Few inks inspire the kind of intense emotion that this ink does. You either love it or hate it, and each camp is very vocal about its opinion. FPN has recently attempted to curtail discussions of this ink because of the kind of vitriol that it inspires. Kinda crazy, huh?
These intense emotions all come from stories (some true and some not) that BSB (as it is called) destroys pens. This, in my opinion, is silly. Basically, there was a run of Lamy feeds that were made from a ‘defective’ plastic. That plastic became very brittle/melted when it came into contact with BSB and some other inks. That material has since been replaced, but the legend lives on. Every once in a while someone will get a hold to a new old stock Lamy Safari and resurrect the whole business.
BSB is a high maintenance ink to be sure. IT DOES NOT LIKE OTHER INKS. Even trace amount of other inks can cause it to turn into goo/throw off percipients that, once dried, can severely clog a pen. So, if you are going to use this ink, your pen should either be unused or 100% cleaned of all other inks.
For more info on how to safely use BSB, and tips for dealing with some of its quirks click here.
OK, honestly, I had no intention of trying this ink. It’s not necessarily a color I’d use often, and I didn’t really have a good pen to use it in. Well, when a sample of it came in one of my Ink Drop packages, I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about.
It’s a nice blue violet sort of ink*. Its main draw is its intense vibrancy*. Honestly, it is too bright for me. In fact, it is so bright that it gives me a headache. Still, some folks absolutely swear by it and use it for everything. It’s a nice ink, it’s just not for me.
I didn’t have any clogging issues. There was some staining to the feed and the barrel, but it came right off with a little diluted bleach and soapy water. The Dollar pen was no worse for wear. (I am not recommending that you bleach your pens. I have no idea how your pens will react. Bleach your pens at your own risk!)
- It feathers and bleeds a bit depending on the paper
- Great flow and lubrication
- Fast drying time
- Some good shading depending on the pen/paper combo
It is hard to capture the neon quality of this ink. I’ve done my best. (Click to sharpen and enlarge the images)
* I’ve noticed that overtime my writing samples are changing color to a rather average (and not neon) medium dark blue.