Best Calligraphy Starter Kits – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Best Budget Choice
Staedtler

Staedtler

Check Price on AmazonOur budget pick is this set from Staedtler. It comes with four deluxe pens, five nibs of varying sizes, plus twenty color cartridges and a handy practice pad. It's superb for beginners.
medal
Best Overall
Mont Marte

Mont Marte

Check Price on AmazonOur top pick goes to this 33 piece set from Mont Marte, a superb mix of quality and quantity at an affordable price. It comes with four pens, five nibs, twenty color cartridges, an introduction book and exercise pad. Great value!
Best Premium Choice
Daveliou

Daveliou

Check Price on AmazonIf you looking for an 'artist-grade' calligraphy kit that involves proper ink dipping, this set from Daveliou is the one to go for. With a gorgeous case and design, it would make a great gift too.

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Calligraphy dates back over two thousand years to ancient Greece and. The word Calligraphy literally means ‘beautiful writing’ and has become a fine art, like sculpture, painting, or drawing.

If you’re reading this, you no doubt fancy trying it yourself. It might seem a bit scary if you’ve never done it before but rest assured, it’s a fun and rewarding hobby that is easy and inexpensive to do.

In this article, we explain what’s included in a typical calligraphy kit, what to look for, and our top picks for the best calligraphy starter kits on the market.

At a Glance: Our Choice of the Best Calligraphy Starter Kits On the Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer’s Guide – Key Considerations

What you get in a typical calligraphy kit all depends on how much you’re willing to spend, of course. What you’ll usually find is:

  • Calligraphy pens, typically a fountain pen
  • Nibs at different stroke sizes
  • Black ink cartridges and sometimes others colors
  • Pump to use with ink
  • Dips
  • Instruction booklets

What to look for?

  • Types of pen: The calligraphy pens can either be cartridge-based or dipped in ink. You have more freedom with the ink for choosing nibs but they can be messy and harder to get used to.
  • Nibs: There are a variety that can be used for different font styles. The two main kinds are italic and flex. Italics are more for gothic writing and flex for more modern calligraphy.
  • Paper: Normal printer paper isn’t the best as it soaks up too much of the ink causing bleeding. If you can, buy quality calligraphy paper.

Best Calligraphy Starter Kit​s – Product Round-up & Reviews

Mont Marte Calligraphy Set

Mont Marte Calligraphy Set, 33 Piece. Includes Calligraphy Pens, Calligraphy Nibs, Ink Cartridges, Introduction Booklet and Exercise Booklet.

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This set from Mont Marte is a superb mix of quality and quantity at an affordable price.

It comes with four classic style calligraphy pens with five nib grades (extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and extra broad). The twenty ink cartridges come in seven colors too (green, pink, orange and yellow, 2 x brown, and 5 x black and blue).

In addition, you get an introduction booklet to help you learn the basics of this ancient art form, as well as an exercise booklet to help you practice and improve your skills.

PROS

  • Superb value for money
  • Four pens and five nibs

CONS

  • Doesn’t look quite as classy as the premium set, so perhaps not so good as a gift

Daveliou Pen Set

Daveliou Complete 20 Piece Calligraphy Set for Beginners & Professionals Includes Pens, Inks, Nibs, Case (Black)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

The Daveliou is an artist-grade calligraphy kit that is durable and resilient. This is the option for anyone wanting to start out calligraphy with proper ink dipping. The 12 piece set includes 5 nibs and 5 inks of extraordinary quality. It looks and feels unique. This would make an amazing present for anyone starting out as it comes in a gorgeous case. The ink is delivered smoothly by either the glass or wooden pen included.

PROS

  • Simply stunning set
  • Quality and built to last
  • Would make a superb gift

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Limited choice of pens

Staedtler Pen Set

STAEDTLER calligraphy pen set, Complete 33 piece tin, ideal for all skill levels, 899 SM5,Assorted

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

If you’re looking for a budget set to get you started, this set from Staedler ticks most boxes. The metal case houses four deluxe calligraphy pens with five nibs of varying sizes including fine and extra broad. There are twenty cartridges of various colors and this set includes a handy practice pad that’s useful for beginners to scribble on before buying proper paper.

PROS

  • Budget price
  • Well known brand

CONS

  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

Faber Castell Set

Faber-Castell Modern Calligraphy Kit - Lettering and Calligraphy Crafts for Adults with Pitt Artist Pens

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This Faber Castell set is another great one for beginners as there aren’t too many items to get confused over.  Faber Castell makes great cartridges too, that many argue are superior to Sheaffer and Staedtler in quality. The 3 ruled guideline sheets included are especially useful for any starters in learning how to hold the pen correctly, strokes, etc.

PROS

  • Good quality ink
  • Nice amount of kit
  • Guideline sheets are very useful

CONS

  • Not as many options as the cheaper sets

Sheaffer Maxi Kit

Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit, 3 Viewpoint Fountain Pens with 3 Nib Grades, Assortment of Ink Cartridges, Tracing Pad (73404)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Sheaffer are a well-known brand in pens. They deliver here in this relatively cheap calligraphy kit. There are three pens, three nibs, and twenty cartridges with an instruction book included. This is plenty enough to get any beginner started.

PROS

  • Well known brand
  • Good price
  • Not too many items to get overwhelmed

CONS

  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

So, Which Should I Buy?

My overall winner for best calligraphy kit goes to Mont Marte. It has a great selection of nibs and a good amount of cartridges that will cater for any beginners. You also get a useful introductory booklet and handy practice pad.

For the more serious hobbyist, or perhaps as a fancier gift, the Daveliou is a great choice. It’s more expensive but the quality of ink is hard to beat. Plus it’s the old dipping ink style, so perfect for a bit of nostalgia!

If you’re shopping on a budget, then go with the Staedler. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the others, but it’s a marvelous set to get you started.

Good luck!


Image Credits: Featured Image Source: iKobe!​ / CC BY-SA 2.0

Kara Mars