10 Best Embossing Stylus For Manual Dry Embossing In 2021

various sets of embossing styli on top of a cutting board with a cardstock blind embossed with a Christmas tree

Isn’t it lovely when your cards have dry embossing designs on them? Embossing lends a professional touch to your cards. However, not every crafter can afford to invest in an embossing machine. No worries, though. You can do manual dry embossing if you know how to choose the best embossing stylus to do the job. We hope you can do that as soon as you’ve read this review and buying guide. 

This article also consists of the best answers to the most commonly asked questions in the FAQ section. Skim through to find manual dry embossing hacks peppered within the article. If you have not heard of clay modeling and dot painting before, we’re sure you can find some insights here and even discover a new craft that you’ll love doing for days on end.     

Our Top Picks

Wooden and acrylic plastic embossing tools with different ball sizes
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Best Overall Bundle: Petutu Embossing Stylus Bundle

• Two sets of embossing tools in one bundle
• Doubled-ended styli
• 10 different ball endings

Meuxan Stylus with wooden handle & Modeling Tool Set with hot pink rubber handle
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Best Embossing & Modeling Tool Set: Meuxan Embossing Stylus & Modeling Tools

• High-quality materials
• 14 different diameters for the stainless steel balls
• Lightweight and comfortable to use

Best Starter Set: Coyaho Embossing Stylus for Paper

• Color-coded styli
• High-quality materials 
• Smooth heads for lesser friction

1. Fiskars Dual-tip Stylus

Fiskars stylus with orange and white soft-grip handle
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 Pros Cons
  • For embossing, etching, and scoring jobs
  • Works on various surfaces
  • Soft-grip rubber barrel
  • Strong metal ball tip
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Joined parts break off 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

As reported by a satisfied user, the Fiskars stylus is an excellent embossing tool that is strong enough to score cardstock and boards. Another crafter prefers it over embossing tools with wooden handles because it puts less pressure on the hands, and it glides smoothly on almost any surface. 

Fiskars Dual-tip Stylus review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Fiskars stylus is an excellent stylus from Fiskars, one of the many quality products of Fiskars Group, a company from Finland that produces quality gardening, home improvement, and crafting products. 

The stylus has two ballpoint ends, one measuring 0.8mm and the other 1.2mm. It has an orange and white soft-grip barrel that stabilizes your grip and makes your work faster than wood-barreled embossing styli. 

Common embossing methods involve many expensive tools and supplies. However, with today’s embossing stylus tools, you can emboss on almost any medium without going overboard in expenses.   

Who Should Buy It

The Fiskars stylus is an excellent starter or replacement set for those who just discovered the beauty of embossing. It is also one of the few embossing styli with rubber handles. 

2. Valar Dohaeris Embossing Stylus (Wooden)

Embossing styli with wooden handle
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 Pros Cons
  • Double-ended embossing tool
  • Different sizes of embossing heads
  • Quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Can be used for various materials
  • No size marking on the embossing tools 

 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

When one user’s stylus broke, she got this set as a replacement because it is a lot sturdier than plastic. She eventually used it for scoring cardstock for her cards, aside from her embossing and molding projects. 

One newbie used these embossing tools for dot painting on rocks and even made her storage system address unmarked tools. Another crafter, a sculptor, is thankful for this set of tools because of the sturdy wooden handle and the different sizes of the metal ball tips. 

Valar Dohaeris Embossing Stylus (Wooden) review

Why We Think It’s Great

We love the sturdy, wooden handle of the Valar Dohaeris Wooden Embossing Stylus. It is slightly textured to give you a better grip but is smooth enough to avoid splinters. Besides regular embossing jobs, you can also use them for dot painting, nail arts, clay modeling, and even decorating cakes. You can also impress on die-cut flowers to give it a curled look for a three-dimensional effect on cards and other paper crafts.  

The embossing tools are closely similar in dimension to a regular-sized pen, measuring 5 ⅛ inches long and have a diameter of 8mm. One has a 1mm ball on both ends, while another has 1.5mm on both ends. Another stylus has a 1mm ball on one end and a 1mm point on one end. You can use these points to score, start an embossing outline, or make fine details on clay sculptures. 

The two other styli have a 1.5mm ball on one end and a 2mm and 2.5mm ball on the other end, respectively. These sizes are best for making larger details on your molding projects and deepening your embossing impressions after transferring the design from your stencil. 

Who Should Buy It

We are one with most users who recommend this set to everyone who wants a no-nonsense but durable crafting tool. Though they are rustic in design, these are an improvement to early styli before using metal ball tips. 

3. Petutu Stylus Bundle - Best Overall Set

 Wooden and acrylic plastic embossing tools with different ball sizes
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 Pros Cons
  • Stainless steel balls
  • Wooden and acrylic handle
  • Doubled-ended styli
  • 10 different ball endings
  • Versatile application
  • The acrylic stylus breaks easily
  • Same size on many styli

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many users attached photos of their finished projects, boasting how these embossing tools can make professional-looking art on a piece of wooden block, rock, or nails. It has many options, so the crafters can use the size they prefer.  

Some crafters also use it for scoring boards because the usual bone scoring tools are too flimsy for thick cardstock and cardboard. They said that they don’t even need a scoring board to use these tools. 

Petutu Stylus Bundle review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Petutu Stylus Set has 10 tools, 5 of which have wooden handles, while the remaining 5 have an acrylic plastic handle. The acrylic embossing styli are slightly longer at 5 ¼ inches than the wooden embossing tools at 5 ⅛ inches. 

Of the 20 heads, 9 measures 1.5mm, 4 of which are from the wooden embossing tools, and 5 are from the acrylic embossing tools. The other heads measure 0.9mm, 1mm, 1.2mm, 1.6mm, 2mm. 2.1mm, 2.5mm. 2.6mm, and 3mm. Some acrylic-handled styli have pointed heads for more efficient scoring and embossing, especially when transferring your design. 

Like other embossing styli, you can also use these tools for clay modeling and sculpture, add texture and raised patterns on standard paper, and even molding fondant and gum paste icing. This set also makes excellent dotting tools.   

Who Should Buy It

The Petutu Stylus Set is a good purchase for beginner crafters. It has all the basic head sizes for those who are still starting on embossing. It's also an excellent gift to crafters or simply as part of your backup stash.

4. Seronline Stylus and Modeling Tools Bundle - Best Complete Kit

Seronline stylus and modeling tools
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 Pros Cons
  • 5 sets of tools in one bundle
  • Stainless steel ball on styli
  • High-quality materials 
  • Works for a variety of crafts 
  • Affordable
  • Flimsy plastic stylus
  • Some tools are not necessary for embossing

What Customers Have To Say 

One Spanish customer gave this bundle to his son, and he said his son has been very content and happy with the tools. A newbie to embossing and polymer clay modeling said she’s ecstatic with these tools since they made her transition from a newbie to a knowledgeable crafter very convenient. 

Another crafter is very happy about the price. The bundle offers great value for the crafter’s money. An epoxy resin enthusiast even used these tools to sculpt her custom counter. 

Seronline Stylus and Modeling Tools Bundle review 

Why We Think It’s Great

The Seronline Stylus and Modeling Tools Bundle work for various crafts, including clay modeling and sculpture, fondant and gum paste modeling, paper scoring, and other various crafts that use embossing tools. 

The bundle comes with 5 double-ended styli with wooden handles in different ball sizes, ranging from 0.8mm to 3 mm, and 4 double-ended styli with a rubber handle, the heads of which range from 4 to 18mm. It also includes 4 plastic styli with 2 ball heads, an arrow-like head, and a chisel-type head with a tapering end of varying diameters, which you can also use as a stylus. You can use all of these tools for manual embossing, transferring designs, and scoring. 

Also included in the bundle are 5 silicone pens with varying heads for polymer clay modeling and wooden tools for ceramic clay modeling and sculpture. Although each tool has different uses, they complement each other to give ease to each crafter.

All the tools are of high-quality materials to ensure the best performance. The wooden tools are smooth and made from hardwood so that they won’t buckle under pressure. You can enjoy your crafting even when working with thick materials since the rubber handle on the larger embossing styli offers less stress on the hands. 

Who Should Buy It

Anyone serious about embossing and modeling will agree that this is a very versatile set. Besides the regular stylus sizes, this set also includes larger heads, usually used for modeling clay, to make deeper impressions on their clay crafts. It also adds texture to various arts with the aid of a good stencil.  

5. Meuxan Embossing Stylus & Modeling Tool Set - Best Embossing & Modeling Tool Set

Meuxan Stylus with wooden handle & Modeling Tool Set with hot pink rubber handle
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 Pros Cons
  • 2 sets of embossing tools in one bundle
  • High-quality materials
  • 14 different diameters for the stainless steel balls
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use
  • Versatile application
  • Same diameter on some balls on the wooden styli

 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

For someone who does not think of herself as an artist, her ability to create beautiful dot art from flat stones is a huge achievement for her, thanks to this set of tools. Another crafter said she couldn’t get enough flat surfaces for her dot mandalas that she moved from flat rocks to wooden scraps and even concrete around their house. 

Meuxan Embossing Stylus & Modeling Tool Set review

Why We Think It’s Great

You can use the Meuxan Embossing Stylus & Modeling Tool Set for dot painting, nail art, making paper flowers, polymer clay modeling, air-drying clay crafts, and many other similar crafts. It is also sturdy enough for metal embossing. 

The set gives you 14 different diameters on the metal ball head of the styli, ranging from 0.8mm to 3mm for the wooden stylus and from 4mm to 18mm for the rubber handle embossing styli. The rubber handle styli measure 4 ¾ inches, while the wooden styli are slightly longer at 5 ¼ inches. 

Besides the embossing styli, this toolset also includes modeling tools that you can use for embossing if filling in large areas. The larger balls can also remove the streaks from using the smaller stylus, leaving a smoother finish. 

Who Should Buy It

We highly recommend this set of tools to crafters who love multifunction tools in their toolkit. Aside from being affordable, they also provide superior satisfaction to their users because of the lovely art these tools can make. 

6. EK Tools Set

a pack of 3-piece EK Tools Embossing Stylus Set in different ball diameters
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 Pros Cons
  • High-quality materials
  • No duplicate ball sizes
  • One very fine ball for scoring and puncturing
  • Compatible with other crafting tools
  • Pricier than other sets in this list 
  • No size markings on the styli

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Besides the regular embossing projects, most crafters are fond of how the 0.2mm ball can make lovely scores on thick kraft cards, cardstock, and chipboard without breaking the paper. It works perfectly with scoring boards from other brands, and you only have to pass it once when making a score, unlike other scoring tools. 

A nail artist also loves how she can also use the smallest ball for a quick cleanup when some nail polish moves near the cuticle without hurting her client. Another crafter swears by the incredible designs she can make on her water and drag marbling using the smaller balls from this set. 

Why We Think It’s Great

The EK Tools Set is very versatile. You can use this set for dot painting, nail art, cardmaking, dry manual embossing, scoring, and clay modeling. It even makes lovely impressions and score lines for your 3D masks and other children’s crafts. You can even create personalized stationery with just these tools. 

The set has 3 dual-ended embossing styli, with metal ball tips of varying sizes. The first stylus has 0.2 and 4mm ball heads, the second has 2mm and 3 mm, and the third has 1mm and 1.5mm. However, the polycarbonate plastic handles do not bear any markings regarding the ball size. It helps that the handle is light gray, though, since you can easily add a Sharpie marking to it indicating the size. 

If you need bigger metal balls, you can always purchase a clay modeling set to use for larger impressions. While common embossing methods involve the use of stencil, you can also use freehand to dry emboss raised patterns on almost anything. Don’t forget to press firmly while maintaining an angle to avoid damaging the paper.    

Who Should Buy It

The EK Tools Embossing Stylus Set is best for crafters who can’t tolerate redundancy in their tools without sacrificing function and reliability. You can also use it for other crafts, so having these tools in your craft shop is a total win. 

7. Caydo Embossing Stylus & Sculpting Tools - Most Practical Set

Caydo double-ended embossing styli with rubber and acrylic handles
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 Pros Cons
  • 3 sets of tools in one bundle with fewer pieces
  • Maximized use of tool pieces
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Versatile use
  • Can be used on metals
  • Larger balls may be too heavy for the handle

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Some customers complain of the larger metal ball tips falling off the rubber handle. The crafters surmised that the balls might be too heavy for the rubber handle. Other crafters fixed this issue by using super glue to fix it. 

Caydo Embossing Stylus & Sculpting Tools

Why We Think It’s Great

We think that the Caydo Embossing Stylus & Sculpting Tools is the perfect tool that every crafter needs. Caydo avoided duplicating tools by replacing the metal balls on the other end of the embossing with silicone pens that you could use for doing nail art and other handicrafts.

The embossing tools with acrylic handles have metal balls ranging from 1mm to 2.5mm on one end. On the other end, the silicone pens are of varying tips, including 2 tapered pens, 2 chisel-type pens, and a round pen. The larger balls with the rubber handles, on the other hand, have metal balls ranging from 4mm to 19mm. 

You can use the silicone pens and the smaller balls for nail art, dot painting. The larger balls on the rubber handle are suitable for ceramic engraving, clay sculpture, gum paste modeling, and manual dry embossing. 

Who Should Buy It

If you’re a practical crafter and feel that unnecessary tools are a waste of time and space in your crafter’s toolbox, this set is the best for you. You get the same tools while dealing with fewer pieces than is necessary. 

8. Coyaho Stylus for Paper

five embossing styli made from colorful ABS plastic handle and stainless steel balls in different sizes
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 Pros Cons
  • Color-coded stylus
  • Different sizes of ball heads
  • High-quality materials 
  • Good grip
  • Smooth heads for lesser friction
  • Body is smaller than a standard pen
  • No size markings

 

What Customers Have To Say 

The customers love the set because it is very affordable and includes some of the essential embossing tools every newbie crafter needs. They even bragged about using these styli for many crafts. 

 Coyaho Stylus for Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

One end of the embossing stylus is 1.5mm for all 4, but the navy blue stylus has 1.5mm on both ends. The white stylus has a 1mm ball on one end, light blue has 2mm, purple has 2.5mm, and pink has 3mm. The handle is from high-quality ABS plastic, and the balls are stainless steel. The pen is 5 ⅛ inches long,  5/16 of an inch in diameter, and weighs 7 grams each.   

Create personalized stationery with this set. You can make your photo greeting cards, invitations, and thank you notes just in time for the holidays!

Who Should Buy It

We believe that this set is the best embossing set for newbie crafters who are still trying to discover what they could do best. You can use it for other crafts, including dot painting and clay modeling.  

9. Cesfonjer Stylus & Sculpting Tools

a set of embossing stylus and silicone brushes combo with pink handle and clay modeling tools with hot pink handle
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 Pros Cons
  • 18 tools in one set
  • Quality craft on the tools
  • Versatile application - embossing, molding, nail art
  • Large & well-made plastic casing
  • Sturdy metal ball tips
  • Silicone brush pops out of its handle

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

The reviewers for this toolset are crafters and bakers who love the performance of the tools. One confectioner said that it’s the perfect tool for modeling chocolate, while a baker has all the praises for these tools.

Another crafter who’s starting with dot painting got this set as a gift from her husband, and she loves how much easier it is to do her new passion with them. According to a professional crafter, the plastic case is large and has enough room for a few more tools. She also loves everything for her numerous paper crafts. 

Why We Think It’s Great

The Cesfonjer Stylus & Sculpting Toolset includes three sets of tools you can use for paper embossing, wood-burning crafts, ceramic and air-drying clay crafts, fondant cake molding, and dot painting. The set also comes with a storage case for easier stashing and on-the-go crafting.

The embossing set has 5 double-headed tools with a pink acrylic handle. One end is an embossing tool, while the other end is a silicone brush. The embossing end comes in 5 sizes: 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, and 2.5mm, while the silicone brush comes in 3 chisel ends and 2 tapered ends. The tool measures 5 ¾ inches long from tip to tip. 

The 4 double-headed clay modeling tools have a hot pink acrylic rubber handle. Each tool has a stainless steel ball on both ends, each of different sizes. One modeling tool has a 4mm and 6mm ball, 8mm and 12mm ball, 9.5 and 15mm ball, and 11mm and 19mm ball. These tools can also do paper embossing, especially for making impressions in larger areas or thicker cardstock.  

To keep the tools clean, hand wash them in warm, sudsy water, towel dry, and continue drying on a rack. Remove all remnants of clay, fondant, or other materials from the crevices to prolong the tools’ lifetime.   

Who Should Buy It

The Cesfonjer Embossing Stylus & Sculpting Tools is an excellent tool for every crafter who works with modeling, wood-burning, and paper embossing. It also makes a lovely dotting tool you can use for textural experimentations on rocks and other similar surfaces, and every finished design is Pinterest-worthy. However, we recommend that you buy a separate set of these tools if you plan to use them for fondant and gum paste modeling. 

10. Darice Broad Point Double-Headed Stylus

Darice double-ended embossing and tracing stylus with wooden handle
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 Pros Cons
  • Double-headed stylus with hardened steel end
  • 1mm and 1.5mm head
  • Versatile application
  • Too much friction

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Someone who calls herself an all-around crafter loves this tool since she can use it for her many crafts (visual arts, sewing, etc.). For her, it is an indispensable tool for every crafter. 

Another crafter says it works great, is very convenient to use, sturdy, and has a good grip. It might be a bit pricier for a single tool, but it's worth the price. 

Why We Think It’s Great

The Darice double-ended stylus has a wooden handle that holds the hardened steel ball at each end. The smaller ball measures 1mm and is best for tracing the outline of a drawing or design you want to transfer. The other end measures 1.5mm and works for emphasizing the lines previously made by the smaller ball. 

The wooden handle is not overly smooth, allowing you a better grip to avoid calluses or blisters when working with it for an extended period. Aside from using it for paper embossing, you can also use the Darice double-ended stylus for wood-burning projects,air-drying clay crafts, and various arts.  

Maintain your embossing tool at an angle to smoothen the motion. You can still puncture thick cardstock from the pressure during the embossing process. Use stencils to create patterns and designs on standard paper and cardstock to make cards for your loved ones. 

Pro Tip: Use virgin paper and stay away from recycled paper since their fibers are shorter and are easier to break apart. 

Who Should Buy It

The Darice double-ended stylus is the best choice for anyone looking for a replacement or a backup small-head stylus. You can even use intricate stencil designs with the stylus because of its small head.  

Embossing Stylus Buying Guide

  • Purpose

An embossing stylus comes in handy when you need to make the best cards, invitations, and other paper crafts. You can use the multiple size tips to add texture and raised patterns to your projects. If you want a versatile toolset, choose one with 2 or more kinds of tools in one set. 

Some of these tools are even sturdy enough to do relief embossing but are still gentle enough to make cute paper crafts to go into your scrapbook pages. 

  • Materials used

Embossing styli usually comes with a wooden or ABS plastic handle. However, be sure to check the quality first before buying one. Some wooden handles do not have a smooth finish which may leave tiny splinters on your hand. To solve this, sand your wooden handle, then finish it with a finishing lacquer. ABS plastic handles are smoother but sometimes flimsier than wooden handles. Always read product reviews before you commit to adding any package into your cart,  especially if shopping online. 

  • Budget

Styli may come in solo or set. Sets usually offer more value because the individual tools come out with a lesser price than solo packs. When buying sets, try to get one that has the most use for you. You may be tempted by the savings when purchasing sets but end up spending more if you can’t use some of the items in your set. 

Embossing Stylus FAQ

1. What is an embossing stylus used for?

An embossing stylus is a tool used to make impressions on a piece of paper or cardstock to give your card a textured look. The embossing tool looks like a pen with a metal ball on one end and a slender handle made from wood, composite plastic, or a combination of composite plastic and rubber to lessen the pressure of the hands. 

2. How do you use an embossing stylus?

When using an embossing stylus, always start with the smallest ball to create an impression on your paper material. Remember to rub a piece of crumpled wax paper over your material to reduce friction. Hold your stylist at a 45-degree angle to soften the impact on the paper. 

Besides transferring your designs on paper, you can also use an embossing stylus for your flower crafts. To do this technique, cut your paper flowers according to the desired design and size. To curl the petals on your flower, bring your embossing stylist over 1 petal and slowly push the embossing stylist until it makes a depression on the petal. This depression will cause the petal to curl slightly to give it a more refined effect.

3. How do you emboss paper & cardstock?

To emboss paper or cardstock, prepare the following first:

  1. Stencil
  2. Embossing stylus in multiple size tips
  3. Paper or cardstock
  4. Painter’s tape or washi tape
  5. Wax paper
  6. Self-healing cutting mat
  7. Lighted platform (optional)

Once you have all the materials you need, crumple a piece of wax paper, and rub it over your medium to transfer some wax to it. This step lessens the friction between the paper and the embossing stylus. Tape your stencil over your piece of paper to prevent sliding and any kind of movement during the embossing process. 

If you’re using a lighted platform, skip the cutting mat. Using a lighted platform is best when transferring intricate designs to your paper. Use the smallest embossing tool available in your stash, but we prefer if you can use a 0.5mm or smaller head.  

Transfer your paper and stencil to the self-healing cutting board, which is soft enough to deepen the impressions but still firm enough to support the paper so it won’t tear under pressure. If you have an embossing machine, the silicone rubber mat used for embossing is a perfect alternative. Fill the design, imagining you’re coloring in your design with a blank pen. Continue doing this step until you’re satisfied with the result. 

Supposing you don't have a lighted platform, you can directly use your self-healing mat. Using the embossing pen trace your design over your paper and then remove the stencil. Turn your paper over and deepen the impression using a bigger embossing head. 

Pro-tip:  Always use long fiber paper and avoid recycled paper when doing embossing crafts. It is because recycled papers have shorter fibers and are more prone to breaking during the embossing process.

4. How do you do metal embossing art? 

Metal sheet embossing is almost the same as embossing on paper.  However, because of the more expensive metal sheet, you have to be more careful with metal art than when doing paper embossing.

To do metal embossing art, prepare your design, print it, and tape it over your metal sheet. You can also lightly joy or design over the metal sheet itself. Using the smallest embossing stylus, trace your design as lightly as possible over your metal sheet. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your design,  you can fine-tune it later.

Once satisfied with the design,  remove the paper from the metal sheet and then, using a bigger embossing tool, deepen the impressions on your metal sheet. 

Conclusion

Yey! We’re done here but have you come up with the best choice? If not, here are our top choices for this review. For the best overall embossing stylus bundle, we choose Petutu Embossing Stylus Bundle. It has two sets of tools in one bundle. One set has a wooden handle, while the other has an acrylic handle. These double-ended styli use high-quality materials that will last for a long time.

The Meuxan Embossing Stylus & Modeling Tools gets the vote as the best set for crafters who love working with different media. Although they master one craft to work with every time, they also dabble with other crafts, so why not get one that can complement your other tools? You can select from the 14 different ball sizes to do the best job for your project. They are also lightweight and very comfortable to use. 

For crafters who are just starting with embossing, we recommend the Coyaho Embossing Stylus for Paper. This set includes color-coded styli with smoother metal ball tips for lesser friction. Although it is smaller than a regular pen, it is still comfortable to use unless you have a huge hand. 

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