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Poor Inkflow In Cartridge Converter Pens

ink flow cartridge converter piston fill

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25 replies to this topic

#1 Sach

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 12:16

I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial.  Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem.

 

Any one else have any thing to say on this topic? 



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#2 doggonecarl

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 12:57

Any one else have any thing to say on this topic? 

For me, the pen's filling mechanism hasn't figured into the purchase. If I like the pen, I get it. If it comes with a converter, that's better than having to buy one separately.



#3 hari317

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 13:03

I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial.  Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem.

 

Any one else have any thing to say on this topic? 

 

Some C/C pens are better made made than others. Not all C/C systems or implementations are the same. and yes, if you observe long enough you will see that you do find reports of flow problems even with the piston filled pens. It is all a matter of good design and engineering and manufacturing.

 

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#4 nakiana

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 13:16

It is 

 

I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial.  Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem.

 

Any one else have any thing to say on this topic? 

 

Given the range of pens available as cartridge converters, a statement that broad will probably not be true across the board, and possibly not even in the majority of cases.  Several of my pens are c/c designs and I have not encountered that problem with any of them.  I have adjusted the flow on a couple of them to be more to my liking, and on rare occasion I have found an ink that does not get along well with a particular pen, but that problem is resolved by using a different ink.  

 

However, if you don't care for c/c pens, there are plenty of other excellent choices out there for you.  



#5 icardoth

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 14:52

I have had the same problem with a modern Parker Duofold. But I think there was a problem with that particular converter not adjusting tight enough and allowing air filtration. Did you try with another converter?



#6 The Good Captain

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 17:12

I've had flow problems with some of my modern Conway Stewart pens, even after I've corrected any nib problems. Sometime this is due to the ink in question not liking the very smooth Schmidt converters that CS supply with their pens. Having talked to Martin at TWD we came up with the fact that the Faber Castell converters are made of a material that pretty-much matches that of a lot of cartridges and this seems to reduce the surface tension which of course messes up the flow.

Similar Schmidt converters in my Onotos don't cause nearly as many problems, if this is of any use.


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#7 raging.dragon

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:23

I haven't bought or used a cartridge converter pen very much for about six years now. The last one that I used regularly was a Duofold Centennial.  Even back then, I did note that on the rare occasion that I used a cartridge in place of the converter, the ink flow seemed smoother and generally produced a better writing experience. These days, I wouldn't consider buying a pen if it was offered only as a cartridge converter, and piston fillers obviously don't suffer this problem.

 

Any one else have any thing to say on this topic? 

 

I've noticed that too with some converter and ink combinations, it's caused by surface interactions between the ink and the plastic used in the converter. Fixes are to use another brand of converter or a different ink.



#8 Sh.Andrews

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:35

I definitely noticed this long ago with several different brands and convertors - seemed wide spread in my collection.  Since then, I have quit using convertors and simply refill cartridges with a syringe thus eliminating a need for "flow adjustment".  No problems since.  Cartridges are still my preferred filling method (from bottle).



#9 shuuemura

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:46

I believe flow issues stem more from an improperly adjusted nib and/or feed, rather than how ink is stored within the pen. The flow on both of my Duofold Centennials appears to be similar with converters or cartridges, but then again I bought them from nibs.com. 

 

I had a Parker Urban which refused to write properly with the supplied Parker black cartridge or with any other inks I tried in it with the converter. After adjustments by Yukio Nagahara, the pen writes decently. I also have a Pelikan M800 with a broad nib which feels draggy and skippy on paper. That pen is at nibs.com undergoing adjustment right now. So even piston fillers are not immune to flow problems.



#10 Sasha Royale

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:52

Assuming that the used pen is thoroughly cleaned, stick with a cartridge.

Some of mine seem to flow better with the proprietary cartridge, than with an aftermarket converter.

Cartridges can be filled from a bottle, too.


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#11 raging.dragon

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:49

I believe flow issues stem more from an improperly adjusted nib and/or feed, rather than how ink is stored within the pen. The flow on both of my Duofold Centennials appears to be similar with converters or cartridges, but then again I bought them from nibs.com. 

 

I had a Parker Urban which refused to write properly with the supplied Parker black cartridge or with any other inks I tried in it with the converter. After adjustments by Yukio Nagahara, the pen writes decently. I also have a Pelikan M800 with a broad nib which feels draggy and skippy on paper. That pen is at nibs.com undergoing adjustment right now. So even piston fillers are not immune to flow problems.

 

Ink can get stuck in the top of a converter, with air between the ink and feed, preventing ink from reaching the feed.



#12 shuuemura

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:57

 

Ink can get stuck in the top of a converter, with air between the ink and feed, preventing ink from reaching the feed.

 

Sure. I've experienced that with the Pilot CON-50 converter, but never with the Parker Duofold Centennials. Should have stated that more clearly in the beginning, thanks for pointing out my generalisation.

 

Also, I believe this thread is in the wrong place - it's not a review.



#13 Sach

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 21:20

The effect I noted was only sight, and only on close inspection. The CC always did work, but it seemed that the cartridge always seemed a little better, like and even flow, a bit wetter to write with etc.



#14 ac12

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 21:58

The only way to properly compare is to use the SAME ink in the converter as in the cartridge, otherwise you cannot compare as the ink itself will make a difference.

 

Try cleaning and flushing the pen then load the converter using Waterman ink.  And suck the ink up thru the feed when you do that.


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#15 pokermon

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 22:35

For those of you that have flow issues with a converter may I ask if the converter has a ball or metal spring inside to break the surface tension? I ask because this issue has come up pretty often on FPN, and some folks have remedied this problem buy taking the ball from a cartridge or from another converter and putting it in the converter that has problems.

 

On another note. I prefer to refill cartridges as well on my cc pens because most long cartridges hold more ink than a converter do. My only concern is the constant pulling and putting back on the cart might wear out the cartridge nipple on the pen. So far no problems, but I haven't had any cc pens for more than 1.5 years.


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#16 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 00:16

I never use cartridges and I prefer piston-, bulk- and other fill mechanisms above a converter. Unfortunately they didn't get that message in Japan. In the past most of the inkflow problems I had concerned converters. However after thoroughly cleaning the pens and throwing out exotic colors and brands of ink the problem seems to be resolved.

#17 DanF

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:40

I have a lot of C/C pens, and none of them have had such problems. The only problems I've had is the nib drying out when they have sat for a few days, but thats a seal issue.

 

I have a few piston pens and nearly all, including an Omas Extra, seal poorly, and allow ink to evaporate from the pen, leading to the ink becoming highly concentrated after less than a week. With a C/C pen, that is easily remedied, additional water can be added with a syringe in a measured way. With the piston fillers it's not so easy. The only one that doesn't suffer this problem is the TWSBI 540, it seals airtight. I like to keep at least a half dozen pens inked, and I don't use any one pen enough to run it quickly out of ink, except when I get a new one, so I like C/C's. 

 

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#18 pokermon

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 05:23

I have a lot of C/C pens, and none of them have had such problems. The only problems I've had is the nib drying out when they have sat for a few days, but thats a seal issue.

 

I have a few piston pens and nearly all, including an Omas Extra, seal poorly, and allow ink to evaporate from the pen, leading to the ink becoming highly concentrated after less than a week. With a C/C pen, that is easily remedied, additional water can be added with a syringe in a measured way. With the piston fillers it's not so easy. The only one that doesn't suffer this problem is the TWSBI 540, it seals airtight. I like to keep at least a half dozen pens inked, and I don't use any one pen enough to run it quickly out of ink, except when I get a new one, so I like C/C's. 

 

Dan

Gotta give it to the 540! Out of all my pens the 540 does have a tight seal and I've never had a start up or drying issue even after 2 months of letting it sit.


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#19 Sach

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:26

I definitely noticed this long ago with several different brands and convertors - seemed wide spread in my collection.  Since then, I have quit using convertors and simply refill cartridges with a syringe thus eliminating a need for "flow adjustment".  No problems since.  Cartridges are still my preferred filling method (from bottle).


I too remember doing this at school. I used to refill cartridges with a syringe and blunt needle with Penman sapphire, as I noted that flow was better..

#20 UK Mike

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:33

I've had flow problems with some of my modern Conway Stewart pens, even after I've corrected any nib problems. Sometime this is due to the ink in question not liking the very smooth Schmidt converters that CS supply with their pens. Having talked to Martin at TWD we came up with the fact that the Faber Castell converters are made of a material that pretty-much matches that of a lot of cartridges and this seems to reduce the surface tension which of course messes up the flow.

Similar Schmidt converters in my Onotos don't cause nearly as many problems, if this is of any use.

 

An interesting observation, except for the fact that Schmidt manufacture the converters for the current Faber Castells - the only modification being the name that is screen-printed on the metal ring. I have examples of both current models in front of me here and I can assure you they are identical in every detail. Precisely the same converter is used in the Visconti Rembrandt/van Gogh/Salvador Dali/Michelangelo; ST Dupont Defi; OMAS MiLord etc.  Most use the K2 design with ST Dupont and OMAS preferring the K5 design with a metal ring also at the nipple end. In some cases, the end of the barrel carries an external thread to give a more positive location in the nib unit. (K6)

 

The main factor that may affect converter performance is whether the converter has been flushed out, a process I always try to do before using the pen. A cartridge does not of course require a lubricant internally and this may give lower surface tension. A well lubricated (OVER lubricated) converter may occasionally cause the ink to "Hang up" and require a nudge to get the ink to return to the working end. With a piston filler, the larger diameter of the barrel overcomes the surface tension every time.

 

A properly clean converter will not affect the flow to the nib, any more than piston fillers or cartridges do, because they will always feed more ink than the feed can use. It is the feed that controls the ink to the nib, not the filling system.


Edited by UK Mike, 05 September 2013 - 10:42.

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