Fountain pens are no good without inks!

A few interesting inks

Even more interesting inks 

Fountain pen inks, Part I: blue
Fountain pen inks, Part II: green
Fountain pen inks, Part III: red 
Fountain pen inks, Part IV: brown
Fountain pen inks, Part V: pink, violet, purple
Fountain pen inks, Part VI: grey and black
Fountain pen inks, Part VII: yellow and orange
Fountain pen ink mixing and color theory


How I Got Into Inks 

Introducing the Inkcyclopedia
Inkcyclopedia Lite: Diamine Autumn Oak
Inkcyclopedia Lite: Montblanc 90th Anniversary Permanent Grey
Inkcyclopedia Lite: Edelstein Garnet

Some more interesting inks

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  • Mahesh

    I am planning on buying a Lamy 2000 with an extra fine nib. Can you recommend a good ink? I would like it to be blue but I’m open to suggestions. The only restriction is that I’m planning on using it for everyday writing. Currently I have a Safari (which I bought after watching your review) that I use with Noodlers black bulletproof.


    • Jacqueline R.

      I have that pen exactly and use Waterman’s blue-black and it works very well. I also use Waterman’s black ink. I’m a fan of that Waterman quality in the inks.

  • Michael Copple

    Stephen, I have one for you. Have you ever tried personally or do you know anyone who can offer an opinion on Hero black ink?

    • sbrebrown

      I’ve only tried Hero blue and I wasn’t too impressed.

    • William Milling

      I have used nearly a whole bottle of the stuff. It is either pigmented or carbonic ink. It works wonderfully well on cheap paper (like bargain spiral notebook cheap paper) with minimal feathering and only slight specks bleed through with an on the slightly drier side of medium wet nib.

      The only problem I had with it was clogging the feed. After about 4 days the flow would begin to become hampered. So I simply flushed the pen each time the converter ran dry, and once a month or so gave the feed a good scrubbing with a soft bristled tooth brush.

      Several notebooks were filled with this ink over the course of a year or more. The pen still works fine to this day.

  • PurpleToothTech

    Hello Stephen, I am currently watching all of your inkcyclopedia reviews. I have one question. What is the meaning behind the Tardiff test? The test with the knife or letter opener.
    Thank you for all the information. You really crack me up.

    • sbrebrown

      The only meaning is showing off shading.

  • Zachary Davis

    As a professor, I find myself desiring a very fine nib with an interesting color for correcting papers. The issue is that I also need a pen/ink combination that doesn’t dry in the nib quickly, since I often leave it uncapped while reading papers. Do you have a preferred pen/ink combination for corrections that performs well on cheaper copy paper? I’ve been using a Sheaffer 100 (medium nib) with De Atramentis fuchsia.

    • sbrebrown

      I like Akkerman Chinatown red.

  • Denis Van Ruymbeke

    Hi Stephen, First of all, thank you for all your videos which are really interesting. You do a great job!
    After viewing your inky videos, I have a question: can you explain what do you exactly mean when you talk about a “rouge” colour and what differences do you make with a red colour? My mother tongue is French and, for me, “rouge” is only the french word for “red”; I guess there is a subtlety I don’t get… Thanks.

    • sbrebrown

      To me, a rouge is lighter, but that’s probably incorrect. French has never been my best language, as you can see :-).

      • Denis Van Ruymbeke

        Thank you for the explanation 🙂

  • Daniel Cano

    Hi Stephen. Before I post a question I want to congratulate you for your reviews, there are very fun and useful. I have a Montblanc John Lennon and I currently use the Daniel Defoe ink on it, which is not going to last much. I have a bottle of Montblanc Midnight blue that I use for other pens. Do you think that the Midnight Blue could give me some trouble with the piston filler or with the pen?

    • sbrebrown

      Thank you! The new formulation of Midnight Blue is not iron-gall anymore, so that should definitely be safe. Montblanc itself seems to have no issues with people using (old-style) Midnight Blue in their pens, but the company does provide a warning to clean the pen well after use. I’ve never had issues with this ink.

  • Achim

    Just watched the few interesting inks video.
    As Pelikan is a German brand, Türkis is the German word for the colour and also for the stone, that gave the colour the name.

    So turquoise simply is the french and English word?

  • Craig Johnson

    Any views on Diamine Shimmertastic inks?

    I recently bought Red Lustre and Magical Forest, and was somewhat disappointed
    with them both. I’m new to the whole fountain pen gambit, so I’ll admit
    to a stupid mistake, if I made one.

    I used them both in a Lamy Safari with a 1.9mm nib, and noticed quite a lot
    of feathering and bleed-through, and no sign of a shimmer anywhere. This
    is the widest nib that I have right-now. I see that on the net, most
    reviewers used a Pilot Parallels with a 3mm (or wider) nib. Is this my mistake? Does this ink need a wider nib?

    • sbrebrown

      Did you shake the bottle before you inked up the pen? That is required.

      • Craig Johnson

        Thanks for the speedy response.

        I did indeed shake the bottle first. I did notice that the metal dust seemed to settle quite fast, so I had to ink-up in haste or dunk the whole pen all the way to the bottom of the bottle. If I look at the converter now, I can see that there is some of the shimmer dust in there. This dust has currently settled onto one side of the converter, and I’m loathe to shake the pen to dislodge it.