Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ink Brands - A Review, Part II

It was suggested to me that it would be nice to have a place, a site, a page that would review all the different inks. Is that possible? There are so many different brands, and to be honest, I feel like I've tried a good many of them. Perhaps I could start a list here and continue to add to it. Would others want to help review inks I haven't tried, I wonder?

I'll start and then we can add to the list as time goes on. I'll list this post in the sidebar for future reference.

Feel free to send me your reviews, comments and opinions, and I'll happily add them to our listing. Likewise, if you see I'm missing an ink product, let me know and it will be added for review.

Adirondack Dye Ink (Ranger)
(yet to be reviewed)

Adirondack Pigment Ink (Ranger)
(yet to be reviewed)

Alcohol Inks (Ranger)
(yet to be reviewed)

Ancient Page Dye Ink
These strange-shaped ink pads feature a dense foam rubber pad. The ink is waterproof and has great coverage with very little streaking. I have found that they don't last very long with prolonged use; I'm wondering if this is caused by the box design that I am not sure seals well when closed. I have also managed to cut the foam trying to ink edges of paper, etc. Available in great colors.

"I love the Ancient Page inks and have used them for quite awhile. The black is my go-to for a sharp image." ~The Spooky Group

Ancient Page Petal Points Permanent Dye Ink
This is not the same foam rubber pad as in the above Ancient Page Ink pads, it's more of a sponge foam. Eight colors in one set, with removable petals.

Great colors, however I highly discourage anyone from spending the close to $20 for these sets. The petals dry out quickly, and sometimes you cannot even get the petals lose from the base. I suggest not wasting your money.

Archival (Ranger) Ink
I really like this archival ink that is acid-free, waterproof and smear proof. Unfortunately, it comes in a hinged standard rectangle box, which makes inking sometimes a challenge. Good coverage for a dye ink.

Big & Juicy Dye Ink (Ranger)
These are giant dye ink pads in basic black and color combos. I have two of them and have found them to be long lasting and definitely juicy. The pad box is hinged, but too big to use any other way, anyway.

Brilliance Pigment Ink
These sponge pads, in my experience, have dried out rather quickly. They offer fabulous colors as well as great tri-color combos.

ColorBox Pigment Ink
Since I'm a dye ink kinda girl, I don't much care for ColorBox inks. They dry out rather quickly, especially the Cat's Eyes. I have found that the metallic colors don't hold up well over time. They tend to stain your rubber, if you are funny about that type of thing, and as with all pigment ink, it dries slower and tends to smear. Color selection is good; standard rectangle sized sponge pads.

Even though I don't much care for ColorBox ink, I do highly recommend the ColorBox white ink - it's the best white I have found.

ColorBox Chalk Pigment/Blended Ink
I heard a warning about chalk inks a long time ago, that they clog up your details horribly and you will have a hard time getting the ink out. I found this to be somewhat true, but not as horrible as I had heard. Great color selection and same quality as regular ColorBox pigment ink, in my view, perhaps a bit thicker.

Distress (Ranger) Ink
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this ink! :-)

Coming in great neutral and muted colors, I have fallen in love with the long-lasting, square Distress ink pads. Straight dye ink that you can use in a number of ways including inking edges (my favorite!).

Encore Ultimate Metallic Pigment Ink (Tsukineko)
This is my favorite metallic ink. It dries quickly for a pigment ink, can be used for embossing if you are fairly quick, and has good coverage. Sponge pads last a long time.

Exclusive Inks
" Close To My Heart, are fantastic inks to use." ~Green Jello

Fiskars High-Density Ink
Yep, this is hi-density ink, alright...almost too much so! I purchased the silver and it clogs up every groove in every stamp with just a little pat to the pad. Great color, but hard to control. It is meant for a special stamping 'machine', similar to the rotating, mechanical push-down date stamps. I didn't try the machine, just the ink.

Fresh Ink
Pigment ink in a standard-size dense foam rubber pad. Comes in lots of delicious colors that you just don't find in other brands, and it seems to be very water soluble, unlike ColorBox. This ink has a definite chemical smell to it, which I am hoping will lessen as it gets used more.

I am definitely not liking the fact that this ink doesn't seem to dry completely. After weeks from stamping, I can still press my finger into the image and get ink on my finger. Strangely enough, however, it does not smear. Strange ink, this is.

Impress Dye Ink (Tsukineko)
I really like this dye ink. Bold clear color, juicy. Standard-sized rectangle pads are rather large for detail work, but the pad is raised to accommodate different sized pads. Comes in lots of colors, both bold and muted. Pads last for a very long time (I've had some for over 10 years and they are still going strong!).

"My everyday ink is the Jet Black by Impress." ~Nitrocat

Ink Dots
My 'boxing buddy started out with these little round dye inks in her 'boxing pack when she first started. However, they are extremely limited in colors and tend to dry out quickly. I say pass, even though their small size is tempting for on-the-go. These may be a good starter ink set for your junior boxer, though.

Kaleidacolors Dye Ink
These are wonderfully coordinated colors in a sliding tray - slide the different color strips together to stamp, slide it apart to store (so they don't bleed together). I really like the different color combos they have available (I have four of them myself). They are pretty juicy and are holding up well to many, many stampings. The pad box itself is a little bit bigger than standard size.

Marvy Matchables/Heritage Dye Ink
Good dye ink in square, stackable pads (great for travel). Great color selection, but ink tends to bleed a bit more than other dye inks I have used. I have found that the ink pools a bit more on the stamp than other brands, as well.

Marvy Markers
It is this letterboxer's opinion that these 'fat' Marvys are the best, if you are going to go for markers. Sold in sets of colors, they can be quite spendy, but stay juicy and last a long time. I am not a fan of the lids, however, as I have had some split causing the marker to dry out. Markers are wonderful for stamps that require more fussy inking; huffing prior to stamping makes you efforts more successful, especially if you have do quite a bit of coloring before stamping your image.

Our friend deniserows discovered the method of re-inking markers and I am pleased to add it here:

Marvy Brush Marker re-inking:
Take off the END cap. NOT the business/brush cap end. Tap the ink/foam cylinder out of the Marker Holder. Put that end (the end without the small indentation) into 1/2" water for a minute or until you see the water wick up the cylinder. Put back together making sure the small indentation end is snugly against the brush.

You will know when its has enough water as the end that is in the water becomes white. The ink wicks up to the business end. Stand marker with the brush end down vertically for an hour or two and you have "new" markers.

Martha Stewart
I have tried the pigment white of this ink; not impressed. It was not thick enough for the coverage I needed (which you always need when using white on darker paper), and it seemed to be a little too dry, even right out of the package. Skip this and buy the Colorbox white - you will be happier.

Marvy LePlume Markers
These markers are readily available in many colors sold individually and in sets. The duel tips, one side a brush marker, the other a fine writing tip, is a great idea. However, depending upon the color the markers tend to dry out rather quickly, especially the writing tips. The brush marker end is not as big, nor juicy as the Marvy Markers above.

Mementos Ink
(yet to be reviewed)

Memories Ink
(yet to be reviewed)

Palette Hybrid Ink
"The Palette Hybrid ink pad represents an innovation in stamping ink technology. It eliminates all the confusion over which ink to use for what surface - because it works on everything and is a non-solvent ink. It doesn’t smell bad , it’s nonflammable and it won’t immediately dry out. It dries instantly on paper and porous surfaces and requires a heat-set on glossy surfaces and fabrics." The ink comes in standard-sized rounded pads as well as 1" squares for travel. I bought a set of four neutral colors to try - I like them. One downside is that you cannot see the actual color of the ink, due to the dark pad box, nor did I think the color of the print on top of the pad box was accurate as to the color.

Rubber Stampede (Small Squares) Dye Ink
This is what I use in my letterboxing pack, just because I can carry a lot of colors in a small space. At about 1" in size, they are great for coloring stamps with multiple colors. The only downside I have found with these little inks is that they are a felt pad with a fabric top, which tends to come off eventually. Because they are small, they will start to dry out faster than larger pads. These come in two different sets of basic colors - you get a lot of color bang for your buck with these sets.

Stampabilities (sold by Hobby Lobby)
(no review yet)

Stampin' Up Ink & Markers
"I totally recommend SU! inks and paper. The quality is top notch, the colors truly go together, and the customer service is wonderful. Talk to Marm...she's the SU! and technique guru!" ~Buppsters

StazOn Solvent Ink
Everyone's favorite permanent ink. A great black ink pad to have on hand, along with a re-inker - this will solve your 'black ink' issues forever. You will need the special solvent-ink cleaner for your stamps, however. These are long lasting, standard-sized ink pads with a special plastic evaporation protector under the lid to ensure proper sealing when closed. I have tried the StazOn white ink, but I didn't have good luck with it at all - save your money.

Tombow Markers
These duel tip markers (one side brush marker, the other a medium writing tip) come in great color sets, but are rather expensive. Like the LePlumes above, these tend to dry out quickly, especially the writing tips.

VersaFine Ink (Tsukineko)
On the package, it states: "Captures fine details like no other . . . Archival Instant Dry Pigment Ink . . . Oil based . . . Long lasting . . . Water-resistant . . . Cleans up easily . . . Acid free (redundant, right?) . . . Non-toxic . . . Fade-resistant"

Mama Cache has taken the time to review this ink:

My results in a nutshell? It’s all it’s cracked up to be!

Of course, the results of the “non-toxic” and “long lasting” tests are not yet in, but the VersaFine passed all of the other tests with flying colors.

Speaking of colors, I have been looking and looking for a blue this deep! Oh, joy!

Size? The pad itself is 24 mm by 24 mm, and the case is less than 1 ½ “ x 1 ½” x ¾” (with a lid that stays in place). So, next time you order from Stampeaz, just ask Webfoot to slip five or six of these babies in alongside your carving material. You will not be sorry.

VersaMagic Chalk (Tsukineko)
"I find myself using my VersaMagic Chalk inks a lot lately. I like the flat finish. It works better in some applications than the usual shininess." ~Silva Foot Family

VersaColor Ultimate Pigment Ink (Tsukineko)
After using this ink for a few months now, I really like it (even though it's pigment). It comes in great color selections with colors you don't see everyday. It's not goopy, at least not the color I purchased, and it dries (after stamping) pretty quickly. I say give it a go. With a ton of color choices, I'm sure you will want to pick up a couple - which is probably a good idea.

VersaMark Watermark Ink (Tsukineko)
A specialty ink for making a watermark (no color) on any paper, it works on some papers better than others. It comes in the basic watermark and with different sparkles, as well.

Vivid Dye Ink
I think of these pads as very similar to Impress above, with the same qualities.


Mama Cache said...

Thanks so much for the one-stop page. What a resource!

Ari C'rona said...

Great summary, my friend! We'll have to try some more brands. :o)

shiloh said...

Thank you. Now I'm more confused than ever. :) j/k

Okie Dog said...

I recently purchased a pad of Memories Black dye ink, haven't used it a lot, because the first time I did was upset that it stained my new carve black. No washing it off w/soap and water to remove, either. My preference. It is a good dark black ink if that is what you are looking for, however.

It says that it is the best quick-dry choice for stamping on glossy or coated papers and regular paper surfaces. Acid free, Archival, & fade resistant. Waterproof for watercolors & markers. Heat set on some surfaces for faster drying. Dries permanently & quickly on most papers. Made by Superior Corporation.

Always looking for the best dark black ink for the trail. My favorite by far has always been VersaFine Archival Instant Dry Pigment Ink. A close second is Archival Ink Jet Black by Ranger.
Okie Dog

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