How to Fill a Fountain Pen Converter Properly
How to Fill a Fountain Pen Converter Properly

Whether you’re a first-time Esterbrook owner or a seasoned user of the Kakuno fountain pen set, at some point, you’ll have to reach for your bottle of fountain pen ink. When it’s finally time to refill, getting back to those days of writing with ease might be difficult if you don’t know how to fill a fountain pen converter properly.

The entire process of filling your favorite fountain pen can also differ considerably depending on what type of pen it is.

As an everyday user of fountain pens, you need to at least understand the basics of fountain pen refilling. When you know this, it’ll be easier to determine what filling method will work best to get you that extra-smooth writing experience you’ve come to depend on from your fountain pen.

To make performing fountain pen refills easier for high-volume writers, here are detailed instructions you can follow to keep your writing instrument full at all times.

How to Fill a Fountain Pen Converter

Converters are one of the most popular fountain pen filling mechanisms.

If your pen uses a converter, you won’t need fountain pen ink cartridges. This is because converter fountain pens allow you to refill directly from ink bottles.

One of the benefits of fountain pens that use converter filling mechanisms instead of an ink cartridge is that you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues.

The flexibility converter pens give you is a huge plus. A lot of standard cartridge pens require special fountain pen refill cartridges, which can make the process more difficult.

To make sure you can properly refill your pen, we’ll be giving you a quick and easy fountain pen converter guide to follow.

But before we get started, the first thing you need to do to maintain your current writing style is determine what type of converter you’re dealing with.

Types of Fountain Pen Converters

fountain pen refill

Just as there are different cartridge-style fountain pens, there are also different converter pens.

The type of converter you have will determine your converter filling techniques and basic methods.

The most common type of converter style fountain pens that fountain pen lovers are:

1. The Piston Style Converter

As the name suggests, fountain pens with a piston converter use a piston mechanism to draw fluid into the ink chamber.

There are several types of piston-style fountain pen ink converter. The built-in piston mechanism and the screw-in piston system are most common.

Depending on the type of converter, you can use the piston filler by either pulling the piston or pressing the piston.

2. The Squeeze Style Converter

This piston-style converter comes with a bladder for fountain pen feed and filling. These use an exceptional vacuum-filling fountain pen process to get the ink into the pen.

Vacuum fillers are super easy to use for both first-time and experienced users.

A 7-Step Guide for Filling Your Converter Fountain Pen Models

filling fountain pen in ink

Fountain pen enthusiasts who want to enjoy the pleasurable ritual of refilling their writing instrument can follow these filling steps.

Step 1

Unscrew the grip section of the pen from the barrel and attach the ink converter to your favorite writing companion.

Most brands of fountain pens come with a fitting converter for the pen. In cases where it doesn’t, you should make sure you get a fitting converter for your specific pen.

The barrel threads will either screw into the pen or use a compression fit in most cases.

Step 2

The next step is to remove the air from the converter. This step is vital because exposure to air allows the ink to dry.

How you flush out the air bubbles and relieve air pressure in the converter will depend on the converter style.

Piston heads will require the piston to be moved towards the nib to force out the air, while a simple squeeze will push out the air in a squeeze converter.

Step 3

After this, you need to open the bottle of fountain pen ink. Next, you dip the fountain pen medium nib unit into the ink barrel. Make sure the breather hole of the nib unit is completely submerged in ink fluid.

Step 4

After completely immersing the nib in ink, the next step is for you to fill the converter. Again, this process will differ depending on the type of fountain pens you use.

Squeeze converter-style fountain pens use a vacuum effect to draw in the ink, while simply pulling the piston away from the nib will fill piston-style pens.

Step 5

This next step involves removing your fountain pen from the ink and pointing the nib upwards.

If you’re using a piston-style fountain pen converter, all you have to do here is twist the piston in a counterclockwise direction. Flexes with pressure will force out the air bubbles in the converter.

Make sure you’re very careful so you do not force out any of the ink as well.

Step 6

You may want to repeat the filling process a few times if you’re a heavy writer, depending on the converter size. That way, you can get sufficient ink to last several days of writing.

However, if you don’t use your fountain pens all too often, you can afford to just follow these steps once.

Because ink is water-soluble, it’s important to remember to carry out basic cleaning techniques from time to time to keep your pen in the best writing condition if you don’t use it often.

Step 7

Carefully put your fountain pen together, and you’re ready to start writing again.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to fill a fountain pen converter and perform fountain pen refills, you can use your beloved fountain pens to your heart’s content.

To learn more about color selection and how to pick the perfect inks for your writing tools, or if you want the best guides for picking a vintage pen, check out our buying guides.


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