Saturday, May 25, 2013

Noodler's Green ink review

Back to another green ink and this time it's Noodler's Green. In what has almost become a tradition these days, I'm reviewing a sample of this ink in my Pilot Varsity.

A bottle of Noodler's Green will run you the usual $12.50 for 3oz (90ml) or $0.14 per milliliter. Cheap as rainwater... well, almost.

Color and saturation
Noodler's Green is well saturated and dark in color. It is very similar to Noodler's Green Marine, the other recently-reviewed green ink. Sometimes I wonder why Noodler's keeps producing such similar-looking inks. But then of course, Green Marine is much more water resistant. On my sample I've also compared it to Noodler's Gruene Cactus Eel, of which I own a bottle. You will notice that the Eel ink is lighter in color.

Though the ink is dark and it's harder to notice, Noodler's Green does have some shading. This is more obvious with a thicker nib.

I haven't noticed any feathering.

As is the case with most dark inks, this one ghosts a little on cheap paper and may even bleed if applied liberally. With a dip pen or flex nib that's almost a given, but, I repeat, on cheap paper. There aren't such issues on something more decent like, for example, Rhodia or Clairefontaine.

Flow and lubrication
While in general it flows on the semi-wet side, I can't say I was very impressed with how well Noodler's Green flows on Rhodia paper where it felt dry. Even on photocopy the flow was sometimes erratic. When it flows, though, it feels quite smooth.

Drying time
Perhaps due to its rather dry flow, Noodler's Green dries quickly, around the 5-second mark on photocopy and in about 10 seconds on Rhodia.

Smearing when dry

Water resistance
While its almost identical brother (sister?) Green Marine seems to have some hidden waterproof qualities, Noodler's Green is much more down to earth in that most of it washes off when exposed to water. However, all is seemingly not lost, as a light green component remains on the paper. I guess that you might be able to recover some of your precious manuscripts if it comes to that and you move fast enough.

Sometimes it's hard to come to a definite conclusion regarding an ink. Noodler's Green is one instance where I'm not very happy with how the ink performs but I can't call it terrible either. For someone who likes dark green, this ink might do the trick. On the other hand, having reviewed Noodler's Green Marine, I very much prefer that ink. The bottom line, and my recommendation, is to simply go with Noodler's Green Marine.

Here are the two samples on photocopy and Rhodia 90g, respectively.

Noodler's Green on photocopy

Noodler's Green on Rhodia


  1. Excellent review. I can hold off on this one. Based on color alone, Private Reserve remains my favorite green.

  2. Lovely green swab you've presented. However, that water resistance picture totally freaks me out.

  3. I meant Private Reserve Avacado

  4. Ah, that one again :)
    I hate avocados :)

  5. Well, it's not a total disaster. My water resistance tests tend to be a little clinical though, so you might get different results in an actual moisture-attack.

  6. The only thing I dislike about PR Avacado is the way they insist upon spelling it (unless it is not named after the delicious avocado).

  7. Just thought I should let you know Noodler's ink is not measured by volume, but by weight. So $.14mL is actually inaccurate. Its still inexpensive compared to inks like DeAtramentis and Iroshizuku, but its not as good of a deal as it seems to be.

  8. Private Reserve names a good number of their inks after electric guitars (I believe the finishes to be exact, but I am not knowledgeable enough on that subject to be sure) so I'm sure the misspelling has something to do with that.

  9. Great review! It's hard to rule definitively on an ink when there are SO many qualities and thus so many things to be imperfect. Green Marine is probably the way to go, though!

  10. Yeah, ugh, now that you mention it, my OCD is itching.

  11. I love guitars (in theory only) but I never knew that.

  12. Well that's news to me! See, that's what I hate about the imperial system. It's very inconsistent. I guess it doesn't mention "fl oz" on the bottle label so you are correct about this. I just hope that other inks are also measured by weight, otherwise my so-called price comparisons are worthless.

  13. Yes, Green Marine would be a safer bet, I think, but it's worth testing samples of both.