Review: Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

In my recent wanderings in the local big box office supply store, I came across the Sharpie Gel Highlighters. I’d been meaning to try these out for some time so I grabbed a three-pack with one each of yellow, orange and pink highlighter.

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

The Sharpie Gel highlighters have an unusual oval shaped barrel that is actually quite comfortable in the hand and keeps them from rolling off the table. There’s a clip on the stubby little cap that is part of the molded plastic cap. The clip would probably accommodate a notebook cover or pocket but not much else as its not very substantial and might end up snapping off if forced too hard.

Once uncapped, I discovered that the GEL wasn’t the same as gel ink (like you’d find in a Pilot G2 pen or a Hi-Tec C) but rather a a solid stick of a gel-like material. I can’t even think of a good comparison — maybe something between a crayon and a solid antiperspirant? Anyway I try to describe it, its quite unique. Since its a semi-solid material, the more its used, it will wear down so the bottom end of the pens has a twist mechanism to advance the Gel to the end like a twist mechanical pencil.

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Did I mention that the highlighters smell like gummi bears?!?!? I haven’t wanted to sniff a marker since those grade school “smells like blueberries” markers as I do with these Sharpie Highlighters. That said, theses highlighters really do what they claim which is that they do not smear when applied over ink. Not fountain pen (your results might vary here as I did not test every fountain pen ink available), not felt top or gel pens. Not even pencil. And once the Gel Highlighters are applied to paper, they didn’t smear either.

I really like that Sharpie has attempted to rethink the highlighter, especially in light of how often gel pens are used these days and how easily some inks are to smear with traditional highlighters. These are definitely worth seeking out next time you’re near an office supply store.

Did I mention they smell like gummi bears?

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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Wow, very intriguing. I dislike how my highlighters like to dry out, and maybe these gel ones would be less prone to doing so.

  2. The gel highlighter’s major drawback is that you can’t write over it. You can’t use it to highlight signature lines, or to indicate a generic timeline (as I do in my Hobonichi Techo), or to indicate that a name/dollar amount written in a notebook (which might have to be modified) has been entered into the computer. That said, a gel highlighter is more transparent than a dry, and kinder to thin paper than a wet.

    1. I was able to find the Sharpie Gel Highlighters at my local big box retailer like Staples or Office Depot. It also looks like they are available on Amazon.

  3. I have been using these, and I don’t know why people thing they don’t smudge, they smudge and get everywhere! Little shavings fall off as you highlight and they get all over the place, it’s all over the table and on my hands. Also when you turn the page or close the book, it smudges onto the other side of the page. It leaves a waxy feel on everything, the table, the paper, and my hands. And lastly, I have just regular ball point pens but I have to wait for the ink to dry on regular lined paper for at least two minutes before highlighting over it because it completely smears the ink. I will not buy this product again.

  4. A few things I noticed when I got these today. They’re a lot lighter in colour than the sharpie accent highlighters which are the regular ones. I find this useful since sometimes I can’t see the words using regular highlighters because they’re ironically too dark. The formula is very interesting, feels like putting wax on paper but doesn’t rub off or anything. However, I noticed it does smear using pencil. I use a very thin but strong lead so if yours is lighter, I don’t think it will smear as much. Over pen, I need to wait for it to dry completely but no problems so far. I use five-star paper for reference.

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