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Are Pelikan's 4001 inks suitable for flex pens?


IanP2303
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I ordered a bottle of Apache Sunset on Amazon and my FPR Guru is arriving soon. I only have two bottles of ink, Parker Quink Black ink and Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue. I saw people using inks that resemble the 4001 Royal blue greatly to flex. That's when I thought, perhaps there is no need to buy another bottle of ink for my flex nib while I'm waiting for my Apache Sunset. I have zero experience with flex pen inks, so please tell me whether the 4001 is suitable for flex pens, if not, are there any cheap alternatives?

 

 

Cheers, 

Ian

I am fat yet my handwriting is slim, how ironic.

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I've never tried it, but it is a very dry ink.  I put some in my Pilot Parallel to test out and it got unhappy and began hard starting after the cartridge was only 1/2 of the way done (I used a syringe to fill a pilot cartridge with 4001 blue and stuck it in the pen).  I found my self having to constantly prime the feed to get it to write.  Of course, this was a parallel nib and not a flex nib; still, those feeds are kind of generous so I imagine a flex pen might potentially run into similar problems.   No harm in trying, though - 4001 blue is one of the safest inks out there to put in any pen, and one of the price class that won't make you cry if you have to toss the remnants of it because it didn't work.   And it won't even stain your sink. ;-)

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1 hour ago, Enkida said:

I've never tried it, but it is a very dry ink.  I put some in my Pilot Parallel to test out and it got unhappy and began hard starting after the cartridge was only 1/2 of the way done (I used a syringe to fill a pilot cartridge with 4001 blue and stuck it in the pen).  I found my self having to constantly prime the feed to get it to write.  Of course, this was a parallel nib and not a flex nib; still, those feeds are kind of generous so I imagine a flex pen might potentially run into similar problems.   No harm in trying, though - 4001 blue is one of the safest inks out there to put in any pen, and one of the price class that won't make you cry if you have to toss the remnants of it because it didn't work.   And it won't even stain your sink. 😉

Thanks for replying! Are there any wet inks out there? How do you define a dry ink? 

 

Thanks,

Ian

I am fat yet my handwriting is slim, how ironic.

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1 hour ago, IanP2303 said:

How do you define a dry ink? 

 

 

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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2 hours ago, LizEF said:

Also:

 

I don't know if it has been mentioned in the linked thread, but it's somewhat confusing or even misleading that the chart says "Pelikan 4001 / Br. Blue"... 

 

I'd read that as "Brillant Blue" - which did exist as a Pelikan 4001 color (separate from 4001 Royal Blue) but has long since been discontinued and is quite hard to find nowadays.

 

Of course it would not be impossible for her to have a bottle of the old Brillant Blue, but I guess it's more likely this is some sort of typo and she meant to write "Pelikan 4001 / Royal Blue", correct?

 

 

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As for TS's question, I tend to agreee with Enkida: 4001 Royal Blue might be a bit too dry for flexing, if the nib/feed of the pen don't make up for it.

 

Doesn't hurt to try tho 🙂

 

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Well, I'm going to sound pompous, but I'm not a fan of Pelikan royal blue ink except when needed to tame a wet pen.  The color bores me, but I feel you can use it for flex.

It feels dry but when writing normally and w/ typical speed for flex writing, I get no hesitation or railroading.  It's still unpleasant and my preference would be either Namiki Blue-Black or Waterman Mysterious Blue.  Noodlers Black Swan/Rose?  is also a very good ink though I no longer have it.  

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I want to practice my copperplate, I mostly use inks which I'm not too fond of, or inks I can buy easily and cheaply. Pelikan 4001 blue black is in the second group (and an ink I love besides), and I've used it extensively with a flex nib. I know it's a dry ink, but I've never had any problem at all, and I like the "oldish" look of what I write.

 

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Some older Pelikan nibs are decently flexible. I think it's safe to say that 4001 Royal Blue does work with those, but the Pelikans I've had with noticeable flex(like the 100 OBB I have now) also gush even 4001 Royal Blue.

 

My most flexible nibs are some #2 Watermans, and I use, what else, Waterman Serenity Blue, with them. It works great with them, and also with other pens of varying vintages.

 

I have a new flex nib on its way to me-a Montblanc 146C. It will probably initially get MB Royal Blue(which is wetter than its Pelikan counterpart) but some here have reported these pens behaving well with some other MB inks.

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Not the ink you mentioned but another SUPER dry ink. Kyo-iro Moon over Higashiyama. I used this super dry ink because the Montblanc 146 calligraphy nib does not snap back as quickly if I use a wetter ink. Yes dry inks can be used in flex writing, but if the feed is too stingy, the flex will railroad.

 

Flex writing example.jpg

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Very nice writing Gerigo.  The ink may be dry but it's very attractive.

 

BTW, Pelikan Blue-Black looks to be a very different ink from royal blue.  Not only is it permanent, it also is much more interesting w/ shading.  Unfortunately the ink is somewhat banned in the U.S. so I have not tried it myself.  

 

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10 hours ago, dftr said:

Very nice writing Gerigo.  The ink may be dry but it's very attractive.

 

BTW, Pelikan Blue-Black looks to be a very different ink from royal blue.  Not only is it permanent, it also is much more interesting w/ shading.  Unfortunately the ink is somewhat banned in the U.S. so I have not tried it myself.  

 

I have the ink as I make sure to buy it when I travel. But to me it's such a standard color, I never load it in any pen except to use it's properties.

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16 hours ago, dftr said:

Very nice writing Gerigo.  The ink may be dry but it's very attractive.

 

BTW, Pelikan Blue-Black looks to be a very different ink from royal blue.  Not only is it permanent, it also is much more interesting w/ shading.  Unfortunately the ink is somewhat banned in the U.S. so I have not tried it myself.  

 

 

4001 Blue-Black is an ink that I'll always have a bottle of around. I've had it shipped from overseas before and not had issues getting it into the US, although I've heard speculation(not necessarily real reports of it happening) that customs could seize it. Still, at $15/bottle, to me it's not a huge gamble.

 

Back around ~2012 when the classic iron gall inks became an issue in the US(guessing they all contained something on the naughty list), Lamy and Montblanc opted to reformulate their Blue-Blacks into dye based inks. Pelikan just chose to stop importing. On one hand I'm glad Pelikan kept their ink the same, but on the other hand I hate that it's so hard to get.

 

Also, I'm not sure exactly what the story is on it. All of these old German inks were going away around the time I got into fountain pens, and I thought the writing was on the wall for iron galls in the future. I took a bit of a hiatus from actively collecting(and just using my favorite pens typically with Montblanc Midnight Blue iron gall or Pelikan Blue-Black) and when I jumped back in 2020 I found something of an iron gall renaissance. Now we have not just a couple of big brands with new iron gall inks, but also boutique makers like KWZ, and now aside from just blue-black we have them in all kinds of colors.

 

4001 BB is a classic bone-dry iron gall, and a lot of the new IG inks are somewhat wetter than 4001 BB. With that said, you can also try a Registrar's ink-Diamine or ESSRI. These, as if it's even possible, are drier still than Pelikan BB, and thanks to their much heavier iron loading they give much darker "blacks" than the grayish Pelikan IME.

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I don't see any reason to avoid Pelikan 4001 in flex nibs. It is just a matter of trying if it suits you. It will depend on pen, ink, paper and writing speed. Even a very dry ink may give good results when writing slowly. And a dry ink may be your best option when using very absorbent paper. But yeah, it will depend on your pen and writing habits/speed too, so the best way to tell is to give it a try on your pen, your paper, and your writing style/speed.

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On 4/13/2022 at 1:35 AM, gerigo said:

Not the ink you mentioned but another SUPER dry ink. Kyo-iro Moon over Higashiyama. I used this super dry ink because the Montblanc 146 calligraphy nib does not snap back as quickly if I use a wetter ink. Yes dry inks can be used in flex writing, but if the feed is too stingy, the flex will railroad.

 

Flex writing example.jpg

Swoon! What lovely writing!

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