Best Calligraphy Pen Reviews 2017

Whether you're trying to revive a long-forgotten Gothic style of writing, or you fancy handing in a written assignment made to look like an old Roman script, getting yourself a plucky calligraphy set will surely be the first step toward success! Read through our top 5 list of the best calligraphy pens we were able to find to learn more!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Nibs
Ink
Set
Color
Our Top Choice
Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit
If you combine a jeweler's obsession with shiny metals and a calligrapher’s expert skills, you get Sheaffer—a pen maker absorbed by the jewelry-making corporation, A.T. Cross.
Includes 3 pens, 3 nibs, multiple ink colors, booklet instructions, and warranty period.
Largest pen may bleed ink from time to time
Calligraphy Fountain Pen
3 Nibs; Fine, Medium, Broad
20 Assorted Ink Cartridges
3 Pens
Orange, Red, Yellow
Best Value
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set
Combining the ancient Japanese prowess of creating top-tier calligraphy tools and some modern-day retailing skills, Tombow conquers new markets with every product it makes.
Water-based kit (no alcohol/toxic ingredients); comes with self-cleaning tips; 9 colored brushes and 1 “blender” brush
Set isn’t as well-suited for left handers
Calligraphy Marker
10; Flexible Brush Tips
Water-Based Ink
Pack of 10
9 Colors + 1 Blender Pen
Speedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set
Having created a ton of highly esteemed, calligraphy-worthy products, Speedball prides itself on the affordability and quality of their wares!
Comes with 6 separate nibs; pens constructed from plastic; nibs made of steel; great for beginners; great gift for someone who needs new nibs
Set does not include ink
Calligraphy Lettering Set
6 (c1, c2, c3, c4, 100 and 152)
Ink available separately
Single Pen
Black
Pilot Calligraphy Pen Set
If it's an elongated contraption dedicated to writing stuff and making it look pretty, chances are that the Pilot Corporation is producing it on a mass scale!
Create parallel lines with ease; included in the set is a nip cleaner, converter, 2 ink cartridges, and an instruction booklet
Parallel design may not appeal to everyone
Calligraphy Pen
1; Parallel Plate Nib
Black and Red
Single Pen
Orange and Silver
Itoya Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker
Yet another Japanese company on this list comes in the shape of the Itoya Corporation, a business dedicated to creating top-notch writing tools!
Water-based/acid-free ink; combination of a calligraphy and a marker; safe for kids to use; comes with ink; one tip measures 1.55, other measures 3.00 mm
Ink isn’t as thick and dark as other calligraphy inks.
Calligraphy Marker
2; Thin and Thick
Available in 6 Colors
Single Marker
Comes in Many Colors

(Updated )
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Watch Our Calligraphy Pen Review

How Do I Choose the Best Calligraphy Pen?

Have you ever read a piece of text on the Internet and thought for yourself, “Gee, this little paragraph right here could do with an enormously enlarged first letter… For aesthetic purposes, of course”? If you have, we at TopProducts would venture to say that you, sir or ma'am, have got the calligraphy bug in you, and you might not have even been aware of it!

In this section of our buying guide, we'd like to encourage you to explore your inner letter-decorating tendencies! We’d also like to inform you about the important matters pertaining to buying and owning a calligraphy set. So, without further ado, let's dive straight into the features worth paying attention to when buying yourself a brand-new calligraphy set!

First, the ink in question is the parameter that determines what your writings will look like and how successfully you can bend your letters—and other curious shapes—without creating a mess of it all in the process. As you may already know, calligraphy inks come in all possible colors, so picking up even a rare kind of ancient hue shouldn't be that much of a challenge. What can be a bit of a challenge, though, is finding a non-toxic, non-alcoholic ink, which is typically somewhat rarer. Even so, we would advise that you get yourself a model using non-toxic inks, so, that way, your kids can join in on this ancient craft we call calligraphy. Also note that, although calligraphy pens sound like they need a lot of special care, changing out inks is actually no harder than doing so with your average fountain pen!

Another important thing to take into consideration would be the kind of nib that these models come with. A flexible tip, regardless of the material of the nib itself, allows you to make a variety of lines with different thicknesses, depending on how much pressure you apply to the tip. To be fair, the surface you're working on will also determine the effectiveness of your calligraphy pen, but a well-built tip can ensure a safe, drip-proof writing job every time you use it (and if you're not sure about what sort of paper to use, you may want to try your pen out on a page of your journal or a padfolio).
Price
If we take into consideration just how exquisite and high-brow equipment for visual arts can get, it's not difficult to understand why their prices tend to skyrocket way out of the reach of the common folk so often. Luckily for those interested in the fine art of calligraphy, pens dedicated to this discipline seem to be much more affordable than the other pricey brushes of the painting world. For as low as $5.00, you can get a pen suitable for a beginner, but if you spend about $30, you can get an entire set that comes with a pen, inks, and different nib types. There are, of course, even more expensive high end pens for advanced calligraphists out there.

Features such as ink, the number of cartridges a set comes with, as well as its 'toxicity' or lack thereof, all contribute to the end price. Also, the manufacturing brand, as well as the prestige that comes with it, can drive the price up, but only because reputable brands tend to have those reputations for a reason.

If you’re thinking about just settling for a cheap calligraphy pen or cheap calligraphy set, we suggest not doing this simply because calligraphy pens can be very difficult to work with. The pen may seem great, but then you begin to use it with ink and it drips all over you, the carpet and your pets! We all know what happened when Pepe Le Pew mistook that cat for a fellow skunk, right? It was the fault of an ill-placed, dripping paint brush! Don’t let this brush be your calligraphy pen, and definitely don’t drip any ink on your cat.
Features
Ranking high on the scale of delicate visual arts tools, calligraphy pens represent a bridge between the world of written texts and the world of ornamental visual arts. It's precisely this aspect that makes these utensils complex and exciting, but if this complexity poses a problem for you in deciding what sort of set to get yourself, we've come up with a solution! Read through the list of features below and enter the calligraphy-pen market with an air of confidence!

The list of wondrous features…
  • Material of the Nib
  • Pen Body Material
  • Number of Cartridges a Set Includes
  • Type of Ink
  • Refillable or not?
  • Instruction Booklet
  • Odorless Ink
  • Non-Bleeding Tip
  • Flexible Brush Tip
  • Warranty
Models 'running' on a special kind of ink with no toxic or acidic ingredients can be an excellent choice for someone who's looking to introduce their kids to this beautiful art form!
Construction and Design
When the construction of calligraphy pens is in question, it's safe to say that simplicity, efficiency and practicality are the notions most appreciated by manufacturer. This is because calligraphy pens are there to do a job and do it well, and while it does not hurt if they're pretty, it's not much of a big deal when they aren't (unlike fountain pens, which are all about sleek designs, diamond implants, and other acrobatics).

All in all, calligraphy pens should be easy to change the ink cartridges in, and the only elaborately-designed part of them should be their tip (so it can create a wide range of lines). In sum, a calligraphy pen doesn't have to be pretty or expensive itself, but it must create pretty lines of text, for this is its sole purpose!
Performance and Ease of Use
As far as calligraphy pens are concerned, handling them in such a way so that you create wonderful pieces of written text is a skill that's entirely up to you to learn, as no calligraphy set, no matter how advanced or well-made, can grant you the power of being a great artist. What IS an important aspect of calligraphy pens is the non-dripping tip and the non-toxicity of the ink. So, in order to create great written pieces of visual art, make sure to possess a pen that comes with a well-made tip and which allows you to change the cartridges easily. Other than that, just be sure to clean the pens after you've used them and always store them away when not in use.

What is the Best Calligraphy Pen?

A calligraphy pen is a delicate writing utensil that allows you to create beautiful lines of different thicknesses, and form some curious shapes around letters. If you're new to the world of calligraphy, getting your mind wrapped around the sheer number of choices you have when it comes to buying these pens can be tough. So, in order to form a clearer picture of what sort of pen you might want for your own calligraphy-related artistic undertakings, check out our top 5 choices!
Our Top Choice
If you want to approach your calligraphic task with three different tools and make the best of it every time, get yourself a Sheaffer's Maxi Kit and start creating beautiful lines of text in a jiffy! For those who prefer tin cases, Sheaffer’s Deluxe Tin Kit may be a preferable weapon of choice!
Sheaffer Calligraphy Pens Kit with Assortment of Ink Cartridges, Tracing Pad, Instruction Booklet - Variety of Set Options, Also Sold Individually

Sheaffer Calligraphy Pens 73404 - Maxi Kit


Features
Once an independent business that quickly became well-known for its great pen designs, the Sheaffer company was sold to the A.T.Cross Corporation, which incorporated the already-established pen-making practices of the Sheaffer folks into their own production techniques. The result? The creation of a pen mega-factory that’s also one of the leading pen suppliers today! The goal of the Cross company is to enable whoever is lucky enough to be wielding one of their pens to strive for greatness, and to have their names heard in the world of art, journalism, entrepreneurship, or whatever your walk of life happens to be!

Since the Cross company was established by a crew of avid and supremely talented jewelry makers, the company’s production shift from earrings and bracelets to pens was marked by a certain transition of some important core values! What this means in plain spoke—er, written English, is that their pens are generously well-furbished with tons of attractive engravings, precious metals and lots of shiny stuff in general. Posh stuff right there!

Now, the Sheaffer's effort we're showcasing on this list is a proper little scribe's kit, which can instantly turn you into a connoisseur of ancient wisdom and writing techniques (not really, but this set is quite impressive nevertheless)! It comes with 20 assorted ink cartridges, as well as one calligraphy instruction booklet for helping the rookies learn the ropes of this illustrious craft!

The Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit—a list of the most prominent features are…
  • 3 Calligraphy Pens
  • 3 Nibs
  • Chrome Plate Rim
  • All Plastic Construction
  • Rubberized Dimpled Section
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
Combining a jeweler's touch with a long tradition of supreme calligraphic artisanship, the Sheaffer company delivers yet again with their Calligraphy Maxi Kit, an elaborate set filled with all kinds of bits and pieces necessary for the creation of some top-tier artistic masterpieces (but, if unsure how to proceed with them, feel free to consult the manual)!
Best Value
Based on water and no toxic stuff whatsoever, the Tombow Dual Brush Set can be a great gift for your kids or for an eager art student in need of a new calligraphy kit! If you need only a single pen, check out the Tombow N15 Black Pen instead.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set, Water-Based, Blendable, Acid-Free, Odorless, Self-Cleaning Tip - Choice of 10 or 30 Pens

Tombow Calligraphy Pens 56185 - 10-Pack


Features
Hailing all the way from the land of the rising sun, where calligraphy is taken quite seriously indeed, the Tombow Pencil Co. made its first, ink-induced steps toward conquering the Japanese school supplies market, and subsequently expanded their influence to the greater selling hot-spots of God's green earth! When it comes to the core values of this company, it pretty much amounts to pursuing a corporate policy of quality, availability, and affordability. In this way, whatever your use for these contraptions might be, chances are, you can find a perfectly-modeled tool just waiting for you somewhere at Tombow's!

Another thing that makes this company so attractive to so many people across the world is its treatment of customers, whose opinions represent a valuable asset to the manufacturers. For example, you can find different pieces of written calligraphy as well as a fair share of both amateur and professional paintings uploaded on their official web page, showcased so that everyone can see what their pens n' coloring sets are capable of!

One of the aforementioned sets that has been extensively used by painters and visual artists, in general, would be the Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set. While not first and foremost “designed” for calligraphy, because of the dual tip design – with one side fine tip and the other a brush tip – this is a nice versatile set that does well for calligraphy writing. It combines 9 different colored pens with one extra 'blender' pen, enabling you to cover a wide variety of artistic undertakings, from calligraphy itself, to doodling, drawing, journaling—you name it! The ink doesn't reek of alcoholism and despair, either, because it’s water based! What's not to love?

The list of features for the Tombow's Dual Brush Pen Set of 10:
  • Water-Based
  • The Set Includes a Blender Pen
  • Acid-Free
  • Odorless
  • Self-Cleaning Tips
  • Non-Toxic
  • Tips Don't Bleed
  • Flexible Brush Tip
Coming from one of the most well-respected calligraphy-equipment-producing companies, this set of 10 can be a great starter kit for a variety of artistic and scribal pursuits! These are completely non-alcoholic and non-toxic, so they’re perfectly safe for adults and kids alike. Even the price is quite customer-friendly as well, considering how expensive writing and painting sets can get!
Speedball’s 6-Nibbed Calligraphy Set is perfect for someone new to calligraphy because it comes with 6 separate nib attachments that can be used to practice writing and drawing all types of letters and pictures. If you'd like a beginner-only model, so to speak, you may be better off with one of their simpler Calligraphy Sets instead!
Speedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set, Comes with a Pen Holder, Ornamental Details

Speedball Calligraphy Pens SB2961


Features
The history of the Speedball company is one of fine arts, genteel, and the laborious efforts of a young scribe in desperate need of a new writing tool. It all started in the year of 1899 when an enthusiastic group of young English tool makers decided it was time for them to open up their own company and start producing some top-quality writing equipment for themselves and other people in need of them. Since the only available pens of that age were rather inefficient when it came to the time one had to invest in writing something down—and to do it beautifully—the folks behind the Speedball company came up with a new pen mechanism that increased writing efficiency twofold!

Swinging over to present-day matters, the Speedball Company prides itself in not only producing these magnificent pieces of stationery we've talked about, but also in testing them out rigorously until all they have left at the end of the day is their initial, ball-tipped brainchild in its final glorious form! If you'd like to learn more about the practices and history of this business, feel free to visit their official webpage.

As for the writing contraption we're featuring here, we've decided to go with their 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set, possibly the simplest looking calligraphy kit we came across. What you get is a stylish, quill-like stick, and six different attachments for a variety of writing styles that you can change whenever you feel like it! According to the wise words of the manufacturers themselves, this kit is best used for writing Latin texts and for adding ornamental details.

The list of features of the Speedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set:
  • Made of Plastic
  • Pen Body is Black
  • Steel Nibs
  • Comes with 6 Replaceable Nibs
If you're after simplicity and functionality when it comes to your future calligraphy set, this Speedball 6-Nibbed Lettering Set may just be what you've been looking for!! A great, low-cost set, especially if you plan to do some Roman-inspired calligraphy with it!
Pilot’s Calligraphy Parallel Pen Set represents one of their most recognizable models, as it enables you, as well as all math students, to pull off parallel lines with ease to create some great art or graphs! If you'd like a proper full-scale set o' four, get yourself the Pilot Calligraphy Pens with Tips from 1.5 to 6 mm!
Pilot Calligraphy Pen Set, Comes with Two Cartridges, a Converter, and a Nib Cleaner

Pilot Calligraphy Pens 90051


Features
Even though companies producing writing equipment and stationery are fairly abundant in the world market, not many of them can claim to occupy one of the prestigious leading positions in the business. One of these rare companies that prides themselves on their international teams and cutting-edge writing-ware, so to speak, would be the Pilot Corporation, with its numerous, minion installations in countries across the world! When it comes to the actual products that the hard-working people of this company are making, you can count on a rich array of writing instruments, stationery and even jewelry, believe it or not!

Another, more high-tech aspect of this business is that it possesses an elaborate and well-designated website that enables you to browse through their items with ease while learning more about their prestigious company. What's more, a special section allows you to pick your favorite pen, pencil, or marker of choice, have it personalized and then sent to you! A nifty feature, no doubt, and it only takes a couple of minutes!

We've chosen one of their most sleek-looking calligraphy-worthy pens—the Mighty 2-Color Calligraphy Pen Set, which allows you to transcribe and rewrite ancient texts of lore and magic in red AND black! Once you run out of ink due to vigorous writing and decorating sessions, you can easily refill your cartridges in a matter of minutes and be back at it before you can say 'Hiromoto Watanabe' (don’t worry—it’s just the president of the parent company)

The list of characteristics of the Pilot's Parallel 2-Color Calligraphy Pen Set:
  • 2.4mm Parallel Pen
  • 2 Ink Cartridges
  • Comes with a Converter
  • Nib Cleaner Included
  • Instruction Booklet Included
  • Refillable
Reliable, stylish, and sometimes even personalized calligraphy pens from the world-renown Pilot Corporation can be a great asset to anyone in need of a true artist's pen for their magnanimous upcoming projects. Fit this bad boy with red or black ink—both included—and, if you require more for you late-night-magic-making revelry (the ghostly kind), you can order more right from the manufacturer!
Itoya’s Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker is a plucky little half-marker that combines the best attributes of a calligraphy pen while retaining the best features of your typical Sharpie-type marker. If you'd like a multicolored set instead, check out the Itoya CL-100 Calligraphy Marker Set!
Itoya Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker, Water-Soluble, Two Chisel Point Nib Sizes

Itoya Calligraphy Pens ITYCL10BK


Features
Established in 1976 in Japan, the ITOYA company has been having its heyday for refined writing and calligraphy-related utensils. Now you can find one of their outposts in North America, and, with it, the Japanese have established their system of values and corporate philosophy, so to speak. With innovation, distinction, and quality of their products as their main pushing forces, these folks have been able to make some of the most impressive pens and various calligraphy-specific attachments that you can find currently in retail shops, both online and offline.

As for their shop, we suggest you ignore its somewhat 90s-themed, school-store look because appearances aren’t everything. It’s actually precisely at this hotspot where some of the most well-designed and budget-friendly pens are sold, to the excitement of many satisfied pen-wielders, calligraphy-practicing men and women of (written) letters! Also situated on their web page is the link to their official site for their main store in Japan, which is much better organized, but also in Japanese and may present a minor snag for a person not familiar with this beautiful, tricky language.

The Itoya Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker represents a unique crossover between your common calligraphy-savvy, quill-like pen, and a modern-day marker you'd use to underline something in a script. The result is a mighty, two-headed beast rocking some polar-bear-friendly, acid-free ink, and two chisel point nibs for a wholesome drawing and writing experience!

Featuring the positive and lovable attributes of both calligraphy pens and highlighting markers, this Itoya model is a rare bird among the commonly found designs we've had the opportunity to see on the web over the years. We're talking about a water-soluble, ink-boasting contraption of wonders right here! It's got two heads, which means you've got to have one!

Get the Best Calligraphy Pen of 2017!

In conclusion, getting a calligraphy set is always a pleasurable experience, especially if you're making your first-ever steps down the road of this great pastime and art! With a right kind of kit in your hands, you can achieve some pretty amazing results, and further your skills to the point where you could well be called a professional! To help you out in equipping yourself with one of these delicate tools, we've handpicked some of the best models we were able to find on the web, so whichever you end up choosing, you won't be making a bad choice!

Our Top Choice
Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit
Best Value
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set
Speedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set
Pilot Calligraphy Pen Set
Itoya Doubleheader Calligraphy Marker