Noodler’s X-Feather: Ink Review

Hi there, ink lovers! Madigan here, reviewing the deeply dark Noodler’s X-Feather. Jenni used it recently in her Monday Matchup with stunning results. According to Noodler’s, this ink was created to combat feathering on cheap paper. It has some other interesting qualities too, like water resistance. Read on to discover more!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Slow– This is not a quick drying ink! It took over 30 second
    for it to dry. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning on
    using it for its water-resistant property. Until it’s dry, you will see
    some smearing. Wait awhile before applying water!

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • High-Despite the long dry time, when left alone, this ink does become very permanent. The creator of Noodler’s bills this as one of his “bullet-proof” inks, meaning it is virtually impossible to erase or remove.


  • High-No difference at all in the swabs! The first line is just as dark as the last.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Difficult– I found that because of its dark hue and other properties, I had to give the pen a little more attention when cleaning it. A few more rinses, a toothbrush, and you should be good!


  • Low– No shading here at all.


  • Dry– Woo! This is a dry one. I think that it must have something to do with the anti-feathering properties. It made the usually smooth Lamy nib have some feedback. It wasn’t a feeling I was used to!

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 3oz utilitarian bottle with 2ml ink samples available
  • The bottle has a large round opening, making it easy to fill your fountain pen
  • The label is really interesting!  

Ink Similar in Color:

This is an incredibly interesting ink with remarkable properties. In terms of its anti-feathering properties, it held up against even the dubious paper quality of the Moleskine notebook. It is still water based, I can’t guarantee that it won’t ever feather, but I think it is your best bet if you are in a situation where you can’t control the paper quality. It’s an ink that could be good for any situation- work, school, journaling, art, you name it! However, I, personally, am not a huge fan because of the long dry time and dryness.

You can find Noodler’s X-Feather at in a 4.5oz bottle for $19, a 3oz bottle for $12.50, or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Do you have a go-to black ink? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Write on,

2017-10-11T14:37:50+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Ink Reviews|5 Comments
  • Tom Johnson

    Another great review Madigan! I first found Noodler’s Black in early 2009 and used it in most of my pens for the next 4+ years, and still using it in some pens. It is a great ink and never gave me any problems. In fact, I used it in my Vanishing Point for two years or more without ever flushing out the nib and feed. It works great on absorbent papers, showing very little feathering or bleed through on most all cheap papers. Later, as I accumulated more pens, I tried Bad Black Moccasin and Heart of Darkness. Both inks worked very well, no problems at all. In fact, I have Noodler’s Black in some pens, BBM in one or two, and HOD in several. I think HOD is the fastest drying of the three, BBM next fastest, and N. Black the slowest – but not a slow drying ink at all. It just seems like HOD is a little faster drying. I got Platinum Carbon Black ink for a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen, and Carbon Black has been in this pen for over a year with no problems. Never seems to dry out, skip, etc. Then I put Carbon Black in a Platinum Balance, a Plaisir, and a Preppy, and still have it in these pens. Carbon Black dries quickly and I love it. So, these are my four go-to black inks, and I am happy with all of them.

  • Mitchell Weinberg

    I largely agree with Tom’s review (and comments about other black Noodler’s inks). I consider x-feather one of my workhorse black inks. It is beautifully dark and highly saturated, excellent for my various journaling activities. I’ve used it on lower quality papers and find it does work pretty well for that purpose, so I think this is a solid choice for a high school or college student who will often be using notebook papers. X-feather and a fine nib and you’re likely good to go.

  • dothgrin

    I have not had any problems with X-Feather and have used it for a couple of years now. I did not have the dryness experience as stated here and actually find it has great flow in my Pilot, Platinum, Jinhao, and Cross group of pens. Noodler’s Heart of Darkness is my other enjoyable black. The only other black ink I will even entertain is Platinum Carbon Black. As a school teacher and now principal who has a variety of papers I have to sign, X-Feather is my go-to.

  • It is interesting that you also report the Lamy LX feeling more feedbacky with this ink. I recently had a similar experience with my Lamy Vista and Noodler’s “Heart of Dearkness”, it felt more feedback-y and I have the feeling that the feed got a little more clogged from particles in the ink. Wetter-writing pens might be advisable, but given that this ink already takes a long time to dry it, perhaps it might take even longer when you put larger amounts of it on paper.

    Another thought, given the long drying time it seems an impractical ink to use for students in classes when they need to be able to jot things down quickly. It seems more like an ink for when you’re copying your notes and making them more systematic and well-written out, so you have the time to let things dry and take care not to smudge it all over the paper with your hand.

  • Neil Bryson Cargamento

    I use it with my EF Pilot Metropolitan. Mostly used for signing and filling up forms.