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Better Behaved Alternative To Red Dragon?

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19 replies to this topic

#1 displacermoose

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 22:29

I'm looking for a good red for my husband to use at work. He loves the color of Diamine Red Dragon, but it feathers like a molting peacock on standard copy paper while also clogging up his pen (a Jinhao x750). I've read the red thread, but the shear amount of information is overwhelming. He's after a dark bloody red that is obviously red. If it has to lean he's okay with a bit of brown, but the purer the better.

 

I already have BSER (too brown, but a possibility if nothing better can be found) and Oku-Yama (as close to red as I go, and I love it, but he doesn't find it bloody enough), but that's about it. I'd like to avoid other Diamine inks since I'm after something that is low-to-no maintenance and I've generally found Diamine to be rather demanding.

 

Some possibilities based off Anderson and Goulet Swabs:

 

De Atrementis Oriental Red

Montblanc Shakespeare

Noodler's Tiananmen Red

Kobe #4

KWZ Standard Red #1

 

I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments on both color and performance of these or other inks.


Yet another Sarah.


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#2 ErrantSmudge

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 22:56

Another alternative from Diamine is Oxblood.  It is very much the definition of "bloody red".

 

Edit: I see you're looking for non-Diamine alternatives.  But I'll let the recommendation sit anyway.


Edited by ErrantSmudge, 22 December 2017 - 23:02.


#3 Chrissy

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 23:53

I've never found Diamine inks to be 'demanding', and Red Dragon is one of my all time favourite red inks. I've used it in loads of different pens and it's never been badly behaved in any of them.

 

However, if you're using cheap copy paper then most inks are going to feather to a greater or lesser degree. The more wet the ink, the more it will feather and bleed through (and actually Red Dragon isn't a particularly wet ink)

 

You might need to try a really dry ink Pelikan 4001 Red or maybe Sheaffer Red (that isn't dry). I can't think of a really dry dark red ink.

 

The main problem with Jinhao's that have slip on caps, is that they can often dry out at the nib tip. I'm afraid there is no solution for that, if you have one that does it. I have one that does the same with almost every ink, but I know it's the pen and not the ink. I only use it with cheap ink for that reason.

 

Try giving your Jinhao a really good flush and clean. Also, if you use soapy water to clean your pen, then I recommend you flush it out really well with clean water afterwards as any trace of suds will make your ink write wetter. Then leave it nib down in a cup with kitchen towel in it overnight, so it's perfectly dry to start with.



#4 SallyLyn

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 00:59

Noodlers is coming out with a new ink... something like Red Brenanke. I can’t spell or find the notice. I just skimmed but talked about fast drying so that could be a great help on poor paper. Should be more info around.

#5 displacermoose

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:13

Another alternative from Diamine is Oxblood.  It is very much the definition of "bloody red".

 

Edit: I see you're looking for non-Diamine alternatives.  But I'll let the recommendation sit anyway.

I've tried a sample of that one, and it is definitely bloody. We'll keep it in mind.


Yet another Sarah.


#6 displacermoose

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:15

I've never found Diamine inks to be 'demanding', and Red Dragon is one of my all time favourite red inks. I've used it in loads of different pens and it's never been badly behaved in any of them.

 

However, if you're using cheap copy paper then most inks are going to feather to a greater or lesser degree. The more wet the ink, the more it will feather and bleed through (and actually Red Dragon isn't a particularly wet ink)

 

You might need to try a really dry ink Pelikan 4001 Red or maybe Sheaffer Red (that isn't dry). I can't think of a really dry dark red ink.

 

The main problem with Jinhao's that have slip on caps, is that they can often dry out at the nib tip. I'm afraid there is no solution for that, if you have one that does it. I have one that does the same with almost every ink, but I know it's the pen and not the ink. I only use it with cheap ink for that reason.

 

Try giving your Jinhao a really good flush and clean. Also, if you use soapy water to clean your pen, then I recommend you flush it out really well with clean water afterwards as any trace of suds will make your ink write wetter. Then leave it nib down in a cup with kitchen towel in it overnight, so it's perfectly dry to start with.

I was afraid of that. I think I'm going to have him try an eyedroppered fine Preppy and see if that works any better. This particular Jinhao snaps quite satisfactorily and the inner cap is not cracked, but that doesn't mean that it is to blame. It has been cleaned quite thoroughly several times and I reground the nib from the standard medium down to somewhere between a f and an ef, but it still is fairly wet.

 

Edited to add: My experience with Diamine is with Ancient Copper, Sargasso Sea, and Red Dragon. All three are extraordinary colors, but tend to goop, clog, crust, and/or smear. I personally find Sailor to have as good or better colors but with a much better performance profile. Unfortunately, I've not found a Sailor alternative to these particular inks.


Edited by displacermoose, 23 December 2017 - 01:18.

Yet another Sarah.


#7 displacermoose

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:16

Noodlers is coming out with a new ink... something like Red Brenanke. I can’t spell or find the notice. I just skimmed but talked about fast drying so that could be a great help on poor paper. Should be more info around.

I will keep an eye out for that.


Yet another Sarah.


#8 Herrjaeger

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:19

I’ve really enjoyed Kobe#4 and Noodler’s Tiananmen (which is well named as it strongly resembles blood). Both have been well behaved for me, even in Lamy Safari with Broad nib I haven’t had any issues with feathering or bleed through (occ ghosting on copier paper). The Noodler’s is considerably less expensive and available.

#9 FPRebel

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:21

Search for reviews of Noodler's Nikita Red.  I recommend it as a pure red with some beautiful shading.  I'm not sure if it has the other characteristics you're looking for.



#10 dvalliere

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 02:04

As someone with experience using Jinhao pens (x450, x750, 159) and quite a few Diamine inks, I'll tell you right now: give up on using Jinhao x450 with stock nib on cheap copy paper. It's far too wet.

You MIGHT be able to make it work with Fine or extra fine replacement nib. But I'd recommend getting Platinum Preppy with extra fine nib and refilling the cartridge with whatever ink you like.

#11 Bobje

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 04:39

Dvalliere is right. In terms of a red ink that’s going to do well in Fine to Extra Fine nibs, on crummy paper, consider Sheaffer brown.

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#12 DasKaltblut

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 04:47

Dvalliere is right. In terms of a red ink that’s going to do well in Fine to Extra Fine nibs, on crummy paper, consider Sheaffer brown.


Not Sheaffer red? *confused*

#13 Chrissy

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 09:13

I was afraid of that. I think I'm going to have him try an eyedroppered fine Preppy and see if that works any better. This particular Jinhao snaps quite satisfactorily and the inner cap is not cracked, but that doesn't mean that it is to blame. It has been cleaned quite thoroughly several times and I reground the nib from the standard medium down to somewhere between a f and an ef, but it still is fairly wet.

 

Edited to add: My experience with Diamine is with Ancient Copper, Sargasso Sea, and Red Dragon. All three are extraordinary colors, but tend to goop, clog, crust, and/or smear. I personally find Sailor to have as good or better colors but with a much better performance profile. Unfortunately, I've not found a Sailor alternative to these particular inks.

 

As far as Diamine Sargasso Sea is concerned, it is a really saturated ink. If it's a part used bottle and starts to evaporate some water, then it becomes even more saturated. Many users add a little distilled water to it before use and that seems to work.  :) Some users report crud on some pen nibs when they use Ancient Copper. I haven't experienced that.

 

Sailor inks are usually very wet and they stain more than some other brands. They will feather and show through on your cheap copy paper.



#14 migo984

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:12

 
Sailor inks are usually very wet and they stain more than some other brands. They will feather and show through on your cheap copy paper.


Like Diamine inks, performance & behaviour between Sailor inks varies considerably. It’s not my experience that Sailor inks stain more across the range as a whole. I’ve had far more staining & other problems with Diamine than any other brand other than Noodler’s. But as usual YMMV.

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#15 ArturiaP3ndrag0n

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:19

Hope this says something.

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#16 displacermoose

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 14:09

I’ve really enjoyed Kobe#4 and Noodler’s Tiananmen (which is well named as it strongly resembles blood). Both have been well behaved for me, even in Lamy Safari with Broad nib I haven’t had any issues with feathering or bleed through (occ ghosting on copier paper). The Noodler’s is considerably less expensive and available.

 

Thanks for this. I was digging through my samples last night and I already have one of Tiananmen which I had completely forgotten about. I'm actually looking for an excuse to try a Kobe or 10 since I generally love Sailor inks and Vanness has started carrying them.

 

Search for reviews of Noodler's Nikita Red.  I recommend it as a pure red with some beautiful shading.  I'm not sure if it has the other characteristics you're looking for.

 

Again, thank you. Nikita hadn't been on my radar before, but I will check it out.

 

As someone with experience using Jinhao pens (x450, x750, 159) and quite a few Diamine inks, I'll tell you right now: give up on using Jinhao x450 with stock nib on cheap copy paper. It's far too wet.

You MIGHT be able to make it work with Fine or extra fine replacement nib. But I'd recommend getting Platinum Preppy with extra fine nib and refilling the cartridge with whatever ink you like.

 

Hmmmm... Well, I'm not ready to give up just yet. DH isn't a fan of Preppys and he loves the red/gold swirl finish on that Jinhao. I may just have to so a bit of alchemy to get the result he wants, which is a great deal of fun.

 

Dvalliere is right. In terms of a red ink that’s going to do well in Fine to Extra Fine nibs, on crummy paper, consider Sheaffer brown.

 

Thank you! I had looked at Sheaffer red, but you're right: the brown is very red. When I order some samples I'll have to get both and (possibly) mix them to see what we end up with.

 

Not Sheaffer red? *confused*

 

I looked at some swabs after Bobje suggest it and the brown looks VERY red.

 

 

As far as Diamine Sargasso Sea is concerned, it is a really saturated ink. If it's a part used bottle and starts to evaporate some water, then it becomes even more saturated. Many users add a little distilled water to it before use and that seems to work.  :) Some users report crud on some pen nibs when they use Ancient Copper. I haven't experienced that.

 

Sailor inks are usually very wet and they stain more than some other brands. They will feather and show through on your cheap copy paper.

 

Sargasso Sea is a different project, but I may have to try that. It is a lovely color but I've had clogging, crusting, and dry time problems with it. Staining isn't an issue for me; I just use in in a converter pen instead of a demonstrator. The only pen I've tried that hasn't developed Ancient Copper crust is my Lamy 2000.

 

Like Diamine inks, performance & behaviour between Sailor inks varies considerably. It’s not my experience that Sailor inks stain more across the range as a whole. I’ve had far more staining & other problems with Diamine than any other brand other than Noodler’s. But as usual YMMV.

 

That has been my experience as well. My Sailor inks, along with  Iroshizuku and De Atrementis, are very well behaved even though they do not all behave the same way. Noodlers is Noodlers and each ink is a new adventure. I've not had much luck with Diamine, but freely admit that I haven't used enough of their range to give them a fair shake.

 

 

Thanks! that is an interesting color.


Yet another Sarah.


#17 Beechwood

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 14:25

Like Diamine inks, performance & behaviour between Sailor inks varies considerably. It’s not my experience that Sailor inks stain more across the range as a whole. I’ve had far more staining & other problems with Diamine than any other brand other than Noodler’s. But as usual YMMV.

 

 

The staining problems with Diamine inks are well documented elsewhere, if the OP is looking for an alternative brand making a good red ink I am using Oster Red Clay, I find no feathering and no clogging problems with any of my pens including Jinhaos.

 

Apart from the Noodlers inks of which I have little experience I would go along with any of your other suggestions


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#18 inkstainedruth

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 14:53

I will keep an eye out for that.

 

If that's the ink Nathan Tardif talked about in the newest video about the Boston Safety pen, I think that's NOT going to work -- it's part of the series designed specifically for the Safety pen, which can handle all those inks that aren't FP safe.  He didn't have it ready for the Commonwealth Pen Show in September, so it wasn't for sale then.  Some of the other "Committee of Safety" inks looked nice, but since the pens weren't available yet I didn't get any of them.

As for inks that WOULD be safe, I'll put in another vote for (modern) Sheaffer Skrip Red.  Which I personally didn't like, simply *because* I don't like blood-red inks.  But I don't know how water resistant it is, if that is an issue.

I also like Noodler's Park Red, which is well behaved and pretty water resistant, but might not be the color he's looking for (it's a bright red, leaning ever so slightly pink).

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#19 SenZen

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 22:08

You could also get him 500 sheets of HP 32lbs paper, it's something like 11 bucks and he will love how his ink looks and his pen glides.


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#20 JakobS

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 00:56

Of the 38-40 (kinda starting to loose track!) Diamine inks I have, I cant say there is a consistent bias toward misbehavior or staining. Of the three Diamine inks the OP has, two (Ancient Copper and Saragosse Sea) have well known issues (nib crud, and clogging respectively). It does appear as Diamine jumped into making saturated inks, a handful of colors cropped up with clogging, crud, and staining issues. Its hard to pin down exactly all the variables to why these misbehave, but probably include a mix of dye choice, ph level ( more basic), and saturation level. They fortunately do not define the majority of the Diamine line though!

As far as finding an ink that writes with no feathering on standard copy paper, that can be easier said than done. For example, the majority of Diamine inks I have, worked perfectly with the standard copy paper from Office Max my office used before switching to a poor quality recycled paper. Would you happen to know what brand it is? This may help to provide the most relevant experience with an ink with those who used the exact paper as well.

Edited by JakobS, 24 December 2017 - 01:01.

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