How to care for your onoto fountain pen

As the new owner of an Onoto pen, you now belong to a worldwide family of connoisseurs and enthusiasts who appreciate the craftsmanship and fine quality which goes into the manufacture of every Onoto product.

Each Onoto pen is hand-made in England by a small team of goldsmith/jewellers with years of experience in pen-making of the very highest quality. Our workshop is an oasis of traditional craft skills in an increasingly mass-manufactured world. Here you will find old fashioned vitreous enamelling over guilloche engraved patterns on gold or silver, beautifully engraved designs and hand-crafted pieces in the style of Carl Faberge.

A hundred-year-old brand with a history of innovation and creativity is a proud heritage which today’s Onoto craftsmen and women are determined to follow. That’s why most contemporary Onoto pens are produced in small limited Editions, each one accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity so you can be assured of its provenance and its exclusivity.

Your Onoto pen has been designed to last a lifetime... and beyond. That’s why we are happy to provide a lifetime guarantee on every pen we produce. However, ownership brings responsibilities so there are a few brief thoughts on how you can care for your pen.

General Care

  • We recommend that you condition the nib before you first fill it with ink. See “Inks and Filling” to find out how to do this.
  • Regular use will ensure a smooth and even flow of ink.
  • Always replace the cap on the nib after use. This avoids drying out of the nib and subsequent clogging if you do not expect to use the pen for some time, remove the cartridge or converter to avoid clogging the nib section.
  • Do not press too hard when you write. This could result in nib damage and ink flow problems.
  • Keep your pen away from extremes of temperature (hot or cold).
  • Our precious metal pens are designed in a way that prevents the cap being “posted” on the top of the barrel when writing. This is to ensure the right balance of the pen in your hand, with a lower centre of gravity at the normal writing angle.

Travelling by Air

It is important that when travelling by air your fountain pen should be fully filled or alternatively emptied and flushed clean before travel. If the pen reservoir is only partly filled, the air in it may expand or contract resulting in ink seepage. Always keep a filled pen upright when travelling by air.


  • Most Onoto pens are designed to take a choice of fine, medium and broad nibs. Your choice of nib depends on your style and speed of writing. In general terms, if you write quickly or deal with numbers, you will find a fine nib suites you. If you are more leisurely in your writing or like to create an impact, a medium or broad nib will fit the bill.
  • The nib improves with use, and over time will adapt to your own individual writing style. That is why you should not let others use your Onoto fountain pen.

Inks and Filling

Before you first use your pen and before you fill it with ink, we recommend you always condition the nib by dipping it briefly in warm water. Also, if you do not use the pen for a long time, it is always good to re-condition the nib by dipping it into warm water as above.

Most of the Onoto pens are designed to accommodate either a converter or a standard European cartridge. To fill your converter, unscrew to remove the barrel, then gently pull the empty converter away from the nib unit. Rotate the back plunger until it is fully extended into the tube of the converter, then dip the end of the converter into our chosen ink supply and re-screw the plunger until the reservoir is full. Wipe the end of the converter with a soft cloth to remove any ink and press the end of the converter back into the nib unit. Replace the barrel.

You may use any proprietary brands of ink. We recommend Onoto ink which is available to order at our website.

Your pen and converter will benefit from occasional flushing with cold clean water – approximately every 3 months.

Maintaining the Appearance of Your Onoto

Whatever the finish of your pen, damage will be caused by dropping it. Silver and gold are relatively soft metals and enamel is made from crystals of silica with a variety of elements depending on the colour. Like glass, the finished enamel is very hard-wearing, yet brittle, so any sharp jolt or contact with a hard object will cause damage that is not covered by our lifetime guarantee.

To clean the body of your silver, gold or enamelled pen use the Onoto polishing cloth provided. Full instructions are included with the cloth. The cleaning cloths are also available to purchase from the Accessories page.

To clean an acrylic pen, like the Magna Classic, wipe it with a soft cloth occasionally. Do not use any cleaning products that are abrasive, or have a solvent base.

Although the clip of your Onoto Pen has a degree of flexibility, it is nevertheless susceptible to damage. We recommend that you use an Onoto leather pen case to transport your pen.

All our silver, gold and enamelled pens are designed not to have the cap posted onto the barrel for 2 main reasons: (1) posting the cap could cause damage to the soft silver and gold, and/or enamel, (2) the balance of the pen is perfect without the cap posted.