Which markers should I use?


There are hundreds of different marker brands out there. Like colored pencils, markers are made of different materials, some are water based, others are alcohol based and others have specialty inks. Some are expensive and have many colors in their range, others are more affordable. There can be differences in how they color. Water based markers tend to dry showing lots of streak marks. Alcohol markers dry with a smoother looking finish. They are much less likely to show streaking and overlap marks especially in large spaces. Both water and alcohol based markers have a very wide range of color choices. Vibrant colors abound!

The tip sizes on markers also vary. Fine tips, brush tips, chisel tips bullet point tips in various thicknesses can help you color with different effects. Markers that have a very fine tip are excellent for coloring small detailed spaces. The markers with very broad tips allow for quick coverage of large open spaces. Brush tip markers allow you flexibility for either thin or thicker lines as well as having the feel of a small paint brush. Some markers have dual ends with a fine or brush tip on one end and a broad or chisel tip on the other end.

Unsurprisingly with so many different types of markers comes a wide variety of price and quality options. There are cheap and expensive options in both water based and alcohol based markers.

So many different kinds of markers! So, how do you choose which type or brand of markers is right for you?

Information by marker Brand

We have provided reviews by marker brand. On each of the brand pages you’ll find:

  • Comments about my experience using the markers;
  • Any recommendations I have for particular uses;
  • A color chart;
  • A link to other adult coloring pictures I’ve done using ONLY those markers (where available).


Compare different markers

To give you a good comparison, the same test picture has been used for all brands. The picture is a simple one but does have some small details in it so the markers can be tested for how well they can be used to color in tight spaces. The following colors have been used in each of the pictures: yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, light blue, dark blue, light green and dark green. These colors have been selected as most of the basic marker packs for these brands have similar colors.

A comparison table of many different marker brands is available free to subscribers. The comparison table is based on my experience with that marker brand. A number of popular brands have been included in the table. If you click on each brand name you’ll also see a review of that particular marker brand.

Criteria for Comparison

The criteria used for comparing markers in the table are:

  • Water, alcohol or ink based
  • Barrel Shape
  • Comfort Grip on Barrel
  • Color Identified on the barrel or lid
  • Color on barrel / lid accurately shows actual ink color
  • Snap on cap
  • Built in Shirt Clip on Cap or Marker Barrel
  • Ink flow (Smooth, Skips, Scratchy)
  • Dual or Single end Markers
  • Marker Tip Shape (Bullet, Fineliner, Chisel, Brush)
  • Marker Tip Width
  • Fineliner Tip Surround (Metal or Plastic)
  • Range of colors
  • Marker set sizes
  • Open Stock available (able to purchase individual markers)
  • Country of Origin
  • Country Manufactured (Made in)
  • Price Guide (eg $, $$, $$$, $$$$)
  • Manufacturer’s Website (Where Available)

List of Marker Pens Reviewed

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