If you’re concerned about your daily note-taking, it’s not surprising that you end up trying to look for the best fountain pen black ink option.
After all, with black ink you’re able to write down easy-to-understand notes on any standard paper.
Fountain pens themselves offer several terrific advantages that you won’t find in other types of pens.
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But often, the ink you choose for your fountain pen determines the overall fountain pen writing experience.
Best Fountain Pen Black Ink: Factors to Consider
Sometimes you have problems and you may think that something’s wrong with your fountain pen.
Or maybe you believe that you got the wrong type of paper to write on.
But the reality may be that you simply got the wrong black ink to use.
This guide can help make sure you don’t make that mistake, and that you find the best black ink for fountain pens for your needs.
Ink Bottle or Cartridge?
At home, the best black ink for fountain pens may come in an ink bottle.
But cartridges are more convenient when you’re traveling and you need the best black fountain pen ink.
Refilling the pen with the bottle isn’t all that hard.
It only requires a few simple steps.
With cartridges, you also have to be careful about getting the right size for your pen.
Some fountain pens may require proprietary cartridges, or they may need either the standard international long or the standard international short cartridges.
The best fountain pen black ink options don’t come in the same type of black.
Some of the best black fountain pen inks are darker than others, ranging from very dark black to very “soft” black ink.
You also need to check out the “temperature” of the black ink, especially if you’re an artist.
The best black fountain pen inks should match the tone you want to have in your drawings.
Some offer a “warm” tone that gives your drawings a certain sense of energy and liveliness.
This may be the best black ink for fountain pens if you’re into action drawings.
“Cool” tones, on the other hand, offer a rather calm sense of contemplative ease.
If you want a drawing to relax people, you’ll want to use the best fountain pen black ink with cool tones.
Some of the best black fountain pen inks are meant to dry very quickly, but others need maybe a lot more time.
The best fountain pen black ink options may even need an entire minute to dry completely.
However, if you’re a leftie then the best black ink for fountain pens is one that dries in just a few seconds.
You may hear some people who think the best black ink for fountain pens are the waterproof ones.
These options are great when you have notes that get drenched in the rain, or perhaps are caught in the washing machine.
If you live in Seattle, then the best black fountain pen inks will be highly water-resistant.
After getting doused with all that water, your notes will still be legible if you use water-resistant black ink.
Low Water Resistance Isn’t Bad
But getting the best black fountain pen inks with very low water-resistance isn’t always a bad thing.
That’s certainly true when you tend to end up with black ink on your clothes, your hands, and your floor.
If the black ink isn’t water-resistant, that means it’s easier to wash out, and, in fact, waterproof black ink isn’t really recommended for newbies.
Most waterproof black inks are more likely to dry out or have issues starting up in your fountain pen.
Some of these inks may end up damaging the inside of the pen.
So for newbies, the best black ink for fountain pens may be the ones with low water resistance.
Highlighter and Marker Resistance
When you have notes, it’s not unusual if you want to emphasize certain words or sections with a highlighter or with a marker.
But how well does your black ink stand up to such a treatment?
The best black ink for fountain pens shouldn’t smear when you apply your highlighter.
The best black fountain pen ink may also work with water-based markers, but unfortunately these are rare.
So, don’t use water-based markers if you can help it.
Other Tips for the Best Fountain Pen Black Ink
One of the reasons why some people don’t like fountain pens is that they’re too fussy.
But if you don’t mind the various complications, then go for them.
The best black ink for fountain pens will actually give you fewer problems than you think.
You can make your life easier, though, by cleaning the pen before installing a new cartridge with a different ink.
This may not be necessary if you’re putting in a new cartridge with the same ink as before.
Still, it’s a good idea to clean the pen at least once every 2 months.
Check for Spacers
Also, check for spacers inside the barrel before you use a new fountain pen as they keep cartridges from rattling around during the delivery.
But the spacers can be stuck inside when don’t remove them when you put in a cartridge.
If the ink seems dry, it’s because the ink hasn’t saturated the feed yet.
So wait awhile, as you keep the pen tip down to get the ink flowing.
You can also draw the ink down in your fountain pen by dipping the nib in water.
Our TOP 5 Best Fountain Pen Black Ink Reviews
Want to be sure you get only the best fountain pen black ink for your pen?
If yes, you may want to start with any of the following recommendations:
“Classic Fountain Pen Black Ink”
Our Rating: 4.5
It’s a strange name, but that’s because Parker tried to mix the words quick and ink and came up with Quink.
This high-quality, smooth-flowing ink was developed in the early 1900s, which explains why the name remains.
It’s regarded as a classic, and many Parker fountain pen owners consider this the best black fountain pen ink for their needs.
Soft and Warm Black
This is a soft type of black, which makes it rather soothing when you read your notes.
It also offers a warm tone that makes your drawings seem lively.
Moderate Drying Time
It takes a moderate amount of time for the Quink ink to dry, which isn’t bad.
It’s not too fast, but not too slow either.
With the right paper, it takes about 3 to 5 seconds to dry.
Low Water Resistance
This offers low water resistance, which makes this the best black fountain pen ink for newbies.
It means you’re able to wash out the ink if you happen to get some of it on your clothes.
Just don’t get your notes drenched in the rain, but your notes remain legible even when they’re soaked.
Use with Highlighter
This has moderate resistance to highlighters, so you can use them without issue.
This is also suited to use with alcohol markers, but not really with water-based markers.
Large Base Bottle
The bottle comes with a large base so it’s less likely to topple.
In addition, the screw-top lid gives you a tight seal.
“If It Fits, It’s Fantastic”
Our Rating: 4.5
These come in packs of 24 cartridges, so you won’t have to buy any more for a while after getting this.
Just make sure your fountain pen takes in the Short International Standard Size of cartridges, and you’re good.
Every ink cartridge comes in a plastic case that you can re-close.
Each cartridge should be good for 2 weeks of regular use.
This ink only needs a few seconds to dry, which is great if you’re worried about smearing.
The ink flows more smoothly.
You also get a more saturated color.
It looks darker and clear on the paper.
For all these reasons, many people pick this as their best black fountain pen ink.
If the cartridge is meant for your fountain pen, then putting it in will be a snap.
Once you get them in properly, you’ll hear a nice click.
Just shake the pen a few times downward to get the ink flowing.
When the ink starts to flow, you’re good to go.
This is best for Dryden pens, but it can work with other pens as well.
The main issue here is whether the cartridges will fit into your fountain pen or not.
Many of the complaints about the Dryden ink cartridges were about how they didn’t fit.
So, you should do some extra research to see if it does work with your pen.
Google your fountain pen brand along with the Dryden black ink and see if you can find reviews confirming that it fits your fountain pen.
The other issue is that while it was designed in the US, the cartridges are made in China.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a chance that there will be issues regarding quality control.
“Great for Everyday Use”
Our Rating: 4.5
Now if you have a Waterman fountain pen, you may as well get the ink that Waterman makes.
While these are also available in cartridge form, we recommend that you try out the bottle.
Characteristics of Ink
This may be labeled as “intense”, but the blackness of the ink is actually rather soft.
But it still offers a nice sharp contrast with your white or cream paper.
Use it with a medium nib, and you can read your writing even from a distance.
It dries very quickly too, which is great if you’re worried about smearing.
It flows nicely and consistently, and won’t gum up your pen.
This also works nicely with highlighters and alcohol markers, but not with water-based markers.
The bottle looks cool and expensive, and there’s another good reason to get it in bottle form rather than in cartridge form.
With the bottle, the ink should work with any brand of fountain pen that you can fill with an ink bottle.
The only issue with the bottle is that the narrow top may prevent you from refilling standard ink cartridges when the ink gets low.
You’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and dip the tip of the pen in the bottle.
This may be water-based ink, but that just means that your paper should absorb this readily.
It’s pretty permanent when on paper, which is great with contracts and checks.
You may want to avoid spilling the ink on your clothes, unless they’re also black.
If you get some on your hands, you need to wash them with hand soap and warm water.
You’ll need a few minutes of really intense washing to finally get the ink off your hands.
However, with this you’ll also find it easy to clean your pen.
“A Great Daily Black Ink”
Our Rating: 4.5
Pilot is one of the most popular brands in the entire pen industry.
So it stands to reason they’re also offering one of the best fountain pen black ink options around.
Actually, Pilot offers more than one black ink option but this is their standard offering.
This standard Pilot Black gives you a nice soft darkness.
It has a warm tone that gives your drawings a nice hint of energy.
Very Fast Drying
You’ll like how fast the ink dries here, which really reduces the chances of smearing.
You may find other faster drying black inks that may suit the left-handed writers more, but this can work if you’re a southpaw.
It also flows nicely, smoothly, and consistently.
You won’t have trouble with leaks and blobs, and no feathering either.
High Water Resistance
The water resistance is very high, which means you ought to be careful when you use this.
If you get some of it on your clothes, then you’ll have a devil of a time wiping it off.
However, that also means you’ll still end up with fairly legible notes if your notebook gets drenched by the rain.
Or if you spill a glass of water on it.
Highlighters and Markers
This also has a nice resistance to highlighters, so it won’t smear the ink when you use them.
It’s also great with alcohol markers, but not so suitable with water-based markers.
Flying Saucer Bottle
The bottle has an intriguing “flying saucer” design.
It looks nice, but more importantly it’s easy enough to use when you dip your pen in.
“Cartridges for Parker Fountain Pens”
Our Rating: 4.5
First of all, these are not standard fountain pen ink cartridges.
They’re basically meant only for Parker fountain pens.
If you don’t have a Parker fountain pen, then this isn’t for you.
This is also different than the standard Pilot black ink, as it is the Iroshizuku variant.
Soothing Cool Tone
This also has a soft darkness to its black hue.
However, this time it offers a more soothing cool tone that makes your drawings a lot more relaxing to gaze on.
This also dries quite quickly, reducing the risk of smearing.
Minimal Water Resistance
For newbies, this may be your best bet when it comes to daily use.
That’s because it has low water resistance, which means you shouldn’t have as much trouble washing the ink out of your clothes.
However, this means you need to be careful with smearing.
Resistance to Highlighters and Markers
This offers moderate resistance to highlighters, so go ahead and use them for your notes.
The ink also works nicely with alcohol markers, but not with water-based markers.
The Best Fountain Pen Black Ink: Conclusion
First of all, it’s very common for people to overlook the importance of the right black ink for their pen.
Some people who encounter problems immediately jump to the conclusion that their fountain pen is no good when they have ink flow issues.
But the problem may not be with the fountain pen at all.
You may just not have found the right ink yet.
Finding the Right Black Ink
But it’s not always easy to find the best fountain pen black ink for your fountain pen.
Often it takes a lot of trial and error, but that’s actually part of the fun and adventure when you own a fountain pen.
You discover new inks for notes, for crossword puzzles, for contracts, and for drawings.
Sometimes you need different inks for different tasks.
So be adventurous and try out the ink options we’ve listed here for your pen.
You may find that the best fountain pen black ink may be different, depending on what you’re doing!