People have been writing beautifully for over 2,000 years and they’ve used different types of writing tools to do it. Over time, calligraphy tools have significantly improved, enabling pen aficionados to pursue this hobby more precisely and improve their handwriting overall. But with so many calligraphy tools out there, choosing the best beginner calligraphy pens can be a real challenge.
To help you make this task less challenging, the Truphae team has filtered through different calligraphy sets and selected the ones that will help beginners like yourself practice and perfect their calligraphy skills. In this article, we’ll give you our top 5 calligraphy sets and the 411 on why they made our list.
Best Beginner Calligraphy Pens
Good-quality calligraphy pens are essential for a calligraphy enthusiast who wants to achieve precise and beautiful strokes. The best tools are often crafted using materials such as silver, gold, and brass, and are made by experts in the field, so let’s take a look at some of our favorite calligraphy pens that will help you get started with this ancient art form.
Best Value Beginner Calligraphy Pen - LAMY Joy Calligraphy
Black, Black and Silver, Strawberry
Pros & Cons
- Window to check ink levels
- Light pen
- Slim body
- Three main nib sizes available (1.1 mm calligraphy, 1.5 mm calligraphy, 1.9 mm calligraphy)
- Suitable with a variety of ink cartridges
- The converter is purchased separately
The first thing that catches your eye when you look at the LAMY Joy is its sleek and refined design. The pen consists of two flat sides and two rounded sides that prevent it from rolling away and, paired with the ergonomic grip area, ensure that you can comfortably practice for hours. The pen is available in pure white, pure black, and a combination of white and black, which all look elegant and sophisticated.
Your LAMY Joy features a stainless steel nib that comes in three sizes, including the 1.1 mm calligraphy, 1.5 mm calligraphy, and 1.9 mm calligraphy nibs. And the best part is that you can use it with a variety of ink cartridges.
This pen delivers a luxurious and practical calligraphy experience and it’s appreciated by beginners and experienced calligraphers alike.
Best Beginner Calligraphy Pen Overall - Kaweco Calligraphy Set
Pros & Cons
- Light pen suitable for pen enthusiasts with smaller hands
- Affordable calligraphy set
- Four italic nib units (1.1 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.9 mm, and 2.3 mm)
- The cartridge and converter are sold separately
- Best suited for pen aficionados with small hands
For calligraphers who seek a pen that combines versatility and comfort, the Kaweco Sport calligraphy set provides the best of both worlds.
With its various nib sizes, including 1.1 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.9 mm, and 2.3 mm nibs, it offers creative freedom for a wide range of calligraphy styles, while its light weight offers an enjoyable writing experience, even during longer writing sessions. We have to note that this pen is especially comfortable for calligraphers with smaller hands.
The set also comes with protective caps for each nib and two black ink cartridges. To make the most out of using this pen, you can also purchase additional ink colors that allow for maximum customization.
While this calligraphy set is both affordable and extremely functional, calligraphy aficionados with larger hands may find the pen’s small size less accommodating. Regardless of this disadvantage, this pen will be extremely useful to novice and experienced calligraphers alike.
Best Beginner Calligraphy Pen Set for Basic Strokes - Kaweco Perkeo Calligraphy Set
Perkeo Calligraphy Set
Pros & Cons
- Snap cap
- Compatible with standard international long and short cartridges
- 3 nib units (1.1 mm, 1.5 mm, and 1.9 mm)
- The converter is purchased separately
Kaweco, one of the oldest brands in the pen market, has been known for their versatile and functional entry-level fountain and calligraphy pens ever since they released their dip pen around 1990, which has since been revived into the well-known Perkeo fountain pen.
This classic and affordable calligraphy pen set comes in a blue color scheme and features a triangular grip section, making it comfortable to hold and write with for extended periods. Due to the snap-on octagonal cap that has the black metal Kaweco logo on top and Kaweco engraved on the side and the 16-sided barrel, it’s one of the most easily recognizable pens.
The steel nib comes in three sizes. The 1.1 mm nib provides narrow lines on the cross stroke and broad lines on the down stroke, which are similar to the ones you’d get when using a flexible nib. The 1.5 mm and the 1.9 mm nibs give an even more dramatic effect and are an affordable option for beginner calligraphers who want to start working on their handwriting.
Best Fine Nib Calligraphy Pen for Beginners - Monteverde Monza ID Calligraphy
Transparent with silver details
Pros & Cons
- Stainless steel nib in various nib sizes (1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm)
- Transparent resin barrel
- Chrome plated trim
- The converter doesn’t fit properly
For calligraphy enthusiasts looking for an affordable and versatile calligraphy set, the Monteverde Monza is one of the best options. It consists of one fountain pen, two sections that can be attached to the main barrel, three nibs, and a converter. Each section comes with a specific nib size and you can use the different nibs to get different line widths and achieve different effects in your writing.
This calligraphy set also comes with two 2 ml cartridges and is compatible with all standard international ink cartridges.
Another great feature is the transparent resin barrel that’s not only visually appealing but is also useful for checking the ink levels in your pen, while the barrel, cap, and clip, which are embellished with chrome accents, give this pen an elevated look.
Best Hand Lettering Calligraphy Pen For Beginners - Pilot Metropolitan
Pros & Cons
- 1 mm stub nib suitable for calligraphy
- Can use various refills
- Adequate size for both smaller and larger hands
- Some ink colors look better than others
The Pilot Metropolitan is an affordable fountain pen that comes with a fine and medium-sized nib, but what makes it perfect for calligraphy is the 1 mm stub that’s also included in this set.
Its design is pretty minimal overall, especially the black version with the glossy midsection. Other metropolitan pens come with different animal prints, such as crocodile, lizard, and tiger patterns, however, these often don’t come with the special calligraphy nib.
As a lightweight pen, it’s perfectly suitable for calligraphy beginners because it won’t strain your hand during longer writing sessions. And the best part is that this pen works with various Pilot refills, so you aren’t just limited to the proprietary refills.
Calligraphy pens aren’t our only area of expertise, so we invite you to visit the Truphae store for our wide selection of pens and writing equipment. You can also check out our blog, where you can find more about the best begginer fountain pens, best calligraphy pens, best fountain pens under $50, as well as specific pen reviews, including ones for the Jinhao x450, Pilot Namiki, and other popular pens.
Types of Calligraphy Pens
Calligraphy pens come in different shapes and sizes, so anyone can find their perfect match. These pens often come in sets that contain various types of nibs, inks, converters, nib holders, and even practice papers, depending on the type of kit you purchase.
Let’s take a look at the different types of calligraphy pens and their characteristics.
Fountain pens are generally the go-to pens for calligraphy aficionados due to their ease of use and the variety of nibs that allow for a variety of writing styles and effects. These pens are especially suitable for beginners since they can be used to create thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, which are characteristic for calligraphy.
Dip calligraphy pens are the oldest and most commonly used calligraphy tools. To use them, one needs to dip the pen in an ink bottle before writing, hence their name. Dip style pens also come with different sizes and types of nibs, like broad pointed nibs that are primarily used for producing thicker lines and letters and pointed nibs that are more flexible and write thinner lines.
Oblique nibs are another variety of dip pens that are perfect for calligraphy and are especially useful for beginner calligraphy aficionados because they can achieve the angled slant without having to turn the paper as much. Most dip pens also come with a pen holder that enables you to store and organize your nibs efficiently.
It’s important to mention that dip pens use ink that’s different from the one used by fountain pens. This type of ink is generally waterproof and made with pigmented ink or even traditional iron gall ink. Keep in mind that the latter can’t be used in fountain pens because it might corrode the nib.
To write with a calligraphy marker, one would need to master the same type of movement as writing with a flex fountain pen. By this, we mean that you’d need to learn how much pressure to apply to get the right line width. The more pressure you apply, the thicker the line, and vice versa. Keep in mind that calligraphy markers are more suitable for experienced calligraphers because it takes a certain level of expertise to write with them.
Chisel tip pens have a slanted end that enables you to write both thinner and thicker lines. The tip of these pens has a triangular shape that’s perfect for writing italic calligraphy and more pronounced hand lettering, making it more suitable for those who want to advance their calligraphy skills.
A lot of calligraphy pens often come with a chisel tip so calligraphers can practice various calligraphy styles. When writing with a chisel tip pen, you need to hold it at exactly 45 degrees since holding it at any other angle will scratch your paper.
It’s worth mentioning that these types of pens aren’t as suitable for beginner calligraphers since they haven’t yet mastered the necessary skills. On the other hand, these types of pens enable calligraphy experts to learn various styles that are used on formal letters, wedding invitations, and other types of documents.
Round pens are an excellent choice for beginners to delve into calligraphy practice due to their ease of use and beginner-friendly design. Since they don’t require calligraphy beginners to hold the pen at a specific angle, they’re very easy to master. Round pens come in a few different categories, ballpoint and rollerball pens being some of the most widely-available and well-known types.
Brush Calligraphy Pens
These types of calligraphy pens are more prominent among Middle Eastern and Asian calligraphers as a result of their flexible nibs. While many pens tend to leak sometimes, brush calligraphy pens hold back ink and write similar to how you would write with a paintbrush.
They come in a variety of colors and inks, which enables you to create different types of letters and fine styles by blending the colors and adding highlights or shadows.
If you’re a beginner calligrapher, it’s best to use a practice paper while getting used to writing with them so you can learn how much ink to use for the various tips. Since we all know how excess ink can ruin a perfect text, taking your time to learn the proper technique would be your best bet toward becoming a calligraphy expert.
We hope this article helped you figure out which calligraphy pen best suits your style.
Out of all the pens that we mentioned, the Kaweco Sport calligraphy set combines the best of both worlds – it’s comfortable to use and offers versatility with its various nib sizes, like the 1.1 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.9 mm, and 2.3 mm nibs. It’s not only an affordable set, but it’s also a great option for both beginner and long-term calligraphers.
If you have any recommendations or comments about other calligraphy pens that may not have found their place on this list, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. We wish you many enjoyable hours spent doing calligraphy and producing beautiful and unique letters.