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Wacom Art Pen versus the Wacom Grip Pen  

A few months ago I lost my Pen (the default Grip Pen which comes with the tablet) for my Intuos4. These pens aren't cheap so I thought my not try one of the higher end pens. Specifically I chose the Art Pen.

The primary functional difference in the Art Pen is that it measures Rotation while the Grip Pen does not. In case you are wondering what is different physically –  I have provided some photos below.

First, this is the package it came in.



Just in case there is any doubt about which version I purchased…




Ok, here is the Art Pen:




It's hard to detect any immediate difference, so let's bring up a Grip Pen to compare.

The Grip Pen is at the top, the Art Pen at the bottom. You can see that Art Pen's the tip and nib look thicker. The bottoms are a couple of milimeters further down the shaft of the pen. The body seems very slightly thinker. The eraser end has no detectable difference.






Now look at the pen stand and nibs. Art Pen nibs are on the left. Grip Pen nibs are on the right.

This was the biggest surprise. The nibs are quite different.




So what about using the Art Pen?

Yes, can apps (I tried with ArtRage) take advantage of the Art Pen's rotation –  though you may have to tweak the brush settings to get this to happen. Otherwise, for my use the pens really don't feel any different at all either in terms of ergonomics or expressive ability. However, keep in mind that I am a casual digital painter.


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Reader Comments (6)

One further difference is, that because of the rotation value, the art pen data transfer is slower than the default pen.
So if you try to draw circles quickly, the result will be ugly octagons on the screen end.

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkeiichi

cool post! thank you!

September 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Great post! I was looking for the differences and you showed them to me!! Thank you a lot!!!!

September 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Thank you very much, this was exactly what I was looking for, trying to figure out which pen I have!

October 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSebastiaan

I have both pens. On my Art Pen, the top half is smoother than the top half of the Grip Pen. Then I forgot if I was supposed to be using the "grippier" grip pen or if the art pen was "ribbed for her pleasure". So now I have them confused when I am using stuff that doesn't use pen rotation. I am bookmarking this page so that I remember! Thanks!

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTwelvefield

Thanks for the post. This is really great info. I had the art pen and now I've gone back to using the old grip pen but with an aftermarket grip on it. What I was looking for was a wide grip to help with my rsi and I found that the art pen wasn't wide enough. I did some research and I was able to find an aftermarket ergonomic grip designed for the wacom pen (it's called the plus ergo grip) and I really like it. In my opinion it feels significantly more comfortable than the art pen. Take a look.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavy

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