Fountain Pen Cartridge Types

When choosing a fountain pen, you also need to consider the ink-filling system. You can fill your pen with ink in several ways and cartridges are among the most popular. A cartridge is a small ink reservoir, usually in tube form that makes it easy to fill ink into your pen. It also helps to know that there are several fountain pen cartridge types.

Fountain Pen Cartridge Types

In this article, we’ll discuss cartridges in detail and outline the various types available. We also outline some of the benefits and drawbacks of using cartridges as an ink-filling system. Fountain pen ink cartridges and converters come in many different styles, which can help your handwriting look professional when applying for a job, which can lead to a job interview. Cartridges fall into two main categories:Fountain Pen Cartridge Types

Standard International:

Fountain pens are made of nibs, feeds, and reservoirs (cartridges). These types of cartridges have the same type receptacle and can be used by a wide variety of fountain pen brands. The advantage of buying a fountain pen from a brand that uses standard cartridges is that you have a broad array of cartridges available to you with many color options, and in case of an emergency, finding a basic refill at your local stationery shop shouldn’t be a hassle.

International standard cartridges come in two main versions – 73mm cartridges and 38mm cartridges. Most pens will accept either option, and there are also many designed to allow two short cartridges in the barrel. That way, you can always use one as a spare should you run out of ink unexpectedly. However, there are a few compact fountain pens that can only use the shorter cartridge.


Proprietary fountain pen cartridges can be used only in their respective pen brands. As a result, pens from certain manufacturers can only utilize their own proprietary ink cartridges. Some manufacturers offer an adapter, which allows their pens to use international cartridges in addition to their proprietary band.

Advantages of CartridgesFountain Pen Cartridge Types

  • They are cost-effective.
  • Cartridges are light in weight, making them more convenient than built-in filling systems and converters where bottled ink is necessary.
  • They are an easy way refill fountain pens with ink and often come preloaded, making it easy to refill your pen with ink.

Disadvantages of Cartridges

  • Because cartridges are separate components from the barrel, they usually have less ink capacity than other systems.
  • Most cartridges don’t allow the use of a wide range of inks found in bottled form. However, you can refill bottled ink into a spent cartridge using a blunt-tipped syringe.
  • Plenty of fountain pen makers use proprietary cartridges that don’t work with other brands, limiting color choice.

Bottom Line

Understanding the different fountain pen cartridge types helps when choosing what fountain pen cartridge to get. For instance, if you know you’re going to have trouble refilling your pen then it’s wiser to consider one that works with a standard international cartridge. Similarly, if finding a proprietary cartridge won’t be a hassle, you have more freedom to choose. Remember to clean your fountain pen cartridge, so it can be used optimally.

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