Feed Saturation Pen Filling Method

Link to YouTube for the feed saturation video.

The feed saturation method of filling a fountain pen is something that’s not always the most practical thing, but it is helpful in certain situations. It’s particularly useful if:

  • The ink level in your bottle is too low to fill directly into the pen
  • Your pen is too big to fit your ink bottle opening
  • Want to use ink from a cartridge that doesn’t fit your pen

The video shows the method better than anything else I can type. Have you ever heard of this method before?

2017-10-11T03:06:07+00:00 April 28th, 2011|Tips & Tricks|25 Comments
  • archon

    Ah right, that makes sense. Presumably this wouldn't work for a sac-filling pen? Or at least not easily.

  • Neat! It's almost like filling a pen in reverse.

  • Good idea, can't believe I never thought of this myself (although I tend to change inks way too often to ever get to the bottom of a bottle!)

  • For piston fill Pelikans, I just unscrew the nib and fill directly into the chamber.

  • Genetta Adams

    I have a piston-filler TWSBI Diamond 530 and was wondering if I could just unscrew the nib/feed and fill the chamber directly with a syringe. I had a situation where I couldn't get all the ink from a sample and an eyedropper wouldn't work.

  • archon

    @Genetta – I don't see why not, you'd just be treating it as an eyedropper then. The feed wouldn't be primed after filling, mind you, so I'd twist the piston and get a few drops out to force the ink through.

  • Donna Bennett

    Genetta, I do that with my TWSBI 530 whenever I want to use ink samples in it. Works great. As archon said, you'll want to twist the piston a bit to prime the feed. (Good for Pelikans, too. Unscrew the nib, fill with a syringe, then screw the nib back in.)

  • Donna Bennett

    Oops, just saw Bridgett's comment about Pelikans below. Sorry, Bridgett!

  • Cool, but only once in a lifetime! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kite

    OMG!! This is so ingenious! This will be especially useful for filling piston pens with giant nibs. It's a pity you can't use this for vacuum fillers and other filling mechanism pens. i'll like to raise a point: If you plan to use an eyedropper instead of a syringe, i think it might help if instead of dripping onto the fins, you touch the eyedropper to the fins and squeeze out the ink slowly. This way, any ink that appears will be immediately "sucked" into the fins instead of forming a giant drop. You can stop squeezing when you see that the fins have been saturated.

    So far, I had not encountered a need for this method but this is definitely something worth knowing!

  • I don't know any 'easy' way to fill a sac pen ๐Ÿ˜‰ It may work, I'm not sure. It's best with piston-fillers, I know that.

  • It's not so much in reverse, just more like upside down ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Me too! This is another technique I did not invent myself, I had seen someone else do it and I though 'duh'. I've never seen it done by syringe before though, only eyedropper. I like the syringe much better.

  • Well, you can do that too. But there are plenty of pens out there with fixed nibs and feeds that you can't do that. Perhaps unscrewing the Pelikan nib and filling like an eyedropper should be a future video for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Thanks Donna and archon for your advice!

  • Haha, yeah, it's not a frequently needed method, true ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • That's definitely a good tip for the eyedropper. I don't think having an eyedropper is all too cumbersome, it works okay for this method too. I just prefer the syringe because it's a little more precision, plus it holds a much greater capacity than an eyedropper. Yeah, like I mentioned, this isn't the type of method you'll need to do every day, but it's nice to know how to do it for the rare situation where it may help you out.

  • Cesar Garcia

    Loved the video as I was unaware of this method and I'll find it useful on getting the last drop onto my TWSBIs, but I do feel you went overkill on repeating the name Feed Saturation Method multiple times.

    Seriously, we get the name of the method now. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • That's definitely an option, thanks to the TWSBI's design. I don't bother doing that because I keep using the same ink in my TWSBI, otherwise I would.

  • Sorry about that, I wasn't keeping count. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Whatevs, it's still cool.

  • I prefer to use a syringe over the eyedropper which comes with the larger Noodler's bottles because the syringe is much more precise. The eyedropper is big and cumbersome and it's impossible to use when filling a cartridge or a converter.

    Honestly I think that the best fountain pen ink system is the eyedropper system, provided you have a syringe to fill it. Eyedroppers have the largest capacity, the least complexity and are the easiest to fill. The only disadvantage that I see is the fact that you need to mess around with silicone grease and that you might unscrew the barrel by mistake. But this can be fixed by having a good gasket/o-ring and a good locking system.

  • I agree, the syringe is more precise. I think the preferred ink filling system is largely a personal preference. I can see arguing for the eyedropper pens, but they do have their drawbacks. But like everything, there's tradeoffs and benefits, and a case can definitely be made for eyedropper pens, they have their place in the pen world for sure!

  • archon

    Speaking as someone who currently has an ED, a piston-filler and two C/Cs in their bag, if there was a perfect filling mechanism that would take half the fun out of pens.

  • Jon Low

    Still relevant. However…Parker 61. Capillary like there's no tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€