UPDATE: I got the comment form to work! Sorry for any confusion!
Hello guys! A while ago I purchased a few Shinhan Twin Touch Brush markers to complement my Copic markers and I got a lot of questions about them. I’ve had sufficient time to play with them now and even made a coloring video so I’m ready to pass my (subjective) judgement now. Spoiler alert: your wallet is going to love me. You’re welcome.
Fair warning: this is a VERY long article. I have a video first showing how I color an image primarily with Shinhan Twin Touch Brush markers, and then I talk extensively about the properties of the Shinhan markers.
In the video below, I am showing you some real-life coloring with the new markers, using a stamp by Stamping Bella. As I mentioned in the video: the feathering I encountered isn’t due to the brand of marker, it’s an issue with the paper I am using. I have had the same effects sometimes when coloring with my Copic markers. While the paper I am using here ( Simon Says Stamp heavy card stock) is bleed proof, it does feather when you put on many layers. It may also depend on which colors you use if you have feathering or not.
After seeing the markers in action, I hope you have a first impression that is positive, because my impression certainly was positive. I think, we in our little crafting universe sometimes get caught up in the mind-set that only a certain brand of product can give us perfect results, and we forget to try other stuff which might be more easily available, and also cheaper, for fear of not getting the same result. I personally am sold on these markers, and for the rest of this review, I’m going to tell you why.
The Difference between Twin Touch and Twin Touch Brush
First off, when we talk about Shinhan markers, we need to make sure we are talking about the brush markers. Conveniently, they are called Twin Touch Brush and as the name implies, they have both a chisel tip and a brush tip, exactly like the Copic Sketch and Copic Ciao. This version has a bright barrel.
This differentiates them from the regular Twin Touch markers, which are comparable to the classic Copics: they have a chisel tip and a pen tip (no brush). This version has a black barrel. Since we are all card makers here, I am only speaking about the Brush markers since I assume most of you will prefer that version.
One of the complaints I read most often about Copic markers is about their price. I usually get the Sketch variant, which is a bit more expensive than the Ciao, but I like the form factor better. I also don’t think Copics are too expensive (mine cost 5,18€/piece) since I get a ton of use out of them. But of course, if I could get the same quality for a lesser price, I’m not one to argue!
I found the Twin Touch Brush markers at a local store in Stuttgart for 4,95€/piece and online in Germany for as low as 3,59€/piece! That’s a considerable saving, especially since the Twin Touch Brush marker hold almost as much ink as the Copic Sketch (couldn’t find reliable sources, so that’s my guess based on the similar shape of the barrel). The refill for the Shinhan is also slightly less (in volume) than the Copic one, but it’s also much cheaper and according to the Shinhan website, you can refill a marker 7-8 times with it.
Verdict: At their price point, the Twin Touch Brush marker are much more affordable than the Copics. Obviously, prices may vary where you live!
Here are some sources in Germany where you can buy them (for non-Germans, I’ve listed Amazon in the product list at the end).
Refill, Replace, Collect
One of the great things about the Copic markers is that we can refill them. So even if they cost a bit when we initially purchase them, the cost equalizes down the road when we can just refill them instead of buying new markers when they run out of ink. Shinhan Twin Touch Brush markers are also refillable! That means they are also very economical and you don’t need to throw them away once you’ve used up the ink.
In addition, you can – just like with Copics – replace the tips! So, if you accidentally destroyed a tip by slipping with the cap, dipping it into glue on your craft mat (I’m not the only one, right?!) etc. you can just get the replacement tip and switch them out. Easy, peasy!
And while the Twin Touch Brush markers come in less colors (204) than the Copic markers, I feel that’s not a huge disadvantage. You don’t need all Copic colors. If you are not an artist or pro, really, you don’t need them. Usually, most people stick with a good skin tone combo, and then it depends on what you like to color: humans, critters, or nature stuff. I like all of them, but I also ended up with a few color combos I always go back to so I don’t even need all the colors I originally bought. And if that doesn’t convince you: you can mix Copics with Shinhan markers without any issues, so if you need a particular color the Twin Touch Brush markers don’t come in, just grab the Copic.
You can buy the Twin Touch Brush marker in open stock (just check your local store or google around to find an online seller) or in prepared blending packs (Skin tones, wood tones, etc.). That is a huge thing, since the Spectrum Noir alcohol markers come ONLY in packs which is terrible when you need to replace just one color. With the Shinhan Markers, you can get jus what you need. I am a fan of buying just the markers I want, but if you are starting out, buying a blending set might be the best way to go.
Verdict: The option to refill the ink and replace the tips lifts the Shinhan Twin Touch Brush markers to the same level as Copics in terms of durability and sound investment.
A General Word About Buying Sets
When buying alcohol markers in a set, I’d strongly recommend staying away from sets which give you one color of each color family only. Or maybe two colors which are very different (super bright yellow and dark orange, for example). When it comes to alcohol markers, you need colors which are somewhat similar in order to blend between them.
Blending between a dark blue and bright yellow just won’t work. These sets might look pretty, but they won’t enable you to start working right away. Instead, try to buy blending families of colors which are similar and will allow you to create nice gradients, if you want to start with a set at all.
Upon using the markers for the first time, I immediately felt good using them – they feel good in my hand, just like the Copic Sketch. I intentionally do not buy the Ciao’s because I don’t like the round barrel and have trouble holding it. The more oval shaped barrel of the Sketch and the Twin Touch Brush marker is very comfortable for me.
The numbers of the markers are printed on the barrel and engraved on the top of the cap, which is also colored to let you quickly see the marker’s color. The cap cannot stand on its own (easily) because of it’s shape, but that doesn’t matter to me in the slightest – if you are doing videos, you can just list the colors in the video description.
Taking the cap off is very easy – no need to apply excessive force or fearing to accidentally pull out the innards of the marker (happens to me with the Ciao’s all the time). I usually close my markers when I move between colors and I didn’t have any problems getting the cap on or off quickly and comfortably, so that’s rather important to me.
Verdict: In their day-to-day use while crafting, I find both Copic Sketch markers and Twin Touch Brush to be equal.
The numbering system
Now, with the Copics, it’s rather easy to find out which colors will go together. In addition, if you haven’t bought the wonderful HEX chart by Sandy Allnock for Copics (if you have quite a few), you should. It’s so helpful to discover color combinations.
But for the Shinhan markers, a different system is applied. It’s called the Munsell Color System and you can read up on it and hopefully be smarter afterwards 🙂
The only downside I found so far is that because the Twin Touch Brush markers are not as widely in use as Copics, it’s sometimes difficult to find great color combos online. For Copics, you can find recommendations left and right, but for the Shinhan’s you have to search a bit and still might not find a lot.
Admittedly, that makes it a bit trickier when trying to figure out which markers to buy. I’d recommend to check if your local store carries them because then you can just go there and test them and pick the colors that are great. Or take a look at the color chart here to gauge which markers will go together. I went to my local store and scribbled each color on a piece of paper and took that home to compare with my Copic chart and then decided which Shinhan markers to buy.
Verdict: The numbering system for the Shinhan markers really isn’t that easy to grasp and that can make it difficult to decide which markers to get. It’s not a huge issue if you are only using Shinhan’s, but when you want to mix them with Copics, it can be indeed tricky to figure out which markers to buy. The only help is the color guide from Shinhan, or to try the markers in person.
The Brush Tip
Since the brush tip is the most used part of the marker (good thing it can be replaced if need be), I was slightly worried at first after having read comments that the brush tip would feel less good than on Copics. From my own experience I can not confirm this: I didn’t feel any difference at all between Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers.
I was able to get as fine a flick stroke as I was with the Copics, and coloring in a large area was just as easy. The Twin Touch Brush tip might be a tad softer than what you might be used to from a Copic, but that might also just be my imagination. Even if it was the case, I do not believe it would make an ounce of a difference for your color experience. I think, just as you get used to using Copics, you can get used to using a different marker and if you notice that you have a slightly softer tip, you will simply adapt by using less pressure with that marker.
My verdict: the Copic and Twin Touch Brush marker are equal in quality when it comes to the tip. Of course, I haven’t had them as long as my Copics so I cannot say anything about the durability of the Shinhan nib, but I’m not worried. To me, they are a tool to be used, not “protected”, and I can replace the tip.
Verdict: I personally don’t see any noticeable or limiting differences in the tips of the markers compared to Copics. They feel and work the same for me.
As important as the brush tip is of course the ink in the marker. It’s an alcohol marker and therefore has the same properties as Copics, Spectrum Noir, and other alcohol markers: used on the correct paper, you can blend colors together for beautiful gradients and fun effects.
In my observation, I could not detect any difference in how the ink behaves (compared to Copics). I blended the Shinhan markers with each other and with Copics and they worked perfectly either way.
The Twin Touch Brush markers are a bit “juicier” and released a tad more ink. When I looked at the backside of my coloring paper, the parts I colored with the Shinhan markers showed more clearly on the other side. I didn’t feel that it had any effect on my coloring experience, though. I did experience that with my grey markers most, but not so much with the purples, so it might have been a side-effect of them having flown from the online-retailer to me.
Tip: When you order alcohol markers or travel with them, unscrew both caps for ten seconds or so before using them next. This will allow the pressure in the barrel to equalize and prevent sudden heavy ink flow.
I was originally a bit worried when I noticed rather heavy feathering on the Simon Says Stamp ultra heavy card stock. I then checked other colorations I had done on that paper with my Copics and noticed that – just as with the Twin Touch Brush markers – when putting down many layers, they were feathering as well. I think in this particular case it was just more noticeable because I used a darker color.
Feathering is when you don’t have a crisp border to your coloring but it moves a bit beyond your stamped line, just seeping away a little.
When I colored with many layers on another type of Copic paper, I didn’t notice any feathering at all, so it might as well also just depend on the paper you use.
Verdict: I could achieve the same results with both Copics and Shinhan markers.
I think you can already guess what I am about to tell you: I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t go with the Shinhan Twin Touch Brush markers instead of Copics.
In my personal use over the past few months, I have found them equal in every way which surprised me quite a bit. It might just have been my personal perception that Copics are an unmatchable quality, and that nothing this much cheaper could hold a candle to them. Admittedly, I wasn’t happy with my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers (they didn’t have a brush tip and I couldn’t buy them open stock) which might have clouded my judgement.
So, will I switch to Shinhan? Well, not completely. As I’ve mentioned, the Twin Touch Brush marker work just fine when you combine them with Copics, so I will continue to use the ones I’ve already purchased. But when I’m looking at expanding on some colors, I will for sure check out the Shinhan markers first now to see if they have a comparable color. To me, these two brands are equal and I think it’s ok to go for the cheaper alternative (obviously, if you can get Copics for cheaper, you’d go with them 🙂 ).
Here’s the thing: most of us are “just” card makers. It’s a great hobby, but there are a lot of things we can invest in: tools, stamps, dies, watercolors, alcohol markers, embellishments… I guarantee you: for 99,9% of you, it will not matter one ounce of a difference if you use Copics or Shinhan markers. We are coloring images on a card. Which we send away to someone to make their day. And those people will love the idea of receiving a card, and the words you’ve written inside of it. They will not ask if you used expensive or more affordable supplies to create it 😉
If you are just starting out to build your collection, definitely take a look at the Shinhan markers first as you will be able to buy blending families (either in a pack or separately) at less a cost than Copics (again, depends on where you live). At this time, I have no hesitation at all to recommend these to you.
Phew. I hope this super exhaustive review answers your questions about the markers. If you have any more questions, please leave me a comment below and I’ll try to answer it. I’d love to hear your feedback about the review, too!
Cheers and have a fantastic day!
I’ve listed the products used for this project below. If possible, I link to Seven Hills Crafts for all European Crafters. Alternative shopping outlets linked to are Amazon US and Simon Says Stamp. Click here to learn more about which companies I am affiliated with.