TL;DR version: Looking for ink to put in my Pilot Metropolitan - F. Two priorities: won't feather on cheap paper (e.g., AMPAD yellow legal pads, standard filing cards and envelopes from STAPLES), won't smear like crazy when handled once dry (i.e., not Noodler's black). Does such an ink exist?
Greetings Pen People,
I come seeking the wisdom of your collective experience. I'm looking for the best black ink!
I know right? Isn't everyone. There are so many threads about this that, reading over the weekend, my head started to spin. JetPens has over 70 individual black inks for sale, and only 12 of them are Noodler's!
OK, the truth is, it doesn't even have to be black. Blue would be fine, or any relatively serious color that works for everyday writing. What I'm really looking for is an ink that doesn't feather on cheap paper, but that also holds up well to being handled. Let me explain.
I use my pens for normal daily writing tasks, such as:
* Addressing envelopes
* Recording filing cards
* Making grocery lists
* Writing in planners / journals
* Taking lesson notes for my students (I'm a music teacher)
* Filling out tax / employment forms
That means I'm often looking at paper like STAPLES index cards and envelopes, yellow AMPAD legal pads, and whatever comes out of the contractor's printer / copy machine.
My first bottle of "real" ink was Noodler's black (the plain jane one with a fish on it). I got it to go with my first "real" fountain pen, which was a LAMY AlStar F nib. (Purchased, incidentally, after extensive Google research in these very forums. Thanks guys! It was real upgrade from the AS SEEN ON TV REAL IRIDIUM NIB pen I found at Walgreens for $12.) Those two - AlStar and Noodler's black - got along relatively well, but you can't stop after just one pen, right? So here are my main pens:
LAMY Safari EF
Platinum Plaisir 03
Pilot Metropolitan F
That's a pretty standard set of not-too-expensive pens, I believe. I have a few other odds and ends (a Preppy 05 that I mostly use for testing paper - it writes like a fricking Sharpie, a LAMY Joy 1.1 that I sometimes dabble in italic with, an ink-starved Parker Urban, etc.) but my favorite is the Pilot MR. It's the one I'm most likely to be addressing an envelope with, and, therefore, the one I'd like to match my daily ink to.
So what's wrong with Noodler's black? It looks great, right? I like its really dark unshaded blackness; it doesn't feather (much) on a yellow AMPAD. The problem is that no matter how long it dries it smears when you touch it. I'm not doing art writing (at least, not most of the time). The writing I do gets handled.
Right now I'm using Platinum Carbon black. It's great! Once it locks in it's going nowhere nohow. Unfortunately, it feathers badly on everyday paper. Other inks I've tested are Noodlers Heart of Darkness (yikes! even worse!), Platinum (non-carbon) black, and Pilot black.
I was thinking about going back to basics and trying some bog standard inks like LAMY or Waterman. Long ago I had some LAMY black, and some Parker Quink. I gave them away because I didn't care for their washed-out look, and now I don't remember how they behaved on cheap paper. I'd be willing to put up with a less-black black (or a shaded blue I guess) if it meant no feathering and no smearing. Does that seem like a good idea?
Ideally, and for maximum style points, if this non-feathering non-smearing ink came in a dark teal-ish green, that would be awesome.
Thanks for reading!