Nothing is more fun for this blog than when we get to abuse office supplies and push them to their limits. In the past we have cooked and frozen multiple pens, and today thanks to the folks from MassDrop, we finally got to freeze some ink! Although you cant really tell from the picture above, that is a bottle of Noodlers Polar Black Ink, which is designed to be freeze resistant, mostly for shipping purposes. Although the most recent “drop” at MassDrop for Noodler’s Polar Ink has ended, you can head over and vote for another one here.
So what we did was freeze this bottle of Noodlers Polar Black ink for about 10 hours, with it mostly submerged in a bowl of water in my freezer. I will say that in terms of execution, this was one of my worst ideas EVER. The idea of trying to unscrew the cap of a bottle full of ink thats virtually impossible to remove from anything if spilled is daunting enough, but now try it while its trapped inside an incredibly slippery hunk of ice on a glass plate. Good times! A square or rectangular bowl would have been infinitely smarter on my part, but the words infinitely and smart clearly don’t belong in the same sentence with my name. Anyway, this was just the proof shot to show that even being in subfreezing temperatures for 10 hours, the ink still retained its usable liquid form and easily loaded into the converter of my Sailor Professional Gear with a fine nib. I was a little bit nervous about exposing the nib and feed to such harsh temperatures, but hey, its not like I don’t have any other fountain pens, right?
Noodlers Polar Black Writing Sample:
The characteristics of Noodlers Polar Black ink make it pretty unique, besides the ability to resist freezing temperatures, it is also one of their bulletproof inks as well, which means it resists forgery tactics. Some of those (not all) include things like UV lights, bleach, alcohol, and stain removers. The real impetus for the development of this ink though was to hold up when exposed to freezing temperatures during shipping and to avoid the typical expanding behavior of a frozen liquid that can damage or crack plastic pens or glass bottles. The writing sample above was done in half “room temperature” ink and half recently frozen ink. Following is a closer look (ie. a scan) of the writing sample to see how it held up under the cold temperatures. Also note that true to the claims, the bottle did not crack when frozen even considering that Noodlers fills their bottles to the very VERY top with almost no room to spare. Pretty impressive in itself.
If you take a look at the Noodlers Polar Black writing sample above, thee bottom half (starting with the word “Frozen” and continuing to the end) was written after the Sailor Professional gear was filled with the ice cold ink. Obviously think ink also warmed up over the 3 minutes or so that it probably took me to write all of that. The first thing I noticed was that although being incredibly cold, the consistency and actual rate of ink flow did not seem to change at all in this really fine nibbed pen. The only real difference I saw upon very close inspection was that the frozen ink seems like it came out just a shade lighter than the room temperature ink. Maybe thats a sign that the temperature did slightly change the viscosity, but I’m a not a scientist I just know sciency-type words and am passable at using them in a relatively accurate context, so any of you scientists out there feel free to light me up on my amateur scientist tom-foolery here. Seriously, if there is a scientific explanation for the ink appearing slightly lighter when colder I’d love to hear it in the comments below. Either way though, this ink is clearly as advertised. No broken bottle in freezing temperatures and think ink still works just fine after this harsh treatment. Nothing bot rock solid products from the folks at Noodlers as usual. Thanks again from our friends at MassDrop for making this review possible, and don’t forget you can head over there to vote for another shot at a set of the Noodlers Polar inks (here) or you can check out their current drop of other Noodler’s inks that is nearing success and could be helped out with a few votes from you.