Key Takeaways

  • Fountain pen cartridges are replaceable units filled with ink that feed the pen nib.
  • There are two primary types of fountain pen cartridges: standard international cartridges and proprietary cartridges.
  • To properly install a cartridge, prepare the pen by disassembling, cleaning, and ensuring it is dry.
  • Install the cartridge by shaking it, inserting it into the grip section, and ensuring ink flow.
  • Troubleshooting common issues includes squeezing the cartridge or using the correct type.
  • Maintain the pen by regularly cleaning and storing it properly.
  • Proper installation and maintenance are essential for a smooth writing experience with a fountain pen.


The heart of fountain pens lies in their ink system, specifically the cartridge.

The cartridge is a replaceable unit filled with ink that feeds the pen nib.

Understanding how to install a fountain pen cartridge is crucial for maintaining the pen's performance and longevity.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the process.

Types of Fountain Pen Cartridges

Fountain pen cartridges come in a variety of types, each designed to cater to specific pen models and user preferences.

The two primary types are standard international cartridges and proprietary cartridges.

  • Standard International Cartridges: These are universally compatible cartridges that fit a wide range of fountain pens. They are available in both short and long sizes, offering flexibility in terms of ink capacity.
  • Proprietary Cartridges: These are brand-specific cartridges designed to fit only certain models or brands of fountain pens.

Focusing on Loclen, our pens are designed to work seamlessly with standard international cartridges.

This compatibility provides users with a broad range of ink colors and brands to choose from.

Check out our collection of fountain pens compatible with standard international cartridges.

For a compact, cartridge-only fountain pen, consider our Tiny model.

Its sleek design and ease of use make it a perfect choice for those who prefer the convenience of cartridges.

Preparing for Cartridge Installation 

Before installing a new cartridge, it's important to prepare your fountain pen to ensure a smooth ink flow and prevent clogging.

Here are the steps:

  1. Disassemble the Pen: Unscrew the grip section from the barrel. Be gentle to avoid damaging the pen.
  2. Clean the Pen: If you're installing a new cartridge because the old one is empty, it's a good idea to clean the pen first. This involves flushing the nib and feed with water until it runs clear. This step is crucial as it removes any dried ink or debris that could obstruct the ink flow.
  3. Dry the Pen: After cleaning, let the pen parts dry completely. Any water left in the pen can dilute the ink and affect the writing performance.

Now, your pen is ready for a new cartridge.

The next part of this guide will walk you through the installation process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a Cartridge 

Installing a fountain pen cartridge is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you:

  • Prepare the Cartridge: Start by gently shaking the cartridge to ensure the ink is evenly distributed.
  • Insert the Cartridge: Place the cartridge into the grip section, small end first. Apply gentle pressure until the cartridge seats firmly and you feel a small pop. This indicates that the seal has been broken and ink can flow into the feed.
  • Ensure Ink Flow: Hold the pen nib down and give it a minute or two. This allows the ink to flow down into the nib. You can also gently squeeze the cartridge to encourage ink flow.
  • Test the Pen: Finally, test your pen on a scrap piece of paper. If the ink doesn't flow, refer to our troubleshooting guide for solutions.

Troubleshooting Common Issues 

Even with careful installation, you might encounter some issues.

Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  • Ink Not Flowing: If the ink doesn't start flowing, try gently squeezing the cartridge to force some ink into the feed. If this doesn't work, refer to our comprehensive troubleshooting guide.
  • Cartridge Not Fitting: If the cartridge doesn't fit, double-check that you're using the correct type. Loclen pens are designed to fit standard international cartridges.

Maintaining Your Fountain Pen Post-Installation 

Once you've installed the cartridge, proper maintenance will ensure your pen performs optimally:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your pen every few weeks or whenever you change ink colors. Our cleaning guide provides detailed instructions.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, store your pen upright with the cap on to prevent the ink from drying out.


Understanding how to install and maintain a fountain pen cartridge is key to enjoying a smooth writing experience.

With the right knowledge and a bit of practice, you can ensure your Loclen fountain pen serves you well for years to come.

Happy writing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I reuse a fountain pen cartridge?

Yes, fountain pen cartridges can be reused. After emptying the cartridge, it can be cleaned and refilled with fountain pen ink.

How often should I replace my fountain pen cartridge?

The frequency of replacing a fountain pen cartridge depends on your usage. Generally, it's recommended to replace the cartridge when it's empty or if you notice a decrease in ink flow.

Can I leave my fountain pen filled if I'm not using it?

It's generally not recommended to leave your fountain pen filled if you're not using it for an extended period. The ink may dry out and clog the pen. It's better to clean and empty the pen if you won't be using it for a while.

How do I know if my cartridge is properly installed?

To ensure proper installation of a fountain pen cartridge, check if it's securely inserted into the pen's feed. It should fit snugly and not have any wobbling or leakage.

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