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Fountain pen: bottled ink or cartridges?

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    I recently received a nice fountain pen, but it didn't come with ink as the giver wanted to allow me choice over bottled or cartridge, and also over ink colour.

    I'm not really sure which one to go for. Which one is better for the pen, or indeed is either of them better or are they equally fine?
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    bottled is better but is a pain to get used to and is also potentially more messy but posher
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    (Original post by UPPSY)
    bottled is better but is a pain to get used to and is also potentially more messy but posher
    Considering the only justification you could possibly have to use an expensive fountain pen on a daily basis is to look posh, that seems like a good justification. :p:


    Do cartridges actually present a danger to the pen, though?
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    I always use cartridges, but then I only have a Parker. My bf has an expensive Waterman fountain pen and he uses cartridges too. It depends how often you are planning to use the pen and where, my bf uses his everyday at work and bottled ink would be a pain to have to carry around everywhere, imagine the nightmare if it leaked in your bag.
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    Both have their bonuses.

    Cartridges are clean, simple and require zero maintainence.

    Bottled ink, however, adds further to the enjoyable experience of writing with a fountain pen. It makes it feel more of an occasion.

    But, by god, it's messy, dirty stuff that you will get absolutely everywhere. Cartridges are far better but, then, if we cared purely for functionality, we'd use a Bic rather than a fountain pen.

    Also, I wrote this message on a loom.... pip pip!
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    Bottled ink is gorgeous. But it's messier than Gary Glitter on the Teletubbies set.

    Cartridges are less messy, and they write fine, but there's no sense of mystic (Mistique? Or however it's spelt) about it.
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    I use bottle ink with mine, but it is a pen that I usually leave at my desk. I don't carry it around as they are prone to leaks and also to avoid people asking to borrow it and not returning it
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    (Original post by Herr)
    I use bottle ink with mine, but it is a pen that I usually leave at my desk. I don't carry it around as they are prone to leaks and also to avoid people asking to borrow it and not returning it
    :eek: No one is going to be using this pen!

    I do intend to carry it around, so maybe cartridges would be better...?
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    Quink is cool

    You can get refillable cartridges (I think the Parker ones might be called 'Parker converters'?), and they have the best of both worlds -- they are cartridges, but you fill them up using bottles of ink.

    Ever tried writing with a quill? :ahee:
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    (Original post by placenta medicae talpae)
    Quink is cool

    You can get refillable cartridges (I think the Parker ones might be called 'Parker converters'?), and they have the best of both worlds -- they are cartridges, but you fill them up using bottles of ink.

    Ever tried writing with a quill? :ahee:
    I'm a bit disinclined to put a non-approved ink into this pen...

    Yes, I have - even made my own quill. Interesting experience, but wouldn't want to do it everyday. Have you?
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I'm a bit disinclined to put a non-approved ink into this pen...

    Yes, I have - even made my own quill. Interesting experience, but wouldn't want to do it everyday. Have you?
    This is the stuff: http://tinyurl.com/qu1nk
    I have about five bottles at home, blue, black and ... blue and black.
    For a while, I brought a paintbrush around with me, and used it with Quink to write the titles on work

    Yep, I've used quills too.
    The only unfortunate thing is the nib falling inside the ink well :gah:

    I've thought about making my own quill too, but never actually tried!
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    :eek: No one is going to be using this pen!

    I do intend to carry it around, so maybe cartridges would be better...?
    Definitely if you will be carrying it around then the cartridge is the better option. However even if it is a cartridge it still best to carry it in an upright position to prevent leaks.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I recently received a nice fountain pen, but it didn't come with ink as the giver wanted to allow me choice over bottled or cartridge, and also over ink colour.

    I'm not really sure which one to go for. Which one is better for the pen, or indeed is either of them better or are they equally fine?
    Bottled ink will be cheaper in the long run, might be worth going to a pen shop and trying a few types if ink rather than ordering online. Some ink convertors are very easy to use an relatively mess free
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    I still manage to make a mess with cartridges :rolleyes: But I swear by them, less faff than bottled...

    I made a very ineffective quill out of a pigeon feather, it was pretty nice to write with though.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I'm a bit disinclined to put a non-approved ink into this pen...

    Yes, I have - even made my own quill. Interesting experience, but wouldn't want to do it everyday. Have you?
    I think (maybe) what palcenta is getting at is that you can buy special adaptors that convert a cartridge pen to a bottle ink pen. I was given a Mont Blanc as a birthday present, and it's certainly the case with them.

    If I need to write something neatly, I always use a fountain pen as I tend to take more time and care over it.
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    I assumed you always use a cartridge converter when using bottled ink, how else do you get the ink in the pen?

    I haven't found refilling to be as messy as people are making out to be, you just need some tissue to wipe off the excess (but maybe it depends on the model). I carry the pen around in my pocket, never leaks. If you get bottled, get a pack of cartridges as well in case you're away from home for a while
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    (Original post by scherzi)
    I assumed you always use a cartridge converter when using bottled ink, how else do you get the ink in the pen?

    I haven't found refilling to be as messy as people are making out to be, you just need some tissue to wipe off the excess (but maybe it depends on the model). I carry the pen around in my pocket, never leaks. If you get bottled, get a pack of cartridges as well in case you're away from home for a while
    They either have a little rubber bladder that you squeeze to suck up the ink, or a lever that you move up and down to operate a piston (similar to how a syringe works) to suck up the ink. Most pens like this will be a permanent method of filling the pen ie you can't change it. Some however let you remove the bladder to insert either a cartridge or convertor.
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    I love my pen! I've got one at home that i use a bottle for (i've got one of those old school desks with an ink well)
    when i go out and when i was at school i always used cartridges;after an ink spill in my bag it just had to be cartridges. i like getting weird colours, i've got a light blue which looks lovely and some pink and green ones too!the green one makes me feel like i'm dumbledore or something
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    (Original post by canŵio)
    I love my pen! I've got one at home that i use a bottle for (i've got one of those old school desks with an ink well)
    when i go out and when i was at school i always used cartridges;after an ink spill in my bag it just had to be cartridges. i like getting weird colours, i've got a light blue which looks lovely and some pink and green ones too!the green one makes me feel like i'm dumbledore or something
    That's cool: I've tried using red ink in the past.
    The only thing is changing between ink colours.

    The most successful thing I've found is washing through with water in between times, but then getting the water to wash out takes aaaages.
    And when you try to write with the next colour, it starts off a bit watery and pale to begin with as well.

    Incidentally, do you just have an old school desk randomly in your bedroom? :awesome:
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    Usually cartridges, but I love using bottled ink :yep:

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