Refillable Felt-Tip Highlighters

Refillable felt-tip highlighters are designed to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in our environment. Just think – if everyone were able to refill their felt-tip highlighters five times, this would eliminate the need to throw away four out of five plastic highlighters as they become dried-up. Obviously this isn’t going to solve all of our problems, but it’s nice to see the selection of refillable felt-tip highlighters is increasing. We’ll talk about three of them in this blog post.

The Platinum Preppy Highlighter Pen can easily be refilled by inserting a new ink cartridge or by using a converter and bottled fountain pen ink. Noodler’s bottled ink comes in regular highlighter and long-lasting highlighter colors such as Year of the Golden Pig and Dragon Catfish pink, green and orange.   When the felt tip on this highlighter starts to break down you can even replace it with a brand new felt tip! The body and cap of this pen are made from recycled polycarbonate. Preppy Highlighters are available in the colors green, orange, pink, yellow and blue.

Tombow Twin highlighters can easily be refilled using the Tombow Coat Highlighter Charger. All you need to do is set the open recharger on a level surface, gently put the pen’s felt tip into the ink, and 10 minutes later your highlighter is fully recharged! If you can’t wait 10 minutes you can use it sooner – after one minute the highlighter is 20% recharged, in five minutes 70% recharged. There is enough ink in the recharger for 10 refills and each highlighter pen can be refilled about 5 times. At first, the Tombow Coat recharger bottle design seems rather curious since the ink full level is near the bottom of the bottle. However, if you happen to accidentally knock the bottle over while a pen is recharging you’ll discover that the ink won’t spill out. I’m thinking someone has done this before… Tombow Coat Highlighter Chargers are available in ten different colors: yellow, red, brown, orange, golden yellow, yellow green, sky blue, blue, purple and pink. I have not tested to see whether or not this ink is compatible with other highlighters (yet).

The STAEDTLER Textsurfer Classic Ink-Jet Safe Highlighter is another good example of a refillable highlighter. It’s clean and easy to recharge by firmly inserting the felt tip into the top of the open refill station. After three or four hours it is completely refilled, but it can be used after spending just a few minutes in the refill station. It’s impossible to overfill the highlighter since it draws out only as much ink as needed to fill it to capacity. The refill station is specially designed not to spill ink if it is tipped over. Be sure to match the Textsurfer Classic Ink-Jet Safe Highlighter to the STAEDTLER refill station with ink-jet safe ink or you’ll lose the ink-jet safe property. STAEDTLER Textsurfer Classic Refill Stations come in yellow, blue, green and pink.

Do you have a favorite refillable felt-tip highlighter? Please tell us about it!

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Gel Highlighters

With all of the highlighting that I do on a regular basis I was very curious to give STAEDTLER Textsurfer Gel and Y & C Hi-Glider Gel Stick highlighters a try.

Using these highlighters is somewhat like using a crayon that softly and smooooothly glides over the paper. The lead is made from translucent wax that is advanced by twisting the end of the highlighter barrel. It is not possible to post the cap on these pens so you need to be careful not to lose it.

Gel highlighters dry instantly and do not smudge. The STAEDTLER Textsurfer was developed especially for use with pigmented inkjet inks so it does not smear the printouts. It also has STAEDTLER’s DRY SAFE feature so it can be left uncapped for days without drying up. The Y & C Hi-Glider is very similar to the Textsurfer, so it may also have these same features.

If you like a highlighter that has a consistent line width with defined edges, gel highlighters are not for you. The gel highlighter lead is approximately 3/8” in diameter and writes in a soft line about 1/16” to 1/4” wide. Sometimes tiny bits of excess wax are left on the paper as you write, but I do not find this to be bothersome.

The most outstanding feature of these highlighters is that you can use them on paper that is of extremely poor quality or on very thin paper and the wax does not bleed through! The photo below attempts to demonstrate that a highlighter with regular ink bleeds through the thin paper of a dictionary, whereas the gel highlighter does not bleed through this thin paper at all.

STAEDTLER Textsurfer Gel highlighters are available in yellow, orange and pink. Y & C Hi-Glider Gel Stick highlighters come in yellow, orange, pink, green and blue.

Have you ever used a gel highlighter? What do you think of it?

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Zebra Optex Care and Tombow Twin Highlighters

Some of our favorite highlighters include Zebra Optex Care and Tombow Twin highlighters. What makes these highlighters different and why do we like them so much?

One of the first things you’ll notice about these highlighters is that each end of the highlighter has a different size tip – a broad chisel tip for highlighting words & phrases and a fine tip for taking notes, doodling or underlining. It gives you the flexibility of having two pens in one! Both highlighters can be capped no matter which end you are using.

Have you ever purchased a highlighter whose felt tip turned into mush within the first few weeks of use? You shouldn’t experience that problem with these highlighters since both of them have been designed with high quality felt tips that hold their shape well. The Zebra Optex Care has a tip similar to a regular highlighter. The Tombow Twin highlighter takes a different approach, using plastic polymer to make a little jacket or coat for the tip to help it keep its shape.

Both Zebra Optex Care and Tombow Twin highlighters come in a nice variety of colors including some out-of-the-ordinary colors such as tea brown, red, golden yellow and coral. The colors are pleasingly soft and not so screaming-bright that they are hard on the eyes. Zebra Optex Care and Tombow Twin sell their highlighters in sets of 10 different colors as well as individually.

Their slim design with the clip on one cap makes it so that I can use them in the pen-holder of my study portfolio – a bonus for me! Another bonus – if your Tombow highlighters are running dry you can use Tombow Coat Highlighter Chargers to refill them with ink.

How about you? What are your favorite highlighters?

Here is what the colors look like when photocopied:

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Platinum Preppy Highlighter Pen

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I am so happy to finally find the Preppy Highlighter from Platinum Pens!

Liquid ink highlighters have always been my favorite, but I use them up quickly and was tossing multitudes of plastic pens into the trash. I could picture the creation of a small landfill with my name on it, mounded up with dried up highlighter pens… but not any more! Preppy highlighters are refillable with ink cartridges that come with fresh replacement nibs when mine starts to wear out. I can also use a converter to easily refill the pen with whatever ink I choose.

The cartridge that comes with the Preppy Highlighter lasted me about one month, or roughly 275 lines of highlighting text printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. I chose to refill my pen with Noodler’s Firefly Highlighting Ink. After using 3 cartridges full of ink, the tip of the pen had become softer than I prefer so it was time to replace it with a Platinum Preppy Highlighter Replacement Tip.

The ink I have my eye on next is Noodler’s Ink Year of the Golden Pig. This highlighting ink will not fade and comes with a free eyedropper fill Preppy Highlighter Pen to save money and help the environment.

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