Sometimes you want a highlighter with a certain chisel tip size to match the spacing in a dot grid notebook, larger highlighters for headings, thinner highlighters for underlining etc. I’d often want a highlighter at a certain tip size but could never remember the sizes for each of the many highlighters I’ve hoarded over the years. So here’s a list of the tip sizes for what seems to be the most popular highlighters (if there’s any missing on the list, please comment below, I may have the highlighter and just didn’t add it to the list if it’s not popular).
Keep in mind that the more you use highlighters (much like pens) you ‘break them in’ and the tips become not as sharp as they were when you first bought them. The angle and pressure you apply will affect the chisel thickness as well. I tried to apply full pressure to each of these so you see the ‘maximum’ thickness the highlighter can do.
Disclaimer: This list contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links I’ll receive a small commission in exchange for referring you.
I know it’s not a highlighter but I wanted to include the Tombow brush pens so you could see the different in thickness between brush pens and highighters. I gave up trying to hand-letter, I just couldn’t get it to look pretty like all those YouTube videos you see! So now I use them like highlighters.
Note: if you do want to use your brush pens for brush lettering, don’t use them as highlighters. Writing on notebook paper (not smooth) can make the tips blunt.
5mm chisel tip
Most dot grid notebooks have 5mm grid spacing so if you want a highlighter that doesn’t leave any white space in between the highlighter and the dots, use a 5mm chisel tip.
- Stabilo Boss Original & Stabilo Boss Original Pastel
- J Burrows (from Officeworks here in Australia)
- Staedtler Textsurfer Classic
- Monami 601 pastel & bright
- Big W
- Zebra Justfit
4mm chisel tip
- Stabilo Swing Cool pastel & bright
- Zebra Optex 2
- Zebra Mildliner
- DONG-A Twinliner Soft
- Uni Propus Window pastel & bright
- Ooly do-overs
- Monami Essenti Soft
- Tombow Kei Coat
- Faber-Castell Textliner 38
- Crayola erasable
- BIC marking
- Pentel handy-lines
- Foray erasable
- Texta ‘the original’
3.5mm chisel tip
- Pilot Spotliter 2
- Mitsubishi PROPUS 2
- Preppy platinum
- BIC brite liner grip
- DONG-A Miffy Twin Underliner
- Pilot Frixion erasable
- Staples Hype
3mm chisel tip
- Zebra Sparky-1
- Sharpie Smear Guard
- Daiso fluorescent pen
A reader asked which highlighter brands have ghosting or bleed through. Well that depends on what notebook or planner your using! If you don’t want any show through, choose a dot grid notebook with 160 GSM paper.
Most planners don’t have paper as thick as 160 GSM paper so you’ll probably have to live with some show through.
I did the above swatches in the Posy Paper dotted notebook. It has 105 GSM thick paper and all of the highlighters I tested have ghosting or bleed through.
More highlighter posts
- 6 Useful ways to efficiently plan your week using highlighters
- Brush pens versus highlighters: which is better for planning?
- Pens & Highlighters Smear Testing: Which ones don’t smear
- Best highlighters for planning
- Review of Frixion Erasable Highlighters by Pilot – are they worth the cost?
- Favorite erasable highlighters for planning
- Best pastel highlighters for planning and bullet journaling
- Highlighters vs. Highlighter Pencils: Are they worth the cost?
- Favorite dual tip highlighters for planning (roundup)
- 8 Ways to use highlighters for Bullet Journal Spreads
- 4 Similar (and cheaper) alternatives to the Zebra Mildliner Dual Tip Highlighters
- Best highlighters for bullet journaling
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