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Industrial Markers vs. Office Markers - What's the Difference?

Industrial Markers vs. Office Markers - What's the Difference?

Hi, thanks for dropping in! We share advice, tips, information, and stories about industrial marking and its uses in the various industries that build global infrastructure and the world's greatest engineering marvels. As the leader in the industrial marking category since 1934, we're proud to support the hardworking contractors, tradespeople and workers who build and maintain the world around us. Join our community. Signup for our emails, follow us on social media and share #themarkofwork. 🖊

Industrial Markers vs. Office Markers -  What's the Difference?

You will need a standard ink marker to write on a board, a large notepad or to mark on a cardboard box.  A normal office marker is all you need in a simple case such as this. The regular office marker is a staple to have no matter where your work environment might be. It marks, doing no more or no less than you need it to. However, what happens when the surface that needs marking is not just a cardboard box or paper?  A marker can be simple, but the surface that needs the marking may not be.  This is where industrial markers come in to do the job.  

If the job is in construction, welding, fabricating, soldering, ironwork, or steelwork, the surface will probably not be a smooth board at room temperature.  It is likely that an office marker may not have the strength or correct formula of ink to sustain the necessary marks needed. Now the competition begins between industrial markers vs. office markers. The question remains, how to choose the correct one?

Surfaces will always need to be marked in industries that start from manufacturing to lumber. In this case it is important to think of your marking device as a tool. A tool must be correct for a specific job.

The Various Surfaces

If a surface happens to be oily, wet, rusty or extremely dirty, there are necessary qualities a marker must have in order to be visible and long-lasting in these conditions.  The efficiency of a project may rely on being able to see certain areas marked; this is something that cannot be compromised by using a standard office marker.  An industrial marker will be specifically made to mark on surfaces with more difficult qualities. 

There are other surfaces that will be on an extreme end of the temperature spectrum.  A surface may be too cold or it may be hot enough to melt just about anything.  Projects may depend on a certain mark to be applied, regardless of how extreme the temperature may be.  This definitely calls for practical, efficient markers that are specified to work with certain temperatures.

How to Find the Right Marker

Because industrial markers are in demand with very specific qualities, they are available not just in ink, but also in paint.  Finding the correct marker can be as simple as deciding whether ink is needed or paint. The strength of the marker's color also can make a difference on the job.  A regular office marker may not have strong enough color for a certain project.

There is also the need to find markers that are removable for certain areas.  Some marks may need to remain seen until washed off; this requires specific ink/paint as well.  Most standard office markers will not have a removable option unless they are dry-erase, which may not work to the benefit of the task at hand.

The different types of markers that are available to choose from are:

  • Liquid paint markers
    Liquid paint markers offer real paint in a barrel with the versatility of not needing a paint bucket and brush.  The different tips can be offered in metal ball tips or felt tip nibs. They may take longer to dry due to the fact that they are pigment-based but will leave bright, visible marks.
  • Solid paint markers 
    Solid paint markers offer the durability of paint, in a convenient crayon form.  These are often great for rough surfaces because they do not damage with the use.
  • Ink markers 
    Ink markers are great and most commonly used for everyday surfaces. They dry quickly but are not recommended for metals or other rough material. They have various types of tips offered as well, from fine tips, bullet, medium chisel or broad chisel tips. 

Finding the correct marker for jobs in the industrial industry requires thinking of the markers as the tools that they are.  An office marker may not be made for a hot piece of steel or cold concrete out in the middle of winter. Industrial markers are made to fit a project or job in extreme environments, just like an office marker is specially made to write correctly on a board or paper.


Let us help you find the right marker for the job!

Try the Find A Marker tool on our homepage

We’d love to see what you’re working on! Join the conversation and share your mark on social media. Tag us and use #themarkofwork.

LA-CO Industries, Inc. takes pride in supporting the hardworking contractors and workers that build the world’s greatest bridges, ships, automobiles, aircraft, homes, office towers, power plants and many other engineering marvels.

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