Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ink Review: Sailor Jentle Grenade

O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
candid, from me falling — drip, bleeding drops,

~ From "Trickle, Drops" by Walt Whitman

One of the joys from using fountain pens is the wide choice of ink colors for everyone to choose from. When I switched to full fountain pen use, I realized that there wasn't just one red or blue ink that I could use—there are a lot! In the last four years, I have built a collection of fountain pen inks including 13 red-based ink colors, and I'm still craving for more!

When Scribe Writing Essentials launched the arrival of Sailor products in the Philippines last September, I knew I had to test their ink offerings, and what better color to start the Sailor ink taste test—I chose red! Scribe sent me a bottle of Sailor Jentle Grenade to review, and I tested it on two different pens with regular and italic nibs, and on different paper types. Grenade did not disappoint, it gave me a blast!

My bottle of Grenade holds 50ml (1.7oz) of water-based ink and costs Php695 from Scribe Writing Essentials (for Philippine readers of this blog), while Goulet Pens (for international readers) sells it for US$12.50. This ink is a bit expensive, but it's worth the price.

Each bottle of Sailor Jentle inks comes with a plastic tube that serves as an internal reservoir to make filling pens easier. When the plastic tube is empty, just turn the bottle upside down and then right up again to let the ink into the plastic tube. Just make sure that the bottle's cap is tight and secure before flipping it to avoid spilling ink. The plastic tube is helpful especially when the ink level in the bottle is very low.

Grenade is a deep, dark red/purple/burgundy ink that is highly saturated, but has good lubrication and flows very well. It is smooth on all the paper samples I tried, and the shading is just amazing! While wet, it appears as dark red, but becomes dark purplish red when it dries. It is not difficult to read and looks beautiful either on white or non-white paper samples (ecru, beige, etc.)

For a saturated ink, Grenade dries fast (8mins) on the 90gsm Canson sketchpad and Kokuyo paper, but a little slower (12secs) on Rhodia paper from the Reverse Notebook I used in the written review above.

I did not have feathering and bleed through issues in the three paper types I mentioned, but Grenade bled heavily when I tried it on 70gsm copy paper.

Grenade shows unique shading when written from a wide-nibbed pen. The sample above shows Grenade (upper swatch) with J. Herbin's Rouge Hematite (lower swatch), or 1670 Anniversary ink, the only ink that I can compare Grenade to, for obvious reasons. Grenade has dark green shading, in a similar way to the 1670's gold flecks. The green shading is the reason I chose Grenade over Epinard.

Well, my red ink collection is growing, and though Grenade is only the first Sailor ink I reviewed, it is my 14th red ink. It will surely be on my top five favorite red inks because of its deep, dark purplish red color and amazing shading. Grenade is an excellent ink and I will get more of it when I finish the bottle.

Sailor Jentle ink is available in nine colors: black, blue, blue-black, ultra marine, sky high, epinard, grenade, apricot, and pêche. Sailor also offers two pigment inks, Kiwaguro (black) and Seiboku (blue-black), both  quick drying and water proof inks.

The bottle of Sailor Jentle Grenade used in this review is courtesy of Scribe Writing Essentials, the leading contributor of high-end reading and writing accesories in the Philippines. The red Lamy Safari and Rhodia notebook are from my personal collection.


  1. I love Grenade! One of my favourite inks! :) I'm happy you like it too.

  2. Great looking ink. I have a Sailor pen I really love, but I never tried Sailor ink. The red ink and red Safari are a perfect match.

    Thanks for your review.

  3. Great post! What is the nib width on your Lamy?

    1. That's a 1.5 italic nib. Thank you for reading the review!

  4. Lovely ink! I always enjoy your ink reviews :) Got Sailor Peche because Grenade was out of stock. Looking forward to getting Grenade one day soon.

  5. WOW. I am blown away by your beautiful review!! I have a little sample of this and lovelovelove it! Will have to get a bottle. Too bad I can't write as beautifully as you hehe.

  6. Such a lovely red! And beautiful calligraphy and photos (as usual!).

  7. I ordered the sample a few days ago and now I am even more excited about it.

  8. A reader with username Estivalia posted a comment in this review but I unfortunately accidentally pressed 'delete' instead of 'publish'. My apologies, Estivalia. Below is her comment copied from the email notification:

    "Holy crap, look at that green sheen! I'm crazy about inks with a sheen, and this one is lovely. Thanks for an awesome review! (I came here from Azizah's blog btw ;)"

    Thank you Estivalia!

  9. Allan Engelhardt8:06 PM

    I always enjoy your reviews - please keep them coming!

  10. (I had the same question, glad I read the comments) I am years late, but what an Awesome review! I love inks with a sheen!