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Noodler's Ink - #41 Brown Review

noodlers brown bulletproof ink #41 brown review waterproof

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10 replies to this topic

#1 benjitzu

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:02

Noodler's #41 Brown does what it was created to do, and it does it very well. Will it win an award for the best behaving, best shading, and best sheening brown ink ever created? No. It should, however, win an award for being a ridiculously awesome bulletproof brown ink. I love it for that reason and highly recommend it.

 

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Quick stats if you don’t want to read all the details:

 

Flow/Lubrication: 2 of 5

Saturation: 4 of 5

Shading: 3 of 5 on Tomoe River; not much on standard papers

Feathering: none

Bleedthrough: none

Showthrough: none

Water-Resistance: 5 of 5

Dry Time (FP friendly): <30 sec

Dry Time (non-FP friendly): <5 sec!

Smearing (dry): none

Sheen: None

Cleaning & Maintenance: above-average (needed more frequently)

Staining: possible on converters and demonstrators - easily remedied with diluted bleach

Buy again: absolutely - will always have in my collection

 

*A quick side note...This is my first ink review. Also, my photo editing skills aren't the best. Hilarious combination.*
 

I love brown inks and #41 Brown was one of the first bottles of ink I bought years ago. It is a dark and deep sepia color, according to the founder of Noodler’s Ink. My first thoughts when seeing it on paper, ‘Yep, that’s brown.’ Anytime I want a bombproof brown ink, this is the first bottle I reach for in my collection.

 

Lamy 2000 fine - Tomoe River (yep, I mistakenly went from 'h' to'j' hahha)

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TWSBI Vac 700 broad - Tomoe River

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Lamy 2000 fine & TWSBI Vac700 broad - Leuchtturm1917

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Noodler’s 3oz glass bottles are simple and functional, filled to the brim. Here’s a closer look at the label on the bottle (read Mr. Tardiff’s description of the ink for more backstory):

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If you want the best behaving brown ink you’ve ever experienced in your fountain pen’s life, this isn’t for you. #41 Brown doesn’t behave badly, but it does require careful pen maintenance (as does every other highly water-resistant ink regardless of brand and color). I would not leave this ink unused in a pen for very long. It wants to work, not to sit idly waiting around for days or weeks at a time. As long as you use your pens often and clean them regularly, you’ll be fine. Even better if it’s a pen you can easily disassemble.

 

Compared to regular fountain pen inks, water-resistant and bulletproof inks tend to dry out on the nib a bit more quickly when left uncapped - #41 is no different. As long as you’re conscious of this and keep your pen capped when not writing, it should pose no issue. During extended sessions, I had no problems with the nib drying out as long as I kept writing. When I did leave the cap off too long, a quick wipe on a paper towel (or my finger) had the ink flowing again.

 

Dry times were weird on Rhodia and Tomoe River (anywhere from 8-30 seconds pending on how much ink pooled) and exceptional on lesser quality paper (under 5 seconds!). If you’re a lefty or anyone who needs a fast drying ink and you use standard paper more often than Rhodia or Tomoe River, #41 Brown is a great option.

 

Tomoe River (smears you see are my fault - my cat kept jumping on the desk...)

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There was little to no feathering on every paper I tried, including a junk-mail envelop and a Walmart spiral notebook. Impressive! No bleedthrough and little to no show-through. It’s a drier ink which is awesome if you’ll be writing on lower quality papers. On FP friendly papers, a juicy nib will work best (that is, of course, just MY preference).

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There is some shading with wetter lines on Tomoe River and Rhodia.

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How about the bulletproof & waterproofness qualities?

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Post-soak.

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On Rhodia and Tomoe River, a tiny bit of ink slightly smeared with a wet finger (and I do mean tiny). On all other paper where every bit of ink could bond with the fibers, nothing moved.

 

Here are a few quick comparisons to some of the other brown inks I have:

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I must admit, I'm biased. I love Noodler’s Ink & Nathan Tardiff and have a keen appreciation for his water-resistant & bulletproof inks (as well as his mission). When I was first getting into fountain pens, I only wanted waterproof inks and Noodler’s was the first brand recommended to me. It wasn’t until I had a dozen or more bottles of Noodler’s bulletproof inks that I started exploring other non-bulletproof inks and other brands. Though I have a wide variety of inks now, from most brands and companies, I always have at least a couple of pens in my rotation filled with Noodler’s bulletproof inks.



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#2 The Good Captain

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:31

A great review and one of my favourite brown inks. It's permanently in a Noodler's Dixie #10 with Wlanut in another. Really great inks to use.


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#3 lapis

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 11:43

Excellent review. Really trurns me on to getting this one. It's not simply the indestructibility but just its own, real brown color.


Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#4 white_lotus

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 13:17

Thanks so much for the great review!



#5 inkandseeds

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 15:28

Good review, great assortment of images.

#6 benjitzu

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 21:12

One of the posted images stopped working for some reason...here it is again:

 

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#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 23:02

Thanks for the review - I just dusted off my bottle of #41 Brown recently (metaphorically speaking!) and tried it in another pen - only to clean it out again.  I like the colour, and *really* like the waterfastness - but it dries up too quickly in the nib of most of my pens.  You've inspired me, though, to keep trying - and to see if I can find a pen with a better airtight cap seal, where this is less of an issue!



#8 Intensity

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 19:01

Excellent review that gives a great idea and representation of this ink.  I've been curious about it.  I have and like Noodler's Walnut, which also has respectable water resistance (pale wash of golden brown-yellow washes off, clear line remains).  Thank you for comparing the two side-by-side!   Looks like I'll stick with Walnut for a more appealing (to me) hue without the extra maintenance care.  (As a bonus, Walnut has a very pleasant faint fresh scent if you put your nose near the bottle).


Edited by Intensity, 14 January 2019 - 19:05.

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#9 benjitzu

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 17:12

Thanks for the review - I just dusted off my bottle of #41 Brown recently (metaphorically speaking!) and tried it in another pen - only to clean it out again.  I like the colour, and *really* like the waterfastness - but it dries up too quickly in the nib of most of my pens.  You've inspired me, though, to keep trying - and to see if I can find a pen with a better airtight cap seal, where this is less of an issue!

Yeah, it definitely likes certain pens more than others. One thing that helped with the drying out in some of my pens is to add a few drops of distilled water into each fill. The ink is so saturated that it did nothing to the color but mellowed at some of its more quirky behavior. Out of sheer curiosity, I once added several drops of Lexington Gray to #41 and was pleased with the result. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of the result. Good luck with your experimenting!

 

Excellent review that gives a great idea and representation of this ink.  I've been curious about it.  I have and like Noodler's Walnut, which also has respectable water resistance (pale wash of golden brown-yellow washes off, clear line remains).  Thank you for comparing the two side-by-side!   Looks like I'll stick with Walnut for a more appealing (to me) hue without the extra maintenance care.  (As a bonus, Walnut has a very pleasant faint fresh scent if you put your nose near the bottle).

I also love Noodler's Walnut and use it more than #41 Brown for the exact reasons you mentioned. Walnut is a perfect everyday ink. I'll grab my bottle tonight and check out the fresh scent. Thanks!



#10 inkstainedruth

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 02:08

Thanks for the review.  Besides the slight color difference, what difference do you find between #41 Brown and Walnut?  Because when I started here, there were a lot of complaints about the differences between "old" #41 and "new" #41.  (I like Walnut a lot, but it needs to be in a wetter writer).

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#11 Intensity

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 05:35

I like Walnut in standard pens too that have more moderate ink flow.  But in general I think most inks look better with high flow pens and on fountain pen-friendly paper.  There's almost no ink (literally just one ink) that I own or have tried in a sample where I think "oh this will be perfect for my 'dry writer'".  Usually it's the opposite.


“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: noodlers, brown, bulletproof, ink, #41 brown, review, waterproof



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