Pelikan 4001 Violet Ink Review


Pelikan has been making 4001 ink since the 19th century. Few companies can make that claim. While the lineup is limited, it covers the most commonly used colors. Readily available and reasonably priced, this is one brand of ink that could be a mainstay for the workplace and a fine basis for a limited collection.

Last month Jet Pens sent a bottle of 4001 Violet for review and it is very aptly named. Straight-up violet that shades and is dry enough to exert a little control over a too enthusiastic nib. (Dang. Is that not the shortest review ever?)

The color has a stronger red component than most inks called violet and from a free-flowing nib, produces a vivid look similar to Waterman Violet. Pelikan is known for inks that are somewhat dry writing, but I was surprised at the amount of shading.

The color and characteristics combine for a vintage look that is very appealing for use in a journal or to add a touch of romance to correspondence. With a dry writing pen, paper color influences the appearance. Ivory paper warms the violet color while stark white reveals a deeper shade.

The Pel website mentions that 4001 ink is designed for its piston-fillers. I don’t know if that means there is a component that benefits that type of filler, but it is something to consider when you fill a vintage Pelikan. It might not enhance performance, but running a fill through your pen from time to time certainly couldn’t hurt.

Note that the 62.5 ml bottle for $10 at Jet Pens is a veritable bargain in the world of ink. Not that I need another bottle, but the turquoise and brown are calling to me though that’s just between you and me. The budget nanny would be appalled.

Most anyone can use an ink that could turn a wet nib into a decent user. Pelikan 4001 Violet has that potential. Plus it’s good for your Pels and probably any other piston-type pen or converter as well. Actually, any of the colors should deliver on that based on the remarks at the Pel website. Toss a bottle into your next pen and ink order and see what you think.


  1. I actually purchased this ink in May and I love it, though my Lamy Vista is NOT happy with it… (My Lamy has issues all around though) The ink is marvelous with an italic nib, you get more of the darker shading. I have found it has more red tones in a regular medium nib, like the Lamy. It does dry fast, and it seems to be more color fast than most highly saturated inks. And they say think is self cleaning… I think. But I did find that it cleaned up an old bladder type fountain pen. the bladder was grimy, but after filling with this ink, the bladder is much cleaner. Go figure.

    Marvelous ink for inexpensive writing, and like you, I really, really want the turquoise, but I’m tamping down my desire for now. (I could spend a fortune on FP inks)


    • Some inks do clean up after themselves as well as inconsiderate predecessors. Noodler’s Red Rattler is one I’ve read such things about though I would not recommend it since I haven’t tried it myself.

      Yes, it would be easy to spend a fortune on inks. My aging collection lacks most of the latest and newest releases, but Jet Pens, Exaclair for J. Herbin, and Luxury Brands for Noodler’s, have kept me going. Otherwise this inkophile would be all dried up.😀


      • I’ve limited myself to only five purchased inks, four being Private reserve inks, and someone gave me the red Pelikan ink. I don’t like the color too much with that, but I mix some of my Private Reserve Burgundy Mist or Black Velvet with it to darken and then it’s tolerable. Oh, I want to get several inks. And reading ink reviews just makes me drool. But in a good way.😀


  2. I love this ink. It was my first bottle, and it’s a beauty. The turquoise is, in my opinion, nicer (and I’m a pinks and purples girl rather than blues and greens), but this is heading back into my pen so I can write a job application with it.


    • Makes me want the turquoise all the more.🙂


  3. You’ve sold me on this one. I’m not even a purple person, but I will definitely check this out in the near future. I recently sampled the Pel 4001 Turquoise, and I definitely see what all the noise is about. Prior to that, my go-to turquoise was Sheaffer Turquoise (which I still adore), but Pel goes one better. It just does.


    • One of these days I’ll give Turquoise a go. Impossible not to like such a happy color.


  4. One of my daily inks is the Pel 4001 Turquoise. I simply love it. I like their Brilliant Black as well. Violet I’m not as keen on, but if you want a drier, inexpensive purple ink, I would not say no to it.

    Thanks for the review. 🙂


  5. I totally concur with your review. Lovely ink (and the turquoise as well). I’ve been using both inks in my Mandarin Chinese lessons, where I use one colour to write the kanji and the other to annotate in English. Then, I swap them around for the next lesson.

    They complement each other superbly well…very pleasing to the eye and the two tone effect makes comments standout and thus easy to find when searching my notes.


  6. […] I was reminded of the quality of Pelikan fountain pen ink. Here is a link to my review from January, 2015, and below is a photo that was taken at sunset last night. Once in […]


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