Are alternate Wacom stylus’ worth the money?

After having yet another frustrating day trying to draw with using a Wacom Intuos 5 tablet (lately renamed Intuso Pro), I realized that the pen had never felt right. And that I’d had the same problem with every replacement since my Wacom UD serial tablet had gone up in smoke.

So, I went searching for an alternative stylus.  There are currently five for the Intuos Pro line.

  • Standard Grip pen that ships with what is now called the Intuos Pro line.
  • Airbrush pen that certainly looks interesting but not what I was needing at the time.
  • Inking pen which looks much like the Grip pen but has an ink cartridge. The idea is to put paper on your tablet and draw. Don’t use this one with a Cintiq as it can destroy the finish.
  • Art pen which not only tracks movement and pen angle, but pen rotation too. This one also looks a lot like the Grip pen.
  • Classic pen. Bingo! This looked a lot like the old UD stylus, which is to say, thinner and lighter.
Wacom stylus comparison
Comparison of Wacom stylus: Grip (top) and Classic (bottom) pens

The classic pen has been a major improvement in being able to use a Wacom tablet. I have no idea why Wacom insists on shipping the Grip pen instead of the Classic pen. The difference is akin to drawing with a fat crayon then moving to a fine ink pen.

I’ve found that I’m eager to use my tablet now.  My wrist and hand issues, which were apparently based on how I was holding the thicker Grip pen, have disappeared. I still have arthritis, I don’t expect the pen to make a difference there, but I’ve noticed that it doesn’t bother me as much when using the lighter, and in my opinion, better balanced Classic pen.

So, are Wacom alternate stylus’ worth the money?
For the Classic pen I have to answer a resounding yes!


The current Wacom web site makes it extremely difficult to find the alternate stylus options.   When shopping for stylus make sure the pen you are buying will work with your tablet. Various Intuos 3/4/5 and Cintiq pens are specific to the tablet, though some work with different tablets.

Take chances