Fountain Pens

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?

Converting a standard fountain pen into an eye dropper pen is a favorite project among fountain pen aficionados. It involves filling the fountain pen body with ink (rather than a cartridge) and closing it with a tight seal. This is especially useful for the plastic bodied Kaweco Sport pens, as they are not compatible with any of our fountain pen converters due to their compact size. This conversion will work on most non-vented, plastic fountain pen bodies.

The following easy steps teach you the basics on how to make your very own eye dropper pen using the Kaweco Sport Ice Fountain Pen as an example.

What you need:
A Kaweco Sport fountain pen available at JetPens (you can choose any color, but we recommend to only use the plastic versions), silicon grease, an eyedropper, and a bottle of ink.

Here we used a Kaweco Sport Ice Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Orange Body and J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink - 30 ml Bottle - Diabolo Menthe (Mint Lemonade Green). We found our silicon grease at our local Lowes Hardware store. When shopping for the silicon grease make sure to get one that has enough viscosity to create a good seal.

How to:

1. Disassemble the pen. If the cartridge has already been used, you can use a piece of tape as a seal, to remove the cartridge and store it for future use.

2. Lubricate the threads of the nib section with a thin yet thorough layer of silicon grease. Make sure to fill the entire threaded area to ensure a positive seal.

3. Keep the barrel close to your ink bottle to reduce spills. It is a good idea to fill up the barrel over a non-porous, easy to clean surface, or over some scratch paper at the very least. Fill the barrel with ink up to 0.5 cm below the first set of threads to ensure proper air pressure.

4. Screw your fountain pen back together with the nib facing up. Use firm but not excessive force, as tightening the fountain pen too much may result in a crack.

Use a paper towel to wipe off any excess silicon grease that squeezes its way out.

5. To get the ink flow going, we advise to store the pen capped and nib side down for a few minutes. How quickly this occurs is an interesting characteristic of the ink; some inks require no shaking and some a minute or two.

Congratulations! You have made your very own eyedropper fountain pen, now you are ready to write! Your Kaweco should go quite a while before needing to be refilled.

Please keep in mind that over time, your seal may adjust or wear out. You will want to be attentive to your eyedropper pen, and make sure to store it with care. This should prevent any possible leaking and subsequent damage to your clothes!