How To Easily Make Ink Pens Write Darker!

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We often see people reaching out and asking questions based around how to make an ink pen write darker so we have decided to publish this article in an attempt to help as many of our readers as possible who may be having issues with their pen and wanting it to write darker than it currently is. Thankfully, the majority of these fixes are quick and easy and should be able to help you get your pen writing darker in no time.

Please note though, we are trying to cover methods to help you make your ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, gel pens, and fountain pens all write darker in the same article. Due to this, some of our suggestions may not be applicable to the specific pen type that you are having issues with but where relevant we will state the specific type of pen that the fix is for.

This should help you quickly skip to the next possible fix without having to waste time to ensure that you are able to get your pen type of choice writing as dark as possible as fast as possible. On top of this, we have tried to list our suggestions in a way that they cover the more common problems that may prevent your pen ink from writing dark in an attempt to help you find the correct solution to your issue as fast as possible.

How To Easily Make Ink Pens Write Darker?

Use A Darker Ink

Although this may sound like common sense, if you are a fountain pen user then the choice of ink that you use is one of the easiest things for you to change out to get your pen to write darker than it is. It is common for fountain pen brands to recommend that people only use their ink with their fountain pens as it has been “optimised” for use with their pens.

Although this is technically true, any refined premium ink is just as optimized no matter the brand. This is why Noodlers Ink is such a popular option amongst the community as it tends to perform very well with all fountain pen brands while having one of the largest selections of ink colors on the market.

Their selection covers all major color options as well as almost every other color you could ever dream of helping you to choose the perfect color for you that will write as dark as possible. On top of this, due to ink formulas as well as pigment-based inks being different to dye-based inks, not all black inks are created equally and some are darker than others with the Noodlers black ink worth checking out.

Use A Higher GSM Paper

Depending on your exact situation, the cause of your ink looking lighter than you expect may be down to using a lower GSM paper that results in bleeding and ghosting of the ink. As both bleed and ghosting are based around the paper absorbing the ink deep enough to be seen from the other side of the paper, you are essentially wasting ink and reducing how much ink is visible on the side of the paper you are writing on.

Although 100 GSM paper is usually better for anything with a wet writing nib, we usually recommend 120 GSM paper due its better performance and reduce bleeding and ghosting issues while being at a very similar price point to 100 GSM paper. Opting to use a higher GSM paper can also result in a better overall writing experience too and as less of your ink will be absorbed into the deeper levels of your paper, your pen ink will appear darker than on a low GSM paper.

Is The Ink Path Blocked

Depending on the type of pen you are using, it can be common for the ink path to become blocked up over time with dry ink and gunk causing the ink to writer lighter than it once did. This is due to the section and ink feed of the pen not being able to supply as much ink to the nib as it previously did so with less ink getting to the nib, the lighter your ink will look when writing.

Thankfully, if you are using a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pen you can usually just writer figure eights for a minute or two on some spare paper to try and improve the ink flow and get your pen writing darker as ink flow improves. If you are using a fountain pen or a dip pen then you may need to pick up a cheap pen flush cleaning kit to flush from the section through to the nib.

Not carrying out regular cleaning and maintenance on your fountain pen or dip pen is common for people new to using them and can result in blockages that restrict ink flow preventing the pen from writing dark. Thankfully though, the majority of modern pens are very easy to clean to remove the gunk that could potentially be causing the issue.

Check For Inconsistant Ink Flow

Although blockages for the ink path covered above are one of the reasons that inconsistent ink flow may occur and prevent your pen from writing as dark as it used to, there are actually a number of other issues that may cause similar issues. Rather than go over them all in this article though, we will just link you to our article on how to fix inconsistent ink flow in your pen as we go into more detail for the fixes in that article.

It is quick and easy to test if your ink is not running as dark as you would like due to problems with inconsistent ink flow though. Simply draw figure eights on some scrap paper for a minute or so and then check the ink lines to see if they increase and decrease in darkness consistently. If you can see this then there is a good chance that inconsistent ink flow is the cause of your issues.

Does Your Nib Have A Baby Bottom

This one is exclusive to fountain pen and dip pens but if your nib has a baby bottom then it can cause problems with ink supply when writing and drastically reduce the amount of ink available while also causing a scratchy writing experience when using the pen. Again though, rather than go over the whole process for checking and fixing the issue, we will just link you to our article on how to fix a baby bottom on your pen nib.

Are You Storing Your Pen Correctly?

If you have noticed that you only struggle to get your pen to write darker when you are first using your pen after taking it our of your stationary storage only for it to write as dark as usual after ten to fifteen minutes then storage can be your issue. This is another very common problem that we see time and time again due to people just randomly storing their pens without putting any thought into it.

Different pen types, ink types, and delivery systems all need to be stored in slightly different ways for optimal performance when first using the pen including ensuring full ink flow when starting to use the pen. Due to there being so many different types of pens on the market as well as so many different types of storage, we will just link you to our dedicated article on how to store your pens where we go over a breakdown for each pen type.

Smooth Out The Nib

If your pen is brand new and you have only just started using it but it is not as dark as you would like the nib may not have been broken in correctly yet. We know that its boring but drawing figure eights on some spare paper is usually the easiest way to break a new nib in to ensure that the ink delivery system is connecting to the ink feed correctly and writing as dark as a pen should.

Please note that many gel pens put a small cap on the ball of the pen nib to prevent issues with oxidization prior to purchase. This is very common but many people often forget to remove the protective caps prior to using their pens. If you are having issues with your gel pens not writing as dark as you would like then check the nibs to see if the protective caps for your pen are still in place. Once you have removed them you will often find that your pen will instantly get considerably darker due to more of the ball touching the paper to transfer ink.

Check For Damaged Tines On The Nib

If you are using a fountain pen then check the tines on the nib for damage. Although this is less common on the higher price point fountain pens, the cheaper and more commonly used options on the market can easily have damaged or misaligned tines. This in turn will cause problems with your ink flow and result in your pen not writing as dark as it should. Thankfully, this is a quick and easy fix as shown in the video below and you can usually correct the issue within minutes and have your pen writing as dark as normal.

Writer Slower

Although this may sound like common sense, it is actually a relatively common issue, especially when using a new pen. Different pens will deliver ink at different rates to each other and your previous pen may have been a wet writer where as your new pen is a dry writer. If this is the case then a dry writer will need you to writer slower to transfer the same amount of ink to the paper as a wet writer. Unfortunately, there is no way around this and due to it being a pain to do for so many people, we often see people just pick up pens with wetter writing nibs to allow them to write at their regular speed.


That brings our article on how to easily make your ink pen write darker to an end. We hope that you have found our article helpful and that we have been able to help you get your pen to write darker than it was. As we have touched on above, there are a number of very common causes that can cause issues with your pen to prevent it from writing as it should but most of them are very easy to fix.