Friday, February 3, 2012

Pentel Fluorescent Marker

The Pentel Fluorescent Marker is a highlighter.  I don't know why it's not called that.  Did someone think that "fluorescent marker" sounded more elite than "highlighter"?  Or is "fluorescent marker" a term that simply means "highlighter" in some parts of the world?

The mysteriously-named Pentel Fluorescent Marker.
Mysteries aside, the Pentel Fluorescent Marker is a long, slim, pen-style highlighter.  In fact, its appearance is probably its best feature.  It is a quieter, more subdued, and even somewhat elegant version of the more commonly seen chunky highlighters that are reminiscent of the markers I used in elementary school, such as this Sanford Accent.

Admire the Fluorescent Marker's cool, calm, collected nature next to this bold and brash Sanford Accent highlighter.
The chisel tip of the Pentel Fluorescent Marker creates a crisp, smooth line that is 3mm in width, good for fine lines of text but perhaps not ideal if you are highlighting larger printing or handwriting.  Turned the other way around, the chisel tip comes to a narrow point that creates a relatively fine line to write with if, for some odd reason, you wanted to write with a highlighter.  The colour is intense and definitely fluorescent, as compared to other highlighters that may have a somewhat washed-out appearance.  Sadly, the intense colour did not show very well AT ALL in any of my photos.

The actual colour of the highlighter is about a thousand times more intense and fluorescent than this photo shows.  Sadly, most highlighters I have used end up with a dirty-looking tip after being used for a while.
When used over the ink of different pens, the Pentel Fluorescent Marker did smear the ink (and I let the ink dry for several hours), especially the ink of the gel pens.  The liquid ink pens smeared the least.  The writing was still legible even when smeared, so it would depend on your personal aesthetic sense as to how much of this smearing you would tolerate.  Ink on printed paper was not smeared, although this highlighter did smear ink from an inkjet printer.  (Most highlighters smear inkjet ink.  Try a gel highlighter, such as this one from Sharpie, if you want to be safe.)

Dishonest practices: never a good policy.
The greatest complaint I have with this highlighter is that it can bleed through papers, especially if it is held down for a while in one spot.  If you just make a quick pass over the page or if you're using better-quality paper (such as the Rhodia paper in the pen test), you shouldn't have a problem, but use caution if you're highlighting thinner papers, such as in a textbook, or if you're highlighting more slowly.

As I've mentioned before, I don't normally use highlighters (and this is only the second highlighter that I've ever reviewed here), so I don't really know what an "average quality" highlighter is.  However, I suspect that this highlighter may be it.  It looks good and has crisp, bright colours, but it can smear some inks and bleed through some papers.  I don't recommend it, unless you are certain that the smearing and bleeding will not be issues for you.


  1. Thank you H. It may only have been the second 'fluorescent marker' (née highlighter) you've reviewed but I think you gave it a fair treatment. There are a few too many variables in there to suggest it's a good highlighter but I agree with you on the aesthetics. I may just have to give in to vanity and get one for my pen case anyway!

    All the best. x

  2. Thanks for the comment, Gnu! I totally agree with you, it's great looking highlighter and I'm glad to have it sitting in my desk drawer - just don't expect too much of it.

  3. Heather, I've seen some mention of folks using highlighter ink (Noodler's, e. g.) in broad-nibbed calligraphy pens (Pilot Parallel Plates, e. g.). I don't know much more than that, although one reviewer said it didn't smear on inkjet printed material.

    I've been using dry, pencil-type highlighters on inkjet printing; sometimes I use a regular fiber-tip highlighter and just live with the slight smear. I'll sometimes use the highlighting feature on my computer, which isn't always something I remember.

    Mostly, though, I still set off text by boxing it, or drawing arrows to it, etc. Jack/Ohio

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jack! Finding highlighters to work on inkjet printing can indeed be difficult. I have a gel highlighter that works, although it has some issues of its own. Usually, however, I just use a coloured pen to underline the words. Using ink in a calligraphy pen is something I have not tried, but certainly something to consider in the future if I ever need to do a lot of highlighting.

  4. Yes, I forgot underlining. A universal highlighter would be great, something that highlights pencil notes on yellow legal paper, inkjet-printed paper, notes written in fountain pen ink, ballpoint, etc. Maybe the market's not there, the chemistry too difficult. Jack/Ohio

  5. BTW-just a tie-in with your Jet Pens post above. Jet Pens has an E + M leadholder, 5.6mm, that accepts highlighter and graphite sticks. Again, I'm not sure how well the sticks work, but the diameter seems okay for highlighter use. Jack/Ohio

    1. Thanks for that tip, Jack. There really are many, many options when it comes to highlighting, aren't there? Again, I don't do much highlighting, but, still, this is definitely something to keep in mind for the future. Thanks!


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