There has been a huge surge in the popularity of fountain pens over the last few years with more and more people moving over from using a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pen to using a fountain pen. As you would expect from such a huge influx in the number of people starting to use fountain pens, we have noticed a wide range of questions being asked with a bunch of them being based on how to fix inconsistent fountain pen ink flow in fountain pens.
Although it is common for entry-level fountain pens to have issues with ink flow simply due to their price point, an intermediate price point fountain pen or premium price point fountain pens should not be suffering from any fountain pen ink flow problems. Thankfully, the more common problems with ink flow in modern fountain pens are easy to fix with some taking a matter of minutes to fix.
If the problems are due to damage then replacement nibs are probably going to be a better option as replacing the nib on an intermediate or premium price point fountain pen will be much cheaper than just buying a brand new pen. Due to covering a number of different common issues with ink flow in fountain pens in this article, we have our table of contents below to try and help our readers navigate to the specific question thy need help with.
How To Fix Fountain Pen Inconsistent Ink Flow?
Three of the most common problems that lead to inconsistent ink flow in fountain pens are very easy to fix and we already have articles going over the problem and how to fix them. Rather than type each of the guides up again in this article, we will simply link to the guides for the three main issues below:-
- Inconsistent ink flow due to a baby bottom on your nib.
- Inconsistent ink flow due to storing your fountain pen incorrectly.
- Inconsistent ink flow due to not cleaning your fountain pen nib correctly.
Please note that our article on cleaning your pen nib correctly is based around cleaning dip pens but the second half of the article can be used for cleaning fountain pen nibs too. You can also pick up a decent fountain pen cleaning kit for around $20 these days and follow the instructions that come with the kit and clean your pen nib yourself. If you are new to using a fountain pen then there is a good chance that the inconsistent ink flow is due to either of these three issues.
Common Causes Of A Fountain Pen Skipping
The second set of slightly less common issues that can cause inconsistent ink flow in your fountain pen, also known as skipping is usually down to the accessories that you use with your fountain pen. We have seen a number of reports from people using a premium price point fountain pen but having problems with the nib scratching, feathering, skipping, ghosting, and bleeding.
The majority of the time, this is down to one of two main issues but sometimes, both come into play. The first is that the user is using low quality, low GSM paper that will always scratch and result in a poor writing experience while having issues with skipping and Inconsistent ink flow. Unfortunately, this is often unavoidable, even when using premium price point fountain pen, especially if you go with an extra-fine nib size as they are simply not designed for low GSM paper.
Think of it as buying an expensive sports car and then using it for off-road driving. The tool is not fit for purpose and this is a common problem with people new to using a fountain pen. Thankfully though, if the issue is down to low quality paper then a quick, easy, and cheap fix is to simply upgrade to a high GSM paper. If you are using a medium or broad nib size on your fountain pen then 100 GSM paper should be enough to stop the issues with ink flow. Depending on the pen brand, extra-fine and fine nibs should be used on 120 GSM paper or above for the best possible writing experience.
The second reason that you may have problems with inconsistent ink flow when writing with your fountain pen is due to using low-quality ink with the pen. Again, this is very common with people new to using a fountain pen but again, it is quick, easy, and cheap to fix. Although most intermediate and premium price point pens recommend that you only use that particular pen brands ink with the pen, this tends to be more of a marketing ploy.
Any high-quality, refined ink should do well and the Noodlers Ink Range is one of our favourites due to its low price, excellent quality, and solid reputation amongst the fountain pen community. Noodlers ink is also available in a wide range of colors too and often works out much cheaper than going with other premium ink options while fixing issues with problems with inconsistent ink flow due to using a low-quality ink.
How Do You Control Ink Flow In A Fountain Pen?
Although rare, issues with the tines in the fountain pen nib can end up causing inconsistent ink flow when writing and although you are often able to fix this by gently pushing on each side of the fountain pen nib to re-align the tines, this can be risky. We would not recommend that you try to manually re-align any misaligned tines on the nib for an expensive fountain pen unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Most large towns and cities have a decent stationary or pen store these days and asking for assistance on dealing with tine problems in the nib is probably a better option. They should have the speciallist tools required to re-align the tines with minimal risk to causing damage to the nib allowing you to control the ink flow in your fountain pen with ease.
Unfortunately, some pen models do have a higher chance of having problems with misaligned tines due to the specific design of the nib. The latest run of the Platinum 3776 is having a number of problems with a higher than an average number of pens having misaligned tines causing problems with both inconsistent ink flow as well as being able to control the ink release into the pens feed.
How Can I Make My Fountain Pen Flow Better?
If you are having problems with poor ink flow from your fountain pen then looking to replace your pen nib may be the best option. Some pen brands intentionally have nibs that write wetter or drier than average and often, this is by design rather than due to a fault with the pen. As so many people new to using fountain pens simply order their first decent fountain pen off Amazon without researching it, they can end up with a nib that is a wet or dry writing without it actually being what they want.
If you are using entry-level fountain pens then simply purchasing a new pen with an ink flow that you prefer may be the best option. If you are using intermediate to premium price point fountain pens then you really should be doing your research before putting your order in. For example, something like the Pelikan m600 is a very popular option in North America and Europe with it being one of the best fountain pens available for its price point but it is a very wet writer by design.
Although most people do tend to prefer a fountain pen that is a wet writer to a dry writer, we all have our own personal preferences so trying to workout what we want out of our pens is always the best option prior to ordering. The higher up the price chain of fountain pens you go, the less likely it is that you will be able to source a cheap replacement nib too.
How To Increase Fountain Pen Ink Flow?
We see a large number of people asking for ways to increase ink flow in a fountain pen and although we linked to this article above, one of the main problems with a fountain pen having no ink flow is a baby bottom on the nib. If you can see the start of a baby bottom on your fountain pen nib then checking out our article on how to fix a baby bottom on your pen nib is probably a good idea.
How To Reduce Fountain Pen Ink Flow?
On the flipside of that though, we also often see people specifically asking for ways to reduce the ink flow of their fountain pen. This will depend on the specific model of fountain pen that you are using but most modern fountain pens will allow you to adjust the gap between the pens feed and nib as required to reduce the ink flow of a wet nib. This is quick and easy and usually explained in the user manual of the pen and allows you to reduce the ink flow in the comfort of your own home without having to pay a visit to your local pen shop.
That brings our article going over the most common causes of inconsistent ink flow in fountain pens and how to fix them to a close. We hope that we have been able to help you fix the problems with your ink flow and that you have a better idea of how to fix the issue and move forward to improve your writing experience. As we mentioned, if you are using an entry-level fountain pen then inconsistent ink flow is relatively common due to the pens being cheaper and the brands not putting as much care into them as they do wither their higher price point fountain pens.