Fountain Pen Inks

Fountain Pen Inks: A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

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One of the most striking features of fountain pens is that you require pots or cartridges of fountain pen inks to reuse them over time. Most fountain pens are built to last, with their durable construction and timeless designs. All you need to do is to refill them every time their ink runs out.

The ink refills aren’t as easy as picking a random pot and then using it. There are many considerations to factor so that you will have an unparalleled writing experience. For instance, you will lose the appeal of a stellar Parker pen if you will just use it with a cheap ink refill that bleeds through the paper and is too watery to be comfortable to write with. Check out the beginner’s guide below for a comprehensive list of facts on fountain pen inks.

Cartridges Vs. Bottled Ink: Which Is Better?

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There are two main classifications of fountain pen inks: cartridges and bottled ink. Each classification has its own share of advantages and disadvantages.


Cartridges are perfect if you want something simple and fuss-free. These are so easy to use because the ink source is contained in a small barrel that you simply plugin. You can immediately write with it until the ink runs out and it is time for a new cartridge. You don’t even need extra parts just to make it function.

Almost all ink cartridges come in the standard international size. This sizing is fairly readily available so you can easily access them. They are high in production so you have a wide selection you can choose from. 

There are a couple of disadvantages to using cartridges. You’d find that there are limited color options as well as waterproof ones. They also cost more in the long run as you are paying for the cost of the cartridges.

Ink Bottles

This is the perfect option for intermediate writers. The primary advantage of ink bottles is that they are cheaper. You only pay for the ink itself so in the long run, you can save a lot of money. Another advantage is that there are so many ink color options available. 

Ink bottles come in ultra-specific features, like being waterproof and anti-fraud. Conversely, they are kind of inconvenient for the people who are always on the go. It takes a lot to set them up so that you can begin writing. It is not as readily available as cartridge pens.

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Things To Consider When Buying

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Resist the temptation to buy the first ink refill you see. The ink choice greatly affects the way you write. Here is a list of the other things to consider before you purchase ink cartridges or ink bottles.


The beauty of ink refills is that you can change the ink color of your pen by simply picking the correct refill. There is a wide variety of color options available, both for ink cartridges and ink bottles. There are more color options available for ink bottles compared to cartridges.

Before placing an order for an ink refill, make sure to check out the ink swatches and see how well the colors perform when compared to other brands.

Is It Waterproof?

Waterproofness is yet another factor to consider when looking for good fountain pen ink refills. Not every refill cartridge is capable of withstanding the presence of water. Some inks get smudged or even completely erased when in the presence of moisture. 

It is a good idea to be mindful of your notes and to ensure that they can withstand the test of time. A waterproof option will make them impervious to water. This is great for preserving important documents. Just remember that the performance still depends on the quality of the paper that you intend to use. Some papers aren’t capable of retaining fountain pen ink, including the waterproof ones.

Ink Composition

It pays off to pay attention to the composition of the actual ink. Composition refers to the pigmentation, dye, the presence of shimmer, scented options, etc. These options exist to cater to very specific  

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