Which is Better: Copic or Prismacolor Markers?

Aug 19, 2021 | 0 comments

If you reached this article, chances are you are close to purchasing either the Copic or Prismacolor markers but still can’t make up your mind which one to choose. Don’t worry, we’ll get rid of your doubts and help you make a decision by the end of this post.

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Table of Contents

What are Prismacolor Markers?

What Are Copic Markers?

Copic or Prismacolor Markers? Their Similar Features

Copic or Prismacolor Markers? Their Many Differences


What are Prismacolor Markers?

Prismacolor markers are affordable and saturated alcohol-based markers that come in a variety of colors. You can buy them individually or in sets.

These are perfect for projects that need to be bright and vivid because Prismacolor markers have vibrant colors. They are also easy to blend and smudge-proof.

What Are Copic Markers?

Copic markers are highly popular because of their superb quality. These are alcohol-based markers that are initially made for manga artists that soon became well-loved by professional illustrators, artists, and designers.

Copic markers have a wide selection of colors and their ink and nibs are refillable and replaceable, which is really what makes them worth the price.

Copic or Prismacolor Markers? Their Similar Features

Now that we know the basics of what these markers are, let’s explore their similarities.

Available in Many Colors

Copic and Prismacolor markers have a wide range of colors.

Prismacolor Art Markers have 200 colors available, while Copic Markers come with 358 colors. Your color choices are wide for both brands, I’m sure you’ll find the color you need!

Alcohol-Based Ink

Both markers have alcohol-based ink and in general, this ink type is better at blending compared to others. This is what makes these markers great for artworks that require gradients and fine detailing. Both markers are also unlikely to give streaks because they are quick-drying and are great for layering to get darker shades.

Alcohol-based markers work great for graphics and illustration work.


Both the Copic and Prismacolor markers have double-ended tips so they are both more functional and more versatile. As both tips have different nibs, you are basically getting two for the price of one.

Online Availability

Both brands are easy to find and purchase online so you won’t have any trouble getting them.

Copic or Prismacolor Markers? Their Many Differences

Let’s dive into the differences between these markers.

Marker Types

Both markers offer a lot of variations and provide a lot of versatility and practicality.

Prismacolor Markers

The Prismacolor brand has different types of markers you can choose from. They have a set called Premier Gray which features 12 shades of gray – an ideal set for artists who love to draw in black and white. There’s the Premier Illustration Markers that offers up to 200 colors and feature two nib sizes for all kinds of artwork and projects. And there’s the Fine Art variation with chisel or brush nibs that comes in 196 colors. You have many options to choose from depending on your needs.

Copic Markers

For Copic Markers, there are four variations available.

  • Classic: This variation offers 214 colors and comes with fine and broad tips.
  • Sketch: This variation has 358 rich and saturated colors. The markers come with a medium broad and super brush tip. You can fit a medium round nib in this variation but you have to purchase the nib separately. This variation is often used for fashion design sketches, landscape, calligraphy, and manga drawings.
  • Ciao: This variation is the cheapest and the basic starter marker in the Copic line. The markers have excellent quality and have dual-tips: super brush and medium broad nibs. This variation offers 180 colors.
  • Wide: This variation is the ideal option if you need to create broad lines and coloring large areas. Each marker has a broad calligraphy nib and an 18-mm nib.


Prismacolor Markers

This brand offers a total of 200 color tones. The colors are blendable so you can get different shades by mixing different colors.

Copic Markers

Copic offers a total of 358 colors, which is a huge difference compared to the Prismacolor markers, and you can blend them, too!

Barrel Shape

The barrel shape is an important factor that most people forget to take into account. So here’s how both markers differ.

Prismacolor Markers

Almost all of the Prismacolor markers have similar large, rounded barrels that are comfortable to grip and easy to glide through paper.

The Premier Illustration variation has thinner barrels, though, that is ideal for precision and making fine lines.

Copic Markers

The shape of the barrels of the Copic markers varies in each variation. The Classic type has a large, squared barrel. The Sketch set comes with oval barrels. The Ciao markers are small and come with a rounded-shaped barrel. And finally, the Wide variation has flat and oval barrels.


If you are curious about the longevity of both markers, here’s the tea.

Prismacolor Markers

The main difference between these two markers is that Prismacolor markers are not refillable, so if you’ll run out of ink, you’ll have to purchase a new marker. But the good thing about Prismacolor is that a marker can last for a very long time, so depending on how much you use them, it can be with you for months to years.

Copic Markers

Copic markers are refillable and this is what sets them apart from Prismacolor markers.

The Classic variation can be refilled up to 9 times, the Broad set can be refilled 7 times, and the Sketch and Ciao sets can be refilled up to 15 times.

The nibs of each marker can also be replaced if they stop working. So in terms of lifespan, Copic markers are superior.

Price and Availability

This is also one of the determining factors that finalize a buyer’s choice. Let’s explore both brands.

Prismacolor Markers

Prismacolor Markers are considered one of the most affordable high-quality alcohol-based markers in the market. The markers cost around $2.50~$3.00 each and this is one reason why artists choose this brand instead of the other.

As for availability, Prismacolor is available in many local art supply stores and online shops like Amazon.

Copic Markers

Copic markers are not as affordable and widely available compared to Prismacolor. It is actually harder to find them, even online. If you are on a budget, Copic markers will make your wallets cry.


Prismacolor Markers

The downside of Prismacolor is that the markers are not refillable and the nibs are not replaceable. When you run out of ink or if the nibs stop working for a reason, you will have no other choice but to purchase a new one.

Another thing is that Prismacolor markers have a noticeable odor. And the main drawback of these markers is that sometimes, you can see the overlap lines.

Copic Markers

Copic markers are professional-grade markers that are great for all-around use. The only downside is that they are crazy expensive and a little bit harder to find than the Prismacolor markers.


There are a few similarities and a world of differences when choosing between Copic or Prismacolor markers.

Although Copic Markers are clearly more superior than Prismacolor Markers when it comes to blend-ability, ink quality, and longevity, the main factor that will affect a buyer’s purchasing decision is the price point of the products.

That’s why Prismacolor is a viable option for those on a budget because you get good quality alcohol-based markers that can pass as Copic dupes for a more affordable price.

However, if you want to have superior quality for markers and don’t mind paying a hefty price, you should definitely give Copic markers a go.

At the end of the day, the choice comes down to you and your preference. Each marker has its pros and cons and both are unique in their own ways.

So what will you choose, Copic or Prismacolor Markers?

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