Ink Notes: Namiki Blue

Namiki Blue BottleFirst off, I have to give a big thanks to David, who suggested the ink back in January. I’m not a fan of blue inks, despite that, I really like Namiki Blue. My only regret is I had the bottle 4 months before cracking it open.

The whole Pilot/Namiki branding thing is confusing, My ink was in a box labeled “Namiki” and the word “Pilot” doesn’t appear on the box or the bottle. But it does seem that the ink is the same as the Pilot ink sold elsewhere. Only the bottle (and price) is different.

The ink goes down on the paper as a bright blue but it fades a bit as it dries. It doesn’t appear washed out, just a bit lighter. Since I’m not a fan of blue there’s not much I can compare with Namiki Blue, but I like the color (for blue). There’s no real shading or line variation, especially with my thin nibs. There’s no noticeable feathering either.

Namiki Blue is one of the fastest drying inks I’ve used on Doane Paper. Drying was nearly instant with my thin nibs on Doane Paper. I does take longer on Rhodia Paper, putting it more in line with other inks. This is the first ink I’ve encountered where drying time was dramatically quicker on one type of paper than most others. It’s not quit as fast on cheap copier paper but I still have a second or two to smudge it. On Doane there’s no time at all to smudge it.

My only complaint is with the bottle. It’s curved, wide and shallow. There is an insert in the bottle to collect the ink around the nib. I still had issues filling my TWSBI Vac 700 and other longer nibs. The ink level in the insert would drop while filling and air would be let in. About the best I could do with my Vac 700 was about a 50% fill. Part of the problem was probably my reluctance to just let the nib press against the bottom of the bottle as I pushed the plunger down.

Cleaning was quick and easy. A couple flushes with the bulb syringe and a couple wrist flicks (like an old mercury thermometer)) and all traces of the ink were gone from the nib, It was also easily flushed from my pens, including my clear Vac 700. Some inks leave a few hard to get drops above the plunger which can be hard to flush out. Not so with the Namiki Blue. The water test showed a high level of water resistance.

I’ve seen others comment about staining. I didn’t have any issues with staining but the ink hasn’t been in my pens very long. I didn’t have any staining on the parts of the pen that were in the ink.

Pens Used

The TWSBI Vac 700 with nib extra fine to 1.1 mm stub was used. There wasn’t any extended writing, just testing. There wasn’t any skipping and the flow was consistent.

My Edison Collier, with an extra fine nib, has had Namiki Blue for a couple weeks of occasional use. I’m not a fan of blue so I have to force myself for any extended writing. I like the color and since most of my use is on Doane paper I love the fast drying. There weren’t any problems such as skipping or hard starts, even after sitting for a few days.


Additional Reading

Inkophile Review

Ink Nouveau Review (Goulet Pens)

Peaceable Writer compares Namiki Blue to other blue inks