Copic Multiliner SP vs. Sakura Pigma Micron


For the past few years, my go-to drawing pens when I travel have been the Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. They're extremely travel-friendly and conveniently sold in any art supply store, but I've never been completely satisfied with them. 

My problem with Micron pens is that no matter what nib size I use, I never feel as though I'm getting my money's worth. I'm a pretty rough illustrator and tend to wear down the nibs, or the ink dries up and I end up having to toss them out. This really irritates me, especially when I'm on the go and I don't have a backup. I also hate feeling wasteful due to the amount of Microns I've thrown away in my lifetime—I swear it has to be in the hundreds! *Slaps self for destroying the environment* 

But my main issue with these pens is the ink. Although they appear highly pigmented, if you do any amount of erasing the pigment grays down and never really sinks into the paper. Being a lover of everything high-contrast, this really aggravates me. I always have to go over my pen work to amp up the black, and it turns into a real time sucker.


But I recently remembered that I'd had a similar epiphany about 3 years ago and had purchased a set of Copic Multiliners SP Pens. So after rummaging through still-unpacked boxes from my move to Chicago, I found them! (Chime the heavenly cat meows!)

Yes, the ink had dried up and the nibs were destroyed...but fear not my Nesters, herein lies the beauty of these Copic pens: you can buy replacement nibs and ink refills!

So I ran to my nearest art supply store and bought all the parts necessary to resurrect my pens and they're as good as new! (More heavenly cat meows!)

I can't believe I forgot about these beauts. Once I started drawing with them again, a flood of joy washed over me and I couldn't wait to travel with them again.


So let's talk love— Copic Multiliner SP pens have a sleek aluminum body with a slight weight to them. They're more substantial than your average pen and they feel damn fine in your grip.

And unlike the washed-out pigmentation of Micron pens, the ink flow through the Mulitliner SP nibs is fluid and glides like butter across my drawing surface. You can really see the opaqueness of the black ink, which stays constant even when you're near the end of the inkwell (example drawing below). The ability to see the ink cartridge is very helpful and makes switching out inks easy and economical.

I love the fact that I've had these Multiliner SP bodies for a few years now, and all it took was a simple exchanging of parts for them to work as good as new. This kind of sustainability puts these pens on the same plain as my beloved Rapidographs, which are also refillable and have replacement parts, but aren't travel-friendly and three times more expensive.

But with all the pros, there are cons— the big con being the price point. The Multiliner SP is significantly more pricey than the Microns, coming in at just under $10 for a whole new pen with nib and refill, whereas Microns are around the $3 mark. Yes, they're an investment— but for high-performance, travel-friendly pens, I highly recommend them. I also find that these pens last much longer and do not dry out. So in the long run, the price points are actually relatively the same, with each Copic refill costing on average $3 USD—the same price as a new Micron.

I hope this helps! And if you've ever used a Copic Multiliner SP, please tell me your experience, whether you liked, loved or hated them. Or, if you've never used one and are solely a Micron user...maybe you can sway me back to the dark side (^.^)

**If you live in the US and have access to Blick, you're in luck! If you sign up for their membership (free for students), they send out a monthly 40% coupon which drops the price down to be very comparable to Microns. So why the hell not invest in one of these beauties and try one for yourself!  I know you won't be disappointed, and who knows—you may never be glamoured by that Micron again.