Saturday, October 30, 2010

Noodler's Polar Blue Ink and Polar Black Ink

I'm relatively new to the world of fountain pens, having only started using them on a regular basis two years ago. My interest was started with the Pilot Petit 1 which was enormously convenient and only took up a little bit of space. I was disappointed somewhat with the amount of ink in one of the cartridges, but enjoyed using them for writing letters and other special occasions.  I moved on to the Platinum Preppy with high hopes of longer lasting ink supply and was reasonably satisfied, but learned that it just wasn't possible to get a cheap "disposable/reusable" fountain pen that would write well and fill the writing niche I wanted.

Enter Noodler's Polar Blue and Polar Black inks however, and Platinum Preppy and we're talking about some seriously useful tools here.  The Polar Blue came with a Preppy .3 because the ink can stain the barrels of more expensive pens and unlike other inks tends to stick to the walls of the barrel even after a day of nonuse, but you could always get an adapter if you want, since they're a relatively cheap solution. The Noodler's website is fantastic and has a lot of information about the inks and their uses in fountain pens.

Polar Blue looks fantastic!
The Polar Blue ink itself is possibly my favorite shade in the blue/black range, despite being named simply Polar Blue.  The black is a good quality standard for use in a fountain pen as well. The ink is also listed as being "Bulletproof" which means it is able to withstand the test of the modern forger even including industrial cleaning solvents, and so far as to the extent of my testing, which entails acetone (until I get my hands on some oven cleaner), it most assuredly is bulletproof.  The ink can bleed through on some cheaper papers but performs well on Moleskine paper. A more thorough review here.

I am very happy with the purchase of both inks and look forward to much use out of them now that I have an "endless supply".  I can now use these inks in all circumstances without worrying about using them only under very specific circumstances. Now, every time I write can be the special experience that I enjoyed so much.

'tis quite beautiful
One of the more interesting aspects of using bottled inks in fountain pens specifically is that since cartridges aren't being used, there is a lot of waste saved from landfills. Even further, if you compare the distance that the average disposable pen goes to that of a bottle of ink and one fountain pen, you'll find yourself saving a lot of money (average G-2 = $2) and saving landfill space at the same time. Sounds like a great deal to me.

I'm looking forward to buying Baystate Blue and Empire Red in the (hopefully) near future. I'm going to need some new fountain pens soon too. I just need to keep my eyes peeled for a good deal out there.

(Edited to add pictures taken during a class)


  1. Do you happen to know if there's an advantage to getting the "Polar" inks over their regular Bulletproof inks? Right now I only have their bulletproof black and really enjoy it. However, it doesn't seem to work that great in my Moleskine sketchbooks. Looks faint and inconsistent on it, but writes great on everything else.

  2. The main benefit to getting the polar inks is that they are freeze resistant, which means that (since I live in Chicago and it is cold now) if I leave a pen in my car, it won't leak or explode because of ink expansion. Noodler's inks in general tend to bleed and sometimes feather on Moleskine paper, unless you get Noodler's X-Feather, but sometimes, it works just fine when you get lucky and get a good batch of paper in your notebook. Moleskine paper is generally not too receptive to fountain pen inks, I think because the paper isn't thick enough, which is why many people use Bagasse paper or notebooks from other makers, such as Clairefontaine or Rhodia.