Using Sharpies for Lab Notebooks

We've covered the more traditional inking pen options best for using with your Vela lab notebook, but if you're looking for something easily accessible, here are a couple of types of Sharpies and how they can be best utilized to get the results you want.

Sharpie “S-Gel”

This type of Sharpie is available in three colors (black, red and blue), but only one medium width. They'll run you roughly $3 for a two-pack or $5 for a four-pack, which makes them a great budget option, but the trade off is that their lifespan is rather short with constant use.

Feel:  These write pretty smoothly. They don't work especially well on Vela labels, but for note taking or general notebook use, they're a great option.
Bleed: The pens had essentially zero bleed. They stayed exactly the same as when it was put down. 
Show-through: There was no show through to the other side of the page in testing.
Smear Test: This was probably the most impressive feature of these pens. There was no smear in the testing at all.

Overall, these are super nice for a gel pen option, especially considering the price.


Double-Sided Sharpies 

With double-sided Sharpies, there is the option of either the fine tip and or normal tip. Both show through the normal finch paper, but for use with Vela labels, these are the best option. They don’t smudge after about two seconds and they look really nice on the label. A six-pack will set you back around $10, making this another conscious option.

These weren’t very impressive. For the feel test, they were cheap and scratchy on the paper. Like the others, it didn’t show through the paper at all. In comparison to all the others, it was very cheap and felt worse than your average gel pen. Here is a photo of the Gelly Roll writing in comparison to the ink pens. The size is 06 and in comparison to the 05’s of the inking pens, it’s thinner and has a faded look to it. The quality is not great for note taking or really any other form of writing. It also does not work at all on the label.

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