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What is the worst ink you've ever encountered? And why?


omasfan
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Thought this might be fun.

 

The worst inks in my limited experience:

 

Pelikan royal blue. At first great but then starts fading quickly. After a couple of years, one's previously written notes look faded and dull.

 

Noodler's (I know many will disagree): great colors but extremely slow-drying. Some inks stink. Also, I think they might clog up sensitive feeds. While I love the Noodler's colors, I would never put them in my expensive pens. Also, some colors form a nasty sludge at the bottom of the bottle.

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Quink Washable Blue

 

I hated how it fooled me - it wrote a nice, clean blue and faded to unreadable. I have letters from folks that I strain to read now because this ink was their favorite (or only?) ink.

 

Noodler's Nightshade. I expected a dark purple with red tones. I got mud. That was an early batch and perhaps it's been improved.

 

Lamy black - like WM black, better called Lamy gray. Cartridge version which may vary from bottled version.

 

PR Burgundy Mist. Nothing misty about it. Mud. Mud that clogged up my pen at that. Granted, I had let the pen sit unused for some time. Still, I've done that with numerous inks and never had a hard precip form that looked like plastic and cracked like hard, brittle plastic. This was another early batch and I'm not saying it hasn't changed in the years since it was introduced.

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Actually, there are several that I dislike simply because, like Quink Washable Blue, they will disappear before your very eyes (Waterman and Sheaffer blues and blue-black, for example), but I have enduring bad memories of Quink at school, whether permanent blue or blue-black, simply behaving poorly - hop, skip and jump, flood and skip etc. - though I loved the smell :sick: .

 

Since re-discovering fountain pens and discovering the world of ink outside planet Quink, I can see no reason ever to go back to it.

 

Chris

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Several Private Reserve inks, especially Sherwood Green. It is the most smear prone ink I have ever encountered, so much co that it is in a league by itself. They are also the least water resistant by far.

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My two least favorites:

 

PR Burdundy Mist -- a blah color that always made my pens write badly.

 

Noodlers White Whale -- It isn't an opaque white... so you can't write on dark paper with it and it seems to make my pens clog when I mix it with other inks to make pastel colors.

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Thought this might be fun.

 

I'm up to around 50 different inks that I have tried and found that Penman ruby was the worst that I ever used. The solids that deposited on the bottle neck made me wonder what was going on inside my pens & the color was nothing exciting.

 

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Hero Washable Blue and Blue-Black.

 

They totally removed the gold plating on a couple of my gold-plated nibbed pens :angry:

 

Crappy and nasty inks. No wonder they're so cheap (here in Malaysia a 2 fl. oz bottle can be had for the equivalent of US$0.50) :bonk:

 

 

Shahrin B)

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Other than Orange Indien, I have not had good experiences with J. Herbin ink. I find them too watered down for my tastes. I like bold colors.

 

I realize this might get me stoned, as I have read of numerous fans of J. Herbin inks. Out of 6 different bottles, the only one I have liked is the one I just mentioned.

 

Thus far, I am pretty impressed with Private Reserve's inks.

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I have liked every Diamine ink I have tried, EXCEPT Dark Green. There is nothing dark about it. It is quite bright with some teal tones to it. The name is very misleading as is the swatch at The Writing Desk.

 

Neil of the famed Inkquest blog will back me up on this.

 

Matt C.

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Several Private Reserve inks, especially Sherwood Green. It is the most smear prone ink I have ever encountered, so much co that it is in a league by itself. They are also the least water resistant by far.

 

I actually love PR's sherwood green, though I use the fast drying, so that may have some effect on my preference, though it does leak in one of my pens. So I both agree and disagree if that makes any sense.

"The only conquests which are permanent, and leave no regrets, are our conquests over ourselves." Napoleon

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PR Burgundy Mist. Love the color, but notes that are completely dry, like a day or two old, will still smear... not fun.

End of line.

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I really dislike Mont Blanc ink. A lot.

 

And how could Penman Sapphire be such lovely stuff (and how in the world could I have thrown away two bottles of it just because they were more than a year old...how dumb can you get??) but all of the other Penman colors be so awful?

 

Greg

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I really dislike Mont Blanc ink. A lot.

 

Yes, I find Mont Blanc too watered down for me...

 

And as an addition, I'm glad I'm not the only one who despises PR Burgundy Mist... I thought it was just me being weird.

End of line.

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The following three for purely aesthetic reasons:

 

Pelikan Royal Blue - too washed out looking

J. Herbin Bleu Myosotis - same reason, even more disappointed because it was so highly recommended

Sheaffer Black - not dark enough and feathered terribly

 

Now I must say that I have not used these inks for eight or nine years, so they may be better now.

 

 

The only dangerous ink I encountered was Private Reserve Candy Apple Red. I bought this practically immediately upon its release. By itself it was quite nice. But one day I mixed some with PR Copper Burst to darken it a bit and the result was industrial sludge. Fortunately, the reaction was immediate so it never got in a pen, but it ruined a nice mixing bottle and I had to scrub the sink with Comet after pouring it out. It took several applications of the abrasive cleaner to make my sink white again. Once reported on one of the earlier pen boards, the good folks in Zionsville put out a bulletin about this and one other of their inks (I think it was Tangerine Dream) that they were not to be mixed, and they were eventually discontinued.

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Bad inks?

 

Early PR Sherwood Green and Spearmint - both never dried, tossed out

Current Noodlers Sequoia - also smears as of last try

Current Noodlers Nightshade - also smears as of last try

Sheaffer Black - too weak

Sheaffer Havana (80's) - too weak

 

Some counter-arguments to other postings

 

Quink (current) - my favorite ink, bar none, never faded on me, but very non-waterproof

Herbin - many of my favorites (forgive the spelling, I don't do French), Vert Pre, Blue Myosotis, Orange Indian, Poissire de Lune, others

Lamy Black - has been very good for me

Noodlers - Generally, I've had excellent luck, some early inks smeared, but in general, top-notch. I don't mind filling expensive pens with the ink, but I wouldn't put high-dye content or Purple inks in any clear or light-colored pens.

 

Skip

 

 

Skip Williams

www.skipwilliams.com/blog

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Private Reserve Blue Suede. Works horribly in the only pen I tried it in. I can't necessarily fault it for that, though...I should have tried it in another pen.

 

To further back up my choice, it has zero water resistance. I mean...ZERO. I don't mean it can't stand up to long dunks, I wouldn't expect it to. But....I wrote on cheap notebook paper and it dried and actually looked somewhat presentable. Then we turned the A/C off and opened the windows. The humidity inside rose fairly quickly. Everything I had written in Blue Suede (even as much as a week earlier) started to feather and smear when touched!! I took it out of my pen immediately and swore to never use it again. I want to like the ink, I want to love the ink as much as I love the color...but it just won't happen. As my notes and journal entries have aged, that Blue Suede has turned just a gorgeous not-quite-blue color, but I won't use it again.

 

Now PR Avacado...a favorite. So it's nothing against PR. Rest assured I will try any of their inks in cartridges before I buy a bottle of anything, though.

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"Worst" is hard to define. But I have some negatives I can share.

 

Worst would probably be a no-name ink cartridge that came with a Pluto school pen. Blue food coloring and no lubrication, blecch.

 

My beef about PR American Blue: Great color, zero moisture resistance. Breathe on it and it runs.

 

My most ill-behaved ink is probably Noodler's Hunter Green: Extreme nib creep (which does not bother me) and most feather prone of any ink I have. But I still like it and it is one of my main inks, although diluted 50/50 with distilled water. Diluting it reduces the bad behaviors, eliminates most of the smearing, and produces a better color, in my opinion.

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As I am fairly traditional in my choice of inks, mainly Blues, Blacks and Blue-Blacks, not found one I really don't like, but the Pelikan Blue that comes with the Level pens is a bit nondescript, however still happy to use it at least until it runs out and I can refill the bottles with something else.

 

Andy

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Color is so subjective, that I won't comment on colors I happen to dislike. My response is based on my personal experience with bad-behaving inks. The four worst culprits so far:

 

-- Noodler's Highland's Heather: very dry, and thus horrible flow; prone to clogging

-- Levenger's Cobalt Blue, standard cartridge: so thick that it sticks to the inside of the cartridge, and the cartridge needs to be squeezed every so often to get the ink to flow; prone to smearing; dries very slowly; takes forever to flush out of a pen

-- Levenger's Amethyst, large cartridge: makes every pen I've tried with it so far a slow-starter or no-starter (always requires a dip in water); takes forever to flush out of a pen

-- Levenger's Cocoa, large cartridge: makes every pen I've tried with it so far a slow-starter or no-starter (always requires a dip in water)

 

Talking about fountain pens is like dancing about architecture.

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