The 5 Best Mahl Sticks of 2023 | Reviews + Guide

The beauty of mahl sticks lies not only in their ability to provide stability but also in their versatility. Artists of all skill levels can use them to establish control over their strokes and achieve perfection in their techniques.

Ready to paint like a pro? Discover the secret weapon artists swear by: the ultimate mahl stick! With a Mahl stick in hand, you can find solace in the delicate balance it offers.

You rest the mahl stick against the canvas, effortlessly stabilizing your hand and eliminating any unwanted tremors. After tirelessly putting these sticks to the test, I present to you my handpicked selection of the absolute best mahl sticks that will revolutionize your artistic journey.

Best Mahl Sticks

1. Mahl Stick by Falling in Art CT0129Best Overall

The Mahl Stick by Falling in Art is designed to provide a steady hand for painters. This varnished aluminum round stick is a useful tool for painting artists who require support while holding a paintbrush.

One end of the stick features a leather-covered cork, which offers a non-slippery grip compared to rubber. The stick measures 17 1/5 inches in length but is expandable up to 33 6/7 inches.

After giving it a go, I found that the stick is sturdy and does not bend easily while painting, thanks to its aluminum rod construction. The artificial leather covering on the cork end adds a touch of durability. With a weight of 8.7 ounces, this Mahl Stick feels lightweight and easy to handle.

With its sturdy build and reliable functionality, this Mahl Stick offers great value for both beginners and experienced watercolor painters. Its adjustable length, affordability, sturdy build, and comfortable grip for drawing make it a valuable tool.

Weight: 8.7 ounces | Length: 33 6/7 Inches | Material: Aluminum | Cork End: Artificial leather

2. Creative Mark Professional Mahl StickBest Build Quality

The Creative Mark Professional Mahl Stick excels in its professional-grade quality and elegant design. This Mahl Stick is a high-quality painter’s tool that offers firm support for steadying your hand.

The varnished aluminum construction offers both strength and longevity. The expandable length of 35.5 inches provides greater reach for various canvas sizes.

After a thorough inspection, I feel that the traditional leather-covered cork end rest not only adds a touch of sophistication but also ensures a secure and comfortable grip. The end is of excellent quality, ensuring a comfortable and reliable grip while preventing grubby hands from resting on your artwork.

Additionally, this Mahl Stick can also be disassembled into two pieces, making it shorter for more miniature paintings or when only small sections of canvas need to be bridged.

While the Creative Mark Professional Mahl Stick is generally sturdy and dependable, some users have reported that the midsection occasionally unscrews, which can be a bit frustrating over time.

Weight: ‎7.7 ounces | Length: 35.5 inches | Material: Varnished aluminum | Cork End: Traditional leather covered

3. Whiskey Painters Universal Mahl Stick 4336946679Best for Portability

The Whiskey Painters Universal Mahl Stick offers portability and convenience for artists on the move. Its folding design and varnished aluminum construction make it lightweight and easy to carry. The free storage case adds an extra layer of protection and organization for your painting and drawing supplies.

When assembled, the Whiskey Painters Universal Mahl Stick can reach a maximum length of approximately 35.5 inches. It features a cork-covered leather end, which serves as a comfortable rest for the hand during finishing touches. However, some users have mentioned that the stick is a little thin, and the pieces don’t always line up perfectly, affecting its stability.

Additionally, it’s important to note that many customers have received scratched and used products that were not secure and wobbled. Moreover, I noticed in my testing that the two rods may have color mismatches when viewed together.

Weight: ‎7.2 ounces | Length: 35.5 inches | Material: Aluminum | Cork End: Leather

4. Frisk Artists Mahl Stick 37002180Best Lightweight to Sturdiness Ratio

The Frisk Artists Mahl Stick is a lightweight metal art tool designed to provide steady support for painters. This Mahl Stick comes in two pieces, allowing for easy storage and transportation. It also features a cork head and a suede leather covering, offering a comfortable and secure grip.

With a length of 90cm and a diameter of 8mm, this collapsible Mahl Stick is both sturdy and well-made. Based on my observations, it is a very useful aid for artists, helping them maintain steady hand movements and preventing smudges on their artwork. However, some users have reported that the leather tie on the bottom can be fragile and may require retying.

The Frisk Artists Mahl Stick initially had issues with unscrewing, but some users have found a solution by tying it back together with a string. Priced reasonably and easily usable, it is still a worthwhile investment for painters of all skill levels.

Weight: 14.4 ounces | Length: 35.5 inches | Material: Metal | Cork End: Suede leather

5. Patelai Mahl StickBest Mahl Grip

The Patelai Mahl Stick is a sturdy tool designed to provide steadying support for painters. Made of aluminum alloy, this Mahl Stick is heavy-duty and strong enough to withstand breakage. It consists of two parts, measuring 16.14 and 16.54 inches in length, resulting in a total length of approximately 32.7 inches.

The Mahl Stick features a cloth made of artificial leather, ensuring stability in its structure. It’s long-lasting construction and reliable grip make it a suitable choice for artists seeking a dependable hand-rest tool. Based on my first-hand experience, this Mahl Stick definitely offers good value.

Overall, the Patelai Mahl Stick is a reliable tool for artists in need of sturdy hand support. It’s durable construction and convenient length make it suitable for a variety of painting and drawing styles.

Weight: 5.9 ounces | Length: 32.7 inches | Material: Aluminum alloy | Cork End: Artificial leather

The Top Mahl Stick Comparison Table

Product Weight Length Material Cork End
Mahl Stick by Falling in Art CT0129 8.7 ounces 33 6/7 Inches Aluminum Artificial leather
Creative Mark Professional Mahl Stick 7.7 ounces 35.5 inches Varnished aluminum Traditional leather covered
Whiskey Painters Universal Mahl Stick 4336946679 7.2 ounces 35.5 inches Aluminum Leather
Frisk Artists Mahl Stick 37002180 14.4 ounces 35.5 inches Metal Suede leather
Patelai Mahl Stick 5.9 ounces 32.7 inches Aluminum alloy Artificial leather

Buying Guide for The Best Mahl Sticks

By taking these factors into account, you can narrow down your search for the best mahl stick that suits you the best:

1. Material

The material of the mahl stick plays a crucial role in its performance and longevity. Opt for mahl sticks made from high-quality materials such as wood or metal. These materials provide durability and ensure that your mahl stick can withstand the demands of your process.

Additionally, consider the flexibility and resistance of the mahl stick. It should be rigid enough to provide stability but also have a slight bend, allowing you to apply pressure when needed without breaking or snapping.

If you prefer a lighter mahl stick, you can explore options made of carbon fiber or lightweight metals. These materials offer easy maneuverability and reduce strain on your arm during long painting or drawing sessions.

2. Length

The length of a mahl stick is an important consideration. For artists who focus on detail painting, a shorter mahl stick, typically ranging from 14 to 17 inches, is ideal. This length allows for precise control and steady hand movements when working on intricate and detailed areas.

On the other hand, if you often work on large canvases and require a broader reach, a longer mahl stick ranging from 32 to 36 inches will provide the necessary support for broader strokes.

3. Stability

Stability is crucial when using a mahl stick to support your hand while painting. Look for mahl sticks that provide a firm support system to prevent unwanted movement or wobbling. A mahl stick with reinforced joints or a solid base offers the necessary stability for precise brushwork.

Additionally, check if the mahl stick has rubberized or non-slip elements at the bottom or contact points. These features enhance stability by preventing the mahl stick from sliding or shifting while you work.

4. Grip

A comfortable grip is essential for a mahl stick to ensure a secure hold and prevent fatigue during long painting sessions. Search for mahl sticks with ergonomic designs that fit comfortably in your hand.

Consider options with textured or cushioned grips, as they prevent slippage and provide a comfortable and secure hold. Some mahl sticks even offer customizable grips, allowing you to add or remove attachments to suit your hand size or grip preferences.

5. Collapsibility and Compatibility

If you frequently paint outdoors or need to transport your mahl stick, consider options with a collapsible or telescopic design. These mahl sticks can be conveniently folded or extended, making them compact and easy to carry.

Also, make sure to consider the compatibility of the mahl stick with your existing painting easel or drawing setup. Ensure that the mahl stick can easily attach or integrate with your easel without requiring any modifications. Some mahl sticks offer adjustable attachments or clamps, allowing you to customize the angle and positioning based on your painting needs. This versatility enhances compatibility and adaptability.

What are the best mahl sticks available for detail painting?

Some recommended options for detail work include mahl sticks made of wood or aluminum, with a comfortable grip and a padded or soft head for gentle support on the canvas. Exploring customer reviews and demonstration videos can help you make an informed decision.

Are mahl sticks recommended for outdoor painting or drawing?

Mahl sticks can be greatly advantageous for outdoor painting. They provide valuable support and stability, which is especially beneficial in outdoor environments, where factors like wind or uneven weather can pose challenges.

Can you suggest the best traditional mahl stick for watercolor painters?

Determining the best traditional mahl stick for watercolor painters can be a little tricky as most painters in the watercolor medium prefer alternatives to traditional mahl sticks that are lighter and more flexible. 

While there isn’t a specific traditional mahl stick exclusively for watercolor, you may consider utilizing lightweight wooden dowels or improvising with materials like rolled-up cloth or foam noodles as makeshift mahl sticks.

How do mahl sticks compare to other painting tools in terms of effectiveness?

Compared to other tools like brush holders or extended painting handles, mahl sticks offer direct contact with the canvas and can be more effective for detail-oriented work.


In the vast expanse of the art world, where every brushstroke carries a meaning, choosing the right mahl stick becomes an art in itself. The perfect mahl stick can enhance your connection with the canvas, allowing your creativity to flow unhindered.

If you also long for a tool that can steady your hand, I would suggest the mahl stick by Falling in Art. It stands out with its affordable price point and versatile extension capability. Its varnished aluminum construction ensures durability while still remaining light.

Another good pick would be the professional mahl stick by Creative Mark. It’s professional-grade quality and sophisticated design will make your art tool aesthetics stand out.

As you navigate through the options available in the market, reflect on the design, material, and functionality that resonate with your style and technique. Let the mahl stick become an extension of your expression, and let your vision flow freely and effortlessly.

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