How to Refill a Fountain Pen Cartridge: A Step-by-Step Guide
how to refill fountain pen cartridge

Do you have a fountain pen that you love, but the cartridge is running low on ink? Or maybe you just bought your first fountain pen and don’t know how to refill the cartridge. 

No worries! This post will show you a step-by-step guide on filling a fountain pen cartridge in just a few easy steps. Let’s get started!

What is a Fountain Pen?

A fountain pen is a writing instrument that uses ink and a nib to write on paper. There are many different types of pens, but they all use the same basic mechanism: a reservoir holds the liquid ink in place while you write with your nib. The most common reservoir type is called “cartridge,” which has an opening at one end to be refilled with ink.

What Are the Types of Fountain Pen?

The type of fountain pen you use is important to how your writing will look. The type of ink, the nib size and shape, and the material that the pen is made out of all affect how it writes.

There are many different types of fountain pens on the market, but they can generally be broken down into three categories: cartridge, converter pens, and piston. 

What is a Fountain Pen Cartridge?

A fountain pen cartridge is a small container that holds ink for your nib. Cartridge pens come in various colors and styles. You simply need to place the cartridge in the pen body and write!

The cartridge is pushed into the pen body and compresses on the ink sac, drawing ink from the cartridge. These pens are simple to use, but if you want to change the color of your writing, you’ll need to purchase another one.

Fountain pen cartridges vary in size, but they are all small enough to fit inside most fountain pens.

Types of Fountain Pen Cartridges

fountain pen with cartridge

There are two types of fountain pen cartridges:

International Standard Cartridge

These cartridges are available in many different sizes and shapes, but they all contain the same amount of ink.

They can be used interchangeably between brands without any problems. Some examples include Lamy, Parker, and Kaweco cartridges.

Short Cartridge

These cartridges are shorter in length than international standard cartridges, but they hold the same amount of ink.

They are only available from a few brands, such as Platinum pens and TWSBI pens. Fountain pen enthusiasts often prefer short cartridges because they fit better inside certain pens and are less likely to leak.

What You Need to Refill a Fountain Pen Cartridge

Here are the things you need to refill a fountain pen cartridge:

  • Fountain pen cartridge refill kit or ink bottle
  • Paper towel or napkin
  • Water dish (optional)

How to Refill a Fountain Pen Cartridge

fountain pen cartridge

Now that you know a little more about fountain pen cartridges, let’s walk through the steps of refilling one. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes!

1. Preparing

Before you begin, prepare your workspace by placing the kit on a paper towel or napkin. This will prevent any ink from spilling onto your work surface while filling up the cartridge! You can also use an empty water dish as a catch basin in case you happen to spill any ink.

2. Disassembly

The first step is to disassemble the pen so you can access the cartridge. Different pens have different mechanisms, but most will require you to remove the nib and unscrew the barrel from the grip section. Some pens also have a small cap that covers the cartridge opening – this will need to be removed as well.

3. Filling

Once you have the cartridge in hand, it’s time to fill it up with ink.+ There are two ways to do this: using a refill kit or from an ink bottle.

If using a refill kit, follow the instructions on the package and insert the syringe into the cartridge opening. Push down on the plunger to inject ink into the cartridge. Be careful not to overfill, as this can cause leakage!

If using an ink bottle, fill the syringe with ink and insert it into the cartridge opening. Gently squeeze the bulb to release ink into the cartridge. Again, be careful not to overfill!

4. Reassembly

Once you have finished filling the cartridge, it’s time to reassemble your pen. Make sure all parts are clean and free of any ink residue before putting them back together. You can use a paper towel or cotton swab dipped in water if necessary.

Troubleshooting Faulty Fountain Pen Cartridge

If you’re having problems refilling your fountain pen cartridge, it could be due to several factors: the type of cartridge, the brand of the ink, or the pen itself. If you’re using an international standard cartridge and it does not fit appropriately into your pen, try a short version instead. 

If you’re having trouble getting the ink to flow, make sure that you are using fountain pen-specific ink – some inks are designed for use in ballpoint or rollerball pens and will not work correctly in a fountain pen.

Lastly, if your cartridge is constantly leaking, it may be due to a faulty connection between the pen and the cartridge itself. You can try cleaning the area with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Be sure not to get any liquid inside of your pen, as this may cause damage!

Fountain Pen FAQs

Are all Cartridge Fountain Pens the same?

Fountain pen cartridges are not all the same. The most commonly used cartridge is the international standard, but there are also short versions. Some brands make their proprietary cartridges that can only be used with certain pens!

Do I Need Special Ink for my Cartridge Fountain Pen?

No, you don’t need special ink for your cartridge fountain pen. Any bottled ink will work – just make sure it is designed for use in fountain pens. There are many different colors and shades to choose from, so you can find the perfect one to match your style!

Are All Fountain Pen Cartridges Standard?

There are two types of fountain pen cartridges: international standard and short. International standard cartridges are the most commonly used, while short cartridges are only available from a few brands. 

What Are Fountain Pen Cartridge Sizes?

The size of a fountain pen cartridge depends on the brand and model. Most ink cartridges can hold between 0.40ml to 0.60ml of ink, but some larger models have capacities of up to 0.80ml! 

The size is usually printed on the packaging so you know which type will fit your pen best before buying it at an online store.

Some fountain pens allow you to use both short and international standard ink cartridges, while others are designed specifically for one or the other. 

If your pen doesn’t accept a particular cartridge size, don’t worry – there are many different types available on the market.

What is a Fountain Pen Ink Converter?

fountain pen and converter

A fountain pen ink converter is a tool that allows you to use bottled ink instead of cartridges. It works by inserting the end of a bottle into an opening at the top, then squeezing it downward until all air has been released from inside your pen. This creates suction which draws up ink from the container below and fills its reservoir with liquid ink!

The amount of time it takes will depend on how much pressure you apply while holding down the bulb. The more force is applied, the quicker your pen’s reservoir will fill up with ink (and vice versa).

When using a converter to refill a fountain pen cartridge, make sure that you have enough bottled ink to avoid multiple trips to the store!

How Often Should I Refill My Fountain Pen Cartridge?

This depends on how often you use your fountain pen and the type of ink you are using. If you’re writing frequently, you may need to refill your cartridge every few days or weeks. If you only use your pen occasionally, it may not be necessary at all!


Refilling a fountain pen cartridge is a quick and easy process, so there’s no excuse not to do it! Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it also allows you to choose the type of ink that best suits your needs. Whether you like bright colors or classic black ink, there’s nothing like having a fresh supply of your favorite writing fluid whenever you need it.


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