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Samples Or Full Bottles?


emstardeluxe
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A few points first: I'm one of those neurotic types that fills online shopping carts only to obsess and agonize about it for days before finally pulling the trigger. Or deleting the whole order, lol. Also, I tend to read a ton of reviews. Finally, I appreciate asking any questions of this nature will elicit a wide range of responses and YMMV type warnings.

 

But not asking is just no fun at all :D

 

So, I have a bunch of inks I've been stalking online and trying to decide which to prudently order as samples and which to just go whole hog and get the bottle. I've not tried any of these yet.

 

Which would you get as full bottles and which as samples?

 

Rohrer & Klingner Alt Gold-grun
Rohrer & Klingner Leipziger Schwartz
Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris
J Herbin - Perle Noire
J Herbin - Poussiere de Lune
Noodler's - Zhivago
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I haven't tried any of those either, but I prefer samples to full bottles because I get bored with a full bottle and want to use something else long before the bottle is finished. Do you have a local pen club? Mine hosts ink swaps where we sample and trade.

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Just get the samples. Unless money is no object. There is no way for you or anyone else to know what you will like without trying it. Have fun!

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."


- Jack London



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I haven't often been brave before buying a bottle without trying samples first. Apache Sunset was one, Levenger Pomegranate another, KWZI inks are a few.(50/50 on KWZI)

 

54th Massachusetts I don't like as well as I thought I would, getting samples.

 

So it isn't infallible either.

Edited by Runnin_Ute

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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If you are the neurotic type - go for samples. You will love some, and dislike others.... and other you might like, but not enough to get a bottle..

 

Only buy full bottles when you dread the idea of running out of a specific sample.

 

 

C.

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**** BauerInks.ca ****

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"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge." -Stephen Hawking,

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Rohrer & Klingner Alt Gold-grun...

I could give you a large sample if you live in the Toronto area..

I'm not to crazy about it. I like Noodler's Army better..

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Only buy full bottles when you dread the idea of running out of a specific sample.

 

 

C.

 

Well said. Words to live by!

My pens: Penny the Penmanship, Dot the Metropolitan, Pallas the Parallel, Neoma the High Ace Neo, Petra the Petit1, Calliope the Kakuno (Also, a Sheaffer No-Nonsense)

My bottles of ink: Sailor Epinard & Ultramarine; Mysterious Blue (Wishlist: Oku Yama)

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From a fellow neurotic, I must ask a few questions before bestowing my inconsequential advice?

 

Which colors do you like best?

 

Do you want a more lubricating ink? Water-resistant? Drier? Wetter?

 

I love Rohrer & Klinger inks. I have most of them (except Schwartz), and like each one quite well. They are not my very favorite colors, but if I need a reliable ink that behaves well in most, if not all of my pens, I will choose one of my R&K inks.

 

That said, I am not wild about the same colors in J. Herbin. I find most of their inks to be drier in my pens, and don't seem to shade as well (excepting Bleu Pervenche).

 

And truthfully, I am not a good person to discuss Noodler's inks with. I haven't found any of them to be worth the cost of a sample.

 

So, with all of that said, because R&K inks are not terribly expensive, I would purchase full bottles, particularly if you like the colors. I recent had a great surprise with R&K Helianthus. I bought a full bottle on a whim. But I was hugely surprised at how much I really like it. I use it for underlining and notations on documents and books. I haven't found anything that works as well.

"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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Generally, I prefer getting samples first. Sometimes, if I don't have a choice, I have to buy bottles (say, if I'm in a B&M store). On occasion, though, if I get to see an actual written exemplar (even more than swabs or reviews) I will definitely bypass the sample -- which I did with J Herbin Stormy Grey.

As for the specific inks listed by emstardeluxe, I only have experience with Alt Gold-grün and Poussiere de Lune. Both I sampled first. Alt Gold-grün I really liked, and is on the short list for the next time I buy ink; but the other one didn't wow me, and I was happy that I had only paid for a sample.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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From a fellow neurotic, I must ask a few questions before bestowing my inconsequential advice?

 

Which colors do you like best?

 

Do you want a more lubricating ink? Water-resistant? Drier? Wetter?

 

I love Rohrer & Klinger inks. I have most of them (except Schwartz), and like each one quite well. They are not my very favorite colors, but if I need a reliable ink that behaves well in most, if not all of my pens, I will choose one of my R&K inks.

 

That said, I am not wild about the same colors in J. Herbin. I find most of their inks to be drier in my pens, and don't seem to shade as well (excepting Bleu Pervenche).

 

And truthfully, I am not a good person to discuss Noodler's inks with. I haven't found any of them to be worth the cost of a sample.

 

So, with all of that said, because R&K inks are not terribly expensive, I would purchase full bottles, particularly if you like the colors. I recent had a great surprise with R&K Helianthus. I bought a full bottle on a whim. But I was hugely surprised at how much I really like it. I use it for underlining and notations on documents and books. I haven't found anything that works as well.

Well... I like the idea of all these colours. I suspect I may be turning into one of the ALL THE INKS people. The more I see the more I want to try. Generally, I prefer wetter to drier inks. I have some R&K and Noodlers already; the only J Herbin I have is a sample of emerald of chivor.

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I have a few bottles of ink that I wish I tried as samples first. In general, I recommend getting samples and trying the ink with the 2-4 fills that you have available from the sample. You may find that while you enjoy the looks of the ink, you may not like how it flows from your pens or interacts with your favorite paper.

 

Buzz

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Bottles:

Alt-Goldgrün (I already have Shousaikan Shinzen)

Verdigris

Poussiere De Lune (already have)

 

Samples

Zhivago

 

Won't get either bottles or samples

Perle Noire

Leipziger Schwartz

 

Samples aren't readily available here though.

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I used to be a sample snob. I thought that they were overpriced and didn´t offer a proper ink experience, since the bottle and package and label are part of the product. I ended up with 97 bottles, quite a few of which I don´t even like. I spent a small fortune on inks that I either don´t like or won´t get to use in a lifetime (seriously, it´s 4.5L of ink! what am I going to do with it?!)

 

So, I vote for samples!!! Don´t get a full bottle unless you are absolutely sure you are going to like and use it.

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I have bottles of Alt-Goldgrün and Poussière de Lune, and love both of them. I'm not interested in black or blue black inks so wouldn't buy the others.

 

I've never bought samples because they're not easily available here. The postage costs incurred when ordering internationally means I might as well get full bottles. But I like the idea of trying samples first. It's sometimes hard to decide whether one likes a colour just by looking at pictures on the internet.

I was once a bottle of ink, Inky Dinky Thinky Inky, Blacky Minky Bottle of Ink!

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Interesting, but easy to solve. Being that you are a Canadian, here's the deal:

 

Quebec, BC, Manitoba, or PEI - buy samples

 

Any other provinces, buy full bottles.

 

(Alberta - don't buy anything)

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What Cyber6 said. Get samples, don't agonize over them, as if you go "Gack! this is awful" you won't have invested much. And if you instead go "OMG! I love this so much! This ink is awesome" you can now order a whole bottle of it in confidence knowing you'll like it.

 

This way is the end of agony. So boldly go into the inky world.

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Interesting, but easy to solve. Being that you are a Canadian, here's the deal:

 

Quebec, BC, Manitoba, or PEI - buy samples

 

Any other provinces, buy full bottles.

 

(Alberta - don't buy anything)

:lol:

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