I’ve always been a pencil and paper sketcher, but recently, I’ve been contracted to do some more “permanent” work. I’ll save the long story, but in short: what types of pens do you use to ink your drawings? I’ve looked around at tutorials, and most suggest upwards of four or five pens, none of which I have heard of. Anyone have any suggestions?

If you want to get pro, nothing beats Hunts 102 nib pens.

For ink pens, I like Copic Multiliner. They also make a brush pen if you’re into that.
Another good brand is Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph. These have waterproof ink so once they’re dried, they won’t smear. Use the size you’re comfortable with. Obviously don’t use a 1mm pen to do some thin detail work.

I like to use Sakura Microns, but recently I’ve been wanting to try to use something else. I mean, they’re relatively cheap, they work, but at times the just feel a little iffy.

I find Sakura Microns takes a lot of skills to get good results. They bleed too much. You have to be quick. And if you’re that good already, nothing else really matters. You can dip a broom into ink and paint with that.

Fineliners/Multiliners/Technical Pens
Sakura Microns, Copic, Koh-i-noor, Rotring Rapidographs. These usually provide very consistent line weights which is nice for certain things. The downside is if you’re only using only a single pen you can’t get varying line weights unless you use other size pens or if you trace over lines multiple times to get them thicker.

Brush Pens
Pilot, Kuretake, Zebra, Faber Castell PITT. I like these. Easy enough to use and you can get varying line weights. Supposedly, like many felt tips pens, these can run out of ink quick and the felt tip nibs can wear down quickly giving you mushy lines.

Hunt, G-nib. These take a lot of practice to get used to, require ink+inkwell, and need regular cleaning. If you can get past that, you can do just about anything that involves linework, fine crosshatching, varying line weights, fine details. Like Dfist said, if you want to be pro use these.

Windsor & Newton, Raphael. If you want to be super pro go to the old brush & ink combo. Like nibs + nibholder, brushes are very difficult to master, require lots of clean up and care, and compared to the other options are much more expensive. These are usually less useful for very fine detail work (unless you’re uber super pro), in that case a nib or pen would work better, but these can crank out the broad strokes quick. Plus brushes fill in large areas much faster than the stuff up above. Another downside is if you don’t take care of a brush right, it’s easy to muck up the bristles and ruin the kind of line it makes.

The paper you use also affects what kind of results you’ll get. Hot-press, cold-press, smooth finish, matte finish, vellum finish, density, illustration board, bristol board, etc. Lots of stuff to consider depending on which tools you want to use and what you want the finished product to look like.

Take this with a grain of salt, I’m no expert when it comes to using these tools, I just really like different pens/pencils and such. But like DFist said, you can take anything, like a bamboo skewer or a chopstick and some ink, and do some crazy stuff with it if you know what you’re doing.

If you’re just looking for something fairly easy to get adjusted to and something that doesn’t require a huge investment (time or money), I’d say go with the fineliners + brush pens. Oh yeah, since you asked about permanence, make sure the ink/pigments in the pens are waterproof, archival, and acid-free.

Bonus: Here’s a really nice site with lots of info on different things you can use:

Thanks a TON for the help guys! I’ll report back with some results of mine, once I get some of these purchased.