My mother bought some Tiger Twin alcohol markers from her local Tiger store and was so impressed with them that she bought me some too!
Because these pens were VERY cheap, I didn’t really expect them to be great.. but I got quite a shock.
Here is a review of these new alcohol markers, and comparisons to other popular markers.
The pens come in a pack of 3, all within a colour family. There are currently just 18 different colours available (I have 12 of them so far). Obviously this is a lot less than other brands, so perhaps they will widen it later on.
There is very little information on the packaging, it does not even say they are actually alcohol markers. Mind you, once you remove the cap you would be in no doubt as they are really quite strong smelling, more than the Copics (I can’t smell the Spectrum Noirs and Promarkers at all). It is not obnoxious, just a bit stronger than I am used to.
The barrels are square (so they don’t roll off the table) and quite large, a little larger in diameter than original Spectrum Noirs, for example. They fit in to my Art Bin marker storage case and the Meeden Professional Marker Case. They also fit in my new Togood Marker Pen Storage Tote, but then pretty much all pens do!
Whilst they do look a bit chunky, they are actually fine to hold, and I do not have big hands. On each end of the pen there is a plastic “button” in the colour of the ink, with the pen number on it. The “buttons” are not always a very good match to the actual pen colour though. The lightest of the two pinks is number 34 and is a an amazing electric pink when used. This unicorn (stamp from the Lawn Fawn Ever After set) was coloured in with this pink. Far brighter than the plastic cap suggests but a really cool colour though, and I don’t have anything like it in my other marker brands.
One end of the Tiger Twin alcohol makers has a large chisel nib. It is a wee bit wider than my other marker chisel nibs. Here is a picture to compare this nib to those of some other leading marker brands.
The other end has a bullet tip. There is a thin grey line around the barrel to help you identify this end. This tip is quite soft, so whilst it is not as flexible as a Copic marker’s brush tip, it is softer than a Spectrum Noir or Promarker bullet tip. It is quite pointed so is good for small areas. Here are comparison pictures of all four brands.
The pens blend beautifully, both with the rest of the range and with other brands of alcohol markers. Obviously the limited range of colours means that if one only owned these markers then one would be limited as to what subjects could be coloured. There are, for example, no “flesh tones”.
The colours are vibrant and smooth. They are not refillable and there does not appear to be any option for replaceable nibs.
As of 2015, the Tiger Twin Alcohol Markers cost £2 for 3 pens, here in the UK. This makes them cheaper than any other brand I have seen for sale here. (see 2019 update at bottom of the page)
Each packet contains pens that end in number 1, 4 and 7. So the blues are 41, 44 and 47 and the reds are 21,24 and 27. The available packs are red/pink, blues, greens, yellow/orange, purples and grey/black.
For someone who has been considering trying alcohol markers but is perhaps daunted by the price, these would be an ideal introduction. For a £4 investment one could get the green pack and the reds (or yellows or purples) and be able to colour beautiful flowers, for example. Get the greys and orange/yellows and you can colour many animal stamps in. The full set would still be only £12. And of course you can continue to use these pens with other brands you buy in the future.
As I have a lot of other markers, I am going to pop my Tiger twin alcohol markers into my crafting travel bag to take with me to my craft club. I will not fret about them getting lost like I might more expensive markers (or stolen!). Having said this, I have found myself wanting to use them wherever possible simply because they really are very nice to use. I do love that soft bullet tip, and the lovely colours.
Summary of Tiger Twin Alcohol Markers
In summary, whilst these are not professional quality markers like Copics or Promarkers, and they do have a very limited colour range, they are pleasant to use, beautiful colours and definitely a useful addition to a marker collection. Especially recommended for colorists who are on a tight budget.
If you would like to see some great colouring tutorials by the experts with alcohol markers, check out my post 5 Amazing Copic Colouring Video Tutorials – full of useful hints and tips for use with all brands of alcohol markers.
Update – 29 April 2019
I visited Tiger yesterday (now called Flying Tiger) and the alcohol marker pens are still for sale. They currently cost £3 for 3 pens. So although the prices has gone up a little since 2015, they are still great value for money.
The markers I have owned since 2015 are still going strong. Some have been used a lot, others rarely. None have dried up or gone funny.
2 thoughts on “Tiger Twin Alcohol Markers – a review and comparison”
thanks so much for your review – it is very helpful to hear what you think as I have just bought the greens (numbers 04, 12 and 20) and I did a little flower and the three colours blended quite effectively. I’m new to using markers and I am eager to experiment with what I can do.
Which is the best kind of paper to use these markers on? I tried these on the back of the packing (white cardboard side) and it worked very well! I might try watercolour paper next.
Thanks for the review!
I am glad you enjoyed the review 🙂 I personally always use Neenah white card from Crafter’s Companion for colouring with alcohol markers.
The main criteria to look for with alcohol marker card is that it is very dense. There are quite a few good brands out there – many people swear by the Copic brand.
I have experimented with numerous high-density, very white cards from many sources. They are usually fine for alcohol markers as long as they are not too porous – porous card will just soak your ink away super fast!
I think it is one of those things that it is worth experimenting to find what you really like. And who knows what fun, unexpected effects you might discover by accident on the way?