Pros: crisp bold color, does not bleed through paper, durable point, safety cap reduces choking hazard
Cons: water causes the ink to bleed
The Flair markers on my work desk look just like the Flair markers I used in school. When doing a school art project or just doodling for fun, a Flair marker always came in handy.
These Flair markers have not changed that much since their first introduction in 1966. They were revolutionary in their time since they were the first marker ever made with a porous point. This technology led the way for the development of highlighters.
The Flair marker measures 5 1/2" long and has a 3/8" diameter at its widest point (the center). The marker is tapered at both ends and is composed of smooth plastic while the barrel of the marker is finely ribbed. A 1 1/2" metal clip allows the marker to attach to a pocket, notebook or stack of loose papers. A reinforced plastic point guard helps the marker tip keep its shape.
The cap of this marker is 2 5/16" long. To help prevent choking in case the cap is swallowed, the manufacturer has designed the tip of this cap with small holes. You have to look close to notice the holes since they are designed to blend in with the cap. When the cap is removed, it easily slides onto the end of the pen, which helps prevent it becoming lost.
Choose your color: red, black, green, blue, purple.
Flair markers are designed to write like a pen. Ive seen them referred to as both a pen and a marker. The written line width depends upon how much pressure is applied to the Flair when writing. A light pressure writes a line that resembles a pen line, and heavier pressure results in a line more in keeping with one produced by a marker. These marker points are durable, too. It takes a lot of continued pressure to blunt them.
The one huge drawback to the Flair is that water smears the ink. And not just a little. This ink bleeds all over the paper so that the writing is no longer legible. Take notes using a Flair, get caught in a rain shower, and you are in trouble. The same is true for artwork ... hours of creativity can be ruined by a drop of water.
As a test, I wrote some text on regular 20-pound copy paper using the red, blue and black markers. I then sprinkled water across what I had written. The ink immediately blotched, blurred ... and in one instance, completely disappeared! Of the three colors, the red suffered the most damage.
Even though the ink bleeds when in contact with water, the colors of these markers are great. The ink stands out bold and easy to read. The colors are crisp and pleasing to the eye.
Writing with the markers is easy too. The tip glides across the page producing a smooth, even line. Particularly noticeable when handwriting in cursive, sometimes the line strokes are heavier or lighter depending upon how the marker-user writes. Also, this marker can leave little tails on the last letter of a word if the marker is not cleanly lifted from the paper.
A virtue of the Flair marker is that the ink does not bleed through paper, such as an envelope or 20-pound copier paper. Even when I severely wet the ink, the ink may have blurred, but it did not bleed through the paper. For example, I wrote on copier paper using the red, blue and black markers. Then I poured a large puddle of water onto the paper, submerging the ink and let the mess sit for five minutes. The ink blurred (and in the case of the red ink, practically disappeared from the paper) however, the ink did not bleed through the paper.
When I wrote my review of the Sanford Major Accent Yellow Highlighter, I used the Flair marker as one of my test inks to highlight. The blue Flair ink turned black. Both the blue and black inks smeared when highlighted. The red ink did not smudge.
I have had remarkable success with storing Flair markers. I usually keep them in a desk drawer or pen cup. They last a long time without the ink drying out. Ive discovered forgotten Flair markers in the back of desk drawers years after they were purchased, and the markers still worked.
* bold and vivid colors
* smooth, even writing
* point is durable
* does not bleed through paper
* Flair markers last a long time before drying out
* metal pocket clip
* safety cap reduces choking hazard
* ink not permanent
* water destroys what was written
* red ink dissolves in water so ink almost vanishes
Flair markers can be bought singly or in multi-packs. Many pharmacies and department stores sell Flair pens singly or in 2-packs on blister cards. The 4-pack also comes on a blister card while the 12-pack is sold in a cardboard box.
Staples 12-pack $10.29
OfficeMax 4-pack $4.99 / 12-pack $10.29
Office Depot 12-pack $13.68
Walgreens 2-pack $1.99
Lets compare some prices using Staples as our buying source. Purchasing a 12-pack of Flair markers means that I would pay 86-cents per marker. Staples is selling a 12-pack of Sharpie markers for $5.69, which makes it 47-cents a marker. Thats a big price difference.
If you are looking for a marker that is not permanent, and if you dont care that the ink runs if it gets wet ... then Flair is a good marker. Its also nice that the markers dont bleed through paper. Some teachers prefer students use a Flair marker because it isnt permanent.
Even though these Flair markers are available for use at work, I prefer using a different writing instrument.
If I had a choice between a Flair marker or using a Sharpie ... I would choose the Sharpie. The only reason I would choose a Flair over a pen, is that a Flair produces a bolder writing line. And sometimes that bold writing is necessary.
Flair markers definitely have their uses, particularly if you want a bold line that wont bleed through paper, which is the only reason I use them at work. And I dont use them that often. However, this just might be the perfect marker for you. It depends on your needs. Perhaps someone, such as a teacher, specifically says to buy a Flair marker for class. In that case, write with Flair ... and keep out of the rain!
I hope you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
Attn: Consumer Affairs
2711 Washington Boulevard
Bellwood, IL 60104
Toll-free Phone (United States): 800-323-0749
Toll-free Phone (Canada): 800-668-4575 x 242
Please read my other reviews:
Sharpie Permanent Marker
Bic Round Stic Grip Pens
Xstamper VersaDater pre-inked stamp that says Received and the date
Fiskars 8" Soft Grip Scissors
Tombow White Correction Tape in Dispenser
Panasonic Portable Battery Pencil Sharpener
Stanley Contemporary Electric Pencil Sharpener
Elmers Rubber Cement
Scotch Double-Coated Tape
Rolodex Petite Card File with Cover
Sharp Calculator Solar with Battery Backup
Copyright 2004 Dawn L. Stewart