With the demise of the infamous Parker Penman series, Parker Quink is the only remaining range of fountain pen inks produced under the Parker label. As can be expected from a manufacturer ink, Quink isn't particularly impressive, either in quality or variety of colour.

The Quink brand was first used in 1931 for an ink that, according to the manufacturer, would not require blotting. Over the years it has undergone numerous manufacturing changes; the modern range has little in common with the original ink. It is now sold in five colours and in both bottle and cartridge form.

It should be noted that Parker cartridges are a proprietary format and cannot safely be used in other pens. Although they are a similar shape to the more common long international form, the mouth uses an incompatible design that can damage pens designed for narrower connections. The bottled ink, however, can be used in most pens.

Quink is thinner than most inks (but not so thin as Sheaffer Skrip) and reasonably free flowing. It does not work particularly well (or, on occasion, at all) in fine nibbed pens. The colours vary significantly between batches, but tend to run along the following lines:

Blue
Utterly unremarkable. Slightly less intense than Waterman Florida Blue. Usually labelled as washable (although there is also a permanent variety in cartridge form), whereas other colours are sold as permanent; this ink does not stand up well to water or strong light.
Blue-Black
More blue than black. Colour intensity varies massively between batches.
Black
A murky deep blue / grey.
Green
Quite light. Similar to the Waterman and Pelikan greens, but with less of a blue tint. Less intense than Private Reserve Spearmint or J. Herbin Ivy Green.
Red
Medium bright red.

The only real reason to use Quink over a specialist ink is that it is extremely easy to find, and thus not likely to have its price inflated by delivery charges. The warnings on Parker fountain pen boxes regarding use of other inks apply to non-fountain pen inks (e.g. India ink) — amusingly enough, the fountain pen ink most likely to damage a Parker pen is probably one from Parker's own Penman range.

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