It’s quite understandable if you’re often on the lookout for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper.
Fountain pens are great, but they’re also notoriously picky when it comes to the paper you use.
You have to deal with paper that should be able to absorb the ink properly and without issues like feathering.
Then you also have to think about problems like the ink bleeding through cheap paper.
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Paper Quality Matters
The main problem is that you don’t always find yourself using high quality paper all the time.
School notebooks aren’t usually made with good paper, and the same goes for test papers.
The problem’s pretty much the same with the usual paper you have in the office.
And of course, don’t even think about having high-quality paper when you’re dealing with official government documents.
So that means you need to think more about using the right fountain pen ink instead.
By using the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper, you don’t have too much trouble to deal with regardless of the paper quality you’re facing.
Blue or Black?
Nothing’s wrong if you’re looking for the best purple fountain ink.
The same goes if you’re looking for the best green fountain pen ink too.
But you’re in the majority camp if you prefer either blue or black for your fountain pen ink.
But which is your final choice?
While your preferences will certainly factor in, the color choice may also depend on the circumstances.
For Your Passport
If you’re an American, it’s mandatory that you use black ink.
(The same goes for UK passports, but you’re also required to use ballpoints.)
For Job Applications
A lot of forms tend to require the use of black ink, so go with black to be safe.
Credit Card Applications
This time, go with blue.
The problem with black ink is that it’s not always easy at a glance to tell if the paper is an original document or a photocopy.
With blue ink, it’s easier to tell that it’s an original copy.
Black is better, since it’s easier to copy and digitize documents with black ink.
Blue ink doesn’t contrast with the background as well as black ink.
Go with black as well.
For some reason, it’s considered the most “professional” color.
Your bosses will probably be an older person, and older folks tend to be traditionalists.
For Casual Notes
Either is good.
Some people switch to blue ink for casual notes like grocery lists, to save their black in for more formal notes.
Our TOP 5 Fountain Pen Ink for Cheap Paper
If you’ve ever searched for fountain pen ink, you know there are lots of them out there.
That’s especially true if you’re searching online.
It’ll be practically impossible for you to try all of them.
But you can start (and end) your search for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper with our nifty list.
“Even for Non-Parker Pens”
Our Rating: 4.5
Parker is among the more famous brands in the pen industry, so it’s not surprising they offer terrific fountain pen ink too.
This one is specifically made for Parker fountain pens, so that the pen will surely work as intended.
After all, you might blame the pen for issues when you actually have trouble with the wrong fountain pen ink.
But this also works with other fountain pens, especially for the more premium ones.
This is available in both black and blue ink, but we went with the blue-black ink option for a more refreshing color.
This is one option to pick if you’re looking for the best purple fountain ink for formal notes.
The bottle actually displays the hue of the ink, and the blue here is definitely darker than the regular blue ink.
It’s only a little bit lighter than the black ink, so it should contrast nicely with your notebook paper and sticky notes.
There’s also a washable blue option, but this is probably more suited for fountain pen newbies who still spill ink on their clothes.
Unfortunately, those looking for the best green fountain pen inkwill have to look elsewhere.
Just looking at the glass bottle will confirm that this is high quality ink, and it looks great enough for gifting.
The base is nicely wide, so it’s easy to place on any shelf or table.
The top lid also screws in tightly, to reduce the risk of your ink drying up on you.
Smooth Writing Experience
The ink was also made to be especially lubricious, meaning that it works like a lubricant.
Friction doesn’t really affect it, so it flows a lot more smoothly.
In addition, the ink dries quickly enough for practical work, even with lower quality paper.
The ink is also more permanent.
That makes it a viable choice for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper if that’s the kind of paper you have for your journal.
This is really a simple 4-step process, so newbies don’t have to worry a lot about it.
1. Remove the cap and unscrew the nib to find the empty plunger.
2. Submerge the nib in the ink bottle, and then slide or twist the plunger to draw the ink.
3. Twist or slide the plunger to force 3 drops of ink, to remove air bubbles and make sure the ink flows smoothly.
4. Wipe any excess ink with a soft cloth, and then reassemble the pen.
Yes, it’s really that easy.
2. PILOT Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Ink, Tsuyu-Kusa, Asiatic Dayflower (Blue) 50ml Bottle (69204)
“Elegant Ink—For a Price”
Our Rating: 5
It does surprise some people that the Pilot brand also offers fountain pen ink.
That’s because the brand is more famous for their disposable fountain pens that are very cheap.
But that’s how the Pilot brand made its name, offering reliable, quality pens for very reasonable prices.
Now this one doesn’t look cheap at all, judging from the name and the quality of the bottle.
Lots (and Lots) of Color Options
There are maybe 2 dozen color options here, and you can buy them in packs.
There’s a terrific deep green option, for those searching for the best green fountain pen ink.
We did go with the deep blue ink color, just to be on the safe side.
It’s a great option for those looking for the best purple fountain ink.
But other colors include such intriguing options like “periwinkle” and “Bordeaux blue” for artists.
Intense Japan-Based Colors
The Japanese name used for this model is because the colors were inspired by the natural plants and landscapes in Japan.
That’s why the colors here are quite intense, so they stand out against the white paper.
What we picked (the deep blue) is called Tsuyu-kusa, or Asiatic Dayflower.
The shade of blue corresponds with this small and fragile flower.
Resistant to Water
Ever had your notebook drenched by the rain?
It’s not fun, but we tried it out.
We noticed that the writing was still legible after it got wet, though of course it did bleed a little bit.
Pleasure to Use
With the cool bottle and fascinating naming convention, it feels like a real pleasure to use the ink for your fountain pen.
It offers a deeply saturated look, and it really pops off of the pages.
It also starts off nicely, so you can use it with hard-starting fountain pens.
This is probably the main issue with this, since a bottle costs more than 2x that of the Parker ink.
That’s really surprising for the Pilot brand, but then this is their premium ink that really calls out to owners of luxury fountain pens.
Actually, you may find yourself addicted to the vibrant colors, and find various reasons to use your fountain pens for tasks like making your grocery lists.
“Great for Daily Note-Taking”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is another standard 50ml bottle, but there’s nothing standard about the bottle it comes in.
It doesn’t just look great, but it’s easy to get ink out from the bottle.
With the wide base, it’s not really prone to toppling over.
We went with the black this time, since plenty of us like black in for just about any color of paper.
If you’re looking for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper, you may as well get the black.
That way you can make sure it stands out against cheap paper that may not be all that white.
However, if you’re the artistic type, you can also go for options like red, brown, and purple (which may be the best purple fountain ink for some folks).
There are several shades of blue available as well.
There’s even a green option, for those looking for the best green fountain pen ink.
This is not truly archival or really water-resistant, so take care of your notebooks and papers if you’re using this on them.
But it’s still quite resistant to water, so papers that get drenched should still be readable afterwards.
That’s not always a good thing, because you don’t want this to get into your clothes, or into your carpet.
It would be virtually impossible to wash out every bit of ink from the stained stuff.
Great Writing Results
If you’ve been trying out substandard inks before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised (or maybe even amazed) at how this ink performs.
The ink dries relatively quickly, which minimizes smudging.
When we tried the ink, we didn’t have feathering issues either.
There were no runs and blobs to worry about.
In fact, you only find tiny specks on your blotting paper.
Just don’t let the nib rest on the paper if you’re not writing, or else the ink continues to flow.
The good news is that when you do this, the ink isn’t as blobby or as watery as the other inks.
Maybe the only issue here is that the black isn’t all that intense, so it’s like “dark gray” instead.
How Does It Perform with Cheap Paper?
It actually does really well with most types of paper.
Because of this versatility, it’s great for daily writing.
Even with the cheapest notebook paper, there’s very little bleeding and almost no feathering.
“Lots of Vibrant Hues”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is a bit more expensive, since the price is similar to that of the Waterman but you have a smaller 30ml bottle here.
But then again, the ink works.
If you’re looking for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper, then this is truly a viable option.
After all, the J. Herbin brand has been around a long time.
It’s actually the oldest brand name in the entire pen ink industry, as they were already producing pen inks before 1700.
The Ink Bottle
The bottle also looks rather functional and pedestrian, and it doesn’t really look special at all.
But it also has an integrated pen rest.
This time, there are 21 color options.
The names are rather strange, though, so you better check the online pictures to make sure you’re getting the color you actually want.
For regular people, names like Bouquet D’antan, Terre de Feu, and Bouton d’Or don’t really make much sense.
We picked the Violette Pensée, which is clearly a violet color.
There are actually a lot of color options here for those looking for the best purple fountain ink.
But all the colors here are quite beautiful.
As you may have guessed, this is actually made in France, and the ink was actually colored by hand.
They used all-natural dyes here, resulting in a pH neutral ink.
It’s also non-toxic, in case you’re worried.
Pick a darker hue, like the violet we picked.
You’ll find that it stands out nicely on most types of paper.
It’s a great choice for the best fountain ink for cheap paper if you’re worried about taking notes in standard notebooks.
You’ll end up with legible notes, but that also depends on your handwriting.
With the water-based inks here, you’ll find the results more than acceptable.
The ink flows smoothly, so you shouldn’t have issues with skips or blots.
Just glide your pen over the paper and the ink follows along.
The ink also dries quickly enough, so you’re less like to smudge the ink on your paper.
“Terrific Ink for Cheap Paper”
Our Rating: 4.5
If you thought the J. Herbin bottle looked ordinary, you’ll really be unimpressed with this bottle at first glance.
It looks so ordinary that you might mistake it a bottle for vitamins or supplements.
But a closer look might intrigue you.
An Old Brand
If you read the front label, you’ll find words in German.
That’s because it’s a German brand—but it’s an old one.
The brand name was actually established in Leipzig way back in 1907.
Even now, the brand still uses their traditional ink recipes to make their iron gall ink, with all-natural ingredients and brilliant colorants.
But they use modern production methods, including specially-treated water.
The bottle doesn’t how the color name translation in English, but you can still order the color you want using the English translation.
That’s a relief, and you have 12 colors here to pick from.
We went with the Salix (blue) option, so now we have the fountain pen counterpart to ordinary blue ballpoint pens.
The blue is a great choice for everyday writing.
But if you want, you can pick the Alt-Goldrun if you’re looking for the best green fountain pen ink.
Works Well on Cheap Paper
We quickly found out that this can contend as the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper.
That’s because we tried it on cheap paper right away.
We even used a medium-point nib, though usually people like fine nibs so they don’t lay down as much ink.
Yet even with the medium nib, we used this on poor paper and there were no problems with feathering and bleed through.
We were thorough, and tried these spiral notebooks and other types of notebooks.
We used this on various note pads and on cheap legal pads and there were no issues at all.
The ink goes nicely wet, but there’s no need for blotting.
That’s a fact regardless of the cheap paper we used it on.
The ink dries very quickly, and it doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to dry.
By the time you get and bring a blotter to the page, the ink is already dry.
But the ink doesn’t really dry out in the nib.
Just make sure to cap the pen once you’re done writing.
The blue ink we picked works well enough for everyday use, but it also works for formal writing.
We tried it with different nibs, and with the right one we got a great variety of line and shading variation.
Once the ink dries, the shade is quite tasteful.
Even expert fountain pen users get ink where the ink shouldn’t go, every now and then.
But this ink cleans up nicely.
For the ink on your fingers, just use a bit of soap with water, and a rather hardy brush.
Conclusion: Best Fountain Pen Ink for Cheap Paper
Let’s admit it, cheap paper is a fact of life.
The paper we use for quick sticky notes and for grocery lists won’t really be of premium quality.
But does that mean that we then need to resort to the more versatile rollerball or ballpoint pens for these times.
No, not really.
If you have the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper, you can have great writing without having to buy expensive paper.