Fountain Pens That Use Bottled Ink

Writing with a fountain pen can be a unique way to tap into your creativity, but each pen is different. That’s why you need to be aware of which fountain pens use bottled ink and which ones use ink cartridges. 

You should browse fountain pens that are specifically designed to fill with bottled ink, such as pistons, crescents, converters, and eyedroppers. The only type that can’t use bottled ink is a cartridge fountain pen. 

There are benefits to using bottled ink, including long-term affordability and expanded ink options. Below, we’re exploring which types of fountain pens use bottled ink. We’ll also give several examples of good-value fountain pens that meet these criteria. If you want to be a bottled ink user, then keep reading to learn which pens are best for you.

Fountain Pens That Use Bottled Ink – Pistons

Piston fountain pens include a chamber called a “piston”, which is where you can fill bottled ink. This type of pen has a suction system that allows you to draw ink from the bottle up into the pen’s piston. 

Although piston fountain pens tend to be more expensive than other varieties, they typically have a higher ink-holding capacity. Furthermore, they can accept any type of fountain pen ink. The one main downside to this type of pen is that you can’t switch to ink cartridges, as they’re incompatible with the design. 

Our pick for a great piston fountain pen on Amazon? Try out the Lanxivi Yongsheng 3008 Extra Fine Piston Fountain Pen. It comes in a set of four different color pens with transparent bodies. It’s a great choice with more than 1,000 positive customer ratings.

It’s also well-rated for:

  • Sheerness
  • Lightweight quality
  • Ease of use
  • Beginner-friendliness
  • Comfort
  • Value for money
Lanxivi Yongsheng 3008 Piston Fountain Pen EF Extra Fine Nib,Transparent SilverTrim 4 Colors Set
  • Smooth Handwriting and Easy Flowing :The iridium extra fine nib delivers smooth writing

Converter Fountain Pens

A cartridge pen on its own won’t be able to use refill ink from a bottle. However, if you already have a cartridge fountain pen and don’t want to buy a new one, you might be able to adapt it with a converter. Converter pens are those that normally use ink cartridges but can take bottled ink by replacing the cartridge with a converter. 

Examples of fountain pen converters:

By Francis Flinch – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

One main downside to this method of using bottled ink is that the inkwell (converter) doesn’t hold as much ink as, say, a piston would. However, it at least lets you try out different types and colors of ink with your cartridge pen. 

If you want to find a pen like this, we suggest checking out the Dryden Designs Fountain Pen and Ink Refill Converter. You get an affordable, traditional cartridge fountain pen, as well as a piston converter that fits the pen. 

This way, you can decide whether or not you want to use bottled ink. This is extremely convenient for those wanting to purchase inks separately and refill a larger quantity. It also has more than 4,000 satisfied customer ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.3/5.0 stars. 

Crescent Fountain Pens

Crescent fountain pens are not a typical fountain pen choice. You might alternatively see them labeled as “bladder fountain pens”. This is because they contain a small compartment that is called a “bladder” within the pen’s body. It essentially sucks up ink from an ink bottle in a vacuum-like fashion. 

You lower the pen’s nib into the ink until the hole is covered, then hold down on the crescent. When you let up on the crescent, the ink gets sucked up into the bladder. It essentially works very similarly to a baster or pipette, except the release of the ink is a bit different. 

Crescent pens are generally more expensive than other bottle ink pens, like pistons and converters. They also unfortunately have a small compartment for holding ink – the bladder – which won’t hold much more than a cartridge would. And they tend to take longer to completely fill up with ink. 

However, they are still a solid choice if you want to branch out and try different kinds of bottled ink. The bladder will hold any type of ink you choose. We recommend trying out the Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen (average 4.2/5.0 stars). It comes complete with a crescent mechanism and an internal bladder.

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Fountain Pen, Black Chased with Rose Gold Trim, Fine Nib (CK71137)
  • INCLUDES ONE Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Filler Fountain Pen in classic Black Chase

Eyedropper Fountain Pens 

Last but not least, you might try an eyedropper fountain pen if you want to buy your own ink bottles.

An eyedropper pen is simply a fountain pen where you can refill the body with ink using an eyedropper or small syringe. In this way, you simply have to unscrew the pen’s body from its top and fill it up before screwing it back together.

Many fountain pen users swear by eyedropper pens because they’re so convenient to fill up. You can also see in real-time exactly how much ink you’re putting into the pen. 

This video gives more information about eyedropper pens:

However, the process can get a little bit messy since you have to take the pen apart each time you want to refill. They can even leak ink at times since they’re so easy to take apart. On the other hand, though, these pens hold a lot of ink at once, so you don’t really have to refill them as often. 

If you do want to try an eyedropper fountain pen, we would recommend looking into the Majohn C1 Mini Pocket Clear Eyedropper Fountain Pen. It comes in a convenient miniature size and affordable price with a high average rating (4.5/5.0 stars). It’s a great choice if you want to use bottled ink and refill less often. 

Lanxivi Majohn C1 Fountain Pen Medium Nib, Clear Transparent Acrylic Resin, Mini Pocket Pen, Eyedropper,Cartridges and Converter Filling
  • This eyedropper filling pen is a compact pocket pen,you can fill it with eyedropper, 2.6mm disposable cartridges or...

Final Thoughts

For those wanting to try out fountain pens that use bottled ink, the above varieties of fountain pens should do the trick. Whether you want to try an eyedropper, crescent, converter, or piston fountain pen, there are plenty of affordable options on Amazon. 

Make sure to consider the pros and cons of each option, such as ink holding capacity, messiness, ease of use, and more. We hope our suggestions have helped you find the perfect bottled ink fountain pen for you!

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