Thank you to Pen Boutique for providing the ink for today’s review.
If you don’t have a lot of experience with Noodler’s ink, you will quickly find that Nathan Tardiff is not shy about mixing his political views into the inks he creates. This can turn some people off but that does not seem to deter Mr. Tardiff. The newest ink to come out of his laboratory is Berning Red, an ink for lefties. Some double-entendre is going on with the name, obviously.
This red ink is meant to be a fast drying ink so that left handed over writers don’t smear their hand with ink as they write. Obviously, this is not just a benefit for lefties but those on the right will benefit from fast dry times even on coated papers like Rhodia or Clairefontaine. There is almost always a drawback with fast drying inks. The component that makes it fast drying can also cause the ink to feather or possibly bleed on less than good quality paper. Nathan somehow figured out how to minimize this with his new ink offering.
If you have never purchased a bottle of Noodler’s ink, be forewarned. All Noodlers inks are filled with ink right up to the brim. This is said without exaggeration. If you open a bottle of Noodler’s ink carelessly, you will spill ink. I suggest holding the bottle on a level surface and protecting that surface with a towel. I use a microfiber dish drying mat to protect the surface I am using from inky messes. You will not be able to dip your pen in the bottle to fill it. You will need to fill by using an ink syringe (my preferred method) or an eye dropper. You only have to do this until the ink level goes down enough that you can submerge the pen without displacing so much ink that it spills over the brim. I have a lot of experience doing this and I still spilled some ink while filling my pen for this review. You have been warned.
As stated before, this is a fast drying ink. This ink delivers just that. The slowest dry time I could calculate was 2 seconds. This was with a dip pen. Eye-dropper fountain pen dry times consistently were 1 second or less on Clairefontaine paper. I could see the wet ink line following the nib as the ink dried. I was actually mesmerized by it. On cheap composition book paper, dry times were almost instantaneous. Again, the drawback is feathering or bleed through. I noticed that if I kept a fairly normal writing pace, feathering was not and issue. If I write slow, more ink gets dumped on the paper and feathering was apparent on the composition book paper. Clairfontain feathered as well, while writing at a slow pace, but to a much lesser extent. I was also able to make the ink bleed on Clairefontaine paper by flexing the nib. The key to controlling feathering is writing at a normal pace and not doing anything fancy with it. It is purely a utilitarian ink for use when a fast dry time is preferred or needed.
The red color of the ink is fairly standard. Not too bright, not too dark. It is a solid red color that does look like fresh blood in my demonstrator pen. You probably want to use this ink in a dry pen. Wet pens may increase the chance of feathering. As far as ink permanence in water, it is a fairly water resistant ink. Soak tests up to 60 seconds showed the text to be very readable. Ink chromatography shows pink, yellow and brown components.
If you need a fast dry ink in red, this fits the bill. Do not expect much more than a utilitarian ink that does what it was meant to do. Shading is barely visible with fine nibs, and italic nib increases the chances of shading but that’s not what you get this ink for.
Thank you for reading!
Ivan – Fountain Pen Sith Lord
Inktronicblog.com – Where the pen is mightier than the sword but a lightsaber?
Nathan Tardiff’s video on Berning Red