Fountain Pen Guide Series, Session 2: The Difference A Filling System Makes

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Hello everyone, I am back again with the long-overdue, second session in our fountain pen guide. This time we will talk about filling systems. The usual stuff applies here: any word that is difficult to understand will have a definition placed in the glossary at the bottom of the page. If there’s any other word I don’t address that is still confusing, post a comment or chuck me an email using my contact form and I’ll get back to you!

Session 2: The Difference A Filling System Makes

Filling systems may seem like just a medium for storing ink in your pen, and for the most part that is correct, but your choice of filling system essentially dictates longevity of a single fill, flow, pen size, versatility, and many other factors that may not be obvious at first. Price is also another factor, with many pens coming in a variety of different filling systems at a significant price difference. Some of you are also unaware that fountain pens even come with systems apart from the regular cartridge fillers. Let me first go through some of the more popular filling systems and how they work just to give you some perspective on the vast variety available. Also check out the ratings for each system for convenience, cleaning, wastage, and longevity rated out of 5.

Session 2 Intro Photo Lamy Safari

Convenience: The ease of use of the filler and different features that make filling faster
Cleaning: How easy it is to empty the pen completely in order to switch ink colours/store the pen
Wastage: The amount of parts and materials that get wasted between fills or during maintenance
Longevity: How long a fill lasts before you need to refill (aka ink capacity)
Total: A total of all the points; should not be taken as a “ranking”

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Fountain Pen Guide Series, Session 1: Nibs, Feeds, and How They Come Together


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Fountain Pen Guide Series - Nibs, Feeds, And How They Come Together Photo

This is the first in a long list of guides all about fountain pens, ink, and everything that makes a fountain pen what it is. Fountain pens are one of the most difficult writing instruments to get used to after coming from ballpoints or pencils, and maintaining them can sometimes be just as confusing. This series is designed to help you get the most out of your pens and become versed with what makes them tick. I will also delve into other topics, such as how to buy a fountain pen, how to pick a quality pen, different inks for your pen, and much, much more!

Each section will be split up into separate posts, and I will include a table of contents at the top of each post. You don’t have to follow along word by word (but please do if you can!), just skip to the section that interests you most by clicking the link in the contents.

During these guides I will introduce new words, but don’t worry! I will star any new ones and at the very bottom of the post will be a glossary of the starred terms. If I neglect to mark any confusing words, or if you have any questions at all about what I have written or elaboration on a particular topic, please comment or send me an email using my Contact Me page.

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