What are Copic Dupes?
Copic dupes refer to any art pen which aims to replicate the notable elements of the Copic pen, these include:
- High quality alcohol ink
- Twinned nibs
- Chunky body
- Overall quality and aesthetic of the pen’s body
You might be interested in purchasing Copic dupes because the price point of authentic Copic markers is off-putting. It’s worth spending a little time exploring actually how much Copics cost over their lifetime, with the accumulated cost of refills offsetting the initial investment in the pens.
You may be interested in purchasing Copic Dupes because you are experimenting with alcohol-based markers and not willing to make the initial outlay required by Copic markers.
9 Alternatives to Copic Markers
- Art-N-Fly Brush Markers
- Arteza Everblend Art Markers
- Caliart Art Marker
- Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers
- Ohuhu Dual Tips Art Marker
- Kuretake ZIG KC-3000N Twin
- TOUCH TWIN Brush Pens
- Winsor & Newton Promarker
- MILO Art Marker Set Dual-Tip
There are many different makers of alcohol based marker pens, with more popping up all the time. With the key to buying alternatives to Copic Markers the relative price reduction, you will only ever get what you pay for. While it’s arguable the above don’t come up to the standard of the Copics, they are still good pens.
I’m sure you could find dirt cheap pens outside of this list, from a no-brand factory – but they just won’t be worth your time or money.
What are the Best Copic Dupes?
Looking across the pens available we’ve compiled a list of the top 3 Copic alternatives based on whats on offer.
Best Copic Dupe in 2020: Art-N-Fly Brush Markers
When we ordered this list by reviews score (which we have done in the past) these came in last of the markers we looked at, but only marginally and only due to a low number of reviews. Regardless, the Art-N-Fly Brush Markers come the closest when it comes to duplicating the Copics we know and love.
- Pens in set: 24
- Cost: Around $40
- Cost per pen: $1.60
- Total available colors: 90
- Refillable: Yes
What the Art-N-Fly Brush Markers have to recommend themselves is that they are refillable (unlike the other Copic Dupes in the list). This offsets the initial price point, making the pens cheaper with each refill, just like Copics.
The body of the Art-N-Fly Brush Markers are an attractive chunky hexagon, the facets making the pen a comfortable grip even for extended periods. Nibs included on each pen are brush tip and chisel tip.
They are by no means cheap when compared to the other dupes in this list, but still come in significantly cheaper than the average Copic marker.
Copic Dupe Runner Up One: Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers
The Prismacolor markers are of pretty good quality, with fine and brush nibs at your disposal. On average, they are in the midrange cost for Copic alternatives.
Example set as at July 2020:
- Pens in set: 12
- Rough cost: 20 Bucks
- Cost per pen: $1.66
- Total available colors: around 200
- Refillable: no
As with some other pens in this list, they aren’t refillable. As a result, over the long run they will work out more expensive than Copics, as refills bring the overall cost of a pen down. The circa 200 colours put the pens at the high end when it comes to Copic alternatives, but still falls short of the Copic range.
Copic Dupe Runner Up Two: ARTEZA Everblend Art Markers
ARTEZA Everblend Art Markers are regarded by many as being on par with the Caliarts above. The set we looked at for this comparison was the 36 grey set, which feature a lot of pure greys as well as a selection of blue greys.
- Pens in set: 36
- Cost: $31.99
- Cost per pen: $0.89
- Total available colors: 120
- Refillable: No
While there are 60 pens in the ARTEZA Everblend Art Markers we looked at, they come in a carry-case which can transport up to 72. ARTEZA list the nibs as being replaceable, but there’s no mention of the pens themselves being refillable.
The body of the pens are triangular with a chisel nib on one end and a fine nib on the other.
Copic Dupe Runner Up Three: Caliart Art Marker
The Caliart Art Marker pens we looked at were the set of 40 colors. They scored well in the reviews and . Like the well loved Copic design, these pens feature a nib on each end.
- Pens in set: 40
- Cost: $28.99
- Cost per pen: $0.72
- Total available colors: 120
- Refillable: No
The two nibs on the Caliart Art Markers are a broad chisel and fine point nibs. The caps carry color codes, but I can’t find any information on how this system works. The letters are straight forward enough, but the three digit number that follows is a mystery. The set of 40 also comes with a black ‘carrying case’.
What to look for when buying Copic dupes?
What you should look for when buying alternatives to Copic Markers depend on what attracts you to the Copic brand in the first place.
If you like the nature of alcohol ink, the way it blends and covers the paper, then the quality of the ink used in the alternative will be important.
Similarly, if the body of the pens is what is important to you, it is worth considering why. Copic pens are designed to fit in your hand and allow for precise work. The bodies of the Copic pens are also robust and secure, protecting the ink inside. Finally, the lids on Copic pens provide a really satisfying ‘click’ on closing, further protecting that precious ink inside. When considering which is the best Copic dupe, you will need to consider the build of the pen and how important it is to you.
The ongoing price of pens is another consideration. If you want a cheap, one time use pen then some of the Copic dupes listed above will work for you. However, if you are looking to get repeat use out of your pens and master the art of using them, refilling in the ink within them becomes a key consideration.
Why is the price so different when buying Copic dupes?
There’s no denying that Copic markers come at an increased price point when compared to the pens discussed above. The bottom line is that this comes down to the quality of the pens, including:
- The ink
- The pen body
- The brushes/nibs
The combination of the undeniable quality of the Copic pens, and their refillable nature immediately justifies the increased cost. Without trying the Copic dupes next to the originals, there’s no way of understanding just how much that difference in quality matters to you.
Which is the best Copic dupe?
The only long term challenger to the Copic throne listed above is the Art-N-Fly Brush Markers, which match the originals for their refillable properties. While they are the most expensive of the Dupes looked at here they are still considerably cheaper than the Copic (which average out at over $4 per pen). If they aren’t the cheapest why do I think these could be the best dupe out there?
While other pens market themselves as alcohol-based markers that make a striking resemblance to the Copic pens, the Art-N-Fly Brush Markers make their position on trying to unseat Copics clear. They even go as far as to point out the main difference between them and the alternative is that they aren’t spending so much on their advertising budget and so can pass the savings on to the customer. Are the Art-N-Fly builds, inks and parts as good as the original? The only way to tell is to give them a try and see.
Which alcohol markers are the best?
In terms of build, long term value and color quality, Copic markers are the undisputed champions of alcohol markers. They are expensive, but worth it in the long run.
It isn’t marketing alone which makes them stand out, just look at the artist who prefer them and what they can achieve.
At the same time, there’s no reason to not experiment with cheaper Copic alternatives. It’s worth comparing the sets available within alternatives as well – for instance you might be interested in working in Grayscale to start with, and some dupe sets will give you a range of grays.