A few things before the comparison.
First, I did not pay for the Hero Arts ink -- Hero Arts kindly sent me the March My Monthly Hero kit along with some other products. Hero Arts did not ask me to do this review and doesn't know I am doing it.
Second, as far as I'm concerned, finding the "best" black ink is like finding the best presidential candidate. Scratch that, it's easier to find the best black ink.
Two stampers can use the exact same ink pad with the same cardstock and stamp and get different results. Sometimes it's just the way we stamp. Also, ink pads themselves vary. My friend Susan Raihala loves Memento Luxe ink, but I tried it and got awful results. I think I had an overinked pad, or maybe I just press differently, or perhaps Susan is
That said, here are my results. For this test, each ink pad was either new or recently reinked. I stamped each image twice using the MISTI onto Neenah Solar White cardstock.
Since my camera and your computer may affect how you see these images, here's what I see looking directly at the solid circle images (the line images didn't vary as much) and my other commentary:
Ranger Archival Black -- The crispest image (edges not ragged), very black. The worst coverage on solid stamps. Even stamping twice with the MISTI, there are some tiny white spots on the solid circle. Waterproof. Cannot use alcohol markers, such as Copics. Hard to clean and stains.
Memento Tuxedo -- Least crisp. Ok coverage. Looks dark gray when compared to all others. Can use with alcohol markers, such as Copics. Easiest to clean. Does not stain.
Hero Arts Intense Black -- Crisp. Excellent coverage. True black, but slightly less black than Ranger and Versafine. Can use with alcohol markers and is waterproof (Hero Arts does not claim it is waterproof in the description on its website, but I watercolored with it with no bleeding.) Easy to clean and does not stain.
Versafine Onyx -- Crisp. Excellent coverage. Waterproof if you let it sit for a few minutes, can emboss, true black. Can not use with alcohol markers such as Copic. The first 20 times I used this ink pad I got awful messy results. Then, voila, the ink pad came out of detention, got its act together, and I am very happy with it. Not as easy to clean as Hero Arts or Memento because Versafine is a pigment ink. Does not stain if all ink is removed.
MOOD WHEN DONE = Will use Hero Arts Intense Black instead of Memento when using Copics. Will use Versafine for everything else unless I can't find it under the piles, in which case I'll use Hero Arts. Would love to know your thoughts on black inks!