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If you are new to hand lettering or just want to try out a new brush pen then you are in the right place. Today we are reviewing the Tombow Dual Brush Pen and will share with you what we like and don’t like about these pens. Hopefully it will help you decide if the Tombow Dual Brush Pen is right for you.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Review: Are they worth it?

Tombow offers a number of different types of markers and brush pens that are used for hand lettering. Tombow is definitely a big brand in the hand lettering world.

The Tombow Dual Brush pens are one of the more popular products because they feature a wide range of colors and good blendability since they are water based. These two factors definitely make the Tombow Dual Brush Pen worth it.

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Dual Sided: The Tombow Dual Brush Pen is a double sided marker that features a fine bullet tip and a large brush nib. It consists of a nylon tip which offers good durability.

tombow dual brush pen brush tip and bullet tip comparison
Comparison between the brush tip and the bullet tip on the Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Water-based ink: These pens are water based and use color dye in their formula which means they blend well with water.

Self-cleaning Tip: The tip is considered self cleaning which means when you blend the colors together and you continue to use the brush that color will clean itself out.


There are 108 different Tombow Dual Brush Pen Colors to choose from including a colorless blender pen. You can check out the complete color chart here.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens - Complete Set -108 Colors with Carrying Case

This features the full 108 colors of Tombow Dual Brush pens with carrying case. Each pen has a large brush tip and a bullet tip.

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You can buy the complete set or purchase them in packs of 10. Here are some quick links to all of the different pack varieties for the Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

They also offer florals and neutrals which come in packs of 20.

For my first pack of Tombow Dual brush pens I purchased the Brights pack.

Here is a color swatch sample of the Tombow Dual Brush Pens – Bright color pack using the large brush tip.

tombow dual brush pen review with color swatch of bright colors
Color swatch of the Brights color pack for Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Here is a color swatch with the bullet tip end.

tombow dual brush pen brights color swatch bullet tip
Color swatch of the Tombow Dual Brush pen Brights color pack using the bullet tip

Size: Large Brush Pen

The Tombow Dual Brush Pen is considered a large brush pen. It creates nice thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes. The tip is not too soft, but when comparing it to other large brush pens like the ZIG Fudebriyori I would say it doesn’t spring back as well which makes it a little harder to control and create the thin lines on the upstroke.

tombow dual brush pen strokes and alphabet example

Small Bullet Tip

The other side of the pen features a small bullet tip. This can be great for bullet journaling and other hand lettering projects.

tombow dual brush pen bullet tip

Using the bullet tip for Faux Calligraphy:

One way to achieve the look of thick and thin lines is by using Faux calligraphy where you use a monoline pen like the bullet tip side and then make the downstrokes thicker. In the image below you can see the process of using the bullet tip for faux calligraphy.

tombow dual brush pen faux calligraphy example
Example of faux calligraphy using the Tombow Dual Brush pen bullet tip


Is the Tombow Dual Brush Pen good for beginners?

Since the Tombow Dual Brush pen is a large brush pen the tip is softer and harder to control for absolute beginners. I wouldn’t recommend it for absolute beginners. Instead I would recommend starting with a smaller tip brush like the Tombow Fudenosuke which has a soft tip and a hard tip version.

The hard tip brush is great for when you are just learning your basic strokes and letters because it is easier to control. The small soft tip brush then allows you to spend more time practicing and developing your brush pressure as you try to create the thin and thick strokes.

Best Alternatives

There are a lot of great large brush pens out there. If you are still unsure if the Tombow Dual brush pen is right for you I would consider these other large brush pen alternatives.

The video below does a really good job at comparing these similar large brush pens to the Tombow Dual Brush pen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to store your Tombow Dual Brush Pens

To get the most out of your pens you want to make sure you properly store them. Water based markers aren’t as rigid as alcohol based pens when it comes to storage because you can store them either horizontal or vertically.

Tombow has come out with two of their own storage containers.

How to blend with your Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Since the Tombow Dual Brush pen is water based you can easily blend it with other colors.

Tip to tip: you can take one color and add it to the tip of another color. When you go to write you will see a nice blending of the two colors.

Using a blending pad: This is a good method for watercolor projects. Draw with your brush pen on the blending pad and then use a water brush to pick up and blend colors together. A water brush can use the ink from your Tombow dual brush pens and it can be used on watercolor paper. This way you don’t potentially damage your Tombow dual brush pens since it is better to use them on smooth paper and watercolor paper is typically more porous and rough. Check out our guide on the best water brush pens to use with your next watercolor project.

Colorless Blender: Each Tombow Dual Brush pen pack comes with a colorless blender. Lay each color down on the paper next to each other and then use the colorless blender to blend them together.

Check out this video on the three different ways you can blend with your Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

How long do Tombow Dual Brush Pens last?

As long as you take care of your brush pens and properly cap them when you are done they should last you a long time.

What should I do if my Tombow Dual Brush Pen is frayed?

When your brush pen starts to fray it will make the edges of your pen strokes not as clean. You will also notice the tip of the marker starts to become fuzzy and will not look as smooth. Once the tip of your brush has become frayed you can’t really do anything about it, but don’t throw those pens away. All hope is not lost!

One great feature about the Tombow Dual Brush Pens is they are great for watercolor projects. Tombow sells a blending palette where you can place color on the palette and then use a watercolor brush to pick up the color and then use it for your project. In this case your brush pens still have purpose even if they don’t write as well as they once did now that they are frayed. Check out this post for inspiration on 3 ways you can use your Tombow Dual Brush pens after they have frayed.

What should you do if you Tombow Dual Brush Pen Dries Out?

If your Tombow Dual Brush pen dries out you can easily revive it by soaking it in water overnight. When doing this you want to make sure you position the pen so the tip doesn’t touch the bottom. If it touches the bottom it can bend and become deformed.

Check out this tutorial that goes into greater detail about how to revive old pens with this process. I didn’t realize this you can even do this with alcohol based markers but instead of using water you would soak them in alcohol.

Can you refill your Tombow Dual Brush pen?

The Tombow Dual Brush pens aren’t designed to easily be refilled, but after some research I found out that there is a way to refill your Tombow Dual brush pen. You can use Ecoline watercolor ink. Use a tweezer to remove the nib from the pen and then use a pipette to slowly squeeze the ecoline watercolor ink into the pen. Once you are done you can put the nib back on and your brush pen should be refreshed. Check out this post to learn more about how to refill your Tombow Dual brush pen.

What is the best paper for brush pens?

When using your Tombow Dual Brush Pen you want to make sure that you are writing on smooth paper. If you use rough paper like normal computer printer paper it can wear on the tip of your brush leading to fraying. Our top pick for practice paper is HP Premium 32 paper. If you are looking for something thicker for end product designs then Bristol paper is a good option. Check out our full guide of the best paper for brush pens.

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