Every year thousands of children are excited to receive a spirograph as a gift, but that excitement quickly fades away. You may get shocked. Why? The reason is quite simple; people fail to choose the right option for them.
If you are a 1980s kid, you may remember how spirograph pens were at that time. The ballpoint stick pens come along with a spirograph set, and other types of pens no longer work with it.
But now the scenario has been quite changed. You can use different types of pens with a spirograph. Even many modern pens work with an old spirograph. So, how to identify the best spirograph pens?
Spirograph sets come with different sets of pens. Since there are several types of spirograph pens, they differ in their characteristics. The bigger the spiroragraph whole is, the bigger the chance to accommodate it.
If you know only a few tips, you can pick the right option. Today, our list of the 5 best pens for Spirograph will definitely help you to choose the most suitable option.
Spirograph 36 Color Gel Pens
5 out of 5
Multicolor 6-in-1 Spirograph Ballpoint Pens
5 out of 5
Colorful Pens for Adults and Girls- Spirograph Set Pens
4.5 out of 5
Shuttle Art 360 Gel Pens
4.5 out of 5
Glitter Color Gel Pens for Drawing, Coloring, Spirograph
4 out of 5
How to Keep Spirograph from Slipping
This is one of the most frustrating parts of using a spirograph. It happens for various reasons. Let's look into the reasons of slipping and its solution.
When you start drawing the gears separate, the line slips. The inner gear jumps up and over the outer gear and you get another slip in the pattern. Or it could be the opposite where the inner gear actually digs under the outer gear creating another slip.
No worries. I will explain how to avoid slips. And how can you make using a spirograph a lot easier and a lot more fun.
Let's get started!
The most common cause of a slip is the two gears coming out of mesh. The reason this happens and this happens mostly when you're using the outer holes.
There is a connection between your eye and the way your hand is moving. So as you're going around when you come down to this point your eye is naturally looking at what's being drawn. Yet to keep the gears in place you have to be pushing the contact point.
The second most common source of slips is the gear inner. Gear is actually coming out and climbing up and over the stationary gear.
The reason this happens is first of all your pen might not be perpendicular and this is a big problem if you press too hard the key to the spiral graph.
One of the important keys is to use very light pressure. It takes very little pressure to make it go around. If you press hard you're increasing the forces that are likely to cause a gear to pop out of place.
The lighter pressure you use the less that's likely to happen.
The gears want to stay meshed you don't have to push the gears in very hard to keep a meshed and almost as important as using light pressure is to go slowly.
Do not try to race around the gears. This is a problem for young children because they're impatient but the slower you go as long as it doesn't cause the ink to bleed out.
Gears with the Right-side up
The more control you'll have and the fewer slips you will get. In addition to using light pressure with the pen, it's important to know that you have the gears with the right-side up. If you look at the holes carefully you will see that they're not straight holes.
They are actually funnel shaped.
The problem with that is if you get it upside down so that the small hole is on the top and the large ones on the bottom.
When you are trying to press the inner gear against the outer gear, if you press too hard especially when you don't have a perpendicular pen, it creates a lot of up thrust.
Since the angle of the cone is working with the non-perpendicular gear and non-perpendicular pen.
And this can create a lot of problems. So make sure that your gears are right-side up that is with the large hole facing up.
I save this suggestion for the end because I think it's the most important and the most valuable.
No matter how careful you are, you always have a slip or two. Especially in a complex design where you're changing pens and maybe changing gears and moving gears around.
And, as some of these can take 15-20 minutes to produce and one minute from the end. You accidentally let something go, get a line and it's ruined or so you think.
There is a way to save it even if this line is intersecting other colors other lines that have already gone down. The key to that are correction strips or correction tabs.
These are rule sheets of acetate that have a white correction film on the back. And what you can do is that if you have this line here and you place the correction on top of it and rub this out. You can eliminate that line.
If you've also eliminated some of the good lines and the colored lines that this crossed. Then you can go back with your pan and just hand clean it up.
The key to using this though is to not put it down and color a whole area.
You want to color as little as possible. Line it up and just lightly rub it.
You may have to come back a couple times until it's completely gone. Therefore, you can see how it's fading.
I suggest you not to use the liquid paper products because they leave too high amount and they take too long to dry.
So this is all from me. If you like doing spirographs, I hope you found some of these suggestions useful. I believe it will help you enjoy using it a lot better and produce better images and as always.
Top 5 best Pens for Spirograph in 2020
1. Spirograph 36 Color Gel Pens
Our first choice is Color Gel Pens. This pen set brings back an old-style appearance with modern technology. They write smooth and cause no bubble that most of the gel pens used to do.
Let me tell you one interesting story about this Gel pen set. I initially brought this pen out of frustration because my local stores always say ‘it is out of stock.’ After I finally got them on amazon.com, I was so glad about its quality and price.
The great variety of colors and their impacts are so amazing (even yellow color stands out on white paper). You can use it on your planner notebook or daily notebook.
If you are an artist, this set offers you so much. You will have no regrets about their value-based pricing. You can play with its shiny and clean colors. They provide better than advertised.
This color gel pen set comes with 4 ink types, including glitter, metallic and pastel. One interesting question some people used to ask me, “is this pen suitable for men? Since they only mention kids and women.”
The answer is yes, this pen is for both male and female kids and olds. Viola gel pens are totally non-toxic. The recommended age for children is above 3 years.
While it works great for painting and designing, it is also suitable for everyday work life.
Since the ink rod is thicker than other similar units, these spirograph pens contain more ink than others.
Are you conscious about your skin? This set of gel pens is completely non-toxic and safe for skin. However, let the ink dry properly; otherwise, they may smudge as they are gel pens.
Another amazing feature of this set is you can paint over color paper too. The color may vary depending on the main background color. Most importantly, this set contains multicolor pens.
You find this set a lot better than other gel pens. I highly recommend this set if you are about to use in various reason.
- Non-toxic and hypoallergenic (can be used on skin)
- The colors are very vibrant
- Not only good for spirograph but also everyday life
- Great color saturation and sparkly glitter inks
- They don’t leave scratch marks
- Affordable price
2. Multicolor 6-in-1 Spirograph Ballpoint Pens
This Multicolor Ballpoint pen set comes from the renowned brand Hieno Products. One thing about Hieno that amazes me the most is their sincerity about customers. They are so sincere and humble.
This ballpoint set is so amazing. One single pen comes with six different colors. This is 6 in 1. It writes smooth and no clogging issues involved at all.
Once you pick this retractable ballpoint set, you can do almost anything, including office work, painting, spirograph, etc. It offers a 0.5mm nib that works smooth and clear.
This set comes with a very attractive gift box. You can easily pick this one for one’s special gift.
Hieno multicolor ballpoint includes an e-book on how to draw with multicolor Hieno pens. It is a mixture of fun and practical. You will get 3 basic colors; red, black and blue.
Those are true colors; no baby blue or red. Along with these standard colors, these pens include orange, purple and green.
If you are working with a budget, this could be a great option. It will give you a bit longer lifespan than others.
It really makes sense when you look for a pen for multitasking. You don’t need to carry pens for each individual task. You will have six different color pens with one smart set. And, you can easily switch between all of them.
With a generous pack of 24 pens, everyone gets their own. So, everyone in class or office has their own versatile pen. You can offer a cool party favor or stocking stuffer.
Moreover, be careful about the heavy writers. These pens are not recommended for heavy writers; who cannot help pressing down hard.
These multicolor pens can help you to be more effective in your studies. A recent study shows that a person can learn more effectively when notes are taken with multiple colors. This is super easy and fun with Hieno multicolor pens.
- Easy to use
- Serves longer than others
- Convenient for students
- Excellent customer service (refund and replacement facility)
- Ink colors are very bright; no pastel
3. Colorful Pens for Adults and Girls- Spirograph Set Pens
This spirograph pen set, more than any other piece of colored pens, truly does come in all colors and styles. This colorful pen set is rather uniquely packed and doesn’t take away from its merits.
A lot of emphases were placed on the quality of ink and combination of colors. The first thing that will catch your eyes is its variety of colors. It comes with several types of colors.
Spirograph Gel pens set consists of 30 gel pens, including glitter, metallic gel pens etc. It is obvious that it will make anyone happy and excited.
Speaking of the ingredients, these pens are non-toxic and hypoallergenic. It is completely safe to use on skin. You are allowed to paint ornament on the skin.
As it is totally safe, there is no restriction on using. You can allow your kids to enjoy these awesome pens and have fun.
These pens contain thicker rod than usual pens. Gel pens for kids require more inks. This colorful pen set ends in providing more jelly than other similar units.
If you would like to use both sides of a paper, do pick a standard paper. This helium ink doesn’t leak to the opposite side of the sheets. But in case you use very light paper, it may cause problems.
One widespread question that people often arise, “are they permanent ink?” No, there is nothing special. They are similar to other pens but offer more colors. Besides, they are easy to wash out from skin and fabrics.
These amazing pens show up brightly, even on a black paper. You can use it to paint over mistakenly applied color.
Moreover, this is one of the best spirograph pens. Taking all the features into account, I personally suggest this budget set for both women and kids. Don’t get offended! Men are allowed to use it too!!
- Great for spirograph design
- Non-toxic and hypoallergenic
- Good for taking notes
- Writes smooth and bright
- Clearly visible on black paper background
4. Shuttle Art 360 Gel Pens
Shuttle Art makes some tremendous gel pens. So it is impossible not having it in your ‘consider list’. This set surpasses all previous gel pen sets. It contains 180 individual colored gel pens.
This set of gel pens ranges from standard to glitter, metallic, neon, pastel, etc. This actually contains more than what you could ask for. It is completely capable of meeting your painting demand.
Shuttle Art doesn’t compromise with its quality. It provides high-quality ink and ink tube. Moreover, you will get 2 regular capacity ink tube for each color.
This gel pen set is exceptionally good for adult book coloring and doodling. It makes study more fun and exciting. Therefore, a recent study shows that colorful text and paintings make memorizing easier. Now, Parents in the United States become more interested in it for their children.
If you are on the hunt for durable gel pens, you should not overlook this one. It provides durable nip and smooth gliding. In order to make quality designs, this is one of the best pens for spirograph.
Most importantly, this set of gel pens comes with a refill facility. Pens and refills are stored in a plastic case. The packaging itself is one of the reasons to pick this up at first glance.
Next, the pen barrels are not flimsy. They are sturdy enough until you bare them down extremely hard.
If you really love and look for colors, then this set is for you. There is no other better option left in terms of the number of colors and a variety of pens. Shuttle Art 360 Gel Pens provides several pastels and metallic glitter that you may never have before. Moreover, they write smoothly and evenly.
I guarantee you; this set will be completely worthy of your cost. It is a steal!
- Massive collection of colors
- Writes smooth and evenly
- Affordable price
- It comes with a refill facility
- Durable and smooth gliding
- A great choice for both adults and children
5. Glitter Color Gel Pens for Drawing, Coloring, Spirograph
Another great gel pen choice that is also budget-friendly is the Glitter color gel pens. This Glitter gel pen set is made to handle your office work, painting, drawings etc.
Glitter Color Gel Pens contains 24 glitter gel pens with 24 refills, which is above average for a quality pen set. It is also great to have this set at such an affordable price.
This gel pen set has been reported to have a little thicker ink rod than others. Therefore, this helps children to draw with more fun and ease.
This set of 24 spirograph pens will make anyone happy. This is a great option to gift someone occasionally. This pen doesn’t only paint well but also writes well.
As these pens don’t contain any toxic chemicals, it is safe for kids. Anyone above 3 years is allowed to use this set. I personally recommend using it at home and daycares for kids.
People who love to paint and enjoy graphics, this set could be a great companion for them. As it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, you can paint on skin.
Gel pens are perfect for coloring. They are indispensable for highlighting important office work. These are one of the best pens for spirograph.
One more interesting feature about this set is it offers a latex arts pens holder. It prevents plastic coloring pens from sliding out of your fingers.
Are they washable? - They are completely washable with a regular washing machine, and they wash off surfaces like tables and walls with warm soapy water. And obviously, they are not waterproof.
These sparkly gel pens write on paper of any color. You will not regret having one set of it, I guarantee.
- They don’t leak; you can paint both sides of your paper
- It can be used to write on parchment paper
- Durable and highly affordable
- Refill facility
- Washable; not waterproof
- It can write on any paper
What To Consider Before Buying A Spirograph Pen
There are several types of pens on the market. Each of them has different characteristics. A spirograph pen is not necessarily just a spirograph pen. You can use this pen in your daily life.
Here are a few basic tips to ensure that you are getting the features that matter the most to you.
When you are shopping, start with the color combination. Because at the end of the day, colors matter the most. If you get the desired colors, it will certainly make you happy and bring more fun.
The more color you have, the more will be the fun. From painting to highlighting text, you need multiple colors everywhere. Read the label and instruction, be sure what type of color they provide. Some manufacturers provide different types of shadow colors with basic colors.
For example, Shuttle Art 360 gel pens. They offer 180 colors with an individual refill pack. You will find colors from different dimensions. So, look into the color depth and its variation.
This is a crucial part of pen choosing. As our kids and girls often use these pens, the ink must be non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
Many of you are familiar with skin ornaments. If the ink is not non-toxic, it may create some skin problems. Please read the manufacturer’s instructions and label whether it is safe or not. If it is toxic, don’t ever consider buying it, no matter how fine it paints or writes.
If you use these pens for your daily writings, nib quality is a vital issue, no doubt. A good quality nib makes your writing smooth and clear. You like to write thick, especially gel pens are the most suitable option.
How to make Spirograph designs
This part is about the basics of Spirograph design. It is for anyone who is just getting started with spirographs or is maybe a little bit confused by the instructions.
If you already know the basics, you can skip it.
There are basically three factors you can change when you're creating basic spirographs.
And, what I mean by a basic spirograph is a spirograph art with the ring and a wheel. It is the most common kind of Spirograph you see.
So there are three basic factors that you can change.
The first one is the ring and wheel combination.
The second one is the wheel guide hole, which is where you put the pen when you're guiding the wheel around the ring to create this paragraph.
And the third thing is the wheel – ring alignment. So this is where you align the teeth of the wheel with the teeth on the ring.
So let's go through these, one by one.
Wheel and Ring Combination
The most significant change you can make is changing the wheel and ring combination. Spirograph rings and wheels are labeled by the number of teeth they have.
For example, the two rings that come with the super spider graph design set are the 144/96 ring and the 150/105 ring. So they have 144 on the outside and 96 on the inside or 150 on the outside and 105 on the inside.
Then that set comes with a whole bunch of different wheels that have a bunch of different numbers of teeth.
So any combination of ring and wheel will always have the same number of points or arms on the spiral that it creates. For example, it might have like seven or five or eight or something crazy like 32 or 105.
They always have the same number because it takes a certain number of spirals before the teeth line back up. And you can figure out how many spirals it will take by finding the least common multiple of the two numbers and dividing by the number of teeth in the wheel.
Alright, I'm going to show you an example of this, but first, you don't have to worry about the math too much. So let's take a look at a couple of examples.
If you take the 60 wheels and put it inside the 96 ring, you can get the least common multiple of those two numbers, which is 480.
If you divide 480 by 60, you get 8 and so the Spiro created with that combination will have eight arms so if you take that same wheel and you use it inside the 105 ring, the least common multiple of 60 and 105 is 420 so then if you divide 420 by 60 you get 7.
So with that combination, you'll create a spiral with 7 arms again.
You can create really interesting patterns by changing the wheel inside the ring.
You might be able to find three different wheels that create the same number of arms and then just change the wheel, and you'll get a lot of variants in the shape of the spirograph pattern in this example.
I used the 96 ring with the 36 wheel, the 60 wheel and the 84 wheel to get three different spirals with eight arms that are the most complicated thing.
Wheel Guide Hole
The next thing you can change is the guide hole. And this just changes the shape of the same spiral just a little bit so that holes are numbered from the hole closest to the outside of the wheel going in.
And they'll have a line pointing to the outside of the wheel that helps you line it up with a ring.
For example, if you want to line different holes up to the same point on the ring, you would use the line and point it at the same tooth over and over again.
And by stacking several variations of the same spiral, you can get some really cool effects.
Generally, I use the 96 ring with the 60 wheel, and it helps me do five Spirographs at the simple little variation and end up looking pretty cool.
Now the next thing you can change is the wheel to ring alignment. And this just rotates the spiral around the ring.
It is kind of hard to describe without showing it, but you can change the alignment by moving the wheel. A certain number of teeth and little guidelines under both the ring and the wheel help you with this.
I also find that marking the teeth is using for alignment with a dry erase marker helps a lot because it can be really hard to see what you're doing on the clear pieces.
And then, once you get the hang of these three basic factors, you can start mixing things up to get a lot more really neat designs.
Let see another example with the 105 ring and the 63 wheel.
Just put the pen in the first hole and then do five different spirals, just moving it to the right a single tooth each time. And this creates a cool little kind of star pattern.
I use ballpoints, and that seems like ballpoint pens are one of the best alternatives to the pens that come with the set. I hope this helps you get started, and I hope it helps you understand Spirograph a bit better.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Question: Can I refill pens?
Answer: It varies pen to pen, set to set. If there is an option, obviously you can. For example, in the case of Glitter Color Gel pens, you can refill. On the other hand, you cannot refill in the case of Color gel pens.
Question: Do these pens bleed through thin pages?
Answer: In the case of the Gel pen, you should use standard paper. If the paper is too thin, it may leak. And, multicolor ballpoints are non-clogging and quick-drying pen, so don’t worry about them.
Question: Can I allow my children to use these pens? They are at four and six.
Answer: Since all the pens are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, you can allow them to have. These are completely safe. But manufacturers suggest not allowing kids under 3.
Ultimately, you should look for a pen that draws well and writes as well. You need to choose a set considering your expectations.
All around, I recommend Shuttle Art 360 Gel pens. Not only is this set a nice throwback, it is made with quality ink and sturdy plastic.
Moreover, look into all the features and characteristics, and choose your best spirograph pens. Good Luck!
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