Do Styluses Scratch Your Screen? [The Simple Answer]

Styluses have become increasingly popular tools to pair with people’s touchscreen devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and even some laptops. Despite this, some are hesitant to invest in these tools because they’re concerned about whether a stylus can scratch or otherwise damage their device screens. Is this concern justified?

A stylus in ideal condition should not scratch the sensitive surface of a touchscreen device. However, if the stylus’s nib is worn, or the device’s screen is dirty, the stylus may scratch the screen.

In this article, we’ll provide tips on what you can do to ensure your stylus doesn’t scratch your device’s screen. As you read, you’ll learn about helpful maintenance steps to take, what products to use or avoid, and other preventative measures that will keep your stylus and screen in perfect condition after every use.

How to Prevent Screen Scratches From a Stylus

As we stated previously, styluses, even the cheapest options, are almost always designed to work safely on your touchscreen. It is rare for a stylus, alone, to scratch the screen of any device its paired with, especially since most devices use incredibly durable, scratch-proof materials for their touchscreens.

Still, screen scratches caused by styluses are not unheard of. It can happen even though its rare, but there are things you can do to prevent them.

The best way to prevent screen scratches from a stylus is to follow the maintenance and preventative measures listed below.

  1. Check for nib damage before every use
  2. Change nib regularly
  3. Keep nib and screen clean
  4. Stick to rubber or cotton nibs
  5. Use a screen protector

Read on for more information as we discuss these tips in more detail, along with the common causes of stylus-caused screen scratches associated with them.

1. Check Your Nib for Damage

The nib refers to the tip of your stylus, and the number one cause of screen scratches caused by styluses is using this tool when the nib is damaged in some way.

A well-used stylus nib will wear down over time, and sometimes this wear will result in a sharp edge or abrasive surface that will scratch through your screen’s protective layers.

Before you start using your stylus, you should always take a second to check its nib for signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or excessive wear. If you notice these signs, it’s best to replace the nib before using the stylus again.

2. Change Nib Regularly

A great way to ensure you stylus nib doesn’t wear down to the point of scratching your screen is to replace it regularly.

Stylus nibs are relatively cheap to purchase and easy to swap out. If you use your stylus regularly, maybe change the nib every few weeks, whereas if you use it intermittently, you can opt for every few months.

Spending the $10 on a pack of new nibs will be much safer and more cost-effective then replacing a scratched touchscreen.

3. Keep Nib and Screen Clean

Probably the second most-likely reason why a stylus scratched a device screen is because an abrasive object, like dust or dirt particles, got trapped between the stylus nib and the screen’s surface. This means that it was the contaminant that caused the scratch, not your stylus.

The best way to avoid this is to regularly clean your stylus nib and screen (ideally, before every use). The nib can be easily wiped off with a microfiber towel and the screen can be cleaned with a specialty screen cleaner also paired with a microfiber towel.

4. Stick to Rubber or Cotton Nibs

While this can vary depending on a stylus’ brand and design, most can be paired with nibs of various designs and materials.

Of these materials, we recommend sticking to rubber or the rare cotton stylus nib because harder materials, like plastics, are more likely to chip and scratch your screen.

5. Use a Screen Protector

The odds of your stylus scratching your device screen on its own are minimal but applying a screen protector is a great way to reduce those odds even further.

These cheap accessories will take the brunt of any impact and will ensure scratches never reach the screen beneath. Like we said with the replacement nibs, it is far cheaper to take this preventative measure and replace a $10 screen protector than the device’s actual screen.

Final Thoughts

There’s always a slight chance that your trusty stylus might scratch or damage your phone, tablet, or laptop’s screen. That being said, if you follow the tips listed here, your chances of having a scratch-free screen are even greater.