Best 3D pen to buy? – What should be considered?

If you want to buy a 3D pen, you've come to the right place. We show you current bestsellers among 3D pens and describe them all.

The 3D printer is slowly but surely taking over the world. More and more people are either buying a kit, a ready-made printer or developing one themselves. So it's no coincidence that the so-called 3D pens, also known as 3D printing pens, are now building up their own market in the shadow of printers and are becoming more popular by the day.

There is a lot to be said for buying a 3D pen:

  • Fast and affordable entry
  • No assembly necessary
  • Ideal as a start into the 3D printing world – With a 3D pen you learn the interaction between speed and temperature in FDM printing
  • Well suited as a gift for children (For younger children use only under supervision)

The best 3D pens

Which 3D pen should I buy?

In summary, the market for 3D pens is still at a very early stage. Hardly a day goes by without new 3D pens hitting the shelves here in Germany. These first have to find their market and convince us as consumers.

However, that doesn't necessarily make it easier to find exactly the 3D pen you can buy. We hope that with our list and information we could simplify your decision.

What should I look for when buying a 3D pen?

Before you immediately buy a 3D pen, you should take a look at the different functions and possible applications. I summarize here the points that I consider important and name them accordingly. However, you may have a completely different idea for using your 3D pen. There are also new measures that need to be taken when children are involved.

Operation and control of the 3D pen

While the first 3D pens still had very few functions, today's pens have more and more setting options and thus offer you greater freedom in many things. Some pens offer infinitely variable temperature control, and still others have preset temperature points that can't always be changed. This then leads to the fact that certain materials cannot be used because the heat is not sufficient. The same applies to the feed of the filament. It is possible to adjust it according to your own “painting speed”, but also to determine the thickness of the extruded material.

If these functions are available in a 3D pen and a display also shows the temperature or even the speed, you can almost be sure that this product represents the state of the art.


Design is first and foremost about ergonomics and the safety of the user – that is, yours or your children's…. Slim 3D pens are more preferable for children's hands. In addition, the arrangement of the controls is also important in order to be able to work quickly and safely. This way, intuitive use can be achieved without being exposed to the risk of getting a finger on the hot nozzle. It is therefore also good if it protrudes as little as possible from the protective casing and is perhaps insulated on the sides.

Material or filament variations

Filament is an important part of 3D printing i. A. and also an important factor when using 3D pens. Your pen should give you the ability to adjust the temperature to cover different materials. I am not necessarily concerned with the use of ABS, but also PLA. Adding dye etc. changes the temperature resistance and so you will need 180°C for one manufacturer and maybe 200°C for another.

Filament with a diameter of 1.75 mm is used in 3D pens. So for planned “large projects” as a “3D Pen Artist” you can calmly fall back on normal coils from material manufacturers. These are usually cheaper to purchase than the pre-cut versions from the 3D pen manufacturers.

After all, there are still pens that work at a lower temperature – so they're safer for kids – but also require specially prepared filament. This is something to be aware of when buying the 3D pen and also the corresponding material.

Security features for users

The more people buy and use 3D pens, the more important points such as user safety become. More and more manufacturers and dealers are slowly taking this on.

This is also the reason why nowadays there are more and more 3D pens to buy that have either an automatic shut-off or an automatic filament return.

The auto power off feature ensures that the pen turns off when there is no use for several minutes. At around 200°C nozzle temperature, this is a feature we have long hoped for.

The filament return of a pen pulls the filament back out of the nozzle. This prevents the filament from melting and running out of the nozzle unattended.

In addition to these two technical functions, there is also the so-called fingertip protection, which ensures the user's safety. This is a shorter form of a fingerling and in most cases is made of silicone. Especially in the beginning, this can be helpful if you or your kids are still too close to the nozzle with your fingers when 3D painting.

Some manufacturers provide 1-2 pieces of fingertip protectors with the purchase of a 3D printing pen. If you need fingertip guards as a replacement, check out the deals below:

* Stand: 2023-07-05 / Bilder: Amazon API

Which 3D printing pen is suitable for wood filaments?

In principle, a pen is suitable for all materials whose processing temperature is supported by the 3D printing pen. Wood filaments are often based on PLA and this material is supported by all pens presented here so far. This means that you should be cautious when a manufacturer or distributor claims that the product under consideration is made specifically for wood filaments.

The same applies, of course, when pens are supposedly made for other special filaments.

But what can be and has not arisen so far:

Due to the properties of flexible filament, some pens might be better suited for this than others (the closer the material feed gear is to the nozzle, the better 3D painting would work with this pen)

Can I use other filament with my wood 3D pen?

Wood filament is based on PLA for almost all 3D printer filament distributors and manufacturers, which means that all pens presented here so far are capable of using wood filament of this type. For this reason, you should be careful when someone claims their pen works especially well with wood filament.

And for the same reason, with a “wood filament 3D pen” you should at least be able to use any other PLA-based filament.

Should I use my 3D pen only with the manufacturer's filament?

Some manufacturers want to get the buyers of pens to put money in their coffers more often. Now if you buy 1-2 pens for yourself or your kids, you probably won't shop there as often.

However, if you are persuaded to buy only filament from that manufacturer, you will be a never-ending source of money. A loss of warranty is also sometimes brought into play when it comes to using “foreign filament”. Well, a 3D pen doesn't cost as much today as it did when it first came out, and if you're really going to lose the warranty on a $50 device while saving a lot of money, you might want to weigh that risk.

3D printing pen filament is generally already more expensive than normal filament. In connection with a duty, of course, the material will not be cheaper to buy.

Has my newly purchased 3D pen already been used?

We often read this question in forums or in reviews of 3D pens in online stores. It is justified.

Of course, we can't answer this question directly with a YES or NO, but there are some clues that would suggest why your 3D pen was not already in use, even if completely different 3D printing pen filament comes out the first time you use it:

  • The packaging of the 3D pen is intact. Any seals are intact.
  • The scope of delivery is complete.
  • The included filament is unopened.
  • The cables are obviously still in their original rolled/folded form.

Then why is old filament coming out of my 3D printing pen?

These days, for example, 3D printer kits are increasingly being tested in the factory. This checks the functions and at the same time shows with a sample printout that the printer still printed well, at least at the manufacturer. Of course, in the end no one can prove if what is so true, but quality controls are increasing.

Manufacturers don't want to risk returns and negative reviews. Negative reviews affect sales and the fewer the better. For the same reason, 3D pens are now being tested more often. The filament is then either left in the pen as evidence, or pulled out. This is most easily done when the nozzle is still sufficiently hot. If this is not the case, the tip of the filament will stick to the nozzle from the inside.

When pulling out, threads are created, which will certainly cause questions when used at home for the first time.

Conclusion: If there is still residual material in the 3D pen you have just purchased, this does not necessarily mean that you have purchased a returned pen.


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