How to Write with a Fountain Pen

Are you wanting to know how to write with a fountain pen? Knowing and understanding the different parts can enable you to use it with confidence. Reviewing each moving part, knowing how writing with a fountain pen is different, and then explaining how to write will be helpful in your endeavor. You’ll be a pro by the end!

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Fountain Pens from afar can seem like an overwhelming writing instrument with its many moving parts! After all, there are over 10 parts that make up this kind of pen! The first thoughts that can come when looking at a fountain pen could be the following, Won’t the ink get everywhere? It looks so different from the pen I use to take notes in class! Isn’t it a little old fashioned to be using? Does the wet ink end up smearing everywhere because it takes longer to dry? What paper do I use? If you’re asking any of these questions, continue reading to find out the answers.

To learn more about the fountain pens read Fountain Pens. You can find out how the fountain pen works, where it comes from, and more!

Table of Contents

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Why Use a Fountain Pen

Why use a fountain pen? This is a good question to consider before you learn how to write with a fountain pen. Many might choose not to use a fountain pen, and that’s ok!

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but let’s see what the experts have to say on the positive reasons for using a fountain pen.

  1. Less pressure, fewer hand cramps

According to Brian Goulet from The Goulet Pen Co., the fountain pen requires less pressure when writing which results in fewer hand cramps. I can see this being beneficial when it comes to all that note taking in class. So do you want fewer hand cramps? A fountain pen is a great option!

2. Options, Options, Options

  • Nibs

Who doesn’t enjoy having options? As mentioned earlier, the fountain pen has many moving parts. One of these parts is the nib. The nib is the tip of the pen where ink is dispensed and allows you to write. What is neat about the nib is that there are so many options to choose from. You can choose extra-fine nibs to broad. Keep in mind that if you use a broad nib you will need thicker paper to avoid ink bleeding.

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  • Ink

When it comes to choosing ink, endless colors are available. If you’re looking for a recommendation, Writer’s Bloc Blog recommends Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink and can be found on Amazon. They have an ample color selection to offer. Bear in mind that the brand of ink you get will influence your writing as every ink is made up of different chemicals and can cause it to dry quicker inside the pen.

Fountain Pen Parts

So what about the parts of the fountain pen? Many are familiar with the nib, making it different from the ballpoint pen. Below is a visual aid of the fountain pen from The Goulet Pen Co. showing the terminology and anatomy in detail.

List of parts:

  • Nib
  • Tip
  • Slit
  • Tines
  • Breather hole
  • Wings
  • Feed
  • Feed Channel
  • Fins
  • Filler hole
  • Body/barrel
  • Grip
  • Reservoir
  • Threads
  • Cap
  • Finial
  • Clip
  • Trim

The nib is important in how the fountain pen is going to write. If you get a broader nib more ink will flow causing your writing to be thicker. Wondering which type of nib to use? Which Nib Should I Get is a helpful guide.

How to Write with a Fountain Pen

As promised! I will explain how to write with a fountain pen. This might be hard to do in words so I have also included some YouTube videos I have found to be helpful. First, let’s start off with what not to do. This will help you avoid making frequent mistakes with your fountain pen.


  • Paper

The paper you decide to write on with your fountain pen will depend on which nib you have decided to get. If your nib is bigger you’ll want to make sure that you use a thicker paper like cardstock or cotton paper. If not, the ink will bleed making your writing illegible. When using normal notebook paper or printer paper, it is recommended that you use a smaller, finer nib that dispenses less ink onto the paper and won’t cause bleeding.

  • Too much pressure

Surprisingly enough fountain pens don’t require much pressure when it comes to writing. More pressure will result in the release of more ink and thicker lettering to give it a calligraphy effect, but too much pressure will either cause your pen to break (from the split in the nib that permits ink flow) or will damage your paper creating unwanted indents. Once you have your fountain pen in hand you’ll be able to feel how much pressure feels right.

  • Ink

Choosing the wrong ink for a fountain pen can make it difficult to write. Strangely enough, different inks are made up of different chemicals, if you don’t get an ink specifically for fountain pens, it could end up drying faster which and result in more frequent pen cleanings. If you’re wanting to know more about ink, read Fountain Pen Ink to know what it’s made of, and other questions!

For more information on what to avoid when writing with a fountain pen, I found Fountain Pen Mistakes All Beginners Make & How To Avoid Them – Gentleman’s Gazette to be helpful.

Now that we know what not to do, let’s move onto what you should do when writing with a fountain pen.

What to do

  • Write slow

Patience is key when writing slow. Writing slow allows your pen to get the best ink flow. Ink flow is important because it prevents your nib from scraping your paper and will write smoother.

  • Relax your hand

This goes hand in hand with the amount of pressure you write with.

  • Practice

Do you covet beautiful calligraphy handwriting? Just like developing any talent, it takes time. Recognize that a fountain pen, different from the everyday pen, can feel foreign in your hand. Over time, you’ll feel more comfortable as you practice more and more. Many calligraphists on social media offer classes and templates to help you improve!

Now that you have more knowledge about the fountain pen, it isn’t all that scary! You’re ready to use your skills and write! Good luck!


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