Black to the future: A review of Namiki Black ink

A belated happy 2016 to all! I hope your new year has begun well! The good news is that it’s time to begin blogging again… Interestingly my first ink review of the new year turns out to be Namiki Black ink. I should say that this ink was provided for review by Malcolm at Iridium in Kendal, Cumbria. Regulars on this blog will know as I live in the town of Whitehaven on the northwest coast of England that Iridium is my ‘local’ pen and fine stationery shop.

This is a fairly novel development for me in that I’m not a great user of black inks in general; it is also my first use of Namiki branded ink, though of course I am familiar with its association with the Pilot Pen Co. of Japan. So I was interested to give this ink the once over.

Presentation: This ink comes attractively boxed and bottled. The box is large and has something of an understated, professional look to it. It’s not a box that yells at you straight from the shelf. Its’ dark red, black and gold colours are somewhat subdued. It whispers, “buy me, but only if you’re serious…”

The glass bottle too has a serious look to it. It would not look out-of-place on an executive’s desk. It has no label to shout its name but it looks starkly ready to do business. The cap is sturdy and the mouth of the bottle is fairly wide. The bottle has a plastic reservoir insert in the top which is a good idea, enabling you to get to the ink easily. The bottom of the bottle curtly declares its eastern origin in Japan.

On Test: My first impression of the ink on test was on opening the bottle. It looked thick and was foul-smelling when up close. I was a little afraid that this would be a bad-tempered, viscous ink that would cause me some problems. In fact I couldn’t have been more wrong. the ink behaved beautifully.

Most importantly, it is a true black. Even when dry there was no hint or hue of other colours coming out.  The ink dried quickly even using wider nibbed pens, averaging out around the 15-20 second mark which is handy. The ink flowed well without appearing to feather and in terms of water resistance it performs better than most.

Summary: As I said up front, I’m not a real aficionado of black inks in general, truth be told; they don’t really float my boat. But having said that I think that this is a shade of black that I would certainly use and return to in the future and for those tasks were a black ink is necessary I would, thus far, heartily recommend this one.

As ever, foolishly yours…

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