Caring for your drawing tablet


With a little care and light maintenance your tablet will keep working for a long time. Here are some basic tips.

Do not lose your pen!

They are surprisingly expensive to replace. They can cost from $40 USD to $120 USD for a Wacom Pro Pen 3.

Because drawing tablet pens usually have a case of black plastic they can be difficult to see under some lighting conditions, also they can be mistaken for other pens, etc. To give them some additional visibility I use gaffer tape or masking tape to add some some color to make it more visible and serve as a label.

Here is an example:

Do not drop your pen!

Pens are the most sensitive component because they have some small parts and some moving parts. A fall onto a floor can damage your pen:

  • The can completely break the internals of your pen. Your pressure may be less sensitive, stuck at a certain pressure value for example either 0% pressure or 100% pressure , have sudden changes in its pressure profile.

  • The nib can be broken and make it be stuck inside the pen and very hard to remove

Dop not place excessive pressure on your pen tip!

Normal drawing is fine. But don't *mash* it or hit it on a surface. You can damage the pressure sensor or you might break the nib. Use it for drawing on your tablet and nothing else.

Do not let your tablet drop to the floor!

A pen tablet, has fewer moving parts and most of the time nothing bad will happen to it.

However, If you drop a pen display, you almost certainly will cause significant damage that cannot be repaired. For example, any of these things can happen:

  • The pen displays will not turn on again

  • The screen will crack

  • The display panel will break and not show a full screen or will show random color patterns

  • The ports can get damaged, preventing it from getting a display signal

Do not get your tablet or pen wet

Keep water away from your tablet and pen. If you get them wet, consult this guide on dealing with potential damage: Dealing with water damage.

Cleaning your tablet

Periodically, clean your tablet. Some people recommend lightly cleaning your pen displays before you start drawing. More here: Cleaning a drawing tablet.

Storing pen safely

In general store your pens so that you avoid pressure on your nibs. More here: Storing your pen.

Surface wear

The surface of your tablet will be in contact with your pen, that contact and the friction that comes from it will cause some wear. It's good for you to understand what this wear will look like and how you can control it. Read the two documents below.

There are options to protect the surface from damage. See: protective sheets.

Protection during transport

If you are carrying your tablet with you or transporting it, consider some extra protection via a case. More here: Protective cases.

Maintain your nibs

Monitor your nibs and replace then when they are getting too worn down. Nibs that are worn down to flat surface may be scratching up your tablet. See more here: Nib wear

To remove a nib see this guide: Removing nibs

Don't void your warranty

Avoid doing any of these things:

  • Disassembling the tablet

  • Disassembling the pen

  • Using metal nibs with the pen

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