Jump to content

Hero 234A, 233A, Pelikan 4001 Blue Black, Diamine Registrar's Blue Black - My Water Resistant test


Recommended Posts

I recently just bought a bottle of Hero 234A Carbon Black and 233A Blue, and did some water resistant test of my own, and would like to share the results with you all.  There can never be too many test results, because all tests provide an extra data point to someone else, even if similar tests was posted before.  


The way i test: I write the ink names on a piece of generic 80GSM copy paper.  I let them dry for more than 24 hours before doing the water submerge test.  By letting them dry i meant letting the paper sit on top of desk in a office setting (AC on morning, no AC at night).  Ink i tested as follow.

With water resistant feature:

1. Hero 234A Carbon Black  (carbon soot/pigment)

2. Diamine Registrar's Blue Black (Iron Gall)

3. Pelikan 4001 Blue Black (mild Iron Gall)


No water resistant feature:

1. Diamine Autumn Oaks

2. Pelikan 4001 Turquoise

3. Diamine Sapphire Blue

4. Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue

5. Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black

6. Diamine Meadow

7. Hero 233A Blue



Note 1: You noticed that I write the name Hero 233A as pigment blue.  This is because I originally thought that Hero 23x series ink are water resistant ink, 234A being carbon black, and 232A being Blue Black Iron Gall.  And I logically thought 233A blue is also water resistant, which must be achieved through pigment since it is blue ink.  But the result shocks me.

Note 2: The Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue looks very dark, it is because it was written from a pen filled with the Royal blue which was left unused for 3-4 months, the ink has high concentration at the nib already.


Submersion:  Then, I cut the paper into 2 strips,, and submerge the strip into a cup of water, and see how the ink did in terms of water resistant.


Left: 20 seconds in - inks already start floating out from the paper

Mid: 1 mins in - the ink slowly fall downwards, creating beautiful water fall / rainbow like trails.   Diamine Autumn oak is.. gone

Left: 3 mins in - Autumn oak is completely gone!  Hero 234A and Registrars seems didn't bulge at all!


I continue to submerge (no agitation, just still water) for 3 hours, and fish out the strip and take the following photo.


To my shocking, Hero 233A Blue is almost completely gone.  Even the 4001 Royal blue resist water better than 233A.  234A carbon black looks as if nothing has changed, what water??  it mocked.

Then i submerge back the strips in the water for another 24hours, and take the final photo.

image.jpeg.d95aff4478f10a516e9e33291294bd1c.jpeg image.jpeg.4728d471e136d4039ba26cebea80cb66.jpeg

Diamine Autumn Oak, Meadow, Pelikan 4001 Turquoise, Hero 233A Blue is completely gone.

Diamine Sapphire Blue and Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue still can see some traces.

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black is surprisingly good.  I mean it still lost quite a lot of dye and has smudges, but still readable.  It's not as good as 4001 Blue Black, but still surprisingly good for a non water resistant ink.

Pelikan 4001 Blue Black may look pale, but the ink left behind is clean and sharp, just pale.  It's water resistant level is not as good as Diamine registrars, but 4001 BB being a mild IG ink means that it carries less burden on pen maintenance.  I treat it just like a regular ink.

Diamine Registrar's Blue Black, performed super good, line is still sharp as original.  Ink darkness is still very high.

Hero 234A Carbon Black.  I would say it performed the best, showed zero evidence of being washed away, even if you try hard to look.  Seeing this, I think it must be as good as Platinum Carbon Black in terms of water resistant?


I have never tried the Platinum Carbon Black (PCB), which is widely regarded as king of kings when comes to water resistant.  After this test, I think i can settle with Hero 234A, it's water resistant seems just as good as Platinum carbon black, at a fraction of the cost.  I bought this 234A for USD 2.5 for 60ml bottle, shipped.  A 60ml Platinum Carbon Black would've cost me USD 25-30.  Ofcourse, PCB is also famous for being well behaved and easy to clean out etc, for which Hero 234A just don't have enough data / user comments yet online.


Also now I'm very very inclined to get the Hero 232A Blue Black, to see if it's a suitable replacement for my Diamine Registrar's Blue Black, because it's just too difficult to get it at my area.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 9
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • AceNinja


  • Shanghai Knife Dude


  • Doc Dan


  • yazeh


  • 1 month later...
On 12/28/2023 at 10:35 PM, yazeh said:

Great job and great water test :thumbup: Glad you found a practical pigment ink for your use :)




On 2/24/2024 at 7:38 PM, Doc Dan said:

How good is Noodler's Blue Heron? Is it hard to clean out?

I didn't own Noodler's blue heron, so.. i can't say.


8 hours ago, TSherbs said:

I did not see this post earlier. I really appreciate these kinds of tests. Thank you!

thanks!  I also appreciate when seeing other people doing these kind of tests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can say that Sailor Souboku is waterproof. I wrote on a piece of standard ruled student notebook paper, the cheap kind, and waited about two minutes. Then, I ran the writing under the tap. It didn't run or fade. I tried rubbing it off with my fingers with the same result. Not bad.


I was interested because I am re-copying my book of poems and didn't want the high humidity, here, to affect them long term. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 7/6/2024 at 2:58 PM, Shanghai Knife Dude said:

Hero 233a pigment? 

no it's not pigment.  I thought it was pigmented ink, before i do the water resistance test.  because it's ink number is in the same range as 232A Blue Black, 234A Carbon black, so i mis-thought that based on it's numbering, 233A is also a water proof ink.  Turns out it is not, it is NOT water resistant at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AceNinja said:

no it's not pigment.  I thought it was pigmented ink, before i do the water resistance test.  because it's ink number is in the same range as 232A Blue Black, 234A Carbon black, so i mis-thought that based on it's numbering, 233A is also a water proof ink.  Turns out it is not, it is NOT water resistant at all.

Yes, 233 is washable, and fading, so i hate it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black is an excellent black.  Plenty dark, good water resistance, and cheap.  Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black likewise is an excellent ink, and it too is cheap.  These two are my go-to inks.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...