DAISO brush pens, part II

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So, as predicted, I stopped by DAISO Japan again and picked up every brush pen I didn’t already have. This post is only about one of them though — yes, this pen is just amazing enough to get its own post.

This pen is amazing.

This pen is amazing.

The packaging here is nearly identical to the “pocket brush pen” from last time, but these two pens are completely different. While the other pocket brush was very similar to the Tombow Fudenosuke or the Kuretake Fudegokochi, this “flexi-brush” is much more comparable to the fabled Pentel Pocket Brush or the Kuretake #13. Yes, really.

DAISO "pocket brush pen" comparison.

DAISO “pocket brush pen” comparison.

Above is the comparison between the pocket brush pens of similar packaging; the pen from the previous post is on the left and the new pen is on the right. Both use a water-based ink, so they aren’t waterproof, but both are Copic-proof/alcohol-proof. You can tell from the above that the “flexi-brush” pen definitely gets a lot more flex than the other pocket brush pen. Look at that line variation! You know why that is?

Because it’s got nylon bristles. The other pen is felt tipped.

Actually, after I posted my previous pen review, Sam (Jacobin) mentioned that they’d gotten a DAISO-brand brush pen with nylon bristles and I almost didn’t believe them because really? Really? A pen on this level for A DOLLAR FIFTY? For 100 yen?? Apparently so.

Nylon bristle brush pen comparison.

Nylon bristle brush pen comparison.

Other than the ink tones, can you even tell the difference? The DAISO pen has a cooler colored ink while the Pentel and the Kuretake have a warmer one (though the Kuretake’s dries a tad lighter than the Pentel). I compared the Pentel Pocket Brush and the Kuretake #13 last year; the difference in their performance is negligible. And so far, this new DAISO pen almost as good as those other two. I just can’t get over it.

You can’t tell from the above sample, but you can get very fine, tiny strokes with all of these pens — because all the tips are made from individual nylon bristles, they don’t wear down over time and you always get a fine, perfect point.

The length of the tip on the DAISO pen is more similar to the Kuretake’s, about 7.5mm from base to tip. Though the packaging says 4.0mm, the widest stroke you can get is actually about 6.0mm, though most of the time it’s closer to 5.0mm.

Top to bottom: DAISO pen, Pentel Pocket Brush, Kuretake #13.

Top to bottom: DAISO pen, Pentel Pocket Brush, Kuretake #13.

Feathering isn’t as smooth with the DAISO pen and the ink shows through a bit thin, but the biggest downside is, of course, that it isn’t refillable. Once the ink runs out, that’s it. You toss it and buy another one. But at freakin’ $1.50, this entire pen is almost as much as one refill for the Pentel Pocket Brush ($1.25ish). The ink is also not waterproof, which is a weakness the Kuretake #13 also has, but the Kuretake is compatible with converters, allowing you to fill it with whatever ink you want.

But the Kuretake #13 is a whopping $33.00 and the Pentel Pocket Brush is $13.50.

This pen is $1.50.

This pen is $1.50.

This pen is $1.50.

Is it the mark of an unprofessional blogger that I've included a gif?

No, this pen won’t replace the Pentel or the Kuretake — those are both stellar pens that you’ll buy and refill again and again and keep for the long term — but all the downsides of this DAISO pen are waved away and easily excused by its price point. In conclusion: if you live near a DAISO Japan store and have not played around with a nylon bristle brush pen yet, GO. GO NOW.

This sketch used the DAISO “flexi-brush.” For real~.


  1. Hey, so I’m obsessed with trying to find these brush pens. I love them and I only have one left. unused. I also buy the zebra’s when I go to Daiso, but this brush pen…If you know where to find these please share. Or if you know what’s another good cheap alternative. Thanks!

    • Yeah, this pen has disappeared from both Daisos here me, sadly. I haven’t seen them in a long time. However, as I mentioned, the Pentel pocket brush is still king of this area and is widely available online and at many art stores. It’s $13, so it may not seem like a cheap alternative to the Daiso pen off the bat, but it’s refillable, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the pen, just the cartridges, which last longer than the Daiso pen also. Good luck!

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