How To Break In A Fountain Pen Nib For A New Pen!

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Due to so many people new to using fountain pens making the jump over from a rollerball or ballpoint pen, we have noticed a number of people specifically asking about breaking in a new fountain pen. It is great to see so many people making the jump over to using a fountain pen so we have decided to publish this article going over how you break a fountain pen in for optimal performance.

Our goal is to help any of our readers who are new to using a fountain pen quickly and easily break their fountain pen in. Not only can this help to improve your writing experience when using a new fountain pen but it can also help with additional common issues such as inconsistent ink flow too.

Although we have seen a number of tutorials on how you are able to break your new fountain pen in for use, many of them massively over complicate the process and there really is no need for it. Our method below is quick, easy, and very effective meaning that anyone should be able to easily use it to their advantage.

Do Fountain Pens Need To Be Broken In

Now, to be clear, depending on the fountain pen model that you are using, you may not actually have to break the pen in but this is usually restricted to the higher price point pens. As most of our readers tend to use the lower price point, entry-level fountain pens you do usually have to take a few steps to actually break the pen in.

This is one thing that tends to be missed from the discussions on if you actually have to break a fountain pen in or not. Many people often weigh in with their opinions on the subject with most of them not realising that both arguments are correct but the answer will depend on the actual fountain pen in question rather than a flat yes or no answer as to if fountain pens have to be broken in or not.

How To Break In A Fountain Pen Nib On A New Pen

Moving on with our tried and tested method of breaking any fountain pen nib in with ease. This is quick and easy so even if you are looking to break in your very first fountain pen, you should easily be able to get the job done and be writing with a better performing nib in no time.

First things first, double-check that any flow blockers have been removed. Although rare on fountain pens from western brands, some Asian brands do tend to intentionally put little plastic blockers between the feed and the piston filler or cartridge converter for some reason. These are simple to see and easy to remove but we have seen people report issues that turned out to be nothing more than leaving the flow blockers in place. They are similar to the little blockers some electronic brands use to stop the connection for a battery in their products to prevent the batteries from draining prior to purchasing, they are very easy to see.

Next up, you have to factor in that many of the cheaper, entry-level fountain pens, even the ones from the more reputable brands on the market may have some residue left over in the feed or nib from the manufacturing process. This will usually dissipate over time with regular use as the residue is worked out but on of the easiest ways to do this is to stimulate the ink flow through the feed and nib by drawing figure eights on some spare spare paper for a few minutes.

Although people often mock advice on drawing figure eights on some spare paper, it is surprisingly effective and very easy to do. Drawing figure eights for a few minutes also offers the advantage of it applying friction to the fountain pens nib and removing any burrs as you draw them. This helps to smooth out the nib and break it in for a smoother overall writing experience without the need for any speciallist grinding tools.

If you are new to using a fountain pen then checking it for misaligned tines may be difficult on some of the cheaper fountain pen nibs. You usually want a smooth, parallel ink path down the centre of the nib for optimal ink flow between the tines, if this looks uneven at any point then your tines may be misaligned. Thankfully, you are able to use the quick and easy method in the video below to realign the tines on your fountain pen nib and have them ready for writing again soon.

Although it is an estimate, depending on the brand and price range of the pen, we would estimate that up to ten percent of some fountain pen models will come shipped with misaligned tines needing the user to break the nib in to help improve ink flow. As you can see from the video above though, this process is very simple and straightforward but highly effective and breaking your fountain pen in for use.

The final method is a full flush of the fountain pen and only needs to be done if none of the above tricks work. All you need is a cheap fountain pen flush kit and although they may seem daunting at first, flush kits are extremely simple to use. We would recommend that you follow the instructions that come with your flush kit as different ones do work in slightly different ways depending on the pen but they all perform the same task of flushing your fountain pens ink path to break it in ready for writing.

Thankfully, the flush kit is not a one time use accessory for your fountain pen either as you will be using it every few months as part of your regular cleaning and servicing of your pen to flush its ink path. This will prevent dirt, grime, and dry ink from building up in the feed or nib causing issues with the ink flow.


That brings our article going over how to break in a fountain pen nib for a new pen to a close. Although some of this may seem a little difficulty, it is very simple once you actually try the process and it is all easy to do. As we touched on earlier in the article though, if you are using a fountain pen over the $250 mark, the chances of you having to break it in are minimal. If you are using a fountain pen between the $100 and $250 mark then you may have to go through some of the steps and if you are using a fountain pen under the $100 then it is highly likely that going through the steps above will improve your writing experience.