13 Best Fountain Pen Ink Reviews (A MUST READ!)

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Fountain pens are complicated but exciting because you are able to create amazing pieces of work. But you absolutely must have the best fountain pen ink in order to achieve the best result! We have ranked 13 of the best fountain pen ink brands and our favorite is the Waterman Ink Bottles and Cartridges.

Fountain pens have a vast history and modern ink pens have come a long way to become your go-to writing tool! Nothing beats the satisfaction of sitting back and seeing your amazing script written with a high-quality ink pen and ink.

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Introduction To Choosing The Best Fountain Pen Ink

Modern fountain pens are quite popular among users who want to write in a stylish, eloquent style. These pens are both classy in appearance and make a statement on paper. Writing with a fountain pen is considered an art form, and it takes some practice to get good at it.

One great benefit of using a fountain pen is that you get a chance to use fountain pen ink. Fountain pen inks come in a beautiful variety of colors and spread that allows you to control how your pen feels and writes on paper. You can change the ink cartridge based on your writing needs to get the most out of the pen.

Fountain pen inks are quite diverse from one brand to the other. In this article, we compare some of the best fountain pen ink varieties you can buy at the store.

If You Are Short of Time, Here Is My List of the Best Fountain Pen Ink in the Market

Fountain pen ink manufacturers are quire creative when it comes to design. They have come up with ink varieties for every color of the rainbow. Each brand offers its own unique pros and cons for users.

Fountain pen ink is generally sold in cartridges or ink bottles. Cartridges are loaded into the pen, which can last from a week to a month, based on your usage. Ink bottles are used to dip the nib while the tube is compressed and refills the tube on release. We have covered both types of inks in our review.

  1. Waterman (Ink Bottles and Cartridges) <<Highest Rated, Recommended
  2. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Bottles
  3. Pelikan Edelstein Bottled Ink for Fountain Pens
  4. Rohrer & Klingner Fountain Pen Ink
  5. J Herbin’s Fountain Pen Inks
  6. Diamine Fountain Pen Inks
  7. Aurora Ink Cartridges
  8. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink
  9. LAMY Bottled Fountain Pen Ink 50 ml
  10. Monteverde Fountain Ink Bottle
  11. 30 PCS Jinhao Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges Set
  12. Platinum Carbon Ink Bottle
  13. Kaweco Fountain Pen Ink Cartridge

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Best Fountain Pen Inks are jewel-like, quick-drying and beautiful 

Please See Below Our Full Review of the Best Fountain Pen Inks

1. Waterman (Ink Bottles and Cartridges) <<Highest Rated, Recommended

(Best for beginners and intermediate users alike)

If you are just starting out and want to use a reliable and tested fountain pen ink, then Waterman would be the ideal choice for you. It allows you to write beautifully and comfortably with your fountain pen without worrying too much about the ink flow.

The company has been around for well over a century. They possess a lot of experience in crafting good quality fountain pen inks that perform very well in all kinds of situations.

Their products come in a nice selection of attractive colors, including serene blue, pitch black, absolute brown, and audacious red. You can buy bottles of ink and standard international cartridges, so they can be used in a majority of fountain pens.

  • Bottled ink suitable for all varieties of WATERMAN Fountain Pens
  • Very easy to use out of the bottle with no need for mixing
  • The liquid ink products offer an intense line in brilliant colors

Rating: 95%

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2. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Bottles

(Most beautiful bottle)

Enjoy the best in Japanese writing technology with Pilot Iroshizuku fountain pen inks. These inks are based on the colors you would find in nature and come in 24 captivating colors inspired by Japan’s landscapes and seasons. Every color flows cleanly and naturally on paper adding beauty with every stroke of the pen. You and your peers will be pleasantly impressed by the writing.

Iroshizuku fountain pen inks are not just smooth in writing but great in presentation as well. They are sold in well crafted, award winning glass bottles that will immediately grab attention. The inks are easy to clean and change in your pen when you want. For people who love sheen in their writing, many Iroshizuku inks will offer a dazzling red, green, or gold sheen when used on a fountain pen writing paper.

  • Sleek design of bottle
  • A wide variety of colors to choose from
  • Write with a glowing sheen that is clear on fountain pen paper

Rating: 94%

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3. Pelikan Edelstein Bottled Ink for Fountain Pens

(Most vibrant, jewel like colors)

These inks are created by the popular Pelikan Company in Germany that is famous for its line of pens. The Pelikan Edelstein is their line of top quality, premium fountain pen inks, inspired by the glowing colors of precious gems. The product name Edelstein is actually the German word for “gemstone.”

The Edelstein ink offers a rich, vibrant, and smooth flow on all kinds of paper. The product boasts a ‘special ingredient’ which prevents the ink from clotting or drying inside the tube and ensures a consistent, beautiful flow while writing.

The ink is packaged in a heavy glass bottle that is beautiful to look at. You can also buy it in standard international long cartridges for your fountain pen. These inks are specifically tailored for the needs of fountain pen enthusiasts.

If you like Pelikan’s standard line of 4001 fountain pen inks for their no-fuss, straight-laced writing, then you will love the Edelstein lineup for its quirky elegance and premium appearance on paper.

  • Most vibrant, bold colors for stylish writing
  • Easy to work with and requires little cleaning to change ink
  • The ink is packed with special ingredients that ensure smooth flow and prevent clotting or drying

Rating : 93%

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4. Rohrer & Klingner Fountain Pen Ink

(Most versatile for a variety of writing surfaces and papers)

Rohrer & Klingner’s fountain pen ink offers good water resistance and a sophisticated, shading color. The ink is great for all kinds of paper, good or bad.

It starts out in a shiny light color liquid that dries up on the paper in less than a second to leave a deep, bold mark. Your writing will seem to float in and out of the paper like mist. The secret to this effect is the iron gall technique, which is also the reason why the ink behaves so well on a variety of papers.

The iron gall technique has been around from more than 2000 years, but it has become a sort of novelty these days. These inks are created with a mixture of iron salts and tannic acid that creates a very deep imprint that could even write on wooden logs and animal hide. The ink is waterproof and incredibly durable. The down side is that they are also quite acidic and not made for beginners.

If you want your fountain pen to write on variety of surfaces without affecting quality, then this is the ink to get.

  • Very bold and durable prints
  • Can be used for all types of writing surfaces
  • Suitable for professionals and advanced users

Rating : 92%

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5. J Herbin’s Fountain Pen Inks

(Most popular with the biggest variety in color)

J Herbin’s standard line of inks is considered the jewel of the fountain pen inks. The standard, dye-based inks offer a smooth flowing, easy to control output that makes it easier to write and create calligraphy with your fountain pen.

The inks perform very well even on copy paper, without creating bleeds or missed flows that usually occur with fountain pens. J. Harbin inks are nontoxic and pH-neutral, so you don’t have to worry about getting them on your fingers. They are also quite durable, so your work lasts as long as you keep it safe from water.

  • Water based and non-toxic
  • More than 20 color shades to choose from
  • Flows smoothly on paper and dries quickly

Rating : 90%

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6. Diamine Fountain Pen Inks

(Most affordable and safe ink bottle)

Diamine ink has been around for more than 150 years. They offer ink bottles in various sizes and shapes, depending on the ink series. Their main line includes a medicine like glass bottle that comes in an 80 ml ink bottle.

The ink dries quickly within 2 – 3 seconds based on the type of paper. The ink is good in quality and allows you to write in a smooth, flowing pattern. The ink is water-based, non-toxic and pH neutral.

  • Made from natural dyes
  • Suitable for all types of pens
  • Ideal for starting calligraphy

Rating: 89%

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7. Aurora Ink Cartridges

(Most economical pack of ink cartridges)

Aurora ink cartridges for fountain pens are our top choice for a friendly and easy to use product. You can find these cartridges in a variety of basic colors. The deep, intense black color is the most popular variety in the store.

A single box comes with five fully loaded ink cartridges that are suitable for both Aurora fountain pens and other brands.

  • Economically prices
  • Easy to load with a simple clip-on action
  • Suitable for a wide variety of cartridge based fountain pens

Rating: 87%

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8. Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink

(Most long lasting and erosion resistant ink)

The Bulletproof Black ink from Noodler is a great addition to a serious writer or student who needs to write in a variety of situations. It is a high quality durable ink that resists a variety of water, bleach, sunlight and wind effects. If you want to write something that lasts for decades and centuries without fading, this is the ink you want.

The Noodler’s ink is made in the USA. It comes in a 3 oz. or roughly 88 ml bottle. You can buy it in pitch black, blue, brown, red and green varieties. This product is very economical and made in an environmentally friendly way, which many users will appreciate.

  • Long lasting
  • 1 mm stainless steel nib and free blue ink cartridge
  • Easy to use for beginners with a flexible clip of spring brass wire

Rating: 86%

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9. LAMY Bottled Fountain Pen Ink 50 ml

(Most useful all rounder)

LAMY ink bottles are a best seller for many reasons. First, they are easy to load and use in any fountain pen from any brand. Second, they are easy to maintain and do not dry out quickly.

The writing quality is suitably good. The price is economical and well within the student’s budget. The inks come in black, blue, red, and green, which are the most commonly used colors for fountain pen inks.

LAMY products come in a cool bottle that includes a handy small roll of blotter tape. You can also buy them in ink cartridges that will fit LAMY fountain pens and a number of other brands as well.

  • Available in all popular colors
  • Moderate to good writing quality
  • Very easy to use and great for beginners

Rating: 85%

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10. Monteverde Fountain Ink Bottle

(Best ink flow and corrosion résistance)

Monteverde is a European brand that offers high quality inks that are popular on the continent and elsewhere.

Their inks are made with special dyes that dry very quickly, even with a wet nib on Tomoe River paper. The feathering and bleed-through are minimal with this ink, even when you use it on a cheap copy paper.

The inks are available in a variety of colors from Charlotte purple and Onyx black to Caribbean blue and Ruby red.

  • Based on the world’s leading ITF formula
  • Improved ink flow quality
  • Wide variety of vibrant colors

Rating : 84%

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11. 30 PCS Jinhao Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges Set

(Biggest variety in color)

If you need to write often and in different colors, then you may want to buy a large set of variable color cartridges. The 30 PCS Jinhao fountain pen cartridge set is as big as they get. A single set should easily last you for a year, even if you work every day as a professional writer.

The international standard design cartridges are very easy to load and suitable for both beginners and advanced professionals. The ink is non-toxic with neutral pH, so you can be relaxed about safety while working. The product comes with 5 black, 5 blue, 5 green, 5 purple, 5 red and 5 orange ink cartridges, with 30 PCS ink cartridges.

  • 30 cartridges in an economical price
  • 6 different colors
  • Non-toxic, neutral pH

Rating: 83%

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12. Platinum Carbon Ink Bottle

(Most favored ink for artistic work)

The platinum brand is a favorite of calligraphy artists who like to create writing art with a fountain pen. It is a pigment-based ink rather than a dye-based formula, which makes it very water-resistant. It is also quite durable and resistant to heat and water after it dries up.

The ink is quite versatile and can be used for drawing as well as writing with a watercolor wash.

  • Durable and erosion resistant
  • Bold and natural flow
  • Great for working on artistic projects

Rating : 82%

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13. Kaweco Fountain Pen Ink Cartridge

(Best in short cartridges)

If you prefer to work with a shorter pen, you will need shorter ink cartridges that can easily fit on your fountain pen. The Kaweco fountain pen ink cartridges are very popular with users because they attach easily on all international standard fountain pens.

The set comes with six pitch black ink cartridges that give you a smooth writing experience. It is an economical set that is great for school and office work. It offers smooth and high quality writing, even if it is lacks in terms of beauty.

  • Great for smooth, practical work
  • Economical pack
  • Fits on a large variety of short writing pens


Rating : 80%

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Which Fountain Pen Ink Should You Get?

No two brands of fountain pen inks are alike, but you can get a good idea of how it will work and its water-resistance level based on the type of ingredients used to produce it.

Dye Based Inks

These types of inks are the most common in use and the least resistant to water. They are produced from very small, organic dye particles mixed into water in a high ratio. When you write on papers, the water quickly dissolves leaving the dye in writing. Since dyes are soluble in water, it quickly washes away if you have water spilled on the paper.

Bulletproof Inks

This is a special subcategory of dye-based ink similar to the one you find in Noodler’s “bulletproof” ink. These inks are also made with dye, but they have special chemicals added to the mixture that causes the dyes to permanently bond with the cellulose fibers in the paper. This makes them much more resistant to water spills.

Pigment Based Inks

Pigment-based inks are made from much larger particles that don’t dissolve in water but remain suspended in the liquid. When you write, they are simply transferred onto the paper, between water molecules. Since pigments are waterproof, they remain embedded in the surface of the paper after the water has dried up.

Iron Gall Inks

This is a much older technology that has been around for thousands of years. These inks are created by mixing iron salt crystals with tannic acid that comes from oak gall. The iron gall salts are insoluble in water and become permanently embedded into the paper after writing. They are quite toxic, so they are only recommended for specific projects.


The best fountain pen ink for a person is dependent on their writing requirements. Most newcomers want an ink that is easy to use, fits their budget, and gives them a variety in colors.

The Waterman, Pilot, and Pelikan ink bottles in our list are the best in terms of quality and presentation of finished work. They offer a good, smooth writing flow, decent variety and will make your writing stand out.

The Rohrer and Klingner ink is the best in terms of durability and writing that lasts for a long time.  The Diamine fountain pen inks and Aurora cartridges are the most economical that will suit people on a budget who want bottled ink or cartridges.

We rank J Herbin’s fountain pen inks as the best as they offer a good variety between price, quality, durability, and ease of writing. These inks are very popular among buyers and will allow you to get the most out of your writing.

If you are interested in a more user-friendly pen experience, you may enjoy our article and review of Best Calligraphy Pens For Beginners here.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the different types of ink filling systems? Which is better?

There are two main ways of refilling fountain pens. You can fill the ink directly from a bottle by pressing the tube with a thumb lever and dipping the feeding nib into the inkpot. Let go of the thumb press and ink is injected into the pen, ready to write. The second method is to fit a pre-filled ink cartridge onto the back of the pen.

Both methods are pretty easy and people prefer either one depending on their needs.

What are waterproof fountain pen inks?

Fountain pen inks are generally made for a dye, dissolved in water. When you write on paper, the water is absorbed and dries up, leaving the dye on the paper, in the form of writing. If the paper comes into contact with water, the dye gets dissolved again and creates smudges, ruining the writing.

Certain types of specialized inks are available in the market made with iron salts and larger color pigments that do not dissolve in water. These inks are much more durable and considered waterproof due to their better grip on water.

Why does my fountain pen skip when writing?

There are two reasons why a fountain pen tends to skip while writing. The first reason is that the ink has started to dry out and doesn’t flow very naturally from the tube into the nib. Fountain pen ink is based on water, and it can dry out when exposed to air. Make sure the pen is closed and the cap is tightly fixed over the tip when the pen is not in use.

The second reason could be the corrosion setting in the pen’s tip. Most fountain pen tips are made with stainless steel these days. While they are quite resistant to water, the tips corrode over time due to frequent usage.


How to use a fountain pen:


Fountain Pen mistakes and how to avoid them:



How to replace ink and refill fountain pens:


Anita HC

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