Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Long Do Copic Markers Last: Some Interesting Facts You Might Not Know?

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

how long do copic markers last

Are you a big fan of alcohol-based markers? If so, I bet you must have heard of the high-quality yet exorbitant Copic markers, which are known for their smooth applications as well as amazing colors.

Furthermore, since they are alcohol-based, there is a high chance that the evaporation of the alcohol may make Copic markers dry out fast. So, how long do Copic markers last? Is it worth the hefty price we have to pay?

Well, this article will answer your query in the most comprehensive way. Generally, Copic markers are great within twelve to eighteen months. However, other factors will affect this duration, including:

  • The Frequency of Your Usage: Let’s take into consideration how often you use your markers. Obviously, the more you use, the shorter Copics last.
  • Which Surfaces Do You Write On? The paper you use is also a deciding factor that may extend or shorten the duration of your markers.
  • How Much Ink Your Marker Can Hold: This depends on the marker’s ink reservoir; your markers will last longer if their reservoirs are larger.
  • How Large The Color Coverage Area is: On average, a Copic Sketch marker can cover as much as five pages of printer paper. Moreover, your favorite colors tend to run out quicker than those you don’t use as frequently.

In the final section, I’ll compare Copic markers with two other marker brands to see the one that will save you the most money. Therefore, stay tuned until the end to find out.

Are you excited to get started? Let’s begin with the first section!

How Long Do Copic Markers Last Base On

1. How Easily a Copic Marker Can Dry Out


Do Copic markers dry out without use? Overall, a Copic can last up to one and a half years if kept in good condition. Hence, your high-end marker won’t dry out easily if you know how to preserve it properly.

The most important rule you need to obey is ALWAYS keeping the cap on once you are done using it. This action will prevent the alcohol from evaporating, and consequently, your marker won’t dry out.

Additionally, keep your Copic away from direct sunlight and open-air to reduce the amount of alcohol evaporation. Store your marker at room temperature to lengthen its life span. For example, don’t put your marker near the window during the summer.

If you accidentally violate these rules and the marker dries out, adding some alcohol to the marker ink can revive your marker. This type of alcohol is called rubbing or isopropyl alcohol, which you can easily purchase with a concentration of 70-99%.

In case your markers run out of ink, check out this video to learn how to refill them. Once you know the basic rules to preserve your Copic markers, continue reading to learn the four factors that may affect their life span.

2. The Frequency of Your Usage

Whether your Copic markers dry out fast or not is mainly dependent on your usage frequency. Copic markers are professional artists’ favorite tools for their outstanding quality.

Therefore, they use Copic markers daily, which results in the fact that their markers tend to run out of ink within just a few weeks. Consequently, they have to purchase Copic ink refilling more regularly.

On the other hand, it takes a longer time for other non-professionals, who only occasionally use their Copics, to refill their markers. This is because they only use markers as a hobby or when there is a particular art project in which Copic markers are needed.

In short, how often the owners use their markers determines when the markers will run out of ink. If you are a cost-conscious person and don’t want to waste so much money on refilling, use your Copic sparsely to save the ink.

Nonetheless, if you are planning to be a professional artist, be aware that you might have to spend a large amount of money refilling your markers as they will inevitably run out of ink in a short time.

Proceed to the following section to learn how the type of paper you use can affect a Copic marker’s lifespan.

3. Which Surfaces You Write On


The second factor which may have a great effect on how long you can use your Copic markers is the surface that is written on. Sounds strange, right? But believe me, your paper can prolong the duration of using your marker and vice versa.

There are various surfaces on which you can write Copic markers. Yet, commonly, people will use paper for their drawing and calligraphy. Hence, I’ll only discuss different types of papers in this article.

If artists prefer using thicker and softer paper, they will likely have to apply more ink since it absorbs a more substantial amount of ink than others. Nevertheless, if you draw on thin and dense paper, less ink is spent as the paper is less absorbent.

Moreover, drawing on canvas, or a mixture of many kinds of fabrics, will eventually shorten your Copic using time. The reason is that fabrics tend to suck up a considerable amount of ink in a short period.

Therefore, think carefully when choosing the material to use your Copic markers on.

4. How Much Ink Your Marker Can Hold

The third factor that is worth considering is the marker’s capacity of holding ink. Surprisingly, each Copic marker has a different size of ink reservoir, which will determine how much ink it can hold.

How can we know the volume of each Copic marker? Don’t worry because I’ll give you the answer right now. There are four categories of Copic markers: Copic Wide, Classic, Sketch, and Ciao.

Among the four, the Copic Wide ink cartridge is the largest with a volume of approximately 3.57 ml. With that said, this is not the best option for drawing because of its wide tip.

Coming in at second place is the Copic Classic with an ink cartridge volume of 2.50 ml, followed by the Copic Sketch with only 2.08ml. Lastly, the Copic Ciao can only hold 1.66ml of ink, which is why this is the cheapest Copic marker that beginners can buy.

In addition, the Copic Classic and Copic Sketch are recommended for professional artists as their prices are quite reasonable compared to the amount of ink offered.

5. How Large the Color Coverage Area is

Why does the color coverage area have anything to deal with a Copic marker’s lifespan? Let’s consider the principle in the first factor – the more you use your marker, the shorter time you can use it.

Similarly, the larger area you draw on, the more ink you need to spend. As such, you will have to refill your marker within a few days or weeks.

Here is an interesting fact you might not know: if you use both the chisel and brush tips of a Copic Sketch to color the standard printer paper, whose dimensions are 8.5 x 11 inches, you can cover up to five pages of it.

In comparison, two nibs of a Prismacolor can cover half a page more than the Copic can. Therefore, you might be able to use a Prismacolor a bit longer than a Copic Sketch.

Furthermore, your choice of colors is a deciding factor. Artists who pursue the black and white style are more likely to use up black-colored markers, while those who love colorful art pieces will prefer other bright-shaded markers.

Hence, if you prefer a few colors over the others, it is no doubt that you will run out of those markers quicker than other color markers.

6. How Much You Get for Every Dollar

The price of Copic markers is too expensive for many people, but some artists still decide to afford them. Is it really worth our money? Let’s compare the Copic Sketch with Spectrum Noir Markers and Winsor & Newton Brush Markers.

While a Copic Sketch costs $5.85, a Winsor & Newton is about $5.24, and a Spectrum Noir is less than $2. However, Copic and Spectrum Noir markers are refillable. Therefore, in the long term, these two brands will be more cost-effective.

Furthermore, comparing the Copic versus the Spectrum Noir, Copic markers give better quality for drawing. So, that’s why Copic has become a favorite brand for the majority of artists.


In conclusion, how long do Copic markers last? It depends on different variables to answer this question. However, I hope this article gives you enough information to estimate yourself.

Let me know what you think in the comment section. If you find it interesting, share this article with your friends and family as well.

5/5 - (3 votes)