10 Best Highlighter Pens 2020

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Technology advances, just as our habits and preferences develop with it, but when it comes to manually underlining and highlighting text, we still rely on one simple tool: the highlighter pen.

Whether the text is printed from a printer or hand written, a highlighter can help us bring to life a favorite phrase or verse, give importance to a particular word or sentence and even show us our mistakes when we have written something incorrectly.

Rather than wasting money on a low-quality highlighter, you set out in search of something worth your money; a pen that won’t dry out after just a few uses.

In our guide, we will present you with the top highlighter pens and provide you with some useful tips that will help you choose the right one. Find out what brands you should consider (and which to avoid) and see which three highlighters made our “top 3” list!

Things to Consider When Buying Highlighter Pen

Before you head down and decide which is the best highlighter pen from our table, here are a few initial tips to help you find the right one:

  • Smearing. Keep in mind that some highlighters will cause the ink (or graphite) to smear. Some pens work better on certain printer inks or pencil markings than others do, so we’ll discuss this more in detail below the table.
  • Precision. Think about the thickness of the tip: for detailed highlighting, you will need a finer; shaper tip rather than a wider chiseled tip.
  • Bleeding. Bleeding is of great concern when you have text on the front and back side of a page in a book. Those who highlight Bible verses, for example, should opt for a pencil or gel highlighter since they do not bleed.

These features tie into the tips that we’ll be providing you below the table, so be sure to check them out after you have a look at the top ten highlighters in our table.

Top 10 Highlighter Pens Table

PictureNameTipMaterialPriceRating (1-5)
Picture
Name
Tip
Material
Price
Rating (1-5)
1. Eco Highlighter Pencils Jumbo Size Neon Color Pencils with Wooden SharpenerFinePencil$$$$4.6
2. Sharpie Accent Tank-Style Highlighters, 6 Colored HighlightersChisel (wide)Liquid$4.6
3. Accu-Gel Bible Highlighter Study Kit (Pack of 6) RoundedGel$$$4.5
4. Sharpie 27010 Accent Pocket Style Highlighter, Fluorescent Blue, 12-PackChisel (narrow)Liquid$$$4.5
5. HI-LITER Pen Style, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, Box of 24 Chisel (medium)Liquid$4.5
6. Sharpie 1803278 Accent Gel Highlighter, Assorted Colors, 3-PackRoundedGel$$4.5
7. BIC Brite Liner Highlighters, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, 5-CountChisel (narrow)Liquid$4.4
8. Sandford Bible Highlighter Kit - 4 Colors Dry Pencil Non-Bleed FinePencil$$$4.3
9. Sharpie Accent Retractable Highlighters, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, 8-Count Chisel (narrow)Liquid$$4.3
10. Zebra Eco Zebrite Double-Ended Highlighters, Assorted Colors, Chisel and Fine Point, 5-Pack-75005 Chisel & FineLiquid$$4.2

Pay Attention to These Details

If you want the best highlighter pen, it all comes down to the small details.

  • Tips. The most common tip is the chisel. It comes in narrow version and wider versions.

Sharpie’s Accent Highlighter (left) has a narrower chisel while their tank highlighters (right) have a wider chisel.

Finer pointed tips are also available (sometimes referred to as “bullet” tips) as are rounded tips, but since we’ve labeled the type of tip each highlighter has in our table, it should be easy for you to distinguish them.

  • Material. You’ll also notice that we’ve included the pen material in our table, referring to either liquid, gel or pencil highlighters.
    • Liquid. There is a greater chance of smearing when you opt for a liquid highlighter, so it is best to check the packaging to see if the manufacturer has labeled it as a “no smear” highlighter.

These are more versatile than the other types since you’ll find them with a wider selection of tips, colors, and designs (i.e. retractable versions); however, they are not the most suitable choice for papers with text printed on both sides due to bleeding issues. They also dry out faster, especially if you forget to return the cap.

    • Gel. These are great when you want to avoid bleeding and smearing issues completely. Many who need highlighters for Bible study opt for either gel or pencil highlighters, although the gel can sometimes leave crumbs on the paper that you’ll need to blow or shake off (avoid wiping, as you risk smearing and highlighting unwanted areas of the paper).
    • Pencil. For precise highlighting without the risk of bleeding or smearing, pencil highlighters are your best bet.

While they do eliminate the bleeding and smearing problem, the fact that they are fine means that you’ll need to pass over wider sections of text more times to highlight everything.

Top 3 Best Highlighter Pen Reviews

1. Stubby Eco Highlighter Pencils Neon Color

There are many reasons to love these pencil highlighters from Stubby Pencil Studio, and all of them earned them first place in our list of the top three.

With these, you don’t have to worry about bleeding, smearing or over-highlighting a certain area due to a thick tip. These pencils can be sharpened to a fine tip (and we love that they come with their own sharpener), allowing you to highlight smaller text on documents, in textbooks, on Bible pages or any other paper where you want to highlight the fine print.

Another reason to love these pencils is that they are biodegradable and made from non-lacquered wood. Even the wrapper they come in is biodegradable!

If you have precision highlighting needs and would like to make a smaller environmental footprint, this is the best highlighter pen set for your money.

2. Sharpie Accent Tank-Style Highlighters

Of course, Sharpie made out top three! They make plenty of great highlighters, and if you’re in need of the classic wide chisel liquid pens, these are perfect.

We liked the color selection: Fluorescent Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, Pink and also regular non-fluorescent yellow. The fluorescent shades are lighter (more pastel) whereas the regular yellow has more pigment for a darker effect.

While the do dry quickly and the tips are well designed, just remember the limitations and cons that we mentioned earlier when it comes to using a liquid highlighter.

They’re great for one-sided documents but might smear on inkjet printed text.

3. Accu-Gel Bible Highlighter Study Kit

Our final suggestion is this set of gel highlighters from Accu-Gel.

They’re actually marketed as Bible highlighting pens, but of course, you can use them on any double-sided text where you don’t want the highlighter to bleed and show through to the other side.

Some complained about the rounded tip (the fact that it is too round and therefore wider); however, if you find a pencil sharpener that it will fit into, you can try sharpening it lightly as needed.

They definitely do a great job, and apart from the tip issues, there were excellent highlighters!