The Best Micro Knit Stylus for iPad - Stylus Types & Reviews
Use a Stylus for the Best Accuracy & Cleaner Screen
A Stylus and your iPad go hand in hand. Using a stylus with your iPad makes sketching, painting, and writing much, much easier - and more natural, which means it's almost frustration-free. But with so many options available for a stylus, how do you know which one to choose? The best kind is the kind with a 'micro knit' tip. Having used each kind, here's there best way to spend your money wisely. Micro knit styluses are the best choice for an iPad, and for any tablet computer - and in this article I'll consider the pros and cons of each kind.
There are four kinds of styluses you can buy for your iPad: Rubber/Eraser-style, Cone style, the 'pinpoint' style, and the micro knit kind.
Using your fingers on the iPad will often give you a sort of "dog nose on the window" effect and if you're like me you'll be cleaning it all the time to removes smudges. You don't get any smudges at all using a stylus.
Stylus Tips: The Rubber Tip & Cone Tip
Two Related Types of Tips with Similar Functionality
The first kind of stylus tip - and the worst - is the hard rubber kind. This style looks more or less like the eraser on the back of a #2 pencil (hence why you might see it called an eraser tip stylus). The pros of this kind of stylus is that it's solid rubber, there's no squishiness to the tip as there is with most other styluses. It taps great, it just doesn't slide very well.
Unfortunately, that's just about the only good thing to say about this style of stylus. The main detractor with this kind of stylus tip is it's too grippy to use for anything really useful, at least most kinds have too much grip. If you find a rubber tip stylus without the grippy-ness, buy a few to have on hand in case one breaks or gets lost. This means the tip has way too much friction on the screen, and you can't slide it smoothly to write or sketch. Generally, the amount of grip this style has will go up or down depending on quality, but they're all more 'sticky' on the screen than other options.
This style is, however, a great choice for people who tap or type with their stylus. Most people I know have more than one stylus, so if you do an equal amount of tap-style navigation, this kind of stylus would be a great accessory to pick up.
Cone-Style Rubber Tip
This style tip is closely related to the 'eraser' style above - a little rubber cone that compresses a bit when you use it. It's a rubber cone tip - it slides on the screen with a bit of friction, but not a whole lot. If you like to write with a pen that has a little drag on the paper, you'll like this kind of stylus.
The cone compresses a bit on the screen as you use it, so you have to push a bit to make contact. However, these tips are general not as 'sticky' as the Eraser style mentioned above.
The drawback with this style is that after a while, the cone can tear and then you have to throw it away or replace the tip (if you have the kind with a replaceable tip). The tip can also be damaged if you put it into your pocket with keys or coins, unless you have a cap to put on it to keep it safe.
This kind of stylus was the first kind I bought, and while it served me well in the beginning once I switched to a micro knit stylus I haven't looked back. I keep my cone tip stylus as a backup.
The Best Rubber/Cone Tip Styluses
Style Tips: The Pinpoint Tip
The pin point style tip has the greatest degree of accuracy of all the iPad stylus type you can find. So if you're an avid, experienced sketcher on the iPad you'll really love this precision.
However, this style comes with some cautions: You can scratch the screen (or the screen protector) if you're not careful, like if you push too hard. Using a screen protector like a Zagg Shield would be a great idea if you'll be using this type of stylus at all. Also, the plastic disc on the tip can break you're not careful. This style needs more care than the others.
For absolute precision, this is the style of tip you will need to have, but for most purposes it's unnecessary and can break in daily use if you're not careful with it.
A Review of the Adonit Jot Stylus
Highest Rated Pin Point Tip Styluses - When Precision Matters Most: The Best Stylus for Sketching
Style Tips: The Paintbrush Tip
This one is perhaps the most unique off all the stylus tip types. Some models come with consistently good ratings, and are a good addition to any iPad artist's collection of tools.
Basically, you use this like a paint brush, and 'paint' on the iPad screen - making more for intuitive and fluid actions and responses in the app. However, this type of stylus is not well suited to tap-style use of the iPad (you can't really tap with a paintbrush!)
The biggest drawback for this kind of tip is that it's one-use-only. Brush-type styluses are not well suited for all-around navigation.
The Best Brush-Tip Styluses
Stylus Tips: The Micro Knit Tip
The Micro Knit stylus uses a kind of fabric for the tip, but it's woven with an electrically conductive material so it will work with the iPad screen.
Micro knit tips are very slick on the screen, and this can take some getting using to at first, but once you do you won't want to go back.
For iPad writers and artists, this is a really nice feature to have. The almost non-existent friction between stylus and screen means you have better control over what you're doing, whether it's writing on the iPad or sketching or painting. The micro knit tip is more like a paintbrush than a pen.
The drawback with the micro knit tip is that it does tend to be a bit 'squishier' than the cone type stylus. The tip has to squash a little on the screen to make contact. For this reason, some brands of micro knit iPad styluses are better than others; some are more squishy and some are more firm.
Although not to the extent of the cone type tip, these tips can be damaged if you just toss them in your pocket with other items, so keep it in a pocket on it's own, or buy a stylus with a cap.
The Best All Purpose Stylus: Micro Knit Tip
Based on Personal Experience & Research
Some users have noted that hard rubber tips and pin point style styluses have damaged their screen protectors over time, and some have said common areas on the screen have shown obvious wear on the protector as well - the repetitive gestures of the stylus on the screen can put a 'polish' on that area of the screen that can be noticeable.
Micro knit tips eliminate this problem because they have the knit tip (it looks like steel wool but is actually very soft) and because of this they don't damage the screen or the screen protector. Precision can be an issue at first because of the at first somewhat softer feel, but this is something you easily get used to. Once I adjusted to the style, it's very easy to use and as accurate as I need for painting, sketching and tapping.
Any stylus you buy will have a degree of inaccuracy, and if you're moving from a regular ink pen to a stylus on the iPad, any stylus you buy will have it's frustration because of this. For all but the purely artistic uses, though, the accuracy is a nonexistent issue.
My Personal Recommendation
A stylus has to be durable, comfortable, and responsive if it's going to be useful.
My daily stylus is the micro knit tip model from Arcadia click-actionNewTrent - the clicker action is a really cool and very useful feature to have and it protects the tip from damage. Plus, you never have to worry about losing a cap.
Note: The plastic ring on the tip you'll notice on Amazon, and some reviewers complain about, actually comes off. It's a piece that protects the shiny metal at the tip, but serves no functional purpose otherwise. I removed them as soon as I opened the box.
The best thing about the NewTrent Arcadia, aside from the durable micro knit tip, is the click-style action that protects the tip from abuse and damage in your pocket.
The only slight downside is the length of the pen. Some reviewers note it's too short for them to handle comfortably. In my case, this has not been an issue at all. For $10 for a two pack, you can't go wrong.
Recommended Styluses From Amazon
Share your insights and comment on this article - which kinds works best for which uses, or just post your thoughts about the article.