Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!
This review is 3 of 4(and a half) as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green (this review) are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.
Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, with Grapefruit in my Eco. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though. I have also been told by other users that the Pelikan piston became slightly harder to use (only slightly so) and after reapplying grease it was find again. Use at your own risk.
Jump to another KWZ ink review: (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published and all links open in a new window).
So. The review!
Over at the United Inkdom, our chief Scribble (verb and proper noun), will often save a teal ink for me to review whenever we get samples of inks in.
Well, Menthol Green is that ink.
KWZ Menthol Green is a teal ink that has a slight leaning towards green. This is most easily observed when you compare it to its look alike, Diamine Marine (below) and especially on cheap paper. Like other KWZ inks, this is a well flowing ink, but I found it to come out of the nib slightly drier. Though, by KWZ standards, that is by no means dry. Despite coming out wet, the inks dry with a very respectable time – which this ink also does. Oh. Vanilla. Yep. Smells of vanilla.
There have been reports of Menthol Green staining converters. I have not had that problem. I haven’t tested the ink in TWSBI pens either, but the issue is usually a tad more complicated because of silicone grease and the such. Either way, unless you have a c/c demonstrator, you won’t notice any staining and converters are cheap if it does become an issue. I was using this with a Montegrappa converter (which I believe is just a branded Schmidt K6) and had no issues. This ink is also very easy to clean out; which is something that I have noticed with other KWZ inks as well.
One thing I noticed about the ink is how similar it is to Diamine Marine. So much so that in the handwritten review I changed pens to one with Marine inked up and I couldn’t notice the difference. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s rebottled, however. What leads me to this conclusion is mainly the vanilla, but when you look deeper, I notice that Menthol Green lies closer towards green. This is most easily visible on the second pass of the swab.
One ink that I thought it was going to be similar to, but turned out to be much lighter in comparison, was Roher & Klinger Smaradgrün (which translates to ’emerald green’ thanks to my
fluency in German ability to use Google translate).
KWZ Menthol Green is a beautiful colour and of course, I think that every person should own a teal ink. But for the premium price, is it worth getting over a cheaper, and larger in volume, Diamine bottle?
It certainly flows better and cleans easier, but Diamine are by no means poor performing inks (aside from Sargasso Sea which has a staining reputation). They do, after all, have over 100 inks in their line up so they must be doing something right. Personally, £11.95 compared to £5.95 for 20ml less of ink isn’t worth it. But there are differences that may make this ink appeal to you over Marine. I also want to stress that this is not an ink that has simply been rebottled. Konrad at KWZ has a PhD in chemistry. This achievement requires a lot of hard work and the dedication he has to the manufacturing of his inks is something I respect hugely. This ink is 100% KWZ formulation. Kudos!
Cheaper paper displays the differences in a far more obvious way. KWZ is greener while Diamine is definitely lighter and closer towards blue.
On cheaper paper the ink loses its shading and appears greener.
For those interested, Diamine showed more bleed through.
There are some inks I think you should ‘just get’. While this isn’t one of those inks, I do feel that this colour family is a need. If you think this appeals to you then by all means pull the trigger because I know you will not be disappointed with the colour or performance of this ink.
The sample for the new formulation of this ink was supplied by Pure Pens, (opens in a new window) an online retailer based in Wales, UK. Hop on over to their website and snag yourself a bottle for £11.95.
All views expressed are my own. Pure Pens supplied the sample and I received no other compensation for doing this review.