Adjusting Your Fountain Pen – Part 2: Aligning the Tines

On of my 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. 

Part 1: Adjusting Ink Flow

Part 2: Now that you’ve adjusted the ink flow of your pen so that it lays down the amount of ink you want it to, you need to look at the alignment of the tines to make sure that they’re as closely aligned as possible. This single step can usually resolve about 90% of “scratchiness” issues with your nib.

  • ahypnia

    This is usually as far as I’m willing to go with a nib. I have this strange obsession with what I deem the “original” state of the nib. After the tines are aligned and the flow is to my liking, I generally refuse to smooth nibs further since I like feeling the difference in the original “character” (if that makes sense) of the nib and such on my pens. I personally think that having all pens being buttery smooth writers would be a little boring. That said, I can’t tolerate scratchiness or skipping at all.

    I make exceptions for really horrible pens with uneven tipping, baby’s bottom, pens that I need to grind down, etc. but I generally try to stick to the above principal.

  • Falk Meinhardt

    Hi Matt, another great video – thanks. I got a Hero 901 3 month ago and the nib had that same issues. I smoothed the nib, but did not adjust the ink flow. After I saw your review about the pen I got a #5-nib from Franklin Christoph, but I was a little bit disappointed because this nib needed to be adjusted too. The Franklin Christoph nib was very dry; now the ink-flow is adjusted and the nib is a little bit smoothed. Now I´m quite happy with that pen, but… the feed is crap… The Jinhao pens are a lot better at this point. Best regards!

  • Roberto Sans

    Very interesting video , as usual. I admire the technical quality of your videos, but above all your likeable persona.

  • ozy

    Hi Matt! Yet another great video thank you!! I have adjusted the Ink flow in a couple of pens already and it worked great, however I recently bought this rather expensive pen (Omas 360) and although it writes ‘ok’ I do notice that when I go from right to left it looses ink..
    >:-( But I think in this one I will not mess with it an send it to some Nib-Meister.. Keep it going looking forward to episode 3.

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  • ernesto gonzález

    great job matt. By the way, is that a swatch watch?