Monday, June 27, 2016

How Many Black Inks Do I Need?

Black ink is important and every ink manufacturer has a black ink offering. Black is a universal standard for business use. How many black inks do you need? It reminds me of This is Spinal Tap, where they are asking how black the album cover is and they determine none really, it doesn’t get more black.

Noodler’s Ink has 11 black inks, yes 11. Why so many and what is the difference? I do get asked this quite a bit and I even asked that question before when I was new to this world of inky goodness. Nathan Tardif, the genius behind Noodler’s Ink, can do magic with ink and each instance here is mainly similar with differing properties. Let’s take a peek.

Noodler’s Black

This is considered a favorite black ink of many people. This is a dark, saturated black that is permanent in water resistance, archival, UV resistant, bleach resistant and forgery resistant. It is a well behaved black as far as bleed through and feathering and is a great overall black ink.

Bad Black Moccasin

This ink is part of the Noodler’s Warden Series of ink. What sets this apart from plain black is that it is laser proof…yup, laser proof. Nathan held a contest where he offered $1,000 to anyone who could remove the ink from the page without damaging the paper. One guy was successful by using a laser to remove the ink. Bam! Laser proof ink. So this ink is Noodler’s Black but laser resistant.

Black Eel

This is basically Noodler’s Black but lubricated so this is a wet ink that will be more prone to feathering and bleed through as well as prolonging dry times. The lubrication is present mainly for the lubrication of piston filling pens where they cannot be easily disassembled to manually apply lubricant on the piston. The other perk is this is a quick cure for dry writing pens.

Polar Black

Noodler’s Black Eel with freeze resistance. I have never seen an ink series that was freeze resistant but here it is. This is an ink designed to not freeze under really cold conditions so if you live in the Midwest, Canada, Alaska, Siberia etc, this is the ink for you.


This is a thicker version of Noodler’s Black that is feather resistant. This is a beneficial property for people without access to fountain pen friendly paper. I have tried X-Feather and it took some really crappy paper to get this to feather on, it does what it claims to do.

Bernanke Black
Here is the fast drying version of black. Mainly intended for left-handed writers so they do not smear the ink as they write. What this means ink-wise is that it is very wet and very aggressive. Fast drying inks attack the paper quickly and is known to be wet and prone to bleed and feathering.

These all have somewhat practical properties and were designed for a specific use. The next black inks are more themed and somewhat out of the normal.

Borealis Black

This is a reformulation of Aurora black. Nathan is very well versed in reverse engineering ink to make modern versions that truly emulate the original “muse” if you will.

Dark Matter

This is another reformulation of the ink used during the 1950’s and more specifically The Manhattan Project. I have a bottle of this and I do really enjoy it. When it dries, it does look like a vintage ink.

Heart of Darkness

This is my go to black ink. Heart of Darkness is based off of the book with the same title. It is about the journey to the dark parts of the Congo. This is the blackest black ink that ever blacked, in my opinion.

Black Erase

Fountain pen ink designed for the whiteboard in highlighter based pens. What? Yup, it is true and this exists. I can’t believe it is entirely popular and is not to be used with dry erase methods. This writes wet and is erased off the board with a wet cloth.

El Lawrence

This is debatable on whether it is a black or more of a really dark brown. I put it more in the black category as it looks like oil. It is based off of Lawrence of Arabia so it fits…loosely. It is an oil colored ink and is a pain in the butt to clean out of pens. This is not a favorite.

So there they are. So many black inks to choose from. I really like having the choices available so that a person can choose an ink based off of their needs.

I am not representing Noodler’s Ink in any fashion nor am I being compensated in any way.

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