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Friday, August 19, 2011

Ink Review - Noodlers Black (Bullet-Proof)

This is an ink I am very happy about. I know it's not the most interesting ink. It's not really even a fun ink. What it is however, is a true performer! This ink is built to work. It's fairly well-behaved, business-worthy, and bullet-proof to boot. "What exactly is bullet proof?" - good question. Let me explain. :) From the Noodlers website:

“Bulletproof” refers to any Noodler’s Ink that resists all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters, and of course…they are also waterproof once permitted to dry upon cellulose paper. Some inks are more bulletproof than others – generally in descending order (most bulletproof with the most testing – to less bulletproof): blacks, blues, yellows, invisible (“blue ghost” and “White Whale”), greens, browns, purples, reds….all are equally bulletproof with one exception: the resistance to strong industrial bleaches to the point where the paper structure itself decomposes. Reds are prone to more fading when exposed to strong bleaches (sometimes fading to a yellow) than the other colors.

There you have it - The definition of bullet-proof straight from the maker. I am personally after the water resistance, and the forgery-proof qualities of this ink are a very nice extra. This is my important-document signing and check signing ink. It is unbeatable in these areas.

It is also acclaimed to be the darkest of blacks, though some would differ on that. I'm not certain either as this is my first black ink.

As usual, here's the text version of the review for those who are looking for an easier-read than staring at my handwriting. :P

Ink Review: Noodlers black - bullet-proof.

Pen and nib: Pilot Vanishing point - B nib.

Color: Black. Simple, dark, understated black.

Dry time: 10 seconds, pretty good actually.

Smear when dry: Just a little... This ink seems to leave behind a slight oil-like residue, much like a ballpoint. It's barely noticeable though.

Lubrication: Good. This is a very thick and lubricating ink overall.

Shading: None. I've actually decided that there is slight shading. You'll probably never notice it during writing, but with a dry BB stub, you would experience light shading.

Feathering: Non on my good papers or on cheap paper!

Bleedthrough: None. Once again - good behavior.

Notes: This is a fabulous black ink! It's permanent, well-behaved, and is a very dark black. It's not grey like some other black inks. Since it is permanent, I do take care to wash out my pen well when I'm done with a fill of it. Overall though, I'd say that Noodlers black is "the" black ink!

As you can see, very dark ink color. But, in the swab, there is slight grey tones showing through...

Here's my basic waterproof test. I ran it under normal tap-water for about 30 seconds. The ink did NOTHING! No ink ran off, nothing smudges, no bleeding, absolutely nothing. Rock solid performance from Noodlers Black!

This ink has become my go to ink - the perfect companion for my new Matte Black Vanishing Point fountain pen! I use it for checks, and other important writing. It's also the cheapest ink you can buy, if you get it in the larger eyedropper bottles. I find it perfect for jotting down quick notes, and doing "business-type" work. If you've been looking for the perfect, well-behaved, all-around ink, I would say "go buy some Noodler's Black"!

I hope you have enjoyed this review of this great ink. Please let me know what you think of it in the comment area. I would love to hear from you!

Also, do yourself a favor and subscribe to stay informed! I've got 10+ new reviews coming your way. Some are pens, some are paper, and others are more inks!

777 - Tyler Dahl


  1. My go-to ink for black now, too. I used to use Chesterfield's Obsidian that I first bought at, but that was in my early, re-discovering the joys of fountain pens period. Now, a few months later, Noodler's BP Black is my choice black, but for blue, I use interchangeably Pelikan's Royal Blue and Waterman's Florida Blue.

  2. A fine review, Tyler.  However, I am just not a fan of black inks.  I much prefer gray.  My choice is the Diamine Grey.  Even the Noodler's Lexington Gray I find a bit too dark for my taste.

  3. Now that is unique, and interesting! Grey ink. I would never have thought of it, but it sounds like it might be pleasing...

    I need to go find a review of Diamine Grey. :)

  4. I wonder if Noodler's Black is darker than Heart of Darkness. To me, HoD is incredibly black, that's why I bought it. Anyway, both are bulletproof. I need to get a sample of this ink to compare.

  5. Yea, it's a great ink! For blue, I currently use Iroshizuku Kon-Peki - but it's so expensive. I just got some Waterman's Florida Blue, so I'm going to try that and see how I like it...

  6. Same here - except the exact opposite. I need to try HOD.

    Say, we need to swap! Send me an email, if you will. :)

  7. I would like to see your comparison of Noodler's Black to Aurora Black, which people claim frequently as "the" black. Those along with Noodler's Heart of Darkness (mentioned) and Private Reserve Velvet Black seem to be the top contenders, in my reading, anyway. Black is a little boring, except when you really want black...and then it has to be good!

  8. When I got back into my fountain pens at the start of the year, the first new ink I bought was BPB.  I feel everyone should have a solid, waterproof black and dark blue as the foundation of their ink collection.  If nothing else, you need to make sure that the words you write won't be washed away when the garage roof leaks, (ahem), the basement floods, etc.   You fill in the scenario.  It's a horrible feeling when years of writing get destroyed.  The dark blue I settled on was Bad Belted Kingfisher.  It's a nice dark blue, neither leaning toward the green or red/purple.  You can also sign official documents with it and I like that because it's blue, it stands out from all the black typeface around it.  It also looks good in my TWSBI.  Maybe you'll consider reviewing the Kingfisher?  I'll be happy to send you a sample if you need one.

  9. That would make for a good comparison. I'll see if I can get a hold of some Aurora black + PR black and make up a review...

    It is boring sometimes. I only use it for "business" applications. For fun, I prefer my colored inks. :)