Parts of a Fountain Pen

Parts of a Fountain Pen

The fountain pen, unlike a typical ballpoint pen is made up of many parts. It can be a maze of complexity for newcomers when trying to choose the perfect fountain pen for themselves. Being overwhelmed may even deter newcomers from purchasing a fountain pen, missing out on the wonderful experience of learning how to write with a fountain pen and gliding on pages with one.

How this Article can Help

This article will explain the function of the parts of the fountain pen and how they come together to form this amazing writing tool. Understanding what is going on in the pen you are holding will heighten the enjoyment of your purchase and use.

A typical modern fountain pen is made up of: the cap and barrel, the section, the feed, the ink storage and the nib.

Cap and Barrel

The cap and the barrel make up the exterior of the pen.

The cap protects the nib (pointed metal piece that comes in contact with paper) while the pen is in your bag or pocket. It also prevents the ink from drying up when the pen is not in use. Not all fountain pens are designed with caps. Some pens feature retractable nibs such as the LAMY 2000.

The barrel forms the main bulk of the body, holding the ink storage.

The Feed

The feed is located above the nib. It conveys ink from the ink storage to the nib. The underside of the feed looks like a comb and these parts are called the fins. The fins catch any excess ink that may flow out of the pen due to pressure changes, such as when you are on the plane. The breather hole of the nib fits over the top of feeder’s ink channel.

Ink Storage

The ink storage is where the ink is stored and is located inside the barrel of the pen. The common methods of ink storage are ink cartridges, refillable converters and built-in piston operated fountain pens. Read up more on the pros and cons of each method in our article “What is a Fountain Pen Converter”.

Older or vintage fountain pens may have other ink refilling and storage mechanisms. One example is the ink sac. When an ink sac is used then the barrel of the pen looks slightly different. It is a little different so that it can accommodate the lever that is located on the side of the barrel. The lever assists in filling the ink sac through the power of suction.

The Section

The section is a small component located between the feed and the barrel. The feed fits into the bottom of the section. There is a part called the nipple at the top of the section and this connects to the bottom of the the converter or the ink cartridge, supplying ink to the pen. The section slots into the bottom of the barrel.

The Nib

The nib is one of the key component of the fountain pen. By itself it is made up of many components such as the tines, ink channel, breather hole and tip. Do follow our article “How does a Fountain Pen Nib Works”, to find out more about the different components of the nib and how they come together to channels ink from the feed to paper in a controlled manner.

And ….. that is all! We hope we have helped to paint a clearer picture for the different parts of a fountain pen.

Ink and Paperie

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