Paint Tool SAI – Best Alternatives to SAI Paint Tool for Mac and Windows

What is Paint Tool SAI? Before getting the alternatives you need to know what is PaintTool SAI, obviously if you are here searching for alternatives to SAI paint tool then you already know about it but still if anyone is unaware then:

Paint tool SAI is a lightweight and useful painting software by SYSTEMAX Software Development

It comes with a 31 day trial period, post that you’ll have to get a premium software license and they advice you to buy this software only when you have basic windows knowledge like downloading, file and folder operations.

Paint Tool SAI Specs

  • PC/AT
  • OS – Windows (98, 2000, XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10), 64 bit only.
  • Recommended RAM – 1GB
  • Minimum Graphic card needed – Resolution 1024×768, “32bit True Color” screen
  • PRICE – 5400 JPY (Japanese Yen)
  • Trial Period – 31 days

Now if you are looking for some alternatives to Paint tool SAI painting and designing software then you are at the right place, you’ll get the best alternatives to PaintTool SAI here for MAC and for windows both.

PaintTool SAI Alternatives for MAC and Windows

Not all of them are free, a premium and advanced designing software never comes for free however you can go with their trial version before paying.

Some of the software might be free here on the list but not all of them.

NOTE- Numbering and positioning of software on the list is not based on their quality, you can go with any software that fits your needs.

1.) Krita

krtia paint tool sai alternative

Lets start with a digital painting software that is ABSOLUTELY FREE. There is no trial period, you get all of it. Krita is an open source software. You can donate them some money if you want to thank them, the minimum amount for individuals to donate is 1 Euro.

OS – Windows, MAC, Linux

PRICE – Free

2.) ArtRage

sai paint tool similar sofwtare

It is a natural painting software which is available for MAC, windows and your smartphone too. They have a dedicated forum on their website where you can learn to paint if you are a beginner and even share your art with other users.

This isn’t free but you can get their demo version for windows and MAC both. They support Windows vista, 7, 8 and 10. For MAC, they require at least MAC OS 10.8 and Intel processor, it may work on your 10.6 or 10.7 version but they won’t provide support for that. Indeed a good solution to Paint Tool SAI painting software.

OS – MAC, Windows, Android, iOS

Price – $79 for MAC/Windows, $4.99 for android and $1.99 for iOS

3.) Clip Studio Paint

painttool sai like software

Another great designing tool for Manga, illustration and animation. The tool is a paid alternative to Paint Tool SAI and it comes in two versions : Pro and EX. There is a huge difference between the pricing of these two versions, pro version is priced at $49.99 and Ex version costs around $219 which definitely is a huge difference.

Pro version is the standard version for manga designs whereas EX is the excellent version.

There are some other limitations of pro version like:

  • not able to manage files of multiple pages.
  • only 24 frames long moving illustration and animations.
  • Printing and exporting book of multiple pages is not allowed
  • LT conversion of 3D and 2D is not supported.

For all these features you’ll have to opt in for Ex version.

OS – MAC and Windows

4.) AutoDesk SketchBook

You may have earlier heard of the name Autodesk. Sketchbook is one of their products out of hundreds of products. They have a huge list of products from this SketchBook to advanced engineering and architectural software. Popular ones like MAYA and AutoCAD are also the products of AutoDesk.

SketchBook is available for almost every major OS and is a perfect fit for aspiring artists and creative professionals.

You can try this awesome Paint Tool SAI alternative for free of cost for 15 days.

If you are a student and want this for educational purposes then you can get it for free of cost from education community however some restrictions are imposed on you in this case, get your student licensed product here.

5.) Painter

painter tool sai

An awesome digital art and painting software which can be a good alternative to Paint Tool SAI.

You can create conceptual art, manga, photo arts, illustrations and fine arts with Painter tool. The software is definitely not free of cost, it’s in fact one of the costliest designing software.

They have upgraded the latest version with a lot of amazing features including hundreds of new brushes, textures, artists layouts, portable brush selector and many more.

OS – Windows/MAC

Price – $429

6.) MisChief

mischief designing software

Indeed a very good sketching alternative to Paint Tool SAI. Apart from being a very good alternative to Paint Tool SAI, it is one of the cheapest also, costing you only $25 for the premium version.

You get infinite canvas which allows you to zoom, pan and draw anywhere on the canvas, this is one of the things which is loved by most creative professionals.

OS – MAC/Windows(7 and 8)

Price – $25.


All of the above Paint Tool SAI alternatives are good and reliable. The rest depends on your needs, you may choose whatever software you want, the one that fulfills your demands and needs.

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