Ink and Pen Notes: Sheaffer Balance II and Noodler’s Berning Red

Sheaffer Balance II Crimson Glow with Noodler's Berning Red bottleThis is the second Sheaffer Balance II to be written dry this week, it’s the one with the bright Crimson Glow acrylic which finally got filled with a red ink. Sheaffer Peacock Blue was the exclusive ink for this pen until March 13th which is when I filled it with Noodler’s Berning Red.

The ink is named after Bernie Sanders, the US Senator and Presidential aspirant. Nathan Tardiff has always been opinionated about his ink names but this seems to take it to a new level. The introduction video goes on for over 20 minutes before the ink makes an appearance. Noodler’s Berning Red is formulated to be a quick drying ink and Nathan says it’s a ink for lefties which is also word play for Sander’s politics. The quick dry property is achieved by fast absorption into the paper.

I have mixed opinions about the ink. It’s a nice enough red color and I like it. So that’s a positive. Another positive is that the quick drying ability let’s me use the ink to mark up documents or emphasize notes with little concern about smudging. But the quick drying, since it’s from fast absorption, has its drawbacks. The line put down is consistently wider than the nib and prone to feathering. Since it’s absorbed by the paper show-through was a problem, although I never experienced actual bleed-through to the next page. The ink was easily flushed from the pen with no signs of staining.

As I mentioned before I really like the Sheaffer Balance IIs. They look great, the nib is a joy to write with, and they fit my hand well. Like it’s Jade Green sibling the nib could benefit from a little tuning. I’m afraid I’ll ruin it ,so it too has been added to the list to get some attention at the Washington DC Pen Show in August.

The Sheaffer Balance II and Noodler’s Berning Red are a nice enough combination, but not great, so I didn’t consider a refill. I’d pick Sheaffer Red or Montblanc Corn Poppy Red over this ink unless I specifically wanted it’s quick drying benefits. I’ll use it, but the bottle will last a long time. The pen will probably remain in storage until the nib gets tuned in August.

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