Fountain pens should, as a
rule, only be filled with general purpose
fountain pen ink. This ink is a free flowing
liquid with a water base (although it may have a
peculiar smell sometimes), and is designed to
flow well through the feed of a fountain pen.
Most inks include a small amount of some sort of
solvent to keep the feed clear and writing
properly. don't buy inks intended for other
kinds of pens (such as india ink, technical
drawing ink, artist's inks, etc.) since these
may be too thick or too runny to work with the
pen, and they may leave residue that can stop up
the pen or ruin the filling system.
Yair Greenberg from Yafa, Us Distributors from
Converters fit inside
cartridge pens in place of the cartridge and
allow the pen to be filled from a bottle. If you
have a cartridge pen, chance are you can find a
converter that will fit it. There are two
general types of converters in common use: the
"aerometric" or sleeve filler, and the piston
filler. You can also refill empty cartridges if
you are of a frugal frame of mind.
The Aerometric filler is
actually a variation on the old-style sleeve
filler that was used early in the century. It
usually consists of a rubber or rubber-like sac
(some are transparent plastic) inside a metal
sheath; there's an opening in the sheath through
which you can see a pressure bar. To fill the
pen, simply dip the point all the way into the
ink bottle, mash the pressure bar, let go and
allow the sac to expand and draw in ink. If the
pen is new or nearly empty, you might repeat
this maneuver a couple of times to make sure you
get as much ink as you can.
Many pens, particularly
German ones (like Pelikan and Montblanc), fill
only from a bottle and use a piston or
screw-type filler. These can be identified by a
barrel-end that screws in and out (and, usually,
an ink window in the section in which you can
see a piston). To fill these pens, unscrew the
piston (by twisting the knob at the end of the
pen until it hits a stop), dip the point in the
ink supply, then screw the knob back down.
Remove the point, and while holding it over the
ink, twist the knob back out just enough to let
three drops fall from the pen (this part is
important). Then, screw the knob back down, wipe
up, and you're ready to go.
Some older pens used a fairly crude piston fill
that worked exactly like a hypodermic syringe:
Push the piston home to expel the old ink, dip
the point in the bottle, then raise the piston
do draw fresh ink into the pen.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How do I select the right nib?|
writing, is small, fine, or tight your handwriting
will look best when a fine or extra fine nib is used,
Larger handwriting, or writing that is spread out requires a medium or bold nib,
Symbols such as Japanese, Arabic or Hebrew look best when written with a broad nib,
|Is the size of my hand a factor to select a
The shape of your hand should influence the choice of the pen,
A person .with long fingers will hold a thicker barreled pen more comfortably,
People with shorter fingers write more comfortably with a slim or thin barrel.
Another way to determine the right barrel thickness is to notice the angle of the pen as
you write, It is possible to change the writing angle (for greater comfort) by using a thicker or thinner barrel?
|Is the pressure applied to the paper an
issue to consider, in the selection of a
Make sure your are comfortable holding the style of pen chosen, If it appears that
you are applying pressure, especially to a fountain pen
take in account that the ink will flow more
smoothly if the pen is allowed to glide over the
paper, if you consciously realize this, your
comfort as well as your handwriting will
|Is proper for ladies to buy men looking
pens, or vice versa?|
Avoid thinking of pens as "men’s" or "ladies” If
you are comfortable using the pen, and likes the
way it looks, it is the proper pen to purchase.
|How do I clean my fountain pen?|
Empty the ink from the pen. Use the converter or pump to fill the pen with the
cold water -preferably with some ice in it- . Repeat a few times, flush with clean cold water,
until the water comes out clean, dry the
excess of water with a cotton cloth. We
recommend to flush and dry your fountain pen if
it is going to be left unused.
|How should I uncap my fountain pen before
Opening the pen properly will help to prevent unnecessary damage to the nib.
1. hold the pen in one hand
2. grip the cap with thumb
3. push upwards to remove the cap
|Should I press down on the nib when the pens won't write?|
it is not advisable to do that, this may split
the nib. When this occurs it is usually because
the pen needs to be cleaned or refilled.
|Can I leave the cap off when the pen is not use for a little while?|
again it's not prudent to do that, because the
ink will evaporate and dry causing clogs.
|What is the right procedure to re-fill my
It's of the essence to shake the ink bottle
before filling-up your fountain pen. The shaking of the ink bottle will cause the ink
pigments and solids to be well mixed and balanced,
and your fountain pen feeding mechanism would be less
prone to be blocked by this solids, favoring the ink
flow and preventing skipping.
|How should I store my pen for a short term when not in use.|
Make sure the pen is in an upright position whenever it is not being used. This will prevent ink evaporation or thickening, as well as leaking, clogging, and skipping.
|If some one asks, should I lend my pen?|
Everyone writes at a different angle, and with different pressure.
When you use your fountain pen it adapts and "molds" itself to your individual writing style. Slight changes will occur if someone else uses your pen.
|What kind of paper should I use with my fountain pen?|
Try to use 100% cotton/rag paper.
Avoid using recycled paper, as it fails to absorb ink properly.
|And finally Keep your fountain pen clean, and use it, The ink in a fountain pen flows most smoothly when
the pen is used regularly.
Make sure you have a
cartridge that will work in your pen. You're
usually safe buying the cartridges made by
the same company that made the pen, but many
pens (generally European) use a standard
design making these cartridges
Unscrew the barrel from the pen; pull out
the old cartridge (might want to do this
with the pen pointing up so you won't drip
any of the remaining ink from the
cartridge). Put the new cartridge in its
place and push; usually, you have to break a
membrane or dislodge a small bead in order
to start the ink flow (you should be able to
feel a nice "thunk" when you've accomplished
Reassemble the pen and you're back on the
trail. If the pen was dead empty or dried
out, it will take a bit of scribbling before
the proper ink flow starts up. If the new
cartridge is a different color, it may take
some time for the new color to appear (the
pen must use all the ink stashed away in the
feed before taking on new ink from the
cartridge). You really shouldn't have to
pinch or squeeze the cartridge to get the
If you use cartridge pens, you should
consider switching to a bottle fill
converter; not only because this is
much more economical, and more environmentally sound,
but you're flushing out the feed every time
you fill, so it will stay cleaner and will
be less likely to clog.
"better" convertible pens today, like
Waterman and Montblanc, have piston-fill
converters. The chief advantage of these is
that they can be broken down and cleaned
should they dry out; also, with the ink
reservoir being totally transparent, you can
see how much ink is left in the pen at any
To fill a piston filler, immerse the point
completely in the ink bottle, then twist the
knob (or push the slide on more recent
Parker converters) until the piston is all
the way down. Then, move the piston back up,
drawing ink into the converter. Again,
repeat this to completely fill the converter
if it was pretty empty to start with.
Remember to "prime" the pen by releasing a
few drops of ink after filling, then screw
the piston back up to the top.
Rotring recently introduced special ink
bottles that were designed especially to
fill converters out of the pen; this isn't
as convenient as it might sound, since you
not only have to unscrew the barrel, you
have to remove the converter (and now you
have the pen in at least three pieces to
keep track of). Also, you lose the benefit
of "flushing" the point and feed during the