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Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

The Best Black Fountain Pen Ink of 2020

Black fountain pen ink tests to be the workhorse ink of many people. Blues can be for work or fun, same with reds, while the purples and oranges are more expressive and usually saved for personal activities. Black ink, despite its huge varieties, tends to be an ink for getting stuff done.

So what’s the best black fountain pen ink for day-to-day use?

There are a lot of candidates when it comes to top black inks. Some of the ones that will be in the conversation for top black inks, regardless of where you ask the question will be…

And then you have the day-to-day inks that people might not think of as being the best, but people use for years on end and keep buying, so the have to be in the running…

  • Lamy Black
  • Schneider Black
  • Pilot Black
  • Platinum Black
  • Montblanc Mystery Black
  • Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black

Best Black Fountain Pen Ink

Sailor Kiwa-Guro

Sailor’s Kiwa-Guro is a black pigmented ink, that’s known for its excellent behavior, pretty easy cleaning, and slightly odd smell. It’s not the blackest black, thanks to a bit of silvery sheen, but it’s a great looking ink and if fun to use. It’s the sort of ink you can (and many of us do) use every day and still enjoy.

Most Practical Black Fountain Pen Ink

Platinum Black

If you are looking for a great everyday black ink that is reliable, affordable, and well-mannered, then it’s tough to beat Platinum’s black ink. It’s relatively quick drying, it’s easy to clean, and it’s widely available.

Platinum black is sold in bottles as well as in cartridges. The cartridges are very good, as cartridges go, but they are proprietary so they will only fit in Platinum fountain pens. (We are big Platinum pen fans at Unsharpen, so this isn’t problem.)

Lamy Black

Like the Platinum black, Lamy’s black is another super common ink, but its greatness can’t be denied. It’s just a good ink for every day use: it looks nice on the page, it’s easy to clean, there is a bit of shading (not not too much), it’s easy to find, it’s available in Lamy cartridges and reasonably priced bottles, and you never have to stock up because it never runs out.

Best Water-resistant Black Fountain Pen Inks

  • Platinum Carbon Black
  • Noodler’s Heart of Darkness
  • Sailor Kiwa-guro

If you are doing art then you want a water-resistant ink that won’t wash away when it comes in contact with a brush. Or maybe you are a student that doesn’t want a drop or two of rain to ruin all your hard work. Either way, there are many excellent pigmented inks that water can’t touch.

The above three inks are all great and each have a track record that speaks for itself. The Unsharpen favorite is Kiwa-Guro, but Carbon Black is a close runner-up.

And then the Noodler’s Heart of Darkness has many, many fans online who love the inks price, durability, and “bulletproof” nature.

The Blackest Black Fountain Pen Inks

Sometimes you just want a black ink that is as black as possible and these three are the blackest of the black.

Aurora’s Black is a bit of a sleeper hit, as Aurora isn’t as popular a company as it once was and it’s generally not known for its inks any longer. This ink is also a bit expensive (about $20 for 45 ml) and less easy to find than some of the other major pen company inks.

X-Feather is painfully slow to dry but it’s a top ink on cheaper paper and office printer paper, which is a very important feature to many. In addition to being strongly anti-feathering, it’s blacker-than-black coloring is a great feature.