A guide to stylus pens

Styluses have become increasingly popular in recent years alongside the rise of tablets and smartphones.

Although many associate the stylus with the digital age, it has actually been around since 1300 B.C. In the past, philosophers and poets would draw or write on wax and clay tablets with one.

Throughout the years, the stylus has changed its materials and appearance, but is still used in the same way to communicate and express creative thoughts.

Keep reading to learn more about how a piece of metal progressed into the much-loved styluses of today, such as the Cross Pens stylus.

Firstly, let’s start with the basics.

What is a stylus?

A stylus is an instrument that is shaped like a pen and designed to work on touch screens.

You can use a stylus in the same way you use a pen on paper, except it doesn’t require any ink and you use it on a smartphone or tablet instead.

What do you use a stylus pen for?

Styluses are used for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes, people simply find it easier to navigate their electronic device with a stylus.

Others use a stylus to be inventive on their smartphone or tablet.

Many people use a stylus when drawing in sketching apps. Styluses offer a good level of creative control and don’t leave smudge marks like a pencil might.

This makes them easy to use, and these tools can often provide exceptional precision.

How does a stylus pen work?

The way a stylus works is rather impressive. The conductive rubber or foam will replace your finger on a touch screen.

Screens are designed in such a way as to detect changes and locate where they are on the screen.

So, when you touch a stylus to a screen, it will be detected by the sensors.

An artist using a stylus on a tablet.

Are there different types of stylus pen?

There are two different types of stylus pen; the active stylus is very similar to a pen, and the passive stylus is very simple on comparison!

Active stylus

Just like a pen, an active stylus has a tip. However, it includes internal electronic parts. An active stylus can be more accurate and has pressure sensitivity, which makes it a popular choice amongst artists!

Occasionally, an active stylus will have additional features, such as memory or an ‘eraser mode’.

Passive (capacitive) stylus

A passive stylus, also known as a capacitive stylus, allows you to write and tap directly on a screen. However, it does not communicate directly through the stylus to the device.

Compared to the active stylus, it works in quite a simple way. The passive stylus conducts the electrical charge from your finger to the screen.

A pro of the passive stylus, such as the Lamy stylus pen, is that it works on all touch screens.

Whether it be Android, Windows, or iOS, the stylus will work on any screen that reacts to your finger.

However, in comparison to an active stylus, the passive stylus is not as accurate and can often block your view.

Why should I use a stylus instead of my finger?

When using your finger on a touch screen, you will leave smudge marks and can often damage your screen with too much pressure or nail scratches.

A stylus is one of the most popular accessories in the touch screen age and can be really handy!

Whether you’re looking for artistic precision, something you can use when you’re wearing gloves, or just want to have a go with the technology, we have a range of styluses that could suit your needs.

From a young age, Natalya has been interested in all kind of stationery. From owning an assortment of coloured pens and pencils to buying a new notebook to write in every week. Natalya loves working for The Pen Company as it aids her in continuing her stationery passion as an adult.