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Ink For University Exams


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#1 WhiteStarPens

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 19:40

As a first year university student in the UK, I will soon need a strong black ink for the impending exam season. 

I'm not sure what the paper quality will be like though, judging from past experiences, I'm not expecting vellum! 

So, as you can imagine, feathering is just one thing I wish to minimize.

 

Could anyone recommend an ink which is

  • Feather-resistant
  • Quick drying
  • Permanant
  • As dark a black as possible

I currently use Pelikan black, which fared pretty well in past exam situations but I'm not sure that it will be up to the task.

 

Any help with this matter, including good and bad experiences with black inks, will be greatly appreciated.

 

Daniel



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#2 KellyMcJ

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 19:47

Sailor Kiwa Guro - nanoparticle black ink, I'm fairly certain only fire can remove it. Supposed to be well behaved on poor paper- I haven't used it but I have used its blue sibling Sei Boku and can attest that it's fantastic (I'm not a fan of black ink).



#3 Venemo

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 19:52

Pelikan black should definitely get you through this. It's water resistant and quick drying as well (at least in my experience).

 

How black it looks is actually very subjective and everyone on this forum will recommend a different one.

Here are some that I have tried:

  • Platinum Carbon Black ― very black, but it has some sheen after it dries. Flows very well, but I definitely would not use it in an expensive pen.
  • De Atramentis Document Black ― looks good, is wet and permanent. I haven't had any trouble with it.
  • Rohrer & Klingner Dokumentus Black ― haven't tested it too much yet, but seems nice too.


#4 ParramattaPaul

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 20:05

As  said, Pelikan black is good.  That said, Diamine Jet Black is what I use.



#5 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 20:26

Hi Daniel,

Not to be redundant or unimaginative, but I'd stick with the Pelikan Brilliant Black, too,... :) ...

...unless you can track down a bottle of the Koh-i-Noor permanent black fountain ink.

Best wishes on your exams. :thumbup:


- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#6 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 20:29

Just to follow-up... I haven't used it yet,... but German brand, DeAtramentus is supposed to make some top-notch Document inks... you may want to check them out in our review section.


- A.C.
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#7 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 21:05

[*]De Atramentis Document Black ― looks good, is wet and permanent. I haven't had any trouble with it.


Sorry Venemo... I missed your recommendation for this... or I would have credited you with it. :blush:


- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#8 Olya

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 21:14

All German school children use washable blue and have done so for decades now, as have French and British school kids, and no horrendous accident has yet erased anyone's exams or work! (eg Lamy Blue or Pelikan 4001 Blue)

 

I wanted to suggest Pelikan Black, but you are using it already.. Put it in a finer nib and honestly I don't think it needs any more precautions than that.

As to what is the blackest black.. That is another debate, and someone's (black perceived as) "grey" might be your perfect strong black!

 

All the other suggested inks are great, but be aware those are pigment inks and your pen will need proper care, with a regular dye ink like Pelikan Black you needn't be too careful.



#9 TinyHound

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 21:32

Sailor kiwa guro. It is BLACK, waterproof. Fast drying and no feather. I study in the netherlands and have had plenty crappy exam paper. Never had an issue. Also great for notes/lab journals since the ink never washes off. Also nice lubrication, if a FP is scratchy with kiwa guro it will scratch with any ink!

Sei boku is its blue brother, which i prefer for exams. Since questions are printed in black and i prefer the contrast of questions/answers. Makes things easier to spot in a hurry!

Good luck on your exams!

#10 dcwaites

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 10:42

Honestly, if I was still working in a laboratory, I would be using Noodler's Black.

Black, especially in a wetter pen, permanently permanent, works well on almost any paper in a drier pen.

 

If you have a finer nibbed Sailor pen, I would go for the Sailor Kiwaguro or SeiBoku inks because you can get them in cartridges, making refilling during the middle of an exam simple.


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#11 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:14

Honestly, if I was still working in a laboratory, I would be using Noodler's Black.
Black, especially in a wetter pen, permanently permanent, works well on almost any paper in a drier pen...


Hi DC,

I know just what you mean, but Daniel lives in the UK and its my understanding that Noodlers ink is scarcer then hens teeth over there... and shipping from America requires a loan shark's services. :unsure:


- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#12 dompred

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:33

Personally I've used Noodler's Bulletproof Black with my Lamy Al-Star EF for many years during my degree, apart from waiting for a few seconds to dry before changing page, I have not observed any bleedthrough or any feathering. It is also very waterproof and has a nice contrast (as opposed to Washable Blue inks which may seem washed out).

 

This year I used Sailor Kiwa Guro instead of Noodler's and it behaved equally as good, although my preference would be Noodler's because of the crisper line it provides on cheap paper. 

 

If you'd be open to blue black inks, I would like to recommend Diamine Registrar's. It's so dark it will be nearly black in a wet pen, it dries very fast (faster than the Noodler's), it won't smear and it shows no feathering or bleedthrough.



#13 Venemo

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 13:38

I would be wary of pigment-based inks like both Sailor Kiwa Guro or Platinum Carbon Black because they tend to be very hard to remove from any surface. I haven't found a way to properly clean Carbon Black from a pen without disassembling the pen and mechanically removing the residue. Sometimes this is a good thing because you can use it for other creative purposes, but as said, I wouldn't use it in an expensive pen.

 

As to iron gall inks such as Diamine Registrars, such as Dompred suggested, or ESSRI which I use, these are also very hard to clean, but it's at least possible if you are okay with patiently soaking your pen in ascorbic acid, but generally this too is not something that should be taken lightly.



#14 sciumbasci

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 14:59

Blue black inks are ruled out?

#15 torstar

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 15:13

what type of exam?

 

is this math or essay answers?

 

To be quite direct, FPs are too much of a hassle for the horror of hand-written exam week...



#16 Inksomnia

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 10:19

Another vote here for Sailor Kiwa-Guro! It's waterproof, lightfast, dark black and non feathering on crappy paper. It is my go to ink for exams, signing documents, everything.

 

I started to use fountain pens, because my hand started to get really bad fatigue when writing long time(we have really loooong exams). Fountain pens literary saved me and I was able to finnish university. I find fountain pen suitable both essay and math-type test. We had those both in mechanical engineering. So I don't see any reason why fountain pens aren't suited for exams? I have found that my fountain pens are even more hassle free than graphite in pencil or mechanical pencil. No need to sharpen, change lead, extend lead, open those nasty jams in tip or anyhting. Just refill your fountain pen before exam and you can just write without any interruptions.



#17 IndigoBOB

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 11:59

Sailor Kiwa Guro



#18 torstar

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 18:02

Oh great, another it worked perfectly for me therefore nobody will ever have a problem ever response....

Edited by torstar, 05 January 2018 - 18:02.


#19 WhiteStarPens

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 19:27

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and helpful replies! 

 

I study English Literature so I will be dealing with long, handwritten essays.

I had considered getting something like a Parker Jotter ballpoint but would rather switch my ink as a Jotter is a little too slim (and I'd rather invest in a fountain pen). I would also be interested in trying out some new brands anyway.

 

Anthony is quite right, I can only think of one retailer of Noodler's inks. Their colour scope is limited, compared to what I've seen from U.S based retailers, but I will certainly take a look. As for the Sailor ink, I am a touch reticent as the price here is quite high - but then needs must when the devil drives!



#20 JakobS

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 21:58

Having used four or five different fountain pens in college for three years for long hand notes, and hand written essasies in chemistry, biology, english, and anthropology I found them to be quite versatile.

I used Pelikan Black for a semester or two, and found it to be fine with the paper offered for exams, but caught a bug for color, and ended up writing the majority of my notes in these new colors, mostly Diamine inks.

I ended up writing most of hand written essasies with Diamine Registrars ink, it worked well, the only thing I would change is using it with a wetter nib, for increased flow, and darker oxidation of the ink. It can become quite dark black in a wet nib, but can also shade a bit as well. It handled all paper types without a hint of feathering.

The nano inks from Sailor and Platinum will be consistently blacker inks, but I have yet to use them to speak for any other quality, they do look and sound promising though.

One suggestion would to get black ink samples from a shop like The Writing Desk, and use them on the back or blank sheet of an old exam page you might have around, to see how they behave. That way you can get a greater sense of inks that look promising but may not be mentioned above.

Edited by JakobS, 05 January 2018 - 22:15.

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