Monday, February 13, 2012

Stabilo Pen 68

Pen?  I have my doubts... The Stabilo "Pen" 68 looks and writes suspiciously like a marker.  And just what does that number "68" mean, anyway?  Does it mean that there is a whole series of Stabilo Pens, from Pen 1 all the way to Pen 67, preceding it, or does it have some dark, occult significance?

A pair of Stabilo Pen 68's, in green and brown.
Regardless, the Stabilo Marker, er, Pen 68 has a long, slim, hexagonal profile, similar to that of a wooden pencil.  The body and cap are the colour of the ink, and the body is enlivened with white stripes, which gives the marker, I mean pen, a rather funky look.  The marker pen lacks a clip, which doesn't bother me since I rarely use clips, although you may, of course, have different preferences.  The cap is small and, although it posts on the end of the pen, it feels rather loose when it does so (especially on the brown - the green isn't that bad).  This, combined with its small size, makes me fear that the cap could be easily lost.

The tip of the Pen 68 was supposed to be in focus in this photo.  Unfortunately, it is not, a fact which I did not notice until I had transferred the photos for this post to my computer, at which point I was, also unfortunately, too lazy pressed for time to take a new photo.
As a pen, the Stabilo Pen 68 is a fail.  Its somewhat chunky felt tip writes with a line that is way too broad for my liking.  I also suspect that the tip may become even softer, and therefore broader, with further use.  The felt tip feels fairly firm now, but it is softer on the green than on the brown, leading to a difference in the width of the line produced by the two colours, which can be seen in the writing sample below.  I wouldn't recommend the Pen 68 as a pen unless you have large handwriting and enjoy writing with markers, or with markers that are masquerading as pens.

As a marker, the Stabilo Pen 68 is fairly decent, although unremarkable.  The colours are bright, the lines are fairly crisp (at least at the time of review, when the markers pens are still relatively new).  Although a fairly broad pen, it makes for a fine- to medium-tipped marker, which means that I'll probably be using it for colouring and adding bits of colour to my mandala drawings.

If you're expecting an everyday writing pen, look elsewhere than the Stabilo Pen 68.  On the other hand, if you're looking for a simple, inexpensive marker, the "Pen" 68 would not be such a bad choice.

And finally, a note to Stabilo: Your "Pen" 68 is not a pen.  It is a marker.  I would appreciate it if it was labelled accordingly.

Related reviews: On Fountain Pens, Spiritual Evolution of the Bean.


  1. *Snerk* Let me know if you discover anything occult about numbers 1 through 67.

  2. Interesting about terminology. I would call this a felt tip pen. The sort we used to colour in with when we were kids. So maybe in some places this is a pen.

    1. Good point, Superpooky. Other parts of the world no doubt do have different definitions for "pen" and "marker." To me, though, it will probably always feel like a marker.

  3. The 68 refers to the size of the tip. Stabilo also makes a fineliner pen, which is designated by the number 88. Stabilo makes highlighters, as well, with the same profile.

  4. The interesting thing about this pen, or marker if you like, is that it's water soluble and so it's great for those who enjoy mixed media journaling and watercolor.

    1. Thank you for pointing that out! I've actually used these pens that way a few times since I wrote this review.


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