Posca Pens Review: Are they Worth It?

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

While Copic and Posca are dominating the art markets in category “markers” I’d like to addmy two cents. I have a controversial posca pens review.

I absolutely confirm that posca pens are of high quality acrylic-based markers but they are not worth the money, I’ve enjoyed much cheaper alternatives.

I had a few Posca markers before and last year I also bought 2 sets of Posca in Japan – directly where they are made.

My Honest Posca Pens Review

Posca are probably one of the most popular pens – around 135,000 people are looking for them online monthly!
How did that happen? They were launched in 80s and that’s part of their popularity – long history and good branding backed up by amazing colors and diverse product line.

The formula was so successful that they haven’t changed it since!

The popularity also came because they were “on the streets”, they were trying to connect with creators who made graffiti. They became a universal tool that can allow you to express yourself on virtually any surface.

posca vs artiqo vs artistro
Cute flowers I drew with Posca

But at the same time, today in 2020s we have an abundance of water-based pens and I think Posca have really strong competitors that are just less known!


Started with only 22 colors, today Posca color range is 66 colors, including metallic, fluorescent and glitter colors.

I love how they have a set of regular colors (primary + secondary) and then a similar set but in pastel – cute colors! I have both!

posca paint pens review colors
My Posca 3M regular colors set
posca paint pens review colors
My Posca 5M pastel set

Colors stay vibrant and adhere nicely to paper, canvas, wood, rocks, walls, ceramics, fabric, windows and glass, and even to the car body!

However, please note that posca are not certified, tested or safe to use on skin of your face or body.

Occasional marks will cause no harm, but intentional use on your face or hands is not recommended.

Permanence and durability

The ink is water-based but it is water-resistant and UV-resisntant once dry, so Posca don’t fade easily. On porous surface they are permanent!

The caps are nice and easy to close tight, which is super important as some other brands of marker struggle with an efficient pen design while it is vital! If not properly closed the pens will dry out.

posca paint pens review

On non-porous surfaces like glass or plastic you can still wash them off unless you use fixative or bake it (if it is ceramics).


Note that today Posca come in 8 sizes (0,7 mm; 0,7-1 mm; most common 0,9-1,3 mm; 1,8-2,5 mm; 4,5-5,5 mm; 1-10 mm; 8 mm; 15 mm) and 5 different tip shapes (chisel, rectangular tip, brush tip, round tip, pen tip).

posca paint pens review tips
Posca 3M on the left and 5M on the right.


Probably the top question on Posca is why are posca pens so expensive? Truly, why?

I don’t have the official statement but what I assume the price is high because of a few factors:

  • the production is still located in Japan. They have very strict quality standards and checks there and I assume the production costs will be relatively high, especially if you compare production in Japan vs in China.
  • the history of the brand and the branding. I’m sure it is a constant effort of a large team and a lot of effort and budget was and still is allocated for marketing.

Currently a set of Posca pens (12 colors) is around 20-30 USD. While my favorite acrylic paint pens are 10 USD.

My overall experience

To be fair, my 3 sets of Posca didn’t dry out, bleed or cause me much issues. They do work amazingly.

posca paint pens review

However, they do not work expetionnally better than any other acrylic paint pens. So ultimately, for those on a budget and not caring about the brand and using “iconic pen”, I would absolutely recommend to look for alternatives.

I also found that while Posca are great, on paper and canvas they sometimes do not cover well and make nice lines and when I chatted with fellow artists, they said the same!

How was your experience with Posca? Or do you prefer another brand? Share in comments!