Artline 204 FaxBlac 0.4mm Review

Apparently Artline 204 FaxBlac pens are a favourite with illustrators as they write a consistently smooth fine line

They are made by Shachihata a company that began life back in 1925 manufacturing stamp pads.  Now well known worldwide as a manufacturer of a variety of environmentally & user friendly writing instruments including pens, markers, highlighters & of course stamp pads.

Artline Faxblac 204 1


A shiny black case displays the necessary text in white.  A ridged grip section tapers to a gold coloured housing surrounding a fine 0.4mm tip.  The gold theme continues to the neat sturdy clip on the cap.


The Artline Faxblac has thick black ink to provide clear, easy to read text.  The water based Dye Stuff ink is said to be blur resistant making your writing more legible. Pens that contain Dye Stuff perform well for everyday use on most surfaces, so long as it contrasts with the surface you are writing on, permanent markers can also be used on metal.

Although it is well reported that solvents found in paints, aerosols & some pens can be bad for your health, I must admit I used to quite like the distinctive smell that would hit you as you pulled a cap from a marker before writing on a white board or flip chart.  As I removed the cap on this fineliner, it was fragrance free, it doesn’t contain Xylene which is often used to aid the flow of ink in markers.

Artline have replaced Xylene with an alcohol following health concerns raised in the US in 1996.  Although proof of any detrimental have been forthcoming,  Shachihata have removed the substance from most of its products.


Artline state that Faxblac pens are well suited for making corrections to documents that will be faxed or photocopied.  This reminded me of an office I once worked in that scanned most of the documents it received, it was a constant challenge trying to capture the text on some of them because it was so faint, we would keep amending the font size & style until they were just about legible.  The Artline 204 Faxblac writes a smooth line, although the nib is fine the ink is very dark,  had one been used on the aforementioned documents we could have saved hours of the bosses time.

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