Noodler's Ink

Noodler's ink is developed by a US pen collector Nathan Tardiff, in Massachusetts, USA. The company Noodler Inkproduces standard, lubricating, eternal and invisible inks. It has been a bit hard to keep up with Noodlers. The colours have changed and their website no longer has a handy colour chart so you can quickly view the range of colours availalbe. They doe have a page - Ink Colors and their Properties that gives an overview.

From the information issued by Noodler's, the lubricating inks have a cleaning and lubricating agent. There are labeled the American Eel series.

The Eternal are permanent inks. The invisible inks are can only be seen under a black light.

The Eternal, or permanent inks have dyes that react with the cellulose of paper and then dry permanent. Just what you need to address those envelopes. But take care, flush out your pen as if the ink mixes with other ink it looses it qualities of the reactive dye.

One of the aspects that I like about Noodler's ink is the standard bottle is large - a tall bottle 90 ml. Some of the inks come in a smaller 50 ml bottle. The eternal inks come in a shorter 35 ml bottle. The shape of the tall bottles help with filling large nib pens, but there is some skill in not putting the pen too deep into the ink and getting in the threads etc. Once in the threads, it seems no matter how you wipe the pen, there are always small traces of ink that you will see on your fingers.

Over the years the line and colours keep expanding. There are now a number of major groupings of their ink:

Freeze Resistant Inks

There are inks such as Polar Blue or Polar Black. The inks are said to resist forming a solid mass of ice.


These are inks that resist the effects of time - moisture, humidity, UV light, acids, water exposure, and many common detergents such as dish soaps and household ammonia, as well as alcohols and acetone. The company says that ball point pens have no resistance to acetone so ball point ink can be rinsed off a cheque in 8 seconds.


These are inks that will resist all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters, and of course... they are also waterproof once permitted to dry upon cellulose paper. The bulletproof inks require more attention for the pen user. The inks have content that cause the bonding with the paper. But that means there is a greater issue with clogging. The composition of the ink differs from their other lines so that the ink has enough flow as well as the content to assist in the bonding. From my perspective, I use the bulletproof inks in some of my pens, but I am more disciplined to flush the pen out on a regular basis.


I tried the Baystate Blue because of its incredibly intense colour. But once some ink go on my hand, and I could not get it off for for a long period of time I became concerned. A spill on my desk and the stain that lasts and lasts did it for me. The Baystate colours are also reported to have a alkaline levels that are hard on pen, especially celluloid.

Comments on some of the colours.



Noodler's Navy InkThis is a wonderful bold blue that I think of as a blue-black - not a colour combination I was thinking about when I saw the name on the label.

The colour, Navy is a meant to be a replica of a 1930s Navy ink made for a local drug chain by the Old Colony Ink Co. of Massachusetts.

Noodler's describes it as a deep/darker blue with faint turquoise tingeing. I certain agree with the deep/dark blue. It is also said to be almost a waterproof as Legal Lapis, so be careful with this ink.

In my use of the ink I liked the colour. In terms of performance it is good, although if I had to say, it writes a little drier than some other brands. Over the years I have used it in a wide range of pens and have not found a particular problem to note.

Midnight Blue

Noodler's Ink - Midnight BlueThis is part of Noodler`s regular line of inks (not freeze resistant, eternal or bulletproof) and I found it to be a very solid rich blue.

The colour is very close to Manhattan Blue, a particular colour of ink that was specifically made for the Art. Brown pen store..

My first experience was there was good flow and a reasonable in terms of drying time. I liked it a bit more than the Blue Black that I also use on a regular basis, and is shown further down this page.

Starting in 2009 I began having problems with this ink in terms of the time it takes to dry and smearing. There must have been some change to the ink.


Manhattan Blue

Noodler Manhattan BlueIntroduced in 2006 as an exclusive ink for New York pen dealer Art Brown. Manhattan Blue fills a need I have had for a rich, dark blue ink.

I ordered a couple of bottles and I do like this ink. Over the years I have been using it a variety of pens and have not had a problem to report. It is one of my Inks Of Choice.

Noodler as well as Private Reserve have been making exclusive runs of inks for either retailers as in the case of Manhattan Blue, or pen shows (Washington DC Series).

This ink is no longer available.

Ottoman Azure Blue

Noodlers Azure Blue

Loved it and hated it but for a while I was using this ink quite a bit. I was always looking for the perfect blue, and that means bold deep colour saturation. I am not a fan of inks that have a washed out look. I previously liked Penmen Sapphire Blue. That ink had a limited time span, was either liked or disliked with strong views at each end of the spectrum. Atlas, Penmen inks are no longer made. Noodler's Azure Blue was close in terms of its colour.

Noodlers says the thought behind this ink was to create a colour similar to the tiles of the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The ink has good flow. They also note that this is one of the most difficult of its colours to produce.

I like the look of the ink on the page. My only concerns is the staining of this ink and you have to let it dry.

I have gotten this ink on my hands and I can tell you it is very difficult to get off. Any ink that hard to get off my hands means I restrict this ink to black resin or metals pens. I don't see myself filling up one of my celluloid pens as ink comes off the nib into the cap section, or when dipping the ink section into the ink I would be concerned about staining of the threads - always an area difficult to clean.

Tiamanmen Red

Noodler Tinamen RedA nice rich red. I think of this as a true red as there are no orange undertones.

I used red ink on a limited basis, and when I have used this colour I have been happy with the performance of the ink. It is a colour, however, that use for limited time periods and therefore I do not have the experience of the ink in terms of prolonged use in a pen. But, no problems so far and I have been using this ink on and off for a number of years.





Baystate Blue

Noodler's Blue StateThere are not that many bottles of ink that I chuck as a limited amount of use, but for my own personal safety and the safety of my pens, this is one of them.

I flushed and cleaned out a pen before I started using this ink. This is always a good step but even more important as the ink has a different composition than other Noodler's ink.

This ink is more alkaline with a pH rating of 8 to 9 (listed on the bottle label). There are cautionary notes on the label not to mix this ink with other Noodler's inks.

The colour of this ink is very bright. I have seen it referred to as "electric"and I know why that term was selected. This is one of Noodler's’s waterproof versions of a blue used in the 1940's. Note, it is waterproof when it dries. The ink is to replicate a blue that was produced in Boston in the late 1940's.

Do be careful with ink in terms of spills or getting it on your fingers. I am only going to use it for very specific uses. When this ink gets on things, and it dries, well it is very permanent. To stain a stainless steel sink is something!

Now, a few years later, I am glad I chucked this particular colour., I have read that Richard Binder has advised or problems the ink causes with translucent plastic feeds. There have been others who recommend using it in an inexpensive pen. But from my perspective, I want to have a ink that I can use in any of my pens.

Black, Bullet Proof

Noodler's Black Bullet ProofI have not used this particular ink, but I have hard various comments from others who have, and have written me asking for my opinion. Some of the Noodler's ink I have tended to use less because of the performance on the ink. Rahul S. wrote me about his experience with this ink. He was debating on using in in one of his higher-end pens. He tried it first by putting the ink in one of the Visconti Traveling Ink Pots.

He was concerned as the ink staining and blotches of ink that remain on the sides of the ink pot, this was after the ink had been in the pot for 16 hours and then emptied. The staining, or transfer or colours is just part of the composition of many inks. Reds and purples are particularly prone. I think it was the blotches of ink that remained on the sides that seem the most unsettling. What it is going to be like inside the pen body?



Noodler ApacheThis is an ink that I really did not use that much. It was a case that I received a card, written in this ink, I loved the look, and immediately bought the ink. This goes along with my Shoreline Gold from Private Reserve. Certain makes the short note on a card standout. The scan really brings out the yellow shading that takes place with the ink.

If you like shading then this is an ink to consider. The ink creates beautiful variation in tones. It can look very impressive. But in the end, it is not a colour that I can use very much.

Legal Lapis Blue

Noodler Legal Lapis BlueWhen I write with in with a M1000 fitted with a broad nib there is a significant amount of ink hitting the paper. With this amount of ink the colour depth comes out on the light side. For effect, there is a fair amount of shading.

Blue Black Permanent

Noodler Blue Black InkThis colour does not have the rich blue tones of Private Reserve Midnight Blues, but the Nodular Blue Black is a good strong colour, here written with a Oblique Broad M800 nib there are good dark and light characteristics and yet it does not have a washed out appearance.

I wanted to test the "permanent aspect" of this ink. So I write with the ink. Let the ink dry on the paper.

Noodler Blue Black wetThen I held the paper under the tap as water ran across the writing.

I was impressed in that the writing basically stayed on the paper. There were a fair amount of ink that became flue as seen by the amount of blue stain on the paper, but nevertheless, the writing did not just run off the paper.

Borealis Black

Nooderl`s Ink - Boreaslis BlackNodular calls this a conventional black ink that would be found back in the 1950s. Regardless of the era it came from, I have really enjoyed this ink. Very rich black and it is smooth.

Nodular notes that the ink is water resistant on most paper grades but it is not one of their bulletproof inks. For me that is good news as it means with a couple of washes it can be removed from clothes. Nodular says this ink will survive a trip to the mailbox in the rain. Well living in Vancouver, BC I will be able to test that claim on many days.

I find the ink to have good flow, a smooth ink to use with a good shape crisp black colour.


Comments on other colours that I have used are below:
  • Army Green - nice deep rich colour (Mary Ann Marler)
  • Bad Blue Heron - a dark blue in tone, not quite enough to get into the blue-black category. the ink dries to a colour tone somewhat like a pair of jeans. Users describe this as a "wet" ink although I am told it has a good dry time, like under 5 seconds.
  • Black, Permanent - this is the famous waterproof ink by Noodler. The in uses a cellulose reactive dye that remains its water soluble properties while in the bottle, and in your pen according to the company, but becomes permanent when it dries on paper. Thanks Guy for your review of ink. Seems like it is a real winner.
  • Electric DC Blue - close to a deep blue-black, and note to be confused with the DC Super Show Blue that was released by Private Reserve. Users note this ink as a "wet" ink and this ink can take a while to dry, so watch for smearing issues.
  • Eternal Brown, Permanent
  • Good flow, leaves a good wet line on the paper. Thanks Guy
  • Fox Red
  • Permanent - good flow to this ink. About twice as wide of a line than the Permanent Black. Thanks Guy.
  • Hunter Green, Permanent
  • Good flow, leaves a good wet line on the paper. Thanks Guy.
  • Luxury Blue, Permanent - good flow, leaves good wet line on the paper about twice a wide of a line than the Permanent Black. Thanks Guy.
  • Nightshade - dark, brown/purple, with some folks says this is muddy in tone (Mary Ann Marler)
  • Ottoman Rose - A medium magenta rose colour (Mary Ann Marler). I have been using this ink quite a bit and with a medium nib it leaves a dark rich line of ink on the paper. Some smudging wile the ink dries.
  • Polar Blue - a deep, saturated colour. Reports from users indicate the ink has good drying qualities and does not smear as much as some of the other colours can.
  • Sequoia
  • dark, rich moss green (Mary Ann Marler)
  • Standard Green
  • From a number of sources this colour is reported to be close to the Penman Emerald Green.
  • Turquoise - When you fill up it has a good deep rich tone. As I wrote with the ink it seemed to have a lighter appearance on the page especially with a broad nib. I no longer use this one as I found that it was subject to smudging, well after normal trying should have occurred.
  • Zhivago - this is a nice rich-toned black ink. Ink flow seems to be very good although it is not a true black and is made with a dark green undertone to the ink. I have found that over the past year or so I have moved back more to the rich tones of the Private Reserve line.


The folks at WorldLux and really great at getting the product out the door the day it is ordered. I also have nothing but good things to say about the folks at Pendemonium as my orders for Noodler ink come from then well packed and promptly acknowledged and shipped. True to the advertising, the bottles are big. You are getting a full 3 ounces for your money. I like the narrow deep shape. Makes filling a big-nib pen easier. But when they clang together, my only concern. They just don't have that heavier clunk that other bottles of ink seem to give out.

Noodler makes a good ink and I enjoy using it. There are discussion threads ( with warnings from individuals on the use of the ink. Some of the inks tend to dry too slow and are subject to smudging on the paper.


Noodler's Emperor Ink - Not For Fountain Pens

Noodler Emperor BlueI was fortunate to get a bottle of this very special ink from the folks at Jet Pens. I have purchased my iroshizuku ink from Jet Pens. They have good prices, they ship their products out promptly, and everything is packaged appropriately so there are no disappointments when the ink arrives.

Noodler produced this special ink, in a very limited quantity of 146 bottles. It was their attempt to replicate the colour, depth, behavior, properties and general characteristics of the first royal ink of ancient China. As such, that was the first ink with a table colour chemical base instead of less stable organic materials.

Originally this was done to create a ink that would not be subject to colour changes and fading.

Noodler even supplies two special pens, to be filled with the eye dropper, for this ink. Both plastic pens with clear bodies, one has a stainless steel nib, the other a felt-like-tip to make beautiful broad stokes.

Noodler Emperor BlueEmperor's ink is a bold purple with deep blue hues. The stainless steel nib is too fine for my everyday writing but I tried out the ink creating some labels on which I have to print very clearly. The ink has good flow and dries reasonably quick.

With the felt tip eye-dropped-filled pen big bold stokes just flow from your hands. It was actually quite a lot of fun to use.

The colour is a very rich blue-purple, no red or violet tones at all to this ink. If this colour was available for a fountain pen, I could see using it on a regular basis. A page of writing looks very pleasant to the eye.

Noodler named the ink in honor of the 77th lineal descendent of Confucius, Mr. Kung Te-cheung. The large bottle, 4.5 oz, comes with an eye dropper to fill an appropriate pen. If you are every able to come across this ink, do not use it in one of your fountain pens.