Ink flow is everything in a fountain pen. It is essential for writing to happen smoothly and without any issues like hard starts or skipping. Some fountain pens come with exceptional ink flow, but others may need a bit of tweaking to help them along.
Here, we’ll talk about how to improve the ink flow in your fountain pens. It is important to remember that while better ink flow is generally the best for most pens, overdoing it can also lead to feathering and bleed-through, even on papers designed for fountain pens. Here’s how to find that sweet spot for your writing instruments.
Prime your nib
Always prime your fountain pen before writing, especially the first time. No matter how you want your ink flow to improve your penmanship skills, this is an important step. This is especially true if it’s an entry-level fountain pen.
To prime your nib, follow these steps:
- Place the converter in your fountain pen
- Completely fill your pen with ink
- Using the plunge or twist mechanism of the converter, push the ink back out
Alternatively, you may also dip your nib in ink and then wipe it down. Repeat a couple of times with each method, and the flow should be much better once your pen is fully inked and ready to write. Priming your nib improves ink flow in pens that may have been sitting at your desk for a while, but it also helps with pens that you’re writing with for the first time.
Experiment with different inks
Another factor in the ink flow of your pens is the type of ink that you are using. One of the most frustrating experiences, especially for newer fountain pen users, is choosing a beautiful ink only to discover that it does not flow in their fountain pens as expected. Sometimes, we might use ink with a viscosity that doesn’t flow fast enough for the amount of ink that we want to lay down on the paper.
Unfortunately, fountain pen inks do not typically indicate their viscosity on labels. This is where the fountain pen community comes in as more experienced writers will be able to recommend which inks flow better than others. You may also discover which inks work with your pens through trial and error — which is also why it is recommended to buy samples first!
Add water to your ink
If you find yourself with an ink that is struggling to flow to your liking, you can do a DIY approach and add a little bit of water. It is important not to overdo this as too much water can ruin the ink’s properties. This way, you’ll discover which inks are wetter and drier than others. You can try adding water to your cartridge or converter using a blunt syringe and see whether it helps you find just the right flow for your preference.
Examine your nib
The last thing you can do to modify the ink flow in your pen is to check your nib. Whether you applied too much pressure or laid your pen down too hard, there’s a chance that your fountain pen tines may not be perfectly aligned. The space between them may also be too narrow, which is an obstacle to proper ink flow through the nib.
Using a magnifying glass, take a closer look at the nib. If something looks slightly different or misaligned, then we recommend taking it to a nibmeister if you’re fairly inexperienced with pen modification. This way, you’ll be assured that your fountain pen nib will be adjusted and/or fixed the right way to get that smooth flow going again.
Improving the ink flow in your fountain pen is one of the things that can give you a much more pleasurable writing experience. Whether you’re using your trusty LAMY or your favorite Pelikan, ensuring that they are calibrated to have the perfect ink flow for you can make all the difference. You can refer to our tips on finding the best fountain pen ink for more information on choosing a better-flowing ink.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting