Alcohol Markers Comparison Guide

Welcome to day 3 of our Alcohol Markers Week!

By now, you may have decided to explore adding some alcohol markers to your stash. With a number of different brands available in the marketplace, how do you choose which are right for you?

We have compiled a chart below that has done a great deal of the research for you. Some of the factors included in the chart are:

Price: The price of each marker is very important especially since there are usually so many colors to buy. But you also have to factor in the “investment” that you are making. If a marker can be refilled at a fraction of the original cost and the housing is made to last a lifetime, then a higher cost per marker can be justified.

Color Range: For the serious colorist, color range is very important. Artists usually have an unlimited number of colors at their disposal if they are able to mix whites and blacks with colors and colors with each other. So artists who color with alcohol markers also want a full range of colors to use on their palette. Some markers have a broader range of colors than others so this might a determining factor when purchasing a specific brand.

Nibs, Refills & Accessories: Crafters can sometimes be tough on our supplies. We tend to go “off the page” occasionally, so replaceable marker nibs can be important. We also tend to have our favorite colors that we reach for time & time again, so refillable markers can be attractive for those often-used colors. If you really love a certain color, perhaps you’d like to consider purchasing it in a fine-tip for journaling or an extra wide tip for larger coverage areas.

Alcohol Markers Comparison Chart*

Brand# of ColorsMSRPNib(s)Other
Link for
American Crafts Chromatics66$3.99/eaBrush, MediumNoN/A NoShipping mid March 2012AC Blog
Copic Ciao180$4.79/eaBroad (Chisel) & BrushYes YesWidely availableShop Copic Ciao @Two PeasCiao Info
Copic Sketch358$6.99/eaBroad (chisel)
& Brush
YesPDF YesWidely available
Shop Copic Sketch @Two PeasCopic Sketch
Dick Blick Studio Markers95$1.79/eaBroad, FineNo NoDick Blick
Dick Blick
Kuretake Kurecolor Markers118$4.46/eaChisel & FineYes YesMostly in the UKKuretake
Letraset Promarker148$12.95 set of 5 ($2.59/ea)Chisel & Fine BulletYesPDF NoAmazon,
Rubber Café,
Simon Says Stamp
Letraset Promarker @SimonSays StampLetraset Promarker Info
Letraset Tria300$65.95 for 12 ($5.50/ea)3 in 1: Chisel + Brush + FineYes YesAmazonLetraset Tria @AmazonLetraset Tria Info
Marvy LePlume Permanent144$2.99/eaBrush onlyNoLink NoMarvy, Amazon, Simon Says StampMarvy @Simon Says StampUchida Website
PrismaColor Premier156$4.45/eaChisel & Fine NoPrismacolor @AmazonPrismacolor Site
Spectrum Noir168$11.95 for 6 ($1.99/ea)Broad, Chisel, Fine BulletNoPDF YesSpectrum Noir ManufacturerSpectrum Noir
Shin Han Touch Twin168$1.89/eaFine, Chisel & BrushColors YesAmazonShinhan @AmazonShinhan

One factor not easily reflected in a table is ink quality. This criteria can be very subjective depending upon your specific needs and preferences. Some of the factors to consider here are ‘blendability’ of colors, ink flow and absorption into paper.  In addition, some of the alcohol ink formulas are different and will react differently when stamped on different kinds of papers and stamped alongside different kinds of inks.

The trick is to consider all of these factors together when making your shopping selections. What will YOU be using these markers for? Are you more interested in a huge color range for ultimate blendability? Or do you just need a few? Would you be comfortable creating your own color by blending your own? Will you be coloring stamped images as artwork, or cards created in bulk? Will you be using your alcohol markers to color embellishments and mixed media surfaces?

Regardless of your specific needs, I hope you find the above research valuable in your quest to finding the best alcohol markers for your paper crafting arsenal!

Already have a full supply of markers? Or on your way toward building it? Be sure to check today’s post at Craft Storage Ideas for a round-up of marker storage ideas!

Many thanks to this week’s guest bloggers Christine Ousley and Wendy Price for your advice as we compiled the above information.

*We used publicly available information to compile the data reflected in the chart above. It is accurate only to the best of our knowledge and we encourage you to independently confirm the information before making your final purchasing decisions.



  1. says

    I am so undecided as a crafter I want it all — If I was using them as much as I hoped refill would be important — but am I going to buy the refills? No is there a LSS where can refill ? No am I going to buy every color No — Christine gave me the best advice before I invested in buying in threes of colors that blend — she gave me probably the best info I received
    I took the Copic certification in Bham a few years ago and sadly my life was turned upside down – and I never really used them , most recently I have started using the ones I have , –and I had a Lady that was teaching Amuse card classes at my store using the orginal with the fine point – which is great for coloring small images —
    I have bought all the copic books, sprayer, and videos – (yes a compulsive reader and shopper) I have Faber Castell Pitt, American Craft markers, some CTMH, some Stampin Up and even some Zigs that are closed to 20 years old in bins — so I buy a few and try them (I have a few New Destress on my BO list ) it is like everything else buy and try , mixing old and new. Next year we will see some more — there doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong in crafting — it is like a favorite pen which feels the best when signing the check!

  2. says

    I love working with my Copic, and need to buy some refills badly so I don’t go out and buy a replacement marker. Will check out 2-Peas pricing. Thanks for the link!

  3. Jackie in NC says

    I have a couple of the Letraset markers and I like them. They also have some new brush tip markers, I think.

  4. Sue C says

    I love using Copic markers. If you use the refills, the price is unbeatable! The refills fill a pen 9-13 times (depending on the size of the pen), and the nibs are replaceable, too. I use certain colors so often that it would not be economical to use a less expensive (but unrefillable) pen that I would need to replace continually. I have found the prices at icopic to be the best.

    Sue C

    • Susan Mintmire says

      You are so welcome! It was an interesting exercise to gather & compile all of the info — glad you find it useful!! Hope you’ll share it along with others too. – Susan

  5. Genet says

    I’m not a crafter, but I’m an artist and I work with alcohol-based markers when I color pictures. I have not tried some of the brands, but since I started working with them when I was about 14 or so, a lot of new brands have popped up. So bear with me.

    I have found Copic Sketch markers to my favorite. The number of colors available is great. They always add more every year. The quality of the markers outclasses Prisma easily- they don’t smell bad, and the brush tip is awesome.

    They last a long time, too. I’ve been using mine for about six years now, and they are still in wonderful shape. They’re refillable, which is wonderful.

    Yes. It is a big initial investment- they are not cheap, but, IMO, they are worth it and with the refills, they are financially a smart idea. :)


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