October 3, 2023
Learn whether Paint Tool SAI is free or not, the benefits of both free and paid versions, and whether it's the best choice for digital artists. Discover how to obtain Paint Tool SAI legally, and alternative software options.


Paint Tool SAI is a popular digital art software used by professional and semi-professional artists alike. However, one question that always comes up is whether Paint Tool SAI is free or not. This article will explore the truth behind this question and provide valuable insights into the Paint Tool SAI software.

Discover the Truth: Is Paint Tool SAI Really Free?

Paint Tool SAI comes in three different versions – trial, full, and portable. The trial version can be used for 31 days without any payment, while the full version requires a one-time payment. The portable version is a variation of the full version that can be used without installation.

The trial version of Paint Tool SAI is free for 31 days with full functionalities available. However, after the trial period ends, the user has to purchase the full version to continue using the software. The full version of Paint Tool SAI costs around $50 for a single user license. Alternatively, the user can purchase a multi-license that allows installation on multiple devices.

The portable version of Paint Tool SAI is also free, but it requires a full version license to operate. Users have to transfer their full version license to the portable version, which can be used without installation on different devices.

The biggest advantage of the free version is, of course, that it is free. This is especially beneficial for beginners who want to explore digital art and graphic design without having to commit to a high-cost software immediately. However, the free version is limited to the trial period, and after this, users would have to pay to use the software.

How to Get the Most Out of Paint Tool SAI: Tips and Tricks for Both Free and Paid Users

Paint Tool SAI is an incredibly user-friendly software that is ideal for beginners. It offers a wide variety of customizable brushes, a straightforward interface, and simple editing tools that are easy to navigate. For paid users, the software provides advanced tools such as layer masks, filter effects, and high-quality image rendering that can take digital art to the next level.

Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of Paint Tool SAI:

  • Explore the brush settings to find the perfect tool for your project.
  • Use hotkeys for efficient workflow.
  • Try different layer styles to achieve the desired effect.
  • Use the symmetry ruler feature to create perfectly symmetrical and balanced artwork.
  • Use the stabilizer feature to smooth out shaky hand-drawn lines.
  • Use the navigator window to get a quick overview of your canvas.

While the free version of Paint Tool SAI has many valuable tools, the paid version offers much more advanced functionalities. For instance, the user can add custom brushes, adjust layer opacity, and apply advanced filter effects to their projects. The paid version allows for higher quality rendering of images, with smoother and more defined lines and enhanced color correction functionalities.

Why You Should Consider Upgrading to the Paid Version of Paint Tool SAI

The paid version of Paint Tool SAI provides many benefits over the free version. Firstly, the brush quality is significantly superior. The brushes are customizable to a greater extent, with over 80 different options available. This makes for a more varied and unique digital art experience.

The paid version of Paint Tool SAI also offers layer styles and masks, which allow the user to add different effects and textures to their artwork. Advanced filter effects can add depth, contrast, and complexity to the artwork, enhancing the artist’s ability to express their creativity.

The paid version is also more convenient for professional artists who need to export their work to different file formats and manage their projects more efficiently.

Paint Tool SAI vs. Other Digital Art Programs: Which is Worth the Investment?

There are many digital art programs available today, such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, and ProCreate. However, Paint Tool SAI stands out due to its simplicity, affordability, and user-friendly functionalities.

While programs such as Adobe Photoshop offer advanced functionalities, they can be expensive and complex for beginners. Corel Painter is another high-end software that emphasizes painting techniques, but it also comes with a steeper learning curve. ProCreate is a popular mobile app that is only available on iOS devices. It’s an excellent choice for on-the-go digital artwork, but it does not offer the same features as a desktop program.

Therefore, Paint Tool SAI is an ideal choice for beginners and professional artists alike, with its easy-to-use interface and affordable price range.

How to Get Paint Tool SAI for Free (Legally)

While Paint Tool SAI requires a one-time payment for the full version, there are ways to obtain the software legally without paying. Firstly, the user can download the trial version, which can be used for free for 31 days. After this, the user must purchase the full version. Secondly, the software occasionally offers promotions and discounts, which can be advertised on their social media platforms or website. Such promotions can offer a discount or a free license key for the full version of the software.

The Pros and Cons of Using Paint Tool SAI for Digital Art

As with any digital art software, there are pros and cons to using Paint Tool SAI. Here are some of the most common ones:


  • User-friendly interface ideal for beginners
  • Cost-effective solution compared to other digital art software
  • Customizable brushes and advanced brush settings
  • Layer masks and styles, as well as advanced filter effects
  • High-quality rendering for professional use
  • Excellent for creating anime-style artwork


  • No support for CMYK color space
  • Cannot work with vector graphics
  • Not suitable for graphic design
  • Occasional bugs and glitches
  • No official Mac support

Despite the cons, Paint Tool SAI is a reliable, easy-to-use digital art software that is ideal for beginners and professional artists on a budget.

Paint Tool SAI: Is it Really the Best Choice for Digital Artists?

The factors that make Paint Tool SAI a good or bad choice for a digital artist depend on individual preferences and needs. However, in general, Paint Tool SAI is an excellent choice for artists who want a cost-effective, user-friendly, and easy-to-navigate digital art software that provides a broad range of functionalities. It is ideal for creating anime-style artwork and other digital art that does not require vector graphics or CMYK color space. Different artists will have different needs, but Paint Tool SAI is an excellent choice for a wide variety of digital art projects.


In conclusion, Paint Tool SAI is an excellent digital art software suitable for both beginners and professional artists. While the trial version is free and provides excellent tools for exploration, the paid version offers advanced functionalities to unlock an artist’s full creative potential. Paint Tool SAI is a cost-effective and user-friendly software that is worth the investment for digital artists on a budget. However, suppose a user requires more advanced features such as vector graphics and supports for the CMYK color space. In that case, alternative software options such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop may be considered. Overall, Paint Tool SAI is a reliable, cost-effective, and high-quality digital art software that is ideal for a wide range of digital art projects.

If you’re a beginner looking for a high-quality, user-friendly software to explore digital art, Paint Tool SAI is an excellent choice. If you’re a professional artist in search of affordable digital art software with advanced features, Paint Tool SAI may be the best choice for you. Alternatively, if you require advanced features such as support for vector graphics and the CMYK color space, there are other software options available. In any case, Paint Tool SAI is an excellent choice for anyone in search of quality digital art software at an affordable price.

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