Is there anything quite like a freshly mowed and lined baseball field? For my money, there sure isn’t, and that’s saying a lot considering the it’s 2019 and baseball and softball just aren’t what they used to be. With that said, you can’t have that field looking in tip-top shape without a bit of work. That’s where dry line markers come into play. Today, our buying guide is going to be examining the ins and outs of dry line markers so that you can make the best selection for your needs. We also will be providing you with a top ten list as we review some of the most popular products out there. So, let’s get to it and get that field in pristine condition for that next game!
Top Dry Line Markers Comparison Chart
|Name||Capacity||No. of Wheels||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Champion Sports 2-Wheel Dry Line Marker||25 lb.||2||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Alumagoal BBDLM All-Steel Dry Line Marker||25 or 65 lb.||2||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Alumagoal Heavy Duty Dry Line Marker||100 lb.||4||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Alumagoal All-Steel Dry Line 4 Wheel Marker||65 lb.||4||$$$|
|Lineer Standard Handheld Chalker||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Stackhouse Genie 50 Field Liner||50 lb.||4||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DLR-25 Dry Line Baseball Field Marker||2||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Champion Sports 2-Wheel Pro Steel Dry Line Marker||25 lb.||2||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Nas Diamond 20 Pound Dry Line Field Marker||20 lb.||2||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Trigon Sports All-Steel Dry Line Marker||35, 50, & 100 lb.||4||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
Dry Line Markers Buying Guide
Sports That Use Dry Line Markers
Lining fields is something that a lot of people won’t have ever thought about until it’s time to play the game and you show up and realize you can’t see the lines. This, to say the least, is an awful feeling. You can’t tell whether the ball is in or out, fair or foul, and that leads to a lot of head scratching and speculation, which could result in disputes of all sorts. To prevent that, most sports use one of two methods. There is the dry line method and then there is the wet application method. The dry line method is the one that we will be looking at today.
Most commonly, the games of baseball and softball use the dry line marking method in order to prepare the field for play. They use what is referred to as ‘chalk’ to be laid down. This does an awesome job for a short period of time, but the lines do fade over the course of a game or series of games, meaning that you have to reapply just about every single day to get the best look and feel for the players, coaches, and fans. These two games are well known to use chalk and the dry line marking way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean there are no other uses for this method.
For example, you might be wanting to add some lines to your soccer field for a short tournament and this is a good way to go. This is especially helpful if you have a small area to line, are on dirt or clay, and/or if you don’t have a really long time for the field to hold up. Other sports could use this as well, since it’s just a convenience thing really. Even lining of a parking lot, whether it’s in the grass or on dirt or whatever substance, could be an option for you to do with chalk. It’s just a thought, but if you get creative you might find that you can use your dry line marker for a whole lot more than just baseball and softball fields, though that is naturally going to be the primary function of them.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
A lot of people won’t think that it’s a very big deal to have the best dry line markers, but that can’t be further from the truth. If you run a facility, whether it’s a volunteer one or a recreational department, you are sending a loud and clear message any time that someone comes to your fields. They are going to be taking notes in their head, and the better job that you can do to make things look as great as possible, the better it will be in the long run. People talk and word will get around that your facility is the best, or maybe the worst, in the area. Even if you don’t have the chance to have the greatest fields or the prettiest, shiniest fences in the world, you can still have lines that are clear and precise. This will go a long, long way toward people’s desire to want to show up at your place. Trust me, it makes a major difference. You don’t have to do it halfway. You can go all in by giving it your best effort possible.
Not All Chalks Are The Same
Without getting too much into the inside ‘baseball’ of the matter, if you will, it should be said that not all chalks are the same. Since this guide is mainly about the markers, rather than the chalk itself, we won’t go into too much detail. But it must be said that not all chalks are the same, since you can have chalk being made out of multiple materials. Limestone and marble are the two options generally found. Limestone is most readily available and is softer than its counterpart, though marble flows faster through the machine. It’s all a trade off and about weighing pros and cons as to what is the best for you and your level of play. (little league or MLB)
How much chalk a dry line marker holds is going to be important for you to take a look at. The standard sizes seem to run in increments of 25’s, with 25 pounds, 50 pounds, and 100 pounds being popular choices. However, you can find other capacities as well, so you don’t have to be constrained to just those alone. The capacity is going to help determine how long you can line the field without having to change out and go get more chalk. If you have a lot of fields, or if you just don’t have a lot of time to waste, then you will know how important it is to get the job done in one ‘sitting.’ Keep in mind that capacity is not the end all, however. There still has to be efficiency behind it, too.
This goes hand in hand with capacity, and it can’t be overstated. The truth of the matter is that a 25 pound marker might end up going further than an inferior 50 pound marker. You might be confounded with that, but the reason why it could be more ideal to you is because it is more efficient and lines the field better. Some choices are going to clump up- or ‘bridge’ as it is known in the lining business- when you are lining the field. When this occurs, it essentially wastes some of the chalk. This means you could be siphoning off some of the product, which is going to lead toward inefficiency. Therefore, it’s theoretically possible to conclude that you might want to go with a smaller capacity to get through the fields since you won’t waste as much time or money working on the field. Capacity is nice to have, sure, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s the only thing you have to look at. In a world where all machines had the same efficiency, it would be smartest to go with the machine that had the larger output. That is assuming, of course, that you need that. There’s no sense in having a ton of capacity, after all, if you can’t use it since it’s too big for your purpose. Unfortunately, it’s not always able to be the case that we can get huge, efficient capabilities. In those instances, we’ve got to improvise and make the best decision possible by weighing all of the factors, not just how much it holds.
Capacity also bleeds over into the issue of portability as well. How portable your dry line marker is is also going to determine how well you can complete the job. Maybe the 100 pound machine is going to be the best for you because it’s super efficient and will complete everything you need it to in one run. But what if it’s too heavy for you to handle because of a poor design or some sort of flaw? This is very much a possibility with some machines, so you have to think about how the machine is made and the way that it is set up to be used. If it’s not portable, then you are in for trouble, no matter how great it is.
On the other hand, you also have to think about if a machine is going to be too light and portable for your liking as well. If that’s the case, then you could be dealing with a machine that isn’t constructed very well. A lack of good parts used on a machine could lead to it tearing up, and it means that wear and tear will take a much bigger toll upon it than machines that are built more heftily. Looking for a machine that is portable but not super light will help you avoid both of these problems from occurring.
Part of porting around your machine is going to have to do with the wheels that you find yourself using. There are some options when it comes to dry line markers. Most of the time, you are going to see machines that have either two or four wheels, with four being the more prevalent of them. At the end of the day, it is a matter of preference regarding wheel number.
What’s more important is about the tread of the wheels. If you have a slick wheel, it’s not going to grip as well when you are not in absolutely perfect conditions. You can see when a tire’s tread it worn out, and much like that, you will see that a wheel that never had much to begin with is shiny that it can produce a problem or two. You need decent tread to overcome bumps and the like, and to just make sure they last a bit longer.
Width is another central element to be thought about. In very general terms, a wider wheel is going to be ideal for you to have. This is because they have more room about them and will simply perform better as a result of the additional traction on offer. The wider it is, the more grip you have and the faster you can go. Think of it like a race car. When Formula 1 introduced wider tires a couple of years ago, speeds increased overall because they gripped better in the turns. In much the same way, a wider wheel is going to be more stable and will let you get the job done quicker.
The materials used are going to also need to be looked at. Some wheels, as we mentioned, are going to be cheaper and will look ‘slick.’ These are genuine wheels and don’t have much tread, so you could never confuse them with a tire. However, others will have some rubber to them and will have a lot of tread. These are, or should be preferred, but they will usually cost you a little bit more money than those that do not have that look and feel. You want the wheels to have a little bit of give to them. No one wants to run into a brick wall, because those do not give. In the same vein, you don’t want something too hard and stiff that it won’t budge, like a wheel.
That’s because you want your ride to be able to be ride-able, if you will. Nobody wants something that is going to hurt them and be uncomfortable for you, and that’s what you might end up finding if the machine doesn’t have wheels that give some. If they are ultra hard, you will likely feel every single bump and you might even develop some soreness or blistering over time from consistent blows, especially if you have multiple fields to line. On top of that, wheels that have no tread might end up hopping out of line and causing the lines you are trying to make to go off kilter.
At the end of the day, all of our dry line markers on our list are pretty affordable choices to make. It’s just going to end up coming down to what you want and need and how much you are willing to spend. While spending more money doesn’t always necessarily guarantee you a better product, you can usually find that it does improve your items a great deal. On top of that, it can bring you added features that you might not have at a lower price point.
Don’t Forget the Chalk
Lastly, you shouldn’t forget the chalk, too. Without it, you will be left with a line marker that is unable to get to work. This should be factored into your price evaluation, too, since it’s a very big part of it. Remember, if a machine is wasteful, it’s also going to drive the real price up when you get to work. So, keep that in mind as you weigh all of your options.
Top Ten Dry Line Markers of 2019 Reviews!
1. Champion Sports 2-Wheel Dry Line Marker
Champion leads off here with a very affordable option, number two in that category for the whole list, in fact. With two treaded wheels and a very sturdy metal bin, you will be getting right down to work without all of the frills and other stuff to have to worry about. The capacity is fairly small at 25 lbs, but it’s going to be an ideal pick for a field or two and won’t take long to reload and get finished with your lining process. It’s just a really easy machine to use as well, with a lot of coaches and parents finding it among the best they have used. The wheels are little narrow and small and the flow control, used to control the amount of chalk come out isn’t great, but for the price, it’s an awesome choice.
- Great price
- Very easy to use
- Nice for small jobs
- Wheels are small
- Not much control of the flow
2. Alumagoal BBDLM All-Steel Dry Line Marker
This is the first Alumagoal offering, and it comes here in the form of the BBDLM, which is going to give you a choice between a 25 and 65 pound capacity. With two rubber wheels that are wider and a bit bigger than the above and an all steel construction up top, complete with a closed top, you won’t be losing any of the chalk at all as you go. The wheels are a little bit harder, which will increase durability, but might make them slightly harder to handle and feel. Unlike the previous listing, this one also has the ability to have line sizes to be adjusted between two and four inches, a real bonus for you to have in order to change it up. You must clean it often to keep it running as intended, so keep that in mind.
- Wider tires
- Able to be adjusted
- Very durable choice
- Needs to be cleaned a lot to work properly
3. Alumagoal Heavy Duty Dry Line Marker
Following it up is it’s four wheeled cousin, which has thick, treaded wheels to keep you going in all sorts of elements. With a 100 pound load capacity, too, as well as a closed top, this machine is going to run, and run, and run some more for you. The fact that is has air tires might make it slightly less durable but it will handle and control better and provide more comfort to the user. The biggest issue that seems to surround this is the way that it is shipped, with a lot of people claiming that the parts and pieces aren’t taken care of as they should be at all times upon arrival. With that said, this has a huge capacity and has kept a lot of complexes running in the past, so once you get past the early problems you should have nothing but clear sailing.
- Huge capacity
- Very easy ride
- Thick tires and sturdy
- Shipping process is not the best
4. Alumagoal All-Steel Dry Line 4 Wheel Marker
Closing out the Alumagoal run is a slightly cheaper option than the above one. It also has four wheels, though they are more slick and would be best called wheels than tires, unlike the previous Alumagoal. With adjustability built in to change from two and four inches and an all steel construction, you are also going to get a lot of mileage out of this particular unit. The capacity is lessened, however, at 65 pounds, so that has effectively seen it lose out as the tiebreaker in this particular battle. The extra two wheels make it easier to hold in line as well. Like its brethren above, the packaging process is once again a gremlin that you have to sort out before you can get to using it, so that will have to be factored into any decision that you ultimately come to.
- Very durable
- Sturdy and steady machine
- Easy to adjust line sizes
- Packaging and shipping is an issue again
5. Lineer Standard Handheld Chalker
This is far different from the others we have seen so far in both price and the way it is designed. It’s the lowest priced one on here, and the reason for that is that is able to be carried by hand and applied that way with very minimal fuss. This is great for very small areas, but you can still do an entire field if you have to, though that would be quite the job, to be fair. It’s ergonomic design is made so that the handle not only fits well in your hand but also so you don’t have to bend down the whole time. One of the drawbacks is that it only lets you do three and half inch lines and one and half inch lines, so that is a minor bummer. There is no installation needed at all, just load it up and go.
- Very easy to manage
- Cheap price
- Ergonomics make it easier to chalk
- Not great for huge fields
- Not a lot of adjustability
6. Stackhouse Genie 50 Field Liner
The second half begins with the Stackhouse Genie, and this 50 pound liner is a good choice for a heavy duty item that won’t set you back way too much. With a closed top available to be used, along with being able to be adjusted between two and four inches, you have a lot of versatility with it. It has four eight inch wheels that are of the harder variety so durability will be extreme, while the ride might suffer ever so slightly resulting from it. It’s an awesome addition to a medium sized complex since it’s not way too large but plenty big enough to accomplish what you need to get done. The shipping costs are rather high with this product, so that’s going to be the part that is most discouraging to you.
- Lots of adjustability
- Very durable and heavy duty
- Holds a decent amount
- Shipping cost is substantial
7. DLR-25 Dry Line Baseball Field Marker
Much like some of the earlier models, this two wheeled version is a decent choice if you are someone on a budget and doesn’t want to go overboard. The price is in there among the best, though shipping will set you back a little. With two wheels, the ride won’t be as smooth as those with four and the striping won’t be quite as consistent, but it’s going to be offset by the price you pay. With that set, they have decent tread to them, so you should get a good mixture of durability and ease as well. The main issue with this marker appears to be that the trigger gets stuck quite a lot, leading you to some frustration. It can end up marking when and where you’d rather it not, so that’s an obstacle to jump across.
- Decent price
- Excellent for small fields
- Good, sturdy wheels
- Trigger gets stuck sometimes
8. Champion Sports 2-Wheel Pro Steel Dry Line Marker
This is much like the opening offering on our list, but it does have some key differences to be looked at. One of them is that it’s made out of all steel and has an aluminum wheel to feed a steady stream of chalk from. Like the original Champion Sports listing, it has a 25 pound capacity and has two fairly well treaded well to help grip the ground and to also provide you as much consistency as possible. Using steel rims, it helps balance out and make up for the lack of the other two wheels. It only will allow you to mark a two inch line, however, so that is one of the things that you might not find appealing about it. It does take some maintenance beforehand, so that is also a detriment for some users.
- Steel rims make it stable
- Steady release of chalk
- Good, low price
- Repairs and maintenance are common
- Only marks two inch lines
9. Nas Diamond 20 Pound Dry Line Field Marker
Another budget option is represented here with what is a smaller version of the two wheeled design. With a decent tire with some tread on it, this marker is going to be best served for someone that needs something quick and easy to deal with and doesn’t need a ton of capacity. That is because it only holds 20 pounds, meaning you won’t get a lot of mileage out of it at all. It even comes with a five year warranty, helping to ease your mind a little bit while you use it. It only will make two inch lines, so that could be a problem to some that would like to have bigger lines made. There is also no shut off feature, so you will have to pick it up in order to make it stop pouring out, meaning you end up either making a mess or laying stuff where you don’t want it to.
- Budget option
- Great for touching up small areas
- Very easy to use
- No ability to shut it off
- Only makes two inch lines
10. Trigon Sports All-Steel Dry Line Marker
Rounding out our list is an item that lets you pick from three sizes- 35, 50, and 100 pounds- and will allow you to get the job done quickly. Some of them have four wheels to it, though they are very slick looking and don’t look like they could take much of a bump, meaning you might just make marks in places other that where you want them to be made. With a closed top, you don’t have to worry about any of it blowing around, either, while a lever is used from which you can pull down to make it apply and then stop when you are finishing. This is useful compared to others where you have to constantly hold a trigger or similar, so that is a nice touch. There are some quality control problems to be aware of, so this might not be one to pick if you are not looking to gamble on a product.
- Three sizes on offer
- Lever beats out a trigger
- Closed top
- Quality control problems
- Wheels are very slick looking
- Can be pretty expensive
Conclusion And Final Dry Line Markers Recommendations
Finding the best dry line marker isn’t always the easiest of tasks to complete. Maybe it’s your first foray into baseball and softball, or perhaps another sport, and you just don’t know what is best for you. Or maybe you have been in the game before, but you don’t know about the latest and greatest choices available on the market. Either way, today’s buying guide will have helped you narrow down the options and allow you to key in on one or two that will fulfill both your personal and team needs, as well as your budget. So, get to purchasing your dry line marker and get to work, there’s a game to play!