Product Review: Pelikan 4001 Blau-Schwarz (Blue-Black) Ink

Sometimes, to beat the rather mundane blue and black ink colors of your fountain pen, the easiest escape is in using a combination of the two colors. And when the ink has iron-gall-like properties, it is all the more enough to amuse yourself with.

Shade and swab

The ink has a good, rich color and shades beautifully as you write through pages. It has the right combination of the extremes of blue-black. So, it goes from the liveliest of midnight blues to the smoothest shades of blue-grey.

This is a shading ink and not a sheening one. So, despite how much amount of ink I poured on the paper, I could not find any signs of either purple or blue.

Also, I find this to be correctly leaning toward the blue-grey side. There are a few blue-blacks that I find to be bluer (and sometimes, more blue-green-black) than just blue-black.

Even on the normal notebook and photocopy paper, I don’t see any signs of feathering or bleedthrough when writing. For reference, note that I am using a Broad nib for the writing sample.

Drying time and water resistance

The ink takes anywhere between 20-35 seconds to dry depending on your paper choice. On an everyday, photocopy paper, it took 15 seconds. But on a more fountain-pen-friendly paper, it took 30-ish seconds to dry.

Even though it is a bit on the drier side, I am a bit shocked (pleasantly, that is) to see that it still takes that much time to dry. The sample was left to dry for at least one full day before testing.

It is fairly water-resistant, which means it is relatively safe to use for your office work. I would not call it waterproof, but it has much better water resistance than some of the inks I have used in the past.

The ink might look darker in the photographs, but it (perfectly) leans towards blue.

Observations and conclusion

I have used it in two pens in which the ink has behaved completely differently. For the ink tests, I used my Magna Carta Denima (M) and Guider Medium Ebonite (B) on regular photocopy paper. In Denima, the shading didn’t come through.

When the nib was sufficiently wet, I got a dark shade. But when the nib was starving, I got a lighter shade. While this should be normal for any ink-paper-pen combination, I found that the ink dried faster in my Denima. I never had such an issue with my Denima before; it never skipped and I never had a hard start before. But now I do.

On the flip side, my Guider Medium Ebonite is a gusher. It has a broad nib that writes like it is a Double Broad. Although I tuned the nib a bit, I still see that the nib is sufficiently wet to produce darker shades of letters as I write.

What surprises me is that even though the ink is drier, it doesn’t behave so when I use it in a pen with a broad nib. I can safely conclude that that is so because almost all German pens use one-size broader nibs when compared with Japanese pens. So, a medium nib on a German pen will behave like a Broad nib on a Japanese pen.

To make up for this, I assume, Pelikan has made its Blue-Black just a little bit drier. And, therefore, it doesn’t misbehave on my Guider Medium that dons a Broad nib. I’d like to reserve this ink for my Guider pen, but I will buy a wetter ink for my Denima. Maybe it is time for me to try another blue-black ink. This time, though, I am thinking of buying Japanese ink. I think it will be Pilor Iroshizuku Shin-Kai.

Overall experience

I bought this ink from My shopping experience was smooth. The site didn’t charge me anything for nationwide shipping. Even though the 30ml bottle was a bit overpriced, I didn’t mind paying extra, since there wasn’t any minimum order price to qualify for free shipping.

Although, I will say I am a bit disappointed with the ink. It is a lot drier than I expected. But I still love how it brought one of my smoothest writers back into my pocket. What’s more? The ink made me learn an invaluable lesson: use German inks for pens with Broad or Double Broad nibs. 🙂

I will be curious to know your experience with the Pelikan inks, especially the 4001 series, Blau-Schwarz ink.
Happy writing.


Product Review: Kanwrite Heritage Fountain Pen and Krishna Lyrebird Turquoise Blue Ink

Ever since I’ve begun seriously cultivating my newfound hobby of collecting and using fountain pens, two things have happened, both of which were, sort of, but understood: my clarity of thoughts and handwriting have improved. But, those are in addition to the “wows” I receive when I flaunt my collection. Today’s post is about the latest addition to this collection: a Kanwrite Heritage.

For a combination, I chose the Pearl Green color and teamed it with the Krishna Lyrebird Everyday Turquoise Blue ink. This combination, I must say, has come out really well. Really well—worth the repetition, that is.

Built and Construction

The pen is made of good-quality acrylic. It is a bit on the heavier side, but the construction is such that the pen is balanced at the center when fully refilled. The pen is 14.1 cms in length when capped, 16.4 cms when posted, and 13.1 cms when uncapped.

The pen comes with a piston-filler mechanism, which is easy to use and clean. You can open the nib unit and see through to the very end of the pen with the piston sitting flush. I will also say that the piston mechanism doesn’t leave room for ink or air to seep through. I tried cleaning the pen once; not a single droplet seeped through to the other side of the piston.


I got a Broad one, but it feels more like Medium to Broad. On occasions, I got Broad strokes, but mostly it leans more toward the Medium width. For comparison, I wrote using my Guider Medium ebonite, which, too, uses a Broad nib. But, the Guider one writes more between Broad and Double-Broad.

This nib on the Kanwrite Heritage is Kanpur Writers’ in-house international #6 equivalent steel nib, and I must say that it performs really well out of the box. The nib unit is interchangeable, and for reference, I also have an Ultra-flex that goes from Extra Fine to Double Broad. The flex is nice and springy, but the nib and feed need to be tuned for scratchiness and flow, respectively.

Both nib units for the Kanwrite Heritage (the Ultra-flex nib and Broad nib ones) come with an ebonite feed. And, within the time I have used it, I didn’t experience even a single instance of the ink drying overnight with the pen standing upright in my pen stand. Overall, it is a nib unit that is easy to install, easier to clean, and easiest to get used to.


I’ve used Krishna Super Rich series inks before. So, I wasn’t new to the brand or the experience. However, I will say that even though the Lyrebird series is a tad cheaper, it is in no way any lesser than the Super Rich series in terms of quality. I liked the ink saturation, the flow, and the drying time. Only a few shades of ink can truly be called turquoise, and the Lyrebird Everyday Turquoise Blue Ink is one. It sits comfortably between blue and green.

The “every day” in the name of the ink justifies that the color doesn’t irritate you. It doesn’t pinch you in the eye, so you can use it every day. It is bright enough to appear lively yet sufficiently dark to appear correctly on your paper. The ink is a sibling of Monsoon Sky from Krishna Ink’s Super Rich series.

For comparison, I dropped a few drops of both colors. Turquoise, by definition, is a step or two towards green. Monsoon Sky is exactly what its name suggests. Lyrebird has better contrast, but Monsoon Sky spreads better. Also, the base tone of Monsoon Sky, I found, to be toward a much lighter shade of blue.

That shade difference aside, it is the inks’ behavior that made me curious. You can tell that the Super Rich Series is a bit more watery and might trickle down into pages that follow. Also, in my observations, the Lyrebird ink dries more quickly. So, it must be better for calligraphy or pen art.

Where to Buy

I bought the pen from The Pen World ( It has one of the most sorted collections for those starting with this hobby of collecting or using fountain pens. The prices are affordable, but the range goes beyond the scope of my willingness to invest for now. You could, alternatively, buy the pen directly from Kanpur Writers’ website,, as it might have a nib option that might interest you more. Either way, your purchase decision will be in sorted hands.

Speaking of sorted, I think it is time to sort things to their conclusion. 🙂


I don’t have any complaints; in fact, I’m in love with this pen. From the time I inked it, the pen has never skipped once. The ink flow is butter smooth, and the ink doesn’t irritate my eyes. In terms of the aesthetics, it is one of the most sorted (there I go again!) combinations of pen and ink color.

You Know When it Clicks

The Mighty Fountain Pens from Click Pens

Fountain pens may be a fetish in 2021. In stark contrast, the era of the 1990s wasn’t kind to either fountain pens or their makers. And unlike most of the manufacturers who faded into the books of our long-forgotten history, a few not just survived but flourished and sailed through the turbulent tides of time. One such story of the might of the fountain pens and the determination of their makers is of the Gagwani family, the owners of Click Pens. They couldn’t be happier sharing their experience with me. Harsh welcomed me to meet him at his workshop — an offer I was not going to reject. Amidst the prevailing circumstances of COVID-19, I couldn’t have expected any warmer welcome.

The Timeline

The first-generation of Gagwanis, Shri Gokuldas Gagwani, came to Indore, Madhya Pradesh and set up a manufacturing unit that acted as OEM for local, national brands. His brush with the renowned Wilson Pens made it relatively easier for him to look into the whole process with a keen and observant eye. For a considerable part of the then-growing business, Click Pens continued to bring industry-first innovations, like India’s first Matt-finish writing instrument and were amongst first in India to introduce aeromatic ink-filling mechanisms. All that while the demand for fountain pens continued to plunge into the seemingly never-ending gorges.

With an undying spirit, the Gagwanis chose to continue to invest in the no-longer flourishing business units. They bought, for example, Blue Nile in 2009 and Serwex in 2015 to expand their portfolio up to over 80 models. And if this wasn’t enough, they introduced their very own — conceived, designed, and manufactured — product from Click Pens, the Aristocrat series. This, as the youngest Gagwani likes to call, the “no-nonsense pen.” He demonstrated how despite him shaking the pen, the ink didn’t spill through onto the section. But — unlike the ink — that’s not the only instance where the quality seeps through; more on it in a bit.

Click Pens also works as an OEM for some well-known fountain pen brands in the United States of America. Even though I am bound by the condition to not reveal the names, I deduce two things: one, that workmanship and consistency are top-priority for Click Pens, and two, even if I happen to buy a pen from ‘that’ brand, the Swadeshi in me will still be getting a high-quality India-made pen.

The Quality that Speaks for Itself

Through my professional experience, I realize that I can sell a product only once. That is, if the product is outstanding, it will continue to sell by itself. Aristocrat isn’t any exception; the product sells itself. Given its asking price, the construction quality is top-notch. The pen neither squeaks nor spills. It doesn’t burp. In fact, you can choose from an assortment of colors and nib choices. And, because there isn’t any harm in asking for more, the pen — entering 2021, that is — comes with a replaceable nib unit. So, you can swap any nib unit of your choice from the Falcon or Renaissance series.

All pens come with a multi-threaded design. This means, even if the threads are noticeable, they are neither obtrusive nor any pain in the opening-and-closing operations. You can pick any pen from Click. I repeat. Any pen. And it opens and closes in less than two-and-a-half turns. I have, for the comparison, a Guider Medium Ebonite. It has an equal number of threads, and it takes me about four turns, at the very least, to open or close it.

The Work and the Workshop

The workshop spans a structured, well-laid-out area where production and assembly are carried out. The storage area is well-secured and contains all parts for all current and previous models, including some old, discontinued pens made using cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) plastic.

There is a dedicated aisle for injection molding. Aside from some industry-specific machines that I could not take a picture of, the remaining workshop area is divided equally amongst the molding, tapering-and-turning, and polishing-and-buffing sections. A part of the workshop is also reserved for the final assembly and quality-check processes. 

The Target

Success isn’t a day’s affair. You have to continue to invest yourself in it. Harsh invested himself into this business when he turned 16. And, he hasn’t had to look back since then. First Aristocrat, then Falcon, and now Renaissance. With each iteration and every model that Click Pens has introduced since they have continued to build better products. Harsh is also working on a few innovations, a couple of which, if he is satisfied with the quality (I like how he continues to focus on it), will see the light of the day “very, very soon.”

I remain one fountain pen enthusiast who will wait for more products from Click Pens more frequently. I am, at least, relieved that my purchase proposition will be a “no-nonsense” product of good quality. And — because I am speaking of quality — I will say that with sufficient references to the stories and learning from the history of Click Pens, I will know when it clicks. 🙂

One more thing! I also had a chance to buy (and try) a few pens from them. I the upcoming reviews, I will share my thoughts on and experiences with those pens.

Until then, happy writing.