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Thread: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

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    Default 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Here is a brief review of a double concentrated Pilot Blue-Black ink.


    A prelude. Or a kind of

    I have always been fascinated with this ink. For a bunch of reasons except one: it is rather lifeless. Then I used it in my modern Duofold (with the damn hole in the cap causing evaporation) and found out this ink can be gorgeous with a lot of gravitas, beautiful shading and sheen... if evaporates a bit.


    Pilot Blue-Black standard concentration properties summary

    A couple of positives of this ink (in the normal 100% concentration):

    1) VERY cheap if you get a 350ml bottle from Japan, it costs there roughly $12,

    2) VERY water resistant,

    3) (unlike most Blue-Black inks) when exposed to water it stays purely blue instead of black/grey,

    4) flows well in any pen,

    5) safe,

    6) no strong smell,

    7) while it stains, the stains disappear fully if well soaked/filled with a soapy (dish detergent) water with no other treatment required at all; it is also very easy to wash from clothes, leaving no stains

    Aren't these 7 wonders of the ink?
    Well, yes, but despite all the positives this ink normally isn't what one would expect of a solid blue black. Honestly, it is quite dull.


    Say no to the dullness - let it evaporate

    So what did I do? I bought a 350ml bottle, filled my empty Edelstein Sapphire bottle (actually not the most lively ink either), folded a kitchen paper towel in 8 layers and fixed it with a rubber band to the bottle. Then put it in my desk (the place that is dark and dry - just like my soul). I had been checking it regularly, but cannot remember how long did it take to evaporate a half of the bottle, but roughly 2 weeks. And... see the result below. A lovely navy ink, very water resistant, with a lot of sheen and shading. With no misbehaviour. And still very cheap.
    For this process the wider the open surface of the bottle is the faster is the evaporation. Sailor old style 50ml round bottle (reminding jar) would fit the best. On the contrary heating or exposing to sunlight would not be the best idea.

    Testing

    The paper used is Oxford 90g A4 optikpaper notepad (a coated paper like Rhodia etc.).
    The pen used is MB 146 from early 90s (1st gen. plastic feed) with M(edium) feed - a bit broadish but not the wettest.

    The writing sample was kept in the notebook for 24 hours before performing the water test.
    It was left for 30 second under a tap.
    I went quite hard with cotton swabs, it even damaged the paper surface.

    UV resistance results (notebook vs. summer window) will be updated in 2 weeks.

    The photos were taken in a natural light (direct sunlight/2 sorts of a shadow).

    The inks does not bleed (except the cheapest paper in almost a toilet paper quality), does not feather.

    You can see the comparison of the ink in a 100% concentration and 200%, written with the same pen.


    Conclusion

    While the standard Pilot Blue-Black is a very good ink it is not the best choice if you need a serious business ink. The double concentration will do the job.

    What a lovely colour, isn't it?! What a performance! And very, very cheap.

    As for the price, while the ink is cheap the shipping is tricky but for instance Mercari now and then offers discounts on shipping or even a free international shipping, like recently.











    Last edited by aurore; July 6th, 2020 at 02:42 AM.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Great detailed review/ experiment. Thanks!

    I have often noticed that many ink become more interesting when evaporate in a pen........
    I have also done the contrary with some of the extreme sheening inks (Organic studios) by diluting them

    But I have to admit that the Pilot 200% is really nice. The 100% though is awful and insipid in comparison.
    Not enough for me to go through with the experiment. Thankfully I've got enough inks and temptation is low

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    aurore (July 5th, 2020)

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Thank you!

    Indeed, there is a lot of inks. This ink is rather exceptiona though - beside the performance, due to the fact it is one of the very few inks left where the price is rather for the ink, not for the bottle/packing (others are Pelikan Blue and Royal Blue and currently some anniversary Herbin 500ml inks). Moreover there is actually not so many navy inks with a solid water resistance and such shading/sheen. There are some lovely dark blue inks, but they often smudge when dry and the water resistance is usually poor. On the other hand, in normal concentration this Pilot ink is indeed not fascinating.

    Btw Duofold Centennial showed me what some Diamine inks (such as Oxford Blue or Midnight) look like evaporated - quite identical to their current blue "sheen" inks

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Yes indeed, if shading / sheen and waterproofness are important there are few and far between inks...
    I'm happy with Kung Te-Cheng as a deep dark navy......

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Thank you for an in-depth, smartly done experiment and review. I have one of the "coke bottles" of this ink and I'm going to do the exact same thing and see how it turns out.

    Very much appreciated!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Thank you for an in-depth, smartly done experiment and review. I have one of the "coke bottles" of this ink and I'm going to do the exact same thing and see how it turns out.

    Very much appreciated!
    You are more than welcome! Thank you!

    In fact I should accent this particular MB is not the wet writer, the flow this feed provides is reasonable but it definitely is not a gusher, actually Salix looked just awful in it.
    In wetter pens this 200% Pilot looks even better - both the main colour and the darker shades (and of cours the is more sheen). Tomorrow I am planning to ink another pen or two with it and add the photos.

    The coke bottle of this ink is a great buy. Many hesitate, but there is no reason - the ink is great and cheap, some ink one can share with friends, some can concentrate and enjoy a very solid yet completely trouble free dark blue ink.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    The coke bottle of this ink is a great buy. Many hesitate, but there is no reason - the ink is great and cheap, some ink one can share with friends, some can concentrate and enjoy a very solid yet completely trouble free dark blue ink.
    I've been recommending this ink for a long time, especially for students. I honestly believe that, in that packaging, there isn't a better cost/performance ink out there.

    Ok, question: I just put an amount of the ink in a test tube, marking a point half-way down from the fill of the ink to indicate 50% evaporation. Now I've just had a thought: will it take longer to evaporate in a narrow tube (less surface area) than if I decant it into a wide bottle/jar that exposes more of the surface? I'm thinking I should do the latter to speed up the process but wondering if my suspicion is correct!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    The coke bottle of this ink is a great buy. Many hesitate, but there is no reason - the ink is great and cheap, some ink one can share with friends, some can concentrate and enjoy a very solid yet completely trouble free dark blue ink.
    I've been recommending this ink for a long time, especially for students. I honestly believe that, in that packaging, there isn't a better cost/performance ink out there.

    Ok, question: I just put an amount of the ink in a test tube, marking a point half-way down from the fill of the ink to indicate 50% evaporation. Now I've just had a thought: will it take longer to evaporate in a narrow tube (less surface area) than if I decant it into a wide bottle/jar that exposes more of the surface? I'm thinking I should do the latter to speed up the process but wondering if my suspicion is correct!
    likely, yes

    I wonder if the flame of a Bunsen burner might speed things up

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    The coke bottle of this ink is a great buy. Many hesitate, but there is no reason - the ink is great and cheap, some ink one can share with friends, some can concentrate and enjoy a very solid yet completely trouble free dark blue ink.
    I've been recommending this ink for a long time, especially for students. I honestly believe that, in that packaging, there isn't a better cost/performance ink out there.

    Ok, question: I just put an amount of the ink in a test tube, marking a point half-way down from the fill of the ink to indicate 50% evaporation. Now I've just had a thought: will it take longer to evaporate in a narrow tube (less surface area) than if I decant it into a wide bottle/jar that exposes more of the surface? I'm thinking I should do the latter to speed up the process but wondering if my suspicion is correct!
    The more surface open to air the faster the evaporation is. Among the empty bottles I know by far the best would be the old Sailor 50ml round bottle.

    Ah, as for the students (and anybody actually), this ink has a superb property - it is very easy to wash from clothes, leaving no stains.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post

    I wonder if the flame of a Bunsen burner might speed things up

    This made me think I should add a little disclaimer just in case somebody takes it seriously
    Last edited by aurore; July 6th, 2020 at 06:23 PM.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    At 6 this morning one of the cats knocked the beaker of ink onto the floor, shattering it, spilling ink under my desk on the wood floor.

    End of experiment for now.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    I feel for you
    Did the culprit managed to even look slightly guilty?

    Sent from my SM-A205W using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    At 6 this morning one of the cats knocked the beaker of ink onto the floor, shattering it, spilling ink under my desk on the wood floor.

    End of experiment for now.
    Ouch. So sorry to hear that. I hope the ink washes off OK.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    At least you can legitimately blame the cat. I did the very same thing myself
    Luckily this ink is easy to clean.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Schrodinger's Cat?

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Schrodinger's Cat?
    Schrodinger's ink. The ink was there and it was not.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    Did the culprit managed to even look slightly guilty?
    My wife was the first to get there. She said Dewey was just looking at the pool of ink with an expression of "Wow..." on his face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Ouch. So sorry to hear that. I hope the ink washes off OK.
    Oh, no. I got all the surface stuff off, but this actually soaked into the wood. It is going to be stained until we have the floors refinished. Might even have to replace boards.

    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    Luckily this ink is easy to clean.
    See reply to Chrissy.

    Quote Originally Posted by aurore View Post
    Schrodinger's ink. The ink was there and it was not.
    There is no philosophical avenue in this story. This is an ink disaster, plain and simple.

    At the end of the day, it is my fault for leaving something like this even remotely accessible. However, it was way at the back of the desk, behind other objects. I have no idea how long it took Dewey to get it out and off the front of the desk. And, naturally, he showed no interest in the glass of clear water in the same area.

    There are worse things in the world and I love my cats. This is all on me.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    Commiserations, Jon.

    No cats but a resident klutz (me) is why I do all my ink evaporation experiments in-pen.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    I am so sorry, my friend. Such a misfortune. But after all it is just a bit a of water and and a piece of wood. The cat is a friend.

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    Default Re: 200% Pilot Blue-Black ink review (instead of the dull 100%)

    You must love cats (or at least yours).

    I do not (not about yours, specifically...all of them).

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