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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Noodler's Blue Ink Review



Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

Noodler's Blue is one of my favorite colors, I can't deny it. Since I loaded it up in my Pilot Custom 74, I have just been refilling and refilling it! I am a serial ink sampler as well, so any ink that makes me want to load it back up in the same pen time after time is something special.


I didn't used to be one of those people that would always match an ink color to the pen, but darnit if I don't keep putting blue ink in this pen. I just love the flow, lubrication, and saturation of this ink in this particular pen (a medium nib), so I keep it loaded up all the time. I've gone through about a dozen samples of this ink for this pen, I just need to dedicate a bottle to it already!

So let's check out the ink:


It's not particularly water resistant, nor does it have incredible shading or lubrication (both are average to above average). For me, it's just the particular shade of blue that I love, a very bold, solid cerulean blue that always makes my eyes happy when I write.

On cheap paper: I just did a quick test on some cheap 20lb copy paper, and there was some bleedthrough and spreading of the ink. It didn't feather too bad, but it did spread (meaning that the line seemed about twice as broad as on Rhodia paper). Dry time was under 10 seconds though, so that's nice. It's an ink that you could use at work in a fine or extra-fine nib, ideally if you only needed to use one side of the paper.

Other inks that are comparable in color to Noodler's Blue:


The only disclaimer I should say about this ink is that the dry time is a little on the long side. What I do is just set aside my paper for 20 seconds or so after I write and all is well. The bold color and perfect blue (purely my opinion!) is well worth the extra seconds.

20 comments:

  1. Nice review, Brian. I have almost pulled the trigger on this ink a few times. I will now have it on my next order thanks to this review.

    Can you tell me the performance of this ink on cheap 20 lb copy paper? For some reason my work doesn't see the importance of quality paper for fountain pens.

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  2. Very decent shade of blue - thanks for reviewing it Brian!

    Is it just me, or does the swab look truer to the color than the review-sample. The review part looks darker, and not as vibrant to me. Maybe it's my monitor...

    If the color is like the swab, then I may need to try this out. Iroshizuku Kon-Peki is my go-to ink right now. Performs so well in all my pens, looks lovely, and dries pretty quick too! But, it's really expensive... :| You know that of course... :)

    Anyway, I'm on the hunt for  anew go-to blue, but I may just stick with Kon-Peki and pay the extra for a great ink... I better try some samples though, just to be sure there isn't a better alternative. ;)

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  3. This color is pretty close to Kon-Peki, but a little darker and more saturated in color. I am more than willing to bet if you took Noodler's blue and diluted it a bit with distilled water, you could get a pretty darn close match to Kon-Peki at a small fraction of the price! Kon-Peki is a great ink though, it's one of my favorites as well.

    Yeah, the color variation on the samples has to do with the color profile of blogger, as well as your web browser, as well as your computer monitor. Blues like this are darn-near impossible to display accurately on a monitor! Trust me though, it's a nice blue :)

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  4. At least get a sample of this color. Then you'll know if you love it or not. I honestly don't know anyone who's inked it up and hated it though ;)

    Well, I didn't test this on cheap paper so I can't really say how it does. I can test a bit for you, what would you like to know? Dry time, feathering, bleedthrough...?

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  5. This does look like a very nice shade of blue.  I'm not normally a fan of "typical" blue ink like in a ballpoint pen but this color has a certain "je ne sais quoi" -
    I love these short reviews that I can watch anytime!  Thank you!

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  6. I mainly experience feathering and bleedthrough on cheap paper. Please don't feel like you have to do further testing for me. I just thought you may have used this ink on cheap copy paper. Thanks again Brian for the review and the reply.

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  7. This ink is brighter than most ballpoint blues, and if you use it in a broader nib, it really looks awesome! I'm glad you like the format of my reviews, I'm having a good time doing them!

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  8. thanks for featuring this ink.  I've often overlooked it, but it's a very pretty dark blue.  I will definitely have to try it.

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  9. It's a great color that you don't hear much about. It's definitely worth a look!

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  10. It handled pretty well. I updated my 'cheap paper' thoughts in the post. Basically, you could use it at work in an EF or F nib with success.

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  11. I find the result of the drip test puzzling.  In my testing I found Noodler's Blue had pretty good water resistance -- comparable to Dark Matter, and much more than Eel Blue.

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  12. What type of paper/pen do you use where you notice a difference?

    The drip test is going to vary based on the paper used, pen used, and amount of time that goes by before the test is done (after the ink hits the paper) and the length of time that the water is left on the paper. Rhodia is a particularly ink resistant paper, so most inks tend not to be as water resistant on them than more absorbent papers. When I do my test, I draw the grid and wait about 3-4 minutes before doing the drops. I figure 3-4 minutes is pretty realistic to the length of time that might pass if you're writing a full page. The drips I leave on for a good 45-60 seconds, to emulate (on the long end) how long it may take to grab a napkin or paper towel to soak up the drips.

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  13. Hey Brian, thanks very much for the review. I just wanted to ask you again about your personal impression of the comparison between Noodler's Blue American Eel and Noodler's Blue. I have and use Eel Blue a lot, and it sure looks like a darn similar color based on the swab shop; but I know (for example) that the Turquoise and Eel Turquoise are markedly different colors. I'm curious to know what difference you personally would see, if any, between Blue and Eel Blue.

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  14. Thanks Brian.  I use an EF at work so this may be right up my alley.

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  15. I can only speak to the similarities of color between Blue and Blue Eel, because I haven't inked up Blue Eel yet, only swabbed it. The colors seem to be darn near exactly the same in real life. I agree about Turquoise and Turquoise Eel being different, they truly are vastly different colors. But the Blues are nearly identical. The only difference should be in the flow and lubrication of the ink, Blue Eel being a little wetter and smoother flowing than Blue, since it's made to be extra lubricated for use in piston-filling pens.

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  16. I've used them both, and I also found that Blue and Eel Blue are nearly identical in color, although I think standard Blue is just a hair deeper and richer.  Eel Blue offers more lubrication, of course, but I also found (as mentioned elsewhere) that Blue was notably more water-resistant of the two.

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  17. Thanks for your input here, Tony!

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  18. Noodler's Blue was the first bottle ink I ever purchased (from Goulet Pens, of course) and as my youngest daughter would say, "It is my bestest favorite!" :D

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  19. Haha, that's wonderful! Your daughter has excellent taste ;)

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