Ink Of The Month – July ’20 – Sheaffer Red

For July I have opted for Sheaffer Red as my Ink Of The Month, this is one of the classic inks that at some point or another all of us come across. 

I first came across it when it was on sale in a department store; back in the days when department stores still had proper stationery departments which included inks by the bottle that were usually either Parker or Waterman. Both fine inks but when I looked, next to them on the shelf, I spotted what was, to me, an exotic red ink in a clear plastic box; I was sold and I left the store with two bottles!

Bear in mind, back then, I knew next to nothing about fountain pens and inks so anything out of the ordinary caught that my attention then made best friends with my credit card.

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So, two bottles of ink and a several of convertors later I rushed home eager to try out my new ink in my freshly cleaned Waterman Expert. Prior to buying these convertors my only experience of them had been an infuriating Parker squeeze convertor which never really worked. So I was off to pastures new; with an exotic red ink and a proper convertor.

I loaded the Expert and started to write, and I was impressed; this was a proper red, good colour, even flow perhaps a little on the wet side but my Expert has a generous medium nib so that was only to be expected. After half an hour I was a convert and from then on I carried two Experts; one loaded with black ink and one loaded with red ink.

Then for whatever reason I stopped using a fountain pens and my bottles of Sheaffer Red were put away are now somewhere in the depths of a storage box.

However, all is not lost. Recently while I was ordering some other inks (I know, what a surprise, me buying ink!) I decided it was time to buy a new bottle and see if it lived up to its predecessors, so I added one to my order.

The ink arrived and the first thing that I noticed was the bottle, the label might have changed but the bottle looks the same; it is even packaged in the same clear plastic box, serious nostalgia moment.

My first test was a Q-Tip test, the initial swab test came out as a strawberry red but when testing it as a stripe it gave a strong, bright consistent red so I’m not sure I had enough ink on the Q-Tip, for the swab test, to do it justice.

The close-up shots of the stripe test and the text show you what a nice red get, and I was particularly impressed that the text came out as well as it did. I found the ink, just like its predecessor, to have a good even flow, the text was a good bright red again possibly a little on the wet side but nothing to worry about as the ink dried in good time.

Stripe Test
Q-Tip stripe test.


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Dip pen text test.


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Full ink test.

Finally, is it as good as it used to be, I think it is and for around £6.00GBP for 50ml it is excellent value; you are getting a good quality reliable ink that is ideal for marking up documents, writing festive messages and sketching and I think this is an ink that deserves a place in your collection.

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Disclaimer: The ink was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.


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