One of my friends had a set of the mini Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners in her pen case that she uses to draw and sketch on the go. I have always envied this set so I finally broke down and got my own set. I got the 18-color mini finerliners in the “sporty” water bottle for $15.
I confess that I have a huge soft spot for metal-tipped, felt-tip markers. Marvy Le Pens were one of my middle school “gateway drugs” into the wonderful world of pens. I like the slight grippiness of the felt tip that helps me slow down and write a little bit neater than with the smooth-as-glass experience I get with some rollerball and gel pens. I love the wide array of colors for taking notes and color-coding my planner and calendars so a large set of colored, felt-tip markers thrills my inner 12-year-old. If I get anymore excited about this little mini bottle of markers, I might start drawing rainbows, kittens and unicorns.
The pens are shorter than the regular Point 88 Fineliner 0.4mm marker pens but the cap posts nicely so that it feels like a full length pen in use. Since I tend to wear the tips of these sorts of felt-tipped markers out long before they run out of ink, the shorter pen seemed like a reasonable option. I can also fit a lot more of these shorties in my travel case, which is a bonus.
The pens are the same width and shape as a standard hexagonal pencil. Even the color of the barrel is reminiscent of a classic yellow Ticonderoga pencil but with classy white pinstripes. The cap snaps snugly on the pen cap or the base for posting the cap.
The individual Point 88 mini pens do not have color names written on them so I made up some descriptive names as I went along. Jet Pens lists official names if you’re curious. The colors were all bright and clean colors. The point size is in my “sweet spot” for nib sizes at 0.4mm and exactly the same line width as the Le Pens.
(I lost to my inner 12-year-old and drew a panda. You forgive me, right?)
My first reaction when I started testing the Point 88 minis is how much the writing experience and colors reminded me of the Marvy Le Pens. I’m don’t have a complete set of Le Pens here but was able to cross-reference the writing experience and color with at least a dozen colors and there are some very comparable shades between the two brands.
The inks are not waterproof but neither are the LePens. The Stabilo pens are designed to allow for a long cap-off time without drying out. I didn’t test this out but hope that they live up to the hype and provide me a long life of colors over the next several months.
When posted, the Stabilo Point 88 minis are a tiny bit longer than the Le Pens full length but unposted.
The same Stabilo 88 mini Fineliner marker pens are available in a soft plastic wallet instead of the goofy “water bottle” but it costs $0.75 more for the envelope rather than the bottle. My Stabilo mini Fineliner pens will end up being dumped into my regular pen case so I’m okay with the $0.75 savings. The full-sized set of Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners includes all 25 standard colors for $21.50. I might go ahead and order the full set so I can have the greys, browns and the midnight blue color which are some of my favorite shades to use. Individual pens are $0.80 each so its worth adding a few to your next order if you’re not sure you want a full set or you need to “complete” your set.
The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 20-color set is a little bit more expensive ($25) but a little bit finer at 0.3mm. I know the Staedtlers are quite popular as well so if you find the 0.4mm to be a bit too wide, these might be a good alternative. I’m going to stick with the Stabilo Point 88s.
5 comments / Add your comment below
There’s nothing wrong with drawing rainbows, kittens and unicorns! And your panda is adorable. (Actually, so are those mini pens!)
Great review! I love that the pack comes with so many colors. Love the light turquoise and teal one.
The Office Stylist
Ooh, I’m on my second set of these, and I use them almost exclusively for doodling. I love the colours and the small size. I haven’t tried Le Pens so it’s really useful to see the colours compared.
Has anyone else noticed that the ink in the black ones does something very odd after a period of time – in my old notepads from about 5 years ago, the ink has kind of faded, turned a funny colour and smudged. It does the same in my Moleskine sketchbook as it does on cheaper paper; but all the other colours don’t do this, just the black. For that reason I don’t use the black on anything I want to keep; but it’s still useful for short-term things.
I can testify to the fact that they aren’t waterproof because I dropped a sketchbook in the bath once. It didn’t end well.
Thanks for the tip about the black pen. I think I’ll toss the black on my desk for to-do lists and general ephemera and replace the black in my travel kit with a couple Sakura Pigma Microns since they are waterproof.
Sorry about the bath accident!
Yes, Marvy Le Pens! And their thicker brethren, the Marvy Markers which you could either sort by rainbow order or by number _but not both_ which drove me a little crazy, but loved the pens. These do look fun, and are cute to boot. (rhymes)