Tutorial: How to refill a Pen or Converter with a Syringe

(This is an update of a post we did over ten years ago. The links to the photos had broken and I realized that this technique applies to more than just a TWSBI.)

With a TWSBI Eco or 540/580, sometimes they don’t suck up a full reservoir worth of ink when dipping the nib into a bottle. Or… you are down to the last drops of ink or trying to fill from a sample. This problem can also arise with pens that use converters. I often have trouble getting a full fill in my Sailor Pro Gear pens.

When you encounter this problem, its nice to have an alternate method to fill.

What you’ll need:

Depending on the pen model, you will need to either untwist the nib unit (580/540, etc) or pull out the nib and feed (ECO).

Start by plunging about some ink. No need to fill the whole syringe as it could lead to overfilling (that’s why its good to keep a rag or towel nearby).

Once you’ve got ink in the syringe, look and see the small hole at the base of the nib section (where the feed fits into the ink reservoir). That’s where you will put the tip of the syringe and fill the ink reservoir.

I used the Ink-a-pet to hold my pen upright and provide a “third hand” as I inserted the needle and slowly plunged ink into the reservoir.

You can stop filling at any point but if the goal was to fill the reservoir full, you may need to add more ink to the syringe and plunge a bit more.

Once completed, be sure to reattach the nib and feed and clean the syringe.

Filling a converter:

The same technique can be used to fill a converter. Once again, I fill the syringe though I make sure not to put more than 1 or 2 ml since the converter doesn’t hold much ink and too much ink will lead to spillage.

Once again, I use my Ink-a-pet to hold the converter once I filled the syringe with ink. Again, be sure to look closely to see the small hole in the end of the converter that connects to the feed. You want to be able to get the ink into the converter and not all over the converter collar.

Stop filling before disaster occurs and be sure to dab any excess before trying to insert the feed into the converter or it will leak over the outside of the converter and possibly stain the inside of your pen.

Again, be sure to clean out your syringe with clean water and store it safely for your next refill.

Easy, peasy! I hope this helps you use your pens and inks more easily.

DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided free of charge for the purpose of review. Some items were purchased with funds from our amazing Patrons. You can help support this blog by joining our Patreon. Please see the About page for more details.

Written by

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Also handy when you have a vintage pen that uses a cartridge that is no longer available and you only have the empty cartridge to refill with ink. Or maybe you’ve fashioned a replacement cartridge from tubing and hot glue. Either way, gotta use the old blunt hypo to fill ‘er up.

  2. Respectfully you are doing wrongly, the factory instructions do not recommend to take apart a pen or remove converters to fill it…you will damage sooner or later those pieces…some drops of ink are more cheaper than a pen parts and syringe is recommended to refill a empty cartridge or a eyedropper filler pen. Best Regards.

  3. This was finally the push I needed to make a big Ink A Pet order. I have been meaning to for two years now (missed the initial Halloween setup, then completely forgot the second Halloween outfits, and now we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day!) Can’t wait to have me some cute pink inky friends to dress up while they’re not holding my ink samples.

    I find if you haven’t got an Ink A Pet (yet) then some blue-tack or even just a loop of masking tape can help stabilise the ink vial if you’re excitable like myself. I’m finally also getting a black keyboard & mouse so you’ll not see all the bits of ink that fly around while I’m deep in my swatching game.

    One last relevant tip, the blunt tip syringes are re-usable (though if you don’t have too many, labelling them for colour family and/or having one set aside for sparkling/shimmer inks is a good idea) but you can rinse them out when done and invert the tip into the back of the syringe – nesting it into the plunger (very hard to describe how this is done) and it tucks away into a little unit that is very tidy to have with your ink supplies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.