The Best Archival Fountain Pen Ink On The Market!

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With the popularity of fountain pens starting to spike again as well as permanent inks being in trend right now, we have noticed a number of people reaching out about the best archival fountain pen ink on the market. Due to so many people asking for advice on this and the archival fountain pen ink options being very hit and miss depending on what you choose to go with, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over our recommendation for archival quality ink for your fountain pen.

We are hoping that our article will be able to help our readers stear clear from the lower quality ink options on the market right now as well as keep you away from the higher price point archival inks from the premium brands that we feel are overpriced. This should help you get the best bang for you buck while also getting you a premium quality ink that will not clog your fountain pen as well as offer you a great writing experience too.

As our regular readers will probably be able to guess by now, our recommendation for an archival fountain pen ink is the Noodlers Archival Ink range. We always recommend the Noodlers ink range to our readers as they offer premium quality, highly refined ink for a very low price point when compared to compeating brands. In addition to this, they have managed to rightfully earn themselves one of the best reputations going over the years too that just keeps on growing and getting better as time passes.

The Best Archival Fountain Pen Ink On The Market

Although the Noodlers Archival Ink range uses a very similar ink formula to what many of the competing brands are offering you, it is up to half the price while delivering you with a very similar writing experience. Many people unfamiliar with the excellent reputation of Noodlers often instantly discount them from their buying options as they presume they are a cheap, low-quality brand but this is not true.

As we touched on earlier in the article, the cheaper price points for archival inks is an absolute minefield with cheap ink that has a poor reputation and may potentially clog up the nib and feed in your fountain pen. Noodlers is a gem in the rough and their low price point and excellent ink quality is one of the main reasons that their marketshare is growing at such a fast pace.

The ink has been specially formulated to have the permanent quality of standard archival ink pads but be smooth enough to be able to work with fountain pens. Although the ink will work flawlessly with a piston filler or cartridge convertor system, some people also use a syringe to refill ink cartridges for their fountain pens so they are able to use it with a none piston filler or cartridge convertor compatible fountain pen too.

Unlike some of the other archival quality fountain pen ink options on the market right now, the Noodlers ink can easily be flushed out of your fountain pen with a cheap fountain pen flush kit too. This scores the ink even more points as some archival inks can be a pain to quickly and easily clean out of the ink path of your pen to let you switch out inks as required for your writing.

Rather than only being available in black, blue, green, and red, the Noodlers ink range is available in a huge range of different colors too ensuring that no matter what you need your archival ink for, you will easily be able to find the perfect color or shade for your work. This is another thing that scores the Noodlers range points as many people will want to use the less common colors with their fountain pens but very few brands cater to this requirement.

One thing that the Noodlers ink range is also well known for is that their less common colors still offer a deep, dark, and rich color even for the colors where this is notoriously difficult to achieve. This is another reason why so many people who use fountain pens have flocked to the Noodlers ink range, even if they don’t necessarily require the archival properties of the ink.

Another minor selling point for the Noodlers ink range is that it is made in the USA and although many people presume that they must have sent production overseas due to their low price tag, this is not correct and it is still proudly manufactured in the USA. If you are in the USA this can help to keep the price tag of the ink low but if you are a reader from outside of the USA then the price may be slightly higher due to tariffs or inport taxes.

Is Archival Ink Waterproof?

Some archival fountain pen inks can be waterproof while others may not be, this comes down to the specific formula used for the ink as well as its price tag. As the requirement to be waterproof is not required to market an ink as archival there are a large number of archival inks on the market that are not waterproof.

Unfortunately, Noodlers Archival Ink is not waterproof with that being its only real let down but the majority of our readers who are looking for an archival quality ink for their fountain pen will probably not need a waterproof formula anyway. If you do need a waterproof archival ink for your fountain pen then the Graf von Faber-Castell ink is a decent option but it does hike the price tag right up.

Does Archival Ink Fade?

Some archival inks will fade a small amount over time but this will depend on the specific formula that the ink has been made from. If you do need a lightfast archival ink then the Graf von Faber-Castell ink range is probably your best option but again, the price tag is much higher than the Noodlers archival fountain pen ink.

As the majority of our readers will probably not need a lightfast archival ink we have recommended the Noodlers range as our primary recommendation due to it being cheaper and ticking the majority of the boxes that most people will require. The majority of peoples writing will not be exposed to direct light for large amounts of time so the lightfast requirement can often be overlooked while saving you a decent chunk of change.

Is Archival Ink Oil, Alcohol Or Water Based?

Archival ink is an oil based ink that is high yield offering it the permanent ink quality that the majority of people tend to use archival quality ink for. Due to the ink being oil based, it can be a pain to get out of anything that it accidentally gets onto even when using a professional cleaning solution.

Although we have seen some inks that are alcohol or water based market themselves as permanent, they do tend to fade much quicker than an oil based high-quality archival ink. This is why the majority of people who need an ink that will last still opt to use the oil based archival ink formulas in their fountain pens and then choose to flush them when they need to switch over to using a different type of ink.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Archival Fountain Pen Ink?

The shelf life of archival quality pen ink can be as low as five years yet as high as fifty years depending on the formula of the ink as well as the conditions that it is stored in. Please note that these shelf life estimates are for archival ink that is still in the jar and has never been opened after production. Once you pen your ink for its initial usage these timeframes tend to rapidly decrease as the bacteria in the air starts to do their work on them.


That brings our article going over what we feel is the best archival fountain pen ink on the market in a number of different situations to an end. In our opinion, the vast majority of our readers will be better off by going with the Noodlers Archival Ink as most people will not need the waterproof or lightfast properties of something like the Graf von Faber-Castell ink that has a much higher price tag.