Can Fountain Pen Ink Be Used For Dip Pens?

Fountain pen and dip pens are becoming more and more common, and many people are switching to these high-end pens rather than using ordinary pens. The art of scribing and penmanship is becoming a serious hobby for many, but there are many questions that must be answered for those who are just beginning the journey. One of these questions is: can fountain pen ink be used for dip pens?

Fountain pen ink can be used for dip pens, but it is not very well suited for them. Fountain pen ink is thinner than ink designed for dip pens. This thin ink may not be picked up well by the dip pen nib and will flow too quickly from it, resulting in blotches. Some inks will work better than others.

There are some fountain pen inks that may work well for a dip pen, but there is a reason why dip pens use their own specialized inks. Fountain pen ink is intended for fountain pens, but there are some instances when they can work well for dip pens. Let’s looks at whether or not fountain pen inks work well for dip pens, how well they work if they do, as well as the best way to use fountain pen ink for a dip pen.

Can Fountain Pen Ink Be Used In Dip Pens?

Fountain pen ink is usually water-based and designed to be relatively thin, smooth flowing, and water-soluble.

These are all qualities of the ink that are designed for it to work well in fountain pens. The thin consistency of the ink allows it to flow through the body of the fountain pen, to the nib, and onto the paper.

This ink is specifically designed to flow easily and not stick to any surfaces other than paper and to especially not cling onto metals.

These qualities of fountain pen ink are not ideal for dip pens, but that does not mean that they can not be used for dip pens at all.

Dip pen nips are designed to trap and store a small amount of ink and let it flow off the nib as it is dragged along the paper.

The reservoir nibs that are usually used for dip pens will be able to retain the fountain pen ink, and therefore will be able to transfer the ink to paper.

However, due to the thin viscosity of the fountain pen ink and the inks inability to cling to metal, means that the fountain pen ink will both not be picked up very well by the dip pen nib and will flow from the nib very quickly, even dripping off the nib rather than flowing off slowly and smoothly as is ideal.

Dip pen nibs are designed to encourage the ink to flow to the end of the nib from everywhere on the surface of the nib. This is how the nib collects ink and retains it until it is written with.

Fountain pen ink is designed to flow quickly, and so using this ink with a dip pen will effectively work too well. The ink will flow directly to the tip of the nib, whether you are writing with it or not until the excess ink has run off.

At this point, the dip pen can be used to transfer the fountain pen ink to paper, but there is so little ink left on the nib, and it flows off so quickly, you will be dipping the pen into the ink to collect more much more often than would be necessary for dip pen ink.

Fountain pen ink can be used for dip pens, but it is not ideally suited for dip pens because of how thin it is.

There are some thick fountain pen inks that work better than others, and the ink will work for a dip pen, but it will be thin, and the pen will have to be reloaded very frequently.

Are There Any Fountain Pen Inks That Can Be Used For Dip Pens?

Fountain pen ink can be used for dip pens, and even though it is not ideal, there are some fountain pen inks that work surprisingly well for dip pens.

More often than not, fountain pen ink is water-based ink rather than oil-based ink. This means that the ink is much thinner than other inks, but that can be surprisingly useful for dip pens.

Dip pens work by collecting ink from a pot and channeling all of the collected ink to the tip of the nib for transferring to paper.

This can be a problem for most fountain pen inks when used for dip pens, as the ink will simply run off the end of the nib, causing blotches and blobs on the paper.

However, there are some fountain pen inks that work very well for dip pens.

If the fountain pen ink is thick enough, and if the right nib is used, it may work very well for the dip pen.

Black fountain pen ink will work the best for dip pens, and there are many black inks to choose from that will work well.

The type of dip pen nib is important as well, as there are some dip pen nibs that are designed to be used for thin inks.

Dip pen nibs that are meant for complicated calligraphy styles that used curved techniques will not work well with fountain pen inks, but straight nibs that are meant for italic calligraphy will work well with thinner ink.

There are some fountain pen inks that will work well with dip pens, but not all of them do, and the nib that is used is an important factor as well.

The only way to unequivocally know if your fountain pen ink will work with your dip pen is to try it. The ink will not damage the dip pen regardless of the ink or the nib, so it won’t hurt to try!

What Is The Best Way To Use Fountain Pen Ink For A Dip Pen?

Fountain pen ink may not be perfect for dip pens, but there are steps that you can take to make the ink work better for a dip pen.

The main problem with using fountain pen ink for a dip pen is that fountain pen ink is usually too thin for use with a dip pen.

To solve this problem, thicken the ink by mixing some gum arabic into it. Start with one or two small drops of the thickening agent added into a small amount of ink, and add more as necessary.

This will thicken the ink without losing any of the pigmentation of the ink or any color saturation, making it ideal for use with a dip pen without losing any quality.

Another important step when using fountain pen ink for a dip pen is to make sure that the dip pen nib is free of any manufacturing oils.

These oils can cause the thin fountain pen ink to rush off the nib of the pen very quickly.

Remove any leftover manufacturing oils by holding the nib over the flame of a lighter or a match for a few seconds or by washing the nib with a solution of water, dish soap, and a solvent such as ammonia.

This will give your fountain pen ink the best possible chance of success when used with a dip pen.


Fountain pen inks are not perfectly suited for use in dip pens, but it is possible to use them for dip pens.

The ink for fountain pens will never damage the nib of a dip pen, and it is perfectly safe to use, even if it is not the best ink for the pen.

Fountain pen ink is much thinner than dip pen ink and so will be very runny when used and may drip off the nib of the dip pen when used.

Some fountain pen inks are thick enough to use for dip pens, especially with dip pen nibs that are meant for straight writing, such as italic calligraphy, rather than using nibs that flex for more curved writing styles.

Thickening fountain pen ink with gum arabic can make any fountain pen ink work very well with any dip pen. This method will work well if you want to use a specific color ink for a dip pen but only have it in fountain ink form.

Be sure to clean any oils off the nib of the dip pen before using it with fountain pen ink.

There are many rules to break when it comes to using dip pens and fountain pens, but the truth of it all is that if the ink you are using is working for you, keep using it! Fountain pen ink will never damage a dip pen, so do not be afraid to try it out!

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