I've been using Copic Multiliners for the longest time because they are widely available here in Singapore and the price is very competitive with other brands. They have been my go-to pens for dark waterproof inks before I discovered waterproof ink for fountain pens.
Shown above are the two types of Copic Multiliners, sometimes also referred to as fine-liners or technical pens. The one with the plastic body is the disposable one and the refillable one is known as the Multiliner SP.
The price advantage of the disposable
Here in Singapore, the price of the Multiliner SP is 3 times that of the disposable one. So it doesn't make any sense to get the refillable version. Also, the ink cartridge itself is priced quite close to the disposable. Note that you also need to pay for the replaceable nibs. Usually by the time I use up the ink inside the Multiliner SP, it's also time to change the nib and the total cost of replacing ink and nib works out to be more expensive than the disposable.
I've checked online prices for these pens and it seems that at most places, the cost of refill and tip replacement does not differ too much from getting a single disposable. There's the argument of those disposable not being friendly to the environment but if the company Copic actually is interested in helping the environment, they would have set a lower price for the Multiliner SP.
Another advantage of the disposable is, since it's more affordable, you can actually buy backups (that come with new tips).
In terms of performance, I feel that the pen tip on the disposable one is more durable.
Both disposable and SP offers tips sizes from 0.03mm to 1.0mm. There are the small and medium brush.
As with incredibly tiny tips, they are fragile and it would be really unwise to drop the pen. The brush pen tips are made of firm sponge-like material and they are quite stiff but very usable.
From the left to the right are the new, used and worn out tips. When the tip is new, it's round and you can use the pen from any angle. As it wears often, I often find that the tip becomes flat and the only way to draw with them is to hold them vertically like a Chinese brush. There are times when I have worn out the tips before the ink gets used up.
These tips are best used on smooth paper to maintain the shape of the felt tip for a longer time. If you use it on fine grain paper or even coldpress watercolour paper, be prepared to wear out the tips fast, especially so for smaller tip sizes.
When drawing on paper, there's a tactile feel and not much sound.
The ink is nice. it's rich black and very dark. It's pigmented and waterproof, safe for use with Copic markers and watercolour or other wet medium. Ink flow is also good. On lousy paper, you can put the tip on the paper for prolonged period and you won't create a blob. Technical pens that use liquid ink, such as the Rotring Tikky and Rotring Isograph will have the ink spread on paper where the tip is and create a blob.
On smooth paper, the lines are solid with sharp edges. In the sketch above, note the thin lines that I've created with a worn out pen tip by using it at an angle. To get the thick lines, I have to use the same pen vertically. For me, it's more comfortable to use pens at tilted angles like how I normally write with pens so it's awkward to sketch with the pen vertically for a extended period of time.
For rougher paper, such as fine grain or coldpress watercolour paper, the pen tip is unable to reach the bottom of the tooth of the paper and hence it creates lines with rough edges.
The Copic Multiliner is has good ink flow when the tip is new and ink is dark and waterproof. I prefer the disposable because it seems to last longer and it's also more economical in the long run, at least for the price they are selling for in Singapore.
The downside is sometimes the felt tips do get wear off quite fast.
But overall, the Copic Multiliner is a good technical pen that I can easily recommend. However, I can't say the same for the Multiliner SP because of the price.
You can find Copic Multiliners with the direct product links below.
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp
If you want to buy them, I hope you can do so through my Amazon affiliate links. It gives me some commission that enables me to continue to put out reviews like this. I don't like to ask for free stuff to review for integrity purposes.
Submitted by maria on
Thanks for the reviews, I appreciate having someone who gives impartial first hand opinions about products before I try them.
I wonder if we left it to companies to care for the environment we would have much environment left soon:
I have several microliners I loved (Pigma micron, Unipin) which have stopped working whilst still full of ink (maybe I'm more heavy-handed than you). I loathe having to bin them and dump all that plastic and ink with the rubbish.
I've looked for alternatives, and the copic multiliner seems quite a good option: I can replace the nib when worn, I can replace the ink with a new cartridge. I can even buy different nib sizes if I fancy a change in future...
To me, the extra money spent is a minor consideration, as this pen will last a lifetime, and hopefully I'll get to use up the ink of each cartridge. Also, I like fancy pens and copic multiliner sp metal body feels solid, heavy, quite nice to hold.
By the way, I've researched ways to recycle my biro pens and it seems Bic has a scheme to recycle disposable pens of any brand (https://www.bickids.com/en/bic-terracycle) at least in UK.
Maybe there are some similar options in other countries? Or they could be started...
Submitted by Teoh Yi Chie on
Most companies don't really care about the environment. Many of such disposable pens are just made to be thrown. Not many people will make the effort to just recycle the pen that they've just used anyway.
I think if more people choose
Submitted by david on
I think if more people choose the refillable pen, the price eventually goes down relative to the disposable. A fair number of artists need to make that jump, be brave and bold in the environmental artists’ movement. Let’s do our part and choose quality, reusable items. Stand together, be bold!
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