High-quality paper that showcases your ink in the best light might not always be available. From time to time, you might find yourself stuck at work with hard legal pads, or you might simply be trying to save some money.
Whatever the reason is, choosing the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper is essential. This is key to not losing all hope when writing with your fountain pen.
We’re going to cover how cheap paper affects the type of ink you use and what to do to minimize the effects. We’ll also dive into what fountain pen inks to use for the smoothest writing on even the worst paper.
How Cheap Paper Affects The Type of Ink You use
What makes cheap paper not work so well for fountain pens?
For one, cheap paper absorbs ink in much higher quantities than good-quality paper. It might not sound like a bad thing. However, because it grabs more ink, it leaves writers with thick, clumpy lines that cause feathering.
With this paper, the ink is also likely to bleed through the leaf and leave you with a smudged and inky mess. Not only does it look bad, but it wastes ink. If you have expensive ink, you don’t want to waste it on thirsty paper.
Many cheaper papers are also left untreated, which drags the pen nib and can disrupt ink flow. This disrupted flow makes for ugly writing and uneven lines.
Of course, there’s no point in having expensive paper if you’re unsure how to properly use a fountain pen. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to educate yourself on how to use a fountain pen.
How Do You Prevent This From Happening?
To prevent a mess created by unsuitable paper, you will need to make some changes to your fountain pen. You’ll also need to choose the right ink for the job.
First, you will need to use a more rigid, extra fine nib. This will restrict the ink flow and prevent the ultra-absorbent paper from drawing out too much of the ink. Metal nibs are rigid and the best option.
Dry nibs, which release less ink, are also recommended when working with cheap paper. Any flex nibs should be avoided. They will cause severe pooling on the paper. Bleed-through and smudging will be unavoidable if you go with a flex nib.
The second thing to do is use one of the inks outlined below. Luckily, they work well on absorbent paper. They should leave you with fine and clean lines on even the most subpar paper.
Best Fountain Pen Ink For Cheap Paper
Platinum Carbon Black
This may be the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper. Platinum Carbon Black is one of the blackest and most consistent fountain pen inks on the market.
This jet-black ink works like a dream on even the worst paper. It also dries without causing any feathering or bleeding.
This fountain pen ink adheres to the paper by reacting with the cellulose fibres. It dries down almost immediately and won’t smudge even on ‘grabby’ paper.
The ink is also fade-resistant, which means you won’t have to worry about the black losing any of its intensity over time. If black is your colour – consider reading up about the best black fountain pen ink.
- Intense jet-black colour that is fade-resistant.
- No feathering.
- Works consistently across all paper qualities.
- Quick-dry and cellulose molecular bonding that will prevent any smudging.
- Because of the quick dry ink formula, the dried ink can clog your feed. Make sure to regularly flush the feed with water and soak the nib in ammonia.
LAMY Black Iron Gall Ink
- With this practical ink jar with ink collection basin and plastic base, you get a particularly soft ink flow and thus a refined typeface
- The T 52 Lamy ink is available in blue (erasable), black, bronze, red, turquoise, green, tourmaline and blue-black
- Made in Germany - Lamy is re: High quality combined with a wide selection of attractive colours and different line widths promote individual writing style
- This high quality Lamy ink bottle has a capacity of 50 ml
- Box contents: 1 x Lamy T 52 ink gl 829 in black. Contents: 50 ml
Iron gall inks are some of the oldest inks out there. LAMY is a reliable brand when it comes to this beloved ink!
The ink still manages to penetrate deeply into the paper. It nestles in a beautiful, clean, and permanent line. This is why LAMY Iron Gall ink may be the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper.
Be cautious when using this ink. Because iron gall inks are mostly made of salts and acids from vegetables, they can be a bit on the acidic side. This may mean you’ll need to clean your pen more regularly. In this case, it’s a good idea to learn how to clean a fountain pen.
- Deep penetration of the paper allows for permanent penmanship.
- Minimal feathering.
- Even with deep penetration, there will be no bleed-through.
- Acidity can harm pens.
- Acitidy will require the fountain pen user to regularly clean the nib and feed.
Sheaffer Skrip Black Ink
- True fine writing starts with the details - Sheaffer Skrip Bottled Ink was created with smooth writing and style in mind and has the necessary formula to give your writing the extra flair it needs
- Skrip Bottled Ink is your pen's smooth writing companion, created and formulated to make writing as effortless and seamless as possible
- With a practical bottle design created to help you get every drop of ink while the stable design helps to prevent spills for worry free refilling
- With a classic and elegant blue/black colour it's easy to personalize your documents, letters and add unique touches to your favourite pieces of stationary with clean lines and no skipping
- Items delivered: 1x Bottle of Sheaffer Skrip bottled ink, 50 ml bottle, in black, suitable for Sheaffer fountain pens, for seamless writing
If you’re on the lookout for a trusty ink without the acidity of iron gall ink – we have some good news for you! You can opt for Sheaffer Skrip.
If you’re looking for the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper – consider Sheaffer Skrip ink. This is one of the most affordable inks for fountain pens.
It will leave you with solid black lines. It works well on even the cheapest papers and isn’t prone to feathering or bleed-through.
Unlike many other inks, you won’t have too much smudging with this one.
We’d suggest using the finest nib you have around, especially if you are going to be using this on cheaper notebook paper.
Because the ink is as flowy as it is, you won’t have to clean it as often as other inks. It’s also safe to use with older, more fragile fountain pens.
- Bold royal blue pigment.
- Not prone to smudging or bleed-through.
- Very affordable ink option.
- Safe to use with older pens.
- Can be hard to use without a very fine nib.
- Not fully waterproof.
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink
- Created using the highest standards and variations of colour
- Ink names derived from Japanese natural landscapes and plants
- Enjoy the intense and subtle colors of Japan as you write
- Angled etched bottle bottom allows pen to use virtually every drop of ink. Works well with Pilot and Namiki fountain pens
- Each 50 ml bottled ink is made from hand blown glass
Pilot Iroshizuku ink is a luxurious option worth considering. Although it’s on the pricier side of things, it’s worthwhile.
This ink is high quality and available in a wide variety of colours. Because of the quality of the ink, each colour is vivid, rich, and flows like a dream.
Pilot Iroshizuku Ink writes smoothly and dries down fast for minimal smudging and feathering. It’s also fully waterproof, which ensures your writing will be safe even if it does get wet.
The smooth writing and fast drying time make it a winner when writing on terrible paper.
- Beautiful colours with a smooth flow.
- Minimal feathering and smudging.
- Permanent waterproof ink.
- Luxurious bottle.
- A bit pricier than other options.
Noodler’s Standard Black
For the best fountain pen ink for cheap paper, Noodler’s Black is a top contender.
Noodler’s Black is made with specially formulated ‘Bulletproof Ink’. This ink is the golden child ink of Noodler’s founder, Nathan Tardiff.
It’s a water-soluble ink that, against all odds, does not feather or bleed through even the most absorbent paper. This is a great choice for fountain pen enthusiasts who are forced to write on bad paper on the regular.
This smooth, solid black ink also leaves minimal shading – a definite benefit. This ink is relatively easy to find. Most pen retailers carry Noodler’s and are bound the have the standard Black ink available. It’s also an inexpensive option for such amazing ink.
One issue that has been noted is the long drying times. Ink squeezed from the pen that doesn’t bond with the paper can sit on top of the dried ink. This can lead to a mess – you don’t want your writing smudged!
Luckily, there’s a way around this! Try to limit the flow of ink as much as possible by using your thinnest nibs.
- Readily available by retailers.
- Inexpensive option.
- Won’t feather or bleed through your paper.
- Makes use of ‘Bulletproof Ink’.
- Can have fairly long drying times.
- Potential smudging and pooling if the nib is not fine enough.
Fountain pens and cheap paper make an unlikely pair. For most fountain pen enthusiasts, it is an unavoidable circumstance.
If you want to continue using your fountain pens, even on the cheapest of paper, you will have to find ink that can handle the rough terrain. With fountain pen sales going up – people need to know what’s out there!
To avoid smudging, pooling, bleed-through, and feathering – use one of the above inks. These inks will write smoothly on even your worst paper. This means that wherever you go, you can always count on flawless penmanship.