A while ago I’ve reviewed Bookbinders Blue Coral Snake Ink. The sample I’ve received was unusable – it contained some sediment and because of oily consistency it wouldn’t flow at all in any of the pens I’ve risked to fill with it. My review wasn’t – as you may guess and see – favorable. Actually I warned others against using this ink. After I’ve published the review folks from Bookbinders contacted me and offered to send me a bottle of Blue Coral Snake ink so that I could test it once again in any way imaginable.
I’ve received the ink two weeks ago and I’m ready to share my thoughts on the experience. It won’t be muy typical image-dominated review. I want to describe precisely my experience.
I don’t know many companies interested that much in anonymous reviewers opiniomns and thoughts. Of course FPN is big and significant source of information about fountain pens and inks and each maker should take a look at it from time to time. Bookbinders is small business, I do understand that negative reviews can be harmful to their development. Still I appreciate their willingness to communicate and to offeir their product to discriminate customer and his tests. Guys – you rock and your customer service is stellar!
The packaging and care for detail are fantastic. The bottle isn’t made of premium glass and can’t be discribed as work of art. It’s small, simple and made of rather cheap glass. However Bookbinder’s managed to make it look great by vintage label and fabriccover offered with their inks. Believe me – in person it looks even better than on great photos seen on Bookbinders website.
After I’ve received the ink I’ve filled five pens (actually six) with this ink. Here they are – pieces from different price/quality segments.
Left to right: Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio( , Caran d’Ache Leman (B grinded to stub), Pilot CH 92 (M), Jinhao 599 (F/M), FPR Dilhi (F/M)
On first two days I used every single pen. On third day I started to use only one of them daily and then I’ve left the pens unused, posted in the drawer. I’ve tried them on variety od papers. I’ll start with positives.
The ink doesn’t feather. It doesn’t cause bleedthrough. It has reasonable drying time. All of that when it happens to write. Sadly oftentimes it doesn’t.
Blue Coral Snake ink dries out very fast and caused hard start in every single pen I’ve uesd. After two days of not using the pen only Pilot CH 92 started immediately. Three pens didn’t write at all – I had to soak them in water. FPR Dilhi started after two minutes of scratching the paper but the flow wasn’t good. This ink cuases strong clogging – probably because of it being prone to cause precipitation.
Some sediment is seen on the bottle:
And on the feeds (here GvFC Tamitio)
Sadly I didn’t change my mind. I can’t recommend this ink to anyone. The color has potential, some properties are nice but good flow is my priority. I believe that inks that clog pens are a waste of time and money. I don’t want to clean pen every day or to soak the nib in water before I’ll be able to enjoy the color. I want the ink to flow well immediatelly. Sure – after a month in unused pens I would expect dome hard starts. But not after a day or two. I’m sorry guys – I wanted this review to be positive because of your generosity and great communication. But it won’t. In my opinion Blue Coral Snake has potential but it needs to be reformulated so that it doesn’t precipitate too soon or leave sediment.
And now writing samples:
Lyreco Budget 60g – Pilot CH92, M
Moleskine – Pilot CH92, M and Jinhao 599, Kaweco Sport broad nib below
Graf von Faber-CVastell Tamitio, B
Rhodia – FPR Dilhi
Rhodia – Jinhao 599
Rhodia – GvFC Tamitio, B
Ink splash (some sediment visible)
Ink on kitchen towel