In spite of fountain pens having great benefits to offer, the one issue they pose is that the ink from them takes longer to dry when compared to ballpoint, rollerball, and even gel ink pens. Because of this reason, left-handed writers contend with the significant challenge of smearing when using a fountain pen, as they have to drag their hands through what they have just written. Therefore, finding the best fountain pen ink for left handers that dries quickly to avoid smudging is essential.
If you are a lefty looking for your ideal fountain pen ink, then this article is for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks for Best Fountain Pen Ink for Left Handers…
- 2 How to Choose the Best Left Handed Fountain Pen Ink
- 3 Best Fountain Pen Ink for Lefties
In a Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks for Best Fountain Pen Ink for Left Handers…
BEST WATERPROOF INK
De Atramentis Document Ink
- Permanent, heat and light-resistant
- Artist friendly
- Over 20 colors
BEST DYE-BASED INK
Pelikan 4001 Bottled Ink
- Dye-based ink
- Artist friendly
- 6 colors
BEST VALUE OPTION
Noodler’s Ink Bernanke Blue
- Archival quality
- Bright and saturated color
How to Choose the Best Left Handed Fountain Pen Ink
If you’re a lefty who uses hooked writing to write from above or from the side, you need to keep in mind that the fountain pen ink you choose should dry extremely fast. This is your first step to avoid the dreaded left handed ink smudge! However, most quick-drying inks are absorbed so fast that they spread through the paper fibers, causing feathering and bleed through. Therefore, you have to consider both factors (drying time and feathering) and then find a balance between them.
If you’re trying your hand at calligraphy and using a dip pen, you may want to try pens and inks that are good for left-handed calligraphy.
In addition to this, paper selection plays a very significant role in determining how fast an ink will dry. Papers that come with a tag of being fountain pen friendly are smooth and absorb the ink quickly but their weight is heavy enough that they will not bleed. Rhodia paper is ideal for fountain pen inks as it is ink-friendly and does not cause feathering or bleed through. Fountain pens are notorious for feeling scratchy for left-handers, but Rhodia is very smooth even for lefties. We can recommend some lefty-friendly notebooks that use Rhodia or other good paper for fountain pen use. Even the surface where you place the paper is also crucial, as soft and uneven surfaces cause smearing too. In addition to these, we have more tips for writing with a fountain pen left-handed and the best way to write left handed in general.
Remember that just like other types of pens for lefties, finer nibbed fountain pens lay down less ink when compared to wider nibs, so you have more freedom when choosing ink in such cases. However, if you’re planning to use a broad stub nib, you need to use quick-dry ink with it.
There is no straightforward method to solve the smearing issue, but knowing what to troubleshoot can help a lot. Along with ink, we can also recommend some fountain pens that are good for left-handers.
Best Fountain Pen Ink for Lefties
Lamy Refills Ink T52 with Blotting Paper
The Lamy Refills T52 Ink comes with an in-built blotting paper roll around its base to press over what you have written to avoid smearing when you move down to write on the next line. It contains 50 ml of ink and also comes with an ink residue collecting basin and wide neck, which avoids any mess and provides for effortless and clean refilling of your pen when empty. The bottle features a little well built into the bottom, which makes it easy to suck the last bit of ink into your pen when the bottle runs out.
The ink is washable, so it doesn’t clog the nib but it does mean that you shouldn’t get any water on the paper or it will wash out the words. That said, it dries quite fast and is best used with a fine or medium-point nib if you don’t want the hassle of using the blotting paper to avoid smearing.
This product is specifically designed to suit LAMY fountain pens and can be found in different color options.
Dries almost instantly.
Provides for mess-free refilling.
The color is a little light.
Pelikan 4001 Bottled Ink for Fountain Pens
The Pelikan 4001 Bottled Ink is a formula that is over a hundred years old. With its tried and tested quality benchmarks, it is an absolute classic in writing culture. Made in Germany, it provides for even and strong ink flow. This is a fugitive dye-based ink and gives you a nice watercolor effect with a clear line definition when used for calligraphy and sketching or with broad-nib pens. However, the writing will be washed out if exposed to the elements.
It is optimally designed for Pelikan fountain pens but can be used with other pens with a plunger mechanism and convertor. There are two sizes of bottles – 62.5 ml and 30 ml.
It dries quickly without feathering and bleed through.
Good ink flow.
Highly precise and recommended for calligraphy.
Some of the colors may feel muted, which some may not like.
Noodler’s Ink Bernanke Blue
Noodler’s Inks come in a large variety of colors and are famous for their affordability and performance on non-fountain pen-friendly papers. Noodler’s Ink Bernanke Blue is a highly quick-drying and smear-resistant saturated shade of blue ink named after Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. It represented the need for a quick-drying ink to print vast amounts of money very fast. This bottle contains 90ml of ink, so it is very affordable compared to some other options. Also, the whole product is entirely made in the USA.
Note that the bottles are filled to the brim so you have to be careful while opening!
Bright and saturated color.
Value for money.
Moderate feathering and bleed through on low quality papers.
Diamine Ink has been around since 1864. This product is a water-based non-waterproof ink that is entirely non-toxic and offers a great free-flowing experience while writing. It is fast drying and pH neutral and available in blue, green and red.
It is very suitable for beginners who are trying their hand at calligraphy, although you shouldn’t expect much shading. For writing, fine and medium nibs work best with this ink. It can be used with all brands of pen. This product contains 80ml of ink and is made in the United Kingdom.
Can be used with different brands of pens.
Deep toned ink.
Does not leave hard to clean residue.
Recommended for professional use.
Expect some disruption in flow if left unused for some time.
May clog extra fine nibs due to its fast-drying nature.
De Atramentis Document Ink
De Atramentis Document Ink is a premium bottled fountain pen ink manufactured in Germany. This product is part of the Document Ink series, which is permanent and waterproof. It is also heat and light-resistant. It is ideal for important notes and documents but also a recent favorite amongst watercolor artists. The ink is rich, flows well, and boasts a crisp line quality.
The bottle contains 45ml of ink, and it is available in over twenty colors. It is suitable for fountain pens and is EN71-3 (European Product Safety standards) certified.
Smearing is no issue as it dries up super quickly.
Also great for artists.
No problem of drying out.
Permanent and waterproof, light and heat-resistant.
It is a pigmented ink, so your nib will need cleaning if left unused for more than a week.
Monteverde USA Ink with ITF Technology
Monteverde USA Ink with ITF Technology is part of the Monteverde USA® Core Collection and is rich in color and vibrancy with brilliant hues. This ink is carefully crafted to be used in your favorite fountain pens using the world’s latest leading European ink treatment formula (ITF). The ITF improves the ink-flow quality and and protects ink feeding systems from clogging with proper lubrication. You won’t need to cap your pen as soon as you stop writing either.
This product contains 90ml of ink and is available in a huge range of colors. The ink is made in Austria and packaged in the USA.
It offers a nice wet flow.
You won’t experience any clogging issues.
The bottle cap becomes slightly difficult to remove when ink dries in the treading.
PILOT Namiki Standard Fountain Pen Ink
If you’re looking for a water-resistant dye-based ink that will dry fast, consider PILOT Namiki Standard Fountain Pen Ink. This is a Japanese general purpose but high-quality fountain pen ink that’s water-resistant but not waterproof. While this is also available in blue, it’s the black ink that earns rave reviews for its soft silky black tones and smooth flowing nature. This wet ink is great for F and EF nibs and is easy to clean with no clogging issues. Once it’s on the paper, it dries quickly.
The 60 ml bottle is designed to maximize every last drop of ink, as you just have to invert the bottle and turn it back up to get the last bit into your pen. It is very affordable for daily use.
Well behaved ink on most papers.
Wet ink that dries quickly.
Not a very dark black.