Finding the fountain pen ink can be a great deal of fun if you know what you’re looking for. Whether you are embarking on your first experience or are looking for recommendations to improve your skill and artistry, you’ve come to the right place. Extensive research revealed the top inks.
After reviewing factors such as wetness, dryness, ink flow, saturation, packaging, and compatibility with a variety of papers, these selections are the most recommended choices. Inferior inks are more likely to skip, bleed, or feather with normal use.
These selections are less likely to cause these issues when used as recommended.
Fountain Pen Inks:
1. Montblanc Bottled Ink Refill
Montblanc is one of the most recognizable names in quality writing instruments, so it stands to reason that they would also produce quality ink. For a great price, it’s possible to purchase a 60-ml bottle of this permanent black ink.
The jar that holds the ink has an unusual but highly functional design that causes the ink to gather directly under the opening so that it’s easier to access. Once it is on paper, this ink may be described as classy and elegant, perfect for putting the finishing touches on any document that needs to look distinctive.
An ink of excellent quality, this product dries relatively quickly and doesn’t bleed through most paper.
Most people love the way that this ink flows and how quickly it dries. On the right paper, it offers subtle shading, and feathering is a rarity. Plus, this permanent ink is durable. Nonetheless, critics do wish that the colors were more saturated.
Montblanc is a trusted name in the industry, and this ink will perform precisely as advertised.
- Genuine Montblanc quality
- Excellent packaging
- Admirable flow
- Colors aren’t quite as saturated with this ink
2. Parker 1950375 Quink Ink Bottle
If you’re on a tight budget but still love to use a pen, then you need the budget ink. That’s precisely what you get with the Parker Quink Ink Bottle.
Priced at less than 13 dollars for a 57-ml bottle, this ink is available in blue, black, and blue-black.
This product is notable for the high number of lubricants in the formula, which guarantees a smoother flow out of the nib. The pigments are rich, and this ink dries surprisingly quickly.
A screw-on lid is affixed to the glass bottle, providing extra security.
The bottle itself is sleek and elegant, an excellent addition to any desktop.
Users frequently recommend this product because of its tremendous value. Despite being inexpensive, the bottle looks sophisticated and the ink it contains flows well and dries quickly.
Some people do complain that this ink’s behavior can be a bit unpredictable. Still, it is the ink for Parker.
With a cheap price, this is the ink that can allow even the most budget-conscious writer to enter the market.
- The screw-on lid keeps ink secure
- Quick dry time
- Occasional unpredictable behavior
3. Thornton’s Luxury Goods Premium Ink Bottle
Although the word “luxury” is contained in the product’s name, this ink doesn’t come with a luxury price.
A 30-ml ink bottle may be purchased for a little under 8 dollars, and the ink may be used with any type of fountain pen. It also may be the black ink for cheap paper because of the way it resists feathering and bleed-through.
This ink contains a lot of lubricants, which means that it makes your pen glide across the page. It is extremely wet ink. Although this means that it lays down a lot of ink, it also significantly lengthens the drying time.
Fans of Thornton’s Luxury Goods Ink say that it behaves predictably and flows well through most pens. They enjoy the experience of writing with this ink and appreciate the quality of the finished product on the page.
Some do caution that the bottle is smaller than the typical and that the colors are not as saturated as more expensive inks.
Thornton offers a budget-conscious, serviceable ink for everyday use.
- Nice bottle
- No feathering or bleed-through
- Smaller bottle
- Less-saturated colors
4. Pelikan 4001 Bottled Ink
Pelikan is one of the most recognizable brand names in fountain ink. Yet, this doesn’t make them exclusive. You can get a 30-ml bottle of their ink for less than nine dollars. With a more than 100-year history, Pelikan knows how to make cheap ink for fountain pen use.
The bold colors in this line make text and drawings dance across the page. The Brilliant Black is the most frequently used color, but this collection also includes blue, brown, red, green, and others.
These inks are suitable for use with all Pelikan and any other brand of such that include a converter and plunger mechanism.
This dye-based ink is made in Germany, and fans of these products frequently have used them for many years. They note that this is rather a wet ink that requires a reasonable amount of drying time.
It does not perform particularly well on inferior paper, which means that you may want to reserve it for those projects in which you’ll be using superior, heavier paper. People simply love this ink’s affordability and the way that it doesn’t typically feather on the page.
Pelikan is a highly recognizable name in the industry. With more than 100 years of experience, you can trust their ink to deliver a quality experience.
- Excellent value
- Relatively quick drying time
- Vibrant hues
- Doesn’t perform well on cheap paper
5. PILOT Iroshizuku Bottled Ink
Priced under $20, many people consider Pilot Iroshizuku to be the black ink. It is considered a particularly wet ink that is vibrant on the page.
While the black ink from this manufacturer is particularly well-known, the company makes about two dozen varied ink colors. Each one is named for plants and landscapes that are native to Japan.
Many people regard Pilot Iroshizuku to be the Japanese ink. That is significant because the Japanese culture has revered the art of writing for thousands of years.
Ranging from subtle to rich, these inks are not waterproof, but they do make an impact on the page.
Users of this ink note that it dries fairly quickly for wet ink that the colors are particularly beautiful, the flow is smooth and even. Plus, the ink comes in a gorgeous glass bottle.
However, there seem to be numerous problems with the packaging leaking in transit.
Pilot Iroshizuku’s high-quality product is recommended for both novices and seasoned users.
- Vibrant color
- Excellent flow
- Beautiful packaging
- Packaging prone to breaking in transit
6. Platinum Carbon Ink Bottle
Considered a dry ink that costs under $25 for a 60 cc bottle, Platinum’s carbon ink can be called permanent black ink. This deep-black ink is waterproof. After allowing it to completely dry, it’s possible to use watercolors over it.
Platinum Carbon Ink is pigment-based to help it maintain its water-resistant properties. This makes it a great choice for art projects or for documents that need to stand the test of time.
It dries relatively quickly, so even left-handed writers and artists have little trouble with smearing. An intensely black, ink makes projects stand out from the crowd.
Most people who have tried Platinum Carbon Ink praise the deep black color and say that it doesn’t cause feathering. Users note that it doesn’t run even when using watercolors over it.
Nonetheless, they stress the importance of cleaning the nib after every use and not allowing this ink to dry in the pen, which could cause damage.
Platinum Carbon Ink is a top choice for dry inks for fountain pens.
- Intense black
- Dry ink resists smearing
- Good for use under watercolors
- Must be diligent about cleaning
7. Noodler’s Bulletproof Blue Ghost Invisible
Noodler’s is one of the fountain ink brands. This means that you can trust their products to perform as advertised. That is certainly the case with their Blue Ghost Invisible Ink.
This product appears a light yellowish color in the jar. Fill with it, and write on a piece of paper. Under ordinary light, you won’t be able to see the ink. Blacklight reveals everything.
People have found many uses for this product like practical jokes, making notes in book margins, keeping lists of passwords, and artwork. As the name suggests, the ink appears blue under black light and is durable.
Users love Noodler’s invisible ink for special projects, scavenger hunts, and a multitude of other tasks. They say that it flows easily and looks fantastic under black light. However, some people note that they have to write more slowly than usual to lay down enough ink.
Whether it’s a special art project or a practical joke, give Noodler’s Bulletproof Blue Ghost Invisible Ink a try.
- Fun to use
- Looks great under black light
- You must write slowly for the best results
8. Lamy Bottle
This 50 ml ink bottle is blue ink. Some people don’t like to use black ink. Or, perhaps they have a project that requires blue. If this describes you, then this ink is a perfect choice.
It’s blue-black ink, which means that it’s a dark, saturated color. Just as attractive, this is the fountain ink for beginners. If you’re working with your first and need something easy to use, then this may be ideal.
The packaging includes a roll of blotting paper and a basin for collecting ink residue. Accordingly, you can expect mess-free use.
Users love this water-based ink, saying that it behaves well even for novices to the art of using a pen. The blue-black color is perfect even on cheaper paper because it stands out. Nonetheless, some critics believe that it brings too much shading to the finished product.
If you’re a beginner, you can’t go wrong with this reliable bottle of ink from Lamy.
- Gorgeous blue-black color
- Easy-to-use for beginners
- Nice extras like blotting paper and basin
- May reveal shading when you want a more consistent look
9. J. Herbin 1798 Anniversary
An expensive choice for a 50-ml bottle, J. Herbin inks are worth the price. This also is an ideal ink to give as a gift as it comes packaged in a decorative box, and the glass bottle inside is elegantly sealed with wax.
The Herbin Anniversary is notable for its intense dyes. Available in several hues, each ink is designed to be eye-catching. Additionally, these inks are infused with millions of tiny gold specks so that each one glows on the page. People love this ink because it glides so smoothly.
Even on inferior paper, there’s little feathering or bleeding. Dry times tend to be quick, and people praise the richness of the colors. Perhaps the most common complaint about this product relates to the gold specks. Many people wish that they were more visible in the dry ink.
While it may be expensive, these J. Herbin are certainly worth the price. If you want something that’s a step above good ink, try the J. Herbin.
- Rich, deep colors
- Lovely presentation
- Subtle sheen in dry ink
- Some people might expect more of a glitter effect
10. Aurora Bottled Ink
Available for a 45-ml bottle, Aurora Bottled Ink may not be especially fast-drying or shimmery, but it is an impressively blue fountain ink. If you insist that your ink be the deepest, darkest hue available, then you probably can’t go wrong with this product.
Aurora is quite wet, though there are wetter inks on the market. Artists and writers who appreciate quite a bit of shading in their work may be delighted with this ink. Although it is often called the darkest of blue, a skilled artist can coax some incredible shading from it.
It has fairly good resistance to water, though it is not waterproof so it likely is not the best choice for using on a watercolor project.
People praise this ink quite highly because of its incomparable color saturation. In fact, for some users, this has been their ink of choice for decades. They simply love the way that it flows and the way that it looks on the page.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The only complaint is that the bottle stopper sometimes is hard to remove.
While not precisely a budget choice, this is still one of the most highly recommended black inks on the market. Give Aurora a try for consistent results.
- Intense, saturated blue
- Incredibly good flow
- Surprisingly quick dry time
- The bottle stopper may get stuck
Making the Decision
People decide to use fountain pens not because they are the most convenient or inexpensive choice but because they turn writing into art. Many people use fountains for sketching and drawing because these instruments are so versatile.
If you’ve only tried one type of ink in your fountain pen, then it’s time to branch out and try new things. Experiment with wetter and dryer inks as well as various colors to discover which ones are best suited to your purposes.