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Measured Ink Capacity


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This seems like a good time to update my ink capacity measurements. I really thought I'd posted these on FPN before, but a search didn't turn them up. I measure the capacity by filling the pen with water, then expel the water and measure it using a graduated syringe. I make no attempt to account for water remaining in the feed, so my numbers will be slightly lower than those calculated by weight. I also decided to round everything to the nearest 0.1 cc, since haggling over hundredths would be silly and possibly misleading.

0.4 cc - Pilot Vanishing Point (with included converter)

0.5 cc - Sheaffer Snorkel

0.6 cc - Schmidt K5 converter

0.7 cc - Sheaffer Imperial (touchdown filler)

0.8 cc - Esterbrook J

0.8 cc - Sheaffer squeeze converter

1.0 cc - Sheaffer Skrip cartridge *

1.0 cc - Sheaffer Triumph (Vacuum-Fil)

1.0 cc - TWSBI Diamond 530

1.1 cc - Bexley Corona

1.1 cc - Pelikan M200

1.1 cc - Lamy 2000

1.1 cc - Parker 51 (aerometric)

1.2 cc - TWSBI Vac 700 (single stroke fill)

1.6 cc - Parker 51 (vacumatic)

1.7 cc - Gate City Belmont

1.9 cc - Wality eyedropper (standard size)

2.0 cc - TWSBI Vac 700 (two stroke fill)

2.2 cc - Gate City New Postal Jr. (bulb-filler)

2.5 cc - Edison Glenmont (bulb-filler)

3.0 cc - Wality eyedropper (oversized)

6.4 cc - Varuna Gajendra (giant eyedropper)

* Sheaffer cartridges are supposed to come from the factory with 1 cc, but when refilling them I can get about 1.4 cc in.

It's interesting to note how many classic fountain pens cluster right around 1.0-1.1 cc capacity.

We must remember that the amount of writing you can get from a pen is not a simple function of how much ink it holds. A smaller nib tip, a drier nib and a more consistent feed can all stretch your writing. The Sheaffer Snorkel, for example, is known for having pretty good write-out, despite the small amount of ink it holds. It's the Prius of fountain pens!

The TWSBI Vac 700 is listed twice. Most vac-fill pens are intended to fill normally with a single stroke of the plunger. There is also a somewhat tricky two-stroke technique to fill the entire reservoir, and TWSBI sell a special ink bottle to make it easier and safer to perform without spilling ink. So, I decided to measure it both ways.

Also, more ink is not always better. Whenever go you above 2 cc, then you need to start worrying about ink surges which may overwhelm the feed, then your pen may burp up drops of ink onto the page. I never saw that happen with my New Postal Jr, but I have seen it a couple of times with the Edison Glenmont.

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This is an immensely useful thread. Thanks for posting!

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I use the same method for capacities on my site; I got 0.5 ml for the VP, but that's probably down to personal inclination in rounding. I'm in overall agreement with all else, though. Snorkels and 51s go a LONG time between fills.

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I have measurements memorized from some other poster. Seeing how I'm never going to do it my self....much too lazy. I'll take any one's efforts.


Pelikan 200/400 =1.27 ml, 600/800 =1.37....1000 =1.47 and a MB 149 at =1.60. That last one holds only as much as one of the older Sheaffer cartridges of 1.60. That was a surprise. :o

Or that two short international cartridges of @0.74 = more than in a giant 149. :yikes:

It was defiantly a shock to learn some cartridges hold more than a 200/400 Pelikan; the day the myth died. B) .

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.



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Some numbers from me:


0.2 cc - Waterman's Ideal 452 1/2 V (Lever filler)

0.4 cc - Kaweco with mini converter

0.5 cc - Parker Duofold Lady (Pushbutton filler)

0.6 cc - Pilot Capless w CON-50

0.7 cc - Rheinperle 475 F (Pushbutton filler)

0.8 cc - Heiko Primus, Junior, Sprint w cartridge

0.8 cc - Markan 65 Exquisit (Aerometric filler)

0.8 cc - Montblanc 144 with converter

0.8 cc - Noodler Creeper Flex

0.8 cc - Waterman's Ideal 52 (Lever filler)

1.1 cc - DeLaRue Onoto (Plunger filler)

1.1 cc (up to 2.8 cc) - Parker Duofold Senior Streamlined (Pushbutton filler)

1.2 cc - Geha Schulfueller 780 (Piston filler)

1.2 cc - Gold-Fink Liebling (Safety eyedropper filler)

1.3 cc - Sheaffer Lifetime Junior Flattop (Lever filler)

1.3 cc - Waterman's Ideal 52 (Lever filler)

1.4 cc - Montblanc 146 (Piston filler)

1.4 cc - Parker "51" Standard (Aerometric filler)

1.5 cc - Astoria No. 1 (Safety eyedropper filler)

1.5 cc - Mercedes 75 06 (Piston filler)

1.5 cc - Waterman's Ideal 12 PSF (Lever filler)

1.5 cc - Waterman's Ideal 42 (Safety eyedropper filler)

1.8 cc - Parker Duofold Senior (Pushbotton filler)

2.3 cc - Mabie Todd & Co The Swan (Eyedropper filler)

2.6 cc - Waterman's Ideal 44 (Safety eyedropper filler)

3.2 cc - Waterman's Ideal 45 (Safety eyedropper filler)

3.3 cc - Mabie, Todd & Co. pre-Swan with over/under-feed, capped 17cm long, diameter 8mm (Eyedropper filler)


The capacity of the lever filler seems to depend on the ink sac and not all have the optimum capacity, what can be seen on the Watermans:


0.8 cc - Waterman's Ideal 52 (Lever filler)

1.3 cc - Waterman's Ideal 52 (Lever filler)


And maybe also the mechanism itself is not the best, because with some fiddling much ink can be squeezed into a pen, like this Duofold:


1.1 cc (up to 2.8 cc) - Parker Duofold Senior Streamlined (Pushbutton filler)



Edited by Cepasaccus
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Recently cleaned and refiled with different color a Parker long cartridge I not measured exactly but it was close to 2ml ink capacity.

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  • 4 months later...

Lamy 2K is definitly more in the 1.3 area. Lamy 27m: said to hold 1.5ml (according to Myu's review).

Marlen Aleph: barely 1ml. Piston filler and a rather thirsty nib.



free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!

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0.4 cc - Mabie, Todd & Co. Ltd. S.F.2B(?) (Ring top, lever filler)
0.8 cc - Sheaffer PfM III
1.4 cc - Hero 616 Copy (Short ink sac type)
1.6 cc - DeLaRue Onoto 560 (Plunger filler)
1.8 cc - Perry & Co. Alexandria No. 520 (Eyedropper filler)
2.0 cc - Mabie, Todd & Bard The Swan 3012 Pocket Pen (Eyedropper filler)
2.2 cc - Waterman's Ideal 12 (1911-1917, safety eyedropper filler)
2.5 cc - Waterman's Ideal 46 (Safety eyedroppfer filler)

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Lamy 2K is definitly more in the 1.3 area. Lamy 27m: said to hold 1.5ml (according to Myu's review).

Marlen Aleph: barely 1ml. Piston filler and a rather thirsty nib.

A little follow up: the Lamy 27m hold 1.6ml+, unscientific measurement, but with a eyedropper graduated to the tenth of ml.



free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!

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