Holding your Fountain Pen


The pen nib should be at a 40 - 55 degrtee angle with the paper.

Holding a pen

The pen rests in the hand, laying in the space bdetween the finger and the thumb resting on the next finger in the hand. The fingers help to guide the nib and and not support the entire weight of the pen.  

It is all about the angle

If the nib does not glide across the paper correctly, it is will a bad experience

Lately I see soi many Instagram photos where the writter is holding the pen straight up in a clenched fist. Oh my. Not good.

The pen should rest in the hand and be at a 40 to 55-degree angle to the paper. You will find as you write with a fountain pen, there will be a sweet spot.

If you look at a nib, you will notice there is a small ball on the reverse side of the nib. There are some exceptions that I will note next, but the basis structure of the nib is to have an irridium tipped point on the reverse side the nib. The shape of th is tip is one of the factors that determine the type of line the nib creates.

Steel nibs, especially stub steel nibs, will not have a tip. The nib itself determins the shape of the writing line. But in any event, it is the bottom of the nib that glides across the paper, not the actualy vertical end of the nib.

Guide the pen, don't press it through the paper

The experience of writing with a fountain pen is the ease it glides across the paper. You don’t need to press down to get the ink to flow like you do with a ballpoint pen.

If you press two hard the nib tines open, and the feed will be incapable of feeding enough ink to the nib.

Of course I know that with every statement there is an exceptions. If you have a flex nib, they are designed to have the tynes open on downstrokes. But again, the nib is at a 40-55 angle to the paper and not straight up vertical.

Your hand and arm are joined for a purpose

I watch people writing with a fountain pen, and many of them have all the action take place in their fingers. If you only control your writing with your fingers, you may apply too much pressure to the pen, which rotates the nib and that can cause ink flow issues. Use your whole arm as your write.

The movement of the pen across the page is actually a movement of the hand and arm.

OMAS made a wonderful pen, the 360, which had a triangle nib section so that you could only hold the pen and the nib in one way. Many did not like the pen because of that feature, however, it kept the nib in the absolutely correct alignment to the paper.