Posts filed under Noodler's Ink

Noodler's Turquoise Ink Review

As I continue down the long and winding road of fountain pen inks, I'm learning that I actually enjoy trying new inks more than pens at this point in my journey. The good news is, there are hundreds (thousands?) of different, unique inks to try. The bad news is, well, there are hundreds of different, unique inks to try. So, as long as I ignore the part of this journey that involves paying for inks, it's a win-win situation. Tired of a pen you've had for a while? Find a new exciting ink for it. It's instantly a new pen (almost).

The latest ink that has landed in my daily rotation is Noodler's Turquoise. This is another ink from the awesome Joe Lebo – thanks Joe! He really does have great taste.

Noodler's Turquoise is a classy, interesting blue-green ink that delights me every time I use it. To the unknowing eye, you might think it's a black or dark blue on first glance. But, on second glance, you notice the green lying on top of that dark blue foundation. And after looking closer, you spy just a touch of shading in certain letters. It's turquoise! This is what keeps bringing me back to this ink. You can use it every day because it isn't wild, but it's still really interesting and adds some flair to the every day carry.

When you get down to it, this is a great ink. It's well-behaved, has nice writing qualities, and looks great. My main caution is for the left-handed writers. This is a slow-drying ink. I've definitely smudged a lot of writing while using this ink, and I'm right-handed. Fair warning.

That said, it hasn't stopped me from filling the ink into pens again and again. It's a new favorite.

The ink is saturated and a bit on the wet side, but not very. I never have any skipping or starting issues with it, and it keeps up with my fastest writing, scribbling, and doodling.

There's a tiny bit of shading when writing quickly with a small nib – XF to M. Wider, specialty nibs really bring out the personality of this ink. I only have a calligraphy nib (2.0mm!), but I know that this ink would be great in a small stub. I need to get one of those pronto. Despite my terrible attempt at some form of fancy script in the title, you can see some of the shading aspects from the wide 2.0mm nib I used.

This ink does not like cheap paper. It bleeds and feathers like crazy on cheap notebook paper and copy paper.

Lastly, there's a small amount of sheen to the ink that also adds personality. It's a very small amount, and absorbant papers pretty much remove all sheen, but it's great when it works.

I've never really settled on a real-life example for this ink color, but I keep coming back to something like the ocean on certain days. It's a dark blue with green swimming around in the dark depths. Maybe it's just me, but I like to get lost in colors like this. It's a favorite, and I'll be buying my own bottle soon, along with a stub-nib pen.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Noodlers Turquoise Review.jpg
Posted on July 23, 2014 and filed under Noodler's Ink, Ink Reviews.

Noodler's Heart of Darkness review

Noodlers Heart of Darkness 2.jpg

The "Heart of Darkness" conjures up alluring yet terrifying visions in my mind of being lost in an imperceptibly dense and living jungle labyrinth. Luckily for us, we're only talking about a fountain pen ink and not Joseph Conrad's depiction of the African wilderness.

Noodler's Heart of Darkness is my staple black ink for all my pens. You could call it my sweetheart ink, but that might be taking it too far. If a better looking black ink comes by, my loyalty will quickly vanish.

What is there to say about a black ink? Every black ink I've tried is similar. This is why it's so much fun to experiment with other color inks -- they have unique and beautiful properties that just don't exist in a black ink. But even though black can be "boring," it's also a beautiful thing in its own right. So, how does it differ from the other black inks out there?

In my experience, Heart of Darkness plays nicely with all types of paper. Sure, it will bleed and feather a tad on cheaper, thinner paper, but that's expected. It's a very lubricated, smooth ink, which is something I hear often about Noodler's in general.

The ink dries quickly in most cases. It took a bit longer to dry on my Rhodia notebook because of the paper properties. There's no shading qualities to speak of, and I had a difficult time producing any line variations. It also has a matte look once dried.

The main reason I like this ink and always come back to it is the color. It's a deep, deep black. Some of the black inks I've tried have hints of gray or brown in them. This ink is black like a moonless night in the African jungle (at least in my imagination). I've also found that it's extremely friendly when it's time to clean out your pen.

Another positive note about this ink is that it has no smell that I can detect. Both Pilot and Sailor black inks that I use have a very distinctive odor that I don't really enjoy.

Overall, this is an excellent black to keep on hand for when you need a solid, dark black ink.

Noodlers Heart of Darkness 1.jpg
Noodlers Heart of Darkness 3.jpg
Posted on December 20, 2013 and filed under Ink Reviews, Noodler's Ink.

Tools of the Trade: A Review of the TWSBI 580 F Nib and Noodler's Bernanke Black Ink

(This is a guest review by Chase McCoy. You can find more from Chase at chasemccoy.net.)

If you know me at all, you know that I am a lover of analog tools. I am particularly fond of pens and paper. Any pen addict knows that entering the world of better-than-average pens is a hobby that grows as rapidly as your wallet shrinks.

Inspired by the Pen Addict himself, Brad Dowdy, as well as his co-host on The Pen Addict Podcast, Myke Hurley, I have recently begun using fountain pens. There is something about a fountain pen that just feels right. It is an entirely different experience than using a gel ink pen. Until I purchased the TWSBI 580, however, all of my fountain pens have been cartridge filled models like the Lamy Safari and the Kaweco Classic Sport. Both of these are fine pens, but I was ready to take it to the next level.

After researching my options, I decided that the TWSBI 580 was going to be my next pen. Those who have used the pen rave about its spectacular nib and relatively cheap cost. I picked one up from Goulet Pens for $50 along with a bottle of ink and I am quite impressed.

Construction

The TWSBI 580 comes in a few color combos, but I chose the clear demonstrator model. I like being able to see the ink slosh around in the barrel. Plus, I can easily tell when it’s time for a refill.

twsbi_4.jpg

The 580 is made out of a durable clear plastic with some chrome accents. The cap of the pen screws onto the pen so that you don’t have to worry about leaks. The pen also features a bright red TWSBI logo on the very end of the cap, which adds a nice accent.

twsbi_2.jpg

One thing that I really like about the pen is that the barrel is not completely round. It is actually many flat sides. I like this because the pen doesn’t roll around when you put it on a flat surface. While that may not seem like a big deal, it relieves a lot of frustration.

Another cool thing is that the nib simply unscrews off the barrel. This means that if you want to try out a different nib size, all you have to do is buy it and screw it on.

Filling

The 580 is the first fountain pen that I have owned that utilizes a piston filling mechanism.

The pen itself is essentially a converter. There is a piston inside the barrel that creates an airtight seal with the inside of the pen. To fill it, you simply unscrew the end of the pen so that the piston is extended towards the nib. Next, you insert the nib into your bottle of ink and twist the piston back up into the pen. This suction draws ink up into the barrel of the pen.

Filling this pen is a simple as could be. Cleaning it should be pretty easy, although I haven’t had to yet. All you should have to do us unscrew the nib and flush it out, and then just wash out the barrel.

Writing

The moment of truth comes after you’ve filled your pen. I purchased an F nib, and I am quite happy with it. If you have a Lamy Safari F nib, the TWSBI is slightly finer. I like my Safari F nib, but I have aways wished that it was a touch finer. I have tried the Safari in an EF nib, but it was too fine. The TWSBI 580 is a happy medium.

twsbi_writing_small.jpg

I had some issues with my pen at first. It was skipping and having hard starts. Fortunately, flushing the nib solved the problem. I did not flush my nib before I filled it the first time, but I definitely will in the future.

I am happy to say that the 580 writes really well. The pen is smooth and really different from the cheaper fountain pens I have used in the past.

twsbi_1.jpg

The only problems I have experienced with this pen is that sometimes the pen skips a bit when I first start using it. It is usually a little thin on the first character that I write, but it never lasts longer than a letter or two. I have a feeling that this has to do with the ink that I am using, which I will talk about a little later.

I am really happy with my 580. It writes great and it feels great to write with. If you are looking to step up your pen collection with a smooth, affordable pen, the TWSBI 580 is for you. Plus, a pen like this lets you have a lot if fun with the hundreds of inks out there.

twsbi_3.jpg

Noodler's Bernanke Black ink

When I set out to find an ink for my pen, I was looking for two things: dark and quick drying. I like black inks, and so I wanted a black that was deep and dark. I was tempted by Noodler's Bulletproof Black, but all of the reviews said that it was very slow to dry.

I settled on Noodler's Bernanke Black because people seemed to really like it and it is a fast drying ink.

So far, I am pleased with the dryness of this ink. It dries almost immediately when you put it on the page. The ink is also nice and dark. It could be a bit darker for my tastes, bit I am pleased with its shade of black.

One issue that I have had with this ink is that because it is a fast drying ink, it tends to dry up a little bit if my pen is sitting out uncapped for a little bit. Usually this means that the pen skips a bit on the first letter that I write. It’s not a huge inconvenience, but I look forward to trying out some other inks in my 580.

Conclusions

I am really happy that I settled on this pen. The TWSBI 580 is a great way to jump into fountain pens and inks. If you are interested, I suggest you purchase yours from Goulet Pens. They have incredible customer service and are based in the U.S.

Posted on November 4, 2013 and filed under Fountain Pens, Noodler's Ink, TWSBI, Pen Reviews.

Noodler's Bernanke Blue Ink Review

Bernanke Blue

Being a left-handed fountain pen user is tough. I don't know this because I am one, I know this because of the amount of emails and comments I get searching for quick-drying inks that will work for lefties. Noodler's Bernanke Blue is one of those inks.

After receiving a sample vial from my friend @jjlsetter I loaded it up for testing in the TWSBI Mini 1.5 mm stub nib. While I usually prefer blue black inks over traditional blues, this may be one of the best shades I have used. My photography and editing make the blue look almost neon. It is not that bright, but it does pop off the page. The depth and saturation of the color is fantastic, and if you are not a fan of shading inks this has little to none.

The real selling point of the Bernanke series is the quick drying time (be sure to read the story behind the name in the link above.) In my less than scientific testing I find it completely legit. Rhodia paper is known for its long drying times and even with it in play the dry time was almost immediate. You can see the slightest smudge on the five-second mark but that's it. An impressive performance, and the quickest drying ink I have tested.

I have a sample of Bernanke Black that I have yet to test, but I expect the same quick drying performance. So let's hear it in the comments - what is the fastest drying fountain pen ink you use?

Bernanke Blue

Posted on May 16, 2013 and filed under Ink Reviews, Noodler's Ink.

Noodler's Apache Sunset Ink Review

Noodler's Apache Sunset

Noodler's Apache Sunset fountain pen ink is one of those inks you have to see in person to really appreciate. I was the beneficiary of a sample vial of this wonderful ink from one of my Twitter friends (thanks Anne!), and I have to say it is a real stunner.

I am unintentionally continuing my orange theme from last week but it had to be done. I have been sitting on this review for about a month now and was chomping at the bit to get it out there. What I love the most about this ink is the depth of color. It is so rich, even in the lightest shaded areas. And that shading, wow! It is one of the best I have personally tested, with a wide range of orange, brown, and yellow coming through.

I haven't purchased a bottle yet, but I plan to in the near future. I received a Pilot Falcon last night with an SEF nib that has a little flex. I wanted to load a bright, highly shaded ink into it, but found I was lacking in that category (I already used this sample up.) What inks that fit that criteria do you use in your flex pens? Let me know in the comments.

Noodler's Apache Sunset

For more details on Noodler's Apache Sunset check out these great reviews:

Ed Jelley

FPGeeks

The Five Cat PENagerie

Posted on April 22, 2013 and filed under Ink Reviews, Noodler's Ink.