Most large paint marker users rarely use the entire contents of the marker. Either the tip wears out or gets clogged and dried out because the cap is left off.
Oil based paint markers use a valve in the control mechanism to keep the paint in the barrel. To properly “load” the marker tip with paint users need to depress the valve for 5 seconds and release it for 5 seconds. This should be repeated until the paint can wick down through the fiber tip. When the cap is left off the paint in the fiber tip will dry and fresh paint will not wick down through the tip. Typically, the user continues to depress the tip and the paint floods around the outside of the valve. The smaller the tip size the more prevalent the problem is.
If you keep the cap on when not in use, use a marker with replaceable tips, and store markers tip up, you can extend the life and use the entire contents of the marker. By properly using the valve and keeping the cap on, users can extend the life by as much as 50%. For users writing on rough surfaces markers with replaceable tips can be used. Tips replacement cost can be as little as 30 cents each.
Raw material cost for paint and metal, and more efficient marketing has led to cost reductions for large users, sometimes as much as fifty percent. Historically, paint markers have been purchased through art supply or industrial distribution. In the past few years, online specialty distribution has enabled brands not previously marketed to gain a foothold.