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Blue Ink Comparison: Finding the Best True Blue Fountain Pen Ink

In today’s ink comparison, we’ll be comparing four traditional blue inks popular amongst fountain pen users. Get a better look at the four inks in today’s ink comparison and then watch the ink comparison video.

Four Traditional Blue Inks: Popular Blue Fountain Pen Inks

  1. Lamy Blue
  2. 3 Oysters Delicious Blue
  3. Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue
  4. Namiki Blue

Other Products and Supplies We Used During Today’s Ink Comparison:

For today’s ink comparison, we used a J. Herbin Spiral Glass Dip Pen in Sand along with a Clairefontaine Triomphe notebook. We also kept a Dee Charles Pen Wipe nearby to cover our bases.

The Top Performing Blue Inks from Today’s Ink Comparison:

We know that the “best” blue fountain pen ink choice is going to depend on several different factors, including the pen you’re using, the project you’re approaching, your writing style, and your personal preferences. But we think we’ve covered the major bases with the following details pulled from a few simple tests: writing sample, dry test, and water test. Each ink sampled shows an ink splat followed by a writing sample. The dry test follows. For the dry test, we wrote out 1, 2, 3…Dry Test, waited 3 seconds, and then ran a dry cotton swab over the writing. You can see the results in the video. For the water test, we wrote out 10, 9, 8…water test, waited 10 seconds, and then ran a wet cotton swab over the writing. You can see these results in the video as well.

Which Blue Ink Dried the Fastest?

The fastest drying ink out of today’s chosen blue fountain pen inks was 3 Oysters Delicious Blue ink. Here are the results of the dry time test in order from fastest dry time to slowest:

  • 3 Oysters Delicious Blue fountain pen ink (6-7 seconds)
  • Lamy Blue fountain pen ink (8-9 seconds)
  • Pelikan 4001 Blue fountain pen ink (9-10 seconds)
  • Namiki Blue fountain pen ink (about 10 seconds)

Which Blue Ink Had the Most Shading & Sheen?

3 Oysters appeared to show the most shading and sheen with shades from vibrant turquoise all the way through to so dark blue it’s almost black. However, both Pelikan 4001 Blue and Namiki Blue also had great shading and sheen possibilities with Namiki showing slightly more variation than the Pelikan 4001. The Lamy Blue, while not as drastic as the other inks featured in this comparison, did show a bit of shading, but little to no sheen was evident.

Which Blue Ink Was the Most Water Resistant?

According to our results, Namiki Blue was the most water resistant of the four inks in this ink comparison. However, none of the inks featured today are waterproof inks. We chose Namiki Blue fountain pen ink as the winner of today’s Most Water Resistant Blue ink award because the writing was the most legible (and showed the least amount of distortion) after the water test.

Which Ink Comes at the Best Price? *

Today’s inks in order from lowest price to highest price: Lamy Blue (50 ml bottle), Namiki Blue (60 ml bottle), Pelikan 4001 (30 ml bottle), and 3 Oysters Delicious Blue (38 ml). Typically, we’ll follow our lowest to highest price list of inks with a Best Value list showing which is the best price considering the size of the ink bottle and the current pricing, but today’s Best Value list matched the Low to High Price list, so we’ll just move on. (And just to be clear – Lamy and Namiki are VERY close in price per ml, so while we technically awarded Lamy Blue both the Lowest Price Blue Ink and the Best Value Blue Ink award for today’s ink comparison, Namiki is just as good a deal when it comes right down to it).

*Actual prices are not listed in the ink comparisons since they may vary depending on sale pricing, manufacturer price changes, etc. But you can always find the current discounted pricing on your favorite inks at

Check back often for full ink reviews (weekly along with an ink giveaway) and our new ink comparisons! And, as always, find your favorite pens and inks at

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Robert McNally
2 years ago

Monteverde Horizon Blue all day! God bless!

2 years ago

My only experience with Lamy Blue was the cartridge that came with my Safari. I found that after about 8 months, the ink had faded so much (on loose-leaf notebook paper) that I could no longer read what I had written.