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Safest All Around Well Performing Inks? Looking For Alternatives To Lamy Blue



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Hello, if this has been discussed before, feel free to point me in the right direction. :-)

 

We all know whether any given ink works well for you depends on the pen in which is used, the nib size, and the paper you write on, but I am interested in learning what are the best overall inks members know about, in any and every pen or paper. After some experience, though not a lot of different inks, I am forced to the conclusion that the safest and overall best performing ink I know is Lamy blue for the following reasons:

 

1-Least likely to clog or stain a pen, at least any pen I have tried

2-Among the least likely to bleed through bad paper, little if any feathering in most papers I tried

3-Excellent drying speed, though probably not the fastest of them all.

4-Attractive dark, saturated color always for an ink apparently intended for cheap paper.

5-Flows well on dry pens, seems to work well on wet pens.

 

The point of this topic is, I love Lamy blue, but I wish to find other inks (and other colors) that meet the above characteristics. Based on other comments, I have tried other popular inks, with the following results

 

Lamy black: dries fast, but much more likely to bleed through, unattractive gray black, some residue left inside the pen, though not nearly as much as Noodler's black

 

Noodlers black: one of my favorites, but seems temperamental with the weather, some of my pens don't like it much, and it leaves visible residue inside bladder pens that I cannot wash off, though I cannot prove that is bad for the pen. Great on cheap paper though.

 

Hero carbon ink: another favorite, dries fast, good color, but tends to clog some pens, can feather badly on some papers.

 

Quink black: one the safest inks for pens available, apparently, but it has bleed through issues in my tests on cheap paper, and the color is kind of dull.

 

Noodler's X-feather: competes very closely with Lamy blue when it comes to not bleeding through cheap paper, but sometimes Lamy blue actually bleeds through less on some paper, and X-feather is not really usable in high quality paper because of very slow drying, and it clogs some of my pens.

 

I have tried other inks with mixed results, but none of those others comes close to the above in terms of usability with any pen, nib, or paper (X-feather is mentioned only because of how well Lamy blue performs compared to it for its intended purpose, it is otherwise troublesome when not used as intended).

 

Hopefully what I am after is not too confusing. Thanks in advance. :-)

Edited by civil
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Zdez Zaphareon

Try some of the de atramentis document inks if you can get a hold of them. Ultra drying times. If not maybe an iroshizuku?

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Thanks for the suggestion, fast drying is good, are you saying that most or all atramentis and iroshizuku inks work equally well in most pens and paper types? If that is not what you meant, which ones specifically? Thanks.

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Zdez Zaphareon

Not all de atramentis, the document inks are really known to be bulletproof, flow well and have outstanding dry times. Iroshizuku and document inks are pretty much staples of "won't regret" buys since they are just marvelous. Although both have something to consider. Iroshizuku are pricier and document inks are (as far as I'm aware) a tad bit hard to find. Goulet has some documents available and ofc iroshizuku. You mentioned paper and nib size, is there a certain combo you prefer so that I can get a better idea if this is something you can absolutely get without any issues?

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Your #5 appears to be self contradictory.

5-Flows well on dry pens, seems to work well on wet pens.

 

To flow well on dry pens, the ink has to be wet.

But on a wet pen, a wet ink will flow a LOT, and you get a VERY WET pen.

 

You really need TWO (2) inks;

- a dry ink (like Pelikan) for wet pens

- a wet ink (like Waterman) for dry pens

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Your #5 appears to be self contradictory.

5-Flows well on dry pens, seems to work well on wet pens.

 

To flow well on dry pens, the ink has to be wet.

But on a wet pen, a wet ink will flow a LOT, and you get a VERY WET pen.

 

You really need TWO (2) inks;

- a dry ink (like Pelikan) for wet pens

- a wet ink (like Waterman) for dry pens

Thanks for your comment. Have you tried Lamy blue? That is the basis of my statement. I am no expert in inks, so I may not know what good flow for a dry pen and and a wet pen truly are, I only know that the only non troublesome ink I have tried for both types of pens, is Lamy blue.

 

I am putting forth Lamy blue as some sort of universally well behaved ink in every situation, pen and paper, and wish to have more ink like that, particularly in other colors, especially black.

 

I know that there is ink that either dries faster, or works better in wet pens, or better in dry pens, or writes better in high quality paper, or works better in some dreadful paper, or feathers less, or looks more saturated and attractive always, but on all those categories, I have not experienced better ink for every situation, or even equally as good, yet.

 

I need to look into the document inks mentioned, although I thought all inks were document inks, so I am curious now.

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You mentioned paper and nib size, is there a certain combo you prefer so that I can get a better idea if this is something you can absolutely get without any issues?

Well, I prefer extra fine nibs for daily use, but I suppose the holy grail situation in my scenario, is a medium or broad nib in bad quality paper.

Ink that behaves well in bad paper with a broad nib, does that even exists? I know x-feather will not do this, it barely works with an xf nib (pilot prera) on very bad, porous paper (not news print or toilet tissue, but Mead paper and the different planners and notebooks that company puts out, horrible paper, yet the most common paper I run into).

Edited by civil
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EDITED: amberleadavis, thanks for correcting the forum location for me!

Edited by civil
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Zdez Zaphareon

:0 quite a tough one, if you could get a sample from both ink lines maybe you could see if it works for you. I tend to avoid porous paper as a whole so I don't have any laying around. With the extra fine nibs I wouldn't see a problem, but a juicier nib will definitely be an issue :)

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For a good working class ink where water resistance is not important, I would go with a Waterman Blue or Blue/black. If water resistance is a big issue, then I would recommend Pilot Blue. If your not afraid of a little Iron Gall, then I would highly recommend Montblanc Permanent Blue.

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I'm not sure if it helps, but IIRC, when he was doing pen repairs professionally, Richard Binder said that he used Waterman Blue-Black ink as his universal test ink. In my experience, Waterman's Blue-Black, Florida Blue and Black inks all are universally well-behaved. Note that they have recently changed their names, so you may have to see what these inks are now called, but their formulas seem not to have changed.

 

The other inks that I've found to be similarly well-behaved are the now out-of-production Gate City inks. These were originally distributed by Richard Binder, and were said to be formulated to closely match the flow and saturation characteristics of vintage inks.

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Thanks, I do like water resistance, but mostly I am looking for all purposes inks, preferably in reasonably saturated colors other than blue.

 

I have long suspected Waterman blue is probably like Lamy blue, based on reviews, but since I already have several blues and blacks (the colors I usually buy), I was hoping to try different colors with the same safe characteristics.

 

Does anyone know how Waterman blue and blue/black behave with bad paper, especially concerning bleed through, and feathering?

Edited by civil
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amberleadavis

Civil, check out the pinned thread in Inky Thoughts. The first post has a set of links to swabs of various colors. Once you see some colors you like, check out the reviews. Then, try some samples. Write with and about your samples, then try some more samples.

 

If you can't get a sample of Visconti Blue or Aurora blue, and need a blue - those two are safe, wet and vibrant. I personally love Noodler's eel blue, though I prefer Midway blue for it's water resistance.

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Thanks amberleadavis for the helpful links, and for correcting the forum issue! :D

 

I actually have been collecting a few planner pages with writing samples (basically samples of bleed through and show through on some popular planners pocket planners, using "safe" ink mostly) I may post one day, once I am more satisfied with my search for the perfect planner paper (and once I get over the fact that my writing is too dreadful for posting. :blush:

 

On the links I did not see a discussion such as this, though I found a few similar ones by searching, not as focused on this topic as this one though.

 

For the longest time I used Noodler's black as my go to ink for every situation and paper, until I started noticing that the ink can be quite temperamental with some pens and weather conditions (during a particularly humid and hot summer, most pens I tried it in started burping and causing other mayhem, so I stopped using it for the time being).

 

Lamy blue is the most stable ink I have ever used, but miss the saturation of Noodler's black, and more color variety, hence this topic.

Currently I am using it and X-feather with a planner that has terrible paper (daytimer), an additional motivation for this search.

Edited by civil
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Well, with extra fine and fine nibs you couldn't go bad with Japanese inks, especially Sailor, Pilot Iroshizuku, if the water proofness matter, than Platinum Pigmented inks, I use the pigmented inks in my Sonnets with fine nib, they flow well, dry quickly and stay on the paper compare for a human lifetime: forever. Sailor are really good, I sue them more and more, they flows absolutely wet, but not to wet, didn't experienced any bleed through and dry much slower on nib in the air than any other ink I ever met. They are top on the quality line. I'm highly recommend them, only drawback the high phenol if you have a good nose, you can smell it from the nib, but after they dried, its ok. :thumbup:

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Well, with extra fine and fine nibs you couldn't go bad with Japanese inks, especially Sailor, Pilot Iroshizuku, if the water proofness matter, than Platinum Pigmented inks, I use the pigmented inks in my Sonnets with fine nib, they flow well, dry quickly and stay on the paper compare for a human lifetime: forever. Sailor are really good, I sue them more and more, they flows absolutely wet, but not to wet, didn't experienced any bleed through and dry much slower on nib in the air than any other ink I ever met. They are top on the quality line. I'm highly recommend them, only drawback the high phenol if you have a good nose, you can smell it from the nib, but after they dried, its ok. :thumbup:

 

Thanks for your comment. I have tried Platinum Silky Purple on cheap paper, it has bad bleed through, though I guess it is not pigmented ink, love the color though. I have noticed the smell, but it doesn't bother me. :-)

As an aside, I have tried Noodler's eel green, same result, unfortunately. Most of my pens are xf nib.

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I agree with your evaluation of Lamy Blue. I've kept a record of the performance of my inks--and I have many medium-blue inks--and Lamy Blue is near or at the top for many of my pens, and I often use it to "prime" new pens.

 

Similar performance can be had in Sheaffer inks and inks from J. Herbin, as well as Waterman mentioned previously. The different colors will vary, but I've been happy with all the inks in these brands that I've tried.

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Lou Erickson

I haven't seen anyone suggest Pilot Blue yet. Not the Iroshizuku color, but the ordinary Blue from Pilot. A nice blue, very well behaved, and slightly water resistant. Not entirely, but your envelope will still be readable.

--

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amberleadavis

Pilot blue is a well behaved ink. You may also want to look at the KWZI IG inks. Saturated - not to dry - and not bleeders.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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Is it just me, or pretty much all the safe inks are either black or blue? I noticed the same on other similar topics here. That is not too bad since those are my favorite colors, except I have more black and blue ink than I can possibly use for quite some time, and I am not even a serious collector (I am considering getting rid of my Lamy black so I can justify getting Pelikan black, and maybe some Waterman ink, but my daughter doesn't like that color, bummer).

 

I have had some of the mentioned blue and black inks in my amazon wish list for some time, but was hoping for reds, greens, and some other colors, (I think someone mentioned a safe violet somewhere, I will need to double check).

 

On amazon someone reported Waterman brown is safe on bad porous paper. I hope that's true, since it is neither black nor blue..

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