Fine Liners: 4 Sets You Need In Your Stash

Pigment fine liner pens are a must have to every letterer, calligrapher and artist! With so many uses, the pens are perfect for faux calligraphy, lettering and learning the anatomy of letters (especially sans serif and serif letters), and illustration.

Recently, florals have been a popular addition to lettering and adding depth to compositions. Finding the perfect fine liner pen to fit your composition needs is difficult to-say-the-least, when there are so many brands and options to experiment with.

Let me help.

This month, I bought four different packages and brands of pigment, black fineliner pens to experiment with. Many letters use one over the other based on preference, but I wanted to see if there was truly a difference in the pens themselves. However, this is still only an opinion, but using the pens side-by-side helped to determine what sets each brand apart as a useful tool.

  1. Staedtler Pigment Liners, 6-pack
  2. Sakura Pigma Micron liners, 6-pack
  3. Faber-Castell 8 PITT artist pens, 8-pack
  4. Tombow Mono drawingpens, 3-pack

Using many different types of paper over the course of almost a month, I was able to decide for myself which pens I like for which purposes. For each pen, I will first talk about the writing on the package (so many different languages) and what it means, then I will talk about my experience writing with it.

So let’s take a look!

Staedtler Pigment Liners


Staedtler pens are made in Germany and are waterproof. The packaging states they are indelible, meaning making marks that cannot be removed, waterproof on paper and light resistant. As pictured, I love how the pens come in a durable case for easy storage and travel.

The pen also holds the Approved Product (AP) seal from The Art and Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). This company “identifies art materials that are safe and that are certified in a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans, including children or to cause acute or chronic health problems.”

Staedtler pens are popular among many letters I know. For me, they quickly became one of my favorite pen sets to use. Many fine liner pens have different labeled sizes. All are monoline pens. They draw on many different papers smoothly.

Sakura Micron


Sakura Micron pens are made in Japan and are waterproof. The pen’s packaging states they are micro pigment ink for waterproof and fade proof fine lines. Micron pens are also AP certified so that verifies the pen to lack materials that would be toxic of injurious to adults and children as stated by the ACMI. Without a durable case option, it’s hard for me to bring these pens with me. Finding a case for six pens and a few brush pens is much harder.

Microns were the first fine liner pens I owned. I’ve used them, many times in art classes throughout my middle-school days. They are hard, durable pens that are good for multi-surface use. They are possible to use with multimedia arts. Therefore, they are harder, a little tough and can hold up against different application uses.



Faber-Castell PITT pens are are made in Germany. The packaging states they are made of Indian ink waterproof, permanent, maximum lightfastness, odorless, acid-free and pH-neutral.

In the package you receive eight pens: 4 fine liners, a brush pen, a soft brush pen, a soft chisel pen and a bullet nib pen. As pictured, I love how the pens come in a durable case for easy storage and travel.

These pens were my first crush with pens so-to-speak. The variety in the package makes it easy to color in letters or backgrounds, draw brush letters and still be able to illustrate and use the fine liner pens for small details and touch ups. These pens along with  the Staedtler pens are my go-to for floral illustrations.

Tombow Mono Drawing Pens

Tombow Mono drawing pens are made in Japan. The packaging is simply designed and states the pen is a water-based, pigment ink marker. Even though these pens do not come in a durable storage case option, there are only three pens which I find easier to carry around, unlike the Sakura Micron pens.

This could make one assume they are not waterproof, because of the water-based nature. However, because they are quick-drying pens, when I used the pen and painted with watercolors on top, the pen didn’t smudge. Also, because there are only three pens, there isn’t much need for a durable storage option when sold or used.

I love using the Mono Drawing pens for stipple art, and simple, modern illustration drawings and bullet journaling, but without more thickness options, I have stayed away from them when drawing florals. I love doing simple line lettering with these pens as well.


I hope this blog post has been helpful to you when deciding what pigment pen will be best for your art adventures! Sign up here to subscribe to the email list to hear about future blog posts and more.

If you have an experience with pigment pens, I would love to hear about it. You can email me, fill out the contact form on my website, or direct message me on Instagram. Happy lettering!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.