My Modest Ink Collection

   A few of my ink bottles


A few of my ink bottles

I am a little stumped at the moment with reviews for the site so todays post is slightly different. One of my aims for this year is to finish a whole bottle of ink. With this in mind I thought I would share my modest collection of bottled ink. This exercise is hopefully interesting to you, but should also shed some light on my ink buying habits.

The complete list:

Ink swabs

Ink swabs

Writing out a list of the bottled ink I own highlights some obvious points. I gravitate to a number of ink brands, predominantly Pilot Iroshizuku ink. Once I’ve tried a manufacturer that I like I tend to go through the ink colours and buy several more. I’ve done this again recently with KWZ.

My choice of colours is very limited. I seem to sway to the blue and blue/green shades. This is a little disappointing, its like the school mentality of blue ink has followed me into adult life. I need more colour!

My Noodlers Black ink is the only anomaly in this list. This ink is waterproof and therefore great to address envelops and for sketching. I have been using this ink a lot in recent months as I try to improve my sketching skills. I doubt this will be the ink I’ll finish this year with an impressive 90ml of it, but I should deplete my stock pretty well.

All of the inks in this list are essentially full bottles. I never make it far before being distracted by a new colour which means I have a lot of ink to hand. If I am to finish a full bottle this year it will likely be the Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai even though this is one of the larger bottles. I really enjoy using this ink and usually have it in one or two fountain pens. It’s a year round ink choice for me.

KWZ Brown Pink Ink Review

I was prompted to buying this ink after seeing it reviewed on The Pen Addict. The colour looked so unusual and different I knew I wanted to try it for myself. I bought this last year at the London Pen Show where the guys from KWZ were working with the Bureau Direct team. After using it for a few months I feel like I can give an honest thoughts on this ink.

It’s not as great as I thought it would be

I do like the colour of this ink. The dusky pink is really pretty and a tad unusual. The dark shade of a usually bright colour makes this ink a contender for an everyday writer because its legible on the page. But despite these benefits it falls down for me because I don’t find myself wanting to use it.

The downsides

I have been using this ink for some time and I’ve noticed that the ink can clog the feed. I have this loaded up in a medium nib Lamy LX and if I don’t use the pen for two or three days I have to work the nib to get the ink flowing again. I haven’t experienced this with any other inks I own, presumably because they are much wetter. Having to coax the ink after such a short time of no use is something I don’t expect.

Putting this issue aside the main reason I bought this ink is the colour. However I ended up being disappointed after using it for a little while. There is no shading and definitely no sheen. The best way I can describe this ink is like it’s a matte colour because it feels flat. It’s just not a very exciting ink.

Performance on paper

The ink works well on various different types of paper. If I use this ink in my Hobohichi Techo there are some slow dry times, in part due to the medium nib on my fountain pen. Using it in my other fountain pen friendly notebooks (Travelers Company, Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm1917 etc.) it performs really well.

In Summary

I want to like this ink colour more than I do but it just doesn’t excite me enough. A dusky pink ink shade that had a bit of depth to it would be perfect. I don’t need glitter and shimmer, but I would like something of interest that you notice if you use and look at an ink colour. With the huge number of inks out there and the enjoyment I get from other inks I own, I don’t think that this ink colour will be the one bottle that I use up this year.

KWZ Honey Ink Review

I have been enjoying exploring different ink brands lately. For quite some time I had happily used Diamine or Pilot Iroshizuku inks as there were so many colour choices and my experiences with these brands had been so good. However in the past few months I have been exploring alternative options and one of the latest is KWZ.

A love of brown/gold inks

Lately I have been enjoying brown or gold inks. J. Herbins Lie de The was a brown ink that caught my eye through social media and an ink I really love writing with. I found KWZ Honey the same way noticing this colour in Instagram photos and from a few online reviews. All reviews were positive but what I really noticed was the colour and shading of this ink so I had to try it out for myself.

The shading on high quality, fountain pen friendly paper is dreamy. You get some gorgeous light golden tones through to darker brown shades. With a broad nib fountain pen you get to appreciate this aspect of the ink.

Ink Performance

As this was my first experience with KWZ ink I was intrigued to see how it would perform. It’s a wet ink, dry times are pretty good, a little longer on coated papers and it flows really well. I have been KWZ Honey with a broad nib fountain pen which means that I could really get a feel for the shading and flow of this ink. I have found it to be nothing but enjoyable.


KWZ inks are very reasonably priced at £18 for a 60ml bottle. I ordered this direct from KWZ online as there is currently no UK distributors (I believe this will be changing in the very near future). The process was pretty seamless and I found KWZ easy to deal with over email. Once their distribution improves it will be a lot easier but this buying process doesn’t put me off. KWZ also offer a 2ml sample size for each ink which would be perfect if you want to try out several different colours.

One small thing…

There is a distinctive smell when you use this ink. It’s not offensive but I can’t help but notice it when I write and I can’t quite describe what it is. I believe this smell is completely normal but the scent is distinctive and a little strange.

Overall thoughts

Coming into Autumn this ink colour is an ideal choice. As the shading qualities are high it’s so much nicer using this in a broad nib fountain pen. Normally I tend to write with a fine or extra fine nibs which can mean I miss out on some of inks best features, and KWZ’s Honey definitely deserves to be used in a wider nib fountain pen to fully appreciate everything it has to offer.