The Best Calligraphy Pens for Beginners & Experienced Artists

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Cover Image: The Best Calligraphy Pens for Beginners

Many people say that calligraphy is a dying art form, but others, myself included, definitely beg to differ. I will never forget the timeless elegance of the beautifully written letters my grandmother would send me as a child, crisp white pages of loving, sentimental words only enhanced by the gorgeous decorative handwriting.

Technology may be steadily growing, making the art of calligraphy a bit less common, but in the end, nothing beats the simplicity of the handwritten word.

It also doesn’t hurt that learning calligraphy is so much easier than you’d think. A nice steady hand, a bit of practice, and, of course, a proper pen, are really all you need to delve into the wonderful world of “fancy writing”. Of course, as a beginner, finding the perfect calligraphy pen can be pretty hard, especially with so many options.

Lucky for you, this list contains 6 amazing, beginner-friendly calligraphy pens that are the perfect way to start your journey into calligraphy.

Quick Comparisons of the 6 Best Calligraphy Pens

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Speedball Crow Quill Dip Pen and Nibs
  • Ideal for making fine lines
  • Durable plastic holder fits crow quill nibs
  • Crow quill pens cylindrical body that fit a crow quill nib
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Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens and Sets
  • Flexible brush markers contain a dye-based transparent ink
  • Odorless Coloring brush pens
  • The ink is not waterproof or fade-resistant
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Pilot Parallel Pen
  • Ink flows smoothly and with consistency
  • Extremely versatile pen, great for calligraphy and drawing
  • Create beautiful lines and curves that maximize your artistic flows
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Luxury Jinhao 250 Calligraphy Fountain Pen
  • Nice weight on the pen, feels balanced and high quality
  • Pens feels extremely solid in hand, even over time
  • Nib is smooth, ink flows much nicer than expected
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Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen
  • Perfect for those looking to get the classical feel of calligraphy writing
  • Ideal for beginners to use for good technique and form
  • Excellent ink flow and smoothness
View Product
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Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
  • Great ink flow with little physical effort
  • Pen is sleek, fun to write with and consistent over time
  • This pen sets a new standard for entry-level pens
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Why Try Calligraphy?

Calligraphy lettering is good from both a practical and a mental point of view. Truth be told, people try to learn this fancy type of lettering for quite a variety of different reasons, and some of them include:

Old letter with calligraphic handwritten text and vintage ink pen. retro style background

  • It helps save money. When you order custom wedding invitations, for instance, having hand lettering on them can be a little expensive. If you learn calligraphy and do it yourself, you can actually make a lot of different things without having to pay someone else to do it for you.
  • It’s relaxing. A lot of people see calligraphy as coloring an adult coloring book. Imagine playing some relaxing music in the background and gently stroking the inked pen on paper.
  • It’s not expensive. What do you really need to practice calligraphy? You need paper support, a good pen, and proper ink. Calligraphy can also be practiced with a variety of other different tools, like special markers, or brushes and watercolors. Regardless of what you choose, you can master the art of calligraphy without having to invest hundreds of dollars in tools and stationery (you’ll probably want to get high-quality pens later on, as most experts do).

Hand drawn feathers wreath with save the date type design

  • It can help your business. Let’s assume that you have a business. Custom wedding favors, tshirts with cool lettering, hand painted mugs. Regardless of what that is, you can create a very unique identity if you master the art of calligraphy. You can make your own personalized logo, you can create beautiful business cards, promotional materials, and stationary, and basically leave a unique print on all the materials that you end up distributing to your clients.
  • It is something different to try and master. Honestly, how many of you can say that you have a family member or someone in your inner circle that masters calligraphy? That’s because calligraphy is something that can teach you patience and discipline, and while some people see this as a futile thing to try and learn, it’s actually more beneficial than you think. Taking the time to make the perfect strokes, learning to respect shapes and curves, knowing how to properly hold a pen; these are all things that won’t come easy at first but, in the end, they are highly rewarding and quite therapeutic.

Benefits of a Good Calligraphy Pen for Lettering

We often emphasize the idea that when you show interest in something new, you should always see if that thing is really to your liking before investing too much in the tools needed to practice. The good news is that calligraphy is one of the least expensive “hobbies” that you can have, but good calligraphy pens can still cost a lot of money.

writing in calligraphy letter form

Because of that, you should know exactly what you’re investing money into, which is why we believe in the importance of knowing just what a good calligraphy pen can deliver.

Comfort

A good calligraphy pen is made from materials that are easy to hold and work with. They should be lightweight enough for the person using the pen to feel comfortable doing so for as long as needed to finish the fancy lettering. The shape of the pen should also be oriented towards the comfort of the user, making sure that one could hold it for hours on end.

Resistance

When you invest in a high-quality calligraphy pen, you can expect durability in the long term. That means that the body of the pen shouldn’t crack/wear/tear/break that easily, and that the nib will handle pressure applied by elbow grease so that you won’t have to keep replacing broken nibs that often.

Quality

Close-up of a fountain pen

The quality of a calligraphy pen doesn’t translate into its durability alone, but you can also see the difference in the end results when you use a cheap pen and when you use a more expensive and high-quality one. A quality calligraphy pen will glide across the paper without any effort on your behalf (provided that you are using the right type of paper, of course).

Versatility

There are plenty of different types of calligraphy pens to choose from, including disposable ones (they run out of ink and will require switching to a completely new pen), fountain pens (they have cartridges that can be refilled with ink and used time and time again), dip pens (they require constantly having ink by your side and their nibs can be switched with other compatible ones), and brushes (there are special types of calligraphy brushes that provide a world of different calligraphy experiences based on the model and features of the brush).

Each of these four types includes cheap to expensive models, so if you’re invested in getting the best of the best, that shouldn’t be a problem.

What to Look for in a Beginner’s Calligraphy Pen

Photos of ink bottle and fountain pen

  • Pen Style: In the past calligraphy was done with the pen and ink separately. In true Victorian-era movie style, the pen would be dipped into a vial of ink in order to write. In the 21st century, however, things are done a bit differently. Calligraphy pens now contain inserted ink cartridges that make writing a lot easier. When buying your first calligraphy pen, it might be best to stick with pre-inked pens to avoid frustration.
  • The Perfect Nib: On a calligraphy pen, the term “nib” refers to the tip of the pen where the ink is released and the pen meets the paper. Nibs come in a plethora of options, differing in both size and shape. To determine your nib needs, you must decide what look and style of calligraphy you want to accomplish. Italic nibs are great for a more dramatic gothic look and flex nibs work better for a more traditional, elegant calligraphy style.
  • Comfortable Handle: Practice makes perfect and no one wants to practice calligraphy with a pen that is horribly uncomfortable. Make sure that your pen grip is covered in something soft and firm that allows for comfort while also keeping your hand steady. Light pens, as opposed to those with a bit more weight, are also better for beginners, in terms of comfort.

Top 6 Calligraphy Pens for Beginner Reviews

1. Speedball Crow Quill Dip Calligraphy Pen Set and Nibs With .4 oz Ink

Speedball Crow Quill Dip Pen and Nibs
  • Ideal for making fine lines
  • Durable plastic holder fits crow quill nibs
  • Crow quill pens cylindrical body that fit a crow quill nib
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This is a great set for beginners interested in practicing calligraphy before they are advanced enough to invest in a higher-performance set. The cylindrical body of the pen makes it easy and comfortable to hold it, without forcing the hand. The set comes with 0.4 oz of calligraphy ink, a style A pen holder, and a Speedball #102 Crow Quill nib.

The nib is designed to have a fine tip that will allow you to practice making fine details and enhancing the quality of the end result, whether you’re drawing or writing. The quality of the ink is non-questionable, as it is water-resistant and acid-free. The Speedball set is really inexpensive and easy to maintain, as cleaning the nib can be done by using a pen cleaner and warm water.

Who Should Buy This?

The Speedball set is a great investment for people who are just showing an interest in calligraphy and don’t want to invest too much money without making sure they actually enjoy doing it.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Good quality ink.
  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Inexpensive to replace.

Cons:

  • Nib is difficult to remove.

2. Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Calligraphy Pen Set

Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens and Sets
  • Flexible brush markers contain a dye-based transparent ink
  • Odorless Coloring brush pens
  • The ink is not waterproof or fade-resistant
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Sakura is here with a set of 12 differently-colored brush pens that will bring forth an even more creative side of this art we call calligraphy. They are designed with a flexible tip that simply slides on the right type of paper, giving you the opportunity to add color and personality to your calligraphy work.

The pens are odorless and each cap is color-coded with the precise tone of the brush pen itself, streamlining the entire process to smoothen out your calligraphy efforts. The colors are beautiful and vivid, offering you shades of green, blue, pink, purple, sky blue, red, and more. In spite of their quality, we should mention that the ink is not fade-resistant or waterproof.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking to add more color to your calligraphy projects, you can invest in a quality set of calligraphy pens like the Sakura Koi, which is available with 12 different and beautiful colors.

Pros:

  • Multiple brush pen sets.
  • 12 colors per set.
  • Versatile.
  • Odorless.

Cons:

  • Not waterproof.
  • Not fade-resistant.

3. Pilot Parallel Lettering/Calligraphy Pen With  Multi-Colored Ink

Pilot Parallel Pen
  • Ink flows smoothly and with consistency
  • Extremely versatile pen, great for calligraphy and drawing
  • Create beautiful lines and curves that maximize your artistic flows
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It’s always good to start a new project with a hefty dose of confidence and a bit of blind courage. If you’re someone who agrees with this philosophy, the Pilot Parallel Pen is the perfect beginner’s tool for you.

As light as a feather, with an easily grippable body, this pen comes with multi-colored ink cartridges and a handy nib cleaner, but the added features don’t even come close to the ridiculously cool “parallel plate” nibs.

This pen boasts a nib that combines two parallel plates that allow writers an infinite amount of sharpness and precision when writing. Versatile enough to take from calligraphy practice to penning a grocery list, this little guy will surely come in handy.

While the ink that is included with the purchase of the pen leaves little to be desired in the way of bleeding and feathering, they are easily replaceable and super simple to load. With its comfortable, lightweight body, smooth glide, and versatility, it’s easy to see why the Pilot Parallel Pen is a first pick for even the most advanced calligraphers.

What Users are Saying

  • Amazing action and performance from this pen
  • Ink flows smoothly and with consistency
  • Create beautiful lines and curves that maximize your artistic flows
  • Extremely versatile pen, great for calligraphy and drawing
  • Comes highly recommended from many users

4. Luxury Jinhao 250 Calligraphy Fountain Pen With Smooth Flowing Ink

Luxury Jinhao 250 Calligraphy Fountain Pen
  • Nice weight on the pen, feels balanced and high quality
  • Pens feels extremely solid in hand, even over time
  • Nib is smooth, ink flows much nicer than expected
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If the elegant design isn’t enough to make you feel like the most sophisticated person on earth, then the effortless way it writes will have you feeling the Queen of England. Manufactured in China, the Luxury Jinhao 250 Calligraphy Fountain Pen is the perfect combination of old world elegance and simple efficiency.

Despite the extremely lightweight body, the ink flows smoothly from the pen and while this pen may not be ideal for large-scale professional calligraphy projects, it’s an awesome starter tool that can put up with hours of practice with no fuss.

Aesthetically pleasing enough to make everyone in your life jealous and a nice, medium sized nib that’s great for creating striking, bold lines, the Luxury Jinhao 250 Calligraphy Fountain Pen has an effortless glide and a body that allows for one comfortable grip. Gorgeous design and quality manufacturing have definitely made this pen something to write home about.

What Users are Saying

  • Really captures the old school feeling of writing
  • Nice weight on the pen, feels balanced and high quality
  • One of the best pens I’ve used ever
  • Pens feels extremely solid in hand, even over time
  • Nib is smooth, ink flows much nicer than expected
  • Has all the qualities of a solid fountain pen

5. Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen

Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen
  • Perfect for those looking to get the classical feel of calligraphy writing
  • Ideal for beginners to use for good technique and form
  • Excellent ink flow and smoothness
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The Scheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen may not look like much, but it packs one heck of a wallop. The simplistic deep red body is fitted with a handy black grip and finished with a gorgeous stainless steel silver nib make this pen an eye-catching, but still simple, addition to any collection.

Its lightweight construction makes it ideal for beginners, and the fine pointed nib makes creating those elegant, fine lines a breeze. While the viewable ink cartridge may be a bit of an eyesore to some, it allows users to continuously check on the inner workings of the pen without having to take it apart.

The Scheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen has an effortless glide and a no-frills build that allows writers to focus on what’s really important.

What Users are Saying

  • Perfect for those looking to get the classical feel of calligraphy writing
  • Ideal for beginners to use for good technique and form
  • Excellent ink flow and smoothness
  • Easy to get the hang on because of pen size and weight

6. Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Calligraphy Pen With Black Ink

Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
  • Great ink flow with little physical effort
  • Pen is sleek, fun to write with and consistent over time
  • This pen sets a new standard for entry-level pens
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The Sleek, bold body of this pen, along with its highly esteemed reputation prove that the Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen means serious business.

This Pilot brand pen comes in a selection of three colors, featuring the distinctive black, elegant silver, and one with a golden finish that will knock your socks off. Its stainless steel medium sized nib ensures an optimal glide and the inclusion of a singular black ink cartridge is more than enough to get you started.

Perfect for those bold, grandiose calligraphy projects, this pen slides seamlessly across paper, producing perfectly precise lines and many a bold stroke.

The body itself is slightly weightier than the other pens on this list, and while the grip section is a bit too slippery at times, the Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen more than makes up for it with its flawless glide. This is one pen that always seems to live up to the hype.

What Users are Saying

  • This pen sets a new standard for entry-level pens
  • Great ink flow with little physical effort
  • You get the idea of how a real fountain pen should feel
  • Pen is sleek, fun to write with and consistent over time

Do you recommend a calligraphy pen for beginners that we missed?

Let us know in the comments below!