Looking to ‘level up’ your fountain pen experience? From filling to writing to cleaning, there’s a few ways to make things easier. Check out our 10 Fountain Pen Hacks You Need To Try:
1. Using a Bulb syringe for cleaning a Cartridge/Converter pen
- Take off the grip, flush it from the back
- Holds enough water to equal 50 flushes with a converter in a single syringe
- This saves time, not really taxing, and is kind of fun!
2. Flipping the nib over when writing on cheap paper
- Flipping your nib over to write with can get it at least two nib sizes smaller. This is useful if the paper choice is outside your control, too absorbent, or if you need to write in a tiny area!
- Not all nibs are designed for this and it may not be the smoothest and most pleasant writing experience, so use light pressure and keep in mind your mileage may vary on this one
3. “Shake down” your pen to get it flowing
- If a pen is failing to start and you know you’ve inked it up, it could be that you need to force ink into the feed
- Hold the pen high enough in your hand so you know it won’t hit the table, and gently tap the heel of your hand on the table to “shake down” the ink, forcing it to flow down the pen
- Make sure you do this over paper, because you may fling ink. Don’t be reckless and slam your nib into the desk!
4. Remove the converter and fill directly from the bottle/sample
- This is especially useful if you have low ink in your bottle or want to keep your nib clean
- This will decrease a little of your ink capacity because your feed is empty, which can sometimes account for .2-.3ml
- You’ll want to force some ink through the feed once you’ve installed the converter to help get things flowing
5. Diluting highly saturated inks to improve their behavior
- Some really saturated inks like Noodler’s don’t always flow as you’d like them to or they have long dry times
- You can dilute your fountain pen inks with distilled water to help with this
- 10% dilution to start should make a difference without sacrificing too much color saturation or ink properties
6. Keep your fountain pens completely full or completely empty before flying
- Changing altitudes when flying (especially ascending during the first 8,000 feet) drop pressure in the cabin and essentially create a vacuum wanting to suck the air out of your pen, causing ink burping
- Eliminate the air, or the ink, and you’re good! Either fill the pen all the way with no air bubbles, or completely empty it
7. Cleaning out your demonstrator pen cap
- If you have a demonstrator pen with a cap insert like the TWSBI 580 or Pilot Custom 74, ink can sometimes collect between the insert and the cap
- Wrap a rubber band around the end of a pencil, insert it into the cap, and use the friction to grab the insert and pull it out
8. Dipping the pen in water/ink bottle to get it flowing again
- Sometimes your pen has dried out a little bit and it needs some help getting going
- Dipping it into the bottle of ink you filled it with (or water) can saturate the feed and get things flowing
9. Flood the feed to get a more saturated ink
- Show off the best your ink has to offer by laying more ink down!
- Dip the pen in the bottle or flood the feed through the pen’s filling system as often as you wish to get more dramatic shading/sheening/shimmering effects
10. Let out a couple of drips of ink after filling
- Fill the pen all the way, then let out two drops of ink, suck in air
- Keeps the feed from being over saturated and dripping into your cap, especially if you carry the pen around
- Recommended by most pen manufacturers
Have you used any of these hacks before? Do you have a favorite? If you have one we didn’t mention, leave a comment & let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team