Monday, January 31, 2011

Noodler's Navajo Turquoise ink review

Before I start this review I feel like I have to make a big disclaimer.

First, I hope you will forgive my handwriting. It is terrible, although fountain pens do help to improve it. Things get worse if I write quicker. Second, I've tried scanning my ink samples but unfortunately the scanner really messed up the colors and essentially turned the turquoise into a weird shade of dark blue. So instead I decided to simply photograph the paper using daylight as the light source. This, in my opinion, has produced a vastly better result and the final color of the ink in the digital image is as close to reality as possible. At least that's how it looks on my monitor.

One more thing: out of the two samples, I feel like the one written on journal paper is more accurate. I'm sure the paper had something to do with that.

Noodler's Navajo Turquoise is my first blue ink in a bottle. I could have gotten a darker, more conservative shade of blue but I was tired of all the conservative blues I've used all my life in ballpoint pens, rollerballs and even fountain pens a long time ago. I wanted a bright and saturated color and after much deliberation I settled on the Navajo Turquoise. Why Noodler's? Because Noodler's is my favorite brand and the company's founder, Nathan Tardiff is a great big ink nerd.

The Navajo Turquoise comes in a 3oz / 89ml bottle and retails for $12.50 which makes it $0.14 per ml. It is simply the most inexpensive ink on the market, despite the fact that it is also very high quality. A word of CAUTION here: be careful when opening any Noodler's bottle because they are literally filled to the brim! Despite being very aware of this, I still managed to get ink all over myself after opening another bottle of green ink. Somehow a little bit of ink dripped down the bottle without me noticing it. So yes, you do get a lot of value from a Noodler's bottle. And no, I don't own stock, nor do I have any business arrangement with them, though I wish I did.

I loaded the ink into my yellow Pilot Prera which was reviewed here. You can click through to see an additional writing sample although that sample isn't representative of the ink's color at all because the photo has too many shadows in it.

Pilot Prera + Noodler's Navajo Turquoise

The ink flows nicely in the Prera, although I believe I can detect a slight dryness compared to the black Pilot ink that came in a cartridge with the pen. Nonetheless, there haven't been any ink flow issues. The nib on the Prera, by the way, is M (Medium).

There's no feathering on cheap photocopier paper and even less so on the better journal paper. There's no bleedthrough either but that depends on how much ink you are willing to apply to the paper. As you can see from the samples, I used a J Herbin glass dip pen and the much thicker and saturated line does bleed through.

To my eye, Noodler's Navajo Turquoise doesn't exhibit a lot of shading but you be the judge of that. In contrast, I have another ink that shows great shading even with a fine nib.

As far as saturation is concerned, ah, this is where this ink shines. It is a very saturated, vibrant and happy shade of turquoise. It is definitely not something you might want to use on any legal documents.

Funny thing regarding the drying time for this ink. As you can observe from the two samples, it seems like the ink dries quicker on the higher quality journal paper and slower on cheap photocopier paper, which is exactly the opposite of what one might expect. I have no explanation for it, except for the fact that my test wasn't exactly scientific. In real-world use, the ink always dries quickly enough that it has never given me any cause for complaint.

The Navajo Turquoise is definitely not waterproof, although you will notice that despite leaving the test portion under flowing water for over a minute there's still something left there. The problem is that the text part really got smeared into oblivion. Since Noodler isn't claiming that this ink is waterproof, that's not a big deal at all.

In conclusion, Noodler's Navajo Turquoise is a very bright, cheerful and saturated shade of light blue (let's call it turquoise!) that exhibits good writing qualities regardless of paper type and is also inexpensive to boot!

Noodlers Navajo Turquoise ink review

Noodlers Navajo Turquoise ink review


  1. Very nice, thorough review. I think I need a bottle of that stuff! It's not as bright as my Skrip Turquoise but it's not as dark as my Waterman Florida Blue.

  2. Oh yes it's fairly light, a very cheerful color.

  3. Nice. I love Turquoise and this looks like a nice one. Have you Tried Diamine Mediterranean Blue?

  4. No but I just got a sample of Diamine Majestic Blue which is rumored to be exquisite. I've just begun getting in on this pen/ink craze so I have a lot of inks to try :)