***This blog post is not sponsored in any way and does not receive any compensation for product reviews.***
Which pen is better? Which pen do I use?
Ah, the great debate of fine line pens. If you're anything like me, it can be tough to navigate which pens to use when we're just starting out. We're too new to know any better and possibly, too afraid of making the wrong choice, especially if we keep seeing people within the field using a certain brand of supplies. No one wants to waste money! So it is important to choose wisely as the costs for supplies can easily add up. After using Prismacolor pens since I started the Interior Design program, I decided to try the Sakura Micron pens after seeing them on so many other designers' and architects' desks. Let's look at the debate between the Sakura Micron Fine Line pens and the Prismacolor Premiere Fine Line pens to find which one is better and which I chose to use going forward.
I made 4 quick sketches of a perspective building with some chicken scratch notes to test 4 pens of each set for a total of 8 pens. The sizes I tried were the 005, 05, 08, and B (brush pen).
Right out of the package, the Sakura Micron pens offer an 8-pack with sizes of 005, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, B, and G1 (graphic 1) and if you don't need the graphic pen and brush pen, there's a 6-pack with only pens included. The Prismacolor Premier pens offer only a 5-pack with sizes of 005, 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, and 08 with the 02 and 07 sizes not included. Not a huge deal to me but it may be to you.
005 (Fine Line)
Sakura Micron- The Micron has a great feel from hand to paper when drawing. There seemed to be more control when sketching. The lines were crisp and thin, allowing more detail to be added if needed and keeping a consistent ink stroke from point to point.
Prismacolor Premier- The Prismacolor has a good feel to it as well with a thicker finger grip base. It produces deep dark black strokes and the tip of the pen is a bit stiff which can make it excellent for writing as well. This pen had inconsistent ink strokes from point to point with the fade coming towards the end of the stroke.
05 (Medium-Heavy Line)
Sakura Micron- The Micron 05 has an amazing feel to it, almost as if I was using a fountain pen. It produces thin crisp lines which allowed for more detail to be added with less overlap or mistakes.
Prismacolor Premier- The Prismacolor has a marker-like feel to it which I wasn't too keen on after doing the comparison. The thicker lines are nice in some situations such as a larger scale sketch or a piece with less detailing needed.
08 (Heavy Line)
Sakura Micron- The Micron had such a good feel in my hand while using the heavier line. I felt more in control of the product and the weight of the lines. The lines were not overly heavy which was actually a small issue because it meant I had to go over the lines a second time to make the difference stand out.
Prismacolor Premier- The Prismacolor 08 is a joy to sketch with. It's buttery smooth against the paper and the thicker lines meant I didn't have to go back around a second time to make it have the proper weight. I wouldn't necessarily want to write with this pen though.
B (Marker Line)
Sakura Micron- I was impressed with the Micron Brush pen. It has such a clean feel when using it and has a fine tip that can be utilized for thin lines comparable to the 005 or the 01 line weights. I will say though, that the pen has an inconsistent ink stroke with minor fading towards the back end. Great to write with if needed.
Prismacolor Premier- The Prismacolor Brush pen has a softer tip which could be nice because it produces a wider coverage. This would be my pen for larger pieces. However, due to the consistency of this pen, I had to go over lines twice or more in order to differentiate them all. Would not recommend writing with this pen if the goal is tight crisp linework.
The winner is... The Sakura Micron Pen! To be quite honest, I love both pens, and ultimately, I will end up using both brands and will interchange them often as they both have their benefits. I'll use the Sakura Micron Pens for more technical, detailed, and studio work while I'll use the Prismacolor Premier Pens for quick sketches or larger pieces as it covers more area from the thicker lines. I'll be performing another review on The Prismacolor Cool Grey marker set versus the Copic Cool Grey marker set in the summer with larger-scale images. Stay Tuned!
This review is only my opinion of the better pens for design after doing a side-by-side comparison for myself. Feel free to purchase them both (links provided below) and find which one works best for you. Join me on my journey @noirandneutralsstudio on Instagram. With love, see y'all next time!
Are you an interior design or architecture student? Are you a design professional? Have something to add? Let's connect!