Black pens are not all created equal. While I consider black to be one of the least interesting ink colours out there, it is also (along with blue) one of the most commonly used options. So here is a comparison of the black pens I have in rotation, as a follow-up to my green pen, blue pen, and red and orange pen comparisons.
Personally, I like my black pens to write with the deepest, darkest black imaginable. I don't particularly care for black ink (there are so many more fun colours out there), so if I'm going to use it, I want it to be not just black, but BLACK. My favourite pen in this category is by far the 0.7mm Pentel EnerGel. Not only does it have rich, deep black ink, it's also very smooth and lays down a luscious and bold line. The 0.35mm version of the EnerGel has the same ink, but is not as bold as its wider-nibbed cousin.
The Pentel Pulaman disposable fountain pen and Sanford Liquid Expresso also write with a deep, dark black, as does the Uni-ball Vison RT, although since I've had some issues with how the Vision RT writes (occasional skipping), I wouldn't describe it as one of my favourite black pens. Fine-tipped pens tend not to stand out in this comparison, but the 0.3mm Pentel Slicci actually has quite nice black ink as well. And for drawing and sketching, the Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen and Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen are also excellent.
My least favourite black pen is the Sharpie Pen Grip; I would describe its ink colour as more of a dark grey than a true black. Ballpoints typically have greyish, washed-out black inks as well; the two in the comparison, the Pentel Superb and PaperMate FlexGrip Ultra (a generic cheap stick ballpoint) are no exception, and I usually like blue ballpoints better than black ones.
Finally, one pen I left out of this comparison was the Zebra Sarasa. This has long been one of my favourite 0.7mm gel pens, but a reader recently informed me that Zebra has changed their ink formula in the Sarasa, and I have not yet tried one of the new versions.
What are your favourite black pens and inks?