If you’re looking for a long-lasting fountain pen, one that writes for a long time before having to refill it with more ink or a new cartridge, which one should you choose?
A fountain pen with a cartridge filling system is convenient when you are on the road and want the convenience of bringing ink refills with you. When you run out of ink just remove the empty cartridge, pop in a new one and you’re ready to go. However, not all ink refill cartridges are created equal. Short standard universal cartridges are easy to buy and many fountain pens use them, but they don’t have a very large ink capacity. Some proprietary ink cartridge brands have a greater ink capacity than others. A few examples of brands with large ink cartridges are Pelikan, LAMY, Parker, Waterman, Aurora and others. Choose a fountain pen that can use large size ink cartridges and you’ll find you get more mileage from your pen before you have to refill. Avoid ink converters since their ink capacity is generally smaller than the ink capacity of ink cartridges.
Using a fountain pen that has a piston filling system or another non-cartridge style filling system can increase your fountain pen’s ink capacity even more, especially if you’re writing with a large pen. For example, a Pelikan Souveran M1000 or M800 (M805) Fountain Pen has a large barrel that can hold plenty of ink! Fountain pens with these types of filling systems do not use ink cartridges, instead the pen is filled with bottled fountain pen ink.
Maximum ink capacity can be achieved by using an eyedropper fill fountain pen since the entire pen barrel is used as an ink reservoir. The Noodler’s Ahab, Kaweco Sport (Ice or Classic) and Platinum Preppy are examples of fountain pens that can be converted into eyedropper fill. This type of filling system is not recommended for beginners since it can be rather quirky. Often, only 2/3 of the ink can be used before the pen needs to be refilled. Read about the pros and cons of eyedropper fill fountain pens in one of our previous blog posts.
Other factors to consider when trying to stretch your ink are nib size and paper type. Fine or extra-fine nibs will lay down less ink than medium or broad nibs. Some types of paper tend to absorb ink and this will use up your ink more quickly.
Days when I know I’m going to be taking extensive notes I usually take 2 or 3 fountain pens with me. I enjoy switching ink colors during a long note taking session and my hand appreciates a change in the type of pen I’m using.
What type of fountain pen would you recommend when you want the ink to last as long as possible?by