In most cases, once you insert a cartridge and start writing you will get ink flow very quickly and without any problems. Occasionally, new nibs do sometimes take a little work to start for the first time and here are a few things you can try:
- Make sure you have an ink cartridge properly seated inside the body of the pen so that the seal on the ink is broken and it can flow. Press the cartridge firmly into the nib unit and if you are using a half size cartridge make sure you have spare one upside down in the barrel of the pen to keep the live one in place.
- Hold the pen vertical and tap the nib onto a piece of scrap paper – this can help gravity do its work on pulling down the ink.
- The ink actually flows due to a capillary action as the two halves of the nib at the point are pushed apart when you press it onto the paper. It can help to start the ink flow if you hold the pen at a normal writing angle and press down harder than normal (just in one place, not trying to write) so you can see a small gap along the split in the nib. Repeat this a few times until you can see the ink coming down the gap.
- Run the end of the nib under warm water to help start the ink flow (make sure it is done somewhere that the ink will not cause any damage and have some paper towel ready to wipe off the nib when the ink starts flowing.)
If none of those will get it started, it is possible you have a faulty pen and we will exchange it for you. If you wanted, we could put an ink cartridge in the new pen and make sure it starts OK before we send it.
We do occasionally get enquiries from people who are having trouble starting their left-handed calligraphy pens. Manuscript are a well-established manufacturer of calligraphy pens and sets and we have been selling their left-handed versions for many years without problems. I have tested the pens in all of their sets myself (as we do for all our products) and they worked fine for me.
With the calligraphy pens and the flat nib end for wide lettering it is important to hold them so the end of the nib is flat on the paper and, while they are specially designed left-handed nibs, they do not suit everyone's writing position. If the nib is nor flat you can end up with one side only touching the paper and the nib will not split properly and bring down the ink. The calligraphy sets contain various different nib widths – is there a problem with all of the nibs or is it just one size? The wider nibs are sometimes more difficult to get going and nee to be held flat on the page.
Just to see if it is the pens or your writing angle could you try starting them by holding the pen so you can draw it down the paper in a straight line with the end of the nib flat and see if that starts it.