Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jot Permanent Markers (Dollar Tree)

8 markers for a buck?! Best of all, they even work!
I go through phases where I burn lots of CD’s (or DVD’s), and then don‘t burn anything for a few months.  The only reason I ever need markers are to label the discs.  For this reason, my last set of markers, two Sharpie fine points, lasted me almost five years.  But once they finally ran out, it was time to look for a replacement.  I easily could have just taken some from work, and I did that for a bit, but ended up losing them, or disliking the quality, so I figured I would just see if I could find some on the cheap.

Well I did, on a trip to Dollar Tree, where I discovered an 8-pack of Jot’s Permanent Markers.  Not surprisingly, I had never heard of the brand, but considering a single name-brand marker is upwards of a dollar by itself, I figured they would be worth a shot…even if I only could label a handful of CDs with each one, that would get me through at least 100, which would last me well over a year.

I can’t say how long they’ll last me, as I’ve only had them about three months, long enough to only label about ten CDs, but I figured I would post some early thoughts, then adjust the score as the months wear on, and the markers wear out.  Do I have enough dedication to remember to do this?  Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

The cool thing are the range of colors that come with these markers.  For a dollar, you don’t just get 8 blacks, or 8 of a single color; you get an entire rainbow, ranging from red, to black, and just about every main color in between.  The markers themselves look very vibrant and inviting…but how do they look when used?

The main difference I noticed is that, at least on the face of a disc, the colors are much lighter than they appear, and don‘t have much “pop“, at least compared to the national brand.  This didn’t bother me much whatsoever, but instead of a crisp, dark blue, the blue is rather bland, and much lighter than the outside color would suggest.  This isn’t just limited to blue--this is a problem across the board.  I will say that this could simply be due to the glossiness of the disc, as they did seem to perform much better on paper, but the national brands also seem to work much better on disc surfaces.

I’ve seen online reviews of this where people have complained one (or more) of the colors are dry upon opening.  I have to say that all of mine worked perfectly right out of the package, but it’s worth tossing out there that there may be some quality control issues (which shouldn’t be too surprising given the price point).  Still, even if half of them didn’t work, you’ve only ended up paying a quarter per marker, which still isn’t a bad deal at all.

Overall: 8/10.  This review is subject to updates, given the markers’ long-term performances, but right out of the package, color me impressed; all eight of the markers worked, and are perfect for labeling discs.  The colors are a bit weaker when used on a CD, but perform much better on paper, so it might just be on glossy surfaces.  The ink dries quickly and doesn’t smear, two required characteristics of a “permanent” marker.  For $1, this is an outstanding deal.  I wish they would be available in fine-tip, but given the price point, I won’t complain much about that.

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