Add new comment

Review: Kuretake Cambio Brush Pen (and how to refill)

The Kuretake Cambio is a brush pen that's comparable to the Pentel Colour Brush Pens.

They have almost similar body size and both use synthetic bristles. The Kuretake Cambio comes in three sizes, fine, medium and large. The one I have is the large and the bristles are larger and longer compared to the Pentel Colour brush pen.

I bought mine for just under US $10 including shipping. The price can vary quite wildly depending on where and who you buy it from. So do compare prices before you buy.

Colour options are limited to just black, gray and red.

This is how the pen looks when dismantled.

The cap doesn't have a clip.

To get the ink flowing, the yellow cap has to be removed to reveal the hard sponge tip.

Next just insert the sponge tip into the grip section and screw it with the body. Allow some time for the ink to flow into the bristles.

Here's a quick sketch drawn with the brush pen.

The point is sharp so you can get some really thin lines. And the bristle is wide so this brush pen is capable of producing thin and thick lines easily.

Ink flow is good. If you draw/paint fast, you're going to get the dry brush effect but that's to be expected. It's a brush pen so it's going to use a lot of ink.

The ink is waterproof when dry.

Refilling the brush pen

This brush pen is not difficult to refill.

Take a close look at the sponge tip first. Note that the sponge tip is housed in a plastic holder.

This step is not necessary but I do it to protect the plastic holder. Use a cardboard to wrap the housing before you use pliers to pull out the feed section.

The feed section is tight. If it's too tight, you can twist it clockwise and counter-clockwise to sort of loosen it slightly, then pull out the whole thing.

Be careful of ink spills.

Once the plastic feed is out, the next time is to remove the sponge inside that controls the ink flow. For this step, I use a blunt needle and syringe.

Just poke into the sponge (which you probably can't see because it's black), press the tip against the side wall, then pull out the sponge.

That's how the sponge looks.

Next you can fill the brush pen with ink. I recommend Rotring Ink, Sailor KiwaGuro or De Atramentis Archive. Don't fill it above the blue. If you see ink in the transparent section, that's too much ink because you still have to put the black plastic feed back.

The sponge that's inside the brush pen is no longer needed. To place the black plastic feed back, just reverse the steps you did to remove it.

Make sure the flat part of the feed is below the rim of the transparent plastic. If you can't get it to go below that rim, just hold the feed with your pliers, and hands on your brush pen, and hit the brush pen's back gently on the table. That should push the black plastic feed all the way in.

That's it to refilling the pen.

There are disposable ink cartridges that you can buy. But it's more economical to refill the ink yourself.

Unlike the Pentel Colour brush pen, the Kuretake body is hard so you can't squeeze to get more ink out. That's why I removed the sponge inside to improve ink flow. I'm not sure if it will leak. Probably not because the black plastic feed is quite big and should prevent ink from leaking. But to be safe, when transporting or keeping the brush pen, keep it upright.

The Kuretake Cambio is a good brush pen that's worth the money. The advantage it has over the Pentel is the bristles are larger so you can get thicker lines. The advantage the Pentel has over the Kuretake is the soft body allows you to press to get more ink out. Opening the Pentel requires a pen knife but with the Kuretake you will need pliers.

Where to buy

You can find the Kuretake Cambio on Amazon via these affiliate links: | | | | | |

For more art product reviews, visit