What’s Your Favorite Ink Or Pen?


Do you ever get asked what’s your favorite ink or pen? That’s a tough question when there is so much variety on the market but still people ask.

“Can I answer with my three favorites?”

“Nope, I really want to know your top choice. Betcha can’t pick just one!”

“Okay, but this is only my choice at this moment and subject to change in a heartbeat.”

Then there are those who ask what’s your favorite item within a brand. Even that can be hard to answer. Here’s the list but only for manufacturers for which I really do have a preferred ink or pen.

  • Rohrer & Klingner: Solferino
  • Noodler’s Ink: Black Swan in Australian Roses
  • Diamine: Sepia
  • Iroshizuku: tsuki-yo
  • J. Herbin: Lie de Thé
  • De Atramentis: Stihlblau (steel blue)
  • Stipula: Verde Muschiato
  • Caran D’Ache: Storm
  • Private Reserve: Avacado
  • Montblanc: Racing Green (discontinued)
  • Parker Penman: Ruby (discontinued)
  • Waterman: Blue-Black
  • Platinum: Pigment Blue
  • Sailor: Brown (discontinued)
  • Namiki: Blue
  • Sailor: 1911 (the full-sized model)
  • Platinum: #3776 Century B
  • Pilot: Custom Black Stripe (discontinued), Custom 742 (current model)
  • Namiki: Falcon SB
  • Levenger: Kyoto True Writer
  • Lamy: Vista 1.1mm
  • Pelikan: M215
  • Montblanc: 220 OB (discontinued)
  • Esterbrook: Gray, double jewel “J” with a 9128 nib

Since turn about is fair play, what are your favorites?

Some of My Favorite Inks

Some of My Favorite Inks

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  1. I don’t have a favorite pen because I don’t have many pens, but I do have lots of inks. Favorites so far are: De Atramentis Pearl Violet, Diamine Ancient Copper Brown, J Herbin Larmes de Cassis, Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun, Private Reserve Black Cherry, Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Bordeaux, and Sailor Apricot. I’ve got miles of vials I’ve yet to try, though, so this list will change in a month’s time :)

    The De Atramentis Stihlblau you listed looks like a blue I could love. I’m still trying to shake off the vibes a bad blue so I’ve steered clear of all blues lately.

    • That’s a varied list! Diamine Ancient Copper Brown pleases a lot of folks. One of these days, I’ll have to try it.

  2. That’s an easy question. My favorite pen is an India Black 1943 double-jewel Parker 51 Vacumatic, with a medium nib. A WW-II vintage pen, Noodler’s Air Corps Blue-Black ink accompanies it perfectly.

  3. Pelikan M600

  4. If I had to pick:
    Pen brands
    Edison Huron Grande
    Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black
    Franklin-Christoph Model 66

    Ink Favorites:
    Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz
    Montblanc Bordeaux (discontinued) (Racing Green would be 2nd)
    Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun

  5. Which Pilot in black stripes you meant? There were several pens –in different sizes and shapes– with that decoration. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Iv11uVEqFls/TrGyICe5mdI/AAAAAAAACc8/OAey4zE51Mg/s1600/IMG_3400-blog-WM.jpg

    On my side, I so not even try to make such a list. At the end, I just want a pen that writes well. The problem lays on the definition of “well”, And I am sure you understand that.

    Thanks again for the stubbornness of blogging.



    • My Black Stripe is the Custom full size at the top of your image. Is it properly a Custom, an Elite, or a Custom Elite? Unfortunately, the section has an occasional if tiny leak but the nib remains superb.

      Welcome. Writing my blog helps balance some of the insanity of life. I’m sure you know what I mean.



      • Up to my knowledge, that is Custom model. Period. But I am speaking based solely on my unit, made in 1978, Its nib is made of 18K white gold. However, I think the model was initially marketed in 1974.



        • Thanks for the info, Bruno. My Custom is dated 1977. I love the huge 18k white gold nib especially with purple ink. That duo always makes me happy.



  6. My favourites change with what I have in use. These days I never keep any pens in constant use rather looping around my collection, varying nibs and inks based on my database algorithms. It can take six months for a pen to get back into use, nibs (especially M600 Pelikan ones) could take a year to get back around and inks are taking slightly more than a year between uses at the moment.

    Some favourites from my twelves pens in use at the moment


    M400 and M600 White Tortoises
    M600 Ruby Red


    18K stub on my Bexley Americana Yellowstone
    Music nib on Platinum 3776
    Custom 1.3mm CI by John Mottishaw on M600 White Tortoise


    Noodler’s Navy
    Diamine Wagner
    Private Reserve Sherwood Green

    • You really are a Pelikan kind of guy at least this week. The build quality is excellent so it’s easy to see why. The Bexley stub and Mottishaw CI must be special to stand out in your collection. We agree on the Platinum #3776 Music Nib and it is in my rotation though the Platinum Century B gets more use. That might be due to the Platinum Pigment Ink in the Century. It’s a bit more practical than the Diamine Sepia loaded in the #3776 MU. I haven’t tried any of the inks you like but Noodler’s Navy is on my list of inks to acquire someday. Is there a pen in your collection that works exceptionally well with it?

      • Pelikan pens dominate my collection these days but it was not always the case. Buying all 12 M620 City series pens really got me into them. The ability to switch nibs around adds to their attraction. I have two more Pelikan in the mail to me as we’ll. Noodler’s Navy works with everything (even Pilot Custom nibs).

        • Noodler’s Navy works with everything (even Pilot Custom nibs).

          Hmmm. Not sure about the reference to Pilot Custom nibs. I have had very dry ones or ones with inconsistent flow but also ones that flowed very well. Which way does Navy swing?

          • Sorry my SU and FA Pilot nibs are drywriters and some inks will not work at all with them. Noodler’s Navy flows quite well and does work in these rather fickle nibs.

            • Ah, now I get it. My FA is so afflicted but I don’t have Navy to put it to the test. I wonder what other ink might make it flow more consistently. It’s a fine pen but not so good for someone with a light touch. I am tempted to sell it and stick to the Platinum Century FF. We seem to be better suited to each other. :)

              • Pilot iroshizuku inks work well in my FA – not surprising.

                • I just looked at some writing samples and the FA feathered rather badly with asa-gao and syo-ro. I also found a note to try Namiki Blue or Noodler’s eel ink next. Wonder what I was thinking when I wrote that…

                  • My FA is very paper sensitive. Rhodia and Clairefontaine paper stock are all I use with it.

                    • Will keep that in mind when I fill it next time. Thanks for the tips. :)

  7. My current favorite inks are:
    Waterman – South Sea Blue aka Inspired Blue
    Pilot Iroshizuku – Kiri-same
    Diamine – Saddle Brown
    Herbin – Poussiere de Lune, Lie de The
    Lamy – Blue-Black
    Pelikan – Blue-Black

    Favorite pens:
    Vintage Sheaffer – Pen for Men III
    Vintage Waterman – Ideal No. 3 (flexy!)
    Pelikan – M215, M600
    Pilot – Decimo
    Esterbrook – Copper J, 9555 nib
    Lamy – Lamy 2000
    Montblanc – 144
    TWSBI – 540

    • Mona, that’s a great list of inks. I went back and forth over the same two Herbin colors but finally decided on Lie de The in part because it works well even in my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Which Pelikan M215 do you have? My silver rings model with Noodler’s Ottoman Azure went to a meeting with me this past week and was very pleasant to use.

      • I have both the M215 Rings and the Lozenge (“diamonds”). The Lozenge is my preferred writer, mainly because it has a nice, wet F nib (the Rings has a B nib). I like the size and weight of it, and it was a gift from a beloved uncle.

        • Sentimental value can make even something mediocre memorable. How does the B nib flow? My Rings has a wet flow but it also has a Binder stub nib. His mods are known for that so it isn’t a good comparison.

          • My B nib on the Rings is a medium-flow 80′s steel nib I got from a sale at penboard.de (Tom Westerich’s site). It doesn’t have much character but it satisfies certain occasional writing needs of mine. I suppose I could have it stubbed…

            • If you aren’t thrilled with the B, a custom stub might be more fun as well as more useful. Or you could just purchase a custom replacement nib from one of the nibmeisters. Does that interest you?

              • One of my friends does good regrinds locally, the nib is inexpensive enough that he can do it for me. He stubbed my BB M200 nib :)

                • A friend who regrinds nibs? That’s great! Are you going to ask him to modify the nib?

                  • I might! But not yet. I have to wait my turn (our other friends have asked him to do their regrinds as well), hahaha!

                    • A queue? He must be really good!

  8. This is an interesting question. One I’m willing to ponder for more than a minute since I’m snowed in due to a blizzard this weekend. =)

    As for inks, that’s a tough one because I am still relatively new to fp’s and inks and am still searching for my “favorites”. But, I really like inks, perhaps more than I like pens. Among those that I have tried thus far, I would say that these are my favorites:

    Caran d’Ache Sunset
    Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
    Noodler’s Ottoman Rose
    Mont Blanc Lavender Purple
    Iroshizuku Kiri-Same
    Noodler’s Ellis Island Blue-Black
    Sheaffer Blue-Black
    Pilot Blue-Black
    Sheaffer Turquoise
    Noodler’s Sequoia
    Diamine Meadow
    Mont Blanc Racing Green
    Waterman Havana Brown
    Aurora Black

    As for pens, I’m still getting a handle on what I enjoy. I wouldn’t say that I have much of a collection, as fountain pens are still a relatively new hobby for me, but I do have a few that I really like.

    Esterbrook Transitional w/ 2556 nib
    Sheaffer Imperial IV w/touchdown filling system
    LAMY Vista EF
    Pilot VP w/Binder Broad Stub
    Cross Sauvage Ivory Python
    TWSBI Micarta

    Notice that my ink list is 2x as long as my pen list. So, I guess I’m well on my way to becoming a certified inkophile. LOL. :D

    • Brrrr. Keep your pens and inks warm. Paper can fend for itself. ;)

      We don’t share much overlap on inks save AU Roses and MBRG but I have read good things about many of those inks. For a relative newbie, that’s quite a list. It’s a real treat to see colorful ink in a Vista and using that model has changed my mind about demonstrator pens. That clear barrel encourages frequent cleaning so that’s a good thing.

      Yes, you qualify as an inkophile. Welcome to the ranks. :)

  9. Vintage Aurora 88P with a flexible nib. Current I k faves Diamond Majestic Blue, Diamine Evergreen, and Iroshizuku Asa Gao

    • A vintage flex nib sounds lovely. :)

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