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The Apple Pencil represents a line of stylus products that the company has developed as part of a range of accessories that can provide additional functionality for iPad tablets. Thanks to the Apple Pencil, users can have more precise control or drawing and other fine work that requires greater precision than just touching or tapping the screen of the iPad.

The stylus itself uses Bluetooth to communicate with the iPad wirelessly over a short range. When Apple developed the first version of the Pencil, it created a tool that would have both touch and angle sensitivity that users could combine with input from their fingers. The second version of the stylus went deeper with its functions, and specific areas of the Pencil could map to different things within particular apps.

Although the Apple Pencil is something that the company designed specifically for use with iPads, some owners wonder if the tip might be able to scratch the screens of their tablets. We will look at this issue in our article below. Additionally, we can talk about whether it is easy for users to scratch the screens of these tablets with general use, and we will discover whether it makes sense to screen protectors with these devices. As we move along, we will also talk about the efficacy of using the stylus when a screen protector is present, and we can give our recommendation as to how safe it might be to use the Apple Pencil without any protection for the screen of the iPad.

Does Using an Apple Pencil Scratch an iPad Screen?

Under normal use conditions, the Apple Pencil should not scratch the screen of an iPad. A big part of the reason for this has to do with how the company chose to develop both items. The iPad uses hardened Gorilla Glass that technical people working for Apple test before releasing.

This glass has strength elements that help it to resist dings, scrapes, or scratches from everyday use. As part of the testing phase, the people at Apple try different methods for scratching the glass with objects of various levels of hardness. By doing so, the company makes sure that only very hard, abrasive objects should be able to scratch the glass.

An iPad’s screen can still sustain a scratch, but it would have to come into contact with an object that is higher on the hardness scale than its own glass. While this is possible, it is not likely under normal circumstances.

Furthermore, the tip of the Apple Pencil uses a substance that is much lower on the hardness scale than the glass of the tablet’s screen. In short, it should be exceedingly rare for a stylus like this to cause any damage to the iPad. Some exceptional cases may exist, and it is impossible to say it could never happen. However, the overall likelihood of such an occurrence should be very low.

Even in cases where a user may believe that the stylus scratched the screen of their iPad, the Apple Pencil is probably not responsible directly. Some types of debris can cause scratches or other marks on the surface of the iPad’s screen, particularly if you drag this debris across the front of the tablet with decent pressure.

Therefore, if the tip of the stylus might have some debris such as this stuck to it, it is possible that you might scrape it along the surface of the screen and scratch it. Even so, the relative hardness level of the debris would have to be greater than that of the Gorilla Glass screen in order to do this kind of noticeable damage.

Do iPad Screens Scratch Easily?

In deepening our understanding of how the Apple Pencil might scratch the screen of an iPad, it is important to explore the more general category of things that might be able to damage the surface of the tablet. However, how easily one might scratch their iPad is not necessarily an objective question we can answer here.

Many things about how long your iPad will last in pristine condition will come down to where and how you use the device. If you are only using your iPad to scroll through things leisurely in a home environment, the chances of having any problems with the screen are probably low.

However, you might need to use your iPad in a harsher environment. This kind of thing might include using the tablet in areas where dust or debris are common, and these particles might even fly around and interact with your screen in ways that you cannot see immediately. In such cases, it might be fair to say that your risk of causing some kind of damage to the screen of your iPad is higher than it might be otherwise.

Just to what level you might be risking the screen of the iPad is hard to say, but anything with a hardness rating above that of the screen could pose a risk. Since you cannot know the specific ratings of everything you encounter, it is best to use some caution when you need to operate your tablet outside of the home environment.

Furthermore, dropping the iPad can be enough to crack or ding the screen. This is true even if you don’t drop the tablet on a surface that is harder than the screen itself. The sheer impact of the device hitting the other surface could be enough to cause a crack in the screen.

With all of this said, it should not be simple to scratch the screen of an iPad under normal use. The screens are parts of the tablets that Apple develops to be resistant to both marks and the oils on the fingertips. Scratches are possible, but normal use and care of the tablet should be enough for most iPad owners.

Should I Use a Screen Protector on My iPad for Drawing?

Whether one should use a screen protector with their iPad is a personal decision. However, we can say that it should not be necessary to use a protector if you are using the stylus for drawing. The Apple Pencil is soft enough to pair with the iPad without a danger of scratching the screen of the tablet. While debris is possible, simply checking the tip of the stylus periodically should mitigate this risk sufficiently.

If you would like to use a screen protector for drawing purposes, one that can help to eliminate glare on the screen might be the most useful. There might be screen protectors that can mimic how paper feels under the tip of a pen. For a more realistic and tactile feel, some users might prefer a screen protector of this type.

Does the Apple Pencil Still Work With a Screen Protector?

In almost all cases, the Apple Pencil should still work adequately with a screen protector for the iPad in place. While the stylus is something that the company designed to ensure that it could work seamlessly with the regular screen, a protector should not inhibit the Pencil’s function.

There are some caveats here, and we should mention them in the interest of completeness. For one, the specific type of screen protector that you choose may cause some lag. This means that there could be a slight delay between the signal of the stylus touching the screen and the drawing motion you make with it.

You may have to wait for a second before the results of your Apple Pencil’s motion will appear on the screen of the iPad for you. While this may not be an issue for some users, it might inhibit the precise nature or creative process of the drawing you are trying to do.

On a related note, a thick screen of tempered glass could cause the actual lines you draw to be less precise than they otherwise might. A screen that uses thick glass as a double layer of protection for your iPad could be an effective deterrent against scratches or cracks from impacts with hard surfaces.

However, you can also compromise by going for a thin film screen instead. This option would add another layer of protection to the iPad’s Gorilla Glass, but it could also reduce the problems you might face when you draw precise lines with the Apple Pencil.

AdobeStock_480245477 Man using digital tablet for drawing

Is It OK To Use Apple Pencil on an iPad With No Screen Protector?

Yes, the design of the Pencil itself facilitates its use with an iPad’s regular screen. The tip interacts with the screen, and it is too soft to scratch or otherwise damage the glass on the front of an iPad.

If you want to be absolutely sure that your use of the Apple Pencil isn’t a problem for the iPad, you just need to make sure that the end of the stylus hasn’t picked up any coarse debris before or after each use of the accessory.


The paper-like size and shape of Apple’s iPads make it easy to envision drawing various artistic designs using the tablet. Apple recognizes this, and the company has crafted the Apple Pencil for just such a purpose. The design of the stylus means that it can connect with and draw on the surface of the iPad without leaving any marks.

Although there is always a chance that you’ll encounter some debris that is harder than the tablet’s glass surface, you can check the tip of the stylus as a precaution. You can also add a thin layer of extra protection to the screen.