Highlighter Review

I’m a nerd. I’ll just go ahead and put that out there. I love stationery, good paper (because shitty paper just sucks), pens (fountain pens, rollerball, ballpoint, you name it), pencils, and ink. Back to school was my favorite time of year because I could get new stuff. I truly believe that if you do a lot of writing, jotting down notes or to do lists, etc. and you think a pen or paper doesn’t matter then you haven’t had really good pen/paper or really bad pen/paper. It makes a difference.

I’ve got quite a collection of everything that I’m sure I’ll talk about more on here later. Do I own too much of this? My husband would say yes. I’d have to agree with him………but I can’t stop. Won’t stop. There could be worse things right? I just love being creative even though I’m not good at it and have always been that way. My brother, niece, and nephew are the same way so I guess you could say it runs in the family.

I’ve always had good handwriting and loved the art of penmanship and calligraphy. I’d love to practice it more than I actually do and have made that a goal for the future.

I’m obsessed with blogs and podcasts that talk about stationery in general too. They do such great reviews of product and lead me to items or concepts I would never have known about otherwise. I really thought I was abnormal in my obsession and things that I liked or didn’t like about stationery/school supplies/office supplies until I came across these blogs and podcasts that made me feel normal. So many people feel like I do! And have the same opinions I do! It’s spectacular! I’m sure I’ll write more to the blog soon about my love of these blogs and podcast and recommend some.

But today, we’re gonna talk about highlighters! Those things that most of the people I know and work with don’t use…….except for me. I was recently listening to the RSVP Stationery Podcast Episode 9. Podcast hosts, Lenore and Dee, had some great commentary about highlighters and it made me think about why I like them, use them, and what my favorites are. So, I give you my first stationery review! Stationery friends that read this………..I’m sure I’m not using correct review terminology. Just calling it as I see it. Let me know how I did on my first one besides the obvious of learning how to take better photos!

I feel like most people think highlighters are just for students. But, I like to color code things on my to do list. I like to highlight meaningful passages in almost every book I read. I even highlight on my Kindle app when I read digital books. I’ve got 3 different types of highlighters that I use most often and one that I just got (highlighter tape).

I bought most of my items at Jetpens or Amazon.

Here are 3 photo examples of how each highlighter reviewed looks on paper. Multiple types of writing products used are:

  • Palomino Blackwing 24 (pencil) – I should have picked a pencil that is still made, oh well.
  • Bic Cristal 1.6mm (ballpoint) – This classic and cheap pen is mighty fine on this paper.
  • Ohto Fude Ball 1.5mm (rollerball) – This Japanese pen is also mighty fine on this paper. Allow time for ink to dry.
  • Bic Disposable (fountain pen) – I feel like this medium point seemed like a fine point on this paper. Still good though.
  • Papermate InkJoy .7mm (gel) – Another smooth writer and didn’t take long to dry.
  • Apica Twin Ring notebook (lined white 70gsm paper) – I just love these Japanese notebooks. They are only 30 sheets and the size is easy enough to fit in a larger purse. The blank cover allows you to decorate it with calligraphy, stickers (yes, another obsession because I’m really just a middle school girl inside), notes, etc. But what I love most about it is the paper. It is truly a joy to write on due to its weight and smoothness. Even a crappy pen or pencil looks good on it.

Highlighter Review Page 1

Highlighter Pencils

  • Staedtler Bible Highlighter Pencil 146-2 
    • Not sure they are sold anymore as I can’t find them online anywhere other than religious sites that look like they were designed in the 90s.
    • I originally bought them more than 2 decades ago (maybe that’s another reason they are dry) for use as bible highlighters but then I became an atheist so I found other uses. 🙂
    • Pencil Talk Blog 2008 Review
    • Skinny
    • Smudged the pencil
    • Dry but maybe that’s because I’ve lost most of the clear caps that came on them. I feel like it’s just a sheer colored pencil.
    • Blue, green, and pink.
    • Overall opinion: Thumbs down
  • Mr. Pen Sleek Dry Highlighter Pencil
    • Jumbo hexagonal shape
    • Love this size but no cap on it so it would hard to carry around in my bag without tip getting broken.
    • The Mr. Pen brand seems to be branded items from a small American online office supply shop. Wonder who they are getting to manufacture their items. Their pencils look like the Yoobi ones.
    • Smudged the pencil and ballpoint.
    • Only 2 colors: yellow and pink
    • Overall opinion: Neutral with slight thumbs up due to size

As far as highlighter pencils go, Dee mentioned the Caran d’Ache Couleurs Fluos Jumbo Highlighter Pencils and the Yoobi highlighter pencils as well which I will try when I’ve depleted my current stash. Neither highlighter pencil I tried did well highlighting graphite pencil so I agree with Dee in that maybe highlighter pencils don’t work well over graphite pencil but better over ink or type.

Highlighter Markers
These are the traditional marker style I feel like most people use. Dee’s favorite (as she stated in the podcast) is the Stabilo Boss but that one feels weird in my hand due to size and shape so I don’t even have that one anymore to tell you how it was. I think the last time I used it was in the 80s. That’s how much I can’t stand the shape.

  • Pilot Frixion Light Highlighter
    • Smudged everything and even worse when erasing
    • Overall opinion: Big thumbs down
  • Mr. Pen Ultra Jumbo Chisel Tip Highlighter 
    • Same as the one below just bigger and only 2 colors: pink and yellow.
    • Overall opinion: Thumbs up
  • Mr. Pen Sleek Chisel Tip Highlighter 
    • Wow this is a great highlighter!
    • No bleed through and pigmented ink
    • Green, orange, pink, purple, teal, and yellow
    • No smudging
    • Overall opinion: 2 thumbs up
  • Zebra Mildliner 
    • Double ended – Bold Tip and Fine Tip which I love!
    • Japanese
    • Plenty of colors to choose from – brights and pastels
    • Smudged my rollerball and fountain pen ink
    • Jumbo sized
    • Overall opinion: thumbs up because of the 2 tip sizes

Highlighter Gel

  • Sharpie Gel  
    • You can see on the photo of page 3 above that the Sharpie Gel smeared onto the next page. Don’t like that.
    • Goes on like a crayon; waxy and sticky on the paper.
    • If you want more coverage, like a solid line, you do have go over and over your highlighted area.
    • Very broad tip which I don’t like.
    • Overall opinion: Thumbs down
  • Mr. Pen Sleek Acid-Free Gel Highlighter 
    • Least waxy and sticky of the 3.
    • If you want more coverage, like a solid line, you do have go over and over your highlighted area.
    • Smallest tip of the 3.
    • Great pigmentation
    • Overall opinion: 2 thumbs up
  • Monami Essenti Stick Bright Dry Highlighter 
    • Ink Jet Safe
    • Korean
    • Goes on like a crayon but not sticky like Sharpie. If you want more coverage, like a solid line, you do have go over and over your highlighted area.
    • Broad tip.
    • Overall opinion: thumbs up

Highlighter Tape

  • Mr. Pen Highlighter Tape 
    • It’s really nothing more than washi tape.
    • Too wide to use on most things I need highlighting.
    • The dispenser is a pain in the ass.
    • Overall opinion: Nope.

So, what have I learned from doing this review?

  • I hate yellow highlighters no matter what type it is. Mainly because I’m not a yellow lover in any capacity.
  • I generally prefer the gel highlighters because they don’t smudge or dry out, they work on all types of papers I use, and they don’t bleed through.
  • I like jumbo sized highlighters whether it be a pencil, gel, or marker based. Just feels better in my hand.
  • Why aren’t gel highlighters offered in a more pencil style point? That’s really what I want. A jumbo gel highlighter with pencil point size lead. . . . specifically, the Mr. Pen gel.

OVERALL WINNERS: Shockingly, since I got a multi-pack on Amazon for $9 and they aren’t a big brand, my 2 favorites are the Mr. Pen Gel and Mr. Pen Sleek Chisel Tip.

Hopefully you enjoyed my nerdy review. JetPens.com has a very thorough guide to highlighters that I love. I got a couple of mine from there and just love that store so much. I’ve got a huge wish list of future items to geek out on.

**I am an Amazon Affiliate. What does this mean? If you buy any of the hyperlinked items above on Amazon I get a teeny tiny percentage of the sale. Am I commenting about out it because of this teensy amount? No. Shop around if you want. You may find a better price somewhere else. But that teensy amount helps my blog costs.

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