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Best Calligraphy Starter Kits – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Letter writing is a bit of a lost art with the advancement of mobile phones and technology. Calligraphy is a great way to get back into the past; actually writing words instead of just typing them.

It might seem a bit scary if you’ve never done it before. Rest assured, it’s a fun hobby which is easy and inexpensive to pick up.

If you’re just starting out in calligraphy or wish to buy a kit for a friend, this article is for you! Here I discuss what’s included in a typical calligraphy kit, what to look for and my picks for the best calligraphy starter kits on the market.

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

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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

1. 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 3 pens, 3 nibs and 20 cartridges with an instruction book included. This is plenty enough to get any beginner started.


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


  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

2. Daveliou Pen Set

Daveliou Calligraphy Set - 19 Piece Pen Ink and Nibs Kit & Case - Wood and Glass Dipping Pens - 12 Nibs & 5 Ink - For Kids Adults Beginners or Professional

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.


  • Simply stunning set
  • Quality grade
  • Built to last


  • Expensive
  • Only comes with a few choices

3. 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

This set from Staedtler is my top pick of the bunch. The metal case houses 4 deluxe calligraphy pens with 5 nibs of varying sizes including fine and extra broad. There are 20 cartridges of various colors and this set even includes a handy practice pad. Useful for beginners to scribble on before buying proper paper.


  • Well known brand
  • Lots of choices
  • Good price


  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

4. 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

It is a great set 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.


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


  • Not as many options as the cheaper sets


My overall winner for best calligraphy kit goes to Staedtler. It has a great selection of nibs and a good amount of cartridges that will cater for any beginners. You also get a 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!

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

Kara Mars