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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sharpie's Liquid Pencil

I have a more than passing interest in notebooks (the actual paper kind, not the computers!) and writing implements of all types. I know, it's fairly geeky and I've been told that in the past as well, but that's never really stopped me before and it's not about to now. Walking through Staples the other day, I saw a new writing technological breakthrough that seemed to have some promise, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil!

Yes, you read that right, a liquid pencil. The packaging promises all of the advantages of regular pencils and none of the disadvantages. Well, I was sold. And this is how my dissappointment began. When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about the fantastic new "pencils" I had discovered, promptly brought out the fresh, new package I had purchased, tore it open and gave her one.

We quickly discussed the various methods in which a pencil lead could be turned into a liquid (my initial thought was that Sharpie had simply found a method to load a suspension of graphite in a solvent of some type), and immediately decided to test it out. Our first reaction was that although the writing action was fairly smooth, it was nowhere near an actual pencil. Our second reaction was that the lines drawn were simply too faint to really replace an real pencil. As advertised though, the liquid pencil was fully erasable, although on its own, that wasn't really a selling point for me.

I suspected that over time, the solvent would fully evaporate from the lines drawn on paper, making the liquid pencil a little more "permanent" and closer examination of the packaging led me to discover that Sharpie was also making the claim that the liquid pencil would eventually be as permanent as a regular Sharpie marker. Hmmmmm

Well, let me clear up that mystery right now... It's not!

In the end, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil seemed like a good idea, but it's not there yet. So save your money and get some regular pencils. You'll get what you pay for at least!

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