Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Permanent Marker Comparison

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it comparison

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Permanent Markers

Not too long ago, a reader of the site asked if I could do a Sharpie vs Bic Mark it comparison.  This sounded like a good idea since the Sharpie Permanent Marker and  Bic Mark it Permanent Marker are the most popular markers available.  I like the idea of comparing competing brands so I figured I’d give it a shot and hopefully give everyone some helpful information if they are looking to buy some permanent markers.

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Bodies Capped

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Bodies Capped

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Comparison

From a visual perspective both permanent markers look similar.  Color coordinated caps and grey bodies are the most noticeable features.  The slight differences are that the design and writing on the body of the markers differ with the Sharpie having black text on all of them, and the Bic Mark it having color coordinated text and markings.  The other noticeable difference is that the Bic Mark it has a color coordinated disc that plugs the back of the marker which is helpful in making sure you know what color you are grabbing from either side of the body.  Overall the body lengths while capped are just about identical.

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Bodies with Caps Posted

Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Bodies with Caps Posted

Once you uncap the two permanent markers some bigger differences are revealed.  The Bic Mark it contains the biggest difference, which is that the grip section has a rubberized and textured grip as compared to the Sharpies smooth plastic grip.  The Bic Mark it also has a slightly longer grip section.  One thing that is a little harder to notice from the picture alone is that the cap on the Bic Mark it posts slightly deeper onto the body of the marker.  Personally I do like the rubberized and textured grip better.


Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Comparison – The Biggest Surprise:

Sharpie vs Bic Mark It Test - 2 Weeks Uncapped Daily Writing Samples

Sharpie vs Bic Mark It Test – 2 Weeks Uncapped Daily Writing Samples

One of the interesting claims on the Bic Mark it Markers was that they say that they will not dry out after two weeks of being uncapped.   This sounds like an amazing claim, so we decided to test it out.  As you can see in the sample above, the Bic Mark it wrote perfectly every day, even beyond the claimed 14 days.  It looked like it would probably have kept going too.  The Sharpie didn’t do this, and you can see that it did dry out during the course of the test.  After being recapped for one full day it appeared to come right back to life.

Sharpie vs Bic Mark It 2 Sun Fade Test

Sharpie vs Bic Mark It 2 Sun Fade Test

Another test that we conducted in our Sharpie vs Bic Mark it comparison was done to see how well these permanent markers held up to exposure to sun light.  We drew straight lines of each color for both the Sharpie Permanent Markers and the Bic Mark it Permanent markers.  Next we folded the paper in half (you can see the crease line about half way down) and hung the paper in my window for two weeks.  Go ahead and click on the picture to see it up close. The Sharpies tended to fade more in the sun than the Bic Mark it markers did.  I think the blue really showed this behavior the most.

We did some other tests that were not as conclusive.   We tried pressing the tips hard to see if it impacted the softness of the tip making the pens write wider, and tried a running water test to see if it smeared the ink.  Neither the Bic Mark it markers or the Sharpies showed any ill effects from those two tests.  Overall it actually appears that the Bic Mark it Permanent Markers seem to have a slight leg up over the Sharpie markers in the tests that I did, but it is worth noting that I’m sure there are plenty of other tests that could be done.  I even had a few in mind but I felt bad that this review was taking me so long to get to after it had been requested, maybe I’ll do a follow up Sharpie vs Bic Mark it comparison with more tests one day.

If anyone has any additional questions or tests for round two of a Sharpie vs Bic Mark it Comparison just leave a comment or email us.



©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.


  1. 1
    Anita says:

    what about other tests around permanence… like are they resistant to water or being rubbed….

  2. 2
    Jack says:

    I’ve also noticed that the BIC Mark It tips don’t get smashed after a period of use like the Sharpie tips do.

  3. 3
    Abi says:

    I’ve noticed with Bic that it’s MUCH easier to find individual replacements than with Sharpie!

  4. 4
    Brian Greene says:

    @Abi – I should revisit these with those tests in mind, I’ll have to set some time aside.

    @Jack – That is something I didn’t test, but thank you for your feedback on that. Always great to get the point of view of others.

    @Abi – Now that you mention that, I do recall seeing individual stands in the stores with each color separately.

  5. 5
    carol says:

    I wish I had your positive experience with the bic mark it. The are a beautiful marker with a decent array of colors. But……I colored on primed canvas, colors were decent. When I sealed over it with acrylic polymer (common technique for me) the yellow , pink and orange smeared. Then the big issue is a week later when I attempt to use the markers again- half of them are dried out. This is so sad for me since I bought the 36 pack.

  6. 6
    Phare-Camp says:

    I use color permanent markers to draw in my mixed media artworks and to sign paintings (so the signature is non-obtrusive in the painting). I had found that the Bic markers run out of ink a lot faster than the sharpies so I prudently chose to use the sharpies over the Bic. But your color fast test changes everything! last thing I want is fading artworks especially my signature!!! Also the Bic don’t have a strong odor. Long hours with sharpies can give one a headache… now if only I could find them at the local staples; tried to find some for the Grandson for Christmas so we could decorate some tangles onto converse. There were none at the local michaels, staples or walfats; nor were there spots on the self for them. I wonder if Bic has discontinued them.

  7. 7
    Constance says:

    The 2 Bic markers I recently bought are all dried out.
    Very dissatisfied.

  8. 8
    Mea says:

    I like that the Bics are acid free- the Sharpies are not. Definitely something to consider for fine artists. I am a middle school art teacher and a painter, and I’ve used the Bic Mark It series with my students for the past two years. They have a tremendously high quality of pigment, and they saturate the paper beautifully. Between the odor, the acid, and the grip of the Sharpies, I have completely abandoned them in favor of the Bics. Bonus, Bics don’t carry the street cred of Sharpies and are less likely to be stolen. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *