The Best iPad Styluses [Best Of]

Best ipad styluses

You only need look at a child's drawing to know why you need a stylus.

“If you see a stylus they failed.” That might be everybody’s favorite Steve Jobs quote about touch screens, but the fact is the finger is terrible at both drawing and writing — just look at your kid’s scrawlings up on the refrigerator door if you don’t believe me.

If you want to make pictures and words that the rest of the world can recognize as such, you need a little help. Luckily, iPad accessory makers also ignored Jobs’ complaints and set out to fill the world with wonderful iPad pens. Here are the best you can buy.

Best Stylus That’s Also A Pen

Alupen Pro 1

AluPen Pro$40

Slimmer than the original AluPen, and with a thinner, more accurate tip, the Pro stylus adds a replaceable ballpoint pen to the mix. Just twist the tip and the pen pops out, meaning you never need to carry an extra pen again.

Best Stylus For Drawing

Bamboo

Wacom Bamboo Stylus For iPad$30

Wacom’s years of pen and tablet experience show in this excellent iPad stylus. It is perfectly weighted, the tip is thin and glides over even dirty screens and you can even remove the pocket clip. Replaceable tips round out the most professional stylus on this list.

Best Stylus For Portability

trueglide 1

TruGlide Mini$16

The TruGlide might be tiny (it’s the little blue one in the photo above), but it is solidly built and will fit into even the smallest pocket. It also has LynkTec’s metal mesh tip to let it really slide easily across the glass screen of your chosen iDevice (don’t worry, it won’t scratch). And if you don’t have a pocket? No worries! The TruGlide has a tail with a plastic tip that slots into the iPad’s headphone socket. It’s possible that this is the first stylus you can’t lose.

Best Stylus For Accuracy

Feature 39

Adonit Jot Pro$30

The Jot Pro started out as a Kickstarter project, and is now ready to buy. It uses a see-through circle as its tip so you can precisely align strokes, has an embedded magnet for sticking to the iPad, and a rubber grip for, well, better grip. If your regular stylus feels a little inaccurate, this is the one for you.

Best Stylus For Fat Fingers

Cosmo overview

Cosmonaut — $25

Studio Neat’s Cosmonaut is probably a pun on the Russian space pen, which was a pencil. It’s chunky, and designed to feel more like a dry-erase marker than a ballpoint pen, which makes sense in the iPad’s shiny screen.

Best Stylus For Serious Use

hand stylus

The Hand Stylus$30

The Hand Stylus might be the best stylus, period. From its anodized aluminum shell to the tip that rotates every time you retract it to even out the wear, to the replaceable packs of tips you can buy, it oozes quality. What’s more, the tip is 4mm in diameter — this is the smallest a tip can get before a capacitive screen stops seeing it.

Best Stylus For Artists

Nomad

Nomad BrushFrom $20

The best stylus for "painting" pictures on the iPad is not a stylus, but a brush. Nomad’s range of bristle-tipped capacitive brushes really feel like you’re painting onto the screen. I have used several, and they are also well made and come in a variety of sizes and stiffnesses. You can even get one with a single shaft that takes interchangeable, screw-on tips.

Best Stylus For Kids

Griffin Crayola

Griffin Crayola$30

To be honest, any stylus would do for kids. In fact, given that they are so "good" at finger painting, no stylus is probably the best stylus for your rugrats. But if you insist, go for something chunky, plastic and colorful. Chunky, for their under developed grasps, colorful, to make it harder to lose and plastic so they don’t crack the screen when they inevitable drop it.

The Best Pressure Sensitive Stylus

Pd bluetiger preview demo

Ten One Blue Tiger$TBA

Currently only a prototype, Ten One’s Blue Tiger is the holy grail of iPad styluses: a capacitive pen with a pressure sensitive tip. It beams pressure information to the iPad 3 using low-power Bluetooth 4 (requiring apps to include the Ten One APIs), and has an LED on the side which shows the color of the currently-selected ink. Who knows when it will ship, but when it does, I’m totally buying one.

Related
  • SweetJackson7

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention iFaraday.com and the unique styluses made right here in the good ole’ USA.  You can read for yourself, but…”
    The iFaraday tip is made of soft cloth which glides smoothly across the screen. It won’t scratch or leave a mess on your screen. The iFaraday stylus requires the lightest touch, just enough to provide tactile feedback. The iFarady has a pliable, symmetrical tip which functions at any angle. The tip conforms to the screen such that a planar sphere is reflected on the screen surface, like a human finger. (Touch screens are optimized to look for the shape of a human finger.)“ 

  • Floris

    I am getting the Adonit Jot Pro Stylus delivered tomorrow. I can’t wait to use it.

  • technochick

    Yet again someone quoting Steve out of context. He was NOT anti-stylus. He was anti requiring one for the dang device to work at all. 

    As for this list, frankly I got an iPad to go paper list so I don’t need it to be a pen etc. The whole brush tip thing doesn’t matter a fig because the iPad isn’t that sensitive. The whole pressure thing is still a prototype so it doesn’t really belong on a ‘best of’ just yet. And the Crayola thing sucks. My 3 year old brother used it once, and went back to his fingers. 
    And really the rest of it is personal taste. I would say don’t get one with a spongy tip like the Pogos cause that sponge breaks apart. But otherwise, get what you like. 
  • arltmiral

    I’ve been searching long time to find a stylus untill I heard about the Adonit Jot Pro. Got myself one and it’s really awesome. Very accurate. Great weight, nicely balanced.

  • bContextual

    From my personal experience, to get the best results you should replace the rubber top of some of these capacity styluses. Check this link to see how… http://bcontext.com/bfile/player/ftfkf/#.UCffz0RUOlw

  • Coral7

    For me, the TruGlide is the clear winner! It is by far the best stylus out of all the ones I’ve tried. Love it!

  • Hanz Herrlich

    what happened to http://www.no2stylus.com that thing is great for kids. At least mine.

  • jaevincom

    wow. nice list of stylus. You can also check out other styluses at ipadstylusblog.com

  • Oreo13

    I love the TruGlide! Best stylus out there!

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Best Of, iPad accesories/cases/stands | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |