by | Jul 20, 2022 | Crafting, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2022 @ 3:28 pm.

What are the best brush pens? To find out, we asked our parent readers for their favorites. Then we tried out a dozen brush pens ourselves. Which was best for calligraphy? For watercolor painting? Here are the ones we judged best.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Finding The Best Brush Pens: Our Tips & Advice

Let’s talk brush pens!

Great for a wide range of uses, from fine art to coloring books, brush pens are great to have around the house for art projects. We spoke with our parent readers for advice and tips when it comes to brush pens—as well as their favorite brands.

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

• Do you want single or dual brush pens? Dual brush pens have two uses-in-one: one side is a fine tip, the other is a brush nib. That way you can outline object with the fine tip and then fill in with the brush side. Single brush pens, by contrast, are better for lettering or calligraphy.

• Waterproof or water based? Most brush pens are water based, which is great for blending. By contrast, pens with waterproof ink are better for calligraphy (where blending isn’t as much of an issue).

• Look for sets with replacement nibs. Nibs are the tips of the brush pen—and they can wear out or split before the pen is out of ink. Some brush pen brands include replacement nibs, which are handy.

Here are the best brush pens we found, based on our tests and reader recommendations:

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Best Color Variety

Great for coloring books
We loved the flexible nibs of these pens, which blend beautifully. Works well for watercolor backgrounds.
$14.39 ($1.44 / Count)

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Best Budget-Friendly

Nice gift idea
So impressive—we loved this set for its vibrant colors and great bang for the buck. Also great: comes with 4 replacement nibs.
$11.99

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Best For Calligraphy

Smooth with no bleeding
This all-black set is super easy to use, with no smudging or blotching. The waterproof ink is refillable, a nice plus.
$8.99

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Best Retro Colors

Easy to use
We loved the throw-back colors in these pens, perfect for scrapbooking or illustration. Great for blending.
$14.05 ($1.40 / Count)

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About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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