5 Best Rapidograph Pens Of 2023 | Reviews + Guide

The Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen and Ink Set is a worthwhile option for drawing and writing, available in 7 pens of different nib sizes. Also, the Staedtler pen has a skinny needle supported by a plastic barrel and chrome-plated drafting tube.

With stainless steel nibs, refillable ink cartridges, and lightweight design, rapidograph pens are handy for both professionals and students alike. 

Much like mechanical pencils, finding the best rapidograph pens is a challenging feat for every individual, especially a newbie. To help you, I tried a couple of rapidograph pens and shortlisted the 5 best options that are worth every cent. 

Continue reading to find which rapidograph pen will best suit your needs!

Best Rapidograph Pens

1. Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen and Ink Set

Among all the radiographic pens I’ve tried, Koh-I-Noor acquired the top spot because it is sold as a pack of 7 and comes with a bottle of ink. 

Each of the 7 superior-grade technical pens sports a stainless steel nib, ranging from the small .13mm (6.0) to the large 1.20mm (4) nibs. Because of the nibs of varying sizes, these technical pens allowed me to produce detailed drawings with precision. 

Delving into the design, these Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pens come with plastic barrels, so they are pretty lightweight in comparison to pens with metal barrels. Equally praiseworthy is the fact that each technical pen is equipped with a refillable ink reservoir. So, like me, you can refill the pen and reuse them for a good number of years instead of throwing them. 

Working with Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pens is easy-peasy, as each of them features color-coded caps for easy identification. To my surprise, the double-seal cap of these pens did not dry out even when they were left untouched for months.

Item Weight: 8 ounces | Point Type: Needle point | Tip Type: ‎Pointed, stainless steel | Color: Multicolor

2. Staedtler Mars Matic Technical Pen

Weighing around 11.3 ounces, the Staedtler Mars Matic Technical Pen is slightly thick and well-balanced yet heavy. When I tried this product, I found that prolonged usage may result in hand fatigue, so bear that in mind. 

Coming to the body, this superior-grade technical pen features a plastic barrel and chrome-plated drafting tube. Adding to that is the skinny needle tip through which ink flows smoothly without clogging or glopping. Even the ink collector system deserves credit for the smooth and steady flow of ink, making precision technical pen work an easy-peasy task. 

Because the Mars Matic Technical Pen set includes 4 pens of varying line widths, each tip is color-coded for easy identification. 

Besides the 4 pens of different widths, this technical pen set contains drawing ink, a lettering joint, and a universal compass adapter. And since the brand supplies them in a hardy case, you need not worry about losing the pen or other items while traveling. 

Where technical pens of competitors dry up due to low-quality sealing caps, the nib of Staedtler pens remains moist with ink because of the double sealing system cap. 

Refilling these technical pens was quite an easy task- you can refill the ink via the cartridge or directly from the bottle. So, if you don’t wish to spend money on a disposable pen set, this is the one for you.

Item Weight: 11.3 ounces | Point Type: Needle point | Tip Type: Fine | Color: Multicolored

3. Rotring Rapidograph 0.3mm Technical Drawing Pen

At first, I thought using the Rotring Rapidograph pen for long hours would hurt my hand, but that wasn’t the case after conducting experiments. Although the company was a fountain pen manufacturer initially, this pen weighs no more than 0.704 ounces, which means it’s lighter than most Rotring pens. 

Coming to the construction, this high-precision technical pen is constructed of plastic, but it isn’t flimsy. Inside the barrel is a capillary cartridge system, which is refillable, meaning it will remain usable for years to come. 

Coupled with a refillable ink reservoir is the classic steel nib that makes refilling a breeze and allows for precise line work in exquisite detail. 

The line width expressed in the color-coded barrel is 0.3mm, so finding this pen among fountain pens or other technical pens wasn’t a problem. However, it’s available in 2 more options to cater to the needs of different users- 0.6mm and 0.13mm. 

While it does offer uninterrupted line work, it features brown ink instead of black. Nevertheless, once exhausted, you can fill this pen with red, blue, or black ink without worries. Just make sure to order your preferred color from Rotring, and you’ll be good to go! 

Another thing that I’d like to bring to your attention is that Rotring doesn’t send any ink cartridges with its technical pen.

Item Weight: 0.704 ounces | Point Type: Fine | Tip Type: Roller-ball | Color: Brown

4. Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Technical and Artist Pen

Next up, I’ve got another professional-grade technical pen from Koh-I-Noor, one of my favorite brands in technical pens. 

While my previous pick from Koh-I-Noor would best suit the needs of students, this technical and artistic pen, based on my observations, will be an excellent option for professionals on the go. Though a pen, it moves in all directions just like a pencil without snapping or burrowing deep into the smooth surface of the drawing paper. 

Supplied in 0.35mm nib, this pen works well to draw rather precise lines with perfection. To test its claims of versatility, I tried a loose sketching style with this technical pencil and finely detailed pointillist technique. Surprisingly, it worked well for both styles, so it scores high on versatility. 

However, this pen feels a bit scratchier on textured surfaces, so be careful while using them on such papers. 

After getting a feel for the product, I arrived at the conclusion this technical and artistic pen is quite similar to its counterpart. Boasting a white plastic barrel, it comes with a color-coded cap, which makes nib selection easy. 

Much like other pens from the brand, it features a stainless steel nib, from which ink flows smoothly, allowing you to create clean lines. Its stainless steel nib is protected by an airtight double-seal cap, so rest assured that the ink won’t dry out even if stored for months.  

Koh-I-Noor offers replacement points for all pen sizes, and this technical and artist pen is no exception, as it features a replaceable point. What’s more, this pen, like other pens from the brand, is refillable, thanks to the refillable ink reservoir.

Item Weight: 0.64 ounces | Point Type: Fine | Tip Type: Not disclosed | Color: Black

5. Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen

Without a doubt, the performance of the Rotring Rapidograph 0.3mm Technical Drawing Pen impressed me. So, when I was looking for fine liners, my architect friend, Steve, suggested I use this Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen for precise line work, I immediately took up his suggestion. 

Much like the previous Rotring Rapidograph pen, it appears burly but is more lightweight than many technical pens offered by the competition. So, if you’ve been looking for a lightweight technical pen that won’t give your hand fatigue, your search ends here. 

Interestingly, based on my first-hand experience, this Rotring technical pen ensures a consistent flow of ink, thanks to the unique capillary mechanism ink cartridge. 

What I also like about this pen is that it’s virtually maintenance-free. That means whenever a new cartridge is loaded, this pen receives a new pressure equalization system that allows for quick ink flow. Hence, the pen will not leak or blob until the cartridge empties. 

Though it’s available in brown color, you can get ink cartridges in different colors. 

Even the nib of this technical pencil from Rotring is of stainless steel, which is why drawing or writing is a pleasant experience. The line width expressed on the barrel is color-coded so that it can be easily identified. 

Unlike fountain pens or other mechanical pens, this isn’t prone to drying out, as it comes with a double seal and click cap. Therefore, rest assured that the pen won’t dry out if unused for long periods. 

But make sure to store it properly, as the body of the pen is fragile and may break if fallen on the ground.

Item Weight: 0.704 ounces | Point Type: Fine | Tip Type: Roller-ball | Color: Brown

Comparison Table Of The Top Rapidograph Pens

Product Item Weight Point Type Tip Type Color
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen And Ink Set 8 ounces Needle point Pointed, stainless steel Multicolor
Staedtler Mars Matic Technical Pen 11.3 ounces Needle point Fine Multicolored
Rotring Rapidograph 0.3mm Technical Drawing Pen 0.704 ounces Fine Roller-ball Brown
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Technical and Artist Pen 0.64 ounces Fine Not disclosed Black
Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen 0.704 ounces Fine Roller-ball Brown

Buying Guide For The Best Rapidograph Pens

Until now, the article discussed the 5 best rapidograph pens I shortlisted after trying because they checked off all the boxes, including versatility and functionality. 

However, deciding which radiograph pen would best suit your needs on the basis of knowing the top 5 products is easier said than done. That’s because a lot of aspects need to be considered when buying a rapidograph pen. Otherwise, making a sound decision will become impossible. 

Whether you should go for a Rotring pen or Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pen, this buyer’s guide will help you decide. So, let’s take a look!

1. Nib Sizes

After going through the review, you must have understood that rapidograph pens are available in a wide variety of nib sizes, ranging from 0.3mm to 1.20mm. Of course, the width you choose depends on the task at hand or, rather, on the type of strokes you want. 

Like, pens with finer nib sizes will allow you to make thin strokes against those with thick nibs. Nib sizes are generally quoted in mm, which represents the expected line width. 

Go for pens with fine nibs if you wish to draw thin lines; however, if your aim is to draw thick strokes, a pen with high mm will be the best bet.

2. Refilling Ink

Rapidograph pens usually feature disposable ink cartridges, but that doesn’t mean they are meant to be disposed of after the ink is exhausted. They are reusable; however, all you need to do is fill pens with ink, and they’ll be good to go. 

In such pens, ink can be refilled in 2 ways- inserting an ink cartridge or refilling directly from the bottle. Speaking of experience, refilling ink via cartridge is easy, so I suggest you go for pens that come with alternative ink cartridges. 

Although you can refill ink from the bottle, bear in mind that it will be a messy process, and you may end up spilling it if you’re not careful.  

3. Weight

Weight is among the most important factors that you must consider when buying rapidograph pens. After all, you wouldn’t want to order a pen that appears lightweight yet is heavy, leading to hand fatigue. 

So, always check the weight of the pen before adding it to your cart to know if it’s lightweight or heavy. Ideally, your pen shouldn’t weigh more than 10 ounces; otherwise, using it for long hours will result in hand pain. 

To ensure you experience no hand fatigue, I’ve included only lightweight pens on this list. Hence, you can check the item weight to get an idea of what’s considered a lightweight design.

4. Price

Rapidograph pens are sold in various price ranges, which is why it’s important to decide on a budget before deciding which one would be the best for your needs. 

Once you’ve decided on a budget, scour for options accordingly, weigh their features against their price, and then shortlist options. Also, before you hit the “order” button, check customer reviews to know whether it’s worth the money. Then go ahead if everything seems fine.

What ink is best for Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pens?

In regard to inks for Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pens, experts suggest using Koh-I-Noor inks. Otherwise, there’s a high possibility that your Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pen will get damaged or clogged, wasting your money.

Do rapidograph pens feature waterproof inks?

More or less, yes! Rapidograph pens feature waterproof pigment ink cartridges; however, it’s best to check the website to know if the ink is waterproof. In case the information isn’t divulged on the website of the brand, reach out to the manufacturer via email.

Who uses rapidograph pens?

Rapidograph pens are technical pens used for technical drawings by draftspersons, architects, and engineers to make lines of constant width. However, even artists can use them because of their ability to help them draw with precision.


To put it in a nutshell, rapidograph pens are widely used because of the extreme precision they offer. In addition, they are available in various nib sizes, from fine nibs to thick ones, so there is no shortage of options. 

If you’re still finding picking one a challenging task, here’s a quick rundown of my favorites. 

Without a doubt, the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen and Ink Set are a cut above the rest because it comes with pens with varying nibs and double-seal caps. Also, for the price paid, the brand supplies 7 superior-grade pens, so it offers excellent value for money. 

The Mars Matic Technical Pen from Staedtler is a close second, thanks to the skinny needles that ensure a smooth ink flow. What’s more, the pack consists of 4 pens, each with a different nib size.

1 thought on “5 Best Rapidograph Pens Of 2023 | Reviews + Guide”

  1. Rotring was a German company. Survived the Nazis. And the allied bombing of Hamburg. And being sold to Newel Brands in 1998.
    For a while. The last one I bought (~a year and half ago) came in a very small box. According to this small box company head quarters has a Switzerland address. The pen was made in India.
    Maybe the ink in the cartridge refills has declined. Though the an old Reform (Alvin) nib worked from the last box while the two newest Rotring Rapidographs from the same box aren’t working. All 0.13mm.
    The last half dozen Rotring 0.13mm replacement nibs have worked for a few refills. Then doesn’t. The weight slides freely though an ultrasonic cleaner with dishsoap in ammonia is no longer effective in removing visible dried ink.
    I’ve tried Koh-i-noors about once a decade. Of the four one worked for a few hours the others never did.

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