Pen Review – The Sharpie Pen

Now I want to preface this with the fact that when I saw this I thought…hang on, doesn’t Sharpie already have a felt tip pen like end on one of their products?  I’m pretty sure they do, but I guess they’ve never marketed it directly as a pen.

Anyway, here we are with what is being pushed as “The First Sharpie Pen!”.  And that’s what it is, a Sharpie branded felt tip fineliner type pen.  The illustrator in me is jumping for joy!

Who doesn’t love a good Sharpie? Most of them are pretty rad and useful in so many situations.  I do like the standard round tip marker myself, but have dabbled in thicker and thinner versions as well as the Sharpie hi-lighter which is absolutely brilliant and lasts for AGES.

So when I saw the Sharpie Pen on the shelf I had to grab myself one (or a pack of two) to check them out.  As you’d expect, you wouldn’t really sketch much with a felt tip pen, or at least I don’t as I can’t get the same sort of tactile response from them to get the dynamic shading that I do with it, but for illustration type work the fine line felt tip pen is something that I usually have on hand in abundance!

Straight up it’s a pretty comfortable pen to use.  It’s barrel is slightly wider than your average biro but not as wide as a regular sharpie marker.  The barrel comes to a pretty abrupt end as it tapers off down to the metal end that actually holds the felt tip in place.  I think it could have done with a bit more of a smooth taper to the end, but that obviously wouldn’t allow for their use of that cursed in-line lid design they’ve gone for.  The width of the lid is the same as the barrel so when you put the lid on, it’s one continuous surface top to bottom.  The same goes for when you put the lid on the end cap while working.  Usually this can be an epic deal breaker for me, or lead to great frustration however it fits on the end cap quite tightly and doesn’t rattle around at all when in use.   Whew.

As a wrting pen it does quite well, but I don’t ever really use a felt tip for writing unless I’m labelling a drawing or doing hand written comic text.  As an illustration tool though I found it to have it’s ups and downs.  The nib seems to be able to take a bit of a beating as I can be quite heavy handed when I illustrate.  I have snapped many a good felt tip off at the base, but the Sharpie Pen seemed to handle ok.

It gives a nice consistant line on the page and using varying amounts of pressure allows for nice cross hatching of various widths.  I did however feel that it could have gone on darker.  I found the lines that it would put down would often need going over a couple of times to be as striking as I’d like.  The drawing I’ve included with this review was done start to finish with the Sharpie Pen.

One point of marketing that they’ve included on the packaging is that it won’t bleed through paper.  I’m not sure if they achieve this by thinning the ink or not letting as much as usual saturate the paper, which could be the cause of my disappointment in the blackness of the line.  Regardless of that, it did actually perform quite well and didn’t bleed through the page of the visual diary I used.  You can see the drawing through the paper and I don’t know if you’d really want to use the other side of the page but it hasn’t bled through which I guess is the point.

All in all the Sharpie Pen is a pretty strong performer.  It’s comfortable enough to use and as a writing tool would work really well.  As an illustration tool however its performance on laying down nice solid black lines lets it down for me.  It won’t be replacing my Artlines anytime soon though.


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