best ruling pen

Top 9 Best Ruling Pen to Buy in 2021

Ruling pens have a great story behind. From ancient times to even today, they are widely used for various reasons. What I want to talk to you about is choosing the best ruling pen.

What would be the best drawing instrument for drawing with inks or fluids? - Of course, an adjustable ruling pen. Some may have different opinions. 

However, ruling pens are in great use for calligraphy, drawing, letterforms of any kind, and many people scribe with them as well. Sometimes they are called Sodapop pen or pop pen as well. And the reasons you'll find out here shortly.

Well, what I want to do today is walk you through the process of picking the top ruling pen.

So let's dive in!

Product Image

Product Name

Editor's Rating


Looneng Art Ruling Pen for Applying Masking Fluid Line Work

5 out of 5

Resinta Ruling Pen with Storage Bag Masking Fluid Line Drawing

Resinta Ruling Pen with Storage Bag Masking Fluid Line Drawing

5 out of 5

PRO ART Ruling Pen (40415)

4.5 out of 5

FASHIONROAD Art Ruling Pen, Fine Line Masking Fluid Pen 3 Sizes

4.5 out of 5

Kasteco Art Ruling Pen for Masking Fluid Line

4 out of 5

Our Top 9 Best Ruling Pen in 2021

1. Looneng Art Ruling Pen for Applying Masking Fluid Line Work

Looneng Art Ruling Pen for Applying Masking Fluid Line Work

Our first ruling pen comes from Looneng. You can use this art ruling pen for various purposes. One of the prime reasons to pick this pen up is its customer service. In case if you face any difficulty, they will be beside you.

Let me share you an interesting story. Someone buys a ruling pen for the first time, and he doesn't know how to use it. So, he tried his way, and miserably failed. Thus, he got outraged and blamed the manufacturer. But it all didn't end here. He called the customer service to show his temper. And guess what happened next? 

The Looneng customer service team listened to him very calmly and gave him the right solution. So, he eventually got fascinated by the Looneng.

However, this is not all about the Looneng Art pen. Before buying a ruling pen, the customer service cannot only be the parameter to look into.

Therefore, it offers its users the highest quality nib and the handle. You will find the nib and adjustment knob made with metal and handle with plastic. But here comes a little problem. The handle is not long enough. If you are accustomed to long handle pens, you might not like it.

Controlling the ink flow is one of the prime qualities that a class ruling pen should contain. This is a dip pen and can be used with ink, watercolor, and masking fluid. You can use it to mask or block out fine lines. Moreover, it adjusts the ink flow and line width perfectly.

The cleaning process is easy and simple. To clean the pen, simply dip it slightly in soapy water before you dip it into the fluid. Even if you forget to do this, no big issue- the masking fluid will simply peel off when dried. Try to avoid brushes. Soapy water will do the job smoothly. And yes, be careful about not mixing the soapy water with masking fluid.

Highlighted Features

  • Create fine lines masked from the paint
  • Great for small branches and grasses
  • Suitable to use with ink, watercolor, and gouache
  • You can adjust the line widths with the screw adjustment
  • Use to draw lines and borders in rope and other fine detail

2. Resinta Ruling Pen with Storage Bag Masking Fluid Line Drawing

Resinta Ruling Pen with Storage Bag Masking Fluid Line Drawing

You probably heard of Resinta. This famous pen brand offers incredible quality and features for anyone looking for an efficient ruling pen. Moreover, though it provides optimum quality pens, still its price is reasonable and highly affordable.

You will get 3 ruling pens in this package. Pick one according to your preference. Every tip is in a different size. Even, Resinta allows you to pick between green and silver color ruling pens. Sounds amazing, right?

The metal point tip is durable and weather resistant. That means the silver part is totally made of metal, and the other colored part is made of quality plastics. For easy carrying and storage, Resinta provides you a flannelette bag. Moreover, you will get a durable and reusable pen holder too.  

Do you have an issue with art masking small areas? No worries. This great art tool will allow you to mask the thin outline of your iris perfectly.

Well, I know someone who used to use brushes, toothpicks even q tips to apply masking fluid. Haha! Sounds a bit, right? But this is true. So eventually, none brought him a satisfying result. Then, anyhow he switched to this ruling pen. And you guessed right- he found this ruling pen is the most useful way to apply masking fluid.

In addition, you don't need to dip this pen frequently because it holds enough fluid in the tip. And you know, sometimes dipping the tip in ink or what medium you use could be really risky. So, it reduces that risk, and this is easy to clean as well. Moreover, you can adjust the ink flow very sharply. Thus it allows you to cover big areas and tiny areas as well.

Once you adjust the dial for flowing fluid- just concentrate on your drawing. It won't let you down. If you need to adjust line width, just loosen or tighten the screws in silvers.

Using tips: To have a vertical line, it is the best way to place the pen perpendicular. Proper ink flowing and force on paper can make a perfect chart and lines for you. So, emphasize on these two things sincerely.

Highlighted Features

  • 3-piece of art ruling pen in a pack
  • Durable and affordable
  • It provides a flannelette bag for easy storage
  • Great for masking the thin outline
  • Super dial adjustment

3. PRO ART Ruling Pen (40415)

If you are looking for a ruling pen that matches your creative vision, the PRO ART Ruling pen would be a great option for you. This is a versatile pen compatible with the various medium. It goes with ink, watercolor, paint, masking fluid, etc.

This is a lightweight pen. Anyone with some basic drawing knowledge can handle this pen. You can even use it on clay for masking with wax. 

Because its point is made of metal. But the problem is it takes time to adjust to the point tip. You need to practice more and have patience. If the clay is hard and dry, it would be easy, but if it is soft and not fired, it would be challenging.

Have you ever felt cleaning the ruling pen is a hassle? It can be quite a pain. But guess what? You don't need to pay for expensive stuff here. Just keep the tip soaked for an hour; everything will come of it. Really easy and simple cleaning process- saves time and your valuable money.

When it comes to writing or calligraphy, no one agrees to have an average for him/her. Though, it takes enough practice and patient to write well. Still, you need a good ink or gouache pen for stunning calligraphy writing. This pen does well in this case. You need to find the balance between water and medium. 

Further, be careful about the ink flowing and the width of your line. Again, it will take some time to get neat letters. Don't get disheartened or frustrated.

And yes, don't forget what this pen is about to do. It is famous for drawing lines and masking fluid on watercolor paints.

One Bonus tip for you- don't ever use India ink with this pen. It might stop working and need to be washed with fountain pen cleaner.

Highlighted Features

  • Famous for producing precise ruled lines
  • Compatible with various mediums (ink, masking fluid, paint)
  • It does well with writing
  • Can be used on clay for masking
  • Curved metal tip

4. FASHIONROAD Art Ruling Pen, Fine Line Masking Fluid Pen 3 Sizes

For some buyers, the perfect ruling pen is that which strikes a perfect balance between quality and affordability. With regard to that, FASHIONROAD Art Ruling Pen is a unit worth considering.

Being all in one, this pen is designed to take care of all of your drawing needs. You can consider it for writing, drawing lines, calligraphy, painting on grass, etc. With it, you can work with ink, paint, masking fluid, etc.

Who else doesn't want neat edges drawing? If you compare a pro artist with a beginner or a newbie, you won't find bigger differences. They actually differ in some tiny areas, like drawing neat edges or putting a parallel second coat.

So, if you want to take your drawing or calligraphy up to the next level, this ruling pen demands another look. It is apt to draw precise lines with a uniform thickness of the fluid pen.   

Are you worried about durability and material quality? Let them go off anywhere else. This ruling pen is made of stainless steel and quality plastics. You can put your trust in them for the long run.  

Okay, unlike the Resinta Ruling pen, this pen is suitable for use with Indian ink. Actually, they need fluids very thin in viscosity. And avoid using any sort of brushes or clothes to get your masking fluid on the pen. Rather, dip it into the medium so that at least 1/4' of fluid is tapped on the point tip. Moreover, it is needless to say that you can adjust the thickness of your medium.

Therefore, I suggest making your medium a bit thick than making it thinner so that you can adjust the medium easily. And the adjusting screws of your ruling pen will certainly allow you to control the ink flow.

Highlighted Features

  • Great for masking fluid
  • Can be applied on watercolor papers
  • 3 pieces and 3 sizes available
  • Made of stainless steel and plastic
  • High-quality screw adjustment

5. Kasteco Art Ruling Pen for Masking Fluid Line

For handling basic drawings and writings, I mean calligraphy, Kasteco does it all. This is a 2 pack ruling pen. Both pens are green and come in the same size.

This is a good looking pen. It is designed with distinct layers. The lower part means the point tip is made of stainless steel, and the upper part means handle is made of quality plastics. Imagine a green handle pen with a silver color point tip. Amazing!

Another key point that will help you make a decision is its ease of use. This designed simply yet very effective. Way better than using a brush or dishwashing liquid to apply masking fluid.

One of the things that make some people avoid drawing is complicated setup and difficult functioning. But guess what? Maybe, this Kasteco Art Ruling pen is specially designed for amateur people who love drawings but have no degree in it. Why I tell this? - Because I literally receive a number of messages about this pen, and needless to say that most of them are from amateur artists.   

The only complaint that you may have to struggle to get super fine lines. However, this is one of the best ruling pens for applying masking fluid on watercolor paper. And yes, you need to practice more and have enough patience to improve over time. If you think you will master drawing with a ruling pen overnight, revamping your thoughts, please.

Well, it works fine with thicker mediums. It could be India ink, any paint, or masking fluid. Thicker mediums seem to have more control in flowing. I mean, it will be easy for you to control. 

And especially, if you are going to use watercolor, make it thicker than you usually do with other mediums. You will have more control over fine and wide lines as well.

If you like small-in-hand tools, it won't disappoint you.

Highlighted Features

  • Suitable for drawing lines and borders
  • Great for applying masking fluid
  • Recommended for beginners
  • Easy setup and use
  • No cleaning hassle

6. MyArTool Art Ruling Pen for Fine Line Work

Want a ruling pen that draws fine lines? Try MyArTool ruling pen. The pen draws precise and neat lines with ink, paint, or masking fluid. There is not much to do with mediums. If you even want to use acrylic paint with this pen, you can. What you need to ensure is its perfect consistency.

Okay, now if we talk about its specialty, applying masking fluid on watercolor paper will be top of everything. This ruling is famous for this in the artist community. Moreover, it is pretty comfortable with drawing watercolor and gouache. You can draw lines and borders how you want them to be looked like.

One of the interesting facts about this pen is it works fine with thin mediums. You know, thick paint is easy to control but takes time to dry. Generally, we use balanced mediums for writing or drawing on any surfaces. But this pen allows you to draw with thin paint and provides optimum control as well. The ruling pen is great to use for grasses, rope, and small branches.

Imagine you own a nice looking ruling pen, great point tip, sturdy handle everything looks fine. But, the screw adjustment is not up to the mark. You don't have sufficient control over your ink flowing – will you buy it? Certainly a big NO!

In the case of the MyArTool pen, its screw adjustment is very accurate. Thus, it gives you full control over your desired lines - The widths and darks you want.

However, be cautious about over-tightening and over loosing. Both are avoidable. Adjust the blades according to your needs.

Oh, one more thing. Don't consider cleaning it with brushes or other wiping tools. Just put it in warm soapy water for a few minutes, and wipe it out with a soft cloth. That's it.

Highlighted Features

  • It works by capillary action
  • Perfect for applying masking fluid
  • Compatible with ink, masking fluid, paint, gouache, and other mediums
  • It brings you fine lines and borders
  • Hardened nickel-plated nib

7. AMT Artists Ruling Pen For Watercolour and (Masking Fluid included)

AMT Artists Ruling Pen For Watercolour

Do you do lots of drawing at home? Or do you have a small business where you draw or write calligraphies for clients? If you do, the AMT ruling pen will be the best option for you.

This is a package combined with a ruling pen and masking fluid. Both products come with optimum quality yet at an affordable price.

This package is specially formulated for watercolor. The masking fluid is thin enough to work with a ruling pen. You know, thin paint works great for masking on watercolor paper. As this masking fluid is highly modified for watercolor, you don't have any issue using this with an AMT ruling pen.

Well, there is another option you can grab. If you have a recommendation or choice for a ruling pen, no matter, go for that and pick this package for masking fluid. This fluid is compatible with any type of ruling pen, no worries.

Creating fine lines is one of the major features that a ruling pen should carry. Even, if you use this pen for calligraphy or other writing purposes, you may need to write it fine and neat as well. So, the adjustable screws allow you to adjust the blades. Thus, you can control the length of the lines.   

If the masking fluid doesn't dry quickly, it causes trouble. For instance, you have to wait to put on a second coat or peeling off the paint. Fortunately, there are not many masking fluids than this one in terms of quick drying and easy removal. It is easy to remove and doesn't get messy even after using it so many times.

One BONUS using tip: If you would like to spread the masking fluid in an outline, consider using a rubber color spreader. It would be better than gluing up your paintbrushes!

Highlighted Features

  • Masking fluid rubbed off easily
  • The ruling pen draws fine lines and borders
  • Great for watercolor
  • Suitable for use with masking fluid
  • Quick-drying and easy masking fluid removal

8. Alvin Professional Nickel-Plated Nib Ruling Pen, Spring Blade

Alvin has been supplying drawing tools since 1950. They love to introduce themselves as the bridge between ideas and innovations. 

When it comes to compatibility with different mediums, without any doubt, Alvin Ruling pen stays top of the pile. Using it is almost a fun game, and that is an understatement. You only need to implement your imagination on the paper; this ruling pen itself will handle the rest. 

What I like most about this pen is its nib. It is made of nickel-plated steel. If you need to refill your pen frequently, it will certainly impact on your performance. Concentration is a must for quality drawings. Fortunately, the ruling pen holds enough ink so that you dont need to refill it in regular intervals. 

If the nib is good, you will suffer from having a smooth finish on any surface. You know, scratching on paper is a common problem for average ruling pens. Don't worry. This pen has a hardened steel nib that draws smooth lines and borders.

Alvin professional pen is famous for applying masking fluid. It also has a great use for ink. So, to create thin lines or to masking fluid on water paper, you can consider this pen strongly.

To give your drawings a leap, you need to be persistent as well as consistent and precise. Sounds complicated? Let me explain. 

When do your drawings become consistent and precise? Yes, when you have sheer control over your tools. Right? Without having an easy control tool, you cannot expect to achieve control in a few days. 

You feel trouble holding the pen itself. How would you think of becoming a pro with it? By the way, I'm talking about the beginners here. So, a lightweight and easy control ruling pen is a pre-condition before you get into it. 

Highlighted Features

  • Famous for creating thin lines
  • Avoid frequent ink refill
  • Lightweight and easy control
  • Consistent ink flowing
  • An asset for watercolor artists 

9. SPWOLFRT Green Art Ruling Pens with a Storage Bag (3 piece) Masking Fluid Pen

This lightweight pen is economical and the best buy for people with frequent drawing projects. One ruling pen can serve you up to 5-6 years, even a lifetime. 

There are not many ruling pens that carry a bunch of characteristics like this one. This is a multipurpose ruling pen. You need calligraphy? No worries! You can do with it. From thin line drawing to technical drawing, you can do anything you want. 

Moreover, you can apply it on grasses, twigs, ropes, or other fine details. 

Another important feature of this pen is it covers the liquid. Therefore the screw adjustments should not be too tight or too loose. Tightening it too much can cause deformation, be careful. 

The unique characteristic of these pens is that they come in a package. That is not a unique characteristic, I know, but it is exceptional when they come all in different sizes! 

You can choose according to your needs and choice. 

The pen doesn't demonstrate environmental pollution because all its materials are reusable. The pen handle is made of reusable quality plastics, and the point tip is made of stainless steel.

As you would expect, the pen easy to use, not to mention easy to clean. Your 8-year children can easily use it with ink or paint. And, you also can use it for your small business purposes. 

To draw straight lines, use line rulers with it

from straight lines to straight edges, this pen is suitable to use. 

Last but not the least, don't use any brush or clothes to smear the nib. Dip it directly to the medium. To draw a horizontal line, apply a bit more force than you usually do for straight lines.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with an easy carrying velvet bag
  • Durable and reusable
  • Easy to clean and control
  • Available at an affordable price
  • Use it multipurpose use

Things to Consider Before Buying A Ruling Pen

As there are several options available in the market, choosing the best ruling pen is quite challenging. I have gathered some facts that you must look into before making the final buying decision.

Nib Quality

Arguably this the most important characteristic one should consider before buying a ruling pen. Let me explain briefly why.

The average point tip has some limitations. It can scratch even damage your paper. Eventually, your whole hard work might get ruined.

So, whenever you buy a ruling pen. Make sure the nib is made of nickel-plated steel, and the total point tip is made of stainless steel. You know, slipping of pens from hand is common. And if it is not made sturdy enough, it won't take time to get lost. So, do consider it very carefully.

Adjustment screw

Adjustment screws adjust the pen blades to ensure the right flow of mediums. 

‌Whether you use ink or masking fluid, or even paint, proper flow of these is all-important. It determines how your drawings will look like. As I said already, the difference between a pro-Artist and a beginner is not that much. Both know how to hold the pen and what type of medium they can use, so what makes the actual difference? 

There are some questions, simple questions that you cannot get an answer from Google. For instance, what will be the consistency of a second coat on watercolor paper for masking fluid? Or, what will be the ink flowing speed? 

So these are the questions, you have to answer before you get a leap in your drawing career. But don't get disheartened or frustrated; it takes time and practice to climb up there. So besides these facts, try to make sure your screw adjustments work fine and greatly support you. 

Easy control 

How many potential artists have in this universe gave up drawing just because of its complicated functions and overwhelmed procedure? - A lot. 

Especially, if you are about to start your drawing career, go for an easy control tool without any hesitation. You know, it is more about practice and imagination than having some expensive fancy tools. 

I have tried to bring some enriched ruling pens in quality as well as easy control in this article. Pick one based on what suits you the most. 


Pens that weigh little allow you better control. Generally speaking, as drawing or writing takes some time, artists prefer lightweight pens. 

But at the same time, the pen must have to be sturdy enough. If it is entirely made of plastics, then this wouldn't be a good choice though it is lightweight. Get the point? 

Don't consider quality in order to get a lightweight pen. Look for a balanced option with quality and lightweight. 

Frequently Asked Question

Question: How can I use the steel pen attachment in my compasses to ink in?

Answer: it really opens up the scope of what you can do with your ruling pen. So really, it is very handy to try. I would recommend that you get your compass radius all set and positioned before you start to ink. Or, add any sort of paint to the ruling pen attachment you love.

I also adjust the knuckles that exist within the compass. The reason for doing that is to make sure that when the compass draws its line or inks its line, steel pen attachment remains vertical to the paper.

Obviously, you won't be using straightedge because you're making a circle, but it's still important that the pen itself remains vertically positioned and both points of the pen are touching the paper when you're drawing. 

So once you're all set, you need to fill your steel pen attachment to your compasses. You can give it a little bit of a wipe and a clean just as you have done before. 

You then take a lot of care to position your needle into the paper wherever you want it. So when you finish making the mark, you can use both hands to adjust the radius so that you have a lot of stability.

If you want to create a series of concentric circles, don't remove the compasses from the actual point. 

The top screw that changes the radius or the thread and adjusts the screw at the bottom, which is down on the actual steel pen itself, adjusts the amount of paint that will flow through.

The weight of the line that you draw changes. It gets heavier as you move inwards, towards the center of the circle. 

I think this is a really great exercise. And, you can get some really good results with a little bit of practice. You can use multiple different colors. Really, you're just limited by your own imagination, but I think it is a good exercise to try.

Question: How to ink in circles with a ruling pen?

Answer: before you commit to your final piece of work, be very carefully placing the compass point and prior to rotating the compass and inked in your line. As I said earlier that it doesn't take a huge amount of force to cause the steel pen to drip.

And because of that, you've got to be very careful how you lift that compass from the paper. You can see, people will lift as well, but you know too much force and jerk will end up with a splodge of paint somewhere that you don't want it.

So you can do what I do. Gently hold the paper down and use both hands if possible to lift the compass point out of the paper. You need to be careful both with your positioning of the compass needle as well as the lifting of the compass needle. 

Question: Is it a good practice to write with a ruling pen

Answer: writing with a ruling pen, that means calligraphy is totally compatible with a ruling pen. However, it depends on which pens you are using. For instance, the SPWOLFRT art ruling pen is highly recommended for your calligraphy works. Because it holds the ink well, and, both thin and thick lines, it draws well.

In addition, it also depends on your experiences too. If you just about to start drawing, I would suggest not getting a ruling pen for your calligraphy. Rather, you can pick other specialized calligraphy pens for the initial stage.

Question: How long do ruling pens last?

Answer: longevity depends on how you treat them. If you treat your tools well, they can last up to you 5-6 years, even a lifetime. So, no certain period there, care you pens they will care your drawings in return.

Final words

A ruling pen can really be a handy tool if you love drawing. It has been in use for many years. However, choosing the right ruling pen might be challenging as it varies distinctly from one to another.

To bring you the best ruling pen, I have researched and gathered some vital information in this article. I sincerely hope it will help you. Good Luck.

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