I was originally going to post my top 10 favorite fineliner pens however there are too many good pen brands to choose from!
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There are so many good fineliner pens that I use regularly:
- The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3mm
- Caliart fineliner 0.38mm
- Papermate Flair UF (Ultra Fine)
- Stabilo Point 88 fine 0.4mm
- Inklab Fineliner
- Sharpie Pen – fine (it’s called the Art Pen even though ‘Art Pen’ isn’t written on the actual pen)
- Kikki K ‘Make it Precise’ Felt tip
- Schneider Topliner 967 0.4mm
- Paperchase fineliner needle tip
- Kingart Inkline Pen 0.5mm (note that the color of the pen lid doesn’t closely match the color of the actual ink)
- Dats Fineliner Markers 0.4mm – from Stacks in Australia
- Monte Marte mini fineliner (0.4mm) – from Stacks in Australia
- The Craft Stall Fine Line markers 0.8mm – from The Reject Shop in Australia
- Paperchase sign pen (I like these better than the needle tip)
- Artline Supreme fine pen
- Marvy Japan Le Pen
If I had to choose my absolute favorite I’d say:
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3mm (love trip grip pens)
- Caliart fineliner 0.38mm (very similar to the Triplus but much cheaper)
- Inklab (which are a cheaper verison of the Papermate Flair and in my opinion, come in nicer colors and write smoother)
- Schneider Topliner 967 0.4mm (expensive, but very smooth to write with)
Ghosting & Bleed Through
I’ve found that Fineliners (and ballpoint pens) are the least prone to ghosting and bleed through. Additionally, since you don’t need to apply much pressure to fineliner pens, they typically don’t leave an indent on the back of the page
Favorite tip size
Don’t be deterred by the tip size. For gel pens I definitely recommend taking note of this (I prefer 0.7mm), but I find that the fineliners end up looking and writing much the same regardless of their thickness. I normally avoid 0.3mm but the Staedtler Triplus (which are 0.3mm) look like a thicker tip.
See how the Stabilo Point 88 is thinner than the Schneider but they’re both 0.4mm. The Caliart Fineliner is thinner than the Staedtler Triplus yet has a slightly bigger tip size.
How much should you pay for fineliners
Fineliner pens can vary in price quite a lot. From the expensive Marvy Japan Le Pen at $3 per pen… to a 10 pack of fineliners from the cheap shop for $3. Is there a difference in quality? Ask me this question about gel and ballpoint pens and my answer would be yes. But for fineliner, they all write much the same. They do have similar ink colors and some are tri grip etc. So while I do have my absolute favorites, if you can’t afford expensive fineliners, cheap ones will work just fine.
If you don’t need all these colors…
Just buy a cheap shop pen pack with the ‘essential’ colors
More pen reviews
- Color coding and planner decorating: 10 Pen brands that are available in a pack of 20 or more colors
- How to choose the right planner pens: what to look for when buying planner pens
- After trying more than 20 pen brands, these are my top 5
- Favorite dual tip highlighters for planning (roundup)
- Minimalist Planner Decorating: Title Ideas for your Bullet Journal
- 7 Planner supplies I don’t regret splurging on
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