This is mostly a personal reference for myself, but I thought it might be useful for others as well. I may do more detailed reviews in the future. I no longer have many of these. This is to remind myself mostly of what I already tried.
Fountain Pen Inks I've Tried
Kiwi Inks: Nebula Space Kitty, Mermaid Black, A Witch's Potion, Glamorous Peacock, Quetzalcoatl, Custom inks. I heard about this brand on r/fountainpens and decided to give the custom ink option a try. Kiwi Inks lets you choose a color by Hex code, which is interesting. You can also choose to add shimmer, which I did. They have some other custom options and inks, all in 30ml glass bottles. Before shipping out, I was sent an email of what the ink looked like and if I wanted any changes. Overall, very good service. As for the regular line, I've found the ones I've tried have been pretty good writers, though I'd say the photos on the site don't give the best representation of the inks. Nebula Space Kitty, Mermaid Black, and A Witch's Potion's images on the site are spot on. Glamorous Peacock and Quetzalcoatl were verging on deceptive to me, but that'd be less so if there were more writing samples instead of art using the ink. You're definely not going to get that range of colors writing. I still really liked Quetzalcoatl anyway and will likely buy a full bottle in the future. I would consider it close enough to Krishna's Jungle Volcano that it could be an alternative if you are unable to get more of that. Nebula Space Kitty is also really nice, but I've been on the fence if I need a full bottle or not. Some of my samples have come way overfilled, which isn't that great for actually transferring into a pen, so be careful and check if yours is a bit overfilled. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of. If you are buying a custom or a full bottle, you can request an ink to be more wet or dryer. I'd say on average from the samples I've gotten, the default is more on the wetter side to start with, so if you ask for it to be extra wet, it's gonna be REALLY wet. 5/5 Colorverse: Gravity Wave, Lights on Ceres, Skyline, Atlanta Glistening, NGC 1850. Brand is pricey, and the extras that come with the big bottles are childish, but the inks are very high quality. Glass bottles. Comes in various sizes now, with the 30ml ones being more for office settings and coming with none of the extras at a more affordable price. Reviews of the Atlanta Pen Show 2020 inks here. NGC 1850 is pretty similar to Emerald of Chivor, but not quite a proper dupe. Much more red sheen, not enough green-blue. 5/5 Papier Plume: Lover's Red. Been meaning to try this brand, but colors I wanted were always out of stock at Vanness. Nice ink. Nothing really over the top, no amazing shading, but dried relatively quickly and came in a glass bottle with a metal top. A lot of neutral shades. I'll be looking into trying more ink colors in the future. 5/5 Krishna: Super Rich Brown Pink, Vaikhari, Super Rich Orange Halloween, Super Rich Sailor Blue, RC Winter V-3, RC Jungle Volcano 2. A lot of unusual colors at very low prices, but comes in cheap plastic bottles. I've had several of these go bad on me in under a year too. Needs more quality control. 2/5 Aurora: Black. Good ink. Bought this brand just for the black ink. The shade is pretty dark, and the ink very affordable. Glass bottle. 5/5 J. Herbin: Emerald of Chivor, Bleu Ocean, Gris Orage, Ambre de Birmanie. Very high quality ink, lots of shimmering options. Comes in glass. Pricey, but worth it. I've found drying time various pretty heavy depending on the ink, rather than having a general trend like Iroshizuku, where all inks tend toward being on the dryer side. Emerald of Chivor is quite a wet ink, whiel Ambre de Birmanie is a relatively quick drying ink, for comparison. 5/5 Pilot Iroshizuku: Yama-Budo, Ama-Iro, Shin-ryoku, Asa-gao, Momiji, Fuyugaki, Take-sumi, Shin-kai. Very pricey if you buy their smaller bottles, but about on par with the other brands like Colorverse and J. Herbin in price with the bigger bottles. Glass bottles. While not all of these colors have been my favorites, they are all very good quality inks and I have nothing to complain about. Even the more vibrant inks have a muted appearance to them, so if you're looking for something easier on the eyes, this would be a good brand to get some samples of. 5/5 Robert Oster: Clay Red, Astorquiza Rot, Terracotta, Summer Storm. I've tried a few of these, and while none of the inks were bad, at least to my eyes, they never match up well with online descriptions for me and I've given up on the brand. I refused to buy from a greenwashing company that comes up with horseshit reasons why plastic is better than glass. I don't give a damn about how often your plastic type is recycled. Plastic recycling is NEVER a "green" practice, despite how much companies have invested in telling you it is (so they can keep selling you plastic, of course). Plastic can never be as sterile as glass either, and is shit for long term storage because of that. Remember kids, Refuse Reduce Reuse Repurpose Recycle is in ORDER OF IMPORTANCE. Recycle is always your last resort. If someone tells you their product is better because the alternative isn't recycled as much since it can be reused, they're full of shit. Doubley so if what they're trying to sell you is plastic. 1/5 Monteverde: Black Ash. Bought because I needed black really cheap. It was a pretty faded black, but good enough. Cheap, comes in a big glass bottle. UPDATE: After a couple of months, this turned into a moldy mess. Cap is not as sealed tight as other glass bottles I've owned. Do not recommend. 1/5 Diamine: Sargasso Sea, Shimmering Seas, Cobalt Blue, Blue Flame, Black Ivy. Sargasso Sea put me off this brand for a long time because of how not what it's advertised it is, but I plan on giving them a second chance. Smaller bottles come in plastic, which is another negative for me, but the larger bottles are at least glass. Shimmering Seas isn't quite a proper dupe for Altanta Glistening but similar enough. Black Ivy is a nice green-black, a less easy to come by color. 3/5 Organics Studio: Nitrogen Royal Blue, Walt Whitman. Nitrogen Royal Blue was awful to use. It clogged up my stub nib pen to the point I thought something was wrong with it. The ink took forever to dry, far longer than other big sheening inks. It was an absolute bitch to clean out of the pens I've put it in. Paper that usually doesn't have any feathering problems feathered to hell and back with this. Overall, awful experience. I gave a non-sheening color of theirs a go, Walt Whitman. This was actually a really nice ink. So I'd say I liked the non-sheening ink, and the sheening stuff can fuck off. 3/5 Taccia: Ao Blue. Had an alright amount of sheen, but the color didn't really match what was advertised. It wrote well though, very good quality, just not the color I wanted. 4/5 Ferris Wheel Press: Sweet Honeydew. These caught my attention because of their bottles. I've only tried one so far. It was too light for long writing, but very pretty and smooth to write with. Comes in 85ml glass bottles with metal caps. 5/5 Sailor Shikiori: Kazakiribane. Very nice ink, but on the pricier side. Comes with glass bottles. Colors and general feel is pretty similar to Pilot Iroshizuku to me. If you like one, you'd probably like the other's line. 5/5 Pelikan Edelstein: Topaz. Bright color. Not a large color selection out there. Glass bottles. 4/5 Lamy: Benitoite. Inks come in glass bottles. I originally didn't like this color, but it's actually been growing on me the more I write with it. I may end up getting a bottle at some point. Quick drying, subtle. 4/5 PenBBS: #375 Darkening of the Sky. Got this bottle for free. This was listed as a dark green ink, but it appears more of a subtle, medium green. Which isn't a problem, it just doesn't match with what it's supposed to be. This ink looks surprisingly crisp, some very nice shading too. I wasn't sure what to expect from this brand as I've been pretty unimpressed with their pen designs and manufacturing from what I've seen others with the pens show. They seem quite overpriced. I did get this ink free, but the price was more than fair for the 60ml I got. Bottle came in glass with a plastic top. Nice, though the design of the bottle and the box are well, quite tacky. The ink itself is great, and I'm sure I'll dip into this bottle frequently. 4/5
Fountain Pens I've Tried
Jinhao 992: M nib, C/C. Came with converter in a pack. Only half of the pack worked. The ones that did work were scratchy. The ones that didn't work were thrown out, the ones that did were resold cheaply with the nib issues stated in the sale. 2/5 Jinhao X750: M nib, C/C. Came with converter. Had several of these at one point because they look really nice for cheap pens. Despite much reassurance from Goulet that these Jinhaos weren't shit like other Jinhaos, the one I got from them was the only one of this line that didn't work. LOL. The other ones worked, but not consistently. One worked really well, and I gave this one away when I was clearing out the pens from my Chinese cheap pen experiment. They have nice weight. If you wanted to, you could put a really nice nib on it and still have a pretty cheap pen. I didn't want to invest in customizing these, but the bodies were pretty well made despite the nibs being trash. The others were resold with the nib issues stated in the sale. Edit: I've recently bought one of these again to use at work since my working environment would destroy most fountain pens. The body is mostly holding up, though already chipped in places. Nib still sucks ass and writes really inconsistent, but it hasn't broken yet either. Edit 2: After a while using this at work, the pen has gotten pretty chipped everywhere and the nib issues continue. The converter itself also has some issues. This pen was giving me so many problems I went and bought a Lamy to test for use at work instead. Docking this a whole point down from my original score. At this point, what makes this pen alright is really just that it can be customized fairly cheap. But the thing is, for it to be a good pen, you have to do that or you just have a cheap, POS pen. 2/5 Jinhao 156A: F nib, C/C. Came with converter in a pack. None of them fucking worked. Yes, literally zero of them worked. The bodies of these are pretty ugly in person, but okay made. You could customize it if you wanted to, but jeez. All were thrown away. 1/5 Duke Ruby: M nib, C/C. Came with converter. One of the pricier cheap Chinese pens. Worked decently well, very thin barrel. I gave this one away to someone else who liked the design. Acceptable gift pens or starter pens. Nib could be a little better, but it's overall decent. 4/5 Wing Sung 6359A: F nib, C/C. Came with converter. A Lamy Safari knockoff. The nib was scratchy, but it did write. The body was pretty cheaply made, but held up surprisingly well. Could be customized for cheap with a better nib. Resold cheaply with the nib issues stated in the sale. 2/5 Penton F16: F nib, C/C. Came with converter. Another Lamy Safari knockoff. I hit ebay cheap pen jackpot with this one. It wrote very well, better than the actual Lamy Safaris I tried in a bookstore later. But I didn't really want an F nib pen by that point and something bugs me about owning a knockoff pen. Resold very cheaply for someone else to enjoy. 4/5 Kaweco Perkeo: F & M nibs. C/C. Did not come with converter. These were the pens I learned how to write with a fountain pen with. They're very sturdy, and at the time I bought them, they were the same price as the Duke Ruby, $15. They've gone up in price since then, and are pricier if you use bottle ink and need to get a converter too, which would make the Duke a better deal price-wise. However, these I think would be better for newbies and younger people. The grip is designed to help you learn proper posture for writing with a pen and while the Duke is very pretty to look at, if I were buying a pen for a kid, this would be my recommendation. These were resold cheaply with their converters included. EDIT: Since I last wrote this, I had purchased a Perkeo for my wife to learn how to write with a fountain pen. This pen was awful. Scratchy, constantly clogged regardless of the ink or how thorough it was cleaned, and skipped a lot. I don't know what happened between now and when I bought my early Perkeos, but this pen was terrible. Maybe I just bought one that happened to be a dud, but I've been weary of this line since. I gave her an old TWSBI ECO of mine to practice with instead after that ordeal. 3/5 Ooly Splendid/Monami Olika: F nib, cartridge only. Cheap cartridge pen I got at a bookstore to try out. The nib was alright, but nothing impressive. If you needed to get a cheap pen really quick for something, this would be okay, but I wouldn't want to use it as a daily writer. Given away. 3/5 Muji Aluminum Body: F nib, C/C. No converter included. Nib was scratchy and not really switchable. I basically had to break the pen to put a different nib on it, and while I was successful in doing so, it's not worth the effort. The barrel feels so terribly made and cheap despite the price. I got mine for $15, though I see they've gone up even more since then. It writes like a $1-5 pen, not a $24 one. With no converter included, it's really not worth it. There are similar looking pens that are more expensive but at least better made out there if you really liked the look of this. I ended up having to throw this one away. TBH, the design itself looks like its a knockoff of the far more expensive Karas Kustoms Fountain K now that I look at it again. 1/5 Varsity: F nib. Disposable. Tried these out at Michaels in the pen section, and then again in a Best Buys. Horrible pens. Some of them didn't work at all. All the nibs were scratchy. Ink flow was inconsistent. At this price range, choose the Ooly or the Platinum Preppy instead. There's no point in using a fountain pen that sucks this badly when okayish ones already exist in this price range. 1/5 Platinum Preppy: F nib. C/C. Doesn't come with converter. Cheap pens that come with a lot of color options. The nibs were pretty similar to the Ooly, not stellar and a little scratchy, but not too bad. All the ones I tried at Michaels worked, and I tried every color available, so that speaks to at least some degree of consistency. 3/5 Lamy Safari: F & M nibs. C/C. Doesn't come with converter. Tried a bunch of these out at a bookstore. Most of the nibs were scratchy, though that could have been from people not knowing how to write with them. Of the ones that weren't scratchy, they still weren't as good as the Perkeos, the Penton, or the Duke pen I tried, all of which were cheaper pens. These have a very sturdy body though and a bunch of color options. I can see it as another good option to give as a first pen for a child. I'd change out the nib if I got one, but with having to buy the converter too, this pen is a pass for me. Edit: I've since bought one of these to see if it can withstand a warehouse environment with lots of heavy items, harzardous material, and just general loads of metal everywhere. The pen I received was already scuffed from the the factory, which was pretty disappointing since I got a limited edition color, LOL, but the nib writes really great. We'll see how it goes. I stand by my previous score, docking for lack of coming with a converter, proprietary parts, and product inconsistency while still being a pretty sturdy, decently made pen overall. 4/5. TWSBI ECO: M & B nib. Piston filler. My favorite pens. Holds more ink than a C/C pen. To get more ink capacity than this, you'd need to go the eyedropper method. I've heard a lot of people find these tedious to clean, but I actually find them much easier to clean and change inks. So I don't know what the fuck their problem is. Color choices are limited, but you can find the special edition colors pretty easily on ebay. I don't use the regular ones anymore. Given to my wife. 5/5 TWSBI ECO White Rose Gold: B & 1.1mm stub nib. Piston filler. More expensive than the regular ECO, by a lot, and mostly the same, but a very nice pen. I actually switched to just using these over the regular ECOs, despite there really being no quality difference from the regular ECOs. I just really liked the colors and the nibs. 5/5 TWSBI ECO Creme Rose Gold: 1.1mm stub nib. This one writes better than all 4 of the White RGs I have. Guess I just got a really good one. I really like how this color looks more than the white ones, which is a bit of a problem since I have a bunch of the white RGs, lol. I use them all though, as I like to have a lot of different colored inks on hand. 5/5 TWSBI ECO Indigo Blue Bronze: 1.1mm stub nib. First pen from TWSBI I've ever received that doesn't post right. Something wasn't quite made right. I suspect it might be the cap. The pen writes great other than that little issue. Makes me a little sad I got one with a slight defect, but it doesn't effect the ability to use the pen so it's whatever. The nib on this one writes really well too. I didn't need to adjust this or the Creme one like I did with the white RGs. Really like the bronze color. It's only just slightly darker than the rose gold color. I hope they make more pens with this trim color. 4/5