How Does a Stylus Pen Work?
Although it’s possible to create your own stylus from other objects (anything that will conduct electricity from your finger), it’s not a good idea. A metal pen, paperclip, or wire may indeed work as a stylus, but those objects are also liable to scratch the screen. It’s much better to go with a product designed for the express purpose of on-screen manipulation.
There are so many different kinds of styluses, with each brand putting its own spin on the concept, that shopping for one can be confusing. Not to worry. We’ve rounded up a few of the best spots where to buy stylus pens.
First, let’s go over a few different types of stylus pens, so you’ll know what category is the best for you.
Nowadays, the vast majority of phone and tablet screens are capacitive, meaning they respond to the conductive touch of the human finger (or some other conductive material). A universal capacitive stylus can manipulate the screen but doesn’t have the fancy features of active styluses, which communicate digitally with the device itself. This is the category of a Wacom tablet and pen or the pressure-sensitive S-Pen.
For many, a capacitive stylus that offers finer control than a finger is perfectly adequate. For artists, an active stylus may be the way to go, as other features like tilt- and pressure-sensitivity are very useful. However, we have seen complaints out there about those styluses maintaining a wireless connection to their device.
Where to Buy Stylus Pens
Here are a few of the best places we’ve found for your next stylus.
1. SaharaCase (SaharaBasics Stylus Pencil)
SaharaCase’s stylus hits the sweet spot between an advanced, phone-specific Bluetooth stylus (like the Apple pencil) and a passive capacitive stylus.
Universal and easy to use, the SaharaCase stylus uses an electrical charge to mimic a finger's touch, but with much finer control through the smooth-gliding copper tip. This offers much more detailed precision than a passive option.
Expensive phone-specific active styluses like the Apple Pencil or S-Pen are also electronic, but they can be finicky to pair and keep paired with your device. If you don’t need the pressure sensitivity that those pens offer, we’d recommend steering clear. The SaharaCase Stylus Pencil, on the other hand, only uses its massive 12-hour battery to create enough capacitance in the tiny copper tip to manipulate the electrostatic field of the screen. No phone pairing required!
The easy, totally universal nature of the SaharaCase Stylus Pencil will keep your adventures well-served for years to come and makes SaharaCase the top spot where to buy stylus pens.
Buy the SaharaBasics Stylus Pen.
Adonit is known for its well-engineered selection of styluses. Adonit creates a range of active styluses for the likes of the Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface. It also touts a range of more universally compatible capacitive styluses, including a few battery-powered versions that offer even more precision.
We’re partial to the Mini 4 for its wildly unique clip design and practical pivoting disc tip that doesn’t require battery power for a fair degree of precision.
Check out Adonit’s line of stylus pens.
MekoTech is another high-quality maker of styluses with a wide range of options.
Although it can sometimes pose a danger to the screen, a stylus with a built-in ink pen can be very useful. Some styluses try to get extra clever by embedding a retractable pen tip inside the rubber stylus tip. We think that makes it a little too easy to bring that sharp ink tip into contact with your device's vulnerable screen.
The 2-In-1 Microfiber Series from MekoTech includes an ink tip on the opposite end of the stylus to avoid that confusion.
Buy a MekoTech stylus pen.
JetPens is not a maker of pens or styluses themselves, but rather a great big marketplace for all sorts of writing instruments. With nearly 40 options for capacitive styluses alone, you’re sure to find something you like.
With options like the inimitable Fisher Space Pen plus a stylus, it seems JetPens covers all their bases in terms of choice beyond your typical garden variety stylus. The Sensu Brush pen they carry is also an interesting choice for the more artistically-minded among us.
Search JetPens marketplace of styluses.
You might be familiar with the Wacom name from their industry-leading drawing and graphics tablets. They make pens that pair with those devices, but they also offer styluses to use with a whole range of tablets and devices.
Besides active options for the iPad and other tablets, Wacom has an excellent range of capacitive styluses. In particular, the Wacom Duo is an eye-catching combo of a pen and a stylus with a unique carbon-fiber tip. Check ‘em out!
Browse Wacom’s stylus pens.
Stylus in Style
Whether you’re going with a simple passive stylus, a more advanced active stylus with finer control (like the SaharaCase Stylus Pencil), or going all-out with a digitizer pen like the Apple Pencil, we hope our list of top picks has helped you along your way.
Now that you know where to buy stylus pens, head on over to our shop to look at all our finely crafted phone accessories that will have you rocking stylus-style.