Intro To Ruling Pen And Usage Tips

Ruling pens have existed several decades before technical pens made a name for themselves. These pens were basically used to manually draw lines with India ink. The ink is a specially formulated ink that helps draw lines on commercial pieces of art. Ruling and technical pens are still in use helping illustrators create ink and pen drawings. Though both the ruling and technical pens have their own set of users and fans, a ruling pen is usually much more convenient to clean and works smooth even when the available ink is not much. A ruling pen also offers different line thicknesses. Altering the line thickness is not as straightforward as changing line thicknesses with a technical pen. In case of a technical pen, you’ll have to buy different sizes to achieve the desired effect.

Using the Pen

Before setting a ruling pen to work, adjust the screw located on the ruling pen’s side to alter the line thickness. There’s no correct thickness level so make adjustments as per your requirements. To add the ink, drop a small quantity of ink between the couple of metal reeds, which are located on the pen’s side.

When drawing a line, ensure the pen is perpendicularly positioned to the paper, and make a subtle stroke. To help draw a straight line, you may use a ruler backed by a metal cork. Keep adding ink to the pen whenever needed till you finish the drawing.


The extra ink from the pen can be removed by simply using the pen till it completely exhausts the ink. To remove ink traces, take a piece of paper and slide it across in the negative area that exists between the reeds. Once complete, rinse the pen with water.

Usage Tips

The pen may look fairly simple and also archaic. It’s nowhere a match to the technicalities and complexities attached to modern-day pens. However, underestimating a ruler pen can prove you wrong. In fact, since it’s such an old piece of creation and not many people have seen or used it before, many people stutter and fail when using the pen in the initial stages.

The initial obstacles may discourage quite a few people, which is why a ruling pen is not as popular as it deservedly should be. However, those people who stand the test and invest the time and effort to learn using the pen fall in love with it eventually. Once necessary confidence is built, working with the pen becomes a breeze. And since the pen supports artistic creations and drawings the best, the pen is more popular among professional artists.

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