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Where Can I Buy Fountain Pen Ink

We recommend staying far away from nameless ink vendors, but if you want to experiment with super cheap inks, here are some options that people around the fountain pen community have tested and recommended. Just make sure to test them with an inexpensive fountain pen with a steel nib before you put them into anything fancy.

where can i buy fountain pen ink


One of the best reasons to use a fountain pen is getting to use fountain pen ink. Not only do fountain pen inks come in a stunning variety of colors, but they also have a lot of other properties you can take advantage of to tweak how your pen feels and writes.

Because pigments are not water-soluble, it is essential to clean your pen regularly and not let any pigment-based inks dry out inside your fountain pen. If they do, it can be extremely difficult to clean your pen out and get it working properly again.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Bulletproof inks are only waterproof once they are bound to the cellulose fibers in the paper. If any ink dries on the surface of the paper without being absorbed, that ink will not be waterproof. Ironically, this makes Bulletproof inks perform worse on papers that are generally considered better for fountain pen ink, since an important characteristic of fountain pen friendly paper is not being too absorbent.

This is actually a bit of a controversial topic among fountain pen enthusiasts. Some users claim that shaking ink bottles can stir up sediment that will then get into your pen and clog it. This has never been a problem for us, but in theory it is possible.

Always start by mixing a small amount of ink in a sample vial or other small container. Let the mixture sit for a couple days and see what happens. If any grit or gunk has formed in the vial, then the two inks are not compatible and the mixture is not safe to use in a fountain pen.

Exploring the ever-widening world of fountain pen inks can be a fabulous adventure. Being able to choose between hundreds and hundreds of different colors is part of what makes writing with a fountain pen so special. When you find an ink that looks great on the page and feels great in the pen, it transforms the humdrum task of writing into an indulgence activity.

(Notes: As with the previous update to this list, we are running into some real pricing headwinds. The Esterbrook Estie, which is similar to the Leonardo, is creeping up to $195 as a starting point. The new versions of the Montegrappa Elmo are well beyond $200 now, when they were formerly a lock for this list. And that list keeps growing. Right now, the Pilot Custom 92 (in certain colors) is one of the best fountain pen deals on the planet, but I hesitate to add it to the list because the product line seems dormant. We will continue to see a lot of change here for the foreseeable future. (Updated 11/15/2022))

(Notes: Pentel GraphGear where? With its overly technical design it is a bit more difficult to outright recommend, but if it is your style, then you will be happy with its quality. Special shout-out to the Uni Shift Pipe Lock. It is a personal favorite of mine, but is clearly in the 6 to 10 range at this point with all of the quality choices above. Updated 2/1/2023.)

Faber-Castell 9000 HB - The beauty of this category is that I could list one of about a dozen pencils in this spot. The 9000 features a classic design, and an oddly sturdy build. It feels durable, maybe more so than some of the other pencils on this list. The only odd thing is the price, which falls somewhere between the two office pencils on this list, and the two premium options. (Buy)

Bottled ink is one of the joys conferred by fountain pen ownership. An enormous range of colours are available (we have over 400 colours available and you can even mix your own); it can be economical and eco-friendly; and there's some satisfaction in the process of filling a pen.

Any fountain pen can use any reputable brand of ink - despite what pen manufacturers and their vested interests might imply. It's true that there are some pens that are more fussy about ink than others, and there is quite a wide variation in the viscosity and colour of the various brands, but in general the choice of ink will normally come down to personal preference or cost.

However, two brands which stand out in most often in polls of fountain pen users are Waterman Ink and Diamine Ink, and we heartily recommend these to any fountain pen owner. Diamine in particular offers an enormous range of colours and it's still manufactured right here in the UK. We love their inks so much that we've had them make a small range of extra colours especially for us - see our Cult Pens Deep Dark Inks.

Fountain pen ink is not generally very waterproof - the properties that make ink waterproof are not friendly to delicate fountain pen innards. However, Platinum's Carbon Ink is about as safe as it gets and is thoroughly waterproof. You'll need to rinse out your pen before storage though. Graf von Faber-Castell's line of luxury ink is safe for any pen, and boasts impressive if not bullet-proof tolerance to water.

(This is a guest post by Adam Di Stefano. Adam is a writer, armchair philosopher, former lawyer, entrepreneur, marketing professional, obsessive compulsive, and consummate generalist. He has also recently become addicted to fountain pens. You can read more of his ramblings on his blog at The Happiest Man in the World.)

I have always loved the look and the mystique of fountain pens. As a writer, I have a sentimental attachment to the written word, and all things that go with it. I've always had a bizarre fascination with stationery stores. I own far too many notebooks, and while you would have to drag me kicking and screaming into a shopping mall, I'll happily spend money on office supplies. As such, maybe it was a foregone conclusion that I would some day grow fond of fountain pens.

If you're like me, you'll read a lot, you'll feel lost, and you'll be intimidated. And then eventually, after months and months of reading stuff that you barely understand, you'll decide to take the plunge and buy a pen and see what happens. You'll make some mistakes, but eventually after some trial and error, you'll start to realize just what these fountain pen aficionados are so crazy about. Or, you'll give up because it's too much hassle and regret having waster your money.

That's why I decided to write this. My goal is to give someone who wants to try fountain pens for the first time a step-by-step guide on how to go from true beginner to early-stage addiction in a single concise article, all the while removing some of the intimidation and false starts that come with plunging in on our own.

I could write a whole glossary just on the terms and terminology used in the fountain pen world, but that's not my goal here. My goal is simply to give you the most basic definitions you'll need to understand the rest of this article. I want to focus on things that someone who doesn't know much about fountain pens wouldn't know, while not getting into details that are unnecessary for someone just getting started.

The nib is the part of the pen that touches the paper, and that the ink comes out of. On most pens it will be stainless steel, and on higher end pens it will be gold. By changing a nib, you can completely change the experience of writing with a pen. One of the first decisions you'll have to make when buying a fountain pen is the size of the nib's tip.

On most standard fountain pens, nibs can come in various points from extra fine to bold. The tip of the nib will determine just how much ink is released, and the thickness of the lines that you will put down. In addition to extra fine to bold, there are also a variety of other nib types like a cursive italic, or a stub. These special grinds are best suited for specific handwriting styles.

A converter changes a cartridge filling system into refillable solution. There are various types of converters and filling systems, but the main purpose remains the same: a refillable reservoir that holds the ink that your pen uses to write. Some pens come with converters, others need to be ordered. For instance, a Pilot Metropolitan comes with both a cartridge and an empty converter, whereas a Lamy Safari comes only with a cartridge. If you want to refill a Safari, you either need to buy more cartridges, or you need to buy a converter plus ink.

One of the reasons you'll have gotten into fountain pens in the first place is that they look so damn cool. Unfortunately, for most of us, the idea of jumping into buying a $200+ pen without knowing anything about it isn't so easy. As a result, it's probably a good idea to wet your feet with what I call a "starter pen."

This was my first fountain pen lesson. The way a fountain pen works is different from the way a ballpoint or a gel ink pen works. Pen doesn't just start flowing automatically. The ink needs to work its way through the entire nib. In addition, if ink has been sitting in the pen for a while, it may have dried slightly, which will give you a less smooth writing experience. In general, using it will allow you to get through the drier ink and then it will start to flow.

Brad recently wrote a great piece for Rhodia about how paper is like the tires on a car, and it's true. You don't really notice what kind of tires are on your car until you have a high performance car that can take advantage of them. The fountain pen is a little bit like the high performance car.

I think there is a misperception about writing using a fountain pen that if you're using a fountain pen, you should be writing in cursive (or attached letters as I understand it's called across the pond).

So, if you don't have to write in cursive, why am I telling you to adapt your writing style? Well, simply because a fountain pen writes differently than a ballpoint pen. The ink flows more, and tends to dry slower. Furthermore, fountain pens need to be held at a certain angle so that the nib contacts the paper in the right way to allow the ink to flow properly. 041b061a72


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