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Which 'permanent' black ink would you recommend for use in EF nibs?


Mercian

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Hi all,

I mostly use western 'F' nibs, but have recently bought two LAMY Z50 nibs in EF, and I want to find a 'permanent' black ink that will work well with them.

For the last several years I have used Noodler's Black as my 'permanent' black ink - it is very black, and very permanent, and I have always found it to be very good. Its only 'flaw' was its penchant for nib-creep.
In the last few months though, I suspect that the ink in my bottle (which has been open since 2014) may have 'denatured' or 'gone off'.
I found that the aerometric Parker "51" in which I have always used my Noodler's Black would no longer write when I put the ink in to it. It seemed to have dried-out in the nib. I tried my ink in one of my new EF Z50 nibs, and the ink gave me its usual nib-creep. But, after sitting in the capped pen unused for only two hours, it had dried-out to the point that the nib wouldn't write.
The nib does write with Parker Quink Blue, so I am fairly certain that my bottle of the ink has come to the end of its usable life. After seven years, I'm not complaining.

 

Anyway, it occurred to me that my need to replace my Noodler's Black is actually an 'opportunity' for me to try a new ink 😀

So, I am now asking for your recommendations for a 'permanent' black ink; one that I will be able to use in my pens with 'F' (and now also 'EF') nibs.

I live in the UK, so my options are:
De Atramentis Dokumentus Black;
Platinum Carbon Black;
Rohrer & Klingner Document Black;
Sailor Kiwa Guro (carbon nano-particle ink);

Or, if none of those are likely to suit my needs, a fresh bottle of Noodler's Black.

I have read the reviews of those inks on here, and have seen reports of disturbing nib-creep and clogging for the R&K ink, disturbing bleed-through for the De Atramentis ink, and conflicting accounts for the Sailor and Platinum inks.
Several of my pens are NOT easy to clean (especially the "51", but also the Safaris), so I would like an ink that is fairly easy to clean out of a pen, and won't clog up/dry out in a pen very quickly.

So, do any of you out there in FPN-land have experience of using these inks in pens with F/EF nibs?
If so, which of these inks would you recommend to me?
Would you actually recommend something else entirely?

My thanks to you in advance for your answers 👍

 

Slàinte,
M.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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45 minutes ago, Mercian said:

De Atramentis Dokumentus Black;

I did a review of this in a Japanese EF nib.  Results were not great.  Noodler's Heart of Darkness did better, but still had long dry times on FP-friendly paper.  Sailor Jentle Black, which has some water resistance, per the folks in the thread, was even better, but still long dry times (just not as long).

 

Of your others, I only have Platinum Carbon Black, but haven't reviewed it yet.  Not in your list, and not reviewed yet, but I and others have found Pilot Black to have decent water resistance.

 

None of this takes into account fading (or lightfastness), if you're concerned about that.

 

That's the extent of my experience with black water-resistant / waterproof inks.

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If the pen in question does not have an effective cap seal, and there is a non-trivial amount of ink evaporation happening when the pen is capped and unused, then you're likely to have problems except perhaps with inks formulated to wish cleanly away with nothing more than water and perhaps a smidgen of detergent — quite the opposite of ‘permanent’ if you mean to include water resistance once the ink marks are on paper.

 

I've used Sailor Kiwaguro in EF and (Japanese) F nibs for years. Ink flow and/or clogging of the nib was never an issue, even in pens that don't seal well (e.g. a Pilot Capless). In spite of it being a pigment ink, I haven't found it to be harder to clean out than (solute-)saturated dye inks; even when comparing dried out Sailor Kiwaguro to, say, Sailor Shikiori Shigure or Lamy Crystal Topaz, the dried out dye inks were more of a pain to clean out completely, in my experience. (That doesn't mean Sailor Kiwaguro doesn't cause other worrying issues.)

 

Personally I like Platinum Carbon Black even better, but it is slightly more apt than Sailor Kiwaguro to feather on ‘bad’ paper.

 

If your main worry is clogging, Diamine Registrar's Ink and ESS Registrars Ink (both made, and of course sold, in the UK) are both highly water-resistant and ‘permanent’; and any remnants will flush out of their containers easily. However, being strong iron-gall inks, there are other aspects that may concern users.

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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Montblanc Permanent Black!

 

I don't care much for fine or EF nibs, preferring wetter mediums, broad and stub nibs, but will EDC a fine nib with permanent ink if I might have to write on crappy paper and after trying most of the usual suspects I settled on the MB Permanent Black primarily because of how lubricated and smooth the finest nibs I have felt with this ink. It has also proved out to be a very well behaved ink in all of the pens I've used it in and along with Noodler's Heart of Darkness my permanent ink needs are covered.

 

An additional benefit of the MB Permanent Black for me is its availability in cartridges, one of which I keep unpunctured in a Kaweco Sport with a fine nib in a pocket of my EDC backpack just in case I need a pen and don't have one of my preferred daily users at the ready. 

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4 minutes ago, austinwft said:

An additional benefit of the MB Permanent Black for me is its availability in cartridges,

 

Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor Kiwaguro are also available in cartridges as retail products; but, like Montblanc ink cartridges, won't fit the O.P.'s Lamy pen.

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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2 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor Kiwaguro are also available in cartridges as retail products; but, like Montblanc ink cartridges, won't fit the O.P.'s Lamy pen.

 

I got that, was just commenting on its availability in a cartridge as a benefit "to me" when making the choice of ink for my specific needs. Those needs led me try Platinum Carbon Black and Sailor Kiwaguro along with others but I still preferred the MB for its smoothness and behavior on cheap paper from the particular fine nibbed pens I intended to use it in.

 

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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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Huh, there goes my suggestion of Noodler's Black!

Currently using it in four pens: Nakaya Piccolo (EF), Naka-ai (F), Pilot 92 (F), and Moonman C2 (Pilot #10 PO).

 

And I have the bigger bottle and a half sitting on a shelf with two of the bigger bottles purchased recently on their way to me.

 

I like Platinum Carbon Black, but it does make the lines a bit wider. Could be the paper(s) I use typically.

 

I don't know which permanent black inks perform as well as Noodler's Black (or better) and don't make even slightly thicker lines. And would like to know.

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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4 hours ago, ethernautrix said:

I like Platinum Carbon Black, but it does make the lines a bit wider. Could be the paper(s) I use typically.

 

Which paper(s) would that be? I don't have Noodler's Black (and don't want any just for the hell of performing comparisons; the only Noodler's black ink I have is X-Feather and  that is enough), but if I have the paper(s) in question, I can probably spare a very fine-nibbed pen for a few hours (or days) to compare line widths from PCB, Sailor Kiwaguro, Hero 234, Pelikan Fount India, and maybe some of the black inks that I know will definitely leave legible marks in spite of prolonged soaking.

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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7 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Which paper(s) would that be? I don't have Noodler's Black (and don't want any just for the hell of performing comparisons; the only Noodler's black ink I have is X-Feather and  that is enough), but if I have the paper(s) in question, I can probably spare a very fine-nibbed pen for a few hours (or days) to compare line widths from PCB, Sailor Kiwaguro, Hero 234, Pelikan Fount India, and maybe some of the black inks that I know will definitely leave legible marks in spite of prolonged soaking.

 

Mostly Tomoe River in a Hobonichi Techo and cheap notepads and notebooks -- not sure of the brands (I've used up those notebooks and shredded the pages already, so... not easy to check at the moment), except for Oxford. Plus, very recently, yellowed, smooth paper of a vintage notebook. Takes a long time to dry on that old paper which feels kindv coated. (All inks I've tried on that paper either feathered or smeared if I wasn't careful or patient.)

 

I put a sheet of paper towel or other paper between the pages of notebooks made with Tomoe River paper -- to blot the slow-drying ink.

 

I was given a sample of Sailor Kiwa-guro and liked it, but I had (and still have) one-and-some-fraction bottles of Platinum Carbon Black -- which I do like, except for the residue it leaves and the thicker lines. The latter isn't necessarily undesirable, but sometimes it is.
 

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Why not get samples of all four and see if you like them or not?

 

I use mostly permeant inks (IG, pigment, bulletproof, etc). If pen is not well sealed. I'm doomed. I have startup problems if I don't use pen regularly. 

You can use to year list, R&K sketchink Lotte, too ;)

If you want even black(er) add Polar Black. 

And if you want a rare/ difficult to find black with flare, Raven Black.. :D

 

 

 

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On 5/11/2021 at 8:57 AM, ethernautrix said:

Mostly Tomoe River in a Hobonichi Techo

 

Is that white 52gsm Tomoe River paper? I'm sure I have an open pack of loose sheets of that somewhere in the piles of stuff I don't like and don't use, so when I find them I can do a little bit of comparative testing of the different black pigment inks here if you want, primarily for line width from an EF nib but I guess also intrinsically colour/darkness as well, and I can spray or flick some drops of water on the page to test waterproofness.

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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I’m not trying to thread jack but today I realized I didn’t know if Platinum Carbon Black was a nano ink or not. Can someone answer that please. 

 

 

I like Noodlers inks generally. I do sketching with pen and ink and would prefer using a permanent black  ink. But I recently stopped using Noodler’s Black in my Falcon fine nib because I found that, for my use, it wasn’t flowing quite smoothly enough. This despite a drop a glycerin in the bottle. So I’m using Pilot Black (with glycerin). The glycerin makes the ink slightly darker and flows a lot better. 

 

Re extra fine nibs: I also use Sailor Kiwa-guru in my Sailor 1911 Realo EF and it works nicely though I likely won’t buy another bottle and will use Platinum Carbon Black instead. For my other EF nibs all used for sketching, I use successfully Platinum Carbon Black in my Pilot Plumix’s which are extra fine, and my Pilot Desk Pen, also  extra fine, and in my Platinum Desk Pen DP -1000 which I believe is also an EF nib. 

 

My conclusion: Platinum Carbon Black is the good go to ink for EF nibs. Flows well in all of mine with nary an issue. 

The prizes of life are never to be had without trouble - Horace
Kind words do not cost much, yet they accomplish much - Pascal

You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream - C.S. Lewis

 Favorite shop:https://www.fountainpenhospital.com

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Maurizio said:

I’m not trying to thread jack but today I realized I didn’t know if Platinum Carbon Black was a nano ink or not. Can someone answer that please.

 

What specifically do you mean by “nano ink” though?

 

Platinum Carbon Black is a pigment ink. I can't tell you the minimum, maximum and/or average pigment particle size(s) — and thus whether they fall into the “nano” range, though. Ink manufacturers do not usually proffer that information, and even Colorverse publishes that for some of its pigment inks only:

 

Furthermore, Sailor has long since dropped the word ‘nano’ from its retail packaging and marketing of Kiwaguro and Seiboku.

 

36 minutes ago, Maurizio said:

my Pilot Plumix’s which are extra fine,

 

Are you sure you don't mean Pilot Penmanship there? (Edit: Ah, OK, I found a listing for a Plumix with an EF nib, even though I can't find any mention of such thing on Pilot's web sites presently.)

 

Edited by A Smug Dill

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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Although I have yet to actually use it, I bought a sample of Diamine Registrar's to try.  The pens it would go in are all EF or F.  It is a blue-black and not a true black, however.

Festina lente

Optimism kills

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Thanks Smug. 

 

I knew that at some point but forgot. So yes it’s a pigmented ink. Whether it’s “nano” or not is not important to me.

 

I know I’ve read posts by other folks here, I think even by you, about putting PCB in good pens without any issues. For me, and only for me, I’m a bit leery of putting PCB in my favorite pens like my Falcon (I once had 3 but now have only one but plan on an EF soon), and my Pilot Custom Kaede. I really like the way my Falcon draws with my slightly tweaked (with glycerin) Pilot Black ink and worried that a pigment ink, over time, will slowly build up pigment particle residue in the feed and thus at some point reduce the free flowing nature of the nib. 

 

I really like PCB ink and will continue buying it and using it in my sketching pens like my Plumix’s, and Pilot and Platinum Desk Pens, but I’ll keep it out of my Falcon and other favorite as opposed to just utilitarian pens. 

 

 

The prizes of life are never to be had without trouble - Horace
Kind words do not cost much, yet they accomplish much - Pascal

You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream - C.S. Lewis

 Favorite shop:https://www.fountainpenhospital.com

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On 5/10/2021 at 5:43 PM, A Smug Dill said:

but if I have the paper(s) in question, I can probably spare a very fine-nibbed pen for a few hours (or days) to compare line widths from PCB, Sailor Kiwaguro, Hero 234, Pelikan Fount India, and maybe some of the black inks that I know will definitely leave legible marks in spite of prolonged soaking.

 

*Embarrassed* -- Just noticed your offer here, which is the second time (that I know of) that my skimming has missed information. (I'd asked the OP of a different thread if the Moonman C3 was eye-dropperable, which was clearly mentioned.) That's what I get for using FPN to wipe the sands of sleep from my eyes.

 

 

10 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Is that white 52gsm Tomoe River paper? I'm sure I have an open pack of loose sheets of that somewhere in the piles of stuff I don't like and don't use, so when I find them I can do a little bit of comparative testing of the different black pigment inks here if you want, primarily for line width from an EF nib but I guess also intrinsically colour/darkness as well, and I can spray or flick some drops of water on the page to test waterproofness.


I'm not sure of the Hobonichi's paper's weight, but it's the same as last year, so I'm assuming it's the 52gsm. I like the thin, crinkly Tomoe River paper and write on both sides with no problems. But if the paper, per another thread, becomes unavailable, I can just go with the flow.

As for the inks... I already know from experience that Platinum Carbon Black widens the line ever so slightly, but... noticeably. Not that it's a "problem," but often I just prefer the non-fat Noodler's Black, hahaha. The PCB comes in handy, though, sometimes. I guess I use it according to whim.

Although, as Maurizio has said about PCB, I, too, worry about the long-term accumulation of residue on the feed and nib, so I try to use the ink with pens that I can remove the nib and feed easily for a little scrubbing - but not too often; I prefer to keep fuss to a minimum. At the moment, none of the four "dailies" qualifies.

And now to address your offer of making a comparison - I'd hate to impose, but wow! I do want! Very kind of you to offer, ASD! No pressure, though. I know even a simple ink review can be labor intensive, much less a comparison. So... at your leisure and inclination - and thank you!

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Ooo. You mention R&K Document Black (which I've yet to try) but their Archival Ink is brilliant - both in terms of permanence and in darkness of line.

It's also really fuss free. It's lived in my Pilot 912PO nib for I don't know how long and it always starts first time.

I've found Noodler's Heart of Darkness to be really good too displaying none of the "issues" I find are associated with it's cousin Noodler's Black (cloggy)

Good luck.
 

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40 minutes ago, Tas said:

Ooo. You mention R&K Document Black (which I've yet to try) but their Archival Ink is brilliant - both in terms of permanence and in darkness of line.

Tas, what is the R& K Archival? You meat Sketchink Lotte? I thought they had only Dokumentus?

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