How To Refill A Pilot Fountain Pen

how to refill a pilot fountain pen

Nothing beats writing with a quality fountain pen. The exquisite, vivid lines and the rich, flowing ink is unmatched by other pens. However, there comes that time when all writers have to refill their favorite fountain pen’s ink.

This guide looks at some universal tips and tricks for how to refill a Pilot fountain pen.

Whether you have a Pilot Metropolitan or a Kakuno, we’ll help any writer avoid their favorite pen from running dry.

Refill Your Pilot Fountain Pen

Step One: Prepare Your Refill Area

If you’re not careful, refilling ink can quickly become a messy experience. To avoid this headache, we suggest proper preparation.

Ensure that you’ve got all of the essential tools in one place. Regardless of which Pilot fountain pen you have, you’ll always need the following essential tools.

You’ll need some blotting paper or tissues for keeping things clean and organized. You’ll also need an open area with ample lighting to work in. Preparation is the key to victory.

fountain pen ink spill

Step Two: Open Your Fountain Pen

Whether you’re replacing a cartridge or you need to refill a standard converter, this step works for both types of pens.

Unscrew the neck from the pen barrel. This step is pretty straightforward, and it shouldn’t give you any hassles. Turn the barrel counterclockwise to reveal the cartridge, converter, or piston in the body.

Step Three: Refill

The process to change a cartridge and the one to refill converters are quite different.

We’ll try to keep things simple by splitting this step into two.

How to Replace a Fountain Pen Cartridge

fountain pen cartridge

This method works if you want to change an existing, dry ink cartridge with a new one. If you use a fountain pen that comes equipped with disposable cartridges, like the Pilot Metropolitan, this method will be best for you.

With the neck unscrewed, grip the pen so the point is pointing upwards. Now, pull straight down while holding the neck to remove the empty cartridge.

With the old cartridge out, you can now firmly insert the new cartridge. Keep the cartridge straight without turning or twisting it. If you twist it, the valve won’t open which will stop you ink from flowing through the feed.

You’ll feel or hear a slight click once the cartridge is fully inserted. Gently squeeze the cartridge a couple of times to push the ink towards the nib and remove any trapped air.

How to Fill a Converter Fountain Pen With an Ink Bottle

This is only applicable if you’re filling up a standard plate press converter with bottled ink. Pilot fountain pens that use a converter are the popular Pilot Con-40 and the Pilot Con-70.

Once the neck is screwed open, hold the pen vertically, with the nib pointing downwards. Immerse the nib into the ink bottle. The ink should reach near the top of the neck.

If there isn’t much ink left in the bottle, your pen won’t be able to be filled, and moving the mechanism could cause air bubbles. In that case, you will need to open a new bottle of ink.

Once the nib is submerged in ink, press the plate of the converter and release it. Doing this allows the ink to be absorbed into the tube of the barrel. You will need to keep the nib submerged until the tube restores to its original shape.

Avoid shaking or moving the pen as it may cause bubbles to form. Bubbles will take up precious space in the tube and interfere with the pen’s vacuum. They will also cause some horrible, intermittent ink flow. It’s best to have a steady hand when refilling.

Step Four: Cleanup And Testing

Finally, it’s time to screw the pen back together. Remember to use tissues or blotting paper to clean up your pen. Take care while cleaning to not let any droplets of ink tarnish the body of your pen. Fountain pen bodies, metal ones, in particular, can stain easily which will ruin their appearance.

Remember also to clean your fingers before you test your pen. Try out your pen to see if the ink flows well before packing up and cleaning your workspace.

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