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Staedtler Triplus Colour 323 SB20 Fibre-Tip Pen Desktop Box – Assorted Colours (Pack of 20) were kindly sent to me by Staedtler and here’s everything you need to know about them. According to the Staedtler website, these pens are dry-safe (except the neons) meaning they can be left uncapped for days with drying up, I’ve not tested this on any of my precious pens though. They come in 20 different colours (shown below) + 6 neons and are available in packs of 6, 10 and 20 and come in the special Staedtler stand up boxes (pictured below) which are ideal for ease of use so you can see all of your colours, access them easily when using them and then tidy them away neatly, all in their original packaging. The pens have water-based ink so they’re washable, they don’t bleed unless used on very thin paper and are odourless meaning there’s no getting high or headachey when using them like there is with solvent-based pens. They have a 1.00mm line thickness. They have a pressure-resistant bullet tip which I can attest to being very good and after a lot of use, the tip hasn’t changed shape in any way and no feathering of any kind has occurred, there are no stray ‘hairs’ causing those horrid stray coloured lines over the edges of where you’re colouring and the shape of the nip means that if you use the very end you can colour into much smaller spaces than you’d expect or cover larger areas by using it at more of an angle.
The colours of the Staedtler Fibre-Tips are perfectly matched to the Staedtler Fineliners which is very handy for images with small and large spaces so that you can use the fineliners for the detailed sections and the fibre-tips for the larger areas for seamless colour continuity (see the images below using both). The barrels of the triplus fineliners are silver and the cap and end is the colour of the ink, in contrast, the barrels of the Steadtler Fibre-Tip Pens is the colour of the ink and the caps are dark blue so they’re easily distinguishable from each other (see below). The barrel colour is not accurate on all of these pens so always ensure you test them on some scrap paper or create a colour chart first to avoid disappointment or using the wrong colour accidentally. The colour range is great and most of them are really bright and vibrant however, the purple is very dark and 3 browns in a set of 20 colours seems a little excessive.
When I first started using these pens I really didn’t get on with them because they were so wet and were causing the paper in my books to crinkle and were close to feathering. They were also especially streaky and the light colours like the pink, orange, lightest blue and green were incredibly difficult to get an even coverage from. However, this did ease off with use and I now have no problems with them at all and they lay down colour fairly evenly, though, as with all felt-tips/markers, they do go a little streaky and create darker patches when you unavoidably overcolour certain areas. These pens are very good quality and feel very different from the felt-tips we all used as children that ran out as soon as you looked at them and caused terrible feathering. Sadly, these pens are only available in 20 colours which is a pretty limited range but they are a great starter set and they’re really worth adding to your collection because of the quality and ease of use.
One thing that I discovered by accident was that these pens are not remotely lightfast. As you’ll see in the close-up below I left this colour tester I had created with a ruler over half of it by a window with the sun shining through it for a few hours and this is the result. I only discovered this because I accidentally left one of my coloured images in the sun and saw that the colours had changed after very limited amounts of time in the sun (the orange and pink are worst affected, followed by the purple, all of which are majorly affected within a few hours). Please do bear this in mind if you’re wanting to colour images that you’re going to frame or expose to light in any way for any prolonged amounts of time because your image will be spoiled very quickly. These are the only pens I’ve noticed this with though so there are plenty of alternatives and if you’re leaving your images in the books then this isn’t an issue at all.
All in all, these are a great set of pens that are easy to use, and ideal for matching up with the Staedtler Fineliners which I have reviewed here. The colours are bright and vivid and once the wetness has died down with use, they give a much smoother, more even coverage and are by far the best felt-tips I’ve used yet. The box is an added bonus because it makes it so much easier to use the pens when they’re stood up in their box and it means you don’t have pens strewn all over your colouring area. I would strongly recommend purchasing these pens if you’re wanting to start using felt-tips and in terms of set size, I would advise getting the biggest set you can because they’re usually the best value for money and you’ll always need more colours. I hope this review will have answered any of the questions you may have had but if you have any more then feel free to leave a comment below (make sure you sign up to email updates so you get notified when I respond) or connect with me on Facebook.
Some of the most useful and best priced sets can be found on Amazon at the links below.
Staedtler Triplus Colour 323 SB20 Fibre-Tip Pen Desktop Box – Assorted Colours (Pack of 20)
Staedtler 323SB10P Triplus Color Fibre-Tip Pens 8+2 Stand-Up Box
Staedtler triplus color assorted neon colours – pack of 6 pens