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Apple Pencil 2 vs. Apple Pencil 1 for Procreate: Which One Should You Get?

Iva Mikles
Apple Pencil 2 vs. Apple Pencil 1 for Procreate: Which One Should You Get?

Trying to decide between Apple Pencil 2 and Apple Pencil 1 for Procreate? I understand your dilemma!

I think it can be confusing to find out which one is compatible with which iPad and which one gives you the best drawing experience in Procreate.

I used both Apple Pencils with my iPads Pro, so in this post, I give you my first-hand experience of how they compare, so you can see which is better for you before getting one.

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My Pick
Previous Pick
5.0
4.5
Apple Pencil 2 is for all the artists working with Procreate who want the best drawing experience on their iPads. It features automatic pairing, magnetic charging, a "tap" menu, and a "hover" function. Drawing with Apple Pencil 2 is so intuitive, that I often almost forget that I am drawing digitally.
Apple Pencil 1 is for all the artists drawing in Procreate who don't have an iPad compatible with Apple Pencil 2. It is "the" Apple Pencil that introduced drawing on iPad to so many artists. I used it with my previous iPad Pro and I loved drawing with it.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation)
iPad Air (5th and 4th generation)
and iPad mini (6th generation)
iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2″), 10th (10.9″) generation
iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation)
iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch
Magnetic charging
Lightning connector charging
Pressure sensitivity
Tilt support
Palm rejection
Automatic pairing
Tap menu
Hover
Pressure sensitivity
Tilt support
Palm rejection
Automatic pairing
My Pick
5.0
Apple Pencil 2 is for all the artists working with Procreate who want the best drawing experience on their iPads. It features automatic pairing, magnetic charging, a "tap" menu, and a "hover" function. Drawing with Apple Pencil 2 is so intuitive, that I often almost forget that I am drawing digitally.
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation)
iPad Air (5th and 4th generation)
and iPad mini (6th generation)
Magnetic charging
Pressure sensitivity
Tilt support
Palm rejection
Automatic pairing
Tap menu
Hover
Previous Pick
4.5
Apple Pencil 1 is for all the artists drawing in Procreate who don't have an iPad compatible with Apple Pencil 2. It is "the" Apple Pencil that introduced drawing on iPad to so many artists. I used it with my previous iPad Pro and I loved drawing with it.
iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2″), 10th (10.9″) generation
iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation)
iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch
Lightning connector charging
Pressure sensitivity
Tilt support
Palm rejection
Automatic pairing
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FYI – to get more details on which stylus works with Procreate, have a look at my post, too.

💡If you are wondering about the new Apple Pencil click here: Is the NEW Apple Pencil USB-C good for Procreate?

Drawing Experience – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

I feel like the drawing experience on both Apple Pencil 2 and Apple Pencil 1 is pretty much the same.

They both come with exceptional pressure sensitivity, tilt support, and palm rejection.

I’d say that the only difference in drawing experience between the two Apple Pencils is that Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with ProMotion technology enabled iPad Pro models. It means that the newest iPad Pro models have a higher display refresh rate, and I feel like drawing on them is smoother.

Here is me drawing on my old iPad Pro 10.5″ with Apple Pencil 1 in the How to do an Art Reveal in Procreate class:

And here is me drawing on my current iPad Pro 12.9″ with my Apple Pencil 2 in the How to Draw a Rose class:

Compatibility – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

Best iPad for Drawing Apple Pencil Compatibility
Graphic: Quick compatibility comparison between Apple Pencil 2 and 1 and different iPad models – ©Art Side of Life

If you already got your iPad for Procreate, then you pretty much also decided which Apple Pencil you will be getting.

If not, and you are considering which iPad for Procreate to get on a budget, then my useful table below may help you:

Apple Pencil 2 CompatibilityApple Pencil 1 Compatibility
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd generation)iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st generation)iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad Air (5th and 4th generation)iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th generation (10.2″))
iPad Mini (6th generation)iPad 10th generation (10.9″ )
iPad Mini (5th generation)
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
iPad Pro 9.7-inch
Table: Apple Pencil 2 and 1 Compatibility Comparison with different iPad models – Source: Apple.com

As you can see from my table above, both Apple Pencil models are compatible with the same number of iPad models.

You may have noticed that Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with the newer iPad models, and Apple Pencil 1 is compatible with older iPads, which tend to be cheaper.

I don’t think there is a surprise to this because Apple has been updating their iPads a lot in the past few years, and their pen-to-display experience has become so much better, too. Apple Pencil 2 is the stylus that was designed to keep up with this development.

And I heard rumors that the Apple Pencil 3 is coming soon and will feature some amazing haptic feedback supporting touch and motion, building on the already amazing technology of the Apple Pencil 2.

I think this all benefits us artists in an amazing way because the drawing experience in Procreate and other drawing apps for iPad is getting better and better.

I feel like since I upgraded to my new iPad Pro 12.9″ with Apple Pencil 2, my drawing experience in Procreate became so much smoother and more intuitive than with the previous models. I can only guess how great the Apple Pencil 3 will be.

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Design and Ergonomics – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

I think besides the technology, design, and ergonomics are the second biggest differentiator between Apple Pencil 2 vs. Apple Pencil 1.

I measured the Apple Pencil 1 to be about 175 mm and Apple Pencil 2 to be about 165mm, so 10 mm shorter. This is because Apple Pencil 1 has the lightning connector on top covered with a cap.

Apple Pencil 1 Design and Ergonomics

Apple Pencil 1 has a design most similar to a smooth pen.

It’s circular and features a detachable cap that hides the lightning connector. You use the lightning connector to charge it. And in rare cases to pair it with your iPad. If your iPad has USB-C connecter like the new iPad 10, you will need an adapter.

I had too many funny moments trying to chase my Apple Pencil 1 before it rolled over from a table due to its circular shape. I’d also had moments when I thought I lost it because it fell out of my iPad case into my backpack. And to be honest, the cap is very thin, so it cracked when I had too many things in my backpack, and probably one of them pushed on it too much.

And many of my artist friends found Apple Pencil 1 too slick to hold properly, so they opted for these thick grip holders to improve on ergonomics.

Apple Pencil 2 Design and Ergonomics

Apple Pencil 2 has a design similar to a traditional pencil.

Well, almost. It’s round, except for one side, which is straight-cut. This is because this side has a magnet through which it attaches to your iPad and charges automatically. You can also use it to put your Apple Pencil 2 on a table without worrying it rolls through the edge.

I also got an iPad case, which has a special holder for the Apple Pencil 2, so I don’t have to worry about it getting lost or damaged in my backpack.

Storage and Charging – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

Apple Pencil 2 is the clear winner when it comes to storage and charging. It attaches and charges by magnetically attaching to your iPad.

Every time I am finished drawing in Procreate, I just attach my Apple Pencil 2 to my iPad Pro, and it automatically charges. This is super awesome because I feel it lasts forever. I’ve never had a situation where it wasn’t ready for my drawing session.

The new iPad case I got also conveniently stores my Apple Pencil 2, so I don’t have to worry about losing it.

Apple Pencil 1 charges through the lightning connector, which is hidden under the cap. This means you have to consciously remember to attach it to your iPad to charge it after each couple of drawings.

I remember this was so annoying to me when the Apple Pencil battery died during my drawing sessions. And this was happening quite often because, of course, I forgot to charge it in between 🙂

Price – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

Unless you are getting one at a discount, Apple Pencil 2 is about 20-30% more expensive than Apple Pencil 1.

This depends if you are getting only Apple Pencil 1 or if you also need to get the USB-C to Lightning adapter if you have iPad 10.

Apple Pencil 2 is simply a better stylus for drawing in Procreate, and unless you are on a tight budget, then I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t get the best tools for your art.

So Which Should You Get for Procreate – Apple Pencil 2 or 1?

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If you already got an iPad for Procreate, you are pretty much set on which Apple Pencil you should get for drawing in Procreate.

If you haven’t gotten one yet, and you are not on a budget, then get Apple Pencil 2 and either iPad Pro or iPad Air for drawing in Procreate.

If you want to draw in Procreate, but you are on a budget, then get Apple Pencil 1 with iPad 9, but do consider the iPad 10 with Apple Pencil 2 or one of the refurbished iPad Pro and Air models.

I use the Apple Pencil 2 with my iPad Pro 12.9″, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world … well until Apple Pencil 3 comes to retail 🙂 Here is my current gear:

 
 
 
 
 

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Edit 2023: If you want absolutely the newest tech to get M2 chip and use Apple Pencil hover feature, get the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9″

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Matte Screen Protector for Drawing, Writing, and Note-taking like on Paper

I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Soft Flexible TPU Back Cover, Auto Sleep/Wake, and Multiple Viewing Stand Modes. Different sizes available.

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Edit 2023: If you want absolutely the newest tech to get M2 chip and use Apple Pencil hover feature, get the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9″

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Matte Screen Protector for Drawing, Writing, and Note-taking like on Paper

I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Soft Flexible TPU Back Cover, Auto Sleep/Wake, and Multiple Viewing Stand Modes. Different sizes available.

Happy drawing and painting!

FAQs – Apple Pencil 2 vs. 1 for Procreate

Which Apple Pencil is better for Procreate?

I think Apple Pencil 2 is better for Procreate because it provides an amazing drawing experience in Procreate; you can magnetically attach it to your iPad so it charges automatically; it has a tap feature and hover feature.

Is Apple Pencil 2 good for Procreate?

Yes, Apple Pencil 2 is great for Procreate. I love using Apple Pencil 2 with Procreate! The experience is just amazing. Plus, it magnetically attaches to your iPad and, charges automatically, has a tap feature, and hover feature. It’s definitely the way to go!

Is Apple Pencil 1st gen good for Procreate?

Yes, Apple Pencil 1st gen is still good for Procreate. It’s still a good choice if you have iPad for Procreate that only supports Apple Pencil 1.

Iva

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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