What are stylus pens used for?

When a stylus made its first appearance in the world of computing, it seemed like an essential tool for interacting with electronic devices. Interactions were made more precise and easier, and you could tuck the stylus neatly into your phone case after using. These days, there seem to be fewer reasons to use these pen-like accessories, as our fingers are used to doing all the clicking and swiping.

But, thanks to the arrival of wearables and the alterations in screen tech, you can expect to see a comeback in this sophisticated tool. So, is this comeback justified and do you need to look for a new stylus as of yet? Let’s delve deeper into this by understanding the use of the stylus pens.

So, what is a stylus pen and what are its advantages?

To start with, let’s get a brief idea about what a stylus actually is. A stylus is basically a pen-like tool, which works by applying pressure or touching a screen to cause a response. However, not all styluses have the same features. As the screens used in the electronic devices changed over time, so the styluses also underwent several changes in designs, colours, and sizes.

There are more advantages than one when it comes to styluses. Drawing with modern styluses can feel far more natural than drawing with your fingertips. And they come into their own when it comes to avoiding typos when writing. Styluses also help your handwriting to feel more natural and increase legibility in systems that need users to put in signatures, like credit card payment terminals. Having said all of that, these are just the simplest uses of a stylus, and there are many more benefits besides. Let’s take a more detailed look into the different uses for stylus pens.

The use of stylus pens for different touchscreen setups

Resistive touchscreens

Resistive touchscreens are the ones that have two conductive layers placed inside the surface of the screen. When a resistive touchscreen is pressed down, these two layers come into contact to complete the circuit and tell the device  where the touch occurred. Since considerable force is needed to create this connection, a stylus is useful in supplying that force and maintaining the accuracy of touch.

Capacitive touchscreens

Capacitive touchscreens utilise variations in the electrical field, in place of physical pressure, for registering the contact. When a capacitive touchscreen is touched with fingers, it changes the electrical properties of the charged screen in that place by registering the touch. Stylus pens made of conductive material helps in transmitting the electrical field needed for registering the contact. Commercial capacitive touchscreens, like those used in  payment terminals, usually have a stylus attached to them by a conductive wire for maintaining the required electrical field while touching.


An area where the stylus pens still rule is in the world of digital tablets. The devices let digital artists write and draw as naturally as they can with a paintbrush or pen, and usually have features aimed at improving visual art. In these tablets, the surface sends an electrical charge out that reacts with the chip and coil inside the pen. The chip sends a signal that recognises its position on the tablet, letting the device locate the touch accurately a number of times each second.

Instances of preferable use of stylus pens

The following are the five situations where using a stylus pen can be of great help.

Precision and aiming

Regardless of how deft your fingers are, accidentally hitting that other app or icon on the screen while you are trying to click something else can be really annoying. While using the apps filled with advertisements, you might even hit those pop-ups accidentally and then get taken to the unnecessary download pages. So, you need a high level of precision, and a stylus will offer you just that.

When it’s too cold out there

When the cold winds start blowing, the last thing you want to do is take off those nice warm gloves. But, touchscreens just do not work with gloves. Yes, there are special gloves that let you still use a touchscreen but not everyone has those handy when they need them. If you want to be warm in winter.and still use your smartphone freely, then get a stylus pen to help you out.

Keep those nails dainty

So, you’ve had a beautiful manicure done and you just can’t stop admiring your nails. But what happens when your manicure leaves scratches on your smartphone and those long nails do not let you use the screen with ease? Using a stylus will ensure that you can get your manicure done, and still use the screens of your devices safely, smoothly and scratch-free.

More options to interact

You can do so much more with your tablets and smartphones with a stylus, from doodling, to taking notes, and handwriting. These actions are far more natural to carry out when using a stylus pen. Think of the times when you try to paint or draw in your notebook app using your fingers. Bid goodbye to all that inconvenience with a stylus pen and get the task completed quickly with more accurate results.

Tidy and clean

One problem that is commonly overlooked is that our hands are not always clean. Crumbs, dirt, and oil from our fingers find their way onto our screens leading to smudges, and affect the general look and usability of the device. Who wants grease smudges from the packet of crisps they’ve just eaten to ruin the screen, right? In this case, using a stylus pen is a better option as it will help in keeping your touchscreen gadgets in mint condition for the longest time possible.

As you can see, there are many uses for a stylus pen. Be sure to check the size and the accuracy of each stylus you’re looking at before buying, and you will be more than happy at how well it serves you.