How to Break a Sharpie

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Sharpie permanent markers are versatile tools, but they're also quite durable. Unlike most pens, Sharpies aren't screwed together, so there's no simple way to take them apart. If you want to see the filter inside a Sharpie, or deconstruct it for any other reason, you need to break the marker open.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic shopping or resealable bag
  • Tabletop vise
  • Place the Sharpie in a plastic shopping bag or resealable sandwich bag. Using a bag will prevent the permanent ink inside the marker from leaking or splattering when you break the Sharpie's outer case open.

  • Open the jaws of a tabletop vise and insert the bagged Sharpie. Close the jaws of the vise until they firmly hold the Sharpie in place.

  • Turn the handle on the vise to tighten the jaws until you hear the Sharpie's outer plastic case crack.

  • Loosen the jaws of the vise and remove the Sharpie from the plastic bag. If required, place the marker back in the bag and repeat Step 2 until it is sufficiently broken.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and disposable plastic gloves to protect against ink stains.
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