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Why is it not advisable to use a fountain pen?

January 16, 2023 7 min read

Why is it not advisable to use a fountain pen?

If you are in the market for a new pen, you may be considering the benefits and drawbacks of using a fountain pen and pondering whether or not you would be a good candidate for one. Let's find out, what exactly are the drawbacks of using a fountain pen, shall we?

Many writers like the feeling and aesthetic of writing with fountain pens, and although these pens are popular for a number of reasons, they do have some significant drawbacks. Fountain pens are popular for a variety of reasons, and many authors enjoy writing with fountain pens. One of the drawbacks is that they have the potential to be quite filthy, and another is that the ink often bleeds through paper that is too thin.

Let's take a more in-depth look at the drawbacks so you can choose whether or not a fountain pen is the correct choice for you.

What are some of the drawbacks of using a fountain pen?

There are a few issues that people who use fountain pens are likely to encounter, all of which may be quite annoying for those who use them. The following are some examples of these:

It is necessary to change the cartridges on a regular basis.
They must be cleaned since they are a mess.
They have a higher price tag.
You need to put the cap on They are not effective on low-cost paper Cartridges may not be compatible with other companies' products You need to put the lid on
These drawbacks are often offset by the benefits, at least for some users, but it is still important to spend some time looking at them so that you can determine whether or not a fountain pen is the appropriate instrument for you.

Regular Swapping Out of Cartridges

The ink contained inside cartridges for fountain pens does not have a particularly lengthy shelf life. Due to their little size, you will need to replace them often. This is quite annoying, and it also means that you have to bring spares along with you.

Short and Long Cartridges for Fountain Pens

It does imply that you may change the color regularly, but it might be inconvenient if you just want to throw a pen in your pocket or purse without having to carry extra equipment with you, especially if you want to change the color frequently.

They are a Complete Mess.

It is common knowledge that fountain pens are notoriously messy writing implements; nonetheless, it is important to note that even high-quality pens have the potential to leak ink no matter how they are used. It is possible that you may notice that ink smudges have appeared either on your fingertips or on the paper. The replacement of the cartridge may sometimes be a messy process.

Even while a lot of individuals discover that they are able to create strategies for reducing the mess, particularly as they become acclimated to their specific pen and how it operates, this is still a very annoying problem for a lot of people who use it.

In addition to this, there is always the possibility that a fountain pen cartridge can develop a crack and spill ink all over the place. This occurs quite seldom due to the thoughtful construction of the cartridges, but when it does, there is a significant amount of trash to clean up.

They have to be Cleaned.

Unfortunately, cleaning fountain pens on a regular basis is necessary in order to maintain the smooth flow of ink through the pen. After some period of time, the ink that is contained inside the nib will dry up, which will either obstruct the flow, rendering it unreliable, or cause it to come to a complete halt.

Dollar bill and fountain pen

If you do not keep the pen clean, you will notice that the nib becomes clogged, and you will no longer experience the silky smooth flow that fountain pens are renowned for. In order to clean the pen, you will need a bulb syringe, which you will use to flush out the old ink by running warm water through the nib of the pen using the syringe. After that, a paper towel is required to be used to dry it before it can be used again.

It's crucial to be aware of this, even if a lot of people don't mind it so much. Maintenance is required for fountain pens!

They Come in at a Higher Price

Fountain pens nearly usually cost more than other types of pens do, and if you want something really unique, you may easily spend a lot of money on writing implements that fall into this category. Even if you purchase a fountain pen of a lower quality, it is likely to be more expensive than alternatives such as ballpoints, rollerballs, gel pens, and so on.

Even something as simple as changing the nib of a fountain pen might end up being pretty pricey. Fountain pens are not the ideal choice when looking for inexpensive stationery options. On the other hand, because of this, fountain pens are seen as being somewhat more "special," and as a result, it is more probable that you will be able to have them engraved or otherwise customized.

They Must Have A Helmet

What can I do to prevent the fountain pen that I have from leaking?
It's possible that you don't think needing to replace the cap on a pen is a big deal, but it's really a task that may be quite aggravating. You need to take extra precautions to ensure that you do not misplace the cap, that it does not fall to the ground where it will be damaged, and that you do not forget to replace it on the pen after you have done using it.

If you don't place the cap on many fountain pens, the ink will run out quite soon, and most caps are not interchangeable with one another. Because finding a new cap for your pen might be difficult, you should take extra care not to misplace the one that comes with it.

It is true that certain high-quality fountain pens may be used without their caps for a much longer period of time; but, since they run a greater danger of having the nib bent, it is always preferable to have the cap on hand.

They do not function on low-quality paper.

On low-quality paper, fountain pens often "feather," or bleed through, the surface, rather than writing smoothly. The aesthetic value of the writing is diminished, and it seems more jumbled when feathering is present since fountain pens are known for the clean lines they produce. The ink will move away from your letters in thin lines, which will make the text more difficult to read.

Fountain pen and old notarial wax
If the ink seeps through to the opposite side of the paper and maybe even the surface below, it is quite annoying. Because of this, you need to limit your usage of a fountain pen to high-quality paper exclusively.

There Isn't Always Guaranteed Compatibility Between Cartridges

Unfortunately, the cartridges that are used in fountain pens are not universal, thus a cartridge that works with one pen may not work with another. Because of this, it is likely that you will be unable to get the precise shade that you like or that you will purchase a cartridge only to discover that it is incompatible with your printer.

If you have a fountain pen that is exceptionally picky, you could discover that the only cartridges available for it are those created by the pen's manufacturer; this is not only inconvenient but also costly. Even if the majority of pens are somewhat more versatile than this, it is essential to be aware that you cannot just insert any cartridge into your pen and expect it to function properly.

Fountain pen and old notarial wax seal


In general, using a fountain pen does come with a good number of drawbacks. It is important to be aware of these problems before purchasing one of these pens, particularly if you are intending to purchase an expensive one, even if they are still quite popular as writing implements. They need you to clean them, often change the cartridges, and maintain track of the cap. Additionally, they are prone to leaking.

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