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Thread: Must-Have Inks?

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    Junior Member Inkflow's Avatar
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    Default Must-Have Inks?

    I've mostly stuck to the manufacturers' inks for the pens I have purchased (Lamy, Pelikan, etc.) but I was told Noodler's Black is one you have to try if you're a FP geek. I may get some Platinum Preppies and or a glass pen and try a few other brands. What would you recommend?
    Last edited by Inkflow; November 22nd, 2017 at 06:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    There are so many inks out there and so many of us with different color and brand preferences it's tough to say any of them are "must-haves". Every one of us is going to tell you that two or three of our favorites are must-haves. Just go color shopping at Goulet, Anderson, and Vanness and purchase some sample vials. Expand on the brands you've tried, compare them to the ones you know, and decide whether or not you like the flow properties, color, saturation, possible sheen, etc.

    If you haven't tried them yet I do recommend Sailor inks. We have quite a few of them in our house, both Sailor and boutique inks made by Sailor. I've never had a poor writing experience with them, and nearly all of them offer some kind of wonderful sheen.

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    I concur with the Sailor recommendation, including some of their shop-special inks.

    My first couple years with fountain pens I only owned bottles of Noodlers Black and Waterman Serenity Blue and went through scores of samples to find what I liked. There are a few online vendors who sell samples, each carrying slightly different brands. Between Goulet, Vanness, and Anderson Pens you should have a lifetime of options. I suggest perusing through the blogs and youtube channels to find things you like and then buy a bunch of samples at once to save on shipping. Also be aware that the splotch cards on the vendors' websites aren't always accurate, I rely on blog posts or videos with actual writing samples. Pen and paper also make a big difference in how the ink appears.

    I'm generally a fan of highly saturated colors, sheen, and shading. I don't like dry inks. Some of my favorites…

    Sailor Yama Dori (teal) and Souten (blue)
    Bungbox Sapphire (blue) and 4B (blue-black)
    Montblanc Toffee Brown (brown) and Saint Exupery (brown/purple)
    J Herbin Emerald of Chivor (teal) and Le de The (brown)
    Diamine Bilberry (purple)
    Akkerman #5 Shocking Blue
    Waterman Serenity Blue (blue) –*Super reliable and easy to clean. I use this to benchmark all my new pens.

    There are plenty of others that I really like and I'm discovering more on a regular basis (I'm trying Pelikan Tanzanite for the first time and really like it).

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    For absolute reliability I trust Waterman serenity blue (like the last poster) and Pelikan Koenigsblau. If I'm trying out a nib I will tend to use these,as every nib seems to get on with them - whereas Diamine and Herbin can get a temperamental response, and Cross black seems to make every nib write about 75% drier than it should.

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    There are lot's of fancy, interesting and strange colours and inks that I like...
    But, in terms of must have inks for me?
    I always have a bottle of Pilot Blue/Black for the exact same reasons that the above posters like Waterman serenity blue.
    It is a reliable and safe ink, that I know inside and out. It is easy to clean and in a wet pen also has some nice sheen to it.
    It is always the first ink I put in a new pen so that I can benchmark it and get to know how it writes and performs.
    Sam O

    "A fountain pen with a bad nib is like a Ferrari with a flat tyre..." - Brian Gray, Edison pens

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    I'm interested in trying Diamine Amethyst and Ancient Copper. I want my FP correspondence to have an ink color that stands apart.

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    Senior Member SIR's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Must-Have Inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby921 View Post
    Sailor and boutique inks made by Sailor.
    Quote Originally Posted by mulrich View Post
    I concur with the Sailor recommendation, including some of their shop-special inks.
    If we're talking must-have if you can get them (and are willing to pay some potentially crazy prizes) then Pen & Message's Cigar (made by Sailor and available off the shelf from their store in Kobe, Japan) and Montblanc's Da Vinci Red Chalk (an out of production limited edition) are obvious starting points.

    Otherwise, you can get some good recommendation by searching forums for people's opinions on the best of a certain colour, such as Aurora's and Herbin's for blacks.

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    I've recently gone through a phase of selling most of my inks, and buying a few more (inescapable).

    I only want to own inks I use, not 80 bottles of things I dipped once, though 'yeah, that's cool', then forgot, and this was my final selection of only the 'must haves' (to me). It is my capsule ink collection - nothing fancy or unobtainium here, but I'd struggle to cut the numbers down again:

    Sailor Sei-Boku
    Sailor Yama Dori
    Sailor Kin Mokusei
    Diamine Amber
    Diamine Salamander
    Diamine Ancient Copper
    J Herbin Vert Olive
    Aurora Black
    Pelikan 4001 Turquoise

    Beyond these colours I find the only things I like are those very close to these already - there are many other beautiful inks, but not in colours I would feel comfortable using day to day.

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    I don't like the hassle of finding special editions, nor paying for them, so you won't find any in my list, even though I would miss some few that I have. I think the only ink in my collection that I would necessarily replace with exactly the same ink is Sailor Sei Boku. Come to think of it, if I suddenly found myself with no inks, I think I would buy

    Sailor Sei Boku (my must-have)
    Pelikan Turquoise
    Waterman Blue (not a must-have, just a blue, one of many that would do)
    Montblanc Cornpoppy Red (not a must-have, just a red with nice properties)
    --
    Mike

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    Must say I'm loving the love for Pelikan Turquoise - an ink that would likely get a lot more notice of it was costlier.

    But my own "must haves" would be Waterman Serenity Blue, for the aforementioned property of "if it doesn't work with that, the problem is the pen, not the ink", and Platinum Carbon Black, for its ability to stay put regardless of what is thrown at it. Apart from that, it's fun to try the most often mentioned of other brands, and will give you a benchmark .Thus I think sampling Noodler's Apache Sunset, Pelikan Blue-Black, Diamine Ancient Copper, Montblanc Irish Green/Toffee Brown, Herbin Violette Pensée (for its extreme Frenchness, if nothing else) or Lie de thé, Sailor Rikyu-Cha or Yama Dori, et al are all worth doing.

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    Default Re: Must-Have Inks?

    Quote Originally Posted by urushi4u View Post
    I've recently gone through a phase of selling most of my inks, and buying a few more (inescapable).

    I only want to own inks I use, not 80 bottles of things I dipped once, though 'yeah, that's cool', then forgot, and this was my final selection of only the 'must haves' (to me). It is my capsule ink collection - nothing fancy or unobtainium here, but I'd struggle to cut the numbers down again:

    Sailor Sei-Boku
    Sailor Yama Dori
    Sailor Kin Mokusei
    Diamine Amber
    Diamine Salamander
    Diamine Ancient Copper
    J Herbin Vert Olive
    Aurora Black
    Pelikan 4001 Turquoise

    Beyond these colours I find the only things I like are those very close to these already - there are many other beautiful inks, but not in colours I would feel comfortable using day to day.
    Top 2 of these for me. Added would be ottoman azure from noodlers

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