When you are buying a fountain pen, any seller would commonly offer you a pen with either a cartridge or converter filling system. This means that the fountain pen can either accept disposable ink cartridges or use the refillable, screw-type converter that can draw ink from a bottle.
And for beginners, it might be hard to decide which is better, so we listed some important points to differentiate the two and listed down their pros and cons too.
There are several ways to get ink into a fountain pen and we’ll cover the most popular methods and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
A fountain pen ink cartridge is, by far, the easiest between the two types of filling system. A cartridge is a small disposable capsule filled with fountain pen ink. The above Dryden Designs ink cartridges attach to the back of the fountain pen feed and supply the pen with ink. When the ink cartridge runs out of ink you simply remove the empty cartridge, throw it away and insert a fresh one.
Converters are the modern compromise between the traditional bottle-filling systems of old with the industrialized notion of interchangeable parts. Without going into a whole historical tangent, the converter's purpose is to allow the user to fill their fountain pen in an old-fashioned way without having to worry about delicate pen repair down the road.
Converters like the Dryden Designs ink piston converters are detachable actuators that are used to hold the fountain pen ink. The converter attaches similar to the ink cartridge but has a small plunger or piston that runs inside and draws the ink into the fountain pen. To fill a cartridge fountain pen, you dip the nib into a bottle of fountain pen ink and draw the ink through the nib and feed.
Assembling ink into a fountain pen can be intimidating, but once you understand the basics of fountain pen filling systems, falling in love with this timeless stationery icon is inevitable.
Most pen manufacturers offer both the converter and one ink cartridge with the purchase of a new fountain pen. There are people who prefer to be more hands-on, while there are others who want to keep things simple. It really depends on the effort of the individual.
People who like filling their fountain pen with a converter want to invest themselves into their writing instrument and are willing to take the risk of getting ink on their hands because it is part of the charm, the very reason why they selected a fountain pen to write with, in the first place.