Pentel Brush Pens—Duo Point and the Duo Point Flex

December 4, 2016


Above: Sketches of Carl Too, who is smaller than Carl, using the two Pentel Pens I’m looking at today. The sketch on the verso page is with the Duo Point and the sketch on the recto page is with the Duo Point Flex. You can click on the image to view an enlargement, and you’ll see a writo on the recto page at the bottom right—Text written top left title [not tile]. 

While picking up some more Tombow Pens for my mother-in-law’s coloring book adventures I checked out the Wet Paint Pentel Pens “kiosk.” It’s a rather large pen display with all the favorite Pentel Pens you already probably know—the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, the Aquash Brush Pen with Light Black Ink, the Pentel Sign Pens, and so on.

I’ve been using my squeeze-barreled Pentel Pens (the Colorbrush line) too much and my hand and elbow are complaining. I thought I’d look for something different.


Above: The two pens under discussion today. Sorry for the typo in the first line—barrel is misspelled. The prices are the ones I paid at Wet Paint which is my favorite local independent art supply store, located in St. Paul, MN—they do mail order. I tried to find them elsewhere but couldn’t locate them elsewhere. Pentel Pens are difficult to search for because even though their packaging carries a certain name, different distributors seem to create different packaging. At least you have one source where you can purchase.

I wanted to write about these two pens now in case you want to add them to your holiday gift list, or if you’re like me and you need a break from your current brush pen.

Both of these pens have dye-based water-soluble ink. If it’s the same ink in their Colorbrush line, then it is not going to be lightfast—but I love working with that pen’s ink and water as you can see in this recent TV viewing post, so it’s not a deal breaker for me. Sometimes fun is just too important.


Above: A close up view of the tips on these two pens. Items A. and B. are the tips of the top pen, the Pentel Duo Point. On the left you’ll see the hair brush, and on the right its felt-tipped brush. Items C. and D. are on the Pentel Duo Point Flex. The left shows the bold felt-tipped brush and the right shows the fine felt-tipped brush. (Sorry again for typos, I seemed to be working hyphen-free in my call outs.)

The Duo Point (maroon body and hair brush) has an interesting action. The ink flows more slowly than the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and you cannot squeeze out more ink as you can with the squeezy Colorbrush barrels. I found that the pen’s action when using the hair tip meant that you could create expressive dry brush lines much more easily than with the other brush pens I’ve just mentioned. And without having an empty pen or cartridge! Also the hair tip had a delightful drag even on a smooth paper surface.

In the last image above if you look at tip B. that’s it’s other tip, and I found that tip, very stiff.

If you like to work with a brush pen that gives you dry brush effects easily, and may even slow your line making down as it did mine (so I wouldn’t out run the pen’s ink flow) and you like to write with a fine, stiff tip, I think you’ll enjoy this pen.

If, on the other hand you like working with solid, felt-tipped pens and like both a fine and bold line in your work, and like those tips to be flexible I think you’d like the Pentel Duo Point Flex (think “flex” for flexible).

If you like the feel of the Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (PBP), which is a solid felt tipped brush pen that comes in fine, medium, and bold, then you’ll probably like this pen, except that unlike the Sakura, the Pentel Duo Flex contains water-soluble ink.

The other difference you’ll notice is that the bolder tips on the Sakura PBP are floppier in springiness. Right off the bat. The Pentel Duo Point Flex is flexible and springy, but since I just got them and haven’t used one up yet I can’t tell you how the tips will wear over time and use.

I actually will be using the Pentel Duo Point—Maroon body and hair tip on one end—more right now, as I really am enjoying that hair tip. I do not care for the stiffness of its solid felt tip at the other end, but I’ll see if it breaks in.

I’ll update you when I’ve used both up both pens.

Back to sketching!

    • Tina M Koyama
    • December 4, 2016

    I’m a huge brush pen fan, and I like both of those Pentels. (I think I got both from Jetpens.) I find I like using the hair type tips at times when I can go more slowly, but when the subject is a moving target (animals, people, etc) and I need to go faster, the rubbery type tip gives me greater control. I love the dry brush effect, too! I wish these came in more colors, like at least brown.


    • Tina
    • December 6, 2016

    Oops, sorry for misleading you. I just looked more carefully at Jetpens, and I don’t see them there. I must have gotten both of mine in Tokyo (where I went hog wild in brush pen heaven) — so many look similar, and it doesn’t help that I can’t read the labeling, either! 🙂 The smaller tip has not softened up over time. But for me that’s a good thing, because I have a relatively heavy hand, and a lot of the rubbery-tipped ones mush down on me pretty quickly. I hate it when the tips go flat before I’ve used up the ink! But these smaller tips are also not as good for actual “brush” effects, since they don’t give as much line variation.

  1. Reply

    Tina, no worries. I have the same frustration—I can’t read the labels on the pens and many brands use a similar design. I appreciate the feedback that the solid fiber tip on the other end stays firm! I wasn’t able to find that out as I’ve used up the pen’s ink without using the solid tip more. And update comes up on Friday’s post.

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