China markers, also called grease or wax pencils, are writing implements made out of hardened colored wax. Fade and moisture resistant, these specialized dry markers are ideal for writing on nonporous surfaces such as glass, metal, polished stone, photographs, and ceramics. China markers are commonly used in commercial and industrial settings to create durable, opaque lines, and they are also an excellent writing and drawing tool for many art and craft projects. Our picks below will help you find the best wax pencil for your needs.
1. Listo Black China Markers
As the inventor of grease marking pencils, Listo has been manufacturing its product since 1921, establishing a good reputation in the market. This black grease marker, sold in a set of 12, comes in the form of a refillable pencil that is easy to use; there’s no need to peel away a layer of paper to expose a waxy core. The marker is nontoxic, can write on wet or damp surfaces, and can be wiped off nonporous surfaces with a cloth.
2. Sharpie Peel-Off China Marker
This 12-pack of peel-off china markers is available in four color options. A versatile tool that writes clearly on any surface, the marker has a thick, waxy core that’s exposed by pulling a string to peel away paper, avoiding the need for sharpening. The nontoxic pigment is fade and water resistant and can be easily wiped off nonporous surfaces.
3. Dixon Industrial Phano Peel-Off China Marker Pencils
An excellent option for writing on darker surfaces, these white-cored china markers create a thick, bold line that stands out. The waxy core is exposed by using a pull-string to peel away a paper wrapping. These china markers are great for creating lasting marks on a wide variety of materials, and the marks can be easily removed from nonporous surfaces.
4. Office 4 All Diamond Peel-Off China Markers
A sturdier alternative to crayons, this is a great choice for classrooms. The 12-pack includes six colors–– white, yellow, red, black, green, and blue. The core doesn’t require sharpening; instead, you peel off layers of paper that surround it, aided by a pull-string. These vivid, wax-based markers are water resistant, making them a fun drawing tool to use alongside water-based media.
5. Staedtler Lumocolor Omnichrom Pencil
As an alternative to thick china markers, these water-soluble pencils are wood-cased and can be sharpened to a fine point. Like china markers, they write on almost any surface including plastic, metal, leather, ceramic, and wood. Their soft lead works particularly well on dark and transparent surfaces, providing a rich, intense color that is lightfast. The marks can be easily removed from smooth surfaces with water and washed out of fabric.