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Screw Versus Plunger Ink Converters


GEJ
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I've just started collecting fountain pens and was wondering what everyone's opinion is of which is the best type of ink converter? I mostly have screw type, but just received a Parker Urban which came with a plunger type. So far I'd say I prefer the screw type, but wondered what everyone else's experience has been.

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I agree, I prefer the screw to the plunger filler.

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I do also prefer the screw type. It allows for finer control of plunger and piston.

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I've only had one of those Parker slide converters, and didn't like it at all. Lubricating both the piston and the slide track with silicone grease helped.

Edited by Tweel

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I have several screw type converters, they work fine, and if they don't a tiny bit of silicone grease does the business; I have one plunger type for a Kaweco Sport, it leaks and it's really uncomfortable to fill from a bottle; I finally gave up on the pen, not worth the constant aggravation.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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I'm indifferent to most converters apart from the pilot CON-70, which I quite like.

 

I dislike squeeze bar converters though. I prefer to just squeeze a sac.

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I like piston pens....better than converters. I only have a few screw ones***....in I have few c/c pens.

The advantage of a piston pen, is it don't have vapor lock like many converters....holds more ink than converters.

There are cartridges that are bigger than some/many piston pens.

 

*** :yikes:Didn't even know about plunger converters. :rolleyes:

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

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I actually like those slide converters and back when I was just starting here and was focused on Parkers, I even ordered extras. As txomsky says, the screw-types do allow for greater control but I found the plungers better for flushing the pens as you can exert decent pressure at a faster pace.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Another vote for the Parker slide converter: quick to use and it feels less likely to un-seat during filling. The design is super simple, making it less likely to jam or break.

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Being a huge supporter and designer of plunger filling pens, i thought this retro-fittable unit might be if interest

post-50790-0-20924700-1557262687_thumb.jpg

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I like the screw type for general use, but for a while kept a plunger type around just for cleaning pens. I found I could move a lot of water in and out of the nib fairly quickly which made cleaning easier.

Now I mostly use a bulb syringe for the same purpose. But the plunger converter did pack better.

Edited by johnsi02
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Being a huge supporter and designer of plunger filling pens, i thought this retro-fittable unit might be if interest

Interesting, do you have any more details about it?
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The twist converters look more expensive generally, but I find them all six of one and half dozen of another. No clear advantage, but you might get more life out of either than out of a sac converter, although I have begun to resac sac converters. Machts nichts unless you dislike one or the other.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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Converters with a rotary mechanism give the user more fine-grained control over the movement of the piston, and less physical force needs to be exerted by the user to overcome the piston's initial resistance to movement (possibly due to thickened or dried ink accumulating inside the lumen of the converter).

 

Lubricating the rim on the business end of the piston with silicone grease can help plunger-type converters move along more smoothly, but the initial push is still apt to move the piston too far in a burst and cause specks of ink to fly out of the nib and onto where you don't want them. Also, not all plunger-type converters can be easily and safely disassembled and reassembled to apply silicone grease 'cleanly' behind the seal. (Thankfully Kevin from FPR told me how to do so for converters that come with the FPR Himalaya.)

 

The Parker converters with a slide mechanism for operating the piston are the worst, in my experience and my opinion, because it is hard to gain purchase of the narrow tab using the pad of one's thumb only (or a fingernail, I suppose), which makes it even more difficult to exert fine-grained control over piston movement with that than with a proper plunger mechanism.

 

As txomsky says, the screw-types do allow for greater control but I found the plungers better for flushing the pens as you can exert decent pressure at a faster pace.

I just use a separately acquired bulb syringe for that.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I have several screw type converters, they work fine, and if they don't a tiny bit of silicone grease does the business; I have one plunger type for a Kaweco Sport, it leaks and it's really uncomfortable to fill from a bottle; I finally gave up on the pen, not worth the constant aggravation.

Why give up on the pen and not the converter? Simply refill cartridges or use the silicone sack one instead. Or just get another one (there are a couple non-kaweco converters available)

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Screw converter looks classier but both look the same when in the barrel and perform the same.

 

Slide converters are not as smooth as screw converters but there is no doubt about the direction of their action.

 

I always get confused with screw converters - is it clockwise or anti? Must be a southern hemisphere thing.

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I can't stand the plunger converters that Parker makes, the difficulty of moving the piston at first always makes a mess. The Kaweco ones are better to use, being a little smoother and requiring less force, but have other issues. Twist converters anytime I have a choice.

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I always get confused with screw converters - is it clockwise or anti? Must be a southern hemisphere thing.

 

 

I have never encountered a rotary converter in which the piston is driven towards the feed by turning the shaft clockwise (looking down towards the feed from the end of the shaft), regardless of the brand, or whether it was made in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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