Update on Black inks

It has been some time since we posted a comparison of black inks, something that is useful to do because there are always new inks available and in some cases, the manufacturers make changes in their formulae.  In 2008, we had two posts on black inks – Black and Sorta Black Inks and also Black Inks (notice the catchy titles, eh!).  Several personal favourites were noted, including Aurora Black, Noodler’s Heart of Darkness, and Mont Blanc Black.  On the other hand, Private Reserve Ultra Black seemed to be the only ink that garnered negative comments – “soul sucking”, “evil”, and “you’d better have a W (presumably meaning a broad) nib because it doesn’t flow so much as it oozes”.

This post has several different black inks such as Sheaffer, Noodler’s Borealis Black and Dark Matter, to name a few.

2012 black inks.jpg 002
2012 black inks.jpg 001

The Noodler’s Borealis Black (a poorly disguised attempt at Aurora Black) and Dark Matter acquit themselves rather well when compared to our all-around champion of Aurora Black. What about you – do you have a favourite black and if yes, why that particular black?

Fooling around with ink and paper

I recently received a truckload of ink from our friends at Swisher Pens.  I also decided to buy a few pads of the Staples Bagasse paper – made from sugarcane – which seems to be the rage on pen-related discussion boards.

One of the things that I had noticed was the significant drying time for ink used on the Bagasse paper – it just seemed to stay wet forever (imho).  So with Rick ready with his Timex, we compared two inks (Noodler’s Dark Matter and Private Reserve Fast Dry Midnight Blues) on Staples bagasse paper and Rhodia graph paper (from a notebook).  You can see that the Dark Matter took quite a bit longer to dry on the bagasse paper – over 1 minute – compared to just over 15 seconds on the Rhodia paper.  Interestingly, the Fast Dry Midnight Blues lived up to its billing – it dried very quickly on the bagasse paper – less than 15 seconds – and almost immediately on the Rhodia paper.  I should also note that the PR Fast Dry ink was laid down on the paper with a Sheaffer’s Legacy medium nib that has flow like a firehose so we were most impressed with the fast dry qualities of this ink – it was really quite amazing!

ink and paper drying tests July 2009_extra

ink and paper drying tests July 20094

ink and paper drying tests July 20091

One of the other items that has come up for discussion is the apparent difference in the colour of Pilot blue ink – from the bottle and in their V pens.  The proof is in the pudding – as you can see below, the Pilot blue bottled ink appears to be much lighter in comparison to that used in the V pens. 

ink and paper drying tests July 20092

Finally, I was asked to do a comparison of light blue/turquoise coloured inks for someone on the FPN – here are some of the main brands and the colours on Staples bagasse paper.  I tried to use a blotter on the Dark Matter ink used to label the various blues – you can see that there is a faint line running down the right hand side of the page (yet more proof of the slow drying time of this paper!).

ink and paper drying tests July 20093