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Ink Review- Hero 234 Pigment Black


Arijit

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So, when I first read about this ink, all I understand was that it was a thick ink, and was one of the most high maintainence inks out there. So, I got it for its permanancy, and also somewhat because of its notoriety. This review was written after a week of use, and it has been two more weeks between my review and my upload. I am kinda disappointed- no pens crumbled on touch, no fountain pen gods smited me for not cleaning it with holy water after use..... Later on that.

The ink is, as the title say, Hero 234, pigment black. The ink is touted as a 'permanant ink', (and apparently it clogged any and all nibs it touched if it was kept unused for a time.) and for some reason was a pain to source in India. Anyway, my bottle is off eBay, for a price of Rs. 775 - 11.32$ in today's exchange rate- and it arrived well-packed.

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This is the ink, sans all it's protection, and it is a very interesting bottle, tbh. And the box is the only box that I haven't flung out of my window yet, because it is rather gorgeous. Kudos Hero, your bottle is more gorgeous than any in that price range.

The bottle has 56 ml of one of the most viscous inks I have seen. The stuff looks rather tarry, tbh. And so, I filled it up in my Hero 373, and took it out for a ride. The ink was remarkably smooth, but with endless hard starts. So, attempt 2, I filled it in my Jinhao 250 whose feed channel I deepened. Result- One of the thickest richest black inks I have ever seen.

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It's a formal black ink, not the purest black but with some gray overtones. The best part- no hard starts and stuff, didn't jam the nib or feed, quite well-behaved. Even if the pen lay unused for a couple of days, it didn't have significant hard starts.

Nice ink, quite permanent. Now that Platinum pigment black is unavailable in India, it is one of the few easily available permanent blacks that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Now, I shifted the ink from my Jinhao to my Pilot 78G, because the latter pen is lighter and smoother. Here, there are zero hard starts, zero need of priming, zero anything tbh. Nice, thick, rich ink which flows well enough to make the writing smooth. A possible candidate for note-taking where permanancy is a necessity and blacks are used often.

Recommended? Yup

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I read that you type (and write) "with endless hard starts", "Hard starts not uncommon", and "no hard starts". What is the final verdict?

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I read that you type (and write) "with endless hard starts", "Hard starts not uncommon", and "no hard starts". What is the final verdict?

Final verdict:- If the pen is a dry writer, expect dry starts and regularly priming the feed. Pens that write wetter, like Pilots, work like a charm. No hard starts

There appears to be something like a threshold. The ink dries too fast, and the rare bleedthrough on the nib dries to a powdery gunk very soon. I thought that the ink dried too easily but a sufficiently wet nib would just force the dried pigment through the nib anyway. If the flow is sufficient, and the cap sufficiently airtight, there should not be any problem. But a drier pen, especially one with a breather tube, might find difficulty in starting. It gushes once the initial flow is started, though.

Thus, with the dry Hero 373, there were endless hard starts, with the Jinhao 250, the frequency decreased to a not uncommon and the excellent 78G had no such problem.

Edited by Arijit
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I get it. Some inks are very pen-dependent and that is not uncommon. However, there are also some inks which write "nicely" in a lot of different pens.... Thanks for pointing that out here.

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Thanks for the review. I used this ink for a while 10years back and then forgot about it. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/72614-hero-ink-234/

I discovered this ink a few weeks back while giving away a major part of my inks to a close pen friend. The ink was still fine.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Thanks for the review. I used this ink for a while 10years back and then forgot about it. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/72614-hero-ink-234/

I discovered this ink a few weeks back while giving away a major part of my inks to a close pen friend. The ink was still fine.

Yes sir. It was your post, and another review in here, that made me try this out. It is much more pleasant than I expected it to be. Btw, have you used their pigment blue- 233 or something? A seller is selling 231 to 234 as a set, and I am not too sure of buying it Edited by Arijit
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Hi no, havent tried the pigment inks. I use only quink permanent blue (European market) nowadays.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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  • 2 years later...

I have a bottle of Hero 234. I got it because I was curious. It seems like it has some lean towards plain chocolate brown if examined under a lens. I have used this ink with cheap Jinhao pens. I would not like to use it in any pen that is not easily stripped down to remove the nib & feeder.

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I have used this ink with cheap Jinhao pens. I would not like to use it in any pen that is not easily stripped down to remove the nib & feeder.

 

 

One of my Daiso-Hauser fountain pens has been filled with Hero 234 for 9½ weeks now — ever since I discovered Daiso's own-branded metal fountain pen won't house the already filled converter — and in all that time it had neither clogged nor dried out, no hard starts, but proved always wet and ready. (I think I might call it Elizabeth now because of that.) Never mind it won't strip down easily; I wouldn't dream of pulling the nib and feed out of that pen!

 

That's a mighty good ink for US$1.41 a bottle (before shipping and tax); and it's even blacker than Platinum Carbon Black. Pity I only ever received five out of the eight bottles I ordered, but given the entire transaction was refunded to me when nothing arrived for more than 90 days from when I placed the order, I can't really complain.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Has anyone noted a colour shift in a bottle of the ink that they have had for a long time vs a fresh bottle?

A shift to a browner colour maybe. That's what it seems like to me.

The thing is... This ink is supposed to have carbon black in it. Does anyone know for certain? Surely if there is a carbon black content there cant be a colour shift.

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That would be an interesting problem.

 

Carbon is, of course, the very soul of purely black. It's the driving force behind India ink, Platinum Carbon, amongst others. Totally, completely, purely black.

 

What tone is it turning? If it's a reddish-brown I wonder if it has some tannin in it to aid in flow, or if it's an iron ink with a heavy carbon load overtop.

Physician- signing your scripts with Skrips!


I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

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Has anyone noted a colour shift in a bottle of the ink that they have had for a long time vs a fresh bottle?

A shift to a browner colour maybe. That's what it seems like to me.

Where or how are you seeing that brownness, though? By staring down into the original retail bottle? Peering through a transparent converter, or piston-filled or eyedroppered pen barrel, that has been freshly filled from the old bottle of ink? Or greatly diluting the old ink by putting a few drops into a much larger volume of water in a test tube or beaker, then checking the colour of the solution?

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Has anyone noted a colour shift in a bottle of the ink that they have had for a long time vs a fresh bottle?

A shift to a browner colour maybe. That's what it seems like to me.

The thing is... This ink is supposed to have carbon black in it. Does anyone know for certain? Surely if there is a carbon black content there cant be a colour shift.

I.... I don't think so. The bottle, the ink in the bottle, the ink while writing.... Nopes. The ink gets a bit grayer after it dries, but after that, it stays the same.

Have you checked if your ink is contaminated with something?

The only time I had any issues with pigment inks is with my MB permanent blue, where I did get a rusty halo around a spot of the ink while it dried. But that's cuz the ink is eating into the nib.

Here's the thread, btw.

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/355421-mb-permanent-blue-nightmares/?p=4353496

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  • 9 months later...

My experience with this ink is quite positive.  I used it exclusively to write close to 300 pages in an answer the questions type of personal history called "A Father's Legacy.". I used a cheap (as if there were any other kind) Hero 329.  I had virtually no problems with the ink.  There were a few hard starts if I dropped the project for more than 72 hours but a quick run of tap water over the nib had it going again.  That could have easily been the pen rather than the ink.  I used it for a good 5 years in our ship's log.  It is 100% waterproof and and essentially permanent.

 

Cliff

“The only thing most people do better than anyone else is read their own handwriting.”  John Adams

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