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The Best Permanent Markers for 2023

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

Most people, who desire the writings and drawings made on selected surfaces to remain still for a long time period, must have been disappointed in regular markers. Their normal ink will be wiped away at ease with an eraser or intense weather impacts. So, what could probably be the best solution to this issue?

best-permanent marker

In my opinion, permanent markers are possible to live up to this expectation. The permanent ink is known to dry quickly after being applied without fading or smearing later. It ensures high resistance against water and rubbing, so a lot of customers worldwide have been relying on these markers for multiple tasks.

Moreover, their ink is applicable to a wide range of different surfaces with bold vibrant shades. Whether it is at home, school or work, I can guarantee that everyone can manage to benefit from optimal writing supplies like permanent markers. So among the thousands of permanent markers out there, I have filtered out the best permanent markers currently available.


<strong>Top-Rated Products</strong>

Top 1

Sharpie Permanent Markers


Top 2

AmazonBasics Markers


Top 3

Sharpie Permanent Markers


Top 10 Permanent Marker Reviews of 2021

1. Sharpie Permanent Markers

The very first introduction I would like to make is a permanent marker pack of 12 counts from a famous art supplies brand – Sharpie. It comprises the most vibrant and pigmented ink shades to add some bright color touches to your documents and art projects. It has a stiff fine point tip for better sustainability.

This permanent marker is certainly AP certified for being safe and free from acid or other toxicants in its ink material. It can perform smoothly on most types of surfaces such as paper, plastic, metal, wood and glass, etc. The permanent ink dries out quickly after being used and stays waterproof on such surfaces.

Moreover, the brand offers to purchase from 1 to 4 packs at once with reasonable pricing, therefore you can grab the markers in large quantities as wish.

I am genuinely pleased that there has not been any customer grievance about the manufacturer defections of this permanent marker from this brand up until the present. In contrast, this marker has been receiving lots of trust from users around the world thanks to its diversity and durability in enabling creativity in art.
  • 12 highly pigmented ink colors.
  • Sustainable hard fine point tip.
  • Has AP certification.
  • Works nicely on most surfaces.
  • Dries rapidly after being applied.


Providing high precision in writing and drawing by its fine maker tips, this set should be seen as one of your first selection for top-rated permanent markers.

2. AmazonBasics Fine Point Tip Permanent Markers

When it comes to the office and school supplies, the famous shopping website Amazon has been providing it online customers with their originally permanent markers. There are 24 packs of these pens in a black hue at a fair price, where each of them is conformed to the ASTM D-4236 for being non-toxic.

The AmazonBasics fine point marker pen is sustainable for extended office use, creating bold writings without smearing on surfaces like wood, photos, glass, cellophane and metal, etc. Not only is this minimal marker applicable to office purposes, but it can also add a great touch of black while doodling and decorating.

Its black ink is both waterproof and quick-drying on all mentioned surfaces. The brand ensures that external impacts are not much of a big deal due to its fade resistance over time. I can tell that the intense black filled inside this pen is more visible on canvas of white and other light colors.

Nevertheless, it seems that the most frequently occurred issue with the permanent pen is its inconsistent ink flow. A certain number of customers have claimed that they could not draw a smooth line without stopping for a while. This certainly affects the writing process.
  • Conforms to ASTM D-4236 standard.
  • Non-toxic, water and fade-resistant ink.
  • Being smear-proof on a lot of surfaces.
  • Suitable for office writing and drawing.
  • Clearest display on white blank canvas.
  • Interrupted ink flow while using.
Troubles related to ink flow are the most common to permanent markers but it should better be adjusted by the brand. With its minimal and lightweight design, this pen has decent value for home, office and drawing in a set of 24 packs.

3. Sharpie Permanent Markers

You may think that chisel marker tips are mostly engineered for highlighter pens, but the brand Sharpie has made a bold decision to produce permanent markers with this type of head tip. This pack of permanent marker pens includes 8 counts which have firm design and shorter length than other marker models.

While delivering broad permanent lines on multiple absorbable surfaces like paper, plastic, wood, glass and metal, etc. its ink also resist against water and fading. These marker is fully AP certified for non-toxic ink material that is safe for extended use. It can quickly settle on the mentioned surfaces.

I once read a customer complaining that this marker set lacks a proper case to store them. It is understandable when people ask for attached bags or cases as they do not want to waste time collecting them. Even with an inexpensive price, I still think it is better to include a decent case.
  • Made of special chisel pen tips.
  • Has short and solid marker design.
  • Produces broad and fine lines.
  • Water and fade-resistant ink.
  • Responds to AP qualifications.
  • No free storage case included.
This permanent marker set would have been flawless, had it come with an additional bag for storage. Apart from that, there appears to be no other dissatisfaction with this marker. It is interesting to experience chisel pen tips because it includes two different line widths at once.

4. BIC Intensity Fashion Permanent Markers

One of the most reliable brands with 36 vibrant counts of permanent markers is undoubtedly BIC. The pen is made in assorted shades and its fine tip is capable of preventing quick wear-down. This entire set is gathered inside a durable plastic case for a neat arrangement. Additionally, these markers work on multiple surfaces.

I appreciate the construction of this permanent marker for offering a soft and anti-slippage grip to help users gain more control. You would barely feel uncomfortable while holding the pen to draw or write. Its special snap cap has a vapor seal mechanism, which ensures a strong ink lock from drying out too soon.

Its ink is guaranteed to be acid-free and does not make odors. so customers are highly protected against health issues. Furthermore, the marker ink is fade-resistant and will last for a long time on applied surfaces. You can use it at home, school or work.

It appears that the ink colors do not match the marker caps because they tend to run on the darker side. This statement comes from a quick test by its past customers. In my opinion, the detail concerned is not major but it can still lead to users’ dissatisfaction. The brand should improve it for better precision.
  • The pen tip avoids wearing down.
  • Packed in a handy plastic case.
  • Comfortable non-slip marker grip.
  • Unique vapor-resistant snap cap.
  • Acid-free fade-proof marker ink.
  • Pen colors do not match the caps.
Although the color of snap cap is mismatch to its colors, I believe that this products still able to do a nice job with your paperwork, art projects, pin labelings and so on.

5. Shuttle Art 30 Colors Permanent Markers

With 30 high-quality permanent colored marker pens from the brand Shuttle Art, you can to experience a type of ink that dries quickly and enables resistance from water, fading and smearing. All of the shades are bold and vibrant, through the fine tips they can create a marvelous artistic impression.

In brief, this marker is a recommended choice for coloring, writing, marking, doodling and scrapbooking. Most drawable surfaces like metal, paper, wood, plastic and stone are ideal for applying the marker from Shuttle Art. Due to restricted safety reasons, it is best to give the set to children from 3 years old.

I feel safe to purchase a non-toxic permanent marker like this as it follows the ASTM D-4236 & EN71 standards for acid-free pens. The marker cap also protects its tip from external impacts. Though the tip makes loud noise on paper, it has a comfortable grip. Hence, I believe with those features, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee for this pen.

One minor downside of this brand is its ink flow. A user complained that the ink bled through his drawn surface and it made him feel unpleasant about the situation. I think its ink flow has not been optimized and currently needs to be so.
  • Being water, fade and smear-proof.
  • Applicable to all creative activities.
  • Performs well on multiple surfaces.
  • No acid included in the pen ink.
  • Goes with a satisfaction guarantee.
  • The marker ink might over bleed.
The matter of interrupted or overflow of ink has always concerned permanent marker brands, therefore the manufacturer needs to work on a better solution to this. Overall, the marker still works out fine on most surfaces with fine lines and vibrant colors.

6. Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers

If you are looking for a permanent marker that has a powerful resistance from multiple kinds of intense weather impacts, then Sharpie is the right one for you. Four counts of permanent marker pens worth much less than their actual values, enduring over 96 hours under extreme UV radiation without fading.

Its better adhesion is an extra feature for the marker ink to hold on longer than other competitors. Even with harsh snow, mud or rain, this permanent ink rarely gets affected once applied. Moreover, its durable fine tip allows people to get creative and perfect their works with 4 bold shades.

This marker also enables width varieties so you can write or draw lines from around 0.9 to 1.1mm. You should label personal properties with your name in permanent Sharpie ink when you participate in public events to identify them easier. Its nib is advanced to have higher porosity so the pen will produce more ink.

Unfortunately, there is a complaint about the marker length to be shorter than stated of 16 inches. I think adults will find it a bit more difficult to hold and use these pens. The manufacturer should improve this feature.
  • Withstands 96+ hours under UV.
  • Enables much higher adhesion.
  • Makes lines of 0.9 – 1.1mm wide.
  • Better porosity for ink produced.
  • Shorter pen length than declared.
Despite an undesirable length, many users admit that this marker line is just live up to their expectations in enduring weather impacts without fading quickly. It truly deserves your experience for once.

7. Shuttle Art Fine Point Permanent Markers

On the contrary to the colorful Shuttle Art permanent ink pens set above, the brand also strives to offer their customers with pure black markers in 30 packs at a reasonable price. This brand supplies have always succeeded in pleasing me for their completely non-toxic and acid-free ink of ASTM D-4236 standard.

Its pigmented black looks stunning on some of the most bizarre surfaces to draw like pumpkins, ceramic, eggs and stone beside the regular paper, wood, metal and glass. The permanent ink which this marker produce is claimed to be both quick-drying and waterproof so that it can last for long on mentioned surfaces.

I like how this ink is not prone to smearing as well so my artworks would not be ruined by an inappropriate amount of ink flow. The brand also has offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee for this black permanent marker. It is your choice to use the pen for doodling, drawing, writing or scrapbooking.

Though this marker has a lot of fascinating functions, it is not really pleasant to know that the pen tip tends to dry up really fast even with a protection cap. I understand that no customers would want their marker ink to vaporize quickly just after several uses. They should figure out a better way to preserve it.
  • Responds to the ASTM D-4236.
  • Performs well on a lot of surfaces.
  • Acid-free waterproof marker ink.
  • Smear-proof consistent ink flow.
  • Has a satisfaction guarantee.
  • The ink might vaporize quickly.
A great set of 30 black permanent markers like this one from Shuttle Art is really beneficial because of its inexpensive price. The pen package can be shared among a classroom for students to draw or an office department for employees to write. The applications of this permanent marker are diverse.

8. Crayola Take Note Permanent Marker

If you are a frequent user of office and school supplies, you probably have used or at least heard about the famous brand Crayola. They tend to manufacture high-quality crayons for children, but now adults can approach long lasting markers as well. They offer a set including 12 counts in assorted colors.

With its fine point tip, the marker is capable of creating slim and smooth lines. This marker ink stays permanently on a wide variety of surfaces like photos, fabric, canvas, wood, metal and coated paper, etc. I like how it also produces a really low amount of odor to prevent ink from smearing all over the selected surfaces.

All of the vibrant permanent colors would be more than ideal for writing, crafting, doodling, drawing, labeling and so on. Plus, the brand has listed each name of the marker shades on the barrel for quicker searching. It is considered as a great thing about this marker. Additionally, its permanent ink is non-toxic and the marker grip is promised to be comfortable.

Sadly, a past customer had tried and commented that these markers are not meant to write and stay for long on plastic and cardboard. The reason is its ink was too light and came right off of those kinds of surfaces. To me, this is not a huge deal since they are not too typical for daily writing and drawing.
  • Makes smooth uninterrupted lines.
  • Applicable to a bunch of surfaces.
  • Low-odor and smear-proof ink.
  • Color names listed on the barrel.
  • Provides a comfortable pen grip.
  • Not for plastic and cardboard use.
Unless you seriously need a permanent marker to write on cardboard and plastic surfaces daily, then I believe this product would not be a bad choice.

9. AmazonBasics Fine Point Tip Permanent Markers

Here is another recommended permanent marker pack from AmazonBasics and instead of the black hue, this set contains 24 different colors that work best at home, school or the office. After a quick settling down on targeted surfaces, the marker ink enables a strong waterproof function.

I believe that this marker would be a wonderful permanent marker for vinyl, wood, photos, plastic, glass, metal, cellophane and stone, etc. The number of surfaces it can handle is impressive and the ink will neither smear nor fade on them. On the other hand, this marker cap has a clipping design to be easily clung on notebooks.

The fine point tip is good at creating thin, sharp and clean lines in vivid shades. The tip is also durable and tough to break in extended use. Regarding its applications, you can take advantage of this marker for casual writing, doodling, note-taking, decorating, drawing and pin labeling, etc.

The most noticeable disadvantage of this permanent marker is that there is nothing to tell its pen colors apart such as numbers or labels. It results in extra inconvenience for customers to make a color chart in order to find the accurate one in this set. The brand needs urgent repair on this.
  • Quick-drying and waterproof ink.
  • Being fade-resistant on surfaces.
  • Convenient clipping marker cap.
  • Delivers sharp and clean lines.
  • Serves writing and art activities.
  • Unlabelled marker pen shades.
The AmazonBasics permanent marker in assorted colors would become optimal if each of the pens includes an indication of its tone. Aside from that, a series of daily applications are available for you to use this marker with. Its non-smearing ink will guarantee a clean and pleasurable experience.

10. Avery Marks-A-Lot 3 Ultra Fine Permanent Markers

Last but not least is a rising brand on the market with a minimal pack of 3 fine tip permanent marker pens – Avery. I am certain that this pen can deliver thin lines of high precision in a dark black shade. The brand promises that its point tip cannot dry out even when the permanent marker is left open up to ½ hour straight.

It is already ACMI certified for being non-toxic so this marker is safe for both grownups and small children to use regular at home, the office and school. In terms of application, the marker is an awesome choice for writing, doodling, bullet journals, sketching, labeling and a bunch of other creative tasks.

These markers produces a low amount of odor and highly resists water and rubbing, therefore its long-lasting ink will succeed to stay on most surfaces like cardboard, paper, metal, plastic and glass, etc. I would love to see the 0.5mm ultra-fine point tip glides smoothly on top of these surfaces.

One of its previous customers suggested on an online shopping website that the marker body should be improved for better length and width. They thought it is a little short of expectations compared to the price required. This is a sign for the brand to try building their markers larger to contain more permanent ink.
  • Cannot dry out even without caps for 30 minutes.
  • ACMI certified non-toxic marker ink.
  • Suitable for a series of activities.
  • Ensures a low chance of ink odor.
  • 5mm ultra-fine point marker tip.
  • A bit smaller compared to the price.
Its compact size could not be more perfect for most of the office and school tasks since people can store them neatly in desk drawers. Plus, you needn’t worry much about ink vaporizing with this black pen anymore thanks to the special feature that preserves its tip without a cap.

What to Look for When Buying Permanent Markers


Immeasurable pH level – They should not contain toxic ink because lots of parents purchase permanent markers for little children. Even adults should not inhale marker fumes on a regular basis, especially artists and office users. This explains why the ink has to be as least toxic as possible to prevent health problems.

From my perspective, I am not so certain about permanent markers being completely safe but it is best advised to get a pen set with acid-free ink that conforms to ASTM D-4236. This basic standard is not challenging to obtain if brands follow the correct manufacturing regulations of non-toxic permanent markers.

In addition, some permanent markers are certified of the ACMI to contain no harmful material in their ink, which have been fully evaluated by professional medical experts on art supplies. This is a good sign to consider purchasing the markers if you want to guarantee a high safety level for your kids while using them.

Non-vaporized ink – Apparently, we cannot prevent the vaporization process of permanent markers but it is hardly acceptable for them to be all dried up upon package opening. As far as I am concerned, those being stored and unused for too long are highly likely to face this problem and perform much worse than expected.

Due to my personal experience, you should dip the marker tip into warm water for a few seconds to gain back its normal ink flow. Or draw multiple lines at the same time for the pen to get used to that surface. Most permanent markers come with seal caps to prevent quick vaporizing as well.

It is correct that even the most favorite permanent marker in the world like Sharpie’s stands a surprisingly high chance to dry out if not being properly protected. Your mission is to keep the permanent marker as highly pigmented as it initially was, so there is nothing to worry about its long-term performance.

Durable marker case – Permanent markers are often sold in large quantities, consequently, the pens need to be in a decent container to avoid losing one of them. Without it, it may cause some inconveniences for users to collect the markers in one place and cost them another undesirable payment for a storage case.

The material is either hard or soft will work out alright for the markers. You should prioritize a set of permanent markers stored inside a provided bag so you can bring the pens along to school or picnic trips without the hassle. The whole collection would not be messed up inside the corners of a bag.

Furthermore, it is far easier for users to arrange permanent markers in the right position next to their brighter and darker tones. There are marker packs that do not come with any clear labels of their marker pen shades, therefore a properly organized case with individual slots would be ideal for arrangement.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is a permanent marker?

Among popular office and school supplies, a lot of customers are fond of using permanent markers. They used to be called magic marker pens in the past. This marker often includes a fine point tip with a convenient built-in ink source. It also has a core made out of absorbent materials and performs as the ink carrier.

How does it work?

In terms of function, permanent markers automatically produce permanent ink on multiple types of absorbable surfaces when you press the marker tip onto them. They work as regular writing or color marking pens, except that the ink sticks on the surface for a long period and most of the time, does not require re-applying.

Who is this for?

There are cautions provided by most brands not to allow children under 3 years old to use for safety reasons. Apart from them, all older kids and adults can benefit from this type of marker on a regular basis. It is probably due to the flexibility of permanent markers that intrigues me to use them.

Permanent markers are manufactured for both recreational and commercial purposes. Most people use permanent markers at the office, home and school for fine writing, coloring, sketching, doodling, highlighting, decorating and labeling, etc. The long-lasting ink will manage to stay put on various surfaces.

What are the different types of permanent markers?

Because nearly all permanent markers on the market are filled with identical ink, the most recognizable difference among them is their tips. The tip size and functions actually play an important role in how that marker works out eventually on selected surfaces. These are a few popular permanent marker tips.

Fine marker tip – I do not find it difficult to learn that it is the most engineered kind of tip.This marker tip is most ideal for detailed writing and drawing just like normal ballpoint pens, except that its ink is more vibrant.

Twin marker tip – The dual tip enables high versatility for its users to have two different tips sizing in one permanent marker: an ultra-fine slim tip and a larger gel one. In fact, this marker tip does not cost much higher and even enables a more flexible experience to switch between the two for different applications.

Retractable marker tip – By reducing the protection cap, there is less concern for users to keep an eye on its cap while using it as well. Without the cap, a marker tip cannot be protected so the retractable mechanism is an excellent alternative. It is nothing much but a better upgrade in permanent marker tip protection.

Chisel marker tip – Lastly, a chisel tip has the largest size of them all, which is suitable for large color filling on broad surfaces. The width is harder to control but once you get used to this marker tip, it is a true piece of cake. The chisel is widely used for highlighting as it does not deliver as much ink as smaller ones.

Why do you need a permanent marker?

When you need to preserve the ink applied on documents, products and artworks from fading, a permanent marker can do the job in seconds. It is incredibly difficult to wipe off permanent ink once it is settled, therefore a lot of people choose them as a means for their writings and creations to last in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most trusted permanent marker brands?

Although there are hundreds of different brands of permanent markers that are currently active on the market, some particular ones have been widely trusted and used for a long time period until now. A wide range of customers is attracted to markers of Sharpie, Shuttle Art, Crayola, AmazonBasics and BIC.

These names can definitely be considered as successful businesses, by producing and selling millions of premium permanent markers at worldwide physical stores and online shopping sites. Of course, there are certain flaws that still need improvement but overall, their markers rarely fail the customer expectations.

How to remove permanent marker from whiteboard/wood/fabric?

It is apparent that permanent markers manage to perform well on a wide range of absorbable surfaces including those are not so common in our daily lives. However, the far more challenging part is how to solve the question of removing permanent ink from certain surfaces when you no longer need it.

First of all, most school teachers will choose to use permanent markers if the classroom has a whiteboard to avoid lessons being erased by their students. An effective way to clear permanent ink is to layer it with a new block of ink from another dry erase marker. You can wipe both off while the area is still damp.

In order to eliminate permanent marker ink on hard wooden floors, there are more versatile methods to work on for your convenience. It is advised to get some isopropyl alcohol on a clean cloth and rub that stain for it to transfer, then rinse the area with water. The best alternatives are toothpaste and polish remover.

Last but not least, a lot of customers find it difficult to remove this type of ink out of fabric with a regular process in the washing machine. Prior to putting that piece of fabric into the machine, I suggest you use a cloth or sponge that has been dipped into rubbing alcohol to clean around and directly on that area.

Are permanent marker fumes dangerous?

In fact, a minority of them is. You should always prefer non-toxic permanent markers with a low pH level approved of ASTM D-4236/ACMI as guided earlier, so the fumes produced would be less health-threatening for grownups and kids. Their fumes might smell good but not recommended for casual inhaling.

Are permanent marker pens waterproof?

Yes, absolutely. Being waterproof is one of the most essential criteria for a gel marker to be recognized as permanent ink. As you can see, almost all of the pens introduced here can be the top-rated waterproof permanent marker without issues in the resistance. If a permanent marker is not waterproof, do not try to obtain it.

Which markers last the longest?

It depends on how the brands manufactured them and which kind of surfaces is written/drawn on, therefore my personal conclusion of the longest lasting permanent marker is not simple to reach. Notwithstanding, I cannot deny that most people would end up praising markers from Sharpie to proudly claim this title.

Are BIC permanent markers the same as Sharpie?

Sharpie is the most famous brand but their opponents around the world are anxious to achieve the spotlight. One specific brand that has been making a considerable effort in branding is BIC. Regardless of both of the brands’ existing drawbacks, I personally commend BIC markers to be the same as Sharpies.

In comparison, both markers come with an optimal design with a comfortable grip and clipping snap caps. They both contain low-odor, waterproof, fade and smear-resistant ink. Sharpie permanent markers just last slightly longer than BIC ones. In the end, the two of them are worthy for customers to give a shot.

Do permanent markers work on plastic?

Yes, they do. Among multiple available surfaces that can be written or drawn on, it is not too difficult to find a high-quality permanent marker for plastic from loads of different brands. Your pencil case, file holder, raincoat, lunch box and mug, etc. are made from plastic and definitely available for a permanent marker. Moreover, they are also working on plant labels and golf balls.

What is the warranty policy?

For most permanent markers available on the market at the moment, I see that they usually go with a satisfaction guarantee in at least 30 days after the purchase. The full following year is meant for customers to get repairment for any manufacturer defections, without being extra charged from the supplying brand.

How to take care and clean it?

In order to preserve them, gather the markers up and put them in a decent container after every use to prevent unwanted loss. Store the case in air-dry areas at normal room temperature to avoid ink vaporizing. Also, their tips should not be dipped into cold water since it may result in interrupted ink flow.

Should your permanent markers ever obtain dirt, you can wipe the dust or stains off of them easily with paper tissue or wet cloth. This is not a serious matter because their bodies are not prone to getting dirt on and the cleaning solution is simple. All users ever need to do is to take a good care of their markers.


I am curious if any of the best permanent markers in this article has captured your attention and acquired a spot in your future shopping list. You know that you can always keep all of my personal advice in mind and apply them for the most suitable occasions to purchase an excellent colorful pack of permanent markers.

Remember that its applications are limitless so it depends on how you choose to use these permanent markers. Of course, they cannot avoid having certain downsides but I believe they will become functional to yourself and others in the near future. Have fun shopping for permanent markers and thank you for reading.

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