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New in the world of fountain pens, where you wonder how to store them correctly?
Either way, you are welcome. I have been using fountain pens for a long time. I have personally tried and experienced various methods with various brands.
Fountain pens are not like all other regular pens in case of storage. They have specific storage requirements based on various considerations. So, the exact question comes to mind, how to store a fountain pen?
In simple terms, one can store them in numerous ways: horizontally, vertically, nibs up, nibs down, in display boxes, pen cases, pen envelopes.
However, each of these ideas requires specific situations to be implemented. So, it is necessary to learn in detail. Unless you are in a rush, let me offer a complete guide.
Table of Contents
Why Do You Need to Store a Fountain Pen?
The primary purpose of storing a fountain pen is to ensure its proper condition. You have to be able to use that pen anytime you want. For this reason, the nib should be wet enough to start writing instantly.
Proper storage is an essential part of pen maintenance. The room temperature, amount of use, displacement, and humidity level also play a role in the pen’s durability.
New pen users often wonder why their new pen set has to expire quicker than expected. Several things can be responsible.
The biggest threats to your pen health include dust, drying ink, overwork on the nib, and overflow. If left unused for a while, the dust accumulates inside and outside. While using it, the paper pulp and ink flakes stack in the feed.
Over-prolonged usage causes the feed to get blocked. Consequently, we obtain an inconsistent ink flow. The pen starts skipping and scratching. That is when your essential fountain pen becomes an out-of-house problem.
For this reason, properly storing a fountain pen is more necessary than most people think.
How to Store a Fountain Pen?
There is no best way to store a fountain pen in all conditions. This depends on various situations. Therefore, I have developed a complete guide to help you manage your pen through different scenarios.
Storing for Regular Use
For a regular fountain pen user, keeping it horizontally on a flat surface is recommended. The ink stays on the feed while keeping the pen’s tip wet. This keeps the pen ready anytime you have to use it.
But remember to recap the pen at all times properly. Usually, there is a slight click sound when you do that. This means the pen is now correctly sealed, preventing ink from drying or leaking.
Otherwise, the ink will dry quickly within five to ten minutes. So, the method will not work if you keep the nib open. If you keep it vertically nibs up, the ink will need to flow down every time you write with it. It would take a little while and eventually slow you down.
You can also store your pen in a single leather pen case as I do. It looks cool while keeping me organized.
Storing for Occasional Use
There is a different approach if you use it occasionally or try to use it the next day. You can cap the pen nib and keep it upwards in your pen vase. It enables the ink to return to ink storage. Therefore, the ink stays wet and flows back to the nib when you want to write.
Since the ink needs to flow down, it will take a few seconds to be ready. But storing it horizontally here is not a good idea. If you do, your ink will dry up. Then you will need to clean the entire pen by following the proper process.
But if you are lucky enough, the ink will only get sticky. Then you will have to wipe the ink down. That is why, in this case, keeping it horizontal is not a great idea.
Storing for a Long Time
If you intend to store the pen for several weeks or more, empty the ink and store it somewhere. Clean and fresh water must be used to rinse the pen. Regular tap water is good. Then thoroughly dry the pen. Now, this inkless pen is ready to be stored.
You can store it almost anywhere: a pen holder, pen case, or anything else. But don’t store the nibs pointing downwards. If you do, the pen may be damaged for a long unused time.
Then when you are ready to use it, refill the storage. Let the ink flow to the nib, and your preserved pen is ready to roll.
Here is a chart of how long fountain pens stay fit in different storage styles:
|Horizontal||Yes||Two weeks max|
|Horizontal||No||One year max|
|Vertical||Yes||One month max|
|Vertical||No||One year max|
Storing while Traveling
If you are traveling with your pen, there are some things to consider.
1. For regular travel
If you carry your pen by bus, train, or bicycle, you can use travel or other kinds of cases. Ensure pens have minimal bumpy motions. You should be able to take your pens with you with little or no severe problems.
2. For air travel
For air or helicopter travel, different choices require different regulations. During the voyage, the change in altitude causes the air pressure to fall. Therefore, the air in pen starts to expand. This incident causes the ink to leak out of the storage and overflow through the nib.
Here is what you need to do in such scenarios:
- , it is advisable not to. But if you have to, wait until the plane’s height is stable. Then there isn’t any change in air pressure. You should be able to use your pen.
- you can store them in your travel case, pen case, small pouches, or display box. It is advised to drain the ink tank if you do not use it soon. Or, it would help if you refilled it completely.
In both cases, the change in air pressure does not lead to leakage. For safety reasons, keep pens in sealed bags. Thus, the accidental leak will not stain your other essential things.
An unwanted leakage of your pen is the last thing to expect when air traveling. Make sure your pens are not loose in their cases. This will lessen the impact of bumpy movements on your pens.
Rules of thumb for storing fountain pens:
- Storing vertically while the nib is pointed downwards is never recommended.
- Always cap your pen. Regardless of how often you use the pen or where your pen is located, always recap your pen.
- Do not expose your pen to too much heat or direct sunlight. Direct sunlight gives excess heat. This dries the ink quickly and damages the pigment in the ink and the plastic barrel. It expands the air in the pen, resulting in leaks. Higher room temperature also does the same. Using it at a constant temperature is recommended to keep the ink steady.
- Cold environments can freeze or leave ink tarry. This will also disrupt the ink stream and damage the pen.
- Drain or fill the ink storage during travel. For any travel, it is advised to prevent leaking accidents.
Learn How to Store Fountain Pen Properly:
Can You Store Fountain Pens with Ink in Them?
Certainly, you can store fountain pens with ink in them on most occasions. Here are some examples:
If you use the pen throughout the day, you can store it horizontally with ink on a leveled surface. This position keeps the nib wet. The ink lasts at most two weeks before hardening. You can use that pen any time you like.
There are two options if you want to store it for several days. If yours is a convertible pen, you can store it vertically and nibs up while the ink is in it. Thus, your pen stays in good health for up to a month.
However, if your pen is supplied with an ink cartridge, you must remove the ink cartridge. Just discard the cartridge over a sink to avoid potential accidents from dripping inks.
For more extended periods, you should not store your pens with any ink. If you do so, the ink gets hard while damaging the pen’s nib, feed, and other parts.
What Is the Best Tool to Store Fountain Pen?
The best tools to store fountain pens are often inclined to one’s interest.
1. Fountain Pen Cases
The original pen case that comes up when purchasing the product can be good storage too. Most high-end brands come with excellent packaging that helps store their pen for a long time.
Apart from that, there are many pen cases, such as single pen cases, leather cases, display boxes, and small pouches like neck wallets.
2. Fountain Pen Storage Box
Pen storage boxes are suited for an extensive collection. Whether it’s a meeting with a client or a pen show, these boxes keep your pens locked in the right places. You can carry between 40 and 60 pens in a large storage box.
You can also find small and medium pen boxes. You can choose which fits your needs as they come in various sizes. You can store an extensive collection in your drawers easily.
3. Fountain Pen Display Cases
If you own some show-stopper pens that you occasionally like to flex on, display cases are for you. You can put on a good show while keeping them safe and protected from unauthorized hands.
You can put them on your table with books. These boxes have special facilities like keeping the pens tight and preventing collisions.
4. Fountain Pen Travel Case
There are many types of travel cases out there. There are a few obvious travel issues these travel cases solve.
First of all, in travel, there are a lot of shaky movements that are uncomfortable for your pens. These cases minimize those harsh effects on pens. They provide strong resistance while keeping each pen separate. In cases of possible leaks, they also reduce the risk of messing with your other valuables.
Storage Basics while Flying with a Fountain Pen
Nowadays, every airline permits flying with fountain pens. But some airlines still do not because they have a no-liquid-in luggage policy.
Here are essential basic storing tips to avoid issues while flying with a fountain pen:
- Store your pens in a properly sealed bag.
- Do not store them in checked bags.
- Try to keep the nibs upwards when possible.
- Do not use your pen during takeoff and landing as the ink could leak or explode in the worst case due to changing air pressure.
- It is safe to empty your pens or fill them up when traveling.
Flying With Fountain Pen? Check this Video:
Do You Store a Fountain Pen Nib Up Or Down?
Gravity pulls the ink towards the ink container when the pen is positioned vertically with the pen pointed upward. That way, there will be no chance of leaking. Also, the nib stays undamaged for a while. Also, the feeder does not get clogged.
However, there is a setback. The nib does not stay wet. You will not be able to write with it instantly. If the feeder is not clogged, the ink returns to the nib in a few seconds. Then, you are ready to write with it.
On the contrary, a fountain pen stored with nibs down is a bad idea. The gravity pulls the ink to flow to the nib. Then the ink pressure causes the ink to leak. It is a position with poor results. The nib gets damaged over time as the ink on it dries hard. The ink cap will be a pool of ink. So, store your fountain pen nib up rather than nib down.
How to Store Fountain Pens that Are Regularly Used?
Fountain pens that you use from time to time should be stored horizontally after being recapped. In this method, the ink does not dry up rapidly. Also, you won’t have to wait for the ink to flow each time you want to write.
One of the main benefits is the pen remains in shape to write for up to 2 weeks. So, even though you’re away for a few days, the pen is in good shape for writing. If you are storing them overnight, you should store them vertically nibs up.
How to Store Fountain Pen when Not in Use?
After using a fountain pen, the first and foremost thing to do is to recap it properly. Typically, there is a click if the cap fits correctly into the nib area. This way, the pen stays sealed.
- If you use them frequently in a day, place them on a horizontal table or desk.
- If you put them aside for a week or two, store them in a vertical position with nibs upwards. If your pen has an ink cartridge, it is better to separate it from the pen until your subsequent use.
- If you intend to store it for a long time, you must wipe down the ink completely and reserve it for later use. Then, the pen should be rinsed and dried nicely. Then, you can store it vertically or horizontally, based on your preference.
How to Store a Lamy Fountain Pen?
(Also Applicable for Montblanc, Black Rubber, Pilot, and Other Fountain Pen Brand)
Who wouldn’t like to have fine brands like Lamy, Montblanc, Black rubber, or Pilot in their collection? If you are a fountain pen fan, you are eager to have the experience that these pens offer.
In terms of storing these valuable pens, you can try the same methods of storing any normal fountain pen. These pens have better technologies like hand scratchproof texture, golden nob, or ebonized feed.
Storing fountain pens of these well-known brands is easier than the low-budget ones. These pens are often scratch-resistant and offer better features than other pens. However, you also have to take care of them with adequate maintenance.
Should You Store a Fountain Pen Vertically or Horizontally?
To address this question, you can store a fountain pen vertically and horizontally. In some cases, this is a question of personal taste.
You can store them –
- Horizontally, if you use them on and off.
- Vertically nibs up, if you use them only a few times a week.
- Horizontally for long-time storage.
- Both horizontally and vertically nibs upwards in cases of travel without ink in them during the journey.
The best way to store a fountain pen depends highly on the specific situation and types of use. One can store them horizontally for frequent use or vertically nibs up for use later. But a nib pointing down is not recommended at all.
For air traveling, the change of pressure may cause leaking or a small explosion. It is safe to empty the ink feed and reservoir while traveling. You may use the fountain pen only after the plane reaches a stable altitude.
If stored correctly, fountain pens can last decades after decades with no problems or nuisances.