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The best Rotring pens in 2021

Hand using Rotring pen in sketchbook - best Rotring pen
(Image credit: Rotring)

The best Rotring pens are perfect for drawing and writing with precision, thanks to their super-fine nibs, superior engineering and superior flow.  

Rotring was established in Germany in 1928 as a manufacturer of the best fountain pens around. The name translates as 'red ring', something that's still placed around the barrel of its pens today. 

Nowadays, Rotring pens are manufactured in Japan, and cover a wide range of types. So whether you're looking for the best ballpoints, the best mechanical pencils or the best pencils in general, you're sure to find what you need. 

Why the best Rotring pens are worth the money

The high quality of the best Rotring pens makes them particularly popular amongst professional drafters, students and others involved in technical drawing. But they're also good for outlining, shading, sketching, artwork and calligraphy, making them a good choice for both professional artists and anyone learning how to draw.

In this article, we bring you the best Rotring pens available today, across a range of pen types, so you're sure to find what you're looking for. 

These aren't the cheapest pens, but they are sure to last longer than most. And given that their superior construction and quality will give your work a more refined and elegant look, can you really afford not to have one?

The best Rotring pens in 2021

Rotring Radiograph Pen

(Image credit: Rotring)

01. Rotring Radiograph Technical Drawing Pen

The best Rotring pen for technical drawing

Nib sizes: 0.1 mm, 0.13 mm, 0.18 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.35 mm, 0.4 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.6 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.8 mm, 1mm, | Colour: Red | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 4cm

Fine tips
Consistent flow
Clog-free
Nibs need careful handling

This fine-lined pen provides beautiful flow and is perfect for technical drawing. The tips range from 1mm to just 0.1mm thick, and are perfect for drawing very thin lines accurately and consistently. Note, though, that its fine nibs are delicate, so you need to handle them with care.

You can be assured of a clog-free experience, too, thanks to the pen's innovative capillary cartridge system. The pressure-equalisation system ensures that every time you change the cartridge, the ink flow cleanly and reliably. 

The cartridges themselves are easy to install, last for a long time, and are much less messy than refillable pens. Note that you need to buy the cartridges separately, though.

Rotring 800 Pen

(Image credit: Rotring)

02. Rotring 800 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil

The best Rotring mechanical pen

Nib sizes: 0.5mm, 0.7mm | Colour: Black, silver | Material: Metal | Dimensions: 17 x 2.8 x 15.5cm

Lovely weight
Hexagonal shape
Miniml breakages
Expensive

Looking for a mechanical pencil? Then we highly recommend the Rotring 800, which boasts a twist and click retractable mechanism that works beautifully in practice, time and time again. 

With an ergonomically enhanced full metal design, available in black or silver finishes, this mechanical pencil has a lovely weight to it. The non-slip grip is very comfortable, making it ideal long working days. 

We love, too, the hexagonal shape, which means your pencil is far less likely to slide off the table and disrupt your flow. The fixed lead guidance sleeve minimises the possibility of breakages, and the pencil comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Rotring Isograph Pen

(Image credit: Rotring)

03. Rotring 1903394 Isograph Technical Pen

The best Rotring Isographic pen

Nib sizes: 0.1mm to 1mm | Colour: Multicolour | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.99 x 2.2cm

Suited for frequent use
Colour-coded for line width
Affordable price
Ink sold separately

With a chrome-plated thin tip, ergonomic sleeve, and premium-feeling weight balance, the Rotring Isograph is perfect for detail work in drawing, drafting, and technical writing. 

In that, it has similar appeal to the Rotring Rapidograph (number one on our list), but while the Rotring Rapidograph uses disposable ink cartridges, the Rotring Isograph is based around a refillable ink reservoir, making it a great choice for frequent drawers. Note, however, that the pen comes without any ink inside, and ink must be purchased separately.

Rotring isograph technical pens are available in in 13 line widths, and have a colour-coded barrel that indicates line width. This is a clever approach that will appeal to anyone with multiple pens, as it helps to find the correct one quickly and avoid breaking your creative flow.

Rotring ArtPen

(Image credit: Rotring)

04. Rotring 1903440 ArtPen

The best Rotring art pen

Nib sizes: Fine or extra fine | Colour: Black | Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 22 x 5 x 2cm

Perfect for lettering
Water-soluble ink
One cartridge included
Requires cleaning

Need a pen for drawing, sketching, lettering or calligraphy that offers precision, control, and versatility? Then check out the Rotring 1903440 ArtPen

With a fine or extra fine stainless steel nib, it's basically a fountain pen that mimics a traditional quill pen in terms of its shape, balance and performance. With an ergonomic design, it feels lovely in the hand. 

The Rotring 1903440 ArtPen uses refillable ink cartridges: you get one with each pen. And quite simply, every stroke you make with it looks elegant and stylish, making it the best Rotring fountain pen around. It's particularly well suited for creating expressive lettering.

Also note that the ink is water soluble; so if you like, you can soften your line with a brush of water, or draw directly onto damp paper. Note, though, that like all fountain pens, the ArtPen requires regular cleaning.

Rotring Rapid Pro Pen

(Image credit: Rotring)

05. Rotring Rapid Pro 1904258 Mechanical Pencil

The best Rotring Rapid Pro pen

Nib sizes: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 2mm | Colour: Black | Material: Brass | Dimensions: 19 x 5 x 2cm

Cushion tip mechanism
Break resistant
Built-in sharpener
Weight may not suit

The Rapid Pro line is one of the Rotring's most popular, and for good reason. A cushion point (aka cushion tip) mechanism isn't commonly found in mechanical pencils these days. But you'll find one here, along with a solid metal design, hexagonal barrel shape and non-slip knurled grip that makes using this pencil a joy. The pocket clip is nice and strong, too.

A great choice for professional sketching and drawing, the sliding sleeve and cushioned lead of the Rapid Pro 1904258 makes for superior break resistance and a comfortable experience in use. There's also built-in sharpener under the push-button cap, and a two-year limited warranty. 

Also be aware that at 40g, this is a pretty heavy pen, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences.

Rotring 600 pen

(Image credit: Rotring)

06. Rotring 600 Mechanical Pencil

The best Rotring 600 pen

Nib sizes: 0.5, 0.7mm | Colour: Black, silver | Material: Metal | Dimensions: 17 x 2.8 x 15.5 centimetres

Long-lasting
Comfortable grip
Minimal breakages
Expensive

The mid-priced Rotring 600 is one of the brand's most iconic and popular mechanical pencils. This all-metal, silver pencil offers the benefits of precision lead advancement and an adjustable lead hardness grade indicator, which helps for easy identification when working.

Like all the best Rotring pens, its premium construction means it's designed for a lifetime of use, and breakages are minimal. This makes it a great option for anyone needing a precision instrument for frequent writing, drawing and/or sketching. The knurled grip is comfortable over long hours, and it comes with a built-in eraser too.

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