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School me on Pigmented Inks



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High_Noon

I am interested in trying Sailor's pigmented inks.  I mainly use Pelikan pens with Pelikan's 4001 ink, which I've always been pleased with.  I am interested in possibly trying Sailor's Kiwa-Guro Pigmented Super Black and/or the Seiboku Ultra Blue.

 

Other than the fine pigmented particles and possible increased cleaning requirements, I know little about pigmented inks.  i.e. can they be left in a pen for a week or two without use, are they more apt to clog, or are there any issues when changing inks/colors?

 

Thanks.

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I don't use Sailor inks, but I use pigmented inks. R&K Sktechinks mainly. 

I believe Sailor inks are well behaved. 

In retrospect, I wish I had stayed with Noodler's bulletproof inks. 

I have filled one cheap Pilot Varsity with Klara.  Once or twice it dried up but a bit of water and it was good to go. 

I have Marlene in Noodler's Ahab. I actually forgot it and let it dry. Not the best pen, as evaporation is high..

But I managed to clean it though I have some interesting coagulated ink in the feed. But cleaning was alright. 

Bottom line if you can nib and feed you're ok. 

If you have low evaporation, you can keep it as long as you want. 

If you have high evaporation and you don't use it regularly, not the best idea. Go with a cheaper pen. 

If you're using it regularly, then you're good in my opinion. 

 

Hope it helps....

 

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High_Noon

yazeh:  Thanks.  Maybe I should stick with Pelikan 4001.

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Yes, they are more apt to clogging and yes you do need to clean them out properly, same with IG, as bad reactions with (any!) dye inks are bad. Some have tried mixing pigment inks with dye inks and the results were not pretty, though this has been done very little when fewer pigmented inks were available, maybe some of them react well to mixing and hence don't need fastidious cleaning when switching inks.

 

That said, you can leave them in a pen and not write with it for a couple of weeks, but it should be a pen which seals well and doesn't tend to dry-outs.

 

If the pen isn't overly important you could use a sacrificial cheap pen, the Pilot Kakuno, Plumix or a Platinum Preppy or Prefounte.

 

Platinum actually specifically advertized with pigment inks when they introduced their slip & seal mechanism, enabling people to leave their pen inked with (even pigment ink!) up to a year.

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A Smug Dill
38 minutes ago, High_Noon said:

can they be left in a pen for a week or two without use, are they more apt to clog, or are there any issues when changing inks/colors?

 

I leave pigment inks, including Sailor Kiwaguro and Seiboku, in my pens for months on end and, no, they are not more apt to clog — than, say, highly saturated dye inks from Sailor, Diamine, KWZ Ink or Noodler's Ink — in pens with caps and/or other sealing mechanism that prevents ink evaporation effectively while the pens lie (capped and) undisturbed.

 

(I have Pelikan 4001 inks, too, but I'm not interested in performing a comparison between them any some other brand or type of ink, because that's not a useful frame of reference for me.)

 

In my experience, Pelikan M-series pens seal very well, as long as you don't let the caps come slightly loose (which they have a tendency to do) when unused.

 

Personally I wouldn't put particle inks in a piston-filled pen — with some exceptions, namely those I feel comfortable with fully disassembling and reassembling myself for deep cleaning and maintenance, including (cheap) Wing Sung 3008 and (not exactly cheap) Aurora 88 — but I have absolutely no problem with putting Platinum Carbon Black in my most prized Pilot ‘Hannya Shingyo’ (nominally a $1,000 pen) and knowing the fill of ink will probably stay in the pen for at least six months, with only sporadic usage; price is not the consideration.

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 for 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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Clogging with pigment inks vs dye inks is still problematic though, dye inks dissolve easier with simple soaking than pigment inks which crust up with solid particles.

 

One member here some years ago had a pen left unused for a long while and the pigment ink clogged it up. The person soaked their pen for several days (in soapy water) and luckily the pigments moved and the pen was as good as new, but it's still something better not to risk.

 

Some feeds and nibs handle some things better than others.

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6 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

In my experience, Pelikan M-series pens seal very well, as long as you don't let the caps come slightly loose (which they have a tendency to do) when unused.

How very true. One more reason to pay a buck or two more for quality like in an M800. M900, or M1000 etc. Mine never dry out, (and I've never left them unused for more than a half a year)....

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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A Smug Dill
6 minutes ago, Olya said:

Clogging with pigment inks vs dye inks is still problematic though,

 

Let's just say, not in my experience with hundreds of different inks and hundreds of different pens inked concurrently, which means I come across — more often than I'd ideally like — pens in my fleet that have dried up while sitting unused. That includes pens (originally) filled with Sailor pigment inks from time to time; I've had Kiwaguro mostly dried up in a Lamy Studio, and Seiboku mostly dried up in a Lamy cp1 before.

 

I even used Kiwaguro in my Pilot Capless matte black Vanishing Point — which doesn't seal anywhere near Pilot Custom and Sailor Professional Gear models, let alone Platinum #3776 Century models equipped with the Slip and Seal thing — as my EDC pen, for several years and without flushing between refills, and honestly clogging has never been an issue with that.

 

Whereas putting certain Sailor Shikiori inks in my Pilot Capless pens has caused me quite some trouble.

 

16 minutes ago, Olya said:

Some feeds and nibs handle some things better than others.

 

Sure.

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 for 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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10 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Let's just say, not in my experience with hundreds of different inks and hundreds of different pens inked concurrently, which means I come across — more often than I'd ideally like — pens in my fleet that have dried up while sitting unused. That includes pens (originally) filled with Sailor pigment inks from time to time; I've had Kiwaguro mostly dried up in a Lamy Studio, and Seiboku mostly dried up in a Lamy cp1 before.

 

I even used Kiwaguro in my Pilot Capless matte black Vanishing Point — which doesn't seal anywhere near Pilot Custom and Sailor Professional Gear models, let alone Platinum #3776 Century models equipped with the Slip and Seal thing — as my EDC pen, for several years and without flushing between refills, and honestly clogging has never been an issue with that.

 

Whereas putting certain Sailor Shikiori inks in my Pilot Capless pens has caused me quite some trouble.

 

 

Sure.

Good to know!

 

The slip & seal is really something, if that couldn't handle anything you throw at it, the ink must be really shyte! 😂

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silverlifter

Another vote for the "no issues" camp. I have had R&K Dokumentus in my AL Sport for several months now (two, maybe three refills), and it starts first time every time, even if it has been left sitting for several days.

 

I also have recently (early December) filled my L2K with Seiboku, and left it unused for the better part of two weeks: no clogging, or hard starts.

 

Just don't put them in pens that don't seal and you will be fine.

Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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High_Noon

Yep, in my experience my Pelikan pens seal very well and I've never had a problem with inks drying up - even over prolonged periods of disuse.  I once left my M600 for about 4 months and when I picked it up again, it started right up.

 

Maybe I will try a pigmented ink one of these days.  

 

Thanks for the information.

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IME, the pigmented inks are a little more maintenance heavy, but not by so much as to make a big difference. I found them harder to clean out of a pen completely than other inks, but not by a large amount. Often they are suitably wet to keep the particles moving, so they behave very nicely in general. 

 

In short, they shouldn't be a big deal, provided basic care, and even without that, you aren't going to completely destroy the pen if you let it dry up, you'll just have to work to get the pigment out of the system, which can be similar to having any high dye content ink clog up on you. 

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2 hours ago, High_Noon said:

Yep, in my experience my Pelikan pens seal very well and I've never had a problem with inks drying up - even over prolonged periods of disuse.  I once left my M600 for about 4 months and when I picked it up again, it started right up.

 

Maybe I will try a pigmented ink one of these days.  

 

Thanks for the information.

Then you should be fine. 

To be honest cleaning the Ahab with dried up pigmented ink was easier than cleaning a dried Sheaffer Skrip red from the feed of another pen. Ahab took a day or two, I'm still going on strong for 5 days with Skrip :) :D

 

 

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4 hours ago, lapis said:

Thanks for that.  It was interesting.   But, I have to tell you that Noodlers black is not dye based.  I have looked at it under a microscope and it is a colorless carrier and a suspension of black particles.  I suspect the cellulose reaction claim is BS.  It's probably acrylic based.

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No issue in using pigment inks side from me. I use platinum carbon black everyday as daily and use it in several of my pens. Just like smug, I too prefer to use pigment inks in pens that can be disassembled easily, clogging is an issue but never faced it, the best I have done for cleaning in regular pen is simple water flush from time to time (every 2 or 3 refills in my case). Platinum pens are best for keeping, preppy is my secondary pen with carbon ink in case primary pens runs out during work, been filled for over 2 months and starts instantly. Also from my experience I find, at least platinum carbon and kiwaguro, to be wet inks and giving less trouble than some other inks I have.

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khalameet
14 hours ago, Gomer said:

Thanks for that.  It was interesting.   But, I have to tell you that Noodlers black is not dye based.  I have looked at it under a microscope and it is a colorless carrier and a suspension of black particles.  I suspect the cellulose reaction claim is BS.  It's probably acrylic based.

That is most interesting. Could you explain this a bit further? I would like to know more about this topic and am curious if other Noodler's inks are the same.

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35 minutes ago, khalameet said:

That is most interesting. Could you explain this a bit further? I would like to know more about this topic and am curious if other Noodler's inks are the same.

I only have one bottle of Noodler's ink.  I bought it because it was cheap and I read a lot of good comments about it.  The first time I used it, the bottle was so full I used a  glass eyedropper to fill my pen.  When I flushed the dropper with water, there was a film left in it.  I tried soapy water, 409 spray cleaner and even straight household ammonia.  The ammonia worked best, but there was still some film left.  I had to physically swab it out to get it clean.

 

So, I put a drop on a slide and looked at it with my microscope.  At 100x, I could clearly see that it was a suspension of black particles in a colorless carrier.  Dyes are molecular.  I read some reviews and watched a video interview with Nathan Tardiff, the owner of Noodler's and saw the claim about a cellulose reaction.  Then I thought, if he has something that turns cellulose black, why does he put black particles in his ink?

 

So, I made a few marks with it on a piece of toilet paper.  I let it dry and then put a bit on a slide. I put a drop of water on it and a cover slip.  At 200x I saw clear strands of cellulose covered with black particles.  This led me to believe the supposed reaction is baloney.  I think it's just another pigmented ink.

 

It writes well and it is permanent.  I keep some in a two dollar pen for when I need that.  I will not buy any more Noodler's inks though.  I know he makes some wonderful colors, but I can live without them.

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High_Noon

Go and purchase a kid's microscope.  They are cheap and work surprisingly well.

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