12.0 Can I use Brand X ink in a Brand Y pen?
The short and simple answer is "yes".
The urban legend goes like this: "Last year a (pen newbie) friend of
mine in DC wanted to get some ink to send to me here in Oklahoma. She went to
the Union Station branch of Washington Pen, and was talking to the clerk about
inks. He sends her into a panic, telling her not to use Sheaffer inks in a non-Sheaffer
pen because they 'eat up' the insides of your pens!"
This is absolute baloney. As a matter of fact, I personally use Sheaffer and
Waterman ink in all of my pens, from Omas to Pelikan, to Montblanc, to... Sheaffer
There are, of course, some properties of ink which will tend to stain the
inside of a piston-filler or a converter, or might be so heavily pigmented that
the feed will tend to clog. There have been discussions about which ink is better
or worse for use in a particular pen, which ink tends to be free-flowing, which
ink seems to stain, and which ink tends to cause the nib to "hesitate"
Many rumors have been spread about Parker Penman ink, especially the Black.
Again, I have used this ink quite successfully in some pens, but have had problems
with it in others. Other rumors have been spread about Omas inks. And again, I
have used both Omas Black and Omas Blue in Sheaffer and Parker pens with no problems
whatsoever. Don't worry about Parker Penman: it's currently out
of production anyway.
The only caveat is that you must use fountain pen ink in your fountain pen.
No other kind of ink should be used, as it can permanently damage your pen...
possibly beyond repair. Also remember that fountain pen ink is always water soluble,
and is always water-based. There's plenty of different types and colors
of fountain pen ink out there - probably more than you can possibly use in a lifetime...
unless you test inks like Greg Clark!
Above all, NEVER USE INDIA INK IN A FOUNTAIN PEN! India ink will really clog
up your pen's feed, making the cleanup either difficult or impossible.
You have been warned.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the ink should make you feel
good when you use it. Remember: higher end fountain pens have nibs, feeds, and
sections that are hand assembled and hand fitted. This means that they all differ.
What works well in one person's pen might not work well in yours. So, experiment
and find an ink that fits your needs.
Oh, and if the ink you use stains your pen, contact the pen's manufacturer!