Parts of fountain pen: learn fountain pen anatomy

Parts of fountain pen: learn fountain pen anatomy

The beauty and warmth of hand writing is valuable in the current society full of technology and rapid communication. Moreover, hand writing is also treated as a special skill by many people. Words are not only the tool for communication but also the presentation of art. Fountain pen is the best choice for hard-pen calligraphy. Different styles of words can be created by using hard or light hand strength in writing or by different ink colors. However, you should know the structure of fountain pens such as category or the difference of nibs before writing beautiful words. You will know how to choose a suitable fountain pen after understanding the details.Let’s learn about the parts of fountain pen.


Fountain Pen Structure

Structure of a fountain pen can be divided into external and internal parts:

  • External: nib, feed, grip section, pen barrel, pen cap.
  • Internal: ink converter or ink cartridge.
Internal components of fountain pen includes nib, feed, grip section and ink converter


Internal Components

Introduction and Category of Fountain Pen Nib

When it comes to the structure of fountain pen, we should understand the soul of fountain pen. Nib is one of the most important parts of fountain pen, usually made of stainless steel or alloy. In general, the gold content is 14K (58%) and 18K (75%). Generally, the higher content of gold is, the higher elasticity of nib is. The different thickness of nibs you use, the writing feeling and presentation of words will be different. The category of nibs is usually divided into 5 types in European and Japanese system. The thickness of F and M is modest for general public without the problem of flowing excess ink.

European System

Japanese System

Where to Use

User Type


Ultra Extra Fine

Extra Fine

Precise or small area writing: for note, personal letter…

For experienced users to avoid scratching papers


Extra Fine


Smoother writing than UEF: can be used for note.

For users try to use different nib sizes




Thickness is more modest than others: for all writing

For beginners who start to learn fountain pen writing




Smoother writing than F: for writing or fountain pen painting

For users try to use different nib sizes



Extra Broad

For general signature

For experienced users who know how to use with more ink



Feed is fixed behind the nib which usually is made of plastic injection molding. Feed is the key component of fountain pen to deliver ink to the nib through ink tube by capillarity action. Besides, breather hole is also one of the structures of feed, used as a pressure balance in an ink reservoir with the result of continuous ink to nib.

Grip Section

Grip section is the part for holding the pen. The shapes of grip section made by different producers are different. Some grip sections have the shape of triangle for beginners practicing to hold fountain pens while other grip sections have different shapes to fit the design of fountain pens.

Ink converter is like the reservoir of fountain pen which is used to store and refill ink

Ink Converter

Ink converter is like the reservoir of fountain pen which is used to store and refill ink. Fountain pens can be divided into 2 different types according to the different converters:


Cartridge & Converter Dual-Purpose

Piston Converter


Users can choose ink cartridge or ink converter on demand

Absorbing ink by Syringe Principle


Combine the convenience of ink cartridge and the flexibility of ink converter.

Larger ink capacity and easier to change different colors of inks


Fewer ink capacity than piston ink converter

Pay particular attention to nib cleaning to keep ink flowing smoothly

User Type

Users for the first time

Experienced users

Read more >> How to Fill a Fountain Pen? 5 Steps to Refill Ink in Fountain Pen

External Components 

External components of fountain pens are as important as internal components which the appearance is also the key factor for users. We suggest that you should understand more details of external components before you compare appearances of different brands. 


The top part of pen cap is called finial which is usually round or flat. Some producers put their logos on it and some choose to apply different colors on it to distinguish from pen cap.

Pen Cap : Protect Nib and Keep Ink Wet

As mentioned above, if nib is the soul of fountain pens, the pen cap will be the protector of nib. Pen cap can keep ink wet when fountain pen is not in use and avoid the nib being damaged while falling down. Pen caps can be divided into rotating and pull-off pen caps. We suggest that users should recap the pen after using  it to avoid the situation. Moreover, a lot of people used to put the pen cap on the back of fountain pen as well as when they use ball-point pen. Properly speaking, there is no guideline to ban the action but it could deform the pen cap, scratch the barrel or even change weight and balance of the pen in writing. Therefore, it becomes the chemistry between fountain pen lovers not to do the action and a manner when borrowing fountain pen from others.


Barrel can be made of common materials such as acrylic, copper or iron. The weight of fountain pens varies depending on its different materials. Users can select fountain pens by the feeling of holding pens.

After learning about the parts of fountain pen, you can choose a fountain pen which suits you the most

Nib Is the Soul of Fountain Pens |Words Present Permanence of Emotion

As the structure of fountain pens mentioned above, fountain pens are the products of delicate art craft. After learning about the parts of fountain pen, hope you can choose a fountain pen which suits you the most. Words are not only the tool of communication but also a kind of art in the world of fountain pens. New technology will not exist forever but emotions can be kept for generations by writing. The emotion we wrote down will be permanent the same as the soul to fountain pens. YSTUDIO expects to design the fountain pens to present the quality of words to let people 0 feel the advantage of stationery and quality of living. Meanwhile, YSTUDIO believes that if the fountain pen can present the quality of words, the warmth of emotion will be passed on by writing.


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