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Hod Vs Other Noodler's Blacks


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#1 Hohn

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 19:15

I want to buy some a black ink of Noodler's brand. I've read every review of any Noodler's black I can find in the reviews and still need some help in ranking them. I have no need for X-feather, so I am ruling that particular black out. That leaves:
1) Black American Eel
2) Bad Black Moccasin
3) Standard ("bulletproof") Black
4) Heart of Darkness (HOD)
5) Bernanke Black
6) Polar Black
7) Borealis Black
8) Dark Matter

Needless to say, choosing the right Noodler's black is like trying to choose toothpaste, the options are overwhelming. For my purposes, Dark Matter, Borealis Black, and Bernanke black are basically "niche" inks, designed to fill a role as a "vintage" type ink or specialty ink (quick dry for Lefties, etc).

I am considering:
- HOD
- BBM
- BB
- BAE

How would these four inks rank in the following criteria in cases where there is a difference?
- Feather-resistance
- Dry time
- Blackness
- Flow
- Lubrication
- Waterproofness


Insight is welcome. I think HOD is what I seek, but am I giving up the legendary feather-resistance of BB to get the extra blackness?

Thanks so much.

#2 wallylynn

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 19:25

I think HOD is what I seek, but am I giving up the legendary feather-resistance of BB to get the extra blackness?

"Giving up" is probably too strong a term. With a fine nib, and a light touch, I've used HoD to fill out newspaper crosswords just fine.

I bought HoD because it has a more impressive label.

#3 Hohn

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 19:31

Perhaps I should say trading some feather resistance for another quality?

#4 mrt77

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 22:50

I can personally recommend either the "standard" black ink, or Heart of Darkness. But if you get HoD, I'd recommend getting a separate bottle so you can fill other pens with it. As is you can only fill eye droppers. At least I haven't been able to fit any pens down in the bottle and get a successful fill.

#5 Yoda4561

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 23:56

I've tried your 4 picks at one point or another. Bulletproof Black and Black moccasin are my two favorites out of the bulletproof line. Xfeather I haven't tried, but it's on my list of things to do. The lubrication aspect is difficult to tie down with Bulletproof black, sometimes it won't want to flow, especially the first fime you fill a pen with it, once it gets going though the lubrication is pretty good. If it's not flowing it'll be scratchy and bleh. IMO the pen and paper you use will have a HUGE effect on which one you like best. One thing for sure, is that the only ink of those I'd consider truly feather resistant is the standard Bulletproof Black. from best to worst, >>>>


- Feather-resistance--Bulletproof Black > Black Eel> Black Moccasin/HOD(tie)

- Dry time--------------HOD > Black Moccasin > Black Eel > Bulletproof black

- Blackness-----------HOD(blackest)> Black Moccasin(Darkest)>Bulletproof black(highest contrast)> Black eel

- Flow------------------Black Moccasin > HOD > Black Eel > Bulletproof black

- Lubrication---------Black Moccasin > Bulletproof Black(only if it's flowing) > Black Eel > HOD

- Waterproofness: Depends on the pen, all are 100% waterproof. Get too much ink on the paper and the unreacted ink will wash off or smear. Against strong detergents black moccasin seems to burrow deeper into paper, with a very slight halo/fuzzyness around the letters.

Edited by Yoda4561, 07 September 2011 - 00:04.


#6 Lazarus Long

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 00:00

I've tried standard black, Bad Black Moccasin, and Hear of Darkness (samples from Goulet pens).

Keeping in mind that I find feathering/bleedthru resistance more important than drying time, I rank them as follows:

1) Standard black: The best behaved - no bleed through or feathering except on the cheapest of paper. Very black, possibly only slightly less black than Bad Belted Moccasin. The slowest drying, but has only been a problem on high quality (100%) cotton paper, on which it smears a bit. Absolutely waterproof, not even a hint of any washing off under the tap.

2) Bad Black Moccasin: Of the three, the blackest by a very slight margin. Not quite as waterproof. When held under the tap, I could see a slightly grey halo around the writing. Quick drying, at a cost of some feathering/bleed through. Untested on cotton paper.

3) HoD: The least black of the three, despite the name. Very quick drying (almost instant) at the cost of extreme feathering and bleedthru. Absolutely waterproof. Untested on cotton paper.

Unless you are committed to Noodlers, I would also suggest PR Invincible Black. I rank that one right after Standard Black. It was very black, very smooth, absolutely waterproof, reasonably quick drying, some bleedthru and feathering. Bascially a better behaved BBM.

After my experimenting, I chose the standard Black.

Edited by Lazarus Long, 07 September 2011 - 00:01.


#7 RobbW

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 01:27

I have and use HoD, it works well for me on the papers I use. I also have Old Manhattan Black. I haven't used it yet, but it does get good mention here, so don't count it out.

#8 nm4

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 02:03

I don't have the other Noodler's black inks...what I can say is that in my experience HOD has the worst nib creep of any ink I've ever used. It's still a fine ink - nice and dark, smooth, and bulletproof...but with some pens it makes the nib look black!

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#9 JLT

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 17:43

I prefer Bulletproof Black. It is very well-behaved regardless of pen/paper combination, trouble-free from a pen hygiene standpoint and it is as permanent as an ink can be. I also use Dark Matter frequently - the front story behind this ink is very cool and irresistable to someone that works in the applied sciences. Dark Matter's properties are also excellent but it is not bulletproof.

Hey, they're all good. The worst choice among them is a pretty good choice.
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#10 JohnS-MI

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 18:04

I've only used Polar Black and standard Black.


Polar: I don't really write outdoors in freezing weather, and it doesn't really write indoors in reasonable weather (feather and bleed). Didn't even finish the 5 mL sample.

Standard: Bought a bottle before the 5 mL sample ran out and used it ever since. For me it is a reasonable balance on good and poor paper in terms of blackness, dry time, feather and bleed resistance. Maybe not the absolute blackest, but it is black enough (and I am fussy about black that is only gray). It might need a moment to dry on really good paper, and dry time might be a problem for a lefty; I just learn to let it have a moment to dry.

#11 Bogon07

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 23:39

I bought Dark Matter due to the name and have been very happy with it.

In fact I can't see the need to get another black.
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#12 tonybelding

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 23:52

Unless you are committed to Noodlers, I would also suggest PR Invincible Black. I rank that one right after Standard Black. It was very black, very smooth, absolutely waterproof, reasonably quick drying, some bleedthru and feathering.


I'll second this. Private Reserve Invincible Black is excellent and too often is overlooked.

Invincible Black doesn't have the anti-feathering/bleeding quality of Noodler's Black, but it dries much faster, is very lubricating, and dries to an attractive matte black. On high quality paper it's outstanding.

#13 mrt77

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 00:18

PR Invincible black costs a bit more than Noodlers, and you get a bit less. I think you get, what... 90mL of standard black for about $12.50 and 75mL of PR invincible black runs about $17 or so.

#14 PJohnP

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 16:40

Private Reserve Invincible Black is excellent and too often is overlooked.



Interesting. I've not seen that ink, nor seen a review of it here on FPN. With the modifier "invincible", I'd think that it's at least water resistant ?



John P.

#15 tonybelding

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 17:21

Interesting. I've not seen that ink, nor seen a review of it here on FPN. With the modifier "invincible", I'd think that it's at least water resistant ?


Yes, it's totally waterproof. It seems to be a cellulose-reactive formula too, so "invincible" is basically PR's counterpart to "bulletproof".

#16 PJohnP

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 17:43

Yes, it's totally waterproof. It seems to be a cellulose-reactive formula too, so "invincible" is basically PR's counterpart to "bulletproof".


Again, interesting. I've pretty much been using Sailor Kiwaguro Nano-Carbon Black for the last couple of years, but there's always room for another addition given that I don't have other black inks in the stable at this moment. Completely bulletproof isn't as big an issue for me as stalwart water resistance, at least, in the day-to-day applications of ink.

I'll have to keep my eyes open for that ink, or perhaps even get a sample for some testing.

Thanks for the heads-up on this ink !



John P.

#17 jgrasty

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 23:06

I have three Noodler's black inks: Bulletproof Black, Heart of Darkness and Bad Black Moccasin. I always go back to Bulletproof Black, because it is the best overall ink for everyday use. Heart of Darkness is definitely the blackest of the bunch, though. Bulletproof Black wins because it works well on any type of paper, never feathers and rarely bleeds through even the crappiest paper.
Regards,

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#18 Nib Joy

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 23:54

I have bulletproof black and HOD. I like the fact that BB doesn't bleed through anything but I can only get it to work in my Parker Vector. In all other pens it's too dry. And it's grey-green. I'm convinced I have a bad bottle. But it does work great in that one pen. HOD on the other hand I love. It bleeds through everything but I love the super-wet flow and super-dark black. I don't mind the bleedthrough.

#19 Giordana

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:07

Hmm maybe you shouldn't consider BB. To me, it almost looks like a dark gray when using a dry writer (what not everyone likes em wet).

#20 JonB55198

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 16:56

I have Polar EEL Black, HoD, and X-Feather. Do you think it is worthwhile to by the bad mocasin black, and bulletproof black?
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#21 AtomicLeo

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 15:30

I want to buy some a black ink of Noodler's brand. I've read every review of any Noodler's black I can find in the reviews and still need some help in ranking them. I have no need for X-feather, so I am ruling that particular black out. That leaves:
1) Black American Eel
2) Bad Black Moccasin
3) Standard ("bulletproof") Black
4) Heart of Darkness (HOD)
5) Bernanke Black
6) Polar Black
7) Borealis Black
8) Dark Matter

Needless to say, choosing the right Noodler's black is like trying to choose toothpaste, the options are overwhelming. For my purposes, Dark Matter, Borealis Black, and Bernanke black are basically "niche" inks, designed to fill a role as a "vintage" type ink or specialty ink (quick dry for Lefties, etc).

I am considering:
- HOD
- BBM
- BB
- BAE

How would these four inks rank in the following criteria in cases where there is a difference?
- Feather-resistance
- Dry time
- Blackness
- Flow
- Lubrication
- Waterproofness


Insight is welcome. I think HOD is what I seek, but am I giving up the legendary feather-resistance of BB to get the extra blackness?

Thanks so much.


You may want to reconsider Dark Matter. It's not the blackest Noodler's black but it is the best behaved black from Noodler's that I have used. It meets all your requirements above.
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