Fountain Pen Misconceptions

Fountain Pen Misconceptions


While spending time on various fountain pen forums and social medias, we oftentimes come across the same misconceptions regarding fountain pens. In the interest of sharing the most accurate information with the fountain pen community, we feel that it is important to put together a list of items that oftentimes cause confusion among the fountain pen community.

Please note – these are the big ones that we encounter regularly.  If you know of other misconceptions that you’d like us to cover on this page, please email us or comment below. We will keep this page linked on our site and update it as needed.


Solid gold nibs are superior to steel nibs.

Not true.  This is more about preference and is not a safe generalization.  Refer to our article here regarding steel vs. 18k nibs


Converter filling pens are boring.

While this is certainly opinion, this is also not a safe generalization to make. Refer to our article here regarding converter fillers vs other filling systems.


Eyedropper burping is caused by heat from your hand.

While heat from your hand or other sources can play a role, this effect is very very minor and has no significant effect.  I will be putting together a very concise presentation regarding this soon.


A nib will “break into your hand” over time.

This idea is that over time, your nib tip will conform to the way that you hold the pen.  Not true.  Tipping material is a very very hard material for a reason…it will not wear away even after decades of daily use.  If the shape of tipping material will change to your hand as some people feel, then tipping material would simply wear away and disappear over time.


All inks are safe in any fountain pen.

Not true.  There are plenty of inks that will not play well with fountain pens for various reasons. There are also inks that will literally melt the latex sacs and diaphragms used on vintage pens, as well as also our Pump, Pneumatic, and Bulb Fillers.  In the interest of keeping this page concise, I will simply refer to Richard Binder’s article here.  His findings are identical to ours.


Celluloid is a superior pen material.

Again, this is personal preference.  Nitrous Celluloid does not offer structurally superior qualities when compared to cast acrylic or ebonite. Celluloid, Cast Acrylic, and Ebonite are the most common pen materials.  Their differences are more about appearance and feel.  But structurally, they all make excellent pen materials.  One caveat – depending up on the manufacturing process, injection molded acrylic can be more brittle and prone to break, but the three most commonly used pen materials in higher quality pens offer no difference in structural strength.