Milwaukee Tool demonstrated something really cool at their 2013 Press Event (which they call their tool symposium). It was their new Inkzall Jobsite Markers. While we took a look at them shortly after the event, we decided to revisit the markers. We hoped to see how they held up during actual jobsite use. The Milwaukee InkZall markers are a brand new type of writing tool. They take the characteristics and capabilities of a “Sharpie” and amp it up significantly.
Primarily, what’s most impressive is that they’re designed and optimized particularly for job site use. That means they have clog-resistant tips. The name Inkzall is in keeping with their uncanny ability to write through dusty, wet, or oily surfaces.
Milwaukee InkZall Markers Features
The Milwaukee InkZall markers can strike a line through a 1/2-inch of sawdust or even thinset or drywall dust. Using the marker, I wondered how on earth the technology even worked. As it turns out, the secret lies in the ink. The other secret includes how Milwaukee made the tip. They specifically retain usability over rough surfaces that would tear a tradition felt tip to shreds. The new Inkzall line includes both Fine and Medium point tips. This includes both their permanent markers and the stylus/marker combination tool built for use with iPads or other tablets. And they work well even with gloved hands. Milwaukee even introduced three new colors of InkZall. You can now make your mark in Black, Red, Green, or Blue.
“Most professionals have a permanent marker with them at all times. However, the options available today were simply not designed for the materials and rough conditions on a jobsite. The number one complaint is that competitive marker tips do not keep their shape and easily “mushroom”. The new Milwaukee Inkzall markers were specifically designed to alleviate this problem. They have durable tips that hold up to use on rough surfaces such as OSB, cinderblock, and concrete.”Bobby Shaw, Group Product Manager for Milwaukee Tool Corporation
Available Milwaukee InkZall Markers
When the Milwaukee InkZall markers debuted back in 2013, they were only available in fine point and stylus packs—and all in black. Now, you can buy the Milwaukee InkZall markers in chisel point, and in any of four colors. The InkZall markers are also available as single markers, 2- and 4-packs, or even 36-packs for those who want to stock up.
- Fine Point Black Marker (48-22-3100)
- Stylus and Fine Point Black Marker (48-22-3101)
- Medium Point Black Markers (48-22-3102)
- Chisel Point Black Markers (48-22-3103)
- 4-PK Fine-point Colored Markers (48-22-3106)
- Various 2-, 4-, and 36-pack kits
Milwaukee InkZall Markers Features
The ink in these Milwaukee InkZall markers is a proprietary design that allows for faster drying times to reduce smearing. It also resists drying out quickly when you accidentally leave off the cap. One feature we really liked was the built-in hard hat clip which makes for easy storage and access on the job site. Milwaukee designed all Inkzall markers from the ground up. Referring to them as “Sharpies” often garnered looks of disdain from the folks at Milwaukee. Safe to say—Milwaukee definitely did not simply rebrand permanent markers as our testing revealed.
Testing the Milwaukee InkZall Markers
We started our testing with simple wood marking on plywood sheets. These markers seemed to excel at the basics, and the availability of both fine and medium tip, as well as chisel tip, meant that we had a lot of options to choose from depending upon the level of accuracy and precision we needed. On plywood and dimensional lumber, we felt the medium tip did best, delivering a great way to make marks that were accurate to 1/16th inch and easily readable. Fine tip may be a problem on rough sheet goods, but it worked well on 2x lumber due to the smoother surface.
Taking the marker to a much more difficult application—concrete—let us really give it a nice workout. We also didn’t wait for the concrete to dry completely before using an InkZall chisel marker. On wet concrete, the marks were easily discernible, though not as nearly sharp and clean as with dry concrete. This is a great new marker for those looking to spend less time marking and remarking areas where the first try should be good enough.
The Milwaukee InkZall markers are a noted improvement on traditional permanent markers with one exception. They do tend to wear down a bit faster due to the composition of the tips. This may be a factor of how they are designed to hold the special formulated ink, or how they do a better job of not drying out even when the lid is left off for an extended period of time. In any case, the pricing of these markers is such that having more on-hand outweighs the potential issue of premature tip failure. I can highly recommend these markers for any tradesmen who have experienced the downsides of traditional pens and marking instruments on more difficult materials.