeep and care. Most calligraphy pens these days have a plastic ink cartridge along with a metallic nib for writing, or they may be entirely dip-pens which require an inkwell with a repeated dip-wet action of your nib needed. Fountain pens tend to be more expensive and to use calligraphy inks inside them would cause damage.
It’s the nib which the two pens have which sets them apart. Fountain pens usually feature a pointed nib made from a material such as steel, gold or rhodium and will come in various sizes from Extra Fine through to Bold. Calligraphy nibs, on the other hand, are characteristically broader with a flat edge which can be used to created varying marks of thickness in the strokes made. This is what makes them more suitable for stylised and unique penmanship. To achieve different style scripts, the pen needs to be held at different angles to create varying stroke sizes and direction. The nib sizes are usually defined as Small through to Large and are reflected by a millimeter measurement.
Q: Can you write calligraphy with a fountain pen?
A: Calligraphy is a style of writing which has been around for literally thousands of years and whether you are an artist or a hobbyist, can be a creative and rewarding skill to learn. You could, in fact, choose to write in the calligraphy style with one of four different types of pen, including a fountain pen, although the purists out there would argue that only a specific calligraphy pen will do. Your options are as follows:
Felt tip pens - An inexpensive option for a beginner to the craft which is easy to use and don’t require messing about with inks either. They’re good for practice but certainly not suitable for works of art or any important styles of documents you might be working on.
Fountain pens - These are a popular choice for intermediate and even some more advanced calligraphers. They utilize interchangeable nibs and ink cartridges and can b used to perfect the technique and style.
Dip Pens - A traditional dip pen consists of three component parts; the handle, nib-holder, and shaft. This style of pen is favored by advanced calligraphers but can be used by beginners who execute lots of patience and are looking to practice their style and flair.
Brush Pens - This type of brush will have a thin head made from either nylon or sable hair and is typically short and stiff to provide plenty of control and precision over those strokes. They can be messy though for beginners to use and certainly take plenty of practice and a steady, controlled hand.
Q: Is calligraphy ink toxic?
A: These days most ink, including that designed specifically for use when practicing the art of calligraphy, is, but it’s always best to check the brand you are purchasing to be 100% sure.
Q: Can left-handers do calligraphy?
A: Absolutely, yes, left-handers can very much learn the art of calligraphy just the same as right-handers. In fact, one of the most impressive and popular calligraphers in the world, Gaynor Goffe, is left-handed. The main issue you will need to overcome is how to hold that pen at the correct angle to create the strokes. You may also find it useful to purchase a special left oblique nib which will help you with the technique. If you are left-handed and keen to know more about how you should set up your board and hold your pen, the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Association has some practical tips and advise on this subject matter.
Q: How do you clean calligraphy pens?
A: If you’ve never used calligraphy pens and nibs before they can take a little getting used to and there are a couple of important maintenance tips you should follow, especially when it comes to cleaning your pen. Let’s run through a couple of the key recommendations below.
Remove the manufacturer’s oil your new nib will come with before getting started. This is added to help the nib stay nice, but it doesn’t mix well with ink. One quick and easy way to get rid of this oil is to pop the nib into a potato then wait fifteen minutes before removing, obviously discarding the potato afterward!
It’s a good idea to clean your nib off regularly both during as well as after use. If you are working with thicker, paint like inks, that’s particularly important. You don’t need any fancy cleaners, just a good old pot of water will suffice to clean those nibs. Gently swish it around in the water and when you’re done, squeeze the nib in a dry cloth, pinching it between your thumb and forefinger to remove any excess moisture. Check the nib is dry before you either starting writing again or put it away for another calligraphy session.
- 5 Tips for Maintaining Calligraphy Nibs - The Postman's Knock
- Left-handers - Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Association