A writing instrument used to mark on surfaces other than paper, such as glass or plastic. At first glance, it appears to be a colored pencil. However, there are two major differences. First, instead of graphite and pigment, it is more wax based. This sounds similar to a crayon, but it is much stickier to the touch. Also, instead of being encased in wood, the “ink” is wrapped in layers of paper. As the wax wears down, more is exposed by pulling a string in the side, and removing a bit of the paper.

They are also known as “grease pencils” (or markers or pens).

As mentioned earlier, china markers are able to write well on a variety of surfaces that most other tools cannot. The other handy attribute is that they are not permanent. With a clean cloth, elbow grease, and the occasional mild solvent, the marks can be removed. This makes it handy for putting temporary marks, such as dating food containers, or marking a laminated piece of paper (a map or checklist).

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