All the Apple Pencil tip alternatives compared

In this guide, I will cover the pros and cons of all the alternatives to Apple Pencil tips that I have reviewed over the years. All products mentioned are compatible with Apple Pencil 1 and 2.

About those metal tips
There are some metal tips listed. Don't worry about metal scratching glass as glass (a ceramic) is harder than metal. The metal can be made of brass, or plated with Titanium alloy or nickel, etc. Metal tips can scratch off the anti-reflective coating on the display though. The advantage of metal tips is of course they do not wear down. I personally don't like the tapping contact sound from metal tips.

About those rubberised or silicone tips
They have resistance against glass and provide more control for drawing. These pen tips usually do not work well on matte screen protectors. These pen tips are not suitable for writing because when writing you want to write fast. For writing, you want to write fast so you should have hard plastic tips, not a silicone tip.

Original Apple Pencil tips


The original Apple Pencil tips are sold in a pack of and cost USD 19. You can usually get it for a few dollars cheaper on Amazon.

I don't really recommend getting the original ones because you can find identical ones for less than half the price. Just note that some alternative tips may have a rounder tip (more blunt) compared to the more tapered tip of the original. How do you know which ones have rounder tips? Sometimes you can't really tell from the product photos so you really have to take a risk to buy some to test. Reading reviews help.

Silicone Apple Pencil tip


This is a USD 2 pen tip I found on AliExpress. The hardness is labeled as 2B while the original Apple Pencil tips are 2H. Don't get the wrong one.

This tip has a rubberised exterior and provides some resistance against glass, and that in turn provides more control when drawing. This is a cheap and good tip for artists who draw with the Apple Pencil. The tapping contact sound is dampened too. Nice.

Metal needle point tip


This pen tip features a needle point, just like technical pens, and allows you to see the lines beneath more easily.

The main downside for this is diagonal lines that are drawn slowly will suffer from jitter or wobble. Hence this pen tip is not suitable for drawing.

The pen tip is quite smooth on glass which is ideal for writing but less so for drawing.

Metal ballpoint tip


This pen tip has a round end that looks exactly like a ballpoint pen tip. There is no ball though so there's no rolling.

Unlike the metal needle point tip, this ballpoint tip can actually draw slow diagonal lines without any wobble or jitter. Hence this pen tip is suitable for drawing. I just don't like the metal tapping sound against glass though.

The pen tip is quite smooth on glass which is ideal for writing but less so for drawing.

PenTips 2


This is another silicone pen tip (right), available in black and white. The price is USD 76 for a set of three. There is no typo with the price.

These expensive silicone pen tips perform the same as the $2 silicone pen tips listed above. Obviously I will recommend you get the cheaper one. I'm still want to mention this overpriced pen tip just to warn people.

Silicone pen tip cover


To install the silicone pen tip cover, you push the Apple Pencil tip in, and hopefully the cover will stay in place thanks to friction. This method of installation is not as secured compared to the screw-on silicone pen tips mentioned above.

The silicone pen tip covers have resistance against glass and provides more control for drawing. But these pen tip covers are prone to falling off when you use the Apple Pencil on the side for shading.

Silicone pen tip covers may produce broken lines when using the Apple Pencil at low angles for tilt.

I don't recommend these silicone pen tip covers when you can get screw-on silicone pen tips which are just better.

The only advantage I can think of for this is, you can switch back to a hard plastic tip quickly.

Leather pen tip cover


This is a slip-on pen tip cover made with leather sold by PencilLovers. Compared to the silicone pen tip cover, this one is smoother on glass but not as smooth compared to a plastic hard tip. This feels more like your finger on glass.

Just like the silicone pen tip covers, this leather pen tip cover can fall off the Apple Pencil too.


The 2nd generation uses the screw-on design which is more secure. This is priced at USD 20 each and does not include shipping.

Black tip


These are available with a short hard black tip and a needle rubberised tip.


The needle tip has good resistance on glass but unfortunately suffers for wobbly diagonal lines. The shorter black tip has slightly more resistance than the original Apple Pencil tips but the difference is not significant. The shorter black tip also has wobbly diagonal lines but not as obvious.

I have to say that I found this very interesting and quite informative. I’m in the process of looking for alternatives to use on my pen/pencil (not an Apple Pencil) and I’ve been quite confused about the options available. Since I've started to learn how to draw on my iPad, sometimes I have to deal with wobbly lines and I’ve been looking for something better to use. Some say to use the silicone nib covers and others say the metal is better to use. In searching for what’s best to use, I came across this article.

One of the main things I’d like to be able to do is switch from my iPad to my iPhone sometimes when drawing so I don’t have to carry my iPad everywhere. The only stylus, pen or pencil (whatever you want to call it) compatible with an iPhone is a passive stylus. There again, I find that these are rubber and not silicon. Which brings me to my next question about the silicone nib covers is, will the silicone cover on the pen/pencil also work on the iPhone with the unit turned off, like a passive stylus would?

Surprising, there is not really an answer I can find to say whether or not it will work. I guess I’m hoping that you will read this and come to my aid and answer this question. If not then I guess it will be a try it and see if it works.

Anyhow, this was a great article to read and I did learn something from it!!! Thank You!!

In reply to by Tammy (not verified)

@Tammy
iphone has no pen support. Only pens that work are the big rubber tip or disc tip pens and user experience is not good.

The needle rubberized tip registers a large tilt when the pencil draws near the edges of the iPad. Thus causing sudden heavy slanted lines in OneNote. I confirmed this using the Pencil Case sample app from Codea.

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