Pen science: testing waterproof-ness!

Hi-Tec-C vs Rapidograph vs Multiliner

In the comments of my last pen review, Bob asked about the waterproof-ness of the Copic and the Pilot pens I had road tested. He was specifically interested in how they’d wash I think, so upon figuring out my new Rotring Rapidograph just before I decided to do some science and test the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Copic Multiliner SP and Rotring Rapidograph.

Pilot Hi-Tec-C waterproof-ness
The Pilot is conclusively not waterproof. Insofar as getting a nice wash out of it, I think you’ll be disappointed. The ink just sort of feathers out and becomes obnoxiously furry, and you can’t push it around with the brush at all.

Copic Multiliner waterproof-ness
I have decided that the 0.03 Copic Multiliner SP is my natural enemy. It is useless if you want consistently nice, inky, black lines. It is waterproof, so I guess that’s one upside. I don’t know why the nib has started performing like this – I have hardly used the pen! It looks blocked to me, but I’m completely disinterested in purchasing another nib – unfortunately I bought a spare ink cartridge for this pen too. What a waste!

Rotring Rapidograph waterproof-ness
And now my new lover, the .10 Rotring Rapidograph. I bought it from an ebay seller in Malaysia and it didn’t come with instructions. So, I was furiously googling for information on how to assemble it properly for fear I’d do something wrong and render it unusable. Kate came to my rescue with a scan of her instructions and I discovered that I’d managed to assemble it incorrectly, so once it was all connected properly I was so happy to see the ink flowing perfectly!

I’m happy to say that the Rotring ink is waterproof, which suits my purposes perfectly as I occasionally use watercolour over an inked drawing.

Bob, I hope I’ve satisfied your curiosity on the subject of the waterproofosity of these pens!


  1. super sweet of you to do this post! will keep in mind, thanks! of all drawing tools i love pen the most, but im not experimental and i love pilot pens like crazy (i’m a fan of thick wet lines) and would never consider any alternatives, but you might just have changed my mind!

  2. The small Copic nibs don’t tend to perform well on anything but smooth surfaces and marker papers, with the smallest nibs being the most finicky. Any amount of tooth on the paper tends to eat them up.

  3. THANKS Natalie!

    Exactly what I wanted to know. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. Looks like I’ll stay with Microns and Rapidographs (already use both) for awhile.

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