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Blue-Black Ink For Everyday Usage (Lamy Safari)


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I looked through a lot of posts about ink recommendation on fountainpennetwork.com but most of the threads were posted and answered several years ago (early 2000s) so I wanted to see some new updated responses about few inks that I assume would be good with my Lamy Safari fountain pen. (I read all the ink reviews on the giant Index - Ink Review collection post and also watched tons of youtube videos, visited various fountain pen websites, etc.)


Information about my pen:

  • Lamy Safari (2015) with Fine nib

List of characteristics I would like in the ink:

  • Blue-black ink, more of a "black with a touch of blue" kind of ink. Or very dark blue color inks are good too.
  • Does not bleed through cheap paper. (As a student I would like to use my fountain pen to take notes. I use Mead FiveStar notebooks and I read on few posts that this notebook's paper quality is not so terrible.)
  • Doesn't have to be absolutely bulletproof or waterproof. Partially is fine. As long as the ink does not completely disappear or becomes completely illegible when coming in contact with water.
  • Good for almost every day usage (note taking, writing journals, essays, letters, etc.)
  • Affordable on a student budget (Preferably under or around $15)

List of Inks that I think would be good:

  • Noodler's 54th Massachusetts (Beautiful and the ideal blue-black color I am looking for. But how does this behave on a cheap paper? Does it bleed through? Is it good with Lamy Safari pens?)
  • Noodler's Blue-Black (Another great color and overall very positive reviews. Will it behave well on a cheap paper and with my Lamy Safari pen?)
  • Noodler's Bulletproof Black (Heard lots of good things about this ink. I am a bit concerned though because I read reviews and posts that said nib creeping were issues. However I also read great comments that said this ink is a perfect workhorse type of ink and works well on cheap papers. It's really too bad this is a black ink. I would love to write in blue-black ink. Will this be a good fit for my Lamy Safari w. Fine nib?)
  • Noodler's X-Feather (This one is a good ink from what I've seen and read. However it does not dry as quickly. I tend to write very quickly and I'm afraid I will smudge my notes constantly. Feathering, to me at least, is not much of a big problem compared to bleeding through papers and clogging the pen)
  • Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black (Saw this one appear frequently on other ink recommendation posts. However I also read some water resistant issues with this ink.
  • Waterman Blue/ Waterman Black/ Waterman Blue-Black (Waterman inks were also very frequently recommended. So same questions: Does it behave well on cheap papers and with Lamy Safari pens?)


  • Personal note: I found Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black too green and Noodler's Navy too blue for my taste. Noodler's Eel ink series are too lubricated for me.


Thank you for your help!

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My current favorite blue-blacks are Diamine Midnight and R&K Salix.


The Diamine is a very dark blue that you can tell isn't black, easy flowing and clean up; the downside is it's not water proof.


Salix is an iron gall ink so the permanence is there in spades, it's a bit drier but I haven't had issues in my Safari M, also easy clean up; however, it's not real dark when it dries. Salix goes down almost royal blue (to my eye) and turns darker in a few minutes. The other great thing about Salix is it's performance on lowest bidder paper - virtually no bleed through and no feathering.

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In my pursuit of perfect BB ink, I manage to made one myself. A mix between of Sheaffer Skrip Blue with Parker Quink Black (permanent). I've started with blue 70% and black 30%, a very dark ink with a hint of blue. Next step I'll mix in 85/15 %.

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I second the Diamine Midnight. Nice DARK blue.

Diamine blue-black is another option.


As for your paper. You NEED to use FP friendly paper. You can't just use any cheap paper.

In college I looked for and bought one specific paper, because it would not blot my FP ink. FP friendly paper is also smoother to write on.


Since you are in the US, go to Staples; single subject, wire bound, notebook, made in BRAZIL. The made in Brazil is important, as that paper is the most friendly to fountain pens. Last years back to school sale, they were on sale for 17 cents each, I bought 30. They also have filler paper that is made in Brazil. Note that you need to read the made in ... on the notebook or filler paper, so be prepared to dig through the pile of notebooks and filler paper.


Pelikan black is a good ink, but it is a dry ink compared to Waterman. What this means is that the ink is a tiny bit thicker, think how honey flows vs water. Well not that extreme, but you get the idea. I will normally start a new pen with Waterman ink, and if the ink flows too much, then I would switch to Pelikan to slow down the ink flow.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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some writing samples, the second image is a crop for close look.








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Noodlers Midnight Blue

Noodlers (Fountain Pen Hospital) Henry Hudson Blue


Platinum Blue Black (a bit over $15 but worth the stretch)

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BTW, you can buy a 350ml bottle of Pilot black or blue-black for about $24 on Amazon.

That one 350ml bottle should last you all the way past graduation. :D

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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Rohrer and Klinger Salix.


It goes down blue and dries blue/black.

It does not bleed of feather on any legitimate paper. This is huge.

It is cheap. Around $10 a bottle.

It flows great and cleans easily.


Yes, it's an IG, but it's not a true IG. It will not corrode your pen. It's fine to sit in a pen for weeks. It cleans out easier than some of my non-IG inks.


Trust me. Salix is a must have.

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I do not like Pelikan Black on my Lamy Al-Star. It looks grey with a brown tint, it's just ugly for me.


On the other hand, Noodler's B. Black is a great performer on my EF nib. Nib creep is there, it's bothering me, but I never had any actual problem with it. I wouldn't take X-Feather with me as Bulletproof Black already has quite long dry time.


I have tried both Lamy Black and Blue Black. I have found that their Black is not very saturated and has a green tone. It also fades after some months. I find Blue Black better at both feathering and color, it's a nice blue black that behaves well even on very cheap paper.


You should also consider a iron gall ink. I had the best experience with Diamine Registrar's, I believe you can find it in the US as Chesterfield Archival (or something like that). Be advised, it tends to stain converters and needs regular maintenance.

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My favourite blue black is Montblanc Midnight blue which is more black than blue. As far as waterproof I cannot tell since it's not important for me. It does not bleedthrough more than average. It might not be the best budget ink though (in Europe it goes for around 15 eur per bottle).

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I second whoever seconded Diamine Midnight Blue - I don't know if the delivery costs make it more expensive in the USA, but where I am, Diamine is by far the cheapest range of inks with a decent range of colours. Midnight blue perfectly hits the line between blue-black and black-blue.

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As for your list of inks that you are considering, I can really only illustrate Noodler's 54th for you.

I like it a lot in my Hero 616; I like it less in my Lamy Safari, because the ink color is a bit lighter.

But my Lamy Safaris seem to wash out every ink.




So, that's Noodler's 54th on cheap paper in a Safari with a fine nib.

I find the back of the paper perfectly usable for notes.



Edited by chewytulip
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The blue-black I would recommend is Private Reserve "Ebony Blue" even though I've stopped using it in favor of the much bluer Waterman "Serenity Blue." I always prefer the darkest shades of most any color, but anymore I find I don't want to be forced to squint to see the blue in any blue-black.

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I like Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black. You can't buy it in the States anymore due to prohibited content, but I was able to buy ample supply online from Cult Pens in the UK who shipped it to me here in the USA.

I bought it on Fountain Pen Day 2013 at a discount.


Then six months later I found myself in Germany. So I seized the opportunity and picked up another four bottles in downtown Munich! I packed it inside socks or something in my luggage and everything came through intact.

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+1 for PR Ebony Blue. I use it in the notebooks at work with a pilot metro holding a plumix stub nib. No feather and no bleed through. I think it should meet your price point as I paid about $13.00 CAD as I recall.

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Waterman Mysterious Blue

Faber Castell Cobalt Blue

De Atramentis Steel Blue

De Atramentis Guiseppe Verdi


I prefer lighter blues, but all of the above show dark with a fine point. I would imagine that all have some show through, but probably little to no feathering except on the cheapest paper. I use a broad point, but I do not get feathering with any of these inks except on very cheap copy paper.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today




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If you want to write on cheap paper and want a certain amount of water resistance, I would recommend Hero 232 Blue Black. You can find it at rather low prices on the Bay.


I like Pelikan 4001 but it takes a pen that delivers a pretty large amount of ink to get the true BlueBlack colour out of it, otherwise (as stated above) it just looks grey.

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    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
    • LizEF
      If one wanted to do this, one could just use the "About Me" field which appears to be unlimited in size.  And if a bunch of people wanted to cooperate, the Member Title field (or signature) could be used to this end - "Ink Giver" (or some such) could be used by those with inks to give...  No software edits required.
    • Arkanabar
      I suppose the update issue could be mitigated.  One would post a link in signature, to the particular part of your profile where you list the inks that you're willing to post samples to others, gratis.  But looking at profiles, I suspect that would require an edit to the board's software, potentially a nontrivial task.
    • A Smug Dill
      I read your idea as getting willing givers to publicly register as members of a set of heterogenous servers, in a system in which a client would explicitly select an available server from a list, to which he/she will then send a request privately and asynchronously. Request handling in the system is unmanaged, and individual requests are handled by the targeted servers completely independently on each other. I think the model is fine, although there are some operational concerns you may want to
    • Daneaxe
      First thought on the method/system of ink sharing: Think the best way, to begin with, is to follow the way of the US thread: offer up a (small) list of inks you are willing to PIF, to whoever expresses interest. Write clearly in the "mission statement" how it works, with a tiny "quid pro quo" that even a struggling student can comply with, i.e. post your opinion and a writing sample, with option of a full review if desired.   So yours truly might say: "I'm offering up samples of D
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