What ink

Yes, I’ve done my homework as best I can; I’ve read hundreds of posts on here about ink. But which make of ink for an Adana 8-5? There seems to be a clear majority for oil-based ink for a whole variety of reasons, so I’ll go with that.

Caslon sell a special ‘Adana’ ink at £11 for a 150ml tube. Now, whilst I might struggle to use this much ink very quickly, the Van Son Quickson inks in 1kg pots are (mostly) cheaper than this. And it claims to stay open overnight too.

But there’s a single post on here that says Quickson isn’t a good ink, and you should use Van Son CML - but then others are using Quickson.

Or should I be considering something completely different?! Thanks in advance.

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In my experience the Quickson inks perform well, but are a lower viscosity than the CML inks. Used carefully, either would be a good choice for letterpress even though originally formulated for offset litho work. For a beginner, the CML may be a better choice.

John Henry

T. N. Lawrence has a good stock, and has ink that is specifically made for letterpress:


I’m a Van son Rubber based ink fan. It is a good stiff ink. It doesn’t skin in the tin and it lasts well. I keep inks for over a decade of non use and I find I can generally stir it into life. Oil based you throw so much away every time you take the skin off the tin. I’ve never used tubes.

I’ve run, and do print with, daily - 8x5 Adana at craft fairs- 2 C&p’s, and a Heidelberg Windmill 10x15 blackball. Van Son on all of them. But, I never use coated stock at all, and so your ink choice is related to paper. Oil based, for coated stocks and drying time. Over night for me, and less wash up.

Thanks all.

Apparently Van Son no longer do CML. (Though the guy I spoke to at Mayday Graphics said their supplier is now doing an own-brand CML, but couldn’t tell me who made it. What does CML stand for?)

Lawrence I’m sure have lovely ink, but like Mr Ford said you can have any colour you like so long as it’s black - although they offer you a whole string of blacks.

I reckon I’ll be giving Quickson a go with a red and a black to begin with.