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Noodler's Polar Blue


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#1 I am not a number

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 16:53

Noodler's Polar Blue.

I had wanted to try this ink for some time and included it in an order from The Writing Desk (one of the few UK suppliers to hold a comprehensive range of inks).

First Impressions:

It's a large and well-presented bottle, when the cap is taken off the ink looks very vivid and I was certainly impressed. The manufacturers make bold statements about its abilities to withstand extremes of climate but as it was just a UK standard November day (grey, unimpressive and with an air of faint gloom - much like my old school uniform) I had no immediate plans to test the efficacy of this ink in sub-zero temperatures whilst dealing with frost-bite and indigenous carnivores.



Writing:

To me Noodler's Polar Blue flows well and I like the general feel of using this ink. I also particularly like the colour despite being previously a fan of much more vivid hues. There is something about this ink that just seems to state clearly that the user means business (but without any underlying threat of grave and imminent physical harm). It is a shade that pleases me greatly.

However, one of the first things that struck me was that I didn't like the tendency of this ink to bleed through paper, it is not manifest but it is sufficient to be annoying. There is also slight but perceptible feathering (I have used Rhodia paper from a No:15 pad for this test, a paper which is supposedly Fountain Pen friendly). Also, as has been reported by others, there is a degree of nib creep that some may find off-putting, it doesn't bother me at all but is worth mentioning. The following scans show some detail of these attributes:





Summary:

I am won over by the colour of the ink and the way that it sets down on the paper. The nib creep is something that I can quite happily live with but the bleed problem and what I perceive to be slight feathering would cause me to be selective in my use of it - that is not a factor that I like to have at the back of my mind when I reach for a pen.

Bearing in mind that it was created for a specific purpose I imagine that employed in the environs which dictated its formulation, it would be pretty well unbeatable, but in the drear day-to-day existence that I now claim as my own it is perhaps something more of a whim or fancy for me.

Would I recommend it? To novice Fountain Pen users or anyone who is less than an enthusiast I would say no - I do not consider it as an ink that will enthuse those who are uncommitted to using a real pen. To people who know what they are doing I would say that it is certainly worth trying out. As I have observed, I like the colour and if the bullet (and probably heat-seeking missile) proof qualities are to be given credence it will be my ink of choice the next time I am parachuted by night onto a glacier to go about some death-defying derring-do that I wish to accurately chronicle for my memoirs. I like this ink, but in all honesty I would like to like it slightly more.

IANAN



Edit: All references to camel spiders removed along with obscure Sanskrit quotation bemoaning the rising price of sacrificial daggers. Just kidding, it was syntax...

Edited by I am not a number, 30 November 2007 - 21:59.

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#2 limesally

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 17:00

Great review and your scan looks exactly right to me, and I agree with all your observations.

I'd only add that PB *really* flows fast for me, almost uncontrollably so in some pens. I find the bleed-through different from other types of ink bleed; to me it's almost like a little grease spot - like when you put a piece of paper down on some cookie crumbs (oh come on, haven't we all done that? rolleyes.gif )

I'm so sad I ruined the beautiful label, though - I actually spilt the ink on it while attempting to fill something with a syringe.

Right now I'm using it a mixing ink, the PB for waterfastness and other inks for colour and control of flow. I'm not sure I love it enough to use on its own.

As for the Polar-proofness - well, I'm in Canada, and while I have no intention of writing outside in subzero temperatures, there is always the danger of leaving a pen in a cold car, so I guess it is handy for that, too.



#3 BobR

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 18:17

Great review and real hoot! I urge you to do some more writing, especially reviews. I agree completely with you--great ink but the feathering and bleed-through are upsetting. Like limesally, I've taken to mixing it with more vibrant blues to produce an ink that will stand up to water. It seems to work pretty well.

#4 SallyLyn

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 18:28

Enjoyed the review and the word pictures. I now live in the Northwest part of Washington state, US. After first moving here, tried to explain the winter to my east coast friends. Finally just said, it's like living in England!

I enjoy Polar Blue, using it for the Bulletproof properties. The pen of choice is a Hero 616 (a Parker 51-61 clone) so don't notice any nib creep. Don't get much freezing weather, but should test by putting the pen out on the stoop for the night.

LimeSally, what inks are you mixing with PB? I did a mix with Noodlers Navy and experienced flow problems, nice color though. Now my rule is to mix with something like a Waterman or Sheaffer ink.

#5 Goshzilla

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 21:08

QUOTE(BobR @ Nov 30 2007, 11:17 AM) View Post
Great review and real hoot! I urge you to do some more writing, especially reviews. I agree completely with you--great ink but the feathering and bleed-through are upsetting. Like limesally, I've taken to mixing it with more vibrant blues to produce an ink that will stand up to water. It seems to work pretty well.


It depends on what type of paper you are using, I find certain brands feather with Polar Black, while other brands do just fine.

#6 jowe

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 00:19

I tried Polar Blue in my Waterman Edson.
Nice colour, and really permanent, without the disadvantages of iron gall ink.
The reason,however, why I do not use this ink in this pen any more is nib creep.
The ink smeared itself spontaniously all over the nib and the golden parts of the section.
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#7 limesally

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 03:02

QUOTE(SallyLyn @ Nov 30 2007, 11:28 AM) View Post
LimeSally, what inks are you mixing with PB?


Oh! I just noticed this question. So far I've tried mixing it 1:1 with Blue Suede, and also with Lamy Turquoise. The Blue Suede mix has a beautiful colour but it's really really wet. The Lamy Turquoise mix is much better behaved and also quite nice. I was thinking that the next thing I try will be Violet Pensee.






#8 ethernautrix

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:25

My bottle of Polar Blue arrived today, so naturally I felt compelled to search out a review of it, even though I already like it A LOT, and I've already decided that it will replace my Pilot Blue-Black as my blue ink of choice (mostly because it's bulletproof).

I also received the Dragon's Napalm (inspired by Deirdre's experience of spilling it in her bathroom), and it is, indeed, the color of... that liquid used to clean wounds (or whatever that stuff does -- alert others to your injury, I suppose, for the sympathy).

I like playing with colors. Again.

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#9 wpblaw

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 19:16

QUOTE(ethernautrix @ Mar 14 2008, 11:25 PM) View Post
My bottle of Polar Blue arrived today, so naturally I felt compelled to search out a review of it, even though I already like it A LOT, and I've already decided that it will replace my Pilot Blue-Black as my blue ink of choice (mostly because it's bulletproof).

I also received the Dragon's Napalm (inspired by Deirdre's experience of spilling it in her bathroom), and it is, indeed, the color of... that liquid used to clean wounds (or whatever that stuff does -- alert others to your injury, I suppose, for the sympathy).

I like playing with colors. Again.



I purchased Dragon's Napalm about a month ago and loved using it. Not practical for me on a day-to-day basis, but it's fun to have it at hand. I enjoy the Polar Blue ink, though I'm like Lamy blue-black these days - waterproof and a nice blue-gray with shading. Its iron gall properties haven't hurt any pens yet, but I've used it only in cheapee Lamys. FWIW. (Oh, I recommend Noodler's Red-Black too...the reviews here indicate that it comes off as a brown, but my bottle is more black cherry and it's definitely one of the most interesting colors I've worked with in awhile!)
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#10 Mannenhitsu

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 22:41

This ink looks very interesting, and I love the "bulletproof" characteristics of it. Does this mean it will hold up just like their black ink, in thwarting check forgery, or attempting to erase one's signature? If so, I will have to buy a bottle in the near future. smile.gif

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#11 Rapt

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 15:42

There are a number of inks that get the same designation although they haven't been tested as extensively as the black they are supposed to be just as "fraudproof" as the black.

Polar blue is one of these other inks.
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#12 Combat Marmot

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 21:22

I also agree with the observations regarding feathering (making rather small subscripts less sharp, much to my annoyance), nib creep and show-through. I'm still looking for a good "crisp" (i.e. no feather and show through), water-resistant/proof blue black.

#13 Inkanthropist

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 09:02

Thanks for the great review. I've been wondering about this ink, but your comments about feathering have convinced me to look elsewhere for my next blue.

Neil
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#14 jacob88huang

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 23:02

I wish I read this review before I bought Noodler's Polar Blue. I really like the color but the bleeding problem really bothers me. Maybe it's not designed for people not living near Arctic.

#15 kiavonne

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 00:42

QUOTE (jacob88huang @ Aug 10 2008, 05:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wish I read this review before I bought Noodler's Polar Blue. I really like the color but the bleeding problem really bothers me. Maybe it's not designed for people not living near Arctic.


It isn't designed for warm weather writing, really. It works best under 70 degrees F, I'd say. I used it last winter and didn't have a problem with it, but I put it away once the spring weather hit. Good thing, as we broke the regional record for a heat wave of days above 90 this summer. The ink really was formulated, from all that I've read in the past, for conditions where ink has a tendency to stop flowing in adverse temperature conditions (cold). All that stuff said, I did still have some feathering on some papers, most notably on the recycled stuff at work. Worked great on my check blanks, though. It is the "staple" blue I will turn to in winter months. Luxury Blue for the other months, but still behind my Legal Lapis, which I use year round.

Edited by kiavonne, 11 August 2008 - 00:44.

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#16 jacob88huang

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:09

QUOTE (kiavonne @ Aug 10 2008, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It isn't designed for warm weather writing, really. It works best under 70 degrees F, I'd say.


No wonder it's not only bleeding at each stroke but the paper is also soaked deeply into the other side. I think I'll learn to appreciate it when winter is coming. wink.gif

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#17 DwarvenChef

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:58

I still haven't used mine yet but I got a bottle of this for working in the walkin fridge and walkin freezer, doing inventory and orders. Seeing this thread helped me NOT use it outside of this task biggrin.gif I really can't wait to see how it does... but first I need to get some refill equipment....

Edited by DwarvenChef, 14 August 2008 - 08:59.


#18 ksskss

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 19:04

Is there any chance of getting the original images reposted? They are not displaying. Thanks in advance.

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Edited by ksskss, 06 September 2008 - 19:05.


#19 jmkeuning

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 19:15

Probably not, since the OP is gone and is staying away.
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#20 rzed1001

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:36

QUOTE (DwarvenChef @ Aug 14 2008, 08:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I still haven't used mine yet but I got a bottle of this for working in the walkin fridge and walkin freezer, doing inventory and orders. Seeing this thread helped me NOT use it outside of this task biggrin.gif I really can't wait to see how it does... but first I need to get some refill equipment....

I've just ordered this ink and I'm wondering about keeping it in the fridge - would that be the answer - so it works like its the winter? (Or even in the freezer?)






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