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How to Load a Fountain Pen

how to load a fountain pen

Most people nowadays are more fond of using ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pens as they are much cheaper and more convenient to use. That made a lot of people turn their backs on using a fountain pen, although it is one of the first-ever invented pens.

On the other hand, there are still numerous people that prefer using a fountain pen. Why? There are some arguable reasons:

It is very eco-friendly: Instead of continuously buying disposable pens, using a fountain pen is actually more practical. It can be simply refilled with bottled ink. With proper maintenance, a fountain pen’s barrel could last a lifetime.

It is very cost-effective: Disposable pens are much cheaper than fountain pens, but they do not last long. Because the ink runs out quickly and the barrel isn’t durable, you’d be forced to buy again and again. However, with a fountain pen, the only thing you’ll buy occasionally is the ink refill.

It can be used with minimal pressure: Using a fountain pen won’t give your hand a hard time writing some lengthy notes. That’s why it is perfect for journaling, essay-writing, note-taking, and many more.

It can improve your handwriting: Each fountain pen’s nib offers variations in line thickness. It adds elegance and neatness to your writing style.

Yes, fountain pens provide a unique writing experience. You’ll certainly enjoy using them. However, if you’re a new fountain pen user, sometimes things can get confusing because the mechanism of a fountain pen is quite different from typical pens.

One question you might ask is, how do you load a fountain pen? As you read on, you’ll learn some tips on how to do that.

Tips and Instructions on How to Load a Fountain Pen

tips and instructionsload a fountain pen

Before we proceed, let us know first the parts of a fountain pen:

  • Cap
  • Barrel
  • Fountain pen nib
  • Disposable ink cartridge
  • Converter (not all fountain pens come with this part)

Now, we will discuss some of the tips and instructions on how to load a fountain pen. The steps can be quite easy to learn and understand.

  • Remove the cap and unscrew the pen nib: To load the fountain pen with a converter or an ink cartridge, you must unscrew the nib first and remove everything that’s inside the fountain pen.
  • Break the seal of the ink cartridge you’re going to insert:  Make sure to follow this step to ensure a proper ink flow.
  • Insert the ink cartridge into the back of the pen nib:  If you’re using an ink cartridge, gently push down the narrower side of it onto the nib until it seals. Just find the cartridge’s opening and insert it into the pen’s grip section. Make sure to press it firmly until it punctures. This instruction is also applied if you’re installing a converter.
  • Reassemble the fountain pen and keep it pointing in a downward position: After reassembling the pen, make sure to cap the pen tightly. Put the pen inside a small container and make sure to point it downwards to help the ink thoroughly drench the feed. Keep the pen in that position for 1 to 2 hours. After that, scribble it onto the paper.

Cartridges come in different brands, sizes, and appearance but they are installed the very same way. However, if you’re using a converter instead of a cartridge, remember that it can only be used along with bottled ink.

Before you insert the converter into the nib, make sure to fill it up first with the bottled ink you have. But how do you load a fountain pen converter? Below are the steps.

  • Insert the converter into the pen’s grip section and dip the nib into the bottled ink: You need to make sure that the nib is fully dipped into the ink to let the edge of the pen’s grip section touch the ink.
  • Twist the knob of the converter counterclockwise: Do this to fully lower the piston and eliminate the air from the converter. You need to ensure that there are air bubbles that are coming out of the pen while doing this step.
  • Twist the knob of the converter clockwise: Do this to lift the piston and pick the ink up from the bottle into your pen. If you noticed that your converter isn’t full enough, twist first the knob counterclockwise, and repeat this third step until the converter becomes full with ink and no air bubbles are released out of the pen.
  • Wipe off the ink from the grip and nib area: Gently wipe the ink using a paper towel. While doing this, you can let the paper towel touch the nib for a few seconds to eliminate the excess ink that may oversaturate the nib.
  • Reassemble the fountain pen: After inserting the converter into the nib and enclosing the pen in its barrel, scribble the pen into a piece of paper until the ink is properly released.

There are several types of fountain pen converters such as plunger, squeeze, and push-button converters, but they all should be loaded by fully dipping the nib in a bottled ink. How do they collect ink?

Plunger converters collect ink by manually moving the piston up and down using a plunger. Squeeze converters work by gently squeezing and releasing the converter. Push-button converters collect ink by continuously pressing and releasing the top button.

What if the converter you bought doesn’t collect ink no matter how hard you try? In this case, the converter you’re using might be incompatible with your fountain pen. That’s why it is really important to make sure that the converter can perfectly fit into your fountain pen and can be tightly inserted into the pen’s grip section and nib.


Nowadays, fountain pens may not be used by many people, but if you’re going to do extensive research, they can be more reliable and practical to use. They are very durable, economical, and easy to use.

Fountain pens can even last a lifetime if they’re properly maintained. Though occasionally, you’re going to refill the cartridge or converter with bottled ink. But that won’t be a problem. Learning how to load a fountain pen is very simple and easy. Just follow the steps we discussed, and you’ll get your fountain pens loaded the proper way.

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