The best Apple Pencil tips are essential investments if you use Apple's stylus for digital art on an iPad. When the first-generation Apple Pencil arrived back in 2015, the company was kind enough to throw in a replacement tip at no extra cost. This is because, believe it or not, the pencil tip doesn't last forever. Over time, it will wear out and lose accuracy and could even damage or scratch your iPad screen.
The second-generation Apple Pencil saw a number of new features, but at the same time it lost the replacement tip – thanks Apple! So if you are a frequent user of your Apple Pencil, you'll want to have some replacement tips handy. You might think Apple is the best place to head for these, and you wouldn't be wrong. Replacements from Apple are a direct replica of what is fitted at the time of manufacture, so you're guaranteed the same performance and longevity as the original. But there are also third party replacement tips, which might be better suited to your use.
Metal is one option. And before you ask, no, I haven't gone mad - glass is harder than metal and so shouldn't damage the screen. It could, however, damage any anti-reflective coating on the display, which is worth bearing in mind. The biggest pro of a metal tip is how long it will last (i.e., forever), and the number one downer would probably be the noise it makes when hitting the screen, .
The other options are rubber and silicone tips, both of which provide a lot of resistance against glass. That makes them a good choice for drawing, but not so much for writing, for which a hard plastic or even metal tip would be better suited.
I have tried and tested a number of Apple Pencil tips and collated a list of the best products suitable for a variety of uses. If you want to give your device an added layer of protection, visit our round up of the best iPad screen protectors.
The best Apple Pencil tips available now
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Best fit overall
When it comes to a tip with the best fit, you're not going to beat Apple's offering for its own product. And you can get a pack of four for a very reasonable price (as Apple products go, that is), and are compatible with both Apple Pencil generations. These particular tips are made of hard plastic, which is highly responsive and so makes them particularly well suited to writing and note-taking. They can be a little slippery, however, when drawing.
OK, so not an Apple Pencil tip replacement as such, but an extension to enhance its design here from Delidigi. Made of silicone, these tip covers sit perfectly on both Apple Pencil generations, acting not only as a protection from wear, but more resistance for an enhanced drawing experience. The material is super-thin and so still highly responsive, and dampens the noise of plastic on glass when it hits the screen.
Best for writing
These fine point metal Apple Pencil tips are fantastic for writing with. Compatible with both generation Pencil, they are made of stainless steel, which will last a lifetime, and the fine nib means precision control. I found these great for having that sense of using a real ballpoint pen to make notes with, however didn't enjoy the experience of them while drawing. Super-easy to switch, I would definitely keep one of these handy for taking notes. Be mindful that the metal, as mention above however, could potentially damage any anti-reflective coating over time.
Best for digital art
If you mainly use your Apple Pencil for digital art, these affordable tips from PenTips could be worth investing in. Used by artists at Apple, Disney and Pixar, these tips provide an added level of precision, particularly when drawing. And I must say they are a pleasure to use, gliding across my iPad screen with ease, and maintaining a level of pressure I'm used to. The tips slip seamlessly over both the Apple Pencil 1 and 2, not only giving you more control but added a layer of protection that will last up to 12 months. I also love the gorgeous box they come packaged in, which allows you to simply push the pencil in to attach the tip, and keeps the remaining spares well protected.
Best for professionals
Much like the PenTips Lite to your left, the PenTips fiber nips add an extra level of precision to the Apple Pencil. But this one takes things up another notch. Made of high quality fiber, they offer precision control, particularly when it comes to line art. I found these a joy to use, offering much more stability to my digital art and helping to create beautifully smooth lines. They are more expensive than the PenTips Lite, but if you are a professional artist or heavy user of your Apple Pencil, I would highly recommend paying the extra for these.
Best for longevity
This metal nib offering from Paiholy has undergone an upgrade to increase its length recently to aid with drawing and sketching on an angle. I have to say, there are other nibs on this list better suited to such a job. However, this metal nib is the best on the list when it comes to longevity, and is a very pleasant experience when it comes to writing, note taking and generally using the Pencil to navigate around. The tip features an anti-scratch ball, which is said to work on screen protectors too. My iPad doesn't have a protector, but the tip didn't damage the screen at all during use, and offered a high level of precision and accurate pressure.
How often should I replace my Apple Pencil tip?
The good news is, the Apple Pencil is incredibly robust, and the tip should last a good couple of years without the need to replace it. That said, if it is used heavily, it might be sooner than that. It is similar to a regular pencil in that way in that it will wear down over time.
This is why Apple Pencil tips are such a great idea. Not only can you buy some to help the Pencil lend itself to your exact needs, they also act as protection for the original nibs.
How do I know when my Apple Pencil needs a new tip?
There are a few immediate signs that will alert you to being in need of a replacement Apple Pencil tip. However, you should look to replace it before this point to avoid any damage to your device's screen. The tip looking and/or feeling jagged, or your iPad not responding to it are both signs the tip needs to be replaced urgently.
To prevent your Apple Pencil from getting lost, you might want to consider one of the best iPad cases with a pencil holder.