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Latest Update: Just adding a picture of some of the ink bottles.

We’ve been intending to do a bit of a ‘group test’ of black inks for a while, but I didn’t want to do it until we’d got hold of the one everyone keeps raving about – Noodler’s Ink.

Well, we got some on Wednesday. Now I’m trying to work out the best way of doing a group test of ink. I think…

  • Same standard set of samples written/drawn with the same pen (if possible – might be difficult if we only have cartridges), including…
    • Firm lines
    • Gentle lines
    • Scribble
    • Area filled in solidly
    • Block and cross-hatched sections painted over with water (line and wash)
  • Try some of the same tests on more than one type of paper – at least…
    • Index cards
    • Moleskine
  • Drying test – this one took a bit of thinking about – draw ten lines, one second apart, then (as close as possible to) one second later, slam the book shut and press on it hard.
    • If no lines come off onto the other side of the paper, the ink must dry in less than a second. In this case, try smudging manually, and judge from that.
    • If all of the lines smudge (they seem to with most fountain pen ink), the drying time is over ten seconds – a problem if you tend to smudge when writing, as I do.

Anyway, if anyone’s got any ideas on better ways of doing any of this, I’d be glad to hear it.

So far, we have…

Bottled Inks

  • Noodler’s Eternal Black (Bullet-proof)
  • Sheaffer Skrip Black
  • Parker Quink Black
  • Waterman Black (a fairly old bottle – may not the the current formulation)
  • Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black (a very old bottle – may not be the current formulation. I got it from someone who was using it to refill HP ink cartridges back in the days of the DeskJet 500.)
  • Daler-Rowney’s FW ink, in lots of colours (not really intended for fountain pens, I think, so this may not be done in the first batch).
  • Winsor & Newton inks (again, not really fountain pen ink. Might test it at some point, though).

With these, at least, all testing will be done with my Lamy Safari pen. We’ve also got some own brand WHSmith cartridges, but they’ll either need to be tested in something that takes International cartridges, or we’ll have to make a terrible mess getting the ink out to load it into the Safari.

What other inks should we be testing? I’ve heard good things about Private Reserve inks, so we’ll probably get hold of some of that at some point, but are there any other good ones we’re missing?

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