Black ink may not have the versatility of other colors, but it surely offers the best luxurious and glamorous strokes.
However, it’s a lot more sensitive. If you picked the wrong ink, you can end up with hideous smeary and random strokes.
would you like to know what’s the best fountain pen black ink currently in the market? Read on to find out. Furthermore, you’ll know what to consider before actually purchasing one. Let’s go!
In This Guide...
The 5 Best Black Inks for Fountain Pens
I’ve narrowed down my list to the best and most efficient inks in the market.
You’ll know how each ink performs on the paper, how it looks, how wet it is, and what I don’t like about it.
Platinum Carbon 60CC Ink
Platinum’s ink is the favorite to many writers, including me. As the name suggests, this ink is pigment-based with carbon particles that set well over most paper surfaces.
It dries in around 10 seconds, leaving deeply saturated black strokes with no shine or sheen.
The only consideration you have to bear in mind is your pen maintenance. The carbon particles can dry inside the feed channel as easily as they dry on paper. Therefore, you’ll have to clean your pen more frequently.
- Deeply saturated
- No shine or sheen
- Requires more frequent pen cleaning
Waterman 50ml Intense Black Ink
Waterman is one of the oldest brands in the market. They have been producing ink since the 1900s. The Intense Black is among their best-selling products.
This ink is dye-based, so it’s not waterproof at all. But it’s super wet, which makes it easier for beginners to write with.
As the name implies, it has a high saturation with no shading. However, it’s not 100% black. As you write, you’ll find that it has a faint brown undertone, especially around the edges.
Its fast dry time is what I like the most. This, alongside the price, makes it extra useful for beginners and recreational writers.
- Fast dry time
- Not waterproof
- Not 100% black
Sailor Kiwa-Guro Pigmented Black Ink
This ink is one of the most high-end products you can find in the market. After it dries, it looks deeply saturated with a slight shine.
If you plan to purchase this ink, you need to consider its dry time. It sets after about 40 seconds, but it takes up to 100 seconds to completely dry. Before this, it can easily smear by the lightest touch. That’s why it’s more suitable for professional use rather than everyday writing.
Nevertheless, its pigment-based nature decreases its feathering and bleeding to a great extent.
- Deeply saturated
- Low feathering and bleeding
- Long dry time
- Not suitable for everyday use
Noodler’s 4.5Oz Heart of Darkness Ink
We can confidently agree that no ink is 100% waterproof; unless it’s one of Noodler’s products.
It’s neither dye-based nor pigment-based, it’s made from a special formula patented by Noodler. The ink particles bind permanently to the cellulose fibers found in most paper types. Therefore, you won’t need to spend more money on specialized high-end paper.
Writing with this ink is remarkably smooth due to its high wetness. Moreover, it usually dries in about 5 seconds only.
With its wetness level, I’d recommend using it with fine nibs. Going larger would increase the likelihood of bleeding and feathering.
Considering the color, it’s deeply saturated with no shading.
- Can be used with most paper types
- Fast dry time
- Can bleed and feather with large nibs
Lamy Black 50ml Ink
If you’re looking for an economical and low-maintenance ink for everyday use, then this ink is what you’re looking for.
It gives a matte black stroke when it dries. It’s not the most saturated black you can find but it’s not that faint either.
Considering the wetness, it leans more toward the dry nature. Which is extremely suitable for everyday use.
Moreover, Lamy ships bloating paper with the bottle, which gives you the best value for your money.
- Suitable for everyday use
- Comes with bloating paper
- Not the most saturated black
What to Consider Before Buying Fountain Pen Ink
To get the best writing experience possible, you’ll have to consider 3 factors before you buy your next ink bottle: Flow, saturation, and composition.
The flow of ink decides whether it’s wet or dry. Wet inks flow through a fountain pen at a rate and amount higher than dry inks. Therefore, wet ink has a higher possibility of bleeding or feathering.
However, wet ink feels a lot smoother in writing. That’s why it’s the favorite for most writers in everyday use.
When you consider the flow of ink, you also need to consider the flow of your fountain pen. For instance, balancing wet ink with a dry pen will give a smooth experience with less feathering.
Picking a saturation level is merely a personal preference. It depends on how you want your writing to look after it dries.
However, it’s important to note that the more saturated the ink is, the more time it’ll require to dry. Therefore, less saturated inks are more suitable for everyday use.
Inks available in the market commonly have either a dye-based or pigment-based composition.
The dye-based inks are made from water-soluble particles. Hence, they are the easiest to clean from the fountain pen, even after drying for a long time. But this very benefit is also a drawback. The water-soluble nature makes them the least waterproof after setting.
Pigment-based inks are, on the contrary, made from insoluble particles like carbon. This makes them more waterproof. Then again, this means that it’ll be much harder to clean when it dries out inside the pen.
Lastly, some brands have made special patented formulas with enhanced qualities. Noodler’s bullet-proof formulais probably the most famous in this category.
This ink gives the best of both worlds. Its composition binds to the cellulose fibers of the paper, making it highly waterproof. And it doesn’t set easily inside the pen, making it easier to clean.
Let’s take a look at these black fountain pen inks one more time:
In my opinion, the best fountain pen black ink is the Platinum Carbon ink. It dries super-fast, leaving deeply saturated strokes with no shine or sheen.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of smearing with water, then consider purchasing the Noodlers Ink 4.5Oz Heart Of Darkness. Its special formula makes it the best, if not the only, waterproof ink in the market.
Lastly, if you can’t make up your mind, don’t overthink it! Get more than one bottle to experiment with, and find out what works best for you. It’s actually more fun this way!