Friday, July 20, 2012

FP101- Refilling An Ink Cartridge

I've talked about ink cartridges and filling mechanisms already in the Fountain Pen 101 series, and I want to build upon that with today's tutorial on refilling empty ink cartridges.

Why would you refill ink cartridges?

  • To save money, so you don't have to buy a converter for your cartridge/converter pen
  • Higher ink capacity, some cartridges have higher ink capacities than their matching converters
  • More ink options, as some pens only take cartridges like the Kaweco Sport and J. Herbin Rollerball pen

There are just a few things you'll need to refill your ink cartridges:
  • A pen that takes cartridges
  • Empty ink cartridges (you'll need to save these, as you usually can't buy them empty)
  • At least one ink syringe, two make the process faster
  • Water
  • Bottled ink

That's it! You're essentially just flushing the dirty cartridge out with water and refilling it with ink. This process isn't quite as convenient as filling a pen with a converter, but it can be really helpful in certain situations!

There are also a lot of other great uses for ink syringes, see my video on them here.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments :) See the other Fountain Pen 101 videos here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet


  1. I have a couple of pens that for whatever reason don't work well with converters, and then theirs the case of the Preppy a pens who cartridge converter cost twice what a pen does and sometimes you just don't want to convert it to a eyedropper pen

  2. While I have found that standard international cartridges do not hold up well to multiple refillings, Pilot cartridges are incredibly sturdy for this, as are Lamy cartridges.

  3. Yes, that's exactly where this method can help.

  4. I guess it's going to depend on the pen and the cartridge as to how well it'll work.

  5. I've been saving up my empties to try this very thing - maybe this weekend, even. I have a feeling I'm going to have inky fingers very soon!

  6. Nice! Inky fingers are a lifestyle for me :)

  7. I've been having fun with this. I bought ink syringes and several ink samples from Ink Nouveau, and having the syringe allows me to get every drop of ink out of the sample bottles. I've been emptying a bunch of cartridges I've had around forever, and I love playing with the colors.

  8. Nice! Yeah, syringes are some of the best tools you can have for your fountain pens, as well as a bulb syringe! http://www.inknouveau.com/2010/04/ink-nouveau-22-flushing-fountain-pen.html

  9. Thanks for this, Brian! I'm sure you'll find a lot of links coming back to Ink Nouveau for your how-to videos, as your readers (viewers?) spread the news of your very helpful info for new fountain pen users. It's a great service you're bringing to the FP community.

    Someone commented about the life of re-used cartridges. While my experience has been that they last a long time, eventually they will crack; had this happen with a long internat'l cart (Waterman) at the LA Pen Show - inky mess!

  10. Thank you! I'm glad that my effort is valued :) I'm enjoying doing all of the FP101 videos, I can tell it's helping a lot of folks out. I'm going to keep doing them for the foreseeable future, too, until I just run out of relevant topics! That'll probably be a while though.

    As for the cartridges, yes they do have a life, it's hard to say exactly how long. I'm sorry about your leak! Yikes! I think the life of the carts will vary depending on manufacturer too, I imagine very rigid ones like the Platinum ones will last longer than thinner ones like the Waterman.

  11. The post is informative and i am sure it is going to help many people... for more visit http://www.cartridgesupplier.com/

  12. I have a Montblanc LeGrand Traveller.

    Would an empty crack vial work as a cartridge in it?
    Thank you.

  13. I'm glad I found this site, I was just about to buy a converter for my pilot prera, but now I can just refill it before I get one or decide to eyedropper it.

  14. I used to have the MB 147 Traveller too. It uses standard international short cartridges. So, yes the same procedure will work for them.

  15. What about Pilot Cartridges? Can they be refilled too?

  16. I will second that bulb syringe! It is invaluable when cleaning a pen, it saves a ton of time.


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