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What is a Felt tip Marker/ Pen? – Why It’s a Writing Lifesaver?

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

what is a felt tip marker pen

Have you ever wondered why felt tip markers or pens are many people’s favorite? It is a writing tool used in all events like classroom discussions, office meetings, and restaurant menus.

One factor that makes it an all-time favorite is its compact and portable design.

So, what other things make this writing tool legendary? What is a felt tip marker/ pen? In this article, you will know everything about it. Stay tuned and discover why people love this writing lifesaver.

Its Versatility is Top-Notch

Felt-tip markers and pens are surprisingly convenient to use due to their quick-drying ability. You can also use them instantly on the go because felt-tip pens come ready for use.

Their compact design and excellent versatility are also a plus. Most of these items are waterproof and can be wet-erase, permanent, or dry-erase. One example of wet-erase markers is transparency markers.

You can use them for drafting, outlining, Japanese mangas, and adding color. This pen type is also ideal for color mixes, making it the best bet if you want to add special effects to your artwork.

All in all, felt-tip pens and markers are suitable for all your art and creative projects.

Felt-tip pens meaning is easy to understand. Basically, felt-tip markers are used by people to write something crucial or to start off an artwork. They are the pens and markers you see every day.

What is a Felt tip Marker/ Pen


The main reason why it’s called a felt tip marker or pen is due to the marker’s tip that comes from absorbent and pressed fibers called felt. Aside from the felt material, this pen also has its own source of ink that is usually refillable.

Its ink-soaked refill ensures a smooth and equal color application on your work.

This pen has a container made of either glass, plastic, or aluminum, while its core consists of a highly absorbent material, which acts as the pen’s ink carrier.

You can also notice that one end of the pen comes with a nib, which is covered with a cap to stop the pen’s ink from drying out.

A Bit of History

In earlier times, the nib was made of sturdy and hard felt. The most usual solvents for the marker’s ink until the early 1990s were xylene and toluene. However, the ink solvents were changed because they were harmful and had a pungent smell.

Today’s ink production is alcohol-based. Substances like 1-Propanol, diacetone alcohol, 1-butanol, and cresols are used to produce the marker’s ink. These substances are safer and have a more tolerable scent.

Different Types of Felt Tip Marker


Let me elaborate on the types of felt tip markers.

Permanent marker – this type of porous pen can write on many surfaces. You can use this to scribble on crystals, plastics, wood, steel, and stone. However, the marks do not stick on certain types of plastics like polypropylene and Teflon.

A permanent marker’s ink resists water and friction, making your writings last for years. However, the ink is removable when you use chemicals like acetone and combine it with rough scrubbing.

Highlighter pens – is a type of marker that highlights and covers pre-existing writings without making them unreadable.

Most highlighters come in neon shades that make color-coding possible.

Whiteboard markers – also called dry-erase markers, these come with a non-permanent ink for use on a matte or slick-finished surface. This writing surface is likely to be non-porous.

A whiteboard marker is usually used to write on overhead projectors, classroom whiteboards, and other glossy surfaces like that. It also has another version called the wet-wipe marker, which is also used on similar surfaces.

Security markers – this unique type of marker comes with fluorescent yet invisible ink and is usually used to mark valuables during unfortunate burglary cases.

This often comes in handy for owners if their valuables are stolen. If the item is recovered, the original owner can easily be determined using UV lights to make the writings visible.

Election markers – what makes this marker type unique is the ink. Election inks are made of indelible tint and usually come with a photosensitive substance like silver nitrate.

Porous Point Pens – this type of pen is made of a porous material like ceramic or felt. One unique feature of this marker is that it wears well and doesn’t widen when you apply pressure while you write.

The Fine Tip

Fine felt tip pens are everyone’s favorite. They come in different shapes and sizes, where you can get a thin and round tip or a slightly inclined one. Every fine nib serves various functions. However, all of them come with a plastic end.

One common trait with pens is that they offer smooth and even writings.

On the other hand, felt tip markers have a softer pointed nib. This feature is suitable for drawing, outlining, or writing with both sides and tips of the marker’s nib.

Both pens and markers are widely available in various sizes, and that goes for their ink as well. Markers and pens can contain permanent ink, acid-free ink, oil-based ink, alcohol-based, or water-based ink.

Among the inks mentioned above, alcohol-based inks and oil-based ones are the water-resistant ones. On the other hand, water-based inks rarely resist water.

Therefore, water-based inks have a bigger chance of smearing when contacted with water. Water-based pens rarely bleed through paper compared to alcohol-based ink, though.

Feathering is usual for some felt tip markers and pens.

This happens when too much ink goes out of your pen and markers, leaving superfluous marks surrounding your writings or drawings. Feathering can be worrisome because it ruins the quality of your work.

Difference in Usage

People are often confused about where you should use a pen or a marker.

I use paper mate felt tip pens when I do some calligraphy or simple writing, like taking notes in my classes. This item is more ideal when you require a detailed outcome for your personal work.

A marker is used for labels or any sort of large-scale writing.

If you want to try out the wonders of a felt tip marker pen, try out Amazon Basics 24-Pack Felt Tip Marker Pens in Assorted Color. To know more about this incredible writing tool, you can check out this video.


Hopefully, you no longer wonder “what is a felt tip marker/ pen?” Now that I mentioned all the amazing things about a felt tip marker, it’s time for you to get some exploring done. If this is your first, you can try out Amazon Basics 24-Pack Felt Tip Marker Pens in Assorted Color.

  • Felt-tip markers and pens are easy to use because they dry quickly.
  • Ideal for use anytime and anywhere due to their compact and versatile design.
  • These felt tip markers and pens are usually waterproof, making them a true lifesaver!
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