How do I select the proper nib width for my fountain pen?
- Throughout our catalog, you will see different nib sizes for various fountain pens. The most important factor in determining nib size is the style of your handwriting.
- If your handwriting is small and and tight, we recommend a fine or extra fine. If your handwriting is large and fast or you're looking for a signature pen, we recommend a broad point medium nibs fall in between and are most common.
- For gift giving purposes, we generally recommend a fine nib for ladies and medium nib for men.
How do I fill a built-in piston or converter fountain pen?
- Both a built-in piston and converter work on the same principle. A converter is removable to replace with a cartridge while the built-in pistons are permanently affixed in the pen. Both systems have end knobs which rotate.
- Rotate end knob counterclockwise until it stops. Do not force anymore after stop.
- Dip nib of fountain pen into ink. Make sure entire nib is submerged into ink for maximum fill.
- While nib is still in ink, turn end knob clockwise back into original position.
- Place a few drops back into bottle by turning end knob slightly counter clockwise. Put end knob back into original position afterwards. Wipe off excess ink.
How do I care for my fountain pen?
- Do not press hard when you write. The beauty and advantage of a fountain pen is that it flows with the touch of paper. Pressing hard may result in ink flow problems.
- Always use fresh ink. If the bottle has been open for a year, it should be replaced.
- We recommend a cleaning every three months, every time you change ink colors, or when not in use for extended periods of time. Simply flush the nib with cold water as if you were filling it with ink.
- Never wash a fountain pen in hot water or alcohol, Use cold water only. If the pen is dirty, you may add a small amount of household ammonia to water in a 1:3 ratio.
- Do not lend your fountain pen to others. A nib adjusts to your handwriting and yours only.
What are oblique and italic nibs?
- Oblique nibs have a slanted point as opposed to a rounded point for normal nibs. Oblique nibs are ideal for people who write at severe angles or people who simply want to put a flare into their writing. Many times, left handed people are more successful with oblique nibs. If you don't have a severe angle but want a flare, a rotation of the pen or change in handwriting position is likely required.
- Italic nibs have flat nibs that create a calligraphic effect. They create a thick line on the downward stroke and a thin line on the horizontal stroke. It requires that you hold the pen properly so that the nib is flush with the paper. Generally, writing is a little slower with italic nibs.
What is the difference between a roller and a ball pen?
- A roller pen uses liquid ink whereas a ball pen uses a thicker paste ink. A roller is smoother and has a fluid, wet feel. A ball pen lasts longer and has a more controlled feel.
- Most roller pens must have caps to prevent the ink from drying out. Most ball pens do not have caps, but use twist or push mechanisms. Make sure the cap is on for a roller when not in use.
Fountain pen "First Aid"
- If a fountain pen skips, the first step should be to give the pen a cleaning. Ink, whether dried up or in use, may leave residue which can clog the feed channels. A solution of 1/3 ammonia and 2/3 cold water can be used for cleaning.
- Some chemically coated papers are not suited for use with a fountain pen resulting in skipping. After cleaning, try another paper surface.
- Skipping can also happen if the writer pressed too hard on the nib. This results in the nib splitting too much and creating a gap which ink cannot flow through. Try decreasing the pressure.
- If there is constantly ink on the grip section after you open the pen, check the inside of the cap. A fountain pen is an open end system, so vigorous shaking may cause ink to spill into the cap and transfer it to the grip section. Clean the inside of the cap with a cotton swab and try to keep the fountain pen in a n upright position when traveling.
- For each writing instrument we carry, the manufacturer guarantees their product. On our pen repair directory page, the service center for most manufacturers are listed.