Fountain Pens

Fountain Pens

January 13, 2012 - Posted by Brad Dowdy to Fountain Pens

This is the first fountain pen I ever owned.

I bet I'm not the only one who can say that. The Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen has served beginning fountain pen users well over the years and remains wildly popular to this day. So, what is it about the Preppy that makes it so popular?

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: the price. At $3.30 there is no reason to not try one out, even if you have never used a fountain pen in your life. The worst thing that will happen is you don't like it and you are out the cost of a tall non-fat white chocolate mocha, no whip at your favorite caffeine vendor.

But what most people discover - myself included - is that the Preppy provides great value. Choose from two different nib sizes and seven different ink colors to make your first step towards fountain pen ownership. Once the pen arrives, snap in the ink cartridge and start writing. It's as easy as that!

Even experienced fountain pen users love the Preppy for its flexibility. Not many people want to take their expensive fountain pens out of the house, but with a little silicon grease you can convert the Preppy into an eye dropper and take your favorite ink with you anywhere.

If you have always wanted to try a fountain pen but were nervous about the choices, the Platinum Preppy is the clear number one choice to get you started. The value, quality, performance, and flexibility make it a true JetPens Classic.
November 21, 2011 - Posted by Brad Dowdy to Fountain Pens

We introduced 78 colors of Diamine Fountain Pen Ink in September (now up to 80!), and now we have the ink swabs to match. This image is available on the product page of each individual ink color, and is now posted here for reference purposes.

What is your favorite color?

October 12, 2011 - Posted by Brad Dowdy to Fountain Pens

I often get asked the question “What is the best fountain pen for beginners”? When I answered it for the first time several years ago there was only one answer, and that answer hasn’t changed to this date: the Lamy Safari.

It’s not often that a pen is this universally loved, and with good reason. Released initially in 1980, the Safari was aimed at a younger demographic, especially students. The bright ABS plastic body, molded grip, and unique clip design made it a huge success, and the design has remained essentially unchanged to this day.

What made this fountain pen great for students in 1980 makes it great for those just starting with fountain pens today - it is so easy to use! As seen in this video, a simple twist of the barrel and the ink cartridge snaps in to place and you are ready to write. That is all there is to it, and for a beginning fountain pen user, that is all you need.

But what really makes this pen shine - and what makes it a JetPens Classic - is that it gives you options beyond the beginner level, all with the same fountain pen body. When you are ready to move past cartridge refills, all you need is the Lamy Fountain Pen Z 24 Converter and a bottle of fountain pen ink. We even have a tutorial to help you use your converter for the first time.

The choices are truly endless. From barrel colors, to nib widths, to a rainbow of available inks, this is what makes the Lamy Safari a JetPens Classic.
June 24, 2011 - Posted by Elizabeth to Fountain Pens

We have an updated version of this article. To read it, please click here.

Though ink cartridges are a convenient and easy way to refill your fountain pen, using a converter opens the door to a whole new world of color. There are hundreds of bottled ink colors that are not available in cartridges. This tutorial shows you how to refill your fountain pen using a fountain pen converter.

What you need: A fountain pen, converter and a bottle of ink.
(For our example, we used a Lamy Fountain Pen - Safari Model - Fine Nib - Aquamarine Blue Body, Lamy Fountain Pen Z 24 Converter and the J. Herbin Scented Fountain Pen Ink - 30 ml Bottle - Violet Purple.)

A fountain pen converter is essentially a suction tool that allows you to fill your fountain pen with ink. It has the same size opening as an ink cartridge and plugs into your fountain pen nib. There are different size fountain pen converters available that usually are only compatible for their corresponding fountain pen brands or models, so be sure to pick one that fits your pen. This LAMY piston-style converter has a knob on the top. Just turn the knob counterclockwise to force air out of the converter, and turn it clockwise to suck in ink.

How To: First, disassemble your fountain pen. You can install the converter in the same manner as a new ink cartridge, by pressing the open end into the inner nib area.

Push out all the air of the piston converter by turning it counterclockwise.

Submerge the nib and a portion of the section of the fountain pen into the bottle of ink and SLOWLY turn the converter clockwise to suction up ink.

Next, you will want to hold the pen with the nib facing upwards and SLOWLY turn the converter knob counterclockwise to force air out of the converter. By doing so you will force air bubbles out of the converter and maximize the amount of ink drawn into the fountain pen. (It is a good idea to use a tissue for this step and cover the nib, to catch any ink drops.)

Submerge the entire nib area and a portion of the fountain pen into the ink bottle once more, and SLOWLY turn the converter clockwise again to fill it with more ink.

This time around, you should not see much empty air space, if any at all.

Reassemble your fountain pen with the converter inside. Briefly and gently wrap the nib and pen section with an unscented tissue or soft paper towel to wipe off residual ink. Also, wipe off any ink creeping from the nib.

Now you're all set to go! You should be able to write until the ink is depleted and then refill your fountain pen again.

A few tips for this project:

- If you are worried about getting ink on your hands, you might want to use some rubber or latex gloves during this process. (If you look closely at the photo above, you will see a little purple stain on my index finger. Oops!)

- We advise to do this over a non-porous, easy to clean surface. It may also be a good idea to put down some scratch paper to catch any ink spills and prevent your surface from staining.

- Always clean your fountain pen and converter thoroughly before using a different bottled ink. Not only do you want to avoid contaminating any of the bottled inks you have, but a thorough cleaning will help keep the ink writing in the proper color when you switch inks.

This post contains an outdated version of the Pilot Petit Pen System. For the newest version, see this post!

Pilot has recently redone their Petit pen line!

The whole system has been revamped. The line is now a customizable system consisting of separate pen bodies and ink cartridges. They are available in three different nib types: a fountain pen (Petit1), marker pen (Petit2) and brush pen (Petit3). Choose a pen body type and then choose your favorite ink cartridge color to customize your Petit pen (sold separately).

The ink cartridges are compatible across all three body styles. Select your nib and body style and ink color to create your favorite pen combination!

The Petit1 pen bodies have the same fountain pen nibs as the original line and is available in four different body colors.

The new Petit2 pens have a felt tip or "sign pen" nib. The body styles for these pens are slightly different than their Petit1 fountain pen counterparts, as only the barrel and clip are colored.

The new Petit3 pens have a calligraphy type brush tip. Like the Petit1 and Petit2, the body colors are transparent. The clip on these pens however, is a solid color.

The ink cartridges can be used with any of the Petit pen models, allowing you to fully customize your Petit pen.

What do you think will be your favorite Petit combination?