Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Noodler's Nikita Ink

First off, let me just say that I have this "thing" about red ink.  I am a professor, so red ink is my lifeblood (no pun intended).  I know that some people advocate grading in green ink these days, to preserve students' fragile psyches, and I use it too.  (And not surprisingly, I have the same kind of "thing" for green ink, although according to this link at Tiger Pens Blog, green ink is not a very respectable thing to have a "thing" for.)

However, back to the red, and it's a fact that not just any old red will do.  I have discovered that there are as many different shades of red as -- well, just about any other color.  (Surprise!)  In other words, a lot more than one might think at first.  And I have also discovered that I am pretty picky about the shade of red I use, especially when I am grading.  (Another surprise!)  It needs to be (what I consider) a TRUE red, with no other color mixed in with it -- not tending towards reddish-brown, or reddish-orange, or reddish-anything -- not too dark or too light, and -- since I am grading with it -- not resembling actual blood too much.  (I am already accused of "bleeding" all over students' papers and tests, so there's absolutely no need to drive that particular metaphor home.)  I want a RED RED.

So that's why I love Noodler's Nikita. As you can see, it's exactly the shade of red I am describing.  It's not a fancy ink, and it doesn't have a huge amount of subtlety in it, as far as I can tell.  No excessive shading, but that's not something I want when I am grading anyway.  In my hands, it's always been a very well-behaved ink, with no bothersome feathering or bleedthrough on even regular copy paper or worse.  It's got a good flow but dries quickly enough (even on Rhodia paper) that I don't have to take any special precautions with a page after I finish it (another important consideration when grading tests and other papers).  It's just a great all-around red ink.

It's also a HUGE bottle of ink for the price, and it comes with a free Noodler's eyedropper pen.  I had read some reviews of the pen that suggested you get what you pay for with this pen, but I disagree.  Yes, it's not fancy and does not have a beautiful gold nib and all that, but I prefer pens that are not going to make me sob uncontrollably if something goes wrong with them (or I do something stupid to them and break them).  Yes, like many inexpensive pens, it needs a little pampering and tweaking to get it going, but that's not unexpected, and I am gradually becoming more comfortable with that whole process.  It writes a little more finely than I prefer, but it works really well with this ink, and Noodler's knew what they were doing when they included this pen as a freebie.

So there you have it.  A true red ink that makes me smile at the same time that it makes my students weep.  You can't really put a price tag on that kind of thing, now can you?

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, another lover of red ink! I'm not in the field of education but I love red ink, anyway. Now and then I even write a letter in red ink. Some people like it, others hate it. ;)