Difference Between Active And Passive Stylus – Which is Better?

It is very crucial that you know the difference between active and passive stylus pens before buying them. Like when you are buying the sketch pad, you look for the features that will make sketching easier and more enjoyable.

There are some differences that most of us do not know while buying an active or passive pen for sketching. Please get to know about the variations between these two kinds of pens, so you don’t regret it later.

Below we’ll discuss the stylus pen types in detail; read on!


Key Difference Between Active And Passive Stylus

Passive Stylus Pen

The passive stylus pen might look similar to the active one when you look at them from a distance. Though the passive pen has a round tip, and it is broader than the active one.

You will have a finger-like feel while using the passive stylus pen on the touchscreen.

You can buy this kind of stylus for doing the daily work on the tablet. However, you must know the exact working of the tablet before buying a pen for it. The passive pens are great for those who need to use them on the laptop and touch capacitive screens.

Passive Stylus Pen

These pens are intended in such a way that you can avoid using the touchscreen with the fingers. Several sensitive layers of the stylus pen’s tip will catch the electrical current to work on the screen.

Therefore, the passive stylus pen will work in similar technology to human fingers require the mechanism to touch the screen. The passive pens are cheaper than the active ones, and they have wide compatibility.

Due to their low price, these pens will not offer a wide range of prices, and you will have the basic pen-like features with them only. The passive stylus pens are available for under 80 dollars easily.

These pens don’t require a Bluetooth connection to work on the tablet, phone, laptop, or other devices.

The passive pens are also known as the capacitive stylus pens. You can find the best capacitive stylus pens by various companies in the market.

Active Stylus Pen

The active stylus pens have advanced technology, and you will have the pen-like feel after holding them. You will not have any difficulty using the active stylus pen because they are very lightweight and convenient to hold for a long time.

Best of all, this kind of pen isn’t hollow at all, and you will have a wide range of features in them.

The active pens have a pointed tip, and you can do sketching, drawing, painting, and much more. These pens are much better and more functional than the passive ones.

Active Stylus Pen

Unlike passive pens, these require the battery to work. You will either find the rechargeable battery passive pens or the active stylus pens. The battery life of the active pen is around 10 to 12 hours.

And the best feature of the active stylus pens is the pressure sensitivity level. You can tilt the pen to change its sensitivity level. If you want to upsurge the thickness of the line, then tilt the pen.

Not only that, the active pens require a Bluetooth connection to work. You have to find stylus pens that are compatible with your devices. The pen will not work if the device doesn’t have compatibility with it.

Best of all, active pens are ideally designed for professional users and more accurate precision. Active pens are not limited to stand on to the device.

You can use the active stylus pen of apple for having the high sensitivity pressure levels.

This pen has a lot of chips inside that increase the pressure levels. It is crucial to charge the pen for using it. It will require one time Bluetooth connection with your device.

How Does An Active And Passive Stylus Work?

Now that you know the features of active and passive stylus pens. We’ll describe how they work.

The Functioning Of Passive Pens

The capacitive/passive pens have electrostatic technology, and it will distort the screen. A similar thing happens when you touch the screen with a finger.

Though the pens will have a round tip, and it is completely hollow from the inner side. Most of these pens are made for the screens of smartphones and laptops.

Furthermore, you will not have the smoothest drawing experience with passive pens because they don’t have a sharp tip. The capacitance of the passive pen wide enough and have special sensors in them.

The Functioning Of Active Pens

The active pens have digitizing sensors, and they are made for digital screens. You will have the wide compatibility of the active pens with modern devices. These pens are usually by the artists, and they have a smooth tip, and it is not hollow from the inner side.

These pens have active senses, so that is why it is named as an active pen. It is ideal for drawing, sketching, and much more. The artists love to sketch with active stylus pens though they are pricier.

In fact, the digitizing technology is not present in the other types of stylus pens. The cursor will appeal when you glide the active pen on the screen. Even when you take the cursor on the file, it will be detected by the sensor.

And the best part, you can switch the side of the pen to make it an eraser. This feature is not present in passive pens.


The major difference between the active and passive pen is the nib.

  • Passive Stylus

You will have absorbing electric shocks with the passive stylus pen. You will have a finger-like feel while working with the electric signals.

This kind of digital pen will transfer the signals on the other end, and you will have a convenient touching and typing experience with it.

  • Active Stylus

Now, this pen has a different kind of nib. It has a pump like a circuit, and you will have a rechargeable battery with it. This pen is ideal for professionals.

The best active stylus pen is available from the apple company. Apart from that, the Bluetooth connection works to send information to the other end.

These stylus pens come with a wide range of features that passive pens do not have.


The accuracy of the passive and active pens will vary as well.

  • Passive Stylus

The passive pen’s tip is thicker and hollow and is not much accurate as of the active stylus pen.

  • Active Stylus

Suppose you want a pen with pinpoint accuracy, then choose the active stylus pen. However, you cannot use the active stylus pen when it doesn’t have charging.

Nib Parameters

The diameter of the tip will vary from one brand to another.

  • Passive Stylus

Most of the passive capacitive stylus has tips of 6mm.

  • Active Stylus

The active capacitive pens have diameters of 3mm.

Other Differences Between The Styluses

The one mutual thing that you will find in the stylus pens is their appearance. You will have the basic and simple design of these pens.

The pens have a lot of differences in their price. Active pens are quite expensive than the other ones.


The pens have different technology types in them, and you can feel the changes while using both kinds of pens. The passive pens have a similar functioning that the screen absorbs while using the fingers to use the touch screen.


The capacitive styli are not as heavy as the active style. You read above that the active styli have rechargeable batteries and have different working mechanisms, so they are heavy.

If you want a lightweight pen for making the notes only, then buy the passive stylus.

Confused To Choose Between The Active And Passive Stylus?

We recommend choosing the active stylus because they have more benefits. One such advantage is palm rejection technology. There are other ways of using the stylus.

The active stylus has pinpoint accuracy, and they have a Bluetooth connection to work with.

Best of all, the nib of the active styli will shrink and extend easily. You will have the multi-screen touch panel with the stylus pens. The artists use active pens because they do not let the hand be interrupted while writing, drawing, or typing.

It would be best if you buy the active styli for using them as a professional.

Rather than that, you should buy a passive pen for everyday work. The drawback of the active pen is that you have to recharge them after a certain time.

Confidently, now you can make the finest decision after knowing the difference between active and passive stylus.

Thanks for the Read!

Hi, this is Boris! I was interested in writing about the tech gears. After getting an enormous amount of information about tech gadgets, I thought to share it with others too. So I started writing about all the stuff that is helpful and innovative.

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