Crash Course in Fountain Pen Cartridges

When I first got my pink Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen I was very nervous about putting the cartridge in. I didn’t want to push it so hard that it ruined the pen, but I also wanted to make sure it was attached securely so the ink wouldn’t leak and ruin my purse. After getting some feedback I realized that I wasn’t alone in my fears, so I decided to share what I’ve learned about fountain pen cartridges to help others calm their fears about putting their pens together.

First of all, the tension that you feel when pushing the cartridge into the pen comes from the stopping device at the top of the cartridge, meant to keep ink in prior to assembly. In the Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen Cartridges this is a small metal ball, in standard cartridges (like J. Herbin Universal) it is a tiny glass ball, and in LAMY cartridges it’s just a thin layer of plastic. When you push the cartridge in you are not only attaching it to the pen, you are pushing the stopper device in and starting the ink flow.

The way to put cartridges in is fairly simple: slowly and gently while ensuring a firm attachment. Put it in straight on and start pushing gently. When you feel the tension from the release of the stopping device it should be just about in, and a tiny extra push to secure it won’t hurt.

Once the cartridge is attached to the pen it takes a little while for the ink to flow through the feed to the nib. Allow your pen to sit for awhile before you try to write with it. If the ink doesn’t seem to be getting to the nib, let the pen rest with the cap on and the nib pointing downwards. If you’re still having trouble getting it to write you can run cool water over the nib or pull the cartridge out and put a couple of drops of ink on the nib to encourage the ink to flow.

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8 thoughts on “Crash Course in Fountain Pen Cartridges

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Very helpful information. I was almost in a panic!
    I just bought a Studio Palladium fountain pen and I couldn’t get the cartridge to snap in place. Your information was very helpful.
    I am also very excited you have violet and turquoise refills.
    Thank you,
    Julie

  2. I have a Kaweco Sport fountain pen that supposedly works with a standard short refill cartridge. However when I try to use that I cannot get the barrel closed – not even close to closed. Maybe there is another version of what is called the “standard short” refill that I haven’t seen yet. I am in the U.S. and this pen was made in Germany. Perhaps there is a language mix up. It looks like there needs to be a much shorter cartridge. Any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Steve

  3. I am having the same problem that Steve Sjogren described on March 17, 2009. I just bought a Kaweco Sport pen from you, along with some Herbin ink cartridges. After inserting the cartridge, I cannot screw the cap on–the top of the cartridge hits some kind of stop inside the cap, and I cannot get it anywhere near closed. Can you help? Thanks.

  4. Hi Pilar,
    Interesting problem, but we think this is what could have happened.
    The pen came with a smaller cartridge inside the lid of the pen. It may have got stuck in there and when you put the other cartridge in, the other one was lodged in the lid. Try knocking the top on the counter and see if it will come out.

  5. Today I received the Platinum Carbon Fountain pen and as mentioned in your post even I was very nervous about putting the cartridge in, but after reading your post I dont have any hesitation to put the cartidge.
    Thanks for the wonderful help :)It helped a lot.

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