Doodling with Tech Pens


Even when I use fountain pens most of the time, I sometimes use tech pens. I like being able to use drawing ink for sketching as it’s more permanent than many fountain pen inks. I used to own Faber Castell tech pens in high school, but they don’t make them anymore. So I recently bought Staedtler ones instead. The ones I’m using right now are 1.0mm, 0.5mm, and 0.3mm. I still have to buy a 0.1mm point.

Felt tipped disposable tech pens have differing shades of black, depending on the brand.  The tip also becomes blunt as you use them. They are much cheaper though, so when you’re starting out, it’s easier on the pocket. When you break the point, it’s just a matter of buying a new one.  The last time I checked, felt tipped tech pens cost 40-100 pesos (approximately USD1.00-2.25) per piece, depending on the brand.

Refillable tech pens can be filled with ink. The ink most commonly used is drawing ink, though it can be called different names, like India ink, Chinese ink, and drafting ink. Although black is the most common color for ink, there are other colors available, like blue, red, yellow, brown, green, and white. Most inks are for paper, but there are specialty inks that allow you to draw on non-porous surfaces. They do require maintenance and regular cleaning to prevent the ink from clogging the feed. Dropping one on its tip is a heartbreaking experience. Once a tip is bent, it needs to be replaced. It is easy to find replacement tips at a supply shop, like National Bookstore or Deovir. They are more expensive, in the short term, but will save you money if take care of them. A pen ranges from 440-1000 pesos (approximately USD10.00-25.00), depending on the tip size and brand. You can buy them in a set, with a carrying case if you so choose. Sets cost anywhere from 900-2500 pesos (approximately USD20.00-60.00). Ink will cost you another 80-100 pesos (USD2.00-2.50).  The ink usually lasts for at least 20 refills, as each pen only has a reservoir worth 1mL or less.


My favorite reason to use tech pens is consistency. When the tip is marked 1.0mm, it’s exactly that size. There’s no guessing across brands. You can use one all day and the tip size will remain. They also are less wasteful. When you run out of ink, just refill it and you’re good to go. Once you have a set and take care of it, they can last for decades.