Ruling pen

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Cartographer's ruling pen

A ruling pen is a drawing instrument for drawing with ink or with other drawing fluids.

A ruling pen contains ink in a slot between two flexible metal jaws, which are tapered to a point. It enables precise rendering of the thinnest lines.[1] The line width can be adjusted by an adjustment screw connecting the jaws.[2] The adjustment screw can optionally have a number dial.

Illustration of ruling pen use from A Textbook on Ornamental Design (1901)

Originally used for technical drawings in engineering and cartography together with straight rulers and French curves, it is today used for specific uses, such as picture framing or calligraphy.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cicale, Ann (2006). The Art & Craft of Hand Lettering. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-57990-809-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Kirby, Richard Shelton (1918). The Fundamentals of Mechanical Drawing. J. Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 8–9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>