There is a fountain pen ink for every color of the rainbow and each of them has its own special characteristics. Fountain pen ink comes in cartridges or bottles that encompass designs from utilitarian to a piece of art that begs to be displayed. A writer could spend a lifetime experimenting and writing with the plethora of inks currently available. So how did these fountain pen inks make our top ten list? Some of them are best sellers, some are staff favorites and others have their own qualities that make them special. We have chosen to list the inks by price, from most expensive to least expensive (this is not to say that whatever is the most expensive is the best). Certainly, our top ten list will be different than yours, so please share with us your favorite inks!
1. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink – Most Beautiful Bottle
Pilot Iroshizuku ink comes in a glamorous modern and sophisticated oval-shaped bottle. This heavy glass bottle even has an indentation on the bottom of the interior to help you use the ink down to the last few drops. Add to this the wide range of colors that express the beauty of nature in Japan and you’ve got a stylish winner! On our list, the runner up in this category would definitely be Pelikan’s Edelstein ink.
2. Platinum Carbon Black Ink
Platinum Carbon Black ink is a favorite of artists that create art with a fountain pen. It is pigment based rather then dye based which makes it very water-resistant, fade-resistant and heat-resistant after it dries. It is often used for drawing along with a watercolor wash.
3. Pelikan M205 Duo Yellow Highlighting Ink
If you’re tired of tossing away dried-up plastic highlighter pen carcasses you can refill them instead using Pelikan M205 Duo fluorescent highlighter ink. You can also use this ink with the classic Pelikan M205 Highlighter Fountain Pen or create your own long-lasting refillable highlighter using a fountain pen + highlighter pen! Check out the D.I.Y. instructions:
Pen Mods: How to make a long-lasting refillable highlighter pen
D.I.Y. Highlighter Recharging
4. Omas Sepia Fountain Pen Ink
Omas Sepia fountain pen ink has a modern formula but a vintage, old timey-wimey appearance and it looks fabulous on cream colored paper! The interesting bottle design allows you to tip the bottle on its side while filling your pen with ink which helps a lot when the bottle’s ink level is starting to run low.
5. Aurora Black Fountain Pen Ink
Aurora Black ink is our top choice for a friendly, easy to use ink that is a deep, dark, intense black color. It comes in both Ink cartridges suitable for Aurora fountain pens or in bottles so that you can use it with just about any fountain pen.
6. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink
Noodler’s Bulletproof Black ink is a great daily workhorse that is suitable for a wide variety of situations. It has “bulletproof” qualities which means its resists the effects of water, bleach and light. This made in the USA bottled ink is more economical and environmentally friendly than ink in cartridges which many writers appreciate.
7. Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black
Noodler’s Aircorp Blue-Black is Alex’s favorite ink to use daily in any sort of pen including rollerball pens that use fountain pen ink and even in pens where the ink flow tends to be a bit on the dry side. Instead of being a regular black or standard blue color it is an interesting shade of blue-black.
8. J. Herbin is the Lefty’s Favorite Ink
Being a left-handed fountain pen writer presents its own set of challenges. Ink must dry quickly or be smeared all over the page! I’ve successfully used a wide variety of ink without smearing by pairing it with the right paper and a fine or medium nib. I must say though that J. Herbin La Perle des Encres is the ink I always go back to. Love the variety of colors, I can use most of them without smearing and the bottle has a nifty pen-rest.
9. J. Herbin Vert Reseda
J. Herbin Vert Reseda turquoise ink is Alan’s all-time favorite ink color! He loves this color of French green.
10. LAMY Black Fountain Pen Ink
LAMY T52 Black fountain pen ink is a best seller for many reasons: it is easy to use in any pen, it is low maintenance and good for beginners, the price is economical and black is the the most commonly used color of fountain pen ink. It comes in a cool bottle that includes a handy small roll of blotter tape and it is also available in cartridges for LAMY fountain pens.
We’ve shared our list – now tell us what your top 10 fountain pen inks are!by
21 Replies to “Top 10 Fountain Pen Inks”
Noodler’s Lexington Gray. It almost looks like pencil. It’s the perfect color if you don’t care for black or blue. (I’m also fond of Noodler’s Purple Martin!)
I like J. Herbin Gris Nuage for the same reason: looks like pencil. The Noodler’s Purple Martin is beautiful as well.
…I really like Schaeffer green ink and Sailor Jentle Grenade…look good on Post-Its of any color…really good in journal paper…
J Herbin Cocao du Bresil. Lovely shade of Brown. I am loving it !
I really like Schaeffer green ink and Sailor Jentle Grenade…Other colors are also very nice in this blog…really good in journal paper…
In all of the inks that I have resold or recommended it seems that Noodler’s ink gets the most positive reaction. Best color and performance. Good article!
Waterman is the best ink I have ever used. Then I will recommend Sheaffer skrip or Private Reserve. Later has most vibrant and beautiful ink shades in its collection. Although it took a bit time to dry. Another two brands I will recommend though may not be available internationally are Sulekha and Camelin. I rather prefer dye based inks for fountain pen than pigment based. Later causes clogging if not washed frequently.
How about the inks made in the UK by Diamine? The company makes a huge range of colours and they are competitively priced. It makes you wonder why some other manufacturers can charge so much for what is a simple product to make?
Thanks for suggesting Diamine ink! There are simply too many fountain pen inks to get all of them mentioned in a top ten list. We appreciate knowing what ink you would add to our list.
WOW!! These fountain pen inks are truly nice and have never seen so many colors. I’ve just used black & blue color of fountain pen inks in my childhood & now longtime not used such pens. Good to see nowadays these fountain pen inks brands are very famous. Thanks.
I really like the Omas Sepia as well but it’s very picky about paper quality. On good paper it is simply beautiful, but on cheap stuff it bleeds and feathers terribly. I’ve a love/hate relationship with it.
I’ve heard that Omas ink may be rebranded Diamine. Does anyone know anything about that?
While searching for the perfect dark red ink, not to pink, not to purple, I hit on Diamine’s Oxblood. I like it so much it’s become my signature color.
To have a top 10 without listing Sailor is a poor show indeed.
I would suggest MonteVerde USA’s California Teal for anyone looking to get away from a traditional blue or black ink. It’s a bright green ink that works well on both quality (Rhodia) and common paper.
I absolutely have to have Organics Studios ink in my desk.
My go to color is Nickel Teal in the Elements series. I also love the sheen effect of Nitrogen Royal Blue though it has some drying issues if you keep your pen uncapped for a long period.
My favourite green ink also is Organics Studios. It is L. Frank Baum green, a nod to his Emerald City.
Any ink from Organics studios is a great choice for your fountain pen.