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Fountain Pens Leak, or so They Say

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Just a little nib creep

I’m sure if you are a fountain pen user you have either heard or read comments from people saying that they don’t want to use a fountain pen because they are afraid it will leak on them.  It’s something that I’ve heard way too many times so I just wanted to put this out there because I was thinking about it based on an experience I had the other day with one of my non-fountain pens.  The above photo shows my Lamy Studio with a little bit of nib creep.  The thing about the nib creep is that it really doesnt continue to run out all over and make a mess.  The amount of ink you see there pretty much stays on the nib and doesn’t get any worse than that.  Additionally, this is a worst case scenario as I have plenty of fountain pen and ink combinations that don’t have any nib creep at all.  I would say that in the five or so years that I’ve been using a fountain pen I have never, not even once had a fountain pen leak that I was using.

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This is a leaky pen

This on the other hand is what a pen looks like when it leaks on you, and guess what?  This is clearly NOT a fountain pen that has leaked on me.  It is a Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Lumio multi pen that I’ve had for a while now and even rotated through several refills.  Whats most interesting to me is that this pen has traveled in the same pen case inside the same bag for the same 2+ years as some of my fountain pens, none of which to date have leaked like this pen has.  So obviously an every day carry experience with a fountain pen getting knocked around in a laptop bag isn’t going to cause any major issues, but for some reason it caused havoc with this regular pen.  One thing to keep in mind about this leaky pen is that this ink is viscous because its oil based, so it gets on and IN everything and is incredibly hard to clean out.  I’m still running across spots of ink on things from this mess you see above, and it happened almost a week ago now.

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Fountain Pen nib creep vs a regular pen and its actual leak

If you are one of the people out there that thinks fountain pens leak, I highly recommend you consider the evidence and give one a chance.  There are plenty of great beginner fountain pens out there and I’d personally recommend the Lamy Safari or the Pilot Metropolitan, neither of which should leak on you, I promise.  You probably won’t even see much if any nib creep from those two pens either, although that also depends on the ink that you use.  Modern fountain pens are constructed very well and to some pretty high standards, so don’t be scared off from a great new experience based on the uninformed and inaccurate ramblings of those that do not know what they are talking about.

©2017, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.

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