Best fineliner pens for drawing, sketching, and more

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As an artist, you may not always require fineliner pens. But if your artwork is all about precision and detail, you’ll definitely want to add a few fineliners to your supplies list.

Personally, I’m a big fan of fineliner drawing pens for minimal sketch art and enjoy working refined lines into watercolor washes just as much. I also really get a kick out of the fine nibs for mindless doodling!

To help you find accessible options by top brands, we’ve selected the best fineliner pens to get started.

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

 

Best fineliners overall
  • Description:

    Japanese brand Sakura won’t fail to impress with its premium fineliner art pens and super fine nibs for professional and amateur artists.

Best for beginners
Best cheap fineliners
  • Description:

    Budget-friendly fineliner set with fine tips and brush pens, best suited for on-the-go crafters and occasional projects.  

Best professional fineliners
  • Description:

    Superb, pro-grade fineliner pens for professionals seeking superior quality and precise line work. 

Best colored fineliner pens
Best fineliners overall
Description:

Japanese brand Sakura won’t fail to impress with its premium fineliner art pens and super fine nibs for professional and amateur artists.

$17.00
Best for beginners
Description:

Reliable, affordable, and easy-to-use starter set for first-time sketchers and hobbyists.

$12.00 ($1.00 / Count)
Best cheap fineliners
Description:

Budget-friendly fineliner set with fine tips and brush pens, best suited for on-the-go crafters and occasional projects.  

$9.99 ($1.25 / Count)
Best professional fineliners
Description:

Superb, pro-grade fineliner pens for professionals seeking superior quality and precise line work. 

$43.05 ($4.30 / Count)
Best colored fineliner pens
Description:

High-quality color fineliner pens featuring a wide range of pigments to brighten up black-and-white compositions.  

$22.98
09/21/2023 03:34 pm GMT

Best fineliner pens

Feature image_Fineliner pens_Article
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Looking for the best fineliner art pens?

I’ve gathered my top picks for illustrators and creatives in this guide, with something for every skill set and artistic style.

Best overall: Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens

Sakura Pigma Micron 10 Fineliners

When it comes to fineliner pens, Sakura is the gold standard for most artists, amateur and professional. In my opinion, they’re the most well-rounded fineliner pens for drawing and mixed-medium projects and have been fail-free in my experience so far.

The thing about Sakura fineliner pens is that they’re incredibly versatile and offer consistent results across a range of creative hobbies, whether scrapbooking, illustrating, manga art, note-taking, or writing.

These pens can be purchased individually, but I advise the brand’s 10-pen pack because it provides a wide range of nibs (0.15mm to 0.70mm) for a great price. In addition, the dark archival ink in these art pens is derived from a single pigment, meaning color consistency every time.

Ink is also waterproof and fade-resistant, ensuring it won’t feather or bleed. The thinnest nib in the set resembles a mechanical pencil, making it ideal for architects, graphic designers, and those requiring super-accurate lines in their work. The thicker nib is great for drawing bold outlines to fill in with brush pens!

Sakura pens can be found in several pack variations and colors. So, if you’re like me and like to cherry-pick all of your stationery, check out the buttons below to see what options are up for grabs. Sepia and grey ink pens can be found on Blick; they are some of my favorites!

Best for beginners: ARTEZA Inkonic Fineliner Pens

Arteza Black Fineliner Pens

When starting out, finding a quality, reliable product that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg can be a game-changer. This is why I always recommend Arteza art supplies for beginners — including these incredible black fineliner pens.

I really love this brand because its materials are developed by artists for artists and always have a budget-friendly component without compromising quality. For example, this 12-pen black ink pack costs under $15 on Amazon! Note that all 12 pens have the same nib size: 0.4mm.

While fuss-free and convenient for starters, this won’t provide enough variety for experienced artists. It is, however, more than suitable to kickstart your first creative ventures, whether urban sketching and map illustration, bullet journaling, or comics art.  

Because nibs are thicker, this isn’t the best option if you’re after ultra-thin lines. These fineliner pens for drawing make great lefty pens, too, as they’re smudge-free and glide very smoothly across surfaces. Want to add pops of color to your work? Arteza also sells fineliner color pens like this

While offering some of the best deals for art staples every newbie artist needs at some point, Arteza is also an excellent choice for seasoned creatives looking for affordable and dependable backup materials. 

Best cheap fineliners: Ohuhu Fineliner Drawing Pens

Ohuhu Fine line Drawing pen

Speaking of cost-effective drawing supplies, this fineliner pack by Ohuhu contains eight smudge-free art pens suitable for artists of all skill levels. Besides fineliner pens of different nib sizes, sets also include two brush pens for added versatility.

This is the ultimate straightforward yet quality set, priced under $10. Pens are compatible with most paper, making them handy for any project, from card-making and bullet journaling to cartoon sketching and botanical illustration.

However, if you’re looking for super bold black ink, you won’t necessarily get that here. Ink is noticeably fainter than more high-end alternatives such as Sakura and Copic fineliner art pens, so best for hobbyists who enjoy leisurely crafting or occasional on-location sketching.

I especially like how this set also contains brush pens, giving way for more possibilities, such as blending fine, graphic lines with thick bold strokes — especially appealing for creatives invested in storyboarding and Manga art.

Ohuhu is a relatively recent art supply brand, launched in 2013, and a great match if you’re looking for basic quality art pens for everyday crafting for a very low cost. The company also sells these really cool fineliner brush pens if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 option!

Best value for money: Winsor & Newton Fineliner Fine Point Pens

Winsor and Newton Fineliner Set

It’s hard to talk about art supplies without mentioning Winsor & Newton; their products are some of the most beloved among creatives, and these exquisite fineliner pens are another of the brand’s greatest hits.

My pick for the best fineliner pens by Winsor & Newton is the brand’s assorted five-piece set. These sets feature different nib types, smooth archival black ink, and elegant pen designs with elongated barrels for a comfortable grip.

You can also purchase these pens in Indigo Blue, Grey, and Sepia ink. The elongated barrels are a helpful characteristic that alleviates hand strain and, therefore, ideal for dedicated artists who devote hours to their artwork daily.

Though pricey, these art pens are sold at excellent value on Amazon and Blick: click the buttons below to see prices.

In addition, pens perform well when combined with watercolor sets — given the paint is dry before application — making them even more versatile. If you’re familiar with Sakura fineliner pens, you’ll find that these aren’t that different. However, there’s something to be said about sticking to the brands you love!

Best professional: Copic Multiliner SP Pens

Copic Fineliner Pens

Want to go all out? Then Coptic fineliner pens are your answer. Copic products are lavish and expensive but worth every penny if you’re after top-of-the-line art pens and supplies.

These professional-grade fineliners are noteworthly for their sustainable design and quality. Unlike most pens, you can exchange nibs and cartridges, which is a huge plus if you’ve been incorporating sustainable, more environmentally conscious practices into your work.

In addition, the pen bodies are made of durable aluminum instead of plastic, and the tips are extra sturdy no matter how fine the nib is. You can find different variations of this product on Amazon and Blick, but note that for this product, prices are significantly lower on Amazon.

If you’re looking to cut costs or just need a few pens, you can also purchase these pens individually on Blick. Refills can be bought on both Amazon and Blick — make sure to select the right refill type for your nibs since these vary!

Copic fineliner pens have top-rate waterproof pigment, allowing consistent ink flow for crisp lines and smooth workflow. They’re perfect for any creative activity, from sketching and drawing to calligraphy-inspired lettering and mixed-medium projects.

Best for manga art: Sakura Pigma Micron Manga Comic Pro Fineliner Pens

SAKURA Pigma Micron Manga Comic Pro Fineliner Pens

Besides ink pens, fineliner pens are terrific for manga comic art. If this is an illustration style you’re interested in pursuing or aiming to perfect, I highly recommend this set by Sakura.

Available in 6-packs and 8-packs, these Sakura pen sets offer something a little different in each. My top pick is the larger set since, besides six black ink Pigma Micron pens (005, 01, 02, 03, 05, and 08), it includes a Pigma Graphic pen and a 0.7mm mechanical pencil.

This gives artists the right amount of tools to take on the techniques required by this drawing style. These Japanese pens produce pristine results due to their single pigments, reinforcing color consistency with every stroke. Ink is also waterproof, fade-resistant, and quick-drying — great news for artists looking for lefty pens.

Besides manga art, these pens are suitable for other drawing styles too. For example, I find them particularly great for tattoo artists who draft zillions of sketches daily! Also, as someone who’s fond of mixing traditional drawing with software like Procreate and Adobe Illustrator, they’re perfect for digital manipulation.

It’s worth noting that as of writing the 6-pen set is priced higher than the 8-pen set on Amazon: this isn’t the case on Blick. Be sure to check prices on both platforms before purchasing!

Best for doodling: Mincho Black Micro-Pen Fineliner Ink Pens

Mincho Set of 10 Black Micro-Pen Fineliner Ink Pens

Enjoy a good doodling sesh? So do I! Here’s a great fineliner pen set if you’re looking for something easy, cheap, and suitable for teens and adults who find relaxation in occasional sketching.

This Mincho set includes 10 pens with varying tip sizes (0.2 mm-2.5 mm) and waterproof, black bold ink. Despite being extremely affordable, these pens are exceptionally long-lasting and won’t dry out easily over time or with a lack of use.

They’re also a great choice if you prefer matte, shine-free lines without a glossy, “bluish” finish. Ink is a thick deep black and performs beautifully with little to no skipping, bleeding, or feathering. I especially recommend them for mandala drawing, zentangle, and doodle art!

However, because they’re so straightforward, these pens are pretty much a good choice for all kinds of activities, whether creative or at the office. Plus, pens come in a convenient pouch, making items easy to store and carry.

While these are not high-end art pens like, for example, Sakura, Winsor & Newton, or Copic fineliner pens, this product is a reliable pick for just about everyone, from teen students and amateur artists to professionals at the workplace.

Best colored pens: STAEDTLER Triplus Fineliner Color Pens

Triplus Fineliner Staedler

Fineliner pens don’t all come in bold, black ink; there are many fineliner color pens to have fun with too!

This Staedtler Triplus fineliner pen set features 36 assorted colors, metal-clad tips, and approximately 0.33mm nibs. These pens are perfect for creative projects like drawing, calligraphy, art journaling, card making, and writing.

They feature an ergonomic triangular body, which provides a comfortable grip and reduces muscle strain. Pens also have water-based ink that’s easy to wash off, making them an excellent choice for kids too.

The colors in this set are also superior quality, with tones ranging from deep, dark colors to vibrant neon hues. Know that these art pens may bleed a little, depending on the surface. I advise testing them on different types of paper before applying them to your final project.

This set costs under $25 on Amazon, which is a great deal in my book! You can also find different packs and individual pens available on Blick. Buying items individually is incredibly convenient if you need replacements or want to try the product out before investing in a complete set.

The only downside of this comprehensive bundle is that it doesn’t come in the nicest packaging, nor is the box convenient for transporting your materials. But if you’re crafting from your craft desk most of the time, this shouldn’t be an issue!

Best for kids: PILOT FriXion Fineliner Erasable Marker Pens

Pilot FriXion Fineliner Erasable Marker Pens

I enjoy fineliner pens for drawing just as much as any sketch-loving hobbyist. However, being unable to undo or erase occasional mistakes as you would with pencils can sometimes be frustrating.

For this reason, I recommend trying out these FriXion color fineliner pens by PILOT. It’s crucial to point out right off the bat that these aren’t your typical color fineliner pens: this product is a mix between a marker and a fineliner pen.

Nonetheless, they make for excellent starter art pens for anyone experimenting with colored fine tips for the first time, such as children. This will give you a feel of what it’s like to draw with finer nibs in different pigments, minus the concern of messing up!

This product is a fun, affordable pick for young students and creative teens venturing into art activities such as scrapbooking, art journaling, or fashion illustration. Practicing and fixing mistakes is a great way to hone skills without the added pressure of starting from scratch every time!

Know that these pens are slightly more transparent than the Staedtler color fineliner pens and have a different feel and consistency. You can find sets in different variations on Amazon and Blick at the button below!


That’s it for our guide to the best fineliner pens you can buy! Any advice for other intrepid crafters? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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