Quickie Glue Pen vs. MONO Glue Pen by Tombow

Reported by Susan Reidy
I love my Quickie Glue Pen by Sakura. It filled a hole in my adhesive arsenal, specifically it worked great to adhere those teeny tiny die cuts, punches and paper piecings.
But it wasn’t perfect. So my eye started to wander, until it found the MONO Glue Pen by Tombow. Not wanting to chuck my first love, I decided to let them compete for my affections.

I made them jump through crafting hoops that included various mediums (cardstock, chipboard, vellum, glitter, ribbon) that papercrafters commonly adhere to cardstock or patterned paper.
Before I did that, I had to compare their appearance. I know it’s not everything, but hey, a girl wants her glue to look good, right?
Both are shaped like pens, with small pen tip points. The Quickie boasts of a 0.7 mm line width and the Tombow a 1 mm line width. Honestly, I didn’t notice much difference in the size of glue line they each produced. If you squint real hard, you can make out the glue lines in the photo above.
The size and function of these pens is perfect for gluing small things; I don’t use them for adhering cardstock mats, photos or other large items. I particularly like them for Quickutz Squeeze die cuts, which tend to be on the small side. The glue pens make quick work of adhering intricately cut letters, lace cardstock and other delicate items.

You don’t need to squeeze to start the glue flowing; just tap the tip on your paper a few times and out it comes. Then you can write just like you would with a pen.

Because you can be so precise with where you put the glue, you don’t have to worry that excess adhesive will gum up your project.
Speaking of quick, you do need to be speedy when using these pens. By the very nature of them releasing small amounts of wet glue, they dry quickly. This is one reason to reserve these pens for small items (the other being that you would quickly use up your pens on larger items).

Here’s a key difference between the two pens: Quickie glue goes on blue, which makes it easy to see where, and how much, glue you have added. This is especially helpful when you’re dealing with small pieces and tiny amounts of glue. An added bonus is that the glue is permanent when it’s blue, but if you wait for it to dry, it’s repositionable.
Tombow goes on clear, and is strictly permanent. I found it tricky to see how much glue I had put on my pieces.
I also found it difficult to get the glue flowing, and keep it flowing, from the Tombow pen. I had to press the top several times to get it started, and after putting it down for any length of time, it took awhile to get it going again.
The Quickie was ready to go straight out of the shoot, with just one or two presses (maybe that’s why it’s called Quickie?). I this relationship, I do find faster is better. It also flowed much better, giving me a consistent, even line of glue. Remember this point, it will be important later when I talk about glittering.
So how did they do in adhering? Overall, they both did equally well in holding items where I wanted them. In my tests, I let everything dry overnight and tested them by trying to lift the items with my fingernail.

As you can see, they both grabbed onto these little chipboard letters and even metal (Quickie on the left, Tombow on the right). Normally, I wouldn’t use glue pens on metal, but Tombow said it could do it, so I gave it a try.
The hardest part was getting the glue to come out of the Tombow pen onto the slick metal surface. I had to get it started a few times on cardstock first, and found the best method was to push down on the tip and make dots of glue.
Quickie came out easily on the metal, and did a great job of adhering it.
Next up was glitter. Aside from adhering tiny die cuts, this is my favorite way to use glue pens. You can use the pens to write words, highlight certain parts of patterned paper or stamped images or just draw nice straight lines, and then dump on the glitter.
As I mentioned before, you do need to work quickly so the glue doesn’t dry before you can glitter. Finer glitter works better than the chunkier stuff.
The flow problems came into play again with the Tombow pen. Because it doesn’t come out consistently, my word didn’t glitter completely.

I also gave them both a try with ribbon and vellum. I found they worked best with ribbon if you put the glue on your cardstock first, and laid the ribbon on top. When I tried to add the glue directly to the ribbon, it soaked in too fast and wasn’t sticky.

Both did great adhering this skinny ribbon. Again, I let it dry overnight and it was still adhered the next morning. That’s better than some of the other adhesives I’ve tried; many times I find my ribbon sticking up the next day.

As you can see from the photo above, the pens probably aren’t the best for vellum. They may hold it down, but the adhesive shows through.

For this card, I used my Quickie pen to attach the tropical drink Quickutz die cut. That tiny straw and lime wedge would have been tricky to adhere without my trusty glue pen. I also used the pen on my letters, and some glittery bling around my scalloped circle.

On this layout, I used my glue pen to adhere the die cut cardstock. It worked great around all those circles, and didn’t leave any extra glue in the openings. I also drew some shapes inside the circles and added glitter.

Overall, the biggest difference I found in these two pens was how the glue come out and its color. Quickie comes out blue and flows very easily, immediately. Tombow is clear, and it takes a while to get it flowing, and keep it flowing.

For these reasons, I’m going to stick with Quickie. But in a pinch, I’ll pick up Tombow since it adheres just as well, but just needs a little coaxing to perform.

  • Small, pen like tips on both glue pens make them ideal for adhering small, intricate items without leaving messy residue.
  • Both adhere a variety of materials very well.
  • The Quickie Glue Pen flows easily, and comes out blue which makes it easy to see.
  • The Quickie Glue Pen can be permanent or repositionable.


  • The glue from both dries quickly once applied, so you have to move fast.
  • It’s more difficult to get glue flowing, and to keep it flowing, from the Tombow pen.

Both pens are widely available at major craft stores and online. They retail for about $2.99.

Have you tried the Quickie Glue Pen or Tombow Glue Pen? Which do you prefer? What’s your favorite way to use glue pens?


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17 Responses to Quickie Glue Pen vs. MONO Glue Pen by Tombow

  1. Avatar
    Sandy O July 26, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I love my quickie glue pen. I can’t imagine paper crafting without it. One thing I use it for that you did not mention is to glitter digital images. It works great, even on the printed lines.

  2. Avatar
    janine July 26, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I also love the Quickie Glue Pen. I’ve never tried the MONO Pen only because I’ve had great results with the Quickie pen. Sometimes it just works that way with some of the crafting supplies I use. If I’m having great results with one product, I generally tend to keep purchasing it until they no longer make it—and I totally hate when that happens….lol

  3. Avatar
    Yogi July 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    nice comparison. Never used the Tombow pen. I’m a die hard for the Quickie Glue Pen (and the Zig Squeeze N Roll pen). I’m a calligrapher as well, so love the finer tip for writing(even if it’s only .3 difference it probably can be seen in flicking motions of the pen).
    I very rarely glue items with mine, rather I use it for glitter and adhering gold leaf on small areas.

  4. Avatar
    Ruby July 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    I too love my quickie glue pen. I didn’t do an extensive test as you did (tku mucho!), but I didn’t think there was anything else out there that would do as well and guess I was right! You’re right about the small areas, like ‘inner eyes’ on my punch art. I reach for my quickie pen so I don’t have to wipe off excess glue and risk spreading it to the front of the punched piece (*@!^&#%) haha… tks for sharing.

  5. Avatar
    Scrappy Rat July 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I’ve used both and I far prefer the Quickie. The Tombow frustrated the heck out of me til I finally just got out my Quickie again. The tip about making dots with the tombo is great. I’ll definitely give it a try, since I hate to just throw it out. I’ll be sticking to Quickie though, any time I’m buying.

  6. Avatar
    Our Little Inspirations July 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    I never tried the quickie or the tombow glue pen, but with the Zig glue pen I have, I use it mostly to adhere alphabet letters to their “shadow” cuts from the Cricut, or like you – smaller die cut items. Thanks for the great info!

  7. Avatar
    klasickewpie July 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Have loved my Quickie Glue pen by Sakura! From your review, I’ll be sticking with it, as I too like the easy flow, and blue color.

  8. Avatar
    Jan Castle July 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I use the Quickie Glue Pen quite a bit…only wish it would stay wetter longer!!!
    Jan Castle

  9. Avatar
    KathyinMN July 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    I’ve not tried the Tombow. I’ve had occasions when the Quickie glue didn’t adhere well enough and my pieces fell off. Anyone else?

  10. Avatar
    Shannon - Desert Designs July 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Oh oh – I had forgotten about my Quickie Glue pen – time to bring it out to play!

  11. Avatar
    Debbie H, July 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    I love, love! my Quickie glue pen. I use it a lot when I cut letters out wit the Cuttlebug.Using the Quickie pen to glue them on makes palcing individual letters a cinch. This terrific pen gets all of those tiny little spots on the letters. I also use it when adding glitter to a small areas like thelines and swirls I love to add to cards and then glitter them up.

    I just want to kiss the person who came up with this pen!

    Best wishes,
    Debbie H.

  12. Avatar
    Daria July 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you for the comparison. I have only tried the Quickie Glue Pen. In addition the uses you mentioned, I use it to adhere gems to my cards.

  13. Avatar
    Pammejo July 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    I have used them both in classes that I have taught. I prefer the Quickie Glue Pen.

  14. Avatar
    Amy July 27, 2010 at 4:20 am #

    I have used the Quickie Glue Pen for quite some time now, and love it! Never tried the mono.
    Thanks for a great review…I think I’ll be “sticking” with my QGP.

  15. Avatar
    paperqueen July 27, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    I love my quickie and have used it faithfully for years. For all the same reasons you mentioned, plus for its ability to place glue precisely…let’s say you have a stamped design that you want to glitter with several different colors. You can apply the glue, glitter, and repeat til you are done and each color is exactly where you want it.

  16. Avatar
    Maureen July 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    I have only tried the quickie and really love it for little things and tight places. Great thing to have in your tool bag

  17. Avatar
    billiejo July 30, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I am an avid fan of Zig Two Way Glue pens. I have used the Quikie a few times and they are the same glue. I’d love to see a comparison on flow and ease of use between the Zig and Quickie, but one of the things I love most is the variety of tips available. This was my first (glue years ago) and I found it held metal, pebbles, rusty metal (be careful here) and a variety of items most glues just laugh at. I now carry 5 different tips with me and I’ll put Quickie on my list next time I need a fine tip. Thanks