Fountain pens are the hipsters of the world of writing utensils. They were pens before it was cool to be a pen. They existed before there were cheap disposable Bics or Papermates that you could lose every few a day and not really care. In fact there is a lot of interesting history surrounding them. They are the direct predecessor of the dip pen, the first “real pen.” Before them feather quills were used for centuries. The big difference between the dip pen and the fountain pen is that the fountain pen was the first writing utensil to have an internal supply of ink, making it still both an elegant and practical writing instrument.
| Pilot Vanishing Point Retractable||*Customizable Colors|
*Choice of Fine, Medium and Broad Nib
|Namiki Falcon Collection||*Flexible Hooded Nib|
*14 karat gold writing nib
*Choice of Fine, Medium and Broad Nib
|Cross Century II Classic Black||*23 Karat Gold Plated Nib|
|Parker Sonnet Lacquer||*23 Karate Gold Plated Trim and Nib|
*Glossy Jewel Like Finish
|Waterman Expert||*Customizable Colors|
*Fine Point Nib
|Sheaffer 300||*Gold Trim|
*Comes w/ Bottled Ink Converter
|Lamy Safari ||*ECONOMY CHOICE|
We (along with thousand of pen enthusiasts) have decided that the pens listed above are among the highest caliber of writing utensils available. We’ve tried to balance both quality and affordability in our selection above. Below is a brief overview of each pen on our list, followed by additional information you should consider when choosing the right pen for you.
Pilot Vanishing Point Review
Pilot is well known for making quality lower-end pens, but their higher end work often gets overlooked. This pen adds a level of ingenuity to the design, being one of the only fountain pens with a retractable nib (which can be a huge plus for protecting and maintaining nib integrity). Normally we think of retractable pens as being cheaper, but erase that mindset when considering this pen! Aside from the built-in nib protection and manufacturing quality, this is an item there is a level of customization that is not available with others on the list. There are 23 different colors and finishes to choose from! Not only this, but most color finish also have the option of choosing 3 different nib widths (Broad, Fine and Medium). Setting aside the fact that each user can choose a configuration that best matches their personality and writing needs, we must remember that beauty is only skin deep. So how well does it perform? With tag lines like “A dream to write with,” “Bliss,” and “Amazing Click Fountain Pen” it’s not hard to see why the Pilot Vanishing Point is one of the top rated writing instruments on the market today.
Full disclosure, the Namiki series is actually also manufactured by Pilot, giving them the advantage of having two different pens on our recommended list. In fact, (fun tidbit) the Namiki series was named after one of the founders of Pilot Pen Corporation, Ryosuke Namiki. While not as flashy as some other styles we’ve seen, the Falcon has a classic elegant look that we’ve seen with other utensils in this same line. This pen is sensitive to the writer’s touch and aims to cater to each stroke. It’s 14k gold nib is precise in its design, but also has a soft flexible feel that writing flows smoothly. Speaking of flow, the ink feed on the Namiki Falcon is flawless. You will experience no interruption in ink flow, even when intentionally trying to do so. The pen does expel a little more ink than other pens might, and while we feel this adds to the overall experience of writing with it, we recommend using it on stationary or thicker paper as the possibility of “bleed through” will be more substantial with thinner paper. Overall the Namiki Falcon is a pleasure to write with and we’re confident you’ll find yourself coming back to it over and over if added to your collection.
Economy Choice: Lamy Safari Review
A Buyer’s Guide to Fountain Pens
The perfect fountain pen will make the act of writing a true pleasure. The feel of it gliding comfortably across it’s canvas, the sight of the ink flowing easily onto the page, and the beautiful writing it produces are reason enough to invest in a quality writing instrument. Besides high quality, there are a number of other factors that you should look for when selecting just the right pen for your needs. Taking these features into consideration will help you to purchase a pen that will meet your particular writing needs, look beautiful, and last you over the long term.
The first feature you should look for is a gold nib. The nib is the tip of the pen, where the ink flows out onto the paper. The type of nib you choose will have the greatest impact on the appearance of your writing. The nib can be made of a variety of materials, such as steel or platinum. The material from which the nib is made affects how it works and feels. For instance, a stainless steel tip will catch more on the paper, creating more friction than other types of nibs. Gold nibs, on the other hand, generally provide a very smooth feel as they glide over the paper. They are recommended for purchase by those who have already practiced writing with a fountain pen, since the extra smooth flow can make it more difficult to maintain consistent handwriting without practice. However, this type of nib provides a good combination of luxurious feel and reasonable price. They generally come in 14K gold and provide a comfortable, pleasurable experience and beautiful writing.
The second feature you should look for is a nib width that meets your writing needs. Fountain pens come with a variety of nib sizes: Extra fine, fine, medium, and broad. Each nib width offers a different writing experience and is, therefore, suitable for different situations. For instance, extra fine or fine width pens minimize the amount of ink that bleeds through the paper or smudges during writing. As a result, they are the ideal size for taking notes or conducting any type of writing that requires precision, accuracy, and clarity. On the other hand, a wide nib serves as the ideal size for calligraphy, or fast writing. However, for everyday use, a medium width nib is ideal. This size creates clear, appealing writing in all of the wide range of situations you will encounter in your day to day writing, from signing your name to creating a shopping list to writing business memo or crafting a love letter. It is, therefore, the best size to look for if you intend to only buy one or two pens instead of purchasing a pen for specialized uses.
The third feature you should consider is the weight of the pen. Its weight will depend primarily upon the material from which it is made. For instance, gold pens tend to be heavier. Each one you look at should come with a weight ranking of either light, medium or heavy. The ideal weight for you will depend primarily on your own personal preferences, as well as your own previous experience with fountain pens. For instance, some people prefer a lightweight pen that is easier to handle, while others enjoy the more luxurious feel of a heavier pen. In general, a medium-weight pen will provide the smoothest and most comfortable writing experience, particularly if you are writing for any length of time. A medium weight pen will also be least likely to cause hand strain, even if you do not have much experience handling a weighty pen.
The fourth feature you should look for when choosing a fountain pen is beauty. Nib material, nib size, and pen weight are all practical considerations that will affect the function of the pen. However, beauty is just as important, because you are investing money into this item and will be using it on a regular basis for many years to come. As a result, you deserve to own a gorgeous pen that makes the very act of writing feel important and elegant. Beauty is also a very subjective feature. You can find many different types of fountain pens, from basic models to those that possess fancy accents. The one you choose should be the one that you find the most luxurious and appealing and that makes you excited to use it. Details that may add to the appeal of the pen include accents along the edge, pens consisting of gold, or a particularly sleek or elegant design.
Finally, you also want to select a pen that is made of high quality material. Real gold and metals, as well as a careful design create a writing instrument that will be durable and worth every penny you invest in it. In fact, quality is so important that you should reconsider any item you find that meets all of your other criteria but does not appear to be well-built. You can gain an idea of a particular pen’s quality by consulting reviews from others who have used that type before you. If you see many complaints of the pen breaking, needing to have parts replaced, or generally not meeting consumers’ expectations, you should turn your attention to other types of pens that have a better reputation.
Each of these features affects how the pen looks and feels as you use it. As a result, many of these features are a matter of personal preference. For instance, an artist who wants to use a pen to draw might be more concerned with its nib, while a corporate executive may emphasize a gorgeous appearance and weighty feel. However, each of these features is vital in choosing just the right fountain pen for you, because the wrong selection can leave you with one that is uncomfortable, difficult to use, or simply unsatisfying. As a result, a careful consideration of nib material and width, as well as the weight, appearance, and quality of the pen can help you choose a writing instrument that you will enjoy and use for the long term.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT NIB WIDTH