Noodler’s Black Ink – The Proof Is In The Photos


Ha! Thought you were going to see a bunch of photos in this post? Why reinvent the wheel when PenFisher has posted the definitive lot at FPN.

If I had to make do with just a single ink, Noodler’s Black would be the one. When I rediscovered fountain pens over ten years ago, black ink was all I used. The now discontinued Parker Penman Ebony worked well in my art pens so that was good enough for me. Then I discovered Noodler’s Black and realized a fountain pen could write even better, smoother, and clean more easily than with Penman. That opened the flood gates to the world of ink and I’ve never looked back.

Recently I ran across a Moleskine journal from seven years ago that had been paired with a Parker ’51’ Aerometric F. Mind you this is an old journal with arguably better quality paper than the more recent stuff but it’s clear that Noodler’s Black, Moleskine and the ’51’ were a winning combination. My daughter has used NB in a Lamy Safari F on inexpensive paper for the past year with nary a whiff of trouble. Moms and daughters don’t always agree, so take this as high praise.

Note to Nathan Tardif, the man behind Noodler’s:  If you ever decide to rename Black, consider Basic Black. Basic fits well because it is a foundation ink as well as a foundation color. As of today at least, it would be a unique name and you are almost as well-known for that streak of quirkiness you bring to ink naming as you are for your excellent inks.

Additional remarks from 2009 on Noodler’s Black in a calligraphy pen.

Leonardo Calligraphy Pen Meets Noodler's Black Ink

Leonardo Calligraphy Pen Meets Noodler's Black Ink

More on Noodler’s Black from Dave Garrett.



  1. I wish I could find an ink that was black which performed like his Noodler’s Burma Road in his Noodler’s Piston Filled pen. I don’t understand it, but B.Road comes out nearly black in the Piston Filled pen, as opposed to greenish-greyish-black in a Lamy Al-Star XF or F. I don’t get what the pen does that makes a difference, but it comes out near perfectly on QuoVadis, Clairfontaine, and Rhodia papers. It is the perfect combination, the only problem is when I’m signing a check, the ink’s green comes through on the paper – which is unprofessional, as you’re looking for a black or a blue on official documents. To top it’s high performance off, it dryes almost as fast as Bernanke if it is coming out of the Piston-Filled and only slightly slower out of the Lamy.

    I need a black (or a blue) which will perform like this Noodler’s Burma Road. The Bernanke fraternal twins dry quick, but they are too wet for calendaring and journaling in the QuoVadis “Business” and small Habana, respectively.

    I’ve even thought about buying a half dozen of the piston filled Noodler’s pens and going to the Raleigh pen show this summer with all of them trying different peoples inks to see if I can catch lightening in a bottle.


    • Wilson, you would think with all the black ink Nathan offers, one of them would suit your requirements. It does sound like dry-writing nibs might lay down a thinner line revealing the colors that go into Burma Road. For some uses that’s a plus. For others, not so much.

      Bernanke Blue did not impress me and got retired after one fill. There are so many other blues and I realize it is difficult to come up with something special. My preference is for green-blue inks like Noodler’s Azure Blue or less saturated ones like Rohrer & Klingner Blau Permanent. For legal docs I use Noodler’s Black.

      That doesn’t help you but I don’t have experience with either Burma Road or the piston-filled pen to make any suggestions. By all means go to the pen show and test a variety of inks. Talk about combining business with pleasure!

      There is an alternative for some situations. Years ago I adopted a blotter sheet for insertion between the pages of my journal as well as my date book. It has given me the freedom to use any ink and pen combination since the blotter is unbiased at absorbing those tiny blobs of ink. J. Herbin makes a good sized one that you could trim to fit if needed. Mine serves double duty as a bookmark so it is all around a useful tool.


  2. […] Pens / Writing. Noodler’s Ahab Flex Fountain Pen – The Awesome Review Noodler’s Black Ink – The Proof Is In The Photos Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Video Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen / Rollerball Pen Drawing with a […]


  3. I’m afraid that my experience with Noodler’s Black has not been so positive. It tends, in my opinion, to be more gray than it is black. My “go to” black for the last few years has been another Noodler’s formulation, sold by Chuck Swisher as Swisher’s Nile Ebony. Unfortunately, it appears that Swishers is–at least for now–not in business. I also have gotten bottles of Penman Ebony from Parker as part of pen purchases–so I assume that these are new and safe formulations–and it is, to my eye, a much better black. I have attempted to compare Noodler’s Black, Parker Penman Ebony, Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, Swisher’s Nile Ebony, Omas Black and Noodler’s Polar Black, using different pends on white graph paper from a Clairfontaine Pupitre legal pad, but I haven’t figured out how (if there’s a way) to attach a scan to this comment. I am not sure that the scan shows the difference as clearly as it appears on mmy original. The Noodler’s Black and the Polar black are grayer–to my eye–than the others on my original. From blackest to grayest, as I see it, these inks go: Nile Ebony, Omas Black/ Penman Ebony (tied), Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, Polar Black, then Noodler’s Black.


    • Thanks for adding your experiences, Cliff. Like you I hope another retailer will pick up the Swisher exclusives or Nathan will just issue them under the Noodler’s label. No sense wasting good formulations.

      If you upload your image to an online account and send me its URL, I can add it to your comment. 🙂


  4. Noodler’s Black Ink is very beneficial ink for the users. The cost of this ink is very low and it is long time running ink to use.


  5. […] factor is ink. The two black Safaris are loaded with Noodler’s Black and the turquoise colored Sailor Yaki-Akari. The Vistas are loaded with Noodler’s Black Swan […]


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