Sharpie Gel Highlighters

I’m forever hunting for a good highlighter that doesn’t bleed through or fade in a day or dry out in five minutes. After walking by the Sharpie Gel Highlighter display dozens of times, I finally broken down and bought a pack of the yellow highlighters!

Here’s what Sharpie has to say on their website!

Here are the “bullet points” Sharpie has about the gel markers:

New gel stick technology provides our strongest smear protection across most pen and marker inks and ink jet printouts!
Won’t bleed through paper. Works on all paper surfaces including glossy and thin papers, magazines and Bibles
Won’t dry out if left uncapped
Sharpie Gel technology writes as long as a traditional pen-style highlighter
Gel stick conforms to your handwriting style
Perfect for highlighting, writing, doodling and drawing
Twist bottom to advance gel stick

We’ll go through those in a second………

Overall impression and design

The pen is a good size, easy to hold. The Gel is more like a clear solid crayon, it glides across the paper nicely! The cap does have a clip on it, but it looks to me the clip would break easy . The pen is oval shaped instead of round, which means it doesn’t roll across the desk even when the cat wants it too! If you had big big fingers it might feel small, but then again any pen would!

How is the price?
How does the price compare to other brands of highlighters? Great actually! I’ve only bought them at Staples but even at $5 (on sale) for 3, considering I don’t have to toss them for drying out they are a bargain.

Anti Smear

“New gel stick technology provides our strongest smear protection across most pen and marker inks and ink jet printouts”

So far, this seems to be true. Freshly printed pages printed off of an HP printer had no issues with smearing (which has been a main complaint of the other highlighters I have used!). Every newspaper and old book I tried these out on showed no issues either. And I’m left handed, and when resting my hand on previously higlighted areas they don’t smear!

No bleed through

Won’t bleed through paper. Works on all paper surfaces including glossy and thin papers, magazines and Bibles!

I wasn’t about to mark up a bible, but a quick test on thin tissue paper comfirms the non bleed. Since there’s no liquid, there’s nothing to seep through! And yes, it does indeed work on glossy magazine papers. I haven’t tried it on photographic type prints yet though….

Won’t dry out if left uncapped

Well, I left one uncapped overnight and didn’t experience any issues. The gel doesn’t seem to dry, its more of a wax than anything versus a water based material. I’m not sure I’d trust it not to melt if left on a windowsill though…..
Sharpie Gel technology writes as long as a traditional pen-style highlighter
This I can’t speak for, because in order to prove it you’d have to do a side by side marathon comparision. I think I’m going to take their word for it, as I’ve barely used up an inch on mine so far!

Gel stick conforms to your handwriting style

This was an interesting thing. Conforms? Not really. It wears down depending on how you hold it. I have to keep turning it around to get a sharp edge. I tried using it like a pen pen and after about 10 inches of highlighting one side was worn down and the other wasn’t. Rotate it around and wear down the other side! I wouldn’t call it conforming!
Perfect for highlighting, writing, doodling and drawing
Ok, this i have to disagree with. Highlighting? Yep, it rocks for that! Doodling? Well, I think a pen would be cheaper to doodle with. And as for drawing, unless you’re going to use it to color a sun I can’t imagine doing a whole picture in it! Keep in mind I”m using the yellow ones, I guess if I had all the colors I might think differently.

Negative points

What they tout as a plus, “conforms to writing”, I’m going to call a minor minus. Having to notice which way my highlighter is pointed is not a convience. It’s minor though, so we won’t gripe too much.

My biggest negative is that the highlighting is slightly tacky. I’m in South Florida so its hot and humid, and since the “gel” technoology seems to be a wax I understand why it’s tacky. My pages with highlights do cling together, but not page ripping type of clinging. They come apart easily and so far I’ve noticed no transferring. However, I’d be reluctant to leave a book in the car with a lot of this highlighting on it.

My last minor peeve is that when the cap is off it’s not readily aparent which end is which when you grab it off the desk. I think they should have made the turning end a different color or at least marked it somehow, I keep grabbing it upside down! But that’s just me :)

It’s now been over six months of me using these and I still like them except for the tacky part. They are great on maps I found out!

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