In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about budget eyedropper pens, using 20 pens at a time, and fixing pens that dry up.

This week:


1) Gary M.- Facebook (21:46)

What are the best budget eye-dropper pens among your brands?

2) Gillian B- Facebook (31:22)

Deep dive on Nettuno. Any updates on the ETA of the Nettuno God of the Seas? I know you were really excited by Nettuno when you visited them in Italy. Can you tell those of us who are interested in this pen what you particularly liked about Nettuno? Not many places carry them–who is their distributor? This is my Grail at the moment and want to know more about it as I save my pennies.

  • February, but that could and likely will push out
  • Nettuno is a small operation, and it’s just taking time to build things up
  • I’m excited for the potential of the brand, it’s a lot of people who were the heart and soul of Delta
  • Delta went under, so there are limited funds to get it going again
  • They aren’t available widely because they’re just not that big yet, so production is limited
  • Yafa is their distributor, which is why we went to see them (while seeing Stipula and Pineider)
  • Unfortunately I just don’t have a lot of information about the God of the Sea other than what we have on our product page, as I haven’t even seen a sample in person
  • It’ll come, in due time!

3) kevin_lukas_klein- Instagram (35:30)

Is it bad if I dry my fountain Pens with a napkin/paper tissue instead of letting it dry on the fresh air. The drying includes (if possible) to go inside the pen to also dry it out from inside.

  • nah, you’re fine, as long as you are gentle with it
  • some paper towels and tissues will be better than others, you want to make sure you aren’t getting fibers stuck
  • my specific favorite brand to use is Bounty select-a-size, where it has the half-sheet, I fold it into a square or smaller rectangle
  • you definitely don’t have to let it air dry

4) ayako0chan- Instagram (40:14)

How do you clean behind the plunger when it cannot be unscrewed?

  • this is somewhat of an open question as there are different types of pistons
  • some pens (like TWSBI) you can disassemble
  • many converters you can simply immerse in water and screw/unscrew repeatedly while under water to get the water behind the piston
  • piston pens, I’m not completely sure if the water submersion thing works, I think it’ll vary by pen
  • ink behind the seal doesn’t really hurt anything, it’s more aesthetic than anything

5) eruannecalie- Instagram (46:20)

I dedicate pens for certain inks and use about 20 pens at a certain time. It takes about a month to use up all ink if in a converter and months if in a piston filler (forever if eyedropper, harhar!). My question is what would be an ideal pen hygiene routine for such pens because for one, I’m a little lazy to clean pens and sometimes I don’t feel I have to because I’ll be putting in the same ink anyway. Thank you and I hope you consider my question.

  • this will vary a little bit based on the person/pen/environment
  • I generally use around a month as a guideline for when maintenance is needed
  • if it’s the exact same ink, you can simply dump and refill the same ink, no need to even clean it unless it’s all dried out
  • if you want to get it a little cleaner, just flush with water a few times, wipe with a paper towel, and refill, should take 1 minute max
  • if you go longer, you’re risking the ink drying out in the pen, and you’ll definitely need to clean and refill
  • 20 pens is a lot, on the upper end of the range, but not impossible


6) gbusbey- Instagram (50:18)

What is the darkest orange ink you’re aware of? Like a black orange if you will.


7) anthonydraper- Instagram (54:01)

I got my first new gold-nib fountain pen 6/7 months ago. I can rarely write with it for more then a paragraph or two. The ink won’t flow through it. Do I just need to use it more, or is there something wrong with it that needs replaced?

  • Some things I’d really love to know is what pen you have and how long you’re going between writing
  • My assumption  is it’s sitting there for quite a while, and perhaps you haven’t done a thorough cleaning since you got it 6/7 months ago
  • Just go ahead and clean it out thoroughly, that’s always a best bet for a pen with flow issues
  • Eliminate the paper as a variable, try it on others
  • Eliminate the ink as a variable, does it work well in all your other pens? Does the pen write well with another ink?
  • I’m willing to bet if you clean it out and refill with the same ink, or maybe clean and change inks, you’ll see it writes a lot better
  • try to refill it or clean it every 3-4 weeks and I think you’ll be good!
  • Also consider how you’re storing  it, don’t store nib up (if it’s having issues drying out), stick with horizontal or nib-down


8) Josh R- Facebook (01:00:05)

How receptive are most pen companies to the feedback you get from customers and pass on to them?

  • it varies a lot, but most are willing to hear us out
  • each day that passes, they’re paying more and more attention
  • the larger the company, the more feedback they’re getting all over the world, so we’re not their exclusive source of intel
  • you can pretty much guess which ones are most receptive, generally it’s the ones we’re doing the most exclusives and co-branded with
  • sometimes companies will be very receptive but it’s not so easy for them to act on anything, but most brands are willing to hear it!
  • I can’t encourage you enough to keep giving feedback, it really does make a difference!

QOTW: If there was one thing you could tell to a pen company and you knew they’d listen to whatever you say, what would it be? (01:09:38)

Write On,
Brian Goulet