There's a special place in my heart for Noodler's inks. These inks come in a wide variety of colors and are very affordable. Noodler's Black fountain pen ink was the first bottled ink that I've ever purchased. I Googled "best fountain pen ink for beginners" and landed on a Fountain Pen Network post that mentioned Noodler's, specifically the bulletproof black ink. I was drawn to Noodler's quirky branding, high ratings, and affordable price, and bulletproof black has long served as a staple in my daily fountain pen rotation.
Noodler's Black ink is considered to be bulletproof, which means that it's water resistant and archival. This is the kind of ink that you'd want to use for love letters, messages in bottle, or labeling precious photographs. I typically don't water test inks, but it's important for an ink that claims to be water resistant to hold up well against a drip test. I dripped water on the word card below immediately after writing on the card, and the results were phenomenal. There were zero smears or bleeding, meaning that Noodler's Black passed the waterproof test with flying colors.
Although the archival quality of Noodler's Black is a big plus, the ink does tend to cling to everything it touches, including nib surfaces, converter walls, pen grips, and especially fingers. I'm wary of leaving any ink in my pens for long periods of time, but I'm especially careful with this ink. I should note that I've experienced zero permanent staining with Noodler's Black, but it does take extra effort to clean, and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, this problem is made worse by the ink's tendency to creep. I commonly find ink pooled around my fountain pen grips, around the air hole in nibs, and inside of nib caps. This is certainly better with some pens than others, but it is an annoyance nonetheless.
Noodler's Black fountain pen ink is a great choice for first time bottled ink buyers who are looking for a solid performing black ink with archival and waterproof qualities, but there are better alternatives for those who don't need these bulletproof qualities. Noodler's Black certainly has its quirks, but it counters these with an extremely affordable price, unique branding, and great color intensity on the page.