Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stabilo Boss Original Highlighter

The Stabilo Boss Original highlighter bears a suspicious resemblance to another highlighter I've reviewed here: the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic.  Both are short, flat, roughly rectangular-shaped highlighters that are refillable.  The Stabilo Boss is more tapered and slightly shorter, and lacks the Staedtler's clip and colour-coordinated cap.  The Stabilo is also a bit more expensive than the Staedtler.

For me, I've found that most highlighters work well enough, so I tend to be more fussy about their appearance and feel.  And I really like these flat highlighters.  They have a distinctive shape that makes it easy for your hand to find them if you're rummaging around in a crowded pen case, they don't roll off your desk, and they are comfortable to hold.  And I think they look kind of cool.

Comparing the Stabilo Boss to the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic.

I usually use highlighters over my own handwritten notes, so it's important that my highlighter does not smear the ink of my pen.  I tested the Stabilo Boss on a gel pen, Sharpie Pen, Pentel EnerGel, ballpoint, fine-point gel, fountain pen, and pencil, giving the inks several minutes to dry.  The only pen that really smeared was the 0.7mm gel (and in my experience, wider-tipped gel pens almost always smear with highlighters because they have the slowest-drying inks), so I would feel confident using this highlighter over most inks.

Highlighter inks never photograph well.  Don't pay too much attention to what the ink looks like, just look at the amount of smearing (or lack thereof)!

The Stabilo Boss highlighter also works well on the page of a textbook, with no bleedthrough to the other side of the page, and over inkjet ink.  I did notice a bit of smearing on the page fresh out of my printer, but nothing on the older page.  One thing I really like about this highlighter is that the yellow ink colour is bright and stands out very well on the paper, but it is not a fluorescent yellow.  Although I like the more fluorescent highlighter yellow, I also like this softer yellow because it is easier on the eyes and not as harsh.

Stabilo Boss highlighter on a textbook page, and over inkjet ink, old (top) and fresh out of the printer (bottom).

Overall, I really like the Stabilo Boss Original highlighter.  Although I do think I prefer both the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic and the Platinum Preppy highlighter over this one, that is simply my personal preference and doesn't necessarily mean that those are better highlighters.  I also love that Stabilo Boss is refillable (all of my favourite highlighters are).  I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good highlighter.


  1. Stabilo Boss is more than original… is a classic! Before I had only available those barrel like Faber Castell highlighters so my first Stabilo was like an iPod :-)

    However, although Stabilo is one of my favorite brands I am inclined to Staedtler Textsurfer, they have more colours to offer and I can organize my documents (quotes) according to the colour.

    1. Haha, that's funny about your first highlighter being like an iPod for you. These highlighters are definitely more fun than the round-barrel ones! I also use highlighters to colour-code notes and documents, but my highlighters are all different brands rather than being one brand in different colours :)


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