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Brilliant Black - Pelikan 4001

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17 replies to this topic

#1 visvamitra


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 21:46

The 4001 ink is a well-established brand by Pelikan from the very first beginning of the company. It was first mentioned in a price-list from 1897 and proved its worth within all the years. Ink 4001 was registered as a number only, during years there was plenty of colors on the market. However in recent years the line didn't change at all. Happily Pelikan decided to invest not only in Edelstein line but also in 4001 (much cheaper) line and introduced new ink (Dark Green) in january 2016. You may find it interesting that Pelikan 4001 are the only inks that can be bought practically in every B&M store in Poland. 


At the moment the line consists of 


  1. Blue - Black
  2. Brilliant Black
  3. Brilliant Brown
  4. Brilliant Green
  5. Brilliant Red
  6. Dark Green
  7. Pink (cartridges only)
  8. Royal Blue
  9. Turquoise
  10. Violet

I never liked Brilliant Black. First it's black. Second it feels dry and ins't very saturated.




Drops of ink on kitchen towel




Software ID





Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, B














Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, B



















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#2 DustyR


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 22:48

So are you saying you like it more now?  True, it's not the most saturated black, but it's useful in an overly-wet pen.

#3 white_lotus


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Posted 23 February 2016 - 23:31

I have to admit it's hard for me to tell the difference between some of the blacks in the comparison list.

#4 The Good Captain

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 09:23

One of the only black inks I use on a regular basis. Great review as ever!

The Good Captain
"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

#5 amarjit


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Posted 24 February 2016 - 09:42

I always wait for your review. Nice review as usual :)

#6 Safari_Camo


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Posted 25 February 2016 - 02:22

Nice review.

Brilliant Black Pelikan always in my Black Safari F nib.

#7 Parker51


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Posted 25 February 2016 - 04:58

I am at the end of a bottle of brilliant black and it doesn't seem to be black enough to me, more a dark charcoal with a hint of green when writing with a Montblanc 221 fine nib, so I switched to Royal blue, which is fine. Does anyone have any thoughts on why towards the end of the use of a bottle now this ink it would seem to get lighter in shade?
It also seems to be less irradecent and drier.
I may have inadvertently diluted it with the water remaining in a flushed pen that I thought I had emptied completely ( the 221) but which may have been partly filled with water.
Other than the characteristics I mentioned, the ink seems fine, nothing unusual in it, no unusual smells, dries quickly, still looks black in the bottle.
So, is this ink so far from being saturated that a perhaps 10 to 20% increase in water content could cause this?

#8 masterguns



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Posted 26 February 2016 - 01:24

My go-to black ink has been 4001, which I find works great in my wetter pens. I do find, like Parker 51, that there are times when the ink seems less black than usual. In my limited and unscientific experience, it largely depends on the pen in which it is being used, as well as the type of paper I am using. In drier pens, it seems lighter on paper. In my gushers, its pretty dark. On Rhodia and other less-absorbent papers, its dark. On more absorbent paper, it tends to be lighter. 

#9 Lgsoltek


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Posted 26 February 2016 - 03:22

When I started this hobby (read: addiction), it was with a Lamy Vista/Alstar and Briliant Black. At that time I had no idea inks and pens could be dry or wet, so this Lamy F and EF nib + Brilliant Black combo gave me a lot of headache. A dry ink paired up with a dry writing nib. It was just terrible. I tried widening the slit to make it work better though.


Luckily I wasn't frustrated by this first experience, and now that I've learnt much more about the characteristics of inks and nibs, I don't go back to Brilliant Black anymore. I'm a huge fan of wet inks and wet nibs. I don't mind them being so wet as to be dripping. 

#10 Pengineer247



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Posted 26 February 2016 - 03:34

VisvaMitra, your reviews are simply amazing! Being an EF lover, I really want to try this. I have heard some good things of it being a dry ink, and that would be great for notetaking in my tiny handwriting! Unfortunately, I made a mistake choosing the wet PR Purple Mojo as my first ink.

#11 Diderot



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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:37

I have to admit it's hard for me to tell the difference between some of the blacks in the comparison list.




Nice review though.

Edited by Diderot, 26 February 2016 - 07:38.

#12 rudyhou



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Posted 07 March 2016 - 08:42

thank you for sharing.  i like that black inks comparison.


#13 wastelanded


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Posted 07 March 2016 - 21:38

I use almost no black ink, but Pelikan and Montegrappa are the ones I have. I do have a soft spot for 4001, it's a nice old fashioned black (Montegrappa Nero is a lovely dark grey ink).


Another great review as always, thanks!

"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#14 Witsius


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Posted 13 March 2016 - 06:01

This is a great ink.  Brilliant Black, Montblanc Mystery Black, and Aurora Black are my favorite black inks.  

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  Hamlet, 1.5.167-168


#15 fplover01


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Posted 13 March 2016 - 11:34

I have used 4001 Black extensively, works very nice in a wet pen with a broad nib. Lately, I am moving away from black inks, because of some signatures (people insist on a blue to "differentiate originals from copies") and blue black has slowly moved on top of my list. However when I need a black ink, 4001 is where I look to.

#16 IpsoLaxoPenoFlip


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Posted 21 March 2016 - 19:11

While not saturated, this ink gives writing an aged, vintage feel almost as soon as it dries.

#17 peanuts252


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Posted 24 March 2016 - 05:07

Great review as always. Feels like it may serve best in a broad with heavy flow? As someone mentioned above, I do enjoy the slightly charcoal look it has. Not the most 'Brilliant' Black, but a solid ink nonetheless. 

#18 mehandiratta


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Posted 07 April 2016 - 10:54

Thank you for the review....

vaibhav mehandiratta                               

architect & fountain pen connoisseur 


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