Ink samples are small, fun, easy, and a great way to try out a color before committing to buying a full bottle.
The fountain pen ink samples that we sell come with just over 2ml of ink, in a labeled vial that holds a bit more. The reason they aren't full is so that there's room to displace the ink as you dip your fountain pen in, without overflowing! We've found that 2ml is a good amount to fill a converter roughly two times.
However, it can be challenging to get every last drop of ink out, especially as you get towards the bottom. Our vials are conically shaped at the bottom to aid with this, but it can still be tricky.
So what's the best way to fill your fountain pen from these ink sample vials?
We're here to help.
It comes down to three primary methods: the "tilt" method, directly filling the converter, and using an ink syringe.
The "Tilt" Method:
Sometimes you can just directly fill your fountain pen from the vial on a table, but often, the ink level isn't high enough to completely submerge the nib and feed.
If you hold the ink vial and tilt it, you can get better ink coverage over the nib and feed. It’s usually best to do it w/ feed down, but sometimes it works the other way too. Watch the video above to see how to securely hold both the ink vial and the pen with one hand, while using the other hand to turn the converter or piston knob.
You'll want to go slowly to avoid air bubbles.
Directly Filling the Converter:
You CAN also avoid the mess of submerging your nib & feed by filling the converter directly. This method is handy if you want to avoid getting ink on your grip section - maybe you don’t have any paper towels handy.
However, it can be difficult to get a grip on the converter itself, given the short length compared to the ink vial height.
To make it easier (and avoid getting ink on your fingers) use the pencil trick. The pencil trick is where you insert the eraser-end of a pencil into the ink vial next to the converter, to kind of "pin" the converter in place. This will allow you to turn the piston knob without spinning the entire converter. We don't have a picture of this, so watching the video above will be much more helpful for you to get a visual!
Overall this method gets you less ink in your pen, though. There's LOTS of ink storage in the feed that you are missing out on.
Using an Ink Syringe:
You can also use an ink syringe to directly fill the converter (or other type of ink reservoir). This is honestly the easiest way to get every last drop, and keep your hands clean!
Ink samples are a fantastic way to try out new colors, but getting a small volume of ink into a small ink reservoir can sometimes be logistically challenging. Hopefully the methods above are helpful to you!