Fountain Pen Filling Systems

JetPens Primers: Fountain Pen Filling Systems There are many ways to fill a fountain pen with ink. From cartridges to converters, piston
fillers to eyedroppers, it can be a little overwhelming. In this JetPens Primer,
we’ll introduce the most common filling methods. Cartridges are the simplest way to fill a
fountain pen with ink. They come pre-loaded with ink, allowing you to pop in a new cartridge whenever the old one runs out. To install a cartridge, find the stopper end of the cartridge and insert it into the grip section of your pen. Press down firmly until the stopper is
punctured, allowing the ink to flow into the pen. Leave the pen in a vertical position
with the tip pointing downward to help saturate the nib. It can take up to an hour or two
for the ink to fully saturate the nib, so don’t worry if the pen doesn’t start writing right away. Cartridges are easy to carry around and easy to use. However, they have some disadvantages. Many pens use an interchangeable cartridge design such as standard international short or long. However, many other fountain pen brands use proprietary cartridges that are incompatible with pens from other brands, which limits the colors you can choose from. When ordering ink cartridges, it’s important to check the list of compatible cartridges for your pen. Proprietary cartridges aside, the biggest drawback of cartridges is that they don’t allow the use of the wide range of inks that only come in bottled form. There is a way around this limitation if you’re willing to do a little work. Using a blunt-tipped syringe that can be bought at most craft stores, you can refill a spent cartridge with ink
from a bottle, giving the cartridge new life. Many cartridge fountain pens can also use bottled ink using a device known as a converter. The most commonly used types are piston and squeeze converters. Both work along the same principles, using mechanical force to create a low air pressure chamber into which ink is drawn. Like cartridges, many converters
use a proprietary design, so it is important to check which converters are compatible with your fountain pen. To fill a cartridge fountain pen using a converter, begin by installing the converter into the pen the same way you would an ink cartridge. Next, dip the pen into a bottle of fountain pen ink until the entire nib and part of the grip section is submerged in ink. For piston converters, twist the end knob until the piston is fully extended, then twist the knob in the other direction, retracting the piston and drawing ink into the converter. To fill the converter, you may need to repeat the procedure once or twice. Then, wipe off the nib with a paper towel and reassemble the pen. Squeeze converters are even simpler. When you squeeze the converter, you will see bubbles appear in the ink bottle as air leaves the converter. Release the converter slowly and wait a few seconds for the suction to draw ink into the pen. Slowly, squeeze and release the converter again, repeating until bubbles no longer appear in the bottle when you squeeze the converter. Once this happens, you’ll know that the pen is full and there is no more air in the converter. Fountain pens with built-in filling mechanisms have a much larger ink capacity than a comparably-sized cartridge or converter filled fountain pen. There have been many types of built-in filling mechanisms used over the years, but today the two most common are piston fillers and vacuum fillers. Fountain pens with a built-in piston filler operate much like a piston converter. To fill a fountain pen with a built-in piston mechanism, submerge the entire nib in the ink bottle, twist the end knob until the piston is fully extended, then twist the knob in the other direction, retracting the piston and drawing ink into the converter. Like piston fillers, vacuum filler fountain pens have a built-in ink chamber and filling mechanism. To fill a vacuum filler fountain pen, unscrew the knob at the end of the pen and pull back the plunger. Next, push the plunger back down. As the plunger is pushed down, it creates
a vacuum in the ink chamber behind it. Once it reaches the flared section at the base of the ink chamber, the vacuum is broken, causing ink to flow quickly into the pen. An eyedropper pen is one whose barrel you fill with ink using an eyedropper, syringe, or pipette. Because there is no space wasted on a built-in filling mechanism, eyedropper pens typically have a very large ink capacity. Many of the earliest fountain pens were designed as eyedropper pens and could not be filled in any other way. Nowadays, most eyedropper pens are actually cartridge fountain pens that have been converted into eyedropper pens for the sake of increasing their ink capacity. To fill an eyedropper pen, unscrew the barrel, and coat the threads of the grip section with a layer of silicone grease to ensure a watertight seal. Fill the barrel up to the threads with your choice of ink, then reassemble the pen. Not all cartridge fountain pens are suitable for eyedropper conversion. To be eligible, the pen barrel must be air-tight. There should also not be any exposed metal on the inside of the barrel. For an in-depth look at performing an eyedropper pen conversion, check out our tutorial video. To recap: For absolute convenience and portability, you’ll want a cartridge fountain pen. For maximum ink capacity and the ability to use bottled fountain pen ink, you’ll want fountain pen with a built-in filling method, or an eyedropper pen. For the best versatility, you’ll want a cartridge pen that can also use a converter. Check out our other JetPens Primers and tutorials for helpful information on other pen-related topics.

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100 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Filling Systems

  1. Concerning the first converter, ending at 2:57. If I understand correctly, after completing the instructions, am I suppose to take the converter off of the pen?

  2. How do you clean a converter pen after filling? I get a lot of bleeding on nib and as much I clean it induces new ink around

  3. Excellent information….can I change my squeeze fill fountain pen method to any other method of filling

  4. What was that pilot pen you used, the one that looked like a clear plumix? And the white piston filler? Also a while back when I got into fountain pens this video helped me a bunch, thanks!

  5. I just got my first fountain pen today. It came with some ink cartridges and I installed one according to the directions in this video. The problem is I followed the directions exactly and nearly 4 hours later I still can't write with my pen! Its brand new! Any suggestions ?

  6. You also want to make sure to have expel a couple of drops of ink from the nib after filling your pen from a bottle. This prevents the pen from burping

  7. Clear, useful video on filling systems. I have a few old, ‘vintage’ pens using levers located in the side of the barrel to draw and fill ink. So, that’s another filling method.

  8. If blunt tip syringes aren’t available, you can use a disposable medical syringe (you don’t have to dispose of it if you’re just using it for inks, it’s just the name, but if you are using for medical purposes, please do dispose of them), it’s sharp, but it still works for refilling, ink mixing and eye dropper pens. They’re available in pharmacies and I just have them readily accessible in my home since my parents are doctors.

  9. Tbh I would get anxiety with an eyedropper pen every time I would put it in a bag. You have to be a psychopath to use one of those.

  10. I have been using fountain pens for years and have usually used cartridges and converters. I just bought a fountain pen that I could not work out how to fill so chanced upon this very informative video. It turns out that I have an internal piston filled pen where the top of the pen is turned and that fills the fountain pen. So thanks for showing me how to fill my new pen.

    I did not know about all the different types of fillers, so thanks for this informative video.

  11. Thank you for this!!! I had the 2 different converters and the guy who did this for me worked at as store that no longer is in business

  12. Is it me, or is she Beautiful with perfect hands?
    Very good video. No music or other distractions. Up close camera work so that you can see what is being demonstrated.

  13. Thank you! This helped a lot! Today I bought a new piston fountain pen! And I didn't knew anything! I'm Soo happy thx guys!

  14. step 2: find an affordable piston filler for 13 years old 'musnt have a job law slave'

  15. I search the video after I fill the converter without it being attached to the pen and then put it in the pen, and wonder why there is ink everywhere inside the pen.

  16. They forgot to mention that if you happen to buy a Eyedropper pen you don't need to use Silicone Grease since they have an O-ring to keep it from leaking

  17. What kind of an idiot can't fill a fountain pen? And why do you order cartridges? Can't you just buy them at a store?

  18. Oh my god I can't believe how goddamn stupid I am: I have a squeeze mechanism re-filler but I tries putting it directly into the ink bottle. Now my hands are stained.

  19. Everytime I try to refill my fountain pen, I stain my hands with ink and have black spots all over my fingers. Is it just me to be so clumsy?

  20. F u d g e I got cartrage ink stuff for a fountain pen that needed an eyedropper filler or a squeeze ink

  21. احسنتم الله ينور عقولكم وقلوبكم بالايمان
    دورت وهسه ياله لكيته

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