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Best felt tip pen

Which felt tip pen is best?

Felt tip pens are a favorite among professionals and artists alike thanks to their versatility. Most people use felt tip pens for art, such as calligraphy, drawing, or coloring, while some simply prefer felt tip pens for writing. 

A felt tip pen by definition is a pen that holds quick-drying ink that is distributed by a felt nib. Whereas normal ballpoint or rollerball pens use a metal or plastic nib, felt tip pens use a softer felt nib that can create a thicker effect when writing or drawing. 

Our top pick, Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, is a great choice for anyone looking to spice up their writing with multiple color options that perform smoothly. 

What to know before you buy a felt tip pen

What do you plan to use your felt tip pens for? 

The most important thing to consider before buying a set of felt tip pens is what you intend to use them for, as some felt tip pens are better suited for art purposes while others are great for writing. 

If you are looking for a pen to take notes with, for example, it’s more important that you find a felt tip pen that does not bleed and feather. Contrary to this, if you are using your felt tip pens for drawing, coloring or calligraphy, you may not be as worried about bleeding or feathering. 

If you think that a different type of pen would better suit your needs, check out our full BestReviews ink pen buying guide. 

Bleeding ink and feathering 

In pens, “bleeding ink” refers to ink that bleeds through to the other side of the page. Bleeding ink is one of the most common problems with felt tip pens. This can make notebooks and textbooks look sloppy and poorly kept, so if you are someone that prefers to keep your notes neat and organized, be sure to pick a pen that does not bleed. 

Another common problem with felt tip pens is ink feathering, which is when the ink does not dry fast enough on the page and smears as you write. This can also depend on the type of paper that you use. Glossier papers will feather more than thicker papers. 

Micro line and fine line felt tip pens 

Some felt tip pens, such as the Shuttle Art 18 Pack Micro Line Pens, are fine liner pens, which means that the tip size is considerably smaller than regular fine-point pens. These pens are good for drawing but aren’t the most comfortable to write with. 

What to look for in a quality felt tip pen

Color variety 

Whether you plan on using your felt tip pens for note-taking or drawing, the color variety is never a bad thing. Be sure to pick a pack of felt tip pens that suits your needs and your tastes when it comes to color. 

Fast-drying ink 

To avoid ink bleeding and feathering, opt for a felt tip pen that has fast-drying ink. Again, the way that the ink dries on the paper can depend on the type of paper that you are using, but buying a felt tip pen that has fast-drying ink will help keep your page looking clean. 

Smooth writing 

If you plan on using your felt tip pens for note-taking or writing, you’ll want a pen that is ergonomic and comfortable to write with. Some felt tip pens can feel a bit scratchy on the paper, which will quickly make your hand tired. 

How much you can expect to spend on a felt tip pen

A set of felt tip pens can range from $10-$20. 

Felt tip pen FAQ

What should I look for in a quality nib? 

A. If you are planning on using your felt tip pen for writing, make sure that the nib size is large enough to glide smoothly across the paper. Smaller nib sizes or fineliner pens will feel scratchy when used for writing. If you are using your pen for calligraphy, make sure that the nib is flexible enough to follow your strokes. 

Are felt tip pens toxic? 

A. Most felt tip pens use non-toxic ink. If this is a major concern of yours, be sure to check the ink ingredients of the specific felt tip pen before you buy. 

What are the best felt tip pens to buy?

Top felt tip pen

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens

What you need to know: These pens from trusted stationery brand Paper Mate stand out for their durability and color variety. These are great for students and teachers. 

What you’ll love: The ink in these pens dries very fast after being applied to paper, so you won’t have to worry about feathering or bleed-throughs. 

What you should consider: The pens can dry out very quickly if the cap isn’t tightly secured after use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top felt tip pen for the money

Amazon Basics Felt Tip Marker Pens 

What you need to know: These felt tip pens from Amazon Basics are meant to be a bargain alternative to the Paper Mate Flair. These are great for teachers and students on a budget. 

What you’ll love: These pens have a smooth writing style on par with the Flair and come in a variety of colors. 

What you should consider: These pens are not as durable as the competition. Users have reported fraying nibs and problems with the pens leaking ink. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen 

What you need to know: This felt tip pen from trusted stationery brand Pentel is perfect for those who practice the art of calligraphy thanks to its flexible nib that mimics the strokes of more traditional calligraphy pens or brushes. 

What you’ll love: The pen has an ultra-smooth writing style that produces thick lines in bold black ink. The ink is fast drying and does not bleed. 

What you should consider: These pens are not sold in a set or pack, so buying multiple can be a bit pricey. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Addison Hoggard writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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