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How to use a fountain pen

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Writers who know how to use a fountain pen understand some best practices

Writers who know how to use a fountain pen understand some best practices

For beginners, the question of how to use a fountain pen can be a complex endeavor. Do I take off the cap and push down as hard as I would with the ballpoint variety? Please don’t.

What type of angle do should I take when starting out? Should I use only top quality paper? And does anybody actually use these things?

To get the most out of your new writing implement it’s important to know and understand a little bit more about its design, maintenance, and proper writing style to boot. Keep reading to find out more about this unique and stylish writing implement!

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Hidden Benefits

In actuality, due to the generally better flow of ink onto the writing surface, the amount of downward pressure needed will be less than that of a normal writing tool. Those who write a great deal will find that the general discomfort and strain of seemingly endless hours of writing tends to evaporate when said writer is using a fountain pen.

It just flows more smoothly and for those with carpal tunnel syndrome — or weaker wrists or hands — it can be very beneficial. The benefits don’t stop there, either. These writing implements can actually last for decades, if properly maintained. While more expensive than your typical ballpoints, the fact that their shelf life extends far beyond one’s normal ballpoint is both useful and eco-friendly.

There is much variety as well with the ability to customize ink colors, styles, nib sizes, and beyond. 

Potential Negatives of the Writing Experience

In order for your new writing instrument to last for decades, maintenance/repairs will be required. Users will need to refill ink and this process can become both time-consuming and extremely messy. In certain instances, purchasing ink and buying top-quality paper for users can also be problematic added expenses.

How-To Guide

Basic hardware stores such as Office Depot or Staples offer fountain pens of the basic to advanced variety. Zachary Fruhling, writing for, offers insight into proper writing practices with your new writing implement.

Simply put, don’t press down as hard as you would with a ballpoint variation. Hold your writing utensil instead at a sharp angle relative to the page and let it — literally — glide over the white space.

The ink will flow from the reservoir down through the nib and onto your high-quality paper. Depending on a variety of diverse factors — angle, nib, and particular hold/grip — your writing style can actually change. Thus, you can create your own unique and personal style each and every time you put implement to paper.

While there can — and should be — a period of adjustment for new writers, writers will eventually create a smoother and more elegant writing stroke. For even more information on proper angling, dealing with the cap, and more, head over to Pen Fountain. Eventually, the ease of use should outweigh any corollary negatives, such as maintenance and ink replacement.
A Few Other Tips for Users

It’s important to remember a few other tidbits for owners:

  • On highly absorbent paper, these writing instruments have a tendency to bleed through; thus, buy only the highest quality paper.
  • In terms of lending out your pens, it’s important to note that many people may not know how to properly use them. They may press too hard and damage the nib or not understand how to refill ink. It’s simply safer to keep your new writing implement close at hand. It will last longer that way.
So, how to use a fountain pen, you ask? Carefully. It’s about comfort, legibility, low costs over its extended long life, and a more enjoyable form of writing. So, go out and buy one today. You’ll be unique and once you try it you may never go back to regular old ballpoint versions ever again!


Writer’s Bloc: Why Use a Fountain Pen? How to Write with a Fountain Pen?

Above photo attributed to Charles Kenny


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