Go to any hobby or craft store and the options for brush pens can be overwhelming. When you’re just getting started, using different types and styles of pens is a fun way to test out your lettering style. But eventually, you’ll settle on a few favorites.
We feel like we’ve used them all over the years, making us uniquely qualified to pit them against one another to bring you our favorite picks. Sometimes, our favorite depends on the project we’re working on. Other times, it’s the color options, the way it feels in our hands or the flexibility of the nib.
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Match-Up 1: Tombow Fudenosuke vs. Pentel Sign Touch
Pentel Sign Touch pens come in 12 colors. There’s another set that looks a lot like these brush pens that are actually fine-liners, so make sure you get the right ones here!
Winner: Pentel Sign Touch!
We love the color options in both the Tombow and the Pentel, and with the softer tipped Tombow, you’re forced to slow down a bit which is actually a good thing for quality hand lettering pieces. But users found the Pentel to be easier to use and control and the color choices are much more vibrant and saturated.
Ultimately it was a tough choice, but Pentel won with 54% of the votes.
Match-Up 2: Zebra Fude Sign vs. Kelly Creates Fine Black
Both of these pens were new to us at the beginning of the bracket, but we are loving them as a small-tip alternative to the pens from Match-up #1.
The Zebra Fude sign brush pens come in a 4-pack on Amazon with extra fine, fine, and medium sizes, plus one gray pen.
Kelly Creates has a 3-pack of black brush pens, which is how we came across the fine tip one.
Winner: Zebra Fude!
These two pens both come in variations of black colors with small nibs of medium flexibility. The Kelly Creates pens have really nice contrast in strokes and are a little less opaque than the Zebra Fude. Ultimately, the Zebra Fude was more popular with our users, with 64% preferring it. Some of the favorite features of the Zebra Fude was the smooth, bold strokes and the variety of sizes in the pack. These pens are a really good way to try out different nib sizes so you can find your favorite for your next project.
Winner: Faber-Castell Pitt!
Medium-tip pens can offer a lot of variety in stroke sizes, and we definitely saw this in the Faber-Castell PITT pen. It’s nice and flexible but it stays firm enough so there’s a good contrast between stroke sizes. The Faber-Castell comes in 60 different colors and is pigment-based, so it won’t fade over time. We love that! The Kelly Creates Medium is also a nice pen that’s smooth to write with and had a nice contrast between line thickness. However, it doesn’t write very dark which can be a downfall for many artists.
Among our testers, Faber-Castell PITT took the lead by far with 71% of the votes!
Winner: Sakura Koi Coloring Brush!
Both pens here have a great selection in color options and allow for a lot of contrast between stroke lines. We love the interesting variety of colors that Sakura Koi offers, especially since you don’t see a lot of its unusual colors in other pens. The Marvy Color In pens are very smooth to write with and we love that the colors can build on one another, with a built-in ombre look depending on the pressure you use. In the end, the color selection, nib flexibility and effortless ink flow of the Sakura Koi won over users–but with a small margin of 54%.
Match-Up 5: Kuretake Zig Brushables vs. Fudebiyori
It’s a Kuretake Zig showdown! The Brushables are a dual-tip brush pen (both ends are brushes!) and they have a beautiful selection of pigmented ink.
The Fudebiyori comes in tons of colors, has an awesome nib, and is small enough to stick in your purse.
This was a close match-up between these two versatile pens. The Fudebiyori has a nice, short barrel, making it more portable for those on the go. And we love the metallic colors available. The Brushables has a large, very flexible nib and it’s two-sided for even more rich color options. Both pens were very popular with our users and there was nearly a tie, but Brushables pulled out with 50.7% of the vote because of its durability, fade-resistant ink and great range of colors.
Winner: Tombow Dual Brush!
Both the Tombow Dual Brush and Artist’s Loft Dual Brush include large nibs and a bullet tip on the other side, which is perfect if you’re looking to create a variety in your lettering styles. The Artist’s Loft offers a nice contrast between line sizes and the colors are fairly buildable, allowing you to make your lines darker the more you go back over them. We also like that Artist’s Loft comes in different set options. What our users loved about the Tombow, however, was the large number of colors to choose from (more than 100!) and the colorless blender that allows you to create so many beautiful options, making them the winner by far with 84% of the votes.
Winner: Artline Stix!
Both of these pens were newer to us, though the Artline Stix are pretty popular among hand letterers. We happened to find the Crayola Signature at Target one day and since we always have our eye out for new pens we knew we had to give it a try. They have a good contrast between lines and the case is really nice for keeping them organized, but we found them hard to write with because the nib is so firm. The Artline Stix have very interesting casings (think Legos!) and we love that the triangular shape keeps them from rolling off your work space. These casings, which are triangular and have bumps on them, also make them hard to hold onto. But the nice gradient effect and durable nib helped them come out on top with 82% of the votes.
Match-Up 8: Karin Brushmarker Pro vs. Ecoline Brush Pen
If you’re looking for a beautiful, juicy watercolor brush pen… you definitely need to get your hands on either the Karin or Ecoline watercolor brush pens.
Both the Karin Brushmaker Pro and Ecoline Brush Pen can give you the juicy, almost paint-like effects in your lettering projects which is great for blending. They both come in 60 colors, though the Karin also has 10 metallics available. We love the great contrast that the Ecoline has between the thin and thick lines and the reversible nibs, making it a longer-lasting option. We found the Karin to be a little expensive, though we like the rounded look the nib gives projects. Ultimately, our users selected Ecoline for its smooth lines, beautiful hairlines and the natural gradient effects.
The winners that you’ve picked throughout the competition so far will now face one another in the semi-finals. Only FOUR pens will move onto the next round, so vote wisely!
The winners that you’ve picked in the semi-finals go head to head in the finals. The two winners will compete in the CHAMPIONSHIP!