Finding the best fountain pen ink will set your handwriting apart from the rest. But how do you know which ink is right for you?
The best fountain pen ink isn’t necessarily the most expensive option. Sometimes, the cheap and cheerful stuff is just as good. In this guide, we ranked each of our favourite brands of fountain pen ink by colour. We looked at each ink’s resistance, its composition, and how much it costs compared to its competitors.
10 Best Fountain Pen Inks
Overall Best Fountain Pen Ink
Platinum Carbon Black
Platinum Carbon Ink has received hundreds of positive reviews from happy customers.
The carbon black stain has anti-fade and water-resistant properties too. Your pieces won’t turn into a smudged mess when they get wet.
An additional benefit of Platinum Carbon Black ink is that it bonds with the paper, which prevents it from feathering or bleeding through.
One disadvantage of using this ink is that it’s difficult to remove.
A bottle of Platinum Carbon ink costs under $20 and is available in single 2 oz bottles or 4-pack bundles.
Best Black Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Perle Noire
J Herbin Perle Noire ink is water-based but doesn’t feather or bleed through. It can be used on ordinary copy paper, which makes it a versatile option for your writing needs. It’s also non-toxic, which is a much safer option if you have young children or pets in the house.
Another great feature of this ink is how rapidly it dries. Although, that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Because the ink is water-soluble, it’s susceptible to smudging from the moisture on your hands.
A bottle of Perle Noire costs a little over $10, which is great value for money.
Although our favourite is the black, J. Harbin inks come in a variety of different shades.
See a full list of our top black fountain pen inks.
Best Blue Fountain Pen Ink
Waterman Serenity Blue
- Serenity Blue - calm your thoughts with this peaceful hue
- Liquid ink produces intense lines to make your mark
- High-quality formula for superior performance and writing comfort
- Faceted 50 ml glass bottle has screw-top closure for convenience and ease of use
- Compatible with all Waterman fountain pens
Waterman fountain pen ink beats most of its competitors. You can use Waterman Serenity Blue ink for everyday writing. What’s more, it’s available as bottled ink or in a cartridge, so you’re bound to find some version that works with your pen.
Unlike many of its competitors, however, it’s not water-resistant, so you’ll have to be extra careful handling your writing.
The ink dries in under 30 seconds and can be used on any paper without feathering and bleedthrough.
Discover more dazzling blue inks in our guide to the best blue fountain pen ink.
Best Red Fountain Pen Ink
Pelikan Brilliant Red
Red inks are often underutilized in the fountain pen world, often regarded as the sole domain of teachers and editors. But you should consider at least having one option of red ink if you’re a frequent fountain pen user, and if you do, Pelikan’s red ink is the one to use.
It writes well with and its low surface tension means that lines stay tidy. Pelikan Brilliant Red comes in almost every imaginable format, so it’s compatible with most fountain pens out there.
Coloured Fountain Pen Inks
Coloured inks are less popular with fountain pen users as they’re infrequently used for writing. But having a good store of colourful ink will come in handy more often than you’d think, and knowing which the best brands are will make sure you only get the best.
Ferris Wheel Press
Ferris Wheel Press Inks offer ink tones that aren’t usually available.
You can add a splash of neon to any project you’re working on with their Three Steamboats turquoise, Freshly Squeezed yellow, or Double Raspberry neon pink.
Their ink is all high quality and low in iron chelates that could cause damage or clog the feed.
Diamine Fountain Pen Inks
- Writing ink for fountain pens in 6 x 30ml plastic bottles
- Fast drying, smooth flowing, water-based, non-toxic and pH neutral
- Made from natural dyes
- Suitable for all brands of fountain pen
- Ideal as a calligraphy starter ink
Diamine has been around for over 150 years, so you know that you’re getting quality with its products.
Diamine ink is made of natural pigments that are non-toxic and fit any fountain pen. Despite their stellar reputation and prestige, the ink isn’t overpriced. You can purchase it in a bottle or standard-sized cartridges.
Diamine ink ranges from about $20 for a single 2 oz bottle and $30 for a pack of six 1 oz bottles. Choose from colours like Kelly Green, Soft Mint, or Golden Sands to add character to your characters.
Best Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges
If you’re limited to using a cartridge fountain pen, you need to make sure that you get the right refill option. There’s nothing worse than forking out for a product that you can’t use, so we listed some of our favourite ink cartridge producers.
Dryden Designs Black Ink Cartridges
- BIG VALUE PACK: The value pack features 24 black international standard size ink cartridges to fit almost all fountain pens on the market.
- SMOOTH & UNINTERRUPTED INK FLOW: With no break in ink flow, enjoy a smooth and optimal writing experience as your fountain pen glides elegantly across paper.
- NEUTRAL PH & NON-TOXIC: The ink has been carefully manufactured using only natural dyes giving the composition a neutral, natural, and non-toxic pH.
- LONG LIFE SPAN: Each ink cartridge comes in a plastic reclosable case and will last you at least 2 weeks of regular use.
- QUICK TO DRY: Dryden Designs ink takes only a few seconds to dry ensuring your important writing moments are not ruined by smudges or smears.
If you’re looking for luxury but affordable pen ink, Dryden Designs ink is perfect.
A 24-pack of short standard international-sized cartridges costs about $15. It even comes beautifully packaged in a gift box, making them great writing equipment gifts too.
Jinhao Fountain Pen Refill Color Ink Cartridges
- Lenght : Appr 51mm , Cartridge Diameter : Appr4-6mm, Bore diameter : 2.6mm
- Fit standard Fountain Pen such as Jinhao ,Duke , Baoer, Hero and 98% of Chinese fountain pen
- Package : 30 PCS fountain pen cartridges black color
- Not Fit The LAMY and PARKER Fountain Pen
- 100% Satisfaction : If there is any reason you do not like the pen ,just send us a message ,we can offer you a full or !
Jinhao is one of the most loved fountain pen and ink brands. Their refill cartridges are great for beginners. The cartridges are easy to insert, so you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty.
You will pay less than $10 for 30 6-coloured ink cartridges. The colours in the pack are black, blue, apple-green, orange, red, and violet.
The Jinhao Refill Color Ink Cartridges are standard international-sized and fit into most fountain pens.
Best Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s Black Waterproof Ink
Noodler’s is known for its quality writing equipment. Their waterproof black ink is no exception. It writes well on most paper and is a great, inexpensive option for everyday writing and drawing.
Despite being waterproof, it’s easy to remove when it gets dry. Because it’s waterproof, your handwritten notes and drawings won’t be damaged if they accidentally get wet.
A bottle of Noodler's Black Waterproof Ink costs around $15.
Best Fountain Pen Ink Bottle
Ferris Wheel Press Fountain Pen Bottled Ink
These ink bottles are nothing short of sophistication. The 1 oz glass bottles with a brass cap resemble perfume bottles. What’s more, they kind of smell like perfume, too.
The ink is available in a collection of exciting colours and is well-suited for all fountain pens.
This quirky take on pen ink packaging definitely makes Ferris Wheel Press Inks stand out. It makes a great gift or addition to your ink collection.
If you’re still unsure of which ink to buy, most ink can be bought in samples. These are excellent options if you want to try a brand of ink out before committing to a full purchase.