About Our Pump Pens
Our Pump Pens let you use popular drawing nibs in a fountain pen, not bother dipping the nib, and pump more ink or paint when you need it. Durable and designed to last a lifetime, our current product line is the 12th generation since Ackerman Pens started twenty years ago.
Anatomy of a Pump Pen
There are three major parts to the pump pen:
- Body, which contains the nib and feed
- Barrel, which houses the reservoir
The cap and barrel screw together for a tighter fit without leakage.
Using the Pump
Our pump pens are ideal for encouraging the flow of ink or paint, which is especially useful when you want to:
- Kickstart the flow for a new nib
- Want ink in large areas, such as backgrounds and backdrops
- Force more medium for a surge when you want to draw more quickly
- Flex back nibs or work with quill nibs, where the ink flows through the nib tube
- Work with thicker inks and paints that don't flow easily
However, the pump does not need to be used at all times because gravity always does!
Expand Your Carrying Capacity
You can double the carrying capacity of the pen by removing the cartridge and filling the pen body with ink or paint. Doing so removes the "double wall protection" provided by a cartridge, but the screw seal on the body is tight, so there is little risk of leakage.
Our pens are fun to use, easy to clean, and hard to plug.
The Benefits of Pump Pens
- Use any ink or paint — nothing sticks to the pen, so they're easy to clean
- Large capacity ink reservoir — draw all day and never run out
- Replace the nib easily — slide out one tool and slip in the other
- Designed to fit the most popular large drawing nibs
- Use adaptors to extend the range of nibs and tools you can use
Other Nibs You Can Use
There are two categories of drawing nibs defined by size: Large and Small.
Large Nibs (For Our Large Feeds)
- Brause Rose, including Bandzug and Ornamental
- Hunt, including 22B, 56, and 101
- Manga G Zebra
- Our Sketch nibs
How To Fill Pump Pens
Filling your Ackerman pen is easy:
- Unscrew the pen in the middle so you can see the reservoir.
- Remove the reservoir.
- Fill the reservoir with ink or paint.
- Insert the reservoir back into the front of the pen.
- Screw the pen back together.
If you have trouble filling the reservoir, here are a couple of tricks:
- When you remove the reservoir, wiggle it first to dislodge the mouth of the reservoir from the seal. Ink and paint can dry out and make the reservoir stick.
- Take care where you lay the pen after removing the reservoir. The pen still contains ink or paint, which can leak out. If you leave the pen horizontal, such as laying flat on a desk, you might have enough time to fill the reservoir and re-insert it before any ink or paint leaks out.
- When you fill the reservoir, don't fill it to the top. Leave a 1/4" (.635 cm) of free space. If the pen is full of ink, the burp might come out of the front end.
- When you insert the reservoir back into the pen, twist the reservoir to seat it. You should feel the reservoir stop snugly inside the pen.
Make sure you replace the back cap and seat that correctly.
Shake the pen a couple of times to get the flow going. Tilting the pen back and forth can also work. Sometimes you have to flick your wrist.
Keep a backup reservoir filled and ready. Fill the capped reservoir with the ink and paint you want to use. This way, when your pen runs out, you can remove the old reservoir and insert the new quickly. Switch the cap from the new reservoir to the old reservoir so the old reservoir doesn't leak.
Pressing the Pump in Our Pump Pens
The pump function is a major advantage of our unique Pump Pens. You press the pump to get a stronger flow. You get what you press — from a drop to a gush — which is why they’re often considered some of the best drawing pens.
You can press the pump on these unique pens several ways depending on how you hold the Pump Pen.
The Normal Grip
The most comfortable method is to grip the Pump Pen in what I call the normal manner using three fingers: your thumb, index finger, and middle finger.
Position the pump under any of the three fingers. If you position the pump under your thumb or index finger, you can press the pump directly with the finger. Don't press too hard or press repeatedly as you might move the position of the Pump Pen and alter your drawn line.
The Easy Grip
A better method is to position the pump on top of your middle finger, which wraps around the bottom of the Pump Pen.
Normally, your thumb and index finger cross at the level on the side of the Pump Pen. This means you don't see any pumping action. You make very little conscious effort to pump. You just squeeze the Pump Pen gently with all three fingers, and out flows the ink or paint. The action soon becomes unconscious. We consider this the ideal method for pumping.
The Brush Pen Grip
The Brush Pen Grip method is effective only when you use the Brush Pump Pen because the Pump Pen is held in the vertical position. But this only works with a brush.
You can press the pump with your index finger.
You can press the pump with your thumb depending on where you position the pump, which position feels most comfortable for you.
Both fingers are strong and can expel a lot of ink. This is a good method for inking in large areas with the Brush Pump Pen. Just puddle out the ink and spread it around.
You can always use the three-fingered grip with the Brush Pump Pen when you want to monitor the flow of ink more closely.
Cleaning Pump Pens
Our Pump Pens are easy to clean. Just open them up, flush them out, and put them back together. You can push out the feed and look clear through the body. Doing so makes it easy to clean and hard to plug up, which is ideal when you are working with permanent artistic media, such as India ink and acrylic paint.
If you've used permanent media, such as India ink and acrylic paint, that has dried inside the pen and plugged it up, you need to do a little more work. No need to worry. Nothing will stick inside the pen permanently.
- Remove the nib and feed from the front of the pen or the adaptor and clean all parts.
- Unscrew the front from the back of the pen, remove the reservoir and clean.
- Flush water through the pen parts. If water does not run freely, you have more work to do.
- Hold the pen up to a light so you can see through it. Try to discern if there is a partial obstruction. Try to flush it out with more water.
- If that doesn't work, stick a stick, such as a chopstick, into the pen part until you feel the obstruction, then wiggle the rod until you free the obstruction. Poke out the obstruction or flush it out with water.
- If that doesn't work, soak the plugged pen part in warm, soapy water overnight.
- If that doesn't work, try a stronger solution, such as a household cleaning liquid like 409.
- If nothing works, return the product to Ackerman Pens, and we'll clean it for you.
The Ackerman Clear Cut Nib Pump Pen
Drawing and lettering with our Clear Cut nibs is a new experience. These nibs are very smooth and skate across the paper. Twist and turn the nib for different effects. Put a bit of pressure on the tip and let up for more effects.
- Use any ink or paint, as nothing sticks
- Press the pump for a more robust flow
- Shape the nib to suit your purpose — from pointed tip to chisel
- Easy to clean — disassemble, clean, and reassemble in under one minute
- Replacing the nib is easy
- Four extra nibs come with each new pen