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Black Ink pads: Which is best? The ultimate guide

black inks scaled

Here at Get Stamped we stock a wide range of colourful ink pads to suit your crafting needs, however, when it comes to providing a clear, bold print with no messing around, black is the obvious choice, standing out on most surfaces and colours. So that got us thinking – what is the best black ink pad out there? 

Not long after, we gathered all the black ink pads we could find – a whopping total of 22 – to run the ultimate test of which is best!

Ink pads tested

We swatched the following 22 ink pads, using a stamp we designed and created, on thick white paper.


  1. Q-Connect in Black
  2. Trodat Classic 9053
  3. StazOn in Jet Black
  4. VersaFine Clair in Nocturne
  5. Ranger Pigment Ink Pad in Black Tie
  6. 5 Star Office in Black
  7. Crystal Craft Black
  8. VersaColor in Black
  9. VersaFine in Onyx Black
  10. Ranger Distress Oxide in Black Soot
  11. Colop Micro2 in Black
  12. Dovecraft Black
  13. VersaCraft in Real Black
  14. StazOn Pigment in Piano Black
  15. Finesse by SpectrumNoir in Noir Black
  16. Fabric Ink n Real Black
  17. Memento in Tuxedo Black
  18. Memento Luxe in Tuxedo Black
  19. Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
  20. Hero Arts in Intense Black
  21. VersaMagic in Midnight Black
  22. Brilliance Archival Ink Pad in Graphite Black

We then rated the ink pads based on the clarity of the print, and the boldness of the print/colour.


After testing out all of the ink pads, we found most of them to give decent results, although a few stood out as either particularly good and bad. We found pads 2, 8 and 9 – the Trodat Classic; VersaColor and VersaFine, respectively – for example, to give the clearest prints.

These three pads also had good colour payoff, along with ink pads 7, 12, 16 and 18, however as you can see some of these ink pads suffered on the clarity side, showing evidence of bleeding or fading over time.

So, what was the conclusion?

Well, by and large we found that number 9, the Versafine Onyx Black, offered the most consistency across both clarity and colour payoff, printing each detail of the stamp clearly whilst also providing a rich black colour without bleeding or smudging. We’re pretty pleased with these results although not wholly surprised as this just so happens to be our flagship black ink pad that we recommend for most applications. You can’t go far wrong with a Versafine Onyx Black – A worthy champion!

9 2

In future blogs, we’ll be testing these ink pads on fabrics and other materials, testing how quick they dry as well as finding out which skin-safe ink pads are best for event stamps.