Categories: Pens

Types of Pen Tips: Fine, Extra Fine & Medium—Explained!

Know your preferred pen tip size before putting pen to paper—or logo to barrel—for better writing and marketing results!

When you grab a pen to jot a note, sign a receipt, or draw a caricature of your significant other, you may not think the size of the pen tip matters. But trust us, it does! We know types of pen tips. And tip size matters!

Tip size is the thickness of the line the tip leaves when it’s rolled across the paper. And it can make the difference between a “one and done” writing experience and a “Mind if I keep this pen?” reaction. And if the role of said pen is to promote your brand or celebrate a special event, you’ll want to aim for a long-term engagement between your customized pen and your target audience.

With that in mind, next up are the two primary types of pen tips and the users they match with most. And lest you think we’ve just added another layer of complexity to your giveaway game, we’re making this an easy win for you by including a few best-selling promo pens representing each category:

Smaller Pen Tip Size

A smaller pen tip size is called fine or extra fine. Focus on this size pen tip for:

  • Small writing
  • Writing on paper that is more porous or absorbs ink more easily (like tissue paper)
  • Including fine detail as in drawings and diagrams, and adult coloring books
  • Writing in written symbols, especially Chinese characters, called hanzi (Chinese), kanji (Japanese), or hanja (Korean)

A note on types of pen tips and Chinese characters: Some of these symbols are extremely intricate and require a fine or extra fine tip to render correctly. One of the most complex kanji characters requires a whopping 33 strokes and means “rough”, which it clearly is—to write that is!

Another requires 35 and translates to “missing a tooth.” And is “missing a tooth” worse or better than trying to get a 35-stroke character between two lines on a sheet of notebook paper? Especially if you’ve got the wrong type of pen tip!

Extra 50% Off Clearance Pens

Enjoy extra savings—plus free setup—on clearance pens with code EXTRA50.

When precision is in order, fine tips are in. A couple sure bets:

Uni-Ball Deluxe Fine Point Roller Ball Pen: Here’s a fine tip roller ball pen that offers elegant style too!

Gel Writers™ Gel Pens – Extra Fine Point (12 Pack): All the colors of the rainbow in extra fine gel ink for drawing and writing with all the detail you can imagine.

Medium Pen Tip Size

A medium pen tip size delivers a line that’s about 1.0 mm-1.2 mm in width for a ballpoint pen, and narrower for a gel or rollerball ink pen. You can’t go wrong with a medium tip if the desired writing falls into one of these categories:

  • Medium to large handwriting
  • No fine detail necessary
  • Writing in an alphabet-based language like Germanic and Romance languages

When choosing a pen to promote your brand among a varied audience, a medium size pen tip will fill the needs of the majority and is the way to go. Here are a few customer favorites in the medium tip category:

Soft Touch Thompson Pen: With a medium tip and a super soft touch, this ballpoint pen’s got it all.

Pacifica Pen: This ballpoint pen sports a 1.2 mm ballpoint and includes a comfort grip and eye-catching color accents.

Newport Gel Pen: A best-seller and for good reason: Classic good looks meets comfy rubber grip.

Soft Touch Cozy Gel Pen: This gel ink pen boasts a soft touch and delivers smooth lines.

Deluxe Madison Pen with Gift Box: A substantive, stately rollerball in a gift box, no less!

Pen Tips and Ink Types

Depending upon the type of ink, different line widths are considered medium. For instance, in a gel ink or roller ball ink pen, a medium tip produces a line that measures .5 to .7 mm, whereas in a ballpoint pen a medium tip produces a line that measures 1.0 to 1.4 mm.

In general, you can expect a finer line from a standard roller ball or gel ink pen tip than with a standard ballpoint pen tip. (Read more about pen types.)

We know you’ll rock your promotional game with the right customized pen. And now you’ll know what types of pen tips are in order to keep your pens and your brand name in steady circulation!

Karleen A.

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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Karleen A.

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