What Is a Fountain Pen Converter?
what is a fountain pen converter

A fountain pen is a tool for writing with a silver nib that uses a converter, cartridge, or other internal storage to give a refillable and continuous supply of ink.

Fountain pens were developed in the late nineteenth century to replace the previous dip pen, which originated from feathers and required dipping in an ink after a few lines to keep an ink supply.

These were highly preferred during the first half of the twentieth century due to their simplicity and portability.

Fountain pens continue to be an important writing tool for most professionals, artists, calligraphers, and pen lovers, ranging from ordinary models to one-of-a-kind pieces of hand-crafted art.

Fountain Pen Converter 101

Fountain pen converters are removable actuators used to keep fountain pen ink in place. The converter is attached similarly to a cartridge for ink, but it has a tiny piston or plunger that sucks ink into the pen.

Filling a cartridge fountain pen involves dipping the nib into a bottle of ink and drawing the ink through the feed and nib.

A fountain pen converter allows ink to be stored in a pen. It also serves as an ink cartridge replacement, but it also helps you to fill the pen with ink from bottles. Usually, converters use a piston mechanism similar to a syringe.

A fountain pen converter gives you access to a large number of inks commercially available. It also adds a new level to the experience by trying out different colors.

Piston Converter 

In this type of fountain pen converter, the ink is drawn into the converter by a piston. 

Piston converters come in a variety of designs. Some work by just pushing or pressing the piston itself, while others use a screw.

Squeeze Converter

This type of converter includes a squeezed bladder. When the vacuum is released, the ink is drawn inside.

How Do You Fill a Fountain Pen Converter with Ink?

  1. To start, you need to unscrew the barrel from the handle part.
  2. At this stage, the ink converter should be attached to the fountain pen. Many cartridge-type pens have a converter, which is usually linked to the fountain pen. Ink converters are designed to fit the design of the pen’s cartridge. The majority of pens utilize a fairly standard ink cartridge, even though some manufacturers are using customized ones. Once you purchase a suitable converter for the pen, place it on the back of the handle part. 
  3. Remove the converter’s air filter. This process will differ depending on the converter type. In this step, you will be moving the piston towards the nib. You can twist it clockwise or press the piston in, depending on the type. Simply squeeze and hold the bladder on a squeeze converter.
  4. Put the nib of the pen in the ink container until the air hole is immersed.
  5. Now you can draw ink to the converter. Depending on the converter type, this procedure will differ. Keep the nib submerged during this step. Move the piston in the opposite direction from the nib. Simply let go of the bladder to pour the ink into the converter. The ink will be drawn inside by a vacuum effect.
  6. Take out the pen from the ink and position the nib upward. To push the bubbles out of a piston-style converter, slowly spin the piston counterclockwise. Take your time so you don’t force the ink out.
  7. You can repeat the process if you want to fill the converter, but it’s not essential. If you’re not using the pen regularly, you might also want to partially fill the converter with ink so it does not dry up before your next use. 

Remember that inks are water-based and can evaporate if left unused for a long time.

Conclusion: What Is a Fountain Pen Converter?

An ink converter may be used with most fountain pens that use ink cartridges. A fountain pen with an ink converter may utilize bottled ink instead of ink cartridges. 

A certain cartridge-style fountain pen is proprietary and will only accept their brand of the ink cartridge. Bottled inks provide a greater selection of available inks and colors than cartridge inks. 

As converters are bigger than ink cartridges, they cannot be used in all cartridge fountain pens. The flexibility of using any ink in a fountain pen is one benefit of having a converter rather than an ink cartridge. 

If you’ve previously purchased a variety of ink bottles, a converter can help you use them all in the pen. Remember that you are limited to the inks that are available in the cartridges.

When using a fountain pen after a long period, it is important to clean it first before refilling. Try to use the fountain pen regularly to ensure that the ink is completely consumed. Remove any leftover ink and wash with lukewarm water if the ink consumption is low.

For those who don’t use a fountain pen regularly, half-filling with ink and rinsing it with water after 3-4 months is a wise idea. Never clean the pen with detergents or chemicals.

We hope our blog helped you learn more about a fountain pen converter!

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