Owning and using a fountain pen can be a pleasure and finding the right pen for you (or the person you are shopping for) can mean getting a partner for life. However, knowing which fountain pen to buy can be a daunting task at first, so we hope this buyer's guide will help you select the right pen for you. We have fountain pens to suit all budgets and tastes, so whether you are buying them for yourself or as a birthday, wedding, or graduation gift, you are sure to find a pen to suit your needs.
Fountain pens are among the oldest writing instruments you can buy. Many people like to write with fountain pens for their exquisite results on paper or simply because they enjoy the art of quality calligraphy.
Not to mention, fancy pens have become a common personal accessory to represent one's personal taste and style. However, when you select the best fountain pen, it can become a daunting task. Rest assured that we have compiled this detailed guide to help you make the right choice.
Why You Should Invest In A Fountain Pen
There are many reasons why people choose fountain pens over other types of writing instruments, for example, pens (biros), ballpoint pens, and gel pens, but here we are going to concentrate on the ergonomics of writing. A fountain pen supplies liquid ink to the tip of its nib so that when it comes in contact with the page, the ink flows naturally. So there is almost no effort required when writing as the nib simply glides across the page leaving a trail of beautiful ink in your chosen color. If you take a look at a pen user's notebook, you will notice that the pages are warped in such a way that the pages of the book no longer appear smooth and flat. This is because it takes a lot of effort to press down on the page for the pen to write. Compare this to a fountain pen - virtually no pressure is needed, so writing is much less tiring, especially if you need to write a lot. Therefore, we would always select the best fountain pen as a person's main writing tool.
Today, many people turn to fountain pens due to digital overload. People find writing with paper and pencil relaxing and therapeutic. Instead of screens and notifications, they find peace and quiet. The writing process can be improved with a nicer pen. Fountain pens write smoothly and require less pressure to write, which can be easier on your hands.
Fountain pens allow for further customization of your writing tool. You can interchange the tips to allow for different line thicknesses or different levels of smoothness. All of these work together to create a unique writing experience.
Buying a fountain pen will make you proud to own it. Spending more than you would on other pens will make you want to take care of them. Instead of losing your pens frequently because they are worthless to you, you will be able to keep a better eye on your fountain pen. Plus, these pens were designed to last. Many pens are known to perform well even 50 years after they were manufactured.
Whatever you are writing will naturally feel more important with a fountain pen. Fountain pens have been around for almost 200 years. Many famous writers have used them, including Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. Anne Frank used a fountain pen to write in her journal and said that her fountain pen was one of her most prized possessions. Presidents of the United States sign bills with fountain pens.
Before diving into the details, here are a couple of reasons why you should use a fountain pen:
Fountain pens offer the smoothest writing results of all. This feature is particularly important for people who value quality calligraphy. If you've never used a fountain pen before, give it a try! You will not be disappointed with the results.
While having to select the best fountain pen we don't promise any miracles, using a fountain pen can improve your writing in the long run, especially with continued use. Because the fountain pen will slow down your writing speed, it encourages writers to spend more time writing each letter.
So if you're trying to improve your messy writing, using a fountain pen might be the best way to motivate you.
A fountain pen is a long-lasting investment that will give you your money's worth. Unlike pens and gel pens that you have to dispose of after use, you can comfortably refill ink from a fountain pen.
The best thing is that ink cartridges and ink bottles are quite inexpensive, which means you can buy them in bulk. Another notable advantage is that the fountain pen ink cartridges are available in many different colors so that you can easily choose a color according to your personal choice.
For more detailed information on fountain pen storage, read our article: “How to Store a Fountain Pen”
What To Consider When Selecting A Fountain Pen
To make sure you've made the right decision, here are a couple of factors to consider when shopping for the best fountain pen:
The nib is the most important factor to determine when selecting a fountain pen. There are many types, including flat-tipped, medium-pointed, fine-pointed, extra fine point, and stub. The nib determines how well the pen will write and how smooth it will be to write with.
Fountain Pen Nib
Tips are available in many different materials, including gold, steel, and a variety of alloys. Most people prefer to invest in gold nibs made from 14k and 18k gold materials, but you don't need to splurge if you don't want to.
The only reason people give preference to gold and other precious materials is that it promises quality, flexibility, and strength. However, the material is not the only factor to focus on when examining the tip.
Gold tips are usually alloys, as the material is made from two or more metals. Opting for alloys is a good option because pure gold does not offer sufficient rigidity. You can also choose from many different types of tips.
The most popular options include fine, wide, and medium. If you are a pen enthusiast, you can also go for unique shapes such as italic, heel, and extra-fine, depending on your preference.
Most luxury options include well-designed pens that feature fine jewelry and precious materials. However, you will find that the least expensive tips are constructed from steel. When you are on your way to select the best fountain pen, be sure to read the description of the pen first.
How to Select the Best Fountain Pen Tip Size
When you're shopping for a fountain pen, there's a wide assortment of nib sizes to choose from. The selection of extra fine and broad nibs is typically a battle between those who prefer finer and broader lines respectively.
Broad Nib Vs. Extra Fine Nib
The size of the tip determines the thickness of the line you will make. Nib sizes generally start from narrowest to widest, including fine, wide, and medium. Fountain pen lovers will agree that most Japanese fountain pens tend to perform better compared to non-Japanese brands.
People with smaller print will generally benefit from an extra-fine or fine nib, while people with larger print will prefer a wide or medium nib.
When purchasing a fountain pen, shoppers will find a wide array of nibs available. The struggle is typically between an extra-fine and medium nib.
Italic Nib vs. Round Nib
People can choose between two different types of nibs: round or shaped. The round tips allow users to produce the same line width in any direction. This tip is quite similar to how a ballpoint pen inks works. On the other hand, shaped tips offer slightly different results.
Italic Vs Round Fountain Pen
These tips offer different line widths depending on the direction of the stroke. Italic tips allow users to generate fine horizontal and vertical strokes. If you are a newbie and have never used cursive tips before, we suggest you go for one with a round tip.
Ink Filling System
Sure, all fountain pens require ink, but not all types fill the same way. Pen enthusiasts can choose from many different ink filling systems. You can make the right choice while paying attention to the choice of ink colors, ink capacity, convenience, and other preferences. The most popular ink filling systems include:
Cartridge Fountain Pens
Most marker fountain pens use ink cartridges. These cartridges are simple and convenient to use, limiting the choice of ink colors. For convenience, some pens come with standardized cartridges that you can swap between different brands. However, some pens can only use cartridges from the same fountain pen brand.
Converter Fountain Pens
These pens are compatible with different converters, which means that you can use an unlimited range of ink colors. The only downside to converter fountain pens is that they only contain half as much ink as cartridges. This can be inconvenient if you need a pen to work and don't have a lot of time for frequent refills.
Built-In Filling System Fountain Pens
This type of pen features a built-in filling system. This can be inconvenient if customers do not know how to refill the pen. Customers can refill this type of pen right out of the bottle and it is much more mess-free than a standard ink pen.
Also, since it cannot use cartridges, users will have to carry an ink bottle with them everywhere. On the bright side, fountain pens may have a higher capacity compared to other types of pens. Refilling your fountain pen can get a bit messy, you could get ink in your skin or clothes but don’t worry there are a series of household products and methods to help you remove these undesired ink stains.
You've probably guessed it - these pens are refilled with a syringe or dropper. This type includes an ink reservoir inside the pen body and has a higher ink holding capacity compared to other types of pens. Another notable advantage is that it can turn most cartridges into eyedropper pens.
Finishing And Trim for Fountain Pen Selection
While paint-based lacquers and colored resins are popular choices among affordable pens, luxury writing instruments often have hand-applied finishes to enhance aesthetics. For example, Urushi lacquer appears commonly in Japanese luxury pens. The results are so impressive that some European countries are also starting to use Urushi hairspray.
Paying attention to the metal trim and finishing is important as it will have a direct impact on the aesthetics and overall value of the pen. When you have to select the best fountain pen, brands pay close attention to the quality of the metals used in its construction. Precious metals like gold or silver are often used in combination with brass to produce high-end writing instruments that stand out as more exquisite and elegant than traditional metal finishes.
Weight And Size
As previously discussed, the type of material used in fountain pen production is critical to the overall construction of the pen. The type of material used determines the size and weight of the pen and also affects the appearance of the pen.
You will find that pens come in 3 different weights depending on the material from which they are made. Pens can be made of materials such as gold and silver, plastic and rubber, or more commonly, a combination of the above materials.
If you are new to using a pen, we suggest starting with the lightest and most basic models. These will help you get used to writing with a pen. If you get bored with these, we suggest moving on to heavier models for more comfort and control.
However, you should always be careful when using a fountain pen. If you want to write many pages, it may be better to choose a model with a wider barrel. Also, keep in mind the width of your hand when purchasing a pen. The narrower the pen's body, the more difficult it will be to grip and use. For this reason, it is a good idea to experiment with several different types before making a final decision.
If you're only planning on using the pen for signing documents, such as checks and business cards, it might not be an issue if the pen is a little lighter. But if you plan to use a pen for like-used as a daily writing tool, it's important that you get a pen that has a reasonable amount of bottled ink and a comfortable grip.
The pen must feel comfortable in your hands so you don’t have to struggle with it every day. If you’re buying a pen for someone, it’s worth investing in a product that comes with attractive packaging, as that’ll make the gift more memorable.
When you select the best fountain pen, your choice should be based on the writing and functionality of the pen. For many people, this is the single most important question to ask when deciding between fountain pens. Don’t disappoint yourself by making a mistake in which you buy a pen that you can’t afford to use.
Are you a pen journaler? Do you need to write a lot of long-form reports? If so, then you might want to pay special attention to the ink that comes from your pen. Fountain pens write smoother than other pens, so they already will make writing more comfortable, but some provide more comfort than others. You may want to find someone who has a fountain pen so you can get a feel for what style is the most comfortable for you. Try finding a local pen store or going to a local bookstore. If neither of these options work, try purchasing two or three fountain pens that have varying grips. This will help you identify which one suits your hand and gives you the best experience with writing.
Are you a student? If so, which subject do you plan to take a lot of notes in? Consider the type of pen that you will need to keep up with all those notes. A large ink capacity is essential in order to keep a pen filled with color ink. Also, many different colors are available, which means you would want to find a pen with an ink converter so that you're not stuck with one color.
Are you an expert in the field of business writing and need a new writing instrument to help you improve? If so, consider selecting the best fountain pens. They are very popular with professionals all over the world.
If you are an artist, you can create anything with a fountain pen. Search Google for "Fountain Pen Art" and see the amazing art that can be created with a fountain pen. If you want to create art using your fountain pen, to select the best fountain pen look for pens and nibs that will give your ink a wet consistency.
Are you interested in calligraphy? Calligraphy is an art form that involves the use of a pen and other writing instruments. Fountain pens are a popular choice for calligraphers because they have flexible nibs that enable them to write smoothly and with precision. Another way to improve your calligraphy pen is to buy a fountain pen holder. This tool makes it easier to hold your favorite pen at an angle and write more fluidly. It isn't a fountain pen, but rather it holds your favorite nib at an angle so you can do more writing at a slant.
Tips for cleaning your fountain pens, in our article:
”How to Clean Fountain Pens”
Fountain pens are a timeless and much-loved writing tool. So, before you select the best fountain pen, you need to compare how much your budget allows you to spend on the personalized writing instrument.
The most important factor that determines the price of a fountain pen is the quality of the nib. A good writing nib can make or break a pen. It affects the smoothness, flow, and line variation of a fountain pen. In order to understand the importance of the nib of a fountain pen, one must first understand how a fountain pen works. Nibs can be made out of many materials, and vary significantly in price and quality. Nibs made from gold are the most expensive, while stainless steel nibs are much cheaper. Gold nibs will give a smoother stroke when writing with your fountain pen, but steel ones are also good choices for those who want to save money and buy a lower-quality product.
In the last decade, a lot of the most popular name-brand pen companies have sent their lower-end models to be made in China. While you might expect to pay more for a pen that’s being manufactured in Germany or Japan, don’t worry too much about a cheap pen being manufactured in China. China does make some great pens, and they tend to run pretty cheaply.
How Do You Want Your Writing To Look
Good paper can make your ink look more interesting and turn a mediocre piece of writing into something more professional. On the flip side, bad paper can bleed and feather, which will obviously make your writing look bad. So how does paper help with designing fonts and tweaking colors? The main way it helps is through its ability to bring out the subtleties of color that are created when a pen touches the paper. The paper used in fountain pens is typically smoother than cheap paper, which means your writing will glide across it as you write. This gives you the potential to improve your handwriting and penmanship.
The Reading and Writing Experience
Another thing to consider when deciding what paper to use for your fountain pens is the writing and reading experience. A high-quality paper should be both pleasant to write on and leave a nice, clean surface that won't bleed on the pen. Chances are that you use a fountain pen because the feel of your writing is important to you. Besides the choice of ink, choosing a paper that feels good under the nib will also make a difference in your experience. Similarly, if you are taking the time to write something someone else will read, you should take the time to make sure they have a good experience.
The type of paper you prefer to write on will depend on personal preference. Some types of paper are smooth but provide little ink to write on and a rather dull writing experience. A lot of people like to write feedback about the paper they use. But if you absolutely can’t afford the extra expense, then choosing a paper made from higher-quality cotton or one that’s made from materials like bamboo and sugarcane might enhance the writing experience. Finally, some people may not want paper without ink on it. In this era of customization and choice, many people are choosing to write on blank pieces of paper with their choice of design or adornment. Regardless of whether they need to write or not, there are many different paper options out there to choose from.
It’s important for you to consider the experience that your reader will have when reading your letter. Thick, heavy paper can make your writing seem more substantial and permanent. An attractive design on paper color or texture can give your audience a pleasant reading experience.
You can select the best fountain pen models at various price points depending on your budget. These are especially suitable for fountain pen beginners who are looking for their first fountain pen. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find more luxurious and carefully made fountain pens with a higher price tag which would make a special gift for any avid writer.