Chisel Tip vs Fine Tip: Which is Best for You?

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

chisel tip vs fine tip

If you are a budding artist, getting to know the different types of marker tips is a good way to start. For your information, the tip shape includes chisel tip, fine tip, brush tip, bullet tip, and others.

Each serves a unique purpose that can be used to produce a great work of art. However, chisel tip vs fine tip is strongly compared as they are two of the essential marker tip shapes that you can’t afford not to have.

So, let’s dive into each detail. Know their differences, the pros and cons, the cost, and other information that will benefit your choice.

What is Chisel Tip and Fine Tip?

If you ever use a whiteboard marker, you have probably noticed that there are two marker tip types. The fine tip and the chisel tip that is also called the broad tip.

Moreover, there is more to them than what you think. To get started let us first define what is chisel tip and fine tip.

1. Chisel Tip


This tip shape resembles that of a chisel. What makes it a notable marker is that it can produce different strokes and line thickness with just a single marker.

There are different ways on how to use a chisel tip marker. To produce different strokes with chisel tip markers, follow the following:

  • Use it flat with the whole part of the nib touching the surface to get a heavy broad stroke.
  • Use the angular part to produce a lighter broad stroke.
  • Use the pointed tip to produce a semi-fine stroke.

For whiteboard markers, it can either be wet erase or dry erase. The wet type generally has a mild odor since it uses a more gentle solvent, but most find it convenient to use broad tip dry erase markers.

2. Fine Tip


This tip type has the smallest nib that is rounded in shape. This tip shape is so classic that almost all pen and marker brands have their own version of it.

Furthemore, fine tip markers make consistent solid lines and more controllable strokes. Therefore, the fine-tip markers and technical pens are considered essential in doing different drawing perspectives that professional designers do. I personally love how it makes writing more legible.

Fine Tip vs Chisel Tip: Differences


  • Tip size and strokes

The chisel tip size ranges from 2.0mm to 8.0mm. It has an angular nib that can facilitate different strokes. This tip type is preferred for coloring and for those who want more coverage. This tip shape also gives more defined markings, but some may find it hard to control.

Meanwhile, the regular fine tip marker can have a 0.5mm – 1.0mm size, while the ultrafine can have a 0.1mm – 0.4mm size. Its tip is known to produce thin, clean, and streak-free lines.

  • Applications

Chisel tip markers are best for lettering, coloring, and writing on whiteboards. It instantly gives style to the text and makes writings bolder.

Meanwhile, a fine-tip marker more suitable for writing, doodling, labeling, and intricate detailing. It is the go-to tool to create clarity and contrast for the artwork to look more defined.

  • Cost

As for the price point, markers do not vary much in price according to their tip type and marker tip sizes have standard prices.

However, when we talk about technical pens, the finer the tip size the pricier it gets. For example, 0.1mm size is more expensive than 0.2mm size and varies according to its brand.

  • Pros and cons

To help you get a better view, here’s a table to sum up this information.

Tip Shape Fine Tip Chisel Tip
Output thin strokes could be thick or thin
Size 1.0mm or less 2.00mm or thicker
Best use Doodling, writing, and fine detailing Lettering and coloring
Pros Provides more control and does not smudge Can make more than one stroke and provides good coverage
Cons Less coverage and less flexible Hard to control, tendency to smudge and to get frayed

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you do calligraphy with a chisel tip marker?

Yes, chisel tip markers can be used for calligraphy but it requires more control than using a brush tip or a fountain pen.

Depending on your skills and style, the majority do not recommend beginners to go with chisel tip markers for calligraphy but you don’t necessarily have to listen to that. There’s no harm in trying.

Since a chisel tip marker can produce both broad and thin strokes it can be used to do gothic, italic, roman capital calligraphy, and more.

Is a fine tip marker good for doodling?

Fine tip marker does an excellent job in doing doodles. Artists prefer thin tipped markers for doodling as details could be super small.

If you use thick tipped markers for doodling jobs, there’s a big chance that it will bleed or produce smudges.

Any skinny tip markers will do but the best size to use for doodling is 0.1mm. The finer the nib is, the better. This also depends on how you want your doodle to appear.

Is broad tip and chisel tip the same for drawing?

For markers, the broad tip is the commonly known side of the chisel tip marker that produces larger or broad strokes. Thus, for drawing broad tip marker and chisel tip marker can be the same.

There’s no such thing as broad tip vs chisel tip, they are basically coined as one. Some brands have broad chisel tip markers or broad tip markers when they mean chisel tip marker.

For example, Copic markers refer to their markers with a chisel tip, Broad nib.

How about the other marker tip comparison?

Other than chisel tip vs fine comparison, fine tip is often compared to other tip shapes. Some are very similar and difficult to recognize.

Some of these include:

  • Bullet tip vs Fine tip

True to its name, the bullet tip resembles a tip of a bullet, round and firm. The fine tip has a close resemblance to the bullet tip that’s why they are often interchanged. However, fine tip is just smaller in size.

Bullet tip marker is often used for office or school use and would not be suitable for more intricate jobs that fine tips are capable of such as doodling and detailing.

  • Brush tip vs Fine tip

The brush tip has a pointed tip but is totally different from the fine tip. It is soft and is more versatile than the fine tip. With a brush tip, you can create thin strokes from its pointed tip or thicker strokes when you put more pressure or when you slide it flat.

  • Bold point vs Fine point

This comparison is referring to point pens. Fine point pens can make lines no bigger than 0.7mm size. On the other hand, a bold point pen tip can make a 1.4mm thick line and thicker.

While a fine point is good for small details, a bold point is best for signatures and for areas where it requires more emphasis.

Just note that the bold point takes about 10 to 30 seconds to dry, making it more prone to smudges and smears.

  • Fine point vs Medium point

A medium point pen is everything in between a fine point pen and a bold point pen. It produces lines a bit thicker than the fine point pen which is no bigger than 1.2mm thick.

Medium point pens are good for daily writing use. Does not blot as much as the bold point. Can be used in combination with other pen types to produce variations.


Finding a tip shape that suits your needs takes time and experience. Other than the tip shape, there are also other factors to consider such as comfort and ink quality.

Hope that by having all this information you are now ready to make a more informed decision on which one to choose between chisel tip vs fine tip.

In addition, there are plenty of brands with dual tips which can offer you the best of both worlds. It has a chisel tip on one end and a fine tip on the other.

Why choose one when you can have both?

3/5 - (6 votes)

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