Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Sharpie markers, but have you tried Sharpie's Ultra Fine Point marker?  I tried a pair of these recently, and I love them.  Using these is a totally different experience than using the standard (fine point) Sharpie marker - more like using a pen than using a marker.

Compared to a fine point Sharpie, the Ultra Fine Point tip is very fine, but as a pen, it's relatively bold.  The Ultra Fine Point writes with a crisp line, and the ink colour is bright and saturated.  I tried both the black and the turquoise, and while the black is not particularly remarkable, the turquoise is a beautiful and brilliant colour (these markers also come in many more colours).  But of course, because these are Sharpie markers, the ink is going to bleed through like crazy on most papers and you're going to get that strong odour that Sharpies are known for (I'm sure there are some people out there who like the way Sharpie markers smell, but I'm not one of them).  Don't confuse this pen-like Ultra Fine Point marker with the Sharpie Pen - these are two different creatures.  (For example, the Sharpie Pen comes in grip versions, and it doesn't bleed through or have a strong odour - but the marker has, I think, bolder and brighter colours.)

Left: some doodling and writing with the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point markers on cheap notebook paper.  Right: the crazy bleedthrough on the back of the page.

Because of the bleedthrough (and the odour), I doubt that these markers/pens will ever become one of my everyday writing tools, but I still love using them occasionally.  The colours are great and there is just something about the way they lay down ink - whenever I have one of these in my hands, I just want to start doodling.  They're kind of irresistible and addictive that way.  I could see these being a good choice if you like a bold line and don't care about using the back of the page (I think they'd be ideal for writing on post-it notes, for example).  They're also excellent if you're a doodling addict.  I warned you.

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker on Rhodia.  I didn't photograph the bleedthrough here, but it was still bad - not as bad as the above example, but bad enough to render the back of the page unusable.

I'm not sure that I'd ever recommend these as pens, but they're fun to use.  If you're familiar with the regular Sharpie markers and have never thought of using a marker as a pen, then it might be worth giving the Ultra Fine Point a try.  Just for fun.  But don't blame me if they make you want to do nothing but doodle.

Related review: The Pen Addict.

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