Fountain Pen Won't Write? 5 Tips to Get Your Pen Back on Track

What To Do If My Fountain Pen Won't Write?

A favorite writing and sketching tool for centuries, fountain pens can give a distinct look when used. It has a smooth ink flow and a diverse range of nib sizes that allow you to make multiple design strokes in a single pen. Using a fountain pen also gives you that feeling of class as you make use of a tool that not only looks elegant but has been around for a long time. 

However, with its elegant looks comes the need to apply proper care and maintenance. Unlike ballpoint pens and markers which do not need any form of maintenance and can withstand rugged handling, fountain pens are more fragile. It can happen that your fountain pen may suddenly stop working while you're in the middle of your writing.  

If you plan to use a fountain pen and are curious about the possible issues that can happen with a fountain pen or currently use one and find your fountain pen won’t write, then this article is for you. We will be looking at some of the most effective tips that you can do to make your fountain pen write again. 

What To Do If My Fountain Pen Won't Write?

Check the Ink Level

When your fountain pen suddenly stops writing, the first thing that you should check is if there is still enough ink in the reservoir. Most of the time, we may have forgotten to check the ink level which has caused the ink to run out. 

To refill the ink on your fountain pen, simply remove the grip section from the barrel and pull out the ink cartridge or reservoir. Gently refill the cartridge, making sure that you put just enough ink so it won’t overflow. 

Tap the Feed & Nib

There are times when air bubbles can form in the feed or there is an area in the feed where the ink has dried out. When this happens, it prevents the ink from flowing smoothly towards the nib. 

Shake the pen over a paper towel then try tapping the pen nib down on a piece of paper or flicking the nib to encourage ink flow. Take note that you should be tapping gently and avoid pressing down the nib. While this may work for other pens and markers, doing this to your fountain pen will highly likely destroy the tines on the nib by making it splay. This will then become a bigger and possibly irreparable damage. 

You can try wetting the nib and feed with water or a cleaning solution.

Wet and Soak the Nib & Feed

If tapping the nib and feed did not make the ink to flow out, chances are there might be debris or dried ink that is blocking the ink flow. You can try wetting the nib and feed with water or a cleaning solution.

If this does not work, you can opt to soak the nib and feed it overnight in clean water or a cleaning solution. In the morning, let the feed and nib dry on a piece of towel before assembling them again in the body of your fountain pen. Soaking the nib and feed is also a great step to do if you are changing your inks or if you have not used your fountain pen for more than a week. 

Check the Alignment of The Nib and Feed

Since the fountain pen is very delicate compared to your ballpoint pen, any rough handling can easily damage it. Sometimes the nib and feed can be misaligned especially if you have dropped your fountain pen, pressed on the pen too hard while writing, or weren’t able to store it properly. 

Visually check if the nib and feed are properly aligned, making sure that the slit of the feed is centered and aligned with the center of the nib or tines. In case they are misaligned, gently push the feed and nib and place, taking extra care not to apply too much pressure. 

Inspect the Nib Tines

Since there is a slit between the tines or the tip area of the nib, this can be prone to separating especially if you are writing with heavy pressure. You can examine the tines of your fountain pen to check if they are still properly aligned. 

Since the alignment of the tines can be a bit difficult to see, you can get a magnifying glass and check. You should see just a slight gap between the two tines—not too wide nor too narrow. If you see that the tines are misaligned. You can use your fingertip and place it on the underside of the nib and feed then place it down against a hard surface towards the side of one tine. Repeat this step on the other side of the tine then grip the two sides of the tine and squeeze firmly but gently together. 


By following these steps, you can get your fountain pen to work and write again. Make sure that you apply proper care to your fountain pen before and after use and always keep it properly stored. If you are still experiencing issues with your fountain pen, the next best thing to do is to reach out to your fountain pen’s manufacturer or retailer who can help you with repairing your fountain pen. 

If you are planning on getting a new fountain pen, you would love the YSTUDIO fountain pens which have a warranty on all their pens. Not only will you love the exquisite designs and feel of their fountain pens, but you will also have the peace of mind that you will get the assistance that you need if something goes amiss with your beloved pen. With the right durable pen, proper care, and amazing after-sales service, you will have the assurance that you and your fountain pen will have years and years of amazing letters and sketches in front of you!

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