Adjusting Your Fountain Pen – Part 1: Ink Flow

On of the most common requests I receive is to put together a video on how to adjust fountain pens to customize the writing experience for the user. I am, by no means, an expert. But over the last couple of years I have picked up several tips and tricks about how to adjust fountain pens. I’ve become confident enough to adjust even my high-end pens that don’t write the way I would like them to. So, I thought I would compile the tips and tricks I’ve discovered here in this mini-series for people who are interested.

DISCLAIMER: The steps I show in this video are undertaken at your own risk. I do not accept responsibility for any damage you do to your pen as a result of actions I or others show in the video, in this post, or in the comments below. Please note that, if your pen is under warranty, you run the risk of voiding your warranty if you undertake this work on your own. If you are new to adjusting your pens, start with inexpensive pens, and GO SLOWLY. 

In this first video of the mini-series, I talk a bit about my theory behind how I tackle adjusting my pens, and how to being by working on a pen’s ink flow.

  • Claudius

    Hi Matt,
    following your tutorial I could greatly improve the performance of my Lamy 2000 (F) wich was always a little to dry for my taste and began skipping when I wrote big and very fast.
    Thanks a lot and best wishes from Munich, Germany

  • Daniel Hanuka

    Hi Matt: I really enjoyed your video and thank you very much. Why start with the flossing when you can just bend the tip of the nib as you did later one. Whats the advantage of doing the flossing as you did in part one?

    • The flossing is less potentially damaging to the nib, and will allow you work in smaller increments. It’s surprisingly easy to damage the nib by bending the tip open like that. Plus, bending the tip can often times cause the nib to go up a size in width, (e.g., from a fine to a medium). I haven’t seen the same thing with flossing.

      About 2/3 of the time, I don’t have to bend the tip at all. Flossing or wiggling with the brass shim is enough. That’s why I start with that.

  • RGSTL10

    Taking a brass shim to my Kaweco Sport ‘F’ got the ink flowing very well. Thanks Matt!

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  • Kevin

    Hi Matt, What advice would you have for a pen with a flow that is too heavy? I sent my Cross Century II in for a repair to the cap (it kept falling off in my pocket) when I got the pen back they had opened the gap between the tines. It is a fine and writes heavier than my Nemosine Fission with a medium nib. Thanks, Kevin

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