Pen Review: Akashiya Sai Thin Line Brush Pens

Akashiya Thin Line - full image

Review by Tina Koyama

Akashiya Sai ThinLine Brush Pens ($4.95 each or set of 5/$14.25) are, by far, the thinnest brush pens I have ever used. Available in five earthy colors, the pigment-based inks are waterproof, which is still relatively rare among bristle brush pens. After waiting less than a minute, the inks could be washed without a trace of bleeding.

These slender pens look a bit like eye liners (if you use both brush pens and eye liners, avoid unfortunate accidents by storing them far apart in your purse).

I chose Seiboku (a cool gray) and Hiwadairo (a purplish brown) for this review.

Thin Line barrels

Like most brush pens, the extra-fine brush tips are made of a synthetic material that can be reshaped easily to retain the point. With the pen held vertically, the tip can impart a remarkably thin line. Used at an angle, the brush can make a relatively broad stroke, too.

Thin Line brush tips

I sketched a tree with the Seiboku color in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook to see the range of line variation, and I love the organic look of the strokes this brush delivers. I think calligraphers and letterers would also appreciate the flexibility and thinness of the brush tip.

Thin Line sketch

If I have any quibbles, it is that the slender barrel – about the same as a pencil – is not very comfortable to work with for any length of time. I prefer a chunkier barrel on a brush, especially for the delicate work that this brush invites. Still, it’s a lovely addition to my (admittedly sizable) arsenal of brush pens.

cup o brush pens

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

tina-koyamaTina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.

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