I love doing ink reviews. I really love them. Inks are awesome, they can be used to draw out emotions and reference your current mood or attitude. When I commence my various ink reviews, I normally load a pen or two, use various test papers (anything I can write on), fill at least one page in my Habana Notebook, lastly I write a review – on my ink review form. Once that’s done, I post it on various social media outlets, and sometimes reference them in the videos I shoot. [Read more…]
Noodler’s Baystate Blue [full size photo] – Awhile back I purchased a bottle of Noodler’s Baystate Blue, a beautiful colonial style deep and bright blue ink. The color is extremely intense to say the least. There are many rumors and warnings that surround this ink. One important fact to know: This ink has a different pH than most inks on the market. It is a more alkaline and should not be mixed with any other ink. This also means that pens MUST be cleaned extremely well when using this. Reports that Baystate Blue has solidified when mixed in a pen that was not cleaned well enough. I personally found this to be true with a Platinum Preppy, it happened when I initially bought the ink. There have been rumors of Baystate Blue eating the feeds of various pens. I thankfully, have not experienced that, so as I cannot verify it as a fact. My point here is, please use caution when using this ink. I recommend testing it out in less expensive / disposable pen. Just in case…
I cautiously loaded my Waterman Phileas with the Baystate Blue. This ink is really shocking, extremely saturated and very bright. I found the ink to be a bit dry, in fact I seem to have issues with dryouts. Specifically, on the downstrokes (you should be able to see this in ink review). I found the dryness to cause a some skipping as well. The ink does show and bleedthrough, no real issue with feathering. As far as the dryness is concerned I know some people that dilute BSB in a 1:1 ratio with water. I may try this on my next fill. Hopefully, that increases the flow and lubrication.
Some other things to note… This ink is waterproof once it is dry. It stains like mad. I mean really stains, it takes a long time for this stuff to come off. Noodler’s ships their ink bottles completely full, so be very carefully when opening. When I opened mine a few small droplets ended up on the counter. Even after a scrub with bleach, they were still there.
In my opinion this is probably my all-time-favorite blue ink I have tested thus far. I just wish it wasn’t such a pain to deal with. If it was an ink that I didn’t have to worry about… this would definitely be my everyday ink. For now, my Waterman Phileas is my permanent Baystate Blue pen.
This ink, as well as many other inks and pens can be purchased from – my friends at Pear Tree Pens.
Waterman Havana [full size photo] – This is a beautiful brown with a hint of purple. I recently inked this up in my Parker 21 Super that just returned from Ernesto Soler. He replaced the nib for me, as it was needing some love and attention when I received it.
As with the other Waterman ink I recently tested, this has some awesome flow and a really nice lubricating feel to it. The nib writes super smooth with the Waterman Havana loaded. It is an extremely well behaved ink, I didn’t notice any show / bleed through in my testing. I also didn’t note any feathering, except on the cheapest copy paper. Even then it was only minor. The ink has lots and lots of shading, you can tell it wants to be pushed. I haven’t had a chance to load it into my Flex pen yet, but I am certain I will. My Parker 21 has a Medium nib, which thankfully did show some shading.
I am really beginning to love Waterman inks, I wish they sold them in stores nearby me… sadly the bottled inks have been removed from retailers near me. This is a fantastic ink, which I highly recommend.
This ink is available on Amazon: Waterman Havana Brown 2oz Ink Bottle
This is a review of the Sabonis Fountain Pen. This fountain pen brand is primarily marketed in Latin America. This specific pen was sent to me from Mexico. I am not 100% sure what model this is, as it came to me without a box or any paperwork. There doesn’t appear to be any markings that reflect a model on the pen or nib.
The first thing I noticed about this pen, was the weight – it’s pretty darn heavy. Much heavier than most of my other pens. The pen is pretty plain looking – in a good way, it also does look more expensive than it is. The cap is very tight fitting, it requires a pretty good grip to pull the cap off. There is also a noticeable click when the cap is removed and or reinstalled.
The dimensions of the Sabonis Fountain Pen are as follows:
Capped – 5.25″
Cap removed – 4.75″
Cap posted – 6″
Weight – 1.1oz (this was using a digital scale that was zeroed & includes the converter plus what ink is left inside.)
I was surprised that this pen didn’t include a cartridge and or converter. I tried using the extra Platinum Preppy and the Waterman converters I had… neither one fit correctly. I ended up ordering an International Piston Converter for a Pelikan (from my friends at Pear Tree Pens) and it ended up fitting perfectly.
The nib seems to be a fine-medium steel nib. It has the Sabonis logo and is made in Germany. It originally was difficult to get inked up. It was having a lot of problems starting up, even after I let the ink prime in it for 24+ hours. The next day I decided I needed to floss the nib (this opens the tines up a bit & allows for a better flow). That ended up working perfectly. Now the pen starts much faster and flows a nice fine-medium line.
The nib is nice and smooth and it produces a nice wetish line that has a nice bit of shading to it. I recently did an ink review with the Sabonis, it can be found here: J Herbin Bleu Azur Ink Review
All in all, for an inexpensive fountain pen, this is a pretty nice pen. I won’t say it’s my favorite, but its fun and will stay in my rotation.
Full sized images can be found on this set on my Flickr account.
Well, I couldn’t help myself they were $20 bucks.
The Esterbrook pen is in its original box with a piece of paper showing how to fill the pen and different nibs you could purchase. The pen is 4 3/3″ long and is a pretty copper color with black ends and silver nib #1550.
The Watermans Ideal pen is black with chevron design and marked Pat. Aug. 9, 1906 Watermans Ideal Fountain Pen,Canada, Feb. 9,1909. This pen has a gold color nib and is 4 ½” long.
There is also an empty Sheaffer’s pen box measuring 6 ¼”. It’s a bummer that the box is empty.
Here are some pics…