Permanent Ink Question

Picture of my ink drawer

I recently had a reader question about permanent inks. I thought FPQuest readers may be able to add some answers and comment on my answer.

I’m interested in a fountain pen with an extra fine nib that uses waterproof, archival ink. I have heard that DeAtrementis is that such ink, but am having difficulty finding much info on it.
Do you know:
1. Is there a non-clogging waterproof ink for fountain pens?
2. If so, do you have recommendations?
3. If so, do you have a great extra fine pen for sale per the above requirements, or a recommendation for some?

My Answer:
I typically use Montblanc Permanent inks (Blue or Black) for permanence. I’ve left these in a extra fine and fine nib pens for over a month, close to two, without any clogging or other adverse affects. Unfortunately they’re more expensive than regular MB inks.

I also like Rohrer & Klingner Salix and Scabiosa along with Diamine Registrar’s although they are iron gall based. While mild compared to older formulas I don’t like to leave them in my pens for more than a couple of weeks, although I gone about a month a times. Flow has never been a problem but the iron gall could corrode the nib over time.

If you need real archival (as in centuries) and don’t want the iron gall inks I think the sailor Nano-Carbon inks (KiwaGuro Black and Sei-Boku Blue) or Platinum pigmented inks are the best choice. I’ve use the black from each brand and find them to flow well in extra fine and fine nibs, even my Platinum ultra extra fine nib. I do have to use the pen every couple days or so otherwise they are hard to start. Other than that the flow is good.

I don’t have any experience with De Atramentis document inks. Noodler’s also has a few options but I’ve never used them.

As for pens, I like Platinum’s ultra extra fine nib which I have in a 3776 pen. Platinum also has a desk pen which sells for about $15 (or less) which they say is designed for their carbon inks and has an extra fine nib. I did find the desk pen can go longer without use so there may be something to their claim. Platinum has their own proprietary cartridges/converters which have a wide opening which helps the flow. I also like Pilot nibs which seem to be universally better than their price point. I’m also partial to older Sheaffer gold nib pens. They can be found reasonably priced.

Any additions or suggestions, let me know in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Permanent Ink Question

  1. I have found that with the iron galls or pigmented inks, the pens can be hard to completely clean afterwards. This doesn’t stop me from using them, but I’m sure that having an ultrasonic cleaner would help make sure you get a thorough cleaning. As for Noodler’s inks, Heart of Darkness is a great black that can be easily diluted to gray, is waterproof, lightproof, and super cheap. Many other inks in the Noodler’s lineup that carry the extreme archival qualities (Bad Green Gator and the rest of the “Warden” series, Upper Ganges Blue) live up to their promises, but often sacrifice shading and beautiful colors to do so. Still, I would go with Noodler’s because there is more to chose from and I find that they tend to be easier to clean than the other options.

    • Hi Andi,
      Thanks for your comments. I should have directed him to your site for your long term ink tests. (Click on Andi’s name in her comment to go to the site.)

  2. I’ve found Noodler’s Black, X-Feather, 54th Massachussetts and #41 Brown to be easy to use, easy to clean, and pretty well “bulletproof” (as advertised). More recently, I’ve purchased a bottle of Diamine Registrar’s ink – an iron-gall ink that goes down blue, but darkens to a dark blue-black. I haven’t had much experience with it as yet, but I understand it also cleans out pretty easily.

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