The best drywipe pens on test

best drywipe pens on test

We regularly test a wide range of drywipe marker pens to make sure we recommend the right pen for our whiteboard surfaces.

What makes a drywipe marker dry erasable?

The ink in drywipe or dry erase markers is typically made up of a mixture of alcohol, solvents, resin and pigments. The resin and pigments are soluble so dissolve in the alcohol and other chemicals in the marker, when applied to a dry erase surface the and exposed to air the alcohol evaporates leaving the pigment to solidify on the whiteboard where it can be wiped away.

These markers are only drywipe on a suitable dry erase surface, if used on a surface that absorbs liquids they will act as any normal ink or permanent marker would.

What makes a good drywipe marker?

In our opinion a good drywipe pen should do the following:

  • Writes well and fits the hand – as with all pens the ability to write well often comes down the size and shape of the pen, too chunky or too skinny and they can be hard to hold.
  • Good amount of pigment in the ink – levels of pigment can vary across brands of marker; a very heavy ink is much harder to clean and is more likely to stain.
  • Solvent levels – too much solvent can make the pens smell strongly when in use, too little and they don’t give chance for the pigment to dissolve in the pen and can leave a light streaky line of ink when writing.
  • Easy to clean – how well marker ink cleans is affected by the amount of pigment and solvent levels in the pen but also the way in which the whiteboard is cleaned (see our previous article for more information on cleaning)

What we use

Our recommended drywipe marker pens are the Edding 360 (medium tip) and 361 (fine tip) as we find they perform well on our whiteboard surfaces meet the points mentioned above.

We do however regularly test other brands to make sure we are recommending the right product. In our most recent tests we concluded that Edding pens remain our favoured choice but there are some good alternatives.


In our testing we look at how each brand of pens and the colours they supply perform on our drywipe surfaces. This includes our ThinkingWall and custom printed whiteboards.

We look at how the ink cleans with a dry cloth first as the pens are designed to be dry erasable. Cleaning sprays can be used but our first test would be a dry cloth over different time periods – 1 hour, 1 week and 1 month.

We also look at the aesthetics of the pen itself and how the ink looks on the whiteboard surface.

Images of each stage of our testing are below:

drywipe pen test

pen test 1 hour

pen test 1 week

test 1 month

Test results

Good colour, not too heavy
Simple, easy to write
Easy to clean
We recommend
Good colour, not too heavy
Awkward shape for writing
Easy to clean
Good but pen shape could be better
Good colour, a little heavy
Nice shape for writing
Difficult to clean, leaves ink behind
Dark heavy ink that is difficult to clean
Very light colour
A little chunky
Cleans well
Good but perhaps a little too light
Good colour, a little light
Simple, easy to write
Easy to clean
Good alternative to Edding
Light colour
Nib too soft, untidy writing
Leaves a greasy residue
Too light & leaves residue
Five Star
Very heavy ink
Nib too soft, untidy writing
Leaves a greasy residue
Too dark and leaves residue
Heavy ink
Bullet nib too large
Difficult to clean, leaves ink residue
Leaves very noticeable ink residue, harder to clean the longer ink is left
Heavy ink
Chisel tip too hard
Leaves ink residue
Too dark and leaves residue, chisel tip a little awkward to write with


Following our tests we would recommend Edding as the best drywipe marker pens for our whiteboard surfaces, they are a good combination of ink colour, ease of cleaning and how the pen handles. Staedtler would be a good alternative as they clean well although we found the ink to be a little light. The Nobo pens also performed well with good ink colour and easy to clean however we found the pen shape to be a awkward to write with.

The ones we would choose to avoid were the Foray, Niceday and Expo pens all had very heavy dark ink which was difficult to clean particularly the blue and red inks.

All pens perform differently and it isn’t the end of the world if ink leaves marks or residue, we can advise on the best way to clean boards and more information can be found in our cleaning article here.



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