Posts filed under Brush Pen

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Flexible Pen Review

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Image via

Everyone knows I love a good brush pen, but not for the normal artistic reasons. I like writing with them, and the added flair they add to my lettering is enjoyable. Some are better than others in the writing department though, so where does the Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Flexible stand?

First off, Kuretake has become one of those brands that can do no wrong in my book. The Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Outline Pen is my favorite plastic tip pen, beating out stalwarts from Sakura and Copic, and the Fudegokochi Super Fine Brush Pen is the best writing brush pen I own. Just look how clean my lettering is in those reviews. Hard to not be impressed.

The Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Flexible Pen is a different animal from those two. It is a soft tip brush which allows for a range of both thin and thick lines. Essentially, it is exactly what you should think of when you are thinking about a brush pen.

I don’t have the hand skill to do this pen justice but I was impressed with the quick, clean transition from wide to narrow in the lines. The meat of my letters were solid and the end of the lines had that nice snap you want to see in a brush. This is an effect you cannot get from a standard drawing pen.

For my daily writing purposes it isn’t all that great - the Fudegokochi works better for that. But in the right hands - artistic hands - the Mangaka Flexible would sing.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on November 28, 2014 and filed under Brush Pen, Kuretake, Pen Reviews.

An Introduction To Brush Pens

Fountain pens are pretty awesome, and gel and ballpoint pens have their place. I'm not totally on the pencil bandwagon yet, but I have been experimenting for a while with another genre of writing instruments: brush pens.

Before JetPens, I didn't know that brush pens existed. They're not a typical item you find in a office supply store or even an art store. I worked in a college bookstore that stocked lots of fancy art supplies, but never saw anything like this. That's why I purchased a couple so that I could see what they're about.

There's many different brands and models to choose from when you decide to try out a brush pen, but I went with the Pilot Petit3 first. I already owned a couple of Petit1 fountain pens and loved the form factor, so I knew the brush version would at least feel good in my hand and make me smile when I noticed the charming translucent design.

I won't lie – when I first tried writing with these pens, I was really turned off by how they felt. It's so different than anything I've tried. Most pens have a very firm tip that allows you to write in a very controlled way. Brush pens offer a different kind of control. You just need to back off a little.

Brush pens write the way they do because of a cluster of tiny fibers that form the tip. Since there's hundreds (thousands?) of these fibers in a cluster, you get a beautiful variation of line widths and ink flow. I would compare it to a flex nib, but I don't own one to compare it with.

After figuring out to press lightly and limit my upstrokes, I began to really enjoy writing with the pens.

These aren't pens that I would use to write for long periods of time. I've mostly used them to jot down notes and (more often) draw quick doodles. These pens are fun to play with, and that's a good enough reason to have a few. They're fun.

At just under $4, it's a pretty low risk experiment. Whatever you do, be more adventurous when you're picking out your colors. I went with black and blue, and the former is pretty boring. Check out the vibrant colors as they'll shade more and have more character! Personally, I think the Apple Green and Apricot Orange are a great combo.

Also, these pens (as well as the rest of the Petit line) are refillable. For about half the price of the pen, you can pick up three more cartridges. All 8 colors are available as refills, which is awesome.

These are a great introduction to the brush pen category, and you can't beat the value of the Petit line.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and

Posted on August 27, 2014 and filed under Brush Pen, Pen Reviews, Pilot, Petit.

Pilot and Pentel Brush Pen Giveaway Winner

Do brush pens bring out your artistic side? They have to, right? They are some of the most expressive pens you can buy and are flat out fun to use, even if you are not artistically inclined like me. Hopefully our giveaway winner can put them to good use:


Congratulations Cassandra! Get in touch via the Contact Page and I will get the pens headed your way. You have one week to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to JetPens for providing great products!

Posted on January 31, 2014 and filed under Brush Pen, Giveaways, JetPens.

Pilot Fude-Makase Color Brush Pen - Extra Fine - Orange Review

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Over the past few years, it has become clear to me that there is almost no firm brush pen I won’t buy, even though the flexibility of a brush doesn’t really suit my ham-fisted hard-pressing writing style. When JetPens got the Pilot Fude-Makase Extra-Fine Brush Pen back in stock (as of this writing, they might be out again - they sell out fast!) I snapped up one in orange and one in pink to test them out.

I’ve only picked up a few softer broader brushes in my day, as I know full well those won’t suit my style. If that’s what you’re after, this definitely isn’t your pen of choice. It is much thinner and firmer than, say, one of Pilot’s Pocket Brush pens. The size and flexibility are somewhat similar to the Kuratake CocoIro Super Fine refills, but I’ve had always had problems with those pens having only two settings: too firm or too mushy. So, I was hoping that the Pilot Extra Fine would make for a good every day writer.

I suspect if you have a much lighter writing touch, you’ll love this pen. The brush doesn’t yield much, but you can definitely control line width easy while writing. I think I just write both too fast and too firm, so it ends up either just looking like boring old bullet-point marker strokes or I press too hard and end up mushing the brush rather than letting it glide across the paper.

Honestly, at the price point (around $3 if you can find them in stock), it is a pen that is worth taking a chance on, even if your writing style isn’t really brush pen-friendly. It comes in a wide variety of colors and, even if it doesn’t make your handwriting look stellar, makes for a nice pop of brightness when writing.

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Posted on September 24, 2013 and filed under Brush Pen, Pilot, Pen Reviews.