How does a Stylus work?

How does a Stylus work

The world is becoming tech revolutionary, and everything is growing with innovations. So, do tablets and computers. These devices are getting new exciting features and accessories, making tablets or smartphones more appealing. One of the exciting accessories is a stylus pen. What is it, and how does a stylus work? That is another story.

A stylus allows you to write on a tablet in your own handwriting. You can now write on a tablet or an iPad instead of paper. At first, stylus pens were available for resistive touch screens. Then there was a new entry about capacitive touch screens.

However, some devices have styluses available with them. As for the devices which do not come with a stylus pen, you can buy a pen and attach it to your device. This can happen with the help of an app. So, without further ado, let’s check everything about a stylus pen.

Stylus pen

Introduction: A stylus is a pen. It has a rubber tip. This is a device in the shape of a pen. You can operate a stylus pen on touch screens only. Pen computing is another name for a stylus pen. 


You can use a stylus to 

  • Write
  • Draw 
  • Select a touch screen.
  • Play games
  • Study Notes
  • Browse

 Stylus provides an accurate selection on the touchscreen. A stylus is best for digital and graphic designers because it gives 100% accuracy. When you draw a paper, you are likely to make mistakes. There are high chances the paper will wear out.

Stylus pen

But using a stylus minimizes the chance of mistakes. When you draw with a stylus, it makes precise lines. As a result, you get neat, clean and professional drawings. 

Benefits: A stylus ensures clean swiping on your screen. Using your fingertips can leave marks and sweat on the screen. However, a stylus does not leave anything behind. It swipes between pages without leaving a mark. 

Compatible Devices: Any device which has a touchscreen can use a stylus pen. Such as laptops, tablets, iPads and smartphones. Even some computers can use styluses.

Functioning of a stylus pen: The work pattern of a stylus pen is interesting. Screens have sensors which they detect your fingers when you press them. The same case applies to styluses. The rubber area touches the screen, and the sensors detect it and process the command in a split second. 

The function of a stylus depends upon two categories. The two ways in which a stylus works are

  • Active touch
  • Capacitive touch

Active touch: This technology includes two layers on the touch screen. These two layers detect the touch when you apply pressure, and the layers touch each other and verify the place of the touch.

This is how an active stylus works. First, it presses down the screen and tells the spot of touch. The screen then processes the command. 

A simple example of an active touch is when you press the ATM at the time of money withdrawal. This is exactly how hard you need to press with a stylus. Early styluses worked in this way. 

Capacitive stylus: A new and modern way of stylus working. A capacitive screen detects the touch with the help of electric charges. When you touch the screen, the charges underneath come in contact quickly and follow the command.

Special stylus pens can work on a capacitive screen. It should have materials which can efficiently process the touch on the screen.

Related: Wacom Pen not Working

Types of a stylus pen

Just like all devices, a stylus also comes in various types. 

  • Resistive Touch Stylus
  • Capacitive Touch Stylus
  • Bluetooth
Types of a stylus pen

Resistive touch stylus: With this stylus, you need to press the screen a little hard. These styluses work on resistive screens which follow commands on the point of pressure. 

Capacitive Touch Stylus: This is the modern and most common type of stylus. It works just like your finger. Just touch the screen with the stylus, and the action will get done.

It is the easiest to use. Also, the cost of capacitive styluses is not very high. That is why these are very much in demand. 

Bluetooth Styluses: Styluses not only work on capacitive or active technology. There are Bluetooth styluses that give excellent results. Of Course, these pens are chargeable. Bluetooth has made life easier because you can make hand-free commands with a Bluetooth device in your ear or car. So do the styluses. They also provide extraordinary features. 

The Lifetime of a stylus 

A general life of a stylus pen is 1 year. But it is different for each brand and user. If you use a stylus more often, your pen will wear out faster than usual.

The rubber tip eventually wears out because of the usage. Many brands provide you with an extra tip for the stylus. This means not all but some styluses have replaceable rubber tips. 

Quality of an ideal stylus

When choosing a stylus, it is essential to look for specific characteristics. This way, you will find a perfectly compatible pen. It will also last longer with your device. 

Quality of an ideal stylus
  • Your stylus pen should have a rubber tip that lasts longer.
  • Choose the pen according to your nature of work. E.g. drawing and writing, stylus pens are different from regular styluses. 
  • The pen should connect with your devices perfectly. Check the cost. If it suits you, buy it. 

Disadvantages of a stylus pen

Like any other device, a stylus has pros and cons. I will point out some of them in the following points.

  • The pen does not stay in your grip for a longer time. 
  • It is not easy to remove a stylus pen from the paper.
  • After some time, tablets cannot differentiate between your hand and a stylus pen. 
  • Some styluses are costly. 
  • They work on batteries. When the battery dies, all of your stops.


Using it yourself is the only way to find out how a stylus works. The nib touches the screen. When the screen identifies the touch, it simply responds and fulfils the command. Choosing a good stylus will resolve many of your tasks efficiently. Styluses can save up a lot of your time. With this pen, you do not need to hassle and type everything. Some styluses can scan your writing. Don’t forget the drawing. Styluses are best friends of digital artists. These save up a lot of time and bring accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a stylus damage your screen?

No, a stylus pen ensures the safety of your touch screen. Using your finger on the screen can somehow damage the screen with sweat and scratches over time. But a stylus works scratch-free on the screen.

What is the material of a stylus pen?

The stylus is made of many materials, but mostly the body is of plastic or metal. The tip of the stylus consists of rubber, Q-tip, wool or cotton.

Does a stylus work on every screen?

Any screen which response to a human touch can accept a stylus. The normal screens do not have sensors. But touch screens have sensors. Which reacts to the stylus in the same way as it reacts to the touch of your finger.

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