A few months ago I made an important discovery: international long and short standard ink refill cartridges fit the Daiso brand fountain pen.
This is great to know because Daiso stores are pretty inconsistent as far as what they stock regularly. What’s there one week might be gone the next, never to be seen again. My local Daiso store has had their fountain pen in stock pretty consistently for the last year or so, but it’s always sort of a surprise. I always expect it to be gone.
It turns out that of all the other fountain pens I’ve played around with, the Daiso pen is my favourite. It’s the most comfortable to hold, is a good weight, and most importantly — it doesn’t have a threaded cap, making it easy to uncap with one hand. So I use it pretty often for writing lists and notes and go through refills on the regular.
Though I’ve yet exhausted my stockpiled supply of Daiso refill cartridges, I started craving other color options. Daiso’s refills only come in the dark blue-black. I tried putting my Pilot Namiki and Pilot Parallel cartridges into the Daiso pen, since I had them on hand for other pens, but neither fit.
I also had ink syringes on hand for other projects, so before trying other cartridge refills with the Daiso pen, I bought a bottle of ink and just syringe-filled an empty Daiso cartridge to get a new color in the pen.
Syringe-filling seems intimidating at first, but it’s really, really easy after you do it once or twice. Blunt tip plastic syringes specifically for ink can be found very cheap on Amazon.
Rather than buying converters that might only be compatible with one or a few of my pens, I decided that I’d rather just get a few syringes and use them for all my pens. They’re a good way to refill non-disposable brush pens like the Pentel pocket brush and Kuretake #13 or #8, too!
Syringes, unfortunately, only come in sizes way bigger than you need, so the trick is just being conservative with how much ink you take into the syringe. Notice how in the step 2 photo above, you can barely see that I’ve even taken ink into the syringe at all? Especially for the Daiso fountain pen, which has a tiny standard cartridge (an international short), don’t overestimate how the amount of ink you need to refill it.
Keep a paper towel handy for your first few times, but you should be able to get the hang of it pretty quickly! Fill carefully and slowly and you’ll be fine.
Cartridge refills are a better way to get a bunch of different colors without committing to a full bottle of ink though. It happened that the company whose ink I was playing around with also offered cartridge refills in both international short and long sizes, so I picked some up a little while later to test them.
I chose Waterman because they were one of the cheaper brands, but plenty of other companies offer international short and long refills in a variety of colors, including Diamine, Rotring, Staedtler, Kaweco, and Pelikan. I’ve heard that most stationary stores will carry some brand of short/long refill, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find if you’re not looking for a very specific brand or color.
Because the Daiso fountain pen is compatible with these standard refills, they are probably also compatible with any converter that fits pens that also take that refill, such as the Rotring converter or the Monteverde converter.
International long refills are 73mm long and fit in the Daiso pen with hardly any room to spare, so any converter you use with the Daiso pen should probably be 73mm or shorter. I’m not really interested in playing around with converters since syringe-filling works just fine for me, so I can’t vouch for any particular converter working, but chances are good that if the converter works for other pens that take standard international carts, it’ll work for the Daiso fountain pen. :)