Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners
Number of markers: varies
Review by Lucy Fyles
STABILO Point 88 Fineliner Ballpoint Pen – Assorted Colours (Wallet of 30) are from my personal collection and were the first colouring mediums I bought when I got into adult colouring. They’ve remained my firm favourite ever since. Here’s why.
These pens have a 0.4mm rounded nib and come in 30 different colours, including 5 neons which are truly neon and very glowy! They can be purchased in various different sizes from individual all the way up to the full set of 30. The pens are a distinctive golden yellow hexagonal design with white-striped corners and ink-coloured caps and ends. They also have the shade number written on them, making it easy to find replacements.
These pens are super smooth to use and not only beautiful for writing, but also for colouring or doodling. Having heard from a lot of people who use fineliners, I’ve discovered that both these and those made by Staedtler are like Marmite — you either love them or hate them. Almost everyone significantly prefers one brand over the other, but it’s about a 50:50 split. My personal preference is the Stabilos. I hold the pen very upright when I colour and write; this may be why I prefer them, since the Stabilo nib is flatter than the Staedtler fineliners.
According to the Stabilo website, the pens have a long cap off time. I’ve not tested this as I don’t want to waste a pen! The cap fits on the end of the pen snuggly so you won’t lose it while you’re colouring. The cap colours are a very accurate representation of the ink colour. The inks themselves are really bright and vibrant — much more opaque than other brands. The ink flows very smoothly, with no pooling, blobbing or stopping randomly halfway through your project. They dry really quickly on the page.
The ink is water-based, so it’s fairly good at not bleeding through paper. This does depend, however, on how much pressure and over-colouring you do in an area, and also the paper quality. They will bleed through thin paper, so always test in an inconspicuous place first. I’ve found these pens to have very light-fast – I regularly leave coloured images out on my table by my window and haven’t noticed any discolouration at all. So you can colour with these for images you want to frame.
The range of colours is fabulous with a great selection of greens and blues, but I do wish there was a yellowy-orange and a pale pink. And perhaps a neon blue? I haven’t found any pens in my sets to be at all scratchy or difficult to use. They are a joy to colour with; they don’t look streaky or gappy. They’re a good thickness for colouring very detailed images that have super thin linework. Because the pen barrel is thin, you can really see where you’re colouring so you don’t go over the lines.
In addition to the regular size, the pens are also available in a handy mini size in 23 colours, including the 5 neons. As with the larger size, they are available in a number of differently sized and packaged sets. They are even available in 4 erasable colours! These pens seem to match up perfectly colour-wise with the Stabilo 68’s, which are felt-tips.
The Stabilo fineliners are by far my favourite fineliners out of the 7 different brands I now own. Because there is such a difference in preference of Stabilo vs Staedtler, my best advice would be to read my reviews of both (Steadtler finliner review can be found here) and then purchase a single pen of each and see which you prefer before investing in a full set.
Lucy is a UK member of my Facebook group, Coloring Books for Adults. She reviews books specifically for those suffering from mental illness. Lucy is able to bring a unique viewpoint to this target group, as both a person who suffers from her own severe anxiety disorder, and as someone who has worked with psychiatric inpatients. You can read Lucy’s blog for more information, or connect with her through Facebook.
(Since the UK uses the alternate spelling of “colour”, you’ll find “coloured pencils” and other alternate spellings used in her reviews.)
Do you have these markers? What do you think of them? Let us know in the comments!