How To Insert A Fountain Pen Ink Cartridge

how to insert a fountain pen ink cartridge

Did you know that cartridge pens are the easiest to refill? Not only are they easy to transport and spill-proof, but best of all they’re simple to install.

This article gives you a step-by-step guide to help on how to insert a fountain pen ink cartridge correctly and easily.

What Is An Ink Cartridge?

Ink cartridges are reservoir systems that make the ink filling process easy. Fountain pens are made of four parts, the pen nib, the ink reservoir, the barrel, and the cap.

Generally, reservoirs are either ink bladder or piston converters.

fountain pen ink cartridge


Twist the cap mechanism, remove the barrel (turning it counterclockwise) to take the pen apart, and search for the opening. The best method is to find the cup-like rim of the end. In some instances, there’s a metal or plastic ball inside the pen which seals the ink chamber.

Release the barrel from the pen grip section. This is the part of the pen that punctures the cartridge and acts as a vessel when filled with ink.


Grip and gently apply pressure to the cartridge until you feel a puncture. Press it in firmly, it may take more force than expected. Apply enough pressure until you hear a click. This ensures that your pen isn’t wobbly and the nib section stays in place when writing.

Twist the barrel into the grip section firmly and ensure to point it down so the ink can work its way to the tip of the nib. This allows the ink to saturate the feed once filled. It takes an hour or two to reach the tip once you install new inks. Test the pen by writing on a rough piece of paper.

Once you’ve gotten everything flowing through the pen, clean the nib with a lint-free cloth to remove any excess ink which could cause clogging.

Using an Ink Bottle

Fountain pens are versatile in that they can use ink cartridges as well as a cartridge converter or bottled ink for filling. A benefit of bottled ink is that you can swap colors easily and it’s cheaper as you don’t need to replace it as frequently. However, cartridges are smaller and hold less ink compared to a converter.

The most beneficial aspect of using ink from a bottle is that it’s much more environmentally friendly. You don’t need to dispose of fewer plastic cartridges every time it runs dry. A disadvantage is that the process of dipping the nib in the bottle can be rather messy.

How To Insert A Fountain Pen Ink Cartridge FAQs

How often should I clean my cartridge pen?

Your fountain pen should be cleaned every 4-8 weeks.

Why does my fountain pen seem dry after refilling?

Fountain pens can appear dry after refilling because the ink may need a nudge to reach the nib. Give it a gentle shake to get the ink to move.

If you think your fountain is dry due to clogging, unscrew the pen, remove the cartridge, and pour warm water to clean out the feed and nib. This flushes out any hardened ink and stimulates ink flow.


By following this guide, you’ll be able to fill and refill your system with ease. Whether your pens use a piston or cartridge, the steps to fill it are simple.

Now you can write and draw to your heart’s content and not worry every time your pen runs empty.

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