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Noodler's Black vs Borealis


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9 replies to this topic

#1 ajcoleman

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:21

I have been quite happy with Noodler's Black. It works great in my pens and on the often poor quality paper I have to use at work. It is my favorite ink so far. The only issue I have with it is that it has claimed a shirt or two. I need to use a waterproof ink, but perhaps I am a bit too clumsy to use a bulletproof ink all the time. I am considering getting Borealis black instead. Is it going to have the other great properties of Noodler's black, like the flow, lack of feathering and bleed through, not to mention the vivid blackness? I am planning on getting a 4.5 oz. bottle of one or the other, but haven't decided which. Thanks!
Adam
Dayton, OH

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

-- Prov 25:2


#2 someonesdad

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 17:33

I recommend you trade a small amount (e.g., 5 ml) with someone and try HoD before you commit to it. I'd also suggest you try Herbin Perle Noire -- it's a superb ink and mostly waterproof, but it might be easier to clean up a spill (I wouldn't know, as I've not had a leak to contend with).

I've tried 7 or 8 different blacks, but by far my two favorites are Noodler's black and Perle Noire.

#3 Inka

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 18:20

I have Borealis and have done extensive testing on it, like wash-tests and more.
Noodler's Borealis is indeed highly water-resistant, nearly waterproof, yet as you know it's most definitely not "bulletproof".
Borealis is darker than Heart Of Darkness, darker than Polar Black, the blackest black ink I've ever used by Noodler's.
When writing comparisons of all the Noodler's black inks on various types of paper, it's easy to see that Borealis has a dark green prime in bright light, Heart Of Darkness a dark brown, Polar Black is gray-scale black,...
In my wash-tests, Borealis was hit with running, scalding HOT tap water until the paper was saturated, only a small percentage was seen to wash off the surface but more than 80% remained intact, truly near-waterproof.
When I'd stepped it up a bit to a damp cotton swab with just a tiny smudge of Dawn dish washing liquid, ran it over the Borealis areas, liquid soap washed most of it out of the paper.
Alcohol [91% Isopropyl] on a cotton swab did little to remove Borealis, but when I switched to Clorox bleach that completely destroyed all traces of Borealis.
Whereas chlorine bleach doesn't remove the Noodler's "bulletproof" blacks I've tested, it completely annihilates Borealis, leaving no trace of it behind.
Borealis flows perfectly, yet has one minor draw-back not seen in the other Noodler's black inks I have, Borealis feathers more than any other black ink I've ever used!
You can alleviate a great deal of the Borealis feathering by using a Fine[r] nib, or use a tight-grained paper or something of higher quality than cheap, fibrous printer stock.
If you normally write with a Broad or wider nib you'll see a lot of feathering with this ink, especially on cheap paper or 3x5 cards but it's a gorgeous and well-behaved ink on quality paper or paper with @ %25 cotton fiber or sugarcane bagasse.
Borealis was my very first bottled black ink, in the same 4.5oz eye-dropper size you're considering, still remains one of my favorites when a bulletproof ink isn't needed.
Borealis is advertised as "This ink offers those of you who might not want your grandkids to see everything you write - or who may have a desire for an older era's ink technology - yet do want the ink to survive a decent amount of time (though not perhaps as long as the paper exists, as bulletproof inks tend to do) as well as a few rain storms or water spills....another more durable option for an intense deep black line from Noodler's Inks. The Blackest of the Blacks!!!.
I can attest that the advertising is true, from my own testing; I'd take it even further and say it will survive complete immersion in water, for hours on end, according to my own testing, but soap & water will remove it.
It washes out of pens with just plain water easily, including clear demonstrators.
If you want a non-permanent black ink that is nearly waterproof, yet still washable, then I highly recommend Borealis!
As long as you take certain steps to avoid the feathering it's great stuff and extremely dark black!
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“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#4 Inka

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:48

@ ajcoleman:

I wrote another Borealis review and thought I'd post it here first, for you to take a look at.
Here's my hand-written review, done just a few hours ago...



Here's a shot of my wash-test, done today for you as well.
You can see that the deep black barely washes out with HOT running water, leaving it a deep gray, yet readable.
Keep in mind the area showing the pure ammonia-wash is faded at the top not from ammonia but from the bleach leaching downward into that area.
You'll also notice the area with Dawn liquid dishwashing liquid began to wash out the Borealis, but I only wiped a swab over it and had I really swabbed it the Borealis would have come out of the paper.
So you see, while Borealis isn't "bulletproof", is is truly VERY waterproof, in that not even soaking the paper with scalding hot running water until the paper was fully saturated the writing is still perfectly legible...



I did a Borealis review some time back and right now I'm not sure where in the Ink Review section it's located, so I'll go back and post this one there as well.
It is, by all my testing, once again the absolutely DARKEST black ink I have ever used.
I also have some Kiwagaru Nano Carbon Black I was given a sample of and Borealis blows it away, not just that it's darker but Borealis dries almost instantly on most paper whereas Nano Carbon Black was still wet and smudged nearly an hour later on 25% Premium cotton LaserJet paper.
I hope this helps you to decide on a new Noodler's black ink, which is actually washable to some extent.
I highly recommend you give Borealis a try, heavily water-resistant, not "bulletproof", plus it's the blackest of all the black inks I have ever yet to try!
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“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#5 scribbler77

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:29

Thanks for such a thorough, careful, comprehensive review. I just wish all were as complete and informative.


#6 Inka

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:35

Thanks for the compliment.
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I try to educate whenever I can, from my own experiences.
I flew through this review, just to try and be helpful, so my hand-writing was pretty poor [compared to my normal hand] and a few type-os, but I do try.
wink.gif
“I view my fountain pens & inks as an artist might view their brushes and paints.
They flow across paper as a brush to canvas, transforming my thoughts into words and my words into art.
There is nothing else like it; the art of writing and the painting of words!”

~Inka~ [Scott]; 5 October, 2009

#7 ajcoleman

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:50

Thanks for all the info! That's a great review. I think I will have to give it a try.
Adam
Dayton, OH

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

-- Prov 25:2


#8 zenhikester

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:32

I agree with Inka, Borealis is the blackest of the black AND it has a really cool label.
Regards
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#9 rookieboyliu

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 00:54

I will definitely get a Borealis black after I'm done with Noodler's standard black thanks to Inka's inspiring review. I heard that Borealis flows more smoothly than Standard, is that true?
"Whenever elephants fight, it's always the grass that suffers" -African Proverb
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#10 orangeaurora

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 23:19

And I just received a NOS Parker 45 Flighter with an XF nib that I won on eBay . . . this sounds like just the ink for my new pen. Thank you for such a thorough review!