Have you ever run into a time where your ink level is so low in the bottle that you have trouble filling your pen? For most pens, you need to have enough ink that the height of the ink will reach the grip section of your pen. That becomes quite a big problem when you are down to the last bit of ink in your bottle.
Some manufacturers take proactive steps to aid filling from their bottles when the ink level gets low enough and devise some really unique bottles. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
Caran d'ache Chromatics Bottle
Caran d'ache designed a very unique bottle for this line of ink. The bottle is cut at a 45 degree diagonal on the base so it is slanted to its side when on the table. If the ink starts dropping down, the slant allows the grip to still contact the ink. This slant allows you to fill comfortably up to when the bottle is about 30% full.
If the slant every gets in the way, or you are afraid about knocking the bottle down, you can leave the bottle in its 2-part cardboard sleeve. The bottom part of the sleeve keeps the bottle completely upright. Another neat thing (that doesn't help filling) is the unique metal cap. The cap is extremely heavy and feels very luxurious.
Check out my review for the Caran d'ache Vibrant Green.
The Waterman bottle is very similar to the Caran d'ache bottle in that it can slant at an angle when the ink level gets too low. The bottle is actually faceted in many places so you can slant it in all kinds of ways. This bottle is a lot less stable than the Caran d'ache when slanted though as the facets are actually on the bottle's side as opposed to the base. The base is cut flat allowing the bottle to stand upright without a stand. With the bottle slanted as shown, you can get a good fill when the bottle is around 40% full.
Sailor Jentle Bottle
Sailor chose to go a different route in making their bottles simple to fill from. Opposed to the previous two bottles, this one does not slant but does include a plastic "inkwell" insert. When the ink level gets too low, you simply invert the bottle for a couple of seconds, then bring it back. Magically, the plastic insert is completely filled with ink and you can now fill super easily. This method allows you to get good fills even when there is only 10% of the ink left.
For some larger pens, such as the Visconti Homo Sapiens, the plastic insert will be too small to fill from directly. In those cases, you can carefully remove the insert with tweezers then fill directly from the bottle. There is inevitably ink still in the insert so exercise caution and do it near a sink.
Check out my review of the Sailor Yama-Dori and get the scoop of this amazing ink.
Montblanc "Shoe" Bottle
Montblanc regular-edition inks are found in their interesting "shoe" shaped bottle. This bottle functions similarly to Sailor Jentle bottles in that you can tip the bottle over when the ink level gets low. When you tip the bottle, the ink will flow into the small section of the bottle. When you go to fill, you fill directly from the small part of the shoe. This bottle makes it easy to fill until there is only 30% of the ink left.
I also did a review of the Montblanc Corn Poppy Red pictured here.
If you literally get to the last bits of ink left in any bottle, you can also decant the remain ink into a small sample vial. The long cylindrical container should bump up the height of the ink by a good amount letting you at least fill from it.
What are your favorite ink bottles? Let me know in the comments as I always enjoy discovering new things!