I love the idea of pencil highlighters. They don’t dry out, can be used all the way down to a stump and don’t leave a big wet patch in a book or on my notes. When the fine folks at Stubby Pencil Studios offered to send a few highlighters to try out, I was excited to try them out. These are wide, hexagonal pencils — like kids’ first pencils — with a plain, untreated wood exterior. Stamped along one side is the Stubby Pencil name and “Eco Highlighter Austria” in black foil.
I received a set of five colors ($9.95) : yellow, orange, green, pink and blue. The pencils were wrapped in a simple cellophane bag, no fancy packaging which is fine with me.
The colors are much more vivid and quite comparable to the colors of regular wet highlighters. The colors are much better than the last set of pencil highlighters I tried.
The colors are bright and the lead is thick enough to stroke across a line of text in one or two strokes. The lead seems strong and unlikely to break easily. The pencils have a pleasing wood smell and the untreated finish make them easy to hold.
In writing tests, the joy of joys is that, over dry fountain pen ink, these pencils perform beautifully. They do not smear the ink or smudge. This applies to felt tip and gel inks as well. The dry highlighter does not smear the inks below as long as they are dry first. I let my writing dry for a minute at most before highlighting.
Pencil is a blurry mess with the Eco Highlighter though. If you need to highlight pencil, a wet highlighter might work better. Or stick to underlining.
The yellow, green and orange colors worked best to highlight over writing. The pink and blue were too dark over most writing but would work fine for underlining. They are dark enough to add bold writing to notes though.
Stubby Pencil Studio also sent along a KUM double wooden sharpener ($1.99) which had a large diameter slot pefectly sized for the Eco Highlighters. It sharpened the highlighter easily. I’ll have a more extensive review of the sharpener later but wanted to be sure readers knew it was a good fit for the over-sized Eco Highlighters.
So far, these are my favorite highlighters. I can easily toss a couple in my pencil case, along with the sharpener, and be prepared for any situation. I’m so glad I’ve gotten a chance to try these out.