Many contemporary fountain pens use a cartridge-converter system, meaning they can use either disposable ink cartridges or a removable ink reservoir known as a converter. These systems are often proprietary to their own brand and are not interchangeable with pens from other manufacturers. Consult our Ink Cartridges page for more information. Cartridges are intended for one-time use only and should be discarded when empty, making them convenient for travel but restrictive in color options.
Converters, on the other hand, are reusable and allow for filling with Bottled Fountain Pen Ink from any manufacturer, giving you a much wider range of color choices. They are proprietary, like cartridges, so you do need to have the correct converter for your pen. Visit our Converters page for specifics. Converters cannot be filled until installed in the pen and then submerged in the ink bottle.
Converters are also very useful for cleaning your fountain pen even if you only use cartridges for your ink supply. Take a look at our Pen Maintenance page for more details.
You can see all the cartridge-converter pens we offer here.
A piston-filler has a built-in reservoir that allows the pen to be filled by dipping the nib and gripping section directly into an ink bottle while twisting the piston knob at the end of the barrel. Piston-fillers often have a larger ink capacity than cartridge-converter pens, leading to their popularity among many fountain pen enthusiasts.
You can see all of our piston-fillers here.
There are some contemporary eyedropper filled fountain pens. The entire barrel seals and serves as an ink reservoir and is filled using an eyedropper or syringe. This is a potentially messy prospect, but does offer a tremendous ink capacity.
You can see all of our eyedropper pens here.
Other Filling Systems
Need More Information?
Feel free to contact us at (323) 655-2641 or [email protected] if you are not sure which filling system you should want or need, or if you are not sure what kind of system is used by the pen or pens you are interested in.