Pretty fountain pens: Fountain Pens | Cult Pens


The 9 Best Fountain Pens of 2021

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Fountain pens are classy and they make a statement. Writing with one is considered something of an art form. And that’s all nice, but what most people don’t realize is that these pens are very practical as well, especially for those who do a lot of writing.

Other pens, particularly ballpoints, require that you exert some pressure on the paper to leave your mark there, but fountain pens work on something called the capillary system. When you touch the nib to paper, the ink more or less automatically flows to that point. This is easier on the hand, although the pens do have to be angled just right to produce this effect — thus the art form. 

Some fountain pens are better at some things than others. This list should help you zero in on one that meets your needs.

Final Verdict

The Scribe Sword pen (view at Amazon) is a great, all-around fountain pen for its reasonable price, classy look, and reliable ink flow. If you really enjoy fine writing and care to treat yourself, the Pelikan Classic M205 (view at Amazon) is a classic piston-filled fountain pen that can grow with you (and even be upgraded to a gold nib). 

What to Look for in Fountain Pens


The nib size and how it’s made is really what differentiates fountain pens from each other. The size of the nib, which ranges from extra fine to fine to medium, will determine how much ink will flow when you write. If you want thick, bold lines, then a larger nib size would work better, but if you have smaller handwriting, go for a finer size. The nib itself can be made of stainless steel or gold, so that’s really a matter of style and preference. Still, keep in mind that gold isn’t as strong as steel.

Size and Weight

The feel of the pen in your hands is important, so it’s worth picking up a few to see what’s best for your hands’ size and the type of writing you typically do. Pay attention to the grip as well to make sure the pen feels comfortable and doesn’t slip when you write.


Think about how you’ll refill your pen’s ink: does it use a cartridge system, cartridge converter, or piston system so you can fill it with bottled ink? Some fountain pens are also disposable and therefore, less expensive.

Meet the Expert

This roundup was updated by Dawn Papandrea, a personal finance reporter who covers small business topics and loves treating herself to a good pen every now and then. She is a full-time freelancer with two decades of writing experience.

Fountain Pens & Accessories – Goldspot Pens

Fountain Pens & Accessories – Goldspot Pens

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Narwhal Piston-Fill Fountain Pen in Yellow Tang – Fine Nib




Lamy Safari Candy Fountain Pen in Mango 2020 Special Edition



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Kaweco Sport Transparent Fountain Pen in Classic Blue with Silver Trim




Lamy Safari Pastel Fountain Pen in Mint Glaze – Special Edition



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Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen in Strobe Silver – Medium Point




Pilot Parallel Pen Set – Assorted Calligraphy Set



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Lamy Safari Pastel Fountain Pen in Blue Macaron – Special Edition



Montegrappa Elmo Fountain Pen in Graffiti Turquoise



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Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen in Black with Blue Ink




Pelikan Edelstein 2017 Bottled Ink of the Year in Smoky Quartz – 50 mL



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TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Fountain Pen in Prussian Blue Special Edition



Noodler’s Bottled Ink in Revolution Blue – 3oz





Top 5 Pens — The Pen Addict

Top 5 Micro Gel Ink Pens

  1. Uni-Ball Signo DX 0. 38 mm – It’s so good that I helped design an upgraded pen barrel for it. What more can I say? (Buy)
  2. Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.4 mm – I think you can argue for several pens in the two-spot, but the Sarasa Clip is consistently good, and a joy to use. (Buy)
  3. Pilot Juice Up 0.4 mm – The standard Juice has been on this list forever, but the Juice Up is better than the original in every regard. (Buy)
  4. Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm – If you can put up with frequent inconsistency and finickiness, then the Pilot Hi-Tec-C will provide you the sharpest fine line on this list. (Buy)
  5. Uni-ball Signo RT1 0.38 mm – Signo 307 or Signo RT1, that is the question here. I like the 307 better, but the RT1 has many, many more colors available, and that wins out in the end. (Buy)

(Notes: In my dream scenario, Pentel kills off the Slicci lineup, and adds a sub-0.5 mm refill to the EnerGel lineup. Preferably, in the barrel they refer to as the Euro Needle. Do that, and it would be the number two pen in this list I believe. Updated 2/11/2020.)

Top 5 Pens In The Store

  1. Uni-ball Jetstream – Stay away from the 1.0 mm. (Buy)
  2. Uni-ball Signo 307 – “But what can I buy at Staples that is good?” This. (Buy)
  3. Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38 mm – They are here, and they are fabulous. Would be number one if they were more widely available. (Buy)
  4. Pentel EnerGel – People swear by their EnerGels, and for good reason. Maybe the darkest and smoothest of the bunch. (Buy)
  5. Sharpie Pen – Would be #1 if it was more durable. (Buy)

(Notes: If you want to argue that the Pilot Precise is better than any pen on this list I won’t disagree. I’ll just say that it is difficult to recommend any liquid ink pen ahead of these in the current market we are in.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens Under $50

  1. Lamy Safari – It’s universally great. Yes, the molded grip section could be an issue for some, but I don’t believe it is enough to move it out of the top spot. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Metropolitan – A 30% price increase last year slowed down the hype train, but it is the most traditional fountain pen on this list. (Buy)
  3. TWSBI ECO – My personal favorite in this range, but the piston filling mechanism is a turn off for new users. If you are fine with it, then this is number one. (Buy)
  4. Kaweco Sport – It isn’t just a great portable, pocketable fountain pen. It’s a great fountain pen period. (Buy)
  5. Platinum Preppy – Is there such a thing as a quality fountain pen under $5? Yes. Yes there is. (Buy)

(Notes: The Kaweco Sport is a personal favorite, but an odd pen for a beginner. The Platinum Preppy almost has to make the list strictly from a value perspective. The Pilot Kakuno is always in consideration, along with the Pilot Prera. I need to spend more time with the Platinum Prefounte to see if should be ahead of the Preppy. Updated 2/18/2020.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens $50-$100

  1. TWSBI 580AL – The same as the 580 before it, but improved with aluminum parts. (Buy)
  2. Kaweco AL Sport – The durable aluminum barrel makes this one of the best portable fountain pens on the market. (Buy)
  3. Lamy Studio – The Studio is the perfect step up for Lamy Safari fans. The nibs are identical and the metal barrel is much nicer. (Buy)
  4. Faber-Castell Ambition – I’m glad to see Faber-Castell making waves in a somewhat desolate category. Great style, build, and fantastic nib. (Buy)
  5. Lamy Aion – The latest from Lamy, and not without its detractors. I think it is a solid workhorse of a pen, and fun to use. (Buy)

(Notes: If I had my druthers this category wouldn’t exist. The only pen even remotely interesting to me is the Kaweco AL Sport. I’d be fine spending down or spending up and skipping this range completely.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens $100-$200

  1. Platinum 3776 – It’s been years in the making, and the 3776 is finally on top. The nibs are the best, and the styles have caught up to the rest of the market. (Buy)
  2. Leonardo Momento Zero/Furore – Beautiful Italian materials and craftsmanship, with an amazing writing experience. (Buy)
  3. Diplomat Aero – A unique fluted metal barrel design that I can’t get enough of. (Buy)
  4. Esterbrook Estie – Fun colors, great feel in the hand, and many options to choose from. (Buy)
  5. Lamy 2000 – One of the most beautiful fountain pens ever designed and the perfect entry point into gold nib pens. (Buy)

(Notes: If and when you get into fountain pens, this category gives you everything you need. Quality, performance, style, options – everything. I’d skip the $50-$100 range in all honesty. This is also where you can branch out into more custom brands like Franklin-Christoph and Edison.)

Top 5 Fountain Pens $200-$500

  1. Pilot Custom 823 – It’s expensive, and the barrel colors are limited, but I have a hard time not saying this is the best pen in this price range. The quality is superior. (Buy)
  2. Sailor Professional Gear – This is where I like the Pro Gear over the 1911 style. So much fun, so much quality. (Buy)
  3. Pilot Custom 912 – This is a workhorse of a pen. And like the Pro Gear, it has a wide variety of nibs available, including the Falcon. (Buy)
  4. Aurora Optima – These last two on the list are this low because they are on the upper end of this wide price range. The Optima is a new pen to me and I have been very impressed so far. (Buy)
  5. Pelikan Souveran 600 – The sweet spot for many in Pelikan’s lineup, the 600 series is just the right size all the way around with wonderful gold nibs. (Buy)

(Notes: Personal taste comes into play here more than anywhere else. You are spending a lot of money on a pen in this category, so be sure to get everything you want here, including style.)

Top 5 Fountain Pen Ink Brands

  1. Robert Oster – There are very few ink brands that I can recommend across the board with no caveats, and Robert Oster is one of them. In fact, they may be the only one. The colors are great, the performance is great, the price is great, heck, even the shimmer is great! They are doing all of the right things. (Buy) (Disclosure: Robert Oster manufactures the Pen Addict ink I sell, for good reason.)
  2. Sailor – Speaking of doing the right thing, Sailor had a moment where I was concerned they were heading down the wrong path with their ink lineups. They went from a point where I could say the same things about them as I did Robert Oster above, to a place where the inks were so overpriced for what you got that they weren’t worth it. Their recent Manyo series release saved them in my eyes. (Buy)
  3. Pilot Iroshizuku – With all of the new brands and crazy prices we see for fountain pen inks, Iroshizuku has gone from a premium price point to standard, or even cheap for the quality and quantity you get. They rarely introduce new colors, but when your base offerings are this good, do they really need to? (Buy)
  4. P.W. Akkerman – Copy/paste everything I said about Iroshizuku above into this section. The only difference is more ink in their standard bottle (60 ml vs 50 ml) and the best looking ink bottle in the business. (Buy)
  5. Montblanc – I am very serious when I say this: Montblanc standard inks are a good value. I know, as a brand they don’t want to hear it, but it’s true. Their special editions are more on the pricey side, but are unique enough to command respect. (Buy)

(Notes: If any list on this page deserves to be expanded to 10 entries, it’s this one. Classics such as Diamine, Faber-Castell, Pelikan, and Rohrer & Klingner all make great inks, as do relative newcomers such as Colorverse and Vinta. It’s a good time to be an ink fan. Updated 3/24/2020.)

Top 5 Plastic Tip Pens

  1. Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka – There will come a point when the lack of color choices will catch up to it, but not here, and not now. (Buy)
  2. Sakura Pigma Micron – Seen anywhere and everywhere fineliners are sold. And for good reason. Far more colors and tip sizes than the Kuretake, but not quite on par with performance. (Buy)
  3. Staedtler Pigment Liner – Number three on my list, but number one with the artists I follow on Instagram. Especially artists who focus on tiny, detailed drawing. (Buy)
  4. Copic Multiliner SP – If it weren’t so damn good I would have taken it off the list during the last price increase. You can buy 4 to 5 of the other pens on this list for every one SP. The standard Multiliner isn’t a good pivot either. (Buy)
  5. Paper Mate Flair – I could have gone many different directions in this last spot, but the Flair is a great pen and adds a more utilitarian option to the list. The Ultra Fine Model is great too. (Buy)

(Notes: This is a big category, as seen by solid entrants like the Uni Pen, Sharpie Pen, Stabilo 88, and more being left off. Updated 2/25/2020.)

Top 5 Paper Brands

  1. Rhodia – The best all around writing paper in nearly every format you can imagine. (Buy)
  2. Apica – This brand keeps moving up the charts and I find myself reaching for it constantly. (Buy)
  3. Midori – The Travelers Notebook has shown people what good paper should feel like, and the growth of the MD lineup pushes them up the list. (Buy)
  4. Maruman – Slightly more expensive than Rhodia and slightly fewer options, but the quality is elite. (Buy)
  5. Leuchtturm1917 – High quality and wide availability make this a popular choice no matter your writing instrument. (Buy)

(Notes: Life and Kyokuto are two of my favorite Japanese brands. Field Notes and Write Notepads both make amazing pocket notebooks.)

Top 5 Multi Pens

  1. Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto – So many options and a great refill makes it tough to beat. (Buy)
  2. Uni Style Fit – Late to the game but compares well to the Coleto. (Buy)
  3. Zebra Sharbo X – Only cost (initial and ongoing) keeps this from being #1. (Buy)
  4. Lamy 2000 – For some reason I didn’t know this pen existed until last year. D1 refill compatible. (Buy)
  5. Uni-ball Jetstream – The best ballpoint multi pen option by far. (Buy)

(Notes: Anything by Pilot, Uni-ball, or Zebra in this category is a good choice.)

Top 5 Ballpoint Pens

  1. Uni-ball Jetstream 0. 7 mm – Sharp, fine and solid lines. Elite, but not for everyone. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Acroball 0.7 mm – More like a 1A with the Jetstream. (Buy)
  3. Lamy 2000 – If you are looking for a cheap ballpoint, look elsewhere. The 2000 model is all over this list for a reason. (Buy)
  4. Fisher Space Pen – One of the most functional pens on the market, I make sure I have one – or at least the refill – close at all times. (Buy)
  5. Bic Cristal – The classic Bic deserves this spot on merit, not historical significance. It’s a great pen. (Buy)

(Notes: The Parker Jotter is an all-time classic that is a decent option. It will never crack the Top 5, but it is fun to use.)

Top 5 Liquid Ink (aka Roller Ball) Pens

  1. Retro 51 Tornado – This may be the most recommended pen on this entire page. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Precise V5 – This pen should be number one on popularity alone. (Buy)
  3. Uni-ball Vision Elite – A great writer with an impressive feature set. (Buy)
  4. Morning Glory Mach 3 – Extremely underrated pen. In fact, I need to stock up on a few more. (Buy)
  5. Ohto Graphic Liner – Somewhat of an outlier compared to the rest, but really great. (Buy)

(Notes: The remainder of Pilot’s V-Series should be on the list, as they are all tried and true writers and easy to get.)

Top 5 Machined Pens

  1. Ti2 TechLiner – It’s the ugly duckling that turns into the beautiful swan when you actually use it. (Buy)
  2. Schon DSGN 01A – I use this pen all the time when I just want to grab and go. (Buy)
  3. Sunderland mk1 – I really love this pen, especially as one of the few machined pens designed to post properly. (Buy)
  4. BIGiDESIGN Ti Arto – It fits all the refills! (Buy)
  5. Ajoto The Pen – This is such a well-made product it delights every time I use it. Only downside is the price. (Buy)

(Notes: The Pen Type-B is my personal favorite, and the Tactile Turn Mover is another great build that is Pilot Juice compatible. )

Top 5 Mechanical Pencils

  1. Rotring 600 – What, you thought that lead-in meant the number one spot changed? Not so fast my friend! I think the Rotring 600 is the best mechanical pen on the market. It’s also the most expensive mechanical pencil on this list. That doesn’t always translate into best, but in this case it does. The brass barrel is weighted perfectly, the grip knurling is properly edgy, and it can take a beating. (Buy)
  2. Pentel Sharp – This pencil is more of the reason for the above commentary. Like the Rotring, the Sharp has been around for decades, but at a much different price point. In fact, this was a primary office supply pencil as recently as the 1990’s. Something about this traditional design and overall feel scream mechanical pencil to me and make me want to pick it up and use it. (Buy)
  3. Pentel Kerry – If you think mechanical pencils are boring, then you haven’t seen the Pentel Kerry. I’ve been on the bandwagon for years, but I need to be louder and more vocal about how great this capped mechanical pencil is. That’s right: Capped! (Buy)
  4. Uni-ball Kuru Toga – There it is! You can argue this should be number one on the list, and you will get no argument from me. In fact, I’m sure I’ve had it there myself over the years. The mechanics work flawlessly, and if the lead rotation mechanism is something you need, then go for it. I just rarely pick it up compared to the rest of these. Bonus point for tons of design variety. (Buy)
  5. Uni Shift-Pipe Lock – When it comes to mechanical pencils, pipe protection is important. This pencil does it effectively, and beautifully. Give me more color options and I might rank it ahead of the Kuru Toga. (Buy)

(Notes: If I’m feeling frisky one year I may knock the Kuru Toga off completely and replace it with the Tombow Mono Graph Shaker. It’s one of the best bang-for-your-buck mechanical pencils on the market. Updated 3/17/2020.)

Top 5 Wooden Pencils

  1. Blackwing 602 – The modern pencil that all other modern pencils are measured against. The perfect amount of firmness and darkness. (Buy)
  2. Tombow Mono 100 – This was my gateway pencil from the fountain pen world into Japanese pencils. I was spoiled from the word go. (Buy)
  3. Caran D’Ache Swiss Wood – Pen lovers love to show off their fancy pens. This is the pencil equivalent. Plus, it smells wonderful. (Buy)
  4. Camel Pencil HB – What appears to be a simple pencil is a master class in Japanese design. Perfect form and function. (Buy)
  5. Mitsubishi Office 9850 HB – Don’t let the basic appearance and “Office Use” branding fool you. This isn’t your basic office pencil. Every time I use it, I give it the “Really?’ look. Yes, really. (Buy)

(Notes: The Mitsubishi Mark Sheet is a new fascination, as is the 2H Tajima Carpenter Pencil. The Caran d’Ache Natura School Pencil is another good one too.)

Top 5 Most Useful Pens

  1. Fisher Space Pen – This is more about the pressurized refill that the pen barrel, although the standard barrel is perfect for how this pen needs to be used. I use the refill in my Schon DSGN pen, which is the pen I carry the most on a daily basis. (Buy)
  2. Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 – My love for micro-tipped gel ink pen knows no bounds, and the DX is the runaway winner in this category. (Buy)
  3. Sakura Pigma Micron – The Micron is not actually my top pick for best plastic tip pen, but for some reason I find it with me the most because it can take a beating. (Buy)
  4. Uni-ball Jetstream 0.7 mm – Regardless of your opinion on ballpoint pens, there are situations in life where they are the best tool for the job. Make it the Jetstream. (Buy)
  5. Sharpie Permanent Marker – This pen doesn’t fit on any of the other lists, but it belongs in the conversation. When you need it, it is because it’s the only pen that can do the job. (Buy)

Top 5 Blue Black Fountain Pen Inks

  1. Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai – It’s rare when the premium ink is also my top recommendation, but with the Iroshizuku price drop, Shin-kai is hard to beat. One of the best color ranges in a blue black ink while remaining traditional. (Buy)
  2. Pilot Blue Black – A smart man once told me that this is the only ink he trusts explicitly in all of his pens. And, with Sailor doing who knows what with it’s stock blue black, this is the easy stock ink choice. (Buy)
  3. Rohrer & Klinger Salix – Maybe the best iron gall ink I have ever used. The words iron gall turn off some people, but if you make this your first, you will be happy. (Buy)
  4. Akkerman #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw – There is a brightness that peeks out from under the covers that many other blue blacks don’t possess. The bottle alone is worth the price of admission. (Buy)
  5. Lamy Blue Black – I think this ink has been on and off the list more than any other over the years. It’s a bit drier and lighter than some of the inks up top, but is such a classic color it sneaks into the back of the list when there is a shake up. (Buy)

(Notes: What happened to Sailor Blue Black, the former number one on this list? That’s a great question! Sailor has been reshuffling its ink lineup over the past couple of years, and their stock ink colors appear and disappear at random intervals, and at different prices and sizes. If they made it easier to sort out, they would still be near the top of the list. Updated 2/4/2020.)

Top 5 Orange Fountain Pen Inks

  1. Sailor Apricot – The first orange ink I ever latched on to, and the one I measure all others by. A perfect light shade with great character. (Buy)
  2. Papier Plume Sazerac – I didn’t realize what I was in for when I was handed a sample of Sazerac a couple of years ago in San Francisco. The most unique orange I use on a regular basis. (Buy)
  3. Akkerman #16 Oranje Boven – My idea of a pure orange. Few, if any, undertones of yellow, red, or brown, which are common. Not here. It’s just orange. (Buy)
  4. Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-Yake – It’s darker than Apricot, but has similar shading characteristics. (Buy)
  5. Montblanc Lucky Orange – I hesitate to put special editions on any list, but this one has been around a while, and doesn’t look like it is going anywhere any time soon. (Buy)

Top Ten Most Recommended Fountain Pens

Rather than making a “best pens under $XX” I decided to do out fountain pen list as our most recommended pens. These are based on the many times, throughout the years, at pen shows, here on the site and at meet-ups that people have asked for recommendations and which pens tend to float to the top. There are lots (and lots and lots) of other pens that I love personally and that were number 11, 12, 13, etc on the list but these are the top 10-ish on our list.

There is no hierarchy other than how the images ended up in the photos.

  1. Pilot Metropolitan: This, for so many years, was our most frequently recommended entry-level fountain pen. It’s relatively inexpensive, it writes really well, comes in a lot of color options and its pretty durable. It continues to be a good option though we do recommend upgrading the converter. (starting at $19.50 at JetPens)
  2. Diplomat Traveler or Caran d’Ache 849: These two pens are similar in scale with a more slender barrel than many fountain pens on the market, both feature snap caps and accept standard European converter and cartridges. The Caran d’Ache is a rounded hex shape and the Traveler is a smooth round barrel and slightly shorter. Both pens post but the Caran d’Ache is a bit long posted. Both the 849 and the Traveler is available in 6 colors each, $52 from Vanness Pens)
  3. Kaweco Sport: This is one of my favorite entry level pen recommendations. It’s diminutive size, multitude of materials and classic good looks makes the Kaweco Sport a great starter fountain pen. It takes standard international cartridges so it makes it a great starter pen for many people and its super pocketable. (available at all your favorite online retailers)
  4. Lamy Safari/AL-Star: It’s one of the most commonly recommended first fountain pens and there are a lot of reasons for that. The pen is uniquely styled to be appealing to a lot of people. It is available in bright colored plastic or aluminum. The price point is reasonable. There are many nib sizes available and it’s easy to swap out nibs should you decide you want to try a different size without having to buy a whole new pen. Lamy does require a proprietary cartridge/converter which is one of the downsides of the Lamy Safari/AL-Star. Some people do not like the molded grip section but, for some, it helps establish a proper hand grip for fountain pen use. (available at all your favorite online retailers)
  5. Platinum Carbon Desk Pen: I had to get the PCDP in here. I have recommended this pen, given it away or otherwise inflicted this ugly but glorious pen on more people than I care to admit. What it lacks in physical beauty it more than make up for in drawing prowess. If you or someone you know is a loyalist to the technical pen or the superfine felt tip drawing pen (like a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 or 01) this pen will change their life. Add in a box of Platinum Carbon Black cartridges or a bottle of Platinum Carbon Black ink and it will be game over for bent, broken felt tips forever. Yes, it’s ugly but Sakura Pigma Microns do not exactly win any beauty contests and at least I’ve never had to throw away a PCDP, I just keep passing them on to new converts. At present, my favorite sources for the PCDP do not have them in stock and the info I have suggest that Platinum in Japan may not be manufacturing this model any longer. Maybe they are changing the design? I don’t know. So, if this is a pen you are interested in owning, jump on it before the prices skyrocket. The steel nib model should not sell for more than about $15.
  6. TWSBI Eco/Eco-T: TWSBI ECO and ECO-T provide great options for anyone looking for their second fountain pen or an ambitious first-time fountain pen owner who is willing to purchase a piston-filling fountain pen. The nibs are all European sized on Taiwanese-built pens. (starting at €28.93 at Fontoplumo)
  7. Faber-Castell Grip: Faber-Castell is releasing this fountain pen in different colors more often and the price is very reasonable making this pen a candidate in the entry-level fountain pen category. It takes standard European cartridges and converters so it’s easier to find ink cartridges for new users. (starting at $20 at Vanness Pen Shop)
  8. Pelikan M600 Series: Originally, I was going to put the more commonly recommend entry level M200/205 here but honestly, I didn’t buy an M200/205 of my own until I had purchased an M600 in transparent white (“the Ghost“) and realized what all the fuss was about. Pelikan’s gold nibs make it a bit easier to understand their softer steel nibs but honestly, I recommend saving up for their more expensive pens rather than rushing to get a Pelikan just to say you have a Pelikan. The 600 series is just slightly larger in size than the 200 series. Wait for a color combination that speaks to you. It will be worth it but remember that Pelikan nibs run wider overall than most other European nibs so even the EF writes more like an F or M if you’re used to Japanese nibs. (Appelboom has a wonderful selection of 600-series Pelikans and they wrap all their orders like a gift and include a stroopwaffel)
  9. Sailor Pro Gear Slim: Are you surprised I waited this long to include the Sailor Pro Gear? After Kaweco Sport and Franklin-Christoph 45s, I have more of these than any other pen. First, the Sailor 14k gold nibs are second to none out of the box. For larger hands and deeper pockets, the full-sized Pro Gear is just as appealing and features a 21k nib. (starting at $180 on Goldspot Pens)
  10. Pilot Vanishing Point/Decimo: I prefer the Decimo to the Vanishing Point because the size fits my hands better but if your hands are larger, the Vanishing Point might be preferable. Of all the retractable fountain pens, the VP/Decimo is still the best in show and worth saving up to purchase. The nib is gold and available in a range of sizes. Pilot does not release a lot of new colors or materials of this model regularly but I feel like one of these pens is in a collection is adequate unless you want to have a variety of nibs options. ( available at all your favorite online retailers)

Honorary Mention: Opus88 Koloro This was my first experience with Opus88 and it has remained my favorite. It’s similar in size to a Lamy Safari but made from a combination of ebonite and resin materials and the unique Japanese eyedropper filling system holds a massive amount of ink making this pen a perfect candidate for a wider-than-usual nib. (Limited stock still available, starting at $74.40 at Pen Chalet )

Please consider making your next pen purchase from one of the shops that support this blog and let them know you heard about them here. Thanks for reading and for supporting the shops that help keep it running.

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Best Fountain Pens For Beginners – Scribbler Planet

Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate I earn each qualifying purchase. There is no extra cost to you, or any other added expense, other than that of those included with each order of the item.

Whether you’re looking into getting into the fountain pen because you were coaxed by a fountain pen geek, or “aficionado”, the following pens are the best ones to get for beginners. This information was gathered from my own personal experience, accounts from fountain pen geeks I know, and the overall consensus of the fountain pen community.

They’re mostly well balanced and forgiving in a way that if you mess something up, you won’t regret it too much. A major factor in that is the price, as none of these pens will go over 40 usd.

Don’t let the affordability fool you though, these pens are heavy hitters that even experienced fountain pen aficionados love and use for everyday things.

Aside from the pen itself, I’ll throw in some accessories and peripherals that I think you’ll need if you’re going to start. The fountain pens won’t come with their own ink bottles, save for a single cartridge that usually comes in the box.

Suggested Pens:

  • Pilot Metropolitan (link to Amazon)- The Pilot Metropolitan has been a staple starter pen for almost a decade now. Once you get the feel for it, it’s no wonder why. I’m sure that this was the pen many started with ever since it came out.
  • Lamy Safari (link to Amazon)- Famous for being a “workhorse”, durable, and dependable. The Lamy Safari is another go to starter pen for the majority.

Why The Pilot Metropolitan?

The Pilot Metropolitan is a go to starter pen, that means that no matter who you talk to, more often than not this is one of their recommendations for you to start with. With a metal body and an affordable price, this is perfect for everyday use, making it better than others for newer fountain pens owners that might be a little rougher with a pen.

  • Perfect for beginners who want to dip their toes in the fountain pen community
  • Will allow them to learn more about how the fountain pen experience
  • Well-balanced
  • Perfect gift for casual or beginner users.
  • Best Value For Money
  • Affordable

Nib – Because Pilot is a Japanese brand, you can expect their nibs to have a finer writing. That means that a fine nib will write with a thinner line of ink compared to that of a Lamy or other western brands. Still it writes very smoothly and it’s just very comfortable to write with.

Converter – The Pilot Metropolitan uses a proprietary converter, meaning that only Pilot converters will work with it. It’s important to get one or two extra converters just in case. Pilot Con 40 and 50 will do fine for this pen.

Here’s a link to the Pilot Con-40 (link to Amazon).

Why The Lamy Safari?

The Lamy Safari is the next best starter pen for me. Even with the plastic body, the pen itself is quite durable and is great for everyday use. It’s comfortable to use, the writing itself is very smooth. Based on user experience, it’s not that far off from the Metropolitan.

  • Has window to track how much ink is left
  • Durable
  • Light plastic body
  • Perfect gift for casual or beginner users.
  • Variety of colors available
  • Great value for money
  • Affordable

Nib – The nib of the Lamy Safari is interchangeable with many of the other Lamy models, although being a beginner, you might not want to swap out nibs yet.

Converter – The pen takes in proprietary converters, meaning it also only takes in Lamy converters. As above, it’s important to have some extra converters if you go with bottled inks. About 2 converters will be great.

Here’s a link to the Lamy Converter (link to Amazon).

What To Else To Get?


For inks, it’s important to remember that you need to clean out your pen once in a while. That’s something that a beginner could easily forget. So the inks I’ll be suggesting are easy to clean out of your pen even if you forget it for a while. They are also affordable and are pretty good when used for writing.

I’ve got to admit, though, I’m a bit of a Pilot fan boy. These are the first inks I got at the start and they were pretty easy to deal with. I’ve forgotten to clean my pens a few times already but even though it dried out, they were still pretty easy to clean.

So, here’s my recommendation for you:

PILOT Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Ink


Converters are great because you can reuse them, instead of throwing them away like you do with ink cartridges. They’re also better for the environment compared to regular ballpoint and cartridges.

Of course, with ink bottles, they’re pretty much a must.

How many to get? One converter is great, two converters are better, in my opinion. You just never know if you might lose one or if something happens to the one you have.

For the fountain pens I have suggested they are both pretty much proprietary exclusive converters, meaning they only take in converters from the same brand.

For the Pilot Metropolitan, you’re going to want to buy a Pilot Con-40 (link to Amazon).

The Pilot Metropolitan will come with its own converter that’s of a different design, but this converter will be piston based, meaning you twist it so that you can suck in the ink.

For the Lamy Safari, you’re going to want to buy a Lamy Converter (link to Amazon).

The Lamy Safari won’t have a converter that comes with it, so you will really have to buy a separate converter. The converter you’ll buy will be piston based, as well, meaning you twist it so that you can suck in the ink too.

Pen Sleeve or Roll

When you get your pen, you’ll want a secure case for it.

This will prevent scratches of damage that might occur during travel. This is also great because in the off chance that it might leak, like if you’re in a plane and the pressure inside the pen acts up, you’ll have an extra layer of protection.

For one pen, I suggest a pen sleeve.

RAYNAG Set of 3 Genuine Leather Pen Sleeve

For more pens, if you plan on getting more in the future, a roll would be ideal. Again, Rickshaw offers a wide selection of Fountain Pen Rolls. These are pretty neat, and back when I was starting, I got one even though I didn’t have enough fountain pens to fill it.

Rustic Genuine Leather Pen Roll


For maintenance, I would suggest a simple bulb syringe. You can get this anywhere near you but here’s a link just in case.

Medline 2 oz Sterile Bulb Ear Syringe – 3 Pack

Maintaining your fountain pen regularly is something I can’t stress enough. It’s quite simple, and all you really need is water.

While you might make mistakes as a beginner, the items I suggested will make it so you don’t feel so bad if you get something catastrophically wrong.

Five Best Fountain Pens Under $40

For drawing, journaling or southpaws, luxury writing instruments needn’t be high-priced.

The best fountain pen you can buy isn’t necessarily the most expensive. An expensive pen is an accessory — it’s meant to be seen. For everyday use, you want a workhorse. You want a pen you can drop on the floor. One that’s good for writing and drawing. A fountain pen that lasts. Here are classy but affordable choices to suit your various needs.

Best Fountain Pen for Beginners

$37.60 – $39.20

A Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen is one of the most durable fountain pens on the market. They’re made from the same heel-piercing indestructible plastic as Legos. Their design is world-class, not fancy. They have a little window showing the ink level so you won’t run out of ink in the middle of a word. These pens were designed to teach German students excellent handwriting, which is why the barrel is shaped to force you to use the correct grip. The most compelling quality for starting your lifelong fountain pen obsession with a Lamy Safari is how durable they are. You can’t crack the barrel of this pen; you can’t even scratch it. The steel nib can take a lot of pressure and effort, even a little abuse. If you drop it on the floor point-first, it might survive — but if it bends don’t worry, they’re cheap to replace.

Best-One for Drawing


Noodler’s Konrad Flex is a gorgeous pen. It doesn’t get the same attention as other fountain pens, which is a shame because this pen is fantastic. It’s durable, well designed and comfortable. Noodler’s pens use a piston filling method so you’ll need to have a bottle of ink on hand. But that’s easy since Noodler’s manufactures some of the best ink out there. What makes the Konrad Flex a good drawing instrument is all of the above, plus the cost — and the nib. It’s a heat-set No. 6 with a deep slit allowing the tines of the nib to flex widely. When you’re drawing, this flex lets you vary the width of your line just by applying a little pressure. Once you get used to it, it becomes second nature and you’ll find yourself using it to write more decorative script in your daily lettering. If you have a unique signature, this pen lets you give it even more style.

Best Fountain Pen for Journaling

Around $20

The Pilot Metropolitan is one of my all-time favorites for so many reasons, but three stand out. First, it’s a perfect torpedo. This is a common barrel shape for fountain pens that varies wildly from maker to maker. Pilot found the sweet spot between too small — as in, large hands can’t hold it without cramping — and too fat — as in, small hands can’t hold it without a harness and safety line. Second, it writes perfectly on any paper every time. The feel of the nib on the paper and the flow of the ink — not too fast, not too slow — means you never notice the experience of writing. This may sound counterintuitive, but just imagine if every time you used a pen you could feel it scratching, or it left a spotty line. The Pilot Metropolitan is an enduring, affordable postmodern classic.

Best for Everyday Carry


The Platinum Preppy is the least expensive pen on this list. Jet Pens sells them for less than five bucks. On Amazon, they’re less than $10. But the design, the writing experience and the overall value are right up there with any great pen. Platinum is one of the big three Japanese pen-makers (along with Pilot and Sailor) and offers plenty of writing instruments at the top-shelf price point. But they also offer these remarkably inexpensive pens, and thank God. My everyday carry of choice, the pen that never leaves my side, is the Pilot Vanishing Point. But I’ve misplaced it two or three times and panicked each time. It’s just expensive enough that I probably wouldn’t replace it right away. The Preppy writes almost as well as my PVP but if I lose it, I don’t care. I have more. Because they’re cheap.

Best Fountain Pen for Lefties


Fountain pens for left-handed writers don’t exist, except yes, they do. Technically, a person who writes with their left hand can use any pen. Schneider recognized that many left-handed fountain pen users suffer from grip fatigue and stubborn nibs. The Schneider ID L version has a special rubber grip for left-handed users that won a design award. It also uses a ball-tipped nib that gives the southpaw writer less drag that traditional nibs. Left-handed fountain pen users often have a problem with smudging. Using a fast-drying ink like Noodler’s Bernanke Blue will help.

Get more Analog Attorney here.

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The 8 Best Fountain Pen Brands in 2021 Selected by Stationery workers.

The 8 Best Fountain Pen Brands for 2021 Selected by Stationery Workers (UPDATED)

Selecting the best fountain pen for you can be difficult; however, we at Buchan’s have you covered! This guide on the Top 8 Fountain Pen Brands will give you insight into some of the brands making a splash in the fountain pen community, and some of our favorite pens from these brands.

Founded in 1930, Lamy is a writing instrument brand based in Heidelberg, Germany. They focus on producing pens and notebooks to provide customers with the best writing experience possible. Lamy brings together many different designers from different field to produce and design a modern pen. As a result, Lamy pens are famous for their quality and design.

If you’re looking for a beginner pen, look no further than the Lamy Safari, a fantastic pen for a lower price. The Lamy Studio is a personal favorite of mine, the metallic body is quite sleek, and the writing is smooth and enjoyable. While a more expensive option than the Safari, this is a perfect fountain pen for enthusiasts. I recently got my hands on the Lamy Studio Limited Edition Glacier Fountain Pen, and it has quickly become my favorite pen to use. The slim design, with the modern look, work together to provide a beautiful fountain pen. My favorite quality about Lamy Cartridge-style fountain pens is that you can additionally purchase a converter and pair the pen with any ink you would like.

If you’re looking for the best fountain pen on the market, the Lamy 2000 is the way to go. It holds a built-in piston converter and a 14k carat gold nib which is platinum-coated and hand-polished. The softer gold nib causes a much smoother writing experience, which is quite noticeable to any fountain pen user. The barrel and cap are made from lightweight, durable fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin. While a more expensive option, this is a must-have for any fountain pen enthusiast.

Established in 1911 by Kyugoro Sagata, Sailor Pen Co. was the first company to produce fountain pens in Japan. Sailor is known for their 14k and 21k gold nib fountain pens and their wide variety of stunning fountain pen inks. Sailor’s 21k gold nibs are a staple of the brand, due to them being the only company to produce those types of nibs. These exceptional pens are created by combining innovative technology with Japanese tradition and craftsmanship. 100 years after inception, Sailor Pen Co. continues its mission of creating the finest, most sophisticated fountain pens in the world. All Sailor pens are produced in Hiroshima, maintaining the heritage that these unique, high-quality possess today.

While these pens are more pricy than some other brands on this list, many stationery enthusiasts believe that Sailor produces the best nibs on the market.  The Sailor 1911 is an essential pen to add to your fountain pen collection. The gold nib is a joy to write with; furthermore, the quality craftsmanship of the pen is immediately noticeable the second it touches your hand.

TWSBI is a Taiwanese fountain pen brand known for its ability to create piston-filling fountain pens at affordable prices. They focus on creating modern-looking fountain pens by using vibrant colors along with clear bodies. After purchasing the Diamond 580 ALR, I immediately fell in love with the German made JoWo nib and the pen’s ink capacity (My full review here).

The TWSBI ECO Fountain pen is a must-have for any pen-lover who wishes for a piston-filling fountain pen without breaking the bank. For the mid 40CAD pen, the quality is outstanding with the same JoWo nib, high ink capacity, and an easy to use piston-filling system. Additionally, each TWSBI product comes with a wrench and bear grease to help with the piston. Overall the TWSBI ECO is great for people looking to enter the fountain pen market. Their wide variety of colors and the ability to use any ink is a huge selling point. As a result, I’d definitely recommend this pen for anyone (My review on the TWSBI ECO here).

Established in 1919, Platinum is a Japanese pen company with all products made in Japan. If you are unsure what makes Japanese stationery so appealing, check out this blog post detailing what sets them apart from other stationery categories. Their Platinum PLAISIR pens are the perfect pens for any beginner. They’re inexpensive, high-quality, and come in a vibrant variety of colors. The PLAISIR may not make a splash in your fountain pen collection; however, it is perfect for people who want to experience fountain pens without breaking the bank for them. The Platinum Century is one of Platinum’s premier fountain pens, with a 14k carat nib and a patented slip & seal nib which can keep the ink from drying for 2 years; furthermore, Platinum offers a 1-year warranty for this pen. Overall, the Century is a fantastic pen and being Japanese, you know the quality will be immaculate.

Another German brand, Diplomat offers high-quality pens of different styles. While they have a more classic take on fountain pens, the writing quality of their pens is one of the best on the market. All their pens are manufactured and manually tested to ensure that the products reaching customers are that of the highest standard. Using metal as their manufacturing material, you’ll rest easy knowing these fountain pens are made to last.

The Diplomat Aero series offers smooth lines on a sleek, streamlined, metal body. Pens in the Diplomat Aero series are heavier than others. As a result, this may deter some enthusiasts; however, the balance throughout the body makes up for the added weight, still leaving an overall nice feeling. The all-new limited edition Diplomat ART 01 and Diplomat ART 02 fountain pens are two of my favorite looking pens on the market. Their interesting color designs, the slimmer look, and the chiseled polished stainless steel nib make for an amazing fountain pen.

Kaweco is another German brand that offers fountain pens for all price points. Their Kaweco Sport Series offers affordable options for fountain pen beginners. Kaweco makes pocket-sized fountain pens to increase their portability. Kaweco fountain pens are perfect to carry around with you as you go on with your daily business. The wide variety of colors and materials only adds on to the appeal of the pen. Kaweco also offers a 2-year warranty on their pens with lifetime repair. Overall, Kaweco is doing a fantastic job in the fountain pen market for its ability to create quality pens for all enthusiasts no matter the skill.

Ever since Goerge Safford Parker created the first fountain pen, Parker, a long lived English Brand, is one of the most iconic names in the fountain pen industry. When you think Parker, you think reliability in their pens. There’s not much to say about Parker that hasn’t been said. With popular product lines like Jotter, Sonnet, and Premier, it is obvious to see the evolution of Parker Pens. Their driving philosophy is “It will always be possible to make a better pen.” Parker continuously sets new styles and standards for other pen manufacturers to follow. Read more about their story here:

Like Parker, Cross is another iconic, traditional name in the pen industry, creating their first pen in 1846. Their pens have a lifetime warranty, which is an amazing feature for any brand to have. Cross ensures that their pens are of the highest quality, and guarantees it. Brands like Cross are reliable; furthermore, their classic style only encourages fountain pen purists to acquire a Cross piece. Cross’ wide variety of quality fountain pens and lifetime warranty make them an intriguing brand to buy a fountain pen from.


These 8 brands are one of the best fountain pen brands out on the market.

Their wide variety of product lines appeal to any budget, without fear of sacrificing quality. Whether you’re looking for a premier fountain pen to add to your collection, or just beginning to discover the beautiful world of fountain pens, this post offers a comprehensive guide on understanding what brand is for you. For the best variety of different fountain pens, shop online or in-store at Buchan’s Kerrisdale Stationery in Vancouver, Canada.

90,000 Top-40 Fountain Pens –

A good friend recently asked, what would he buy from the “legends” of the world of fountain pens?

And he became thoughtful. On the one hand, a large part of this micro-magazine is devoted to reviews of the best and interesting pen writing instruments, and this topic, although it has been going on for 6 years, has moved the horizons of the unknown to us just a little bit.

And on the other hand, in general, the bright models released in the previous 100 years are more or less famous.

And although “legendary” and attractiveness for acquisition are different for each of us, I will try to present my Top-40 desirable ones here. With some brief comments as to why the pen is on the list.

The list is presented in alphabetical order, not related to the degree of desirability and legendary.

Aurora 88 original (and variations – 98, 888, Duo-cart)

Aurora Hastil – design!

Delta Dolce Vita

Faber Castell – any model with Osmia


Lamy 2000

Lamy Safari

Mabie Todd – different models, most famous Swan – the classic flexible nibs (although there are also rigid ones)

Montblanc – almost any model from 1930-1960 (14, 18, 22, 31, 32, 220, 221, 234½, 264, 320, 344 and others…)

Montblanc 149

Montblanc Limited Editions

Montegrappa – ah, almost any model … Not that a legend, but worthy.

Onoto De La Rue – the flex nib classic

Omas 360 – design

Omas Tokyo – design

Parker Duofold – virtually any model, although 1st third of the 20th century models are preferred over

Parker T-1 Collector’s Model

Parker Vacumatic – refueling system

Parker 75

Parker 50

Parker 51 – everything important has been said before

Pelikan 100N

Pelikan 140

Pelikan 400, 400NN

Pilot MYU – 701 (or M90)

Pilot Murex

Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point)

Sheaffer Balance

Sheaffer PFM (Pen For Men)

Sheaffer TM Touchdown

Sheaffer Tuckaway

Sheaffer Snorkel

Sheaffer Targa

Soennecken – any model, due to the rarity and small production volume

Wahl Eversharp Skyline

Waterman – almost any vintage model.Many have a flexible nib, but even if the nib is not flexible. still writes great

Waterman Le Man

Waterman C / F – the first cartridge refilling pen

I guess I missed a lot. Add in the comments!

The history of the fountain pen

In the modern world, fountain pens are no longer just a stationery, they have acquired the status of an accessory that emphasizes the style and respectability of its owner. But did you know that the history of the fountain pen goes back many centuries? In 953, in Egypt, the caliph Maad al-Muizz demanded that his subjects build a writing device for him so that it would be easy to use and would not stain hands and clothes.As a result, he received a pen, which contained ink in a special container, which flowed to the pen due to the force of gravity according to the principle of capillaries. But in the usual sense, a fountain pen in a metal case appeared only in 1803. Such writing instruments were available exclusively to the nobility. As the pen nib itself, goose feathers were used. They were used for writing until 1830, because around this time the so-called metal “eternal nibs” were invented, which at that time did not have the best quality, given the technology of that period.

Over time, the number of metal nib manufacturers has grown and more and more innovative technologies have emerged. Later, feathers began to be made from precious metals: mainly 14-carat and 17-carat gold were used. And only at the beginning of the 20th century, wear-resistant materials appeared with the addition of platinum, iridium, osmium, rhodium. In 1883, the first automatic fountain pen was created by Lewis Edson Waterman. The reason for this was a major deal that was thwarted due to an unusable chancery.Waterman, having lost a huge amount due to the fact that his pen, bought specifically for the signing of the contract, refused to work at the most necessary moment, decided that he would never make such a mistake again. And he, together with his brother, created the fountain pen, which became the prototype of modern ones. The main advantages of fountain pens: 1. The indisputable fact that the fountain pen glides easily on the paper, practically does not require pressure, due to which the hand does not get tired of writing for a long time. 2. Writing with a pen is economical.3. It is not for nothing that fountain pens are used for lettering and calligraphy, because they form a beautiful handwriting. 4. And of course, fountain pens are stylish. Today fountain pens are crafted with the utmost care and taste. Our store offers a wide selection of fountain pens that can become both a prestigious gift and an elegant accessory that will highlight your unique style. Lamy pens

One of the most famous German brands of writing utensils.Many children in Germany receive a Lamy pen as a gift and write with it until they finish high school. As a result – neat handwriting, composure and meticulousness, known all over the world. Lamy today is represented not only by school pens, among them there is the famous Safari series, which is released in a new color every year and is a collectible. Present such a pen to your loved one, and it will serve him, and maybe his children and grandchildren for many years.

SEE LAMY Pens Kaweco pens

Kaweco, the world’s most famous company, has been producing writing utensils of unsurpassed quality since 1883.The fountain pens have retained the traditional designs developed at the beginning of the last century to this day. Manufactured using innovative technologies and materials. The mechanisms are assembled and assembled by hand, each handle made by the company is tested in the quality department.

SEE KAWECO PENS Rotring pens

This brand’s fountain pens are an excellent choice in terms of value for money. In our subjective opinion, this brand is completely undeservedly in the shadows, because its properties allow it to compete with dignity with more expensive brothers.Suitable for calligraphy, writing and as a good gift for a loved one.


Write beautifully – Articles

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Fountain pens, ink and calligraphy lessons. Items left in the past

Dear readers, we bring to your attention a new heading. In it, we want to remember, together with you, things and objects that have already become obsolete, without which our life was once inconceivable. We hope that people of the older generation will mentally return to the past with pleasure, and young people will get to know better how their grandparents lived.
If you have any interesting ideas on this subject – share with us.Contact phone: 2-14-05. Our e-mail address: [email protected]

What is written with a pen cannot be cut down with an ax. The essence of this saying, however, is a little different: a printed word cannot be returned back. But it also fits our topic today: the text written in ink is almost impossible to erase.

Pen and ink were the main attributes of the student until the early 70s, when they were replaced by ballpoint pens. By the way, in those years this aroused a lot of criticism: it was believed that it was the “pen” letter that gives children good handwriting.An indispensable companion of the pen was non-spill inkwells (later fountain pens appeared, refueled with ink from factory bottles).

“Write different letters with a thin pen in a notebook …”

The primary school curriculum in the past included calligraphy lessons. The students wrote a dictation. The teacher evaluated beautiful handwriting, accuracy, absence of blots, corrections and ink stains. There were even special rules for correction: with a neat vertical line slanted from right to left, cross out the error and write the correct letter above it.

Veteran of labor from Dobrinka Anatoly Zubkov recalls.

Anatoly Zubkov

– In 1948 I first crossed the threshold of the Padvor elementary school and our teacher Andrey Stepanovich Tonkikh began teaching us to read and write. At first, they wrote with simple pencils, and when they got their first skills, they began to use fountain pens. The pens were wooden with metal tips, into which a writing pen was inserted. Moreover, for writing, they used metal nibs numbered 11, with which they wrote with light pressure to develop a calligraphic handwriting.

It was believed that beautiful handwriting could only be developed with the help of pen number 11, which was what the teachers aspired to, in the primary grades it was forbidden to use others. And in high school it was already allowed to write with pens under number 35 with a bump at the end for soft writing. Because of the shape of these feathers, the guys called them frogs.

Thanks to this, I learned to write beautifully. My calligraphy notebooks were even placed at exhibitions of regional public education in the city of Voronezh …

Exhibit from the “home museum”

Natalya Ignatova from Dobrinka is a great lover of antiquity.She even has a collection of objects at home that could take a worthy place in the local history museum. Among them are a fountain pen and an inkwell. Natalya photographed them together with a notebook wrapped in a 1962 newspaper (the real one!). The result is such a set of a student of the 60s.

Such is the “still life” of old school supplies turned out by the amateur photographer Natalia Ignatova.

“We used these sets during our school years,” says Natalya. – True, this pen is not mine, it was given to me by Valery Nikolaevich Volokitin, with whom we live on the same street.Anna Aleksandrovna Tupikova was my first teacher at the Chuevskaya school. In the first grade, we did not immediately begin to write with a pen and a quill, at first with a pencil – until we filled our hand. Then there was a special lesson “Calligraphy”, where they learned to write beautifully and accurately, with pressure in certain parts of the letter.

Natalia Ignatova.

It would be quite convenient to write with pens if the notebooks were the same as they are now. At the same time, the paper was not so smooth, the villi fell into the cut of the pen or the feathers clung to them, and then a blot appeared on the page.Trying to erase it, sometimes a notebook sheet was wiped up to the holes. Yes, and the inkwell, although it was called a siphon, could spill ink with sudden movements. Therefore, they sewed special bags so as not to carry it in a briefcase.

Natalya Ignatova found a piece of paper from a school notebook among the pages of an old book. This is a vivid example of how beautiful and legible handwriting was developed with the help of an ink pen.

There is also a pen cleaner in the photo. We ourselves sewed them in labor lessons in order to wipe feathers, clean them of adhered fluff.As you can see, there was a lot of trouble with such pens. But on the other hand, in order to write with a pen, you had to be accurate, the handwriting was developed better. After all, with careless writing, as well as with the wrong position of the pen, there were a lot of blots.

Feathers have not been abandoned in German schools

And today among teachers there are those who are sure: fountain pens at the initial stage of learning are an ideal writing tool that develops the psychomotor abilities of a child. Moreover, there are countries these days where schoolchildren still write with fountain pens.For example, in Germany.

We contacted our compatriot Natalia Zdroevski , who has been living in the German town of Gelsenkirchen for 18 years, and asked her to tell how spelling is taught in German schools.

Natalia Zdroevsky.

Natalia has a fourth-grader son Alexander-Timofey. The double name is quite common in Germany. Its second half is in honor of Timofey Andreevich Konyashkin’s grandfather, who lives in Dobrinka (he worked as a teacher at the station of young technicians for many years).

“They don’t pay much attention to handwriting,” Natalya shares with us. – The main thing is that he should be more or less legible. And recently they wanted, in general, to exclude the letter from the educational program, as an obsolete element (computer printed type is widely used). In elementary school, they write in pencil at first and calligraphy is not discussed. It’s just convenient: you can wipe what you write with an eraser and correct mistakes.

From about the second grade, schoolchildren begin to write with ink pens, and even then on a voluntary basis.At the same time, it is not forbidden to use an ink killer (a white pencil to gloss over errors).

In general, what surprises me is that teachers do not pay attention to the accuracy of the notebook. Probably, this is due to the presence of a large number of migrants in the classrooms. It seems that the teachers are happy if the students can speak at least a little German. I graduated from Dobrin Secondary School No. 2 in 1992 and I can say that we were taught more responsibly. I try to keep my son’s education under control, for which I even heard complaints from the teacher: it is not necessary to deal with the child myself, otherwise he stands out in the class from other students, and this is inconvenient.Can you imagine my reaction as a mother …

For poor handwriting, twos are not awarded

In our schools they do not write with pens. But they work on the problem of beautiful writing, starting from the first days of a child’s stay at school. Primary school teacher of Lyceum No. 1, Dobrinka village Elena Korobova is sure that good handwriting in a child can only be developed by constant studies both at school and at home, under the supervision of parents.

Elena Korobova.

“At school, grades are not lowered for poor calligraphy,” says Elena Dmitrievna, “but this does not mean that you can write somehow.I will definitely focus the attention of children on words and even letters that are beautifully written by them. This gives the guys self-confidence and stimulates the desire to work on their letter. I advise parents from an early age to develop in children fine motor skills of the fingers, on which the formation of handwriting depends. It is useful for kids (of course, under the supervision of adults) to assemble a mosaic, arrange buttons, for example, by color, separate beans from peas … And do not regret kind words and praise for your children, but not just like that, but for some, even the most insignificant successes.

Prepared by Olga FROLOVA.

90,000 Dot, dot, comma, funny face came out –

“About how many wonderful discoveries the spirit and Experience are preparing for us, the son of difficult mistakes,” – that’s something like this fountain pen lovers carefully draw (sometimes also with curls) to demonstrate how this or that pen behaves with this or that ink. And then it is photographed and posted for everyone to see.How many samples of the pen I saw – it is everywhere. And a Rhodia notebook. To the point. Or some other notebook, but very (very, very!) Beautiful. And semi-antique.
Sometimes love for Russian literature gives rise to something average: “I loved you – why more? What else can I say? ” And that’s all. There is really nothing to say here. Either memory played a cruel joke, or the need to mindlessly memorize poetry as part of the school curriculum in order to train this very memory. In such a situation, you can, for example, offer to drink tea, eat French rolls and start using pangrams.But who will agree to this?
Fountain pen lovers are cultured people. Spiritualized. Unusual (how can it be an ordinary person who, in our times and with our morals, prefers fountain pens to all others? No, it cannot). Those who love Russian literature (however, not all and not only) and demonstrate this love.
These are special people. They have special habits. And a special mindset. Pink ponies live in their world, and at night they secretly write on the fences: “Parsnip is alive.” Maybe they don’t.Or they write, but about Berdyaev. But without pink ponies, the matter was definitely not without. By the way, they don’t swear, and their thoughts are pure. So they are wonderful.

Fortunately, not everywhere the habit of writing with a fountain pen is treated with trepidation (we have lost the habit of them, but somewhere – nothing, they endure). And to the Rhodia notebooks, by the way, too. The paper is good, but the world is beautiful, diverse and amazing: there are other options. Better and sometimes even cheaper. In addition to inexpensive and often nameless notebooks with good paper, there are also cheap and not always nameless (apart from what is produced in the People’s Republic of China) fountain pens in nature.
If you look closely, you will find that there are many more. Everyone and different. And anyone can easily make a student’s happiness. Which usually happens, even if you consider that the student is fastidious and able to read reviews on the Internet.

It is clear that a fountain pen is a fragile item. Children can be given it, but only at their own peril and risk. In the instructions, this is usually written. Although everything is more categorical there. Like, do not give at all.
But the world would be too cruel (and it was), if someone enterprising did not start at one fine moment to release fountain pens for children.Special. Very ergonomic, developed by designers and psychologists, with a user-friendly interface (so as not to scare away and not forever away from writing with a fountain pen), in blister packs and multi-colored. All the best is for children, so manufacturers are not shy or shy when describing the advantages of fountain pens for the mentioned category of citizens. And these pens should not be confused with ordinary cheap ones, which make up the happiness of students. And to do it like that, it pulls, because children’s fountain pens are also inexpensive, and they often look just as lurid.
All fountain pens for kids are similar. Feathers are steel everywhere. Most often with the M mark. Almost everywhere there is a triangular grip so that the hand can be “put” by itself. Sometimes there are special cartridges. Painted. And therefore a little more expensive than exactly the same, but boring and without pictures. But there are still some “regional differences”.

Lamy, for example, produces a special pen for the little ones: Lamy ABC. She has a wooden body, rubber grip and triangular; nib – extra strong, marked A (for left-handers LH).So that the smallest ones do not accidentally “kill” this handle by pressing too hard on it. On a special sticker you can write the name of the owner and stick it on the cap. Or draw on the body of a unicorn or a car for only 20 euros. It will cost us almost the same; depends on what kind of burner to take. You can use cartridges, or you can buy a converter. Or buy a pencil in the same design. The handle will look great next to IKEA furniture and toys.
Lamy also has a pen called Nexx. Very schooly looking. You can use an M or F nib. Or an option for left-handers. Replacement nibs for this model are suitable for the most common ones, that is, the same as for other popular Lamy pens: Safari, Studio, Accent and so on.

Pelikan launches Pelikano Junior. For beginners and toddlers. Feathers are only for left-handers or right-handers, there is no further fantasy. But the cases are bright. Will look good next to a LEGO constructor. There is simply Pelikano.These pens look more serious, there is already a choice of pens. Pelikan has a four-step writing system: Griffix. The young Padawan goes from pencils (aka wax crayons) to a fountain pen. The Griffix is ​​available for left-handers or right-handers. The colors are bright, even too much, but it is believed that children love it. There’s Twist: Fountain pens for teens. The colors are quieter, the kids in the photographs are more opposite. Although it is also suitable for kids. There is th.INK, black and black and black and purple, advertised by a black-and-white girl in a wooden box with a song reminiscent of popular singer Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive”.But this is already for very serious or depressed students. Or for students. So even better.

For schoolchildren, Faber-Castell makes a pen, which is called the School Fountain Pen. You can choose a pen for left-handed or right-handed people. As I understand it, in both cases there will be a standard M. You can use cartridges, or you can refill with ink from a bottle, if you additionally purchase a converter.
Includes Herlitz My-Pen. Available only with a pen M. I have such a pen. It seems that the feather is made of steel, but in reality it is not.He writes thickly, with gaps, his cheekbones are reduced from his musicality, no pleasure. No converters, only cartridges (International). But the flu is successful. There must be something good there?
There are even Maped and BIC fountain pens. Various. And BIC Turn & Up – also with a turning mechanism. Compact and a little pointless. If flowers and hearts are drawn on the body, the pen can be considered childish.

Chinese manufacturers create so many things and in such quantities that they do not even want to meddle in there.Of course, for children there are only bright colors and all sorts of Hello Kitty. No special developments or safe materials (both for the environment and for children’s health). Because Chinese manufacturers have not owed anything to anyone for a long time. But there are pretty options with very successful feathers. In general, here you just have to fight and search.

Ballpoint pens are beyond competition, but in European schools, for example, children write with a fountain pen. Because ballpoint pens have not only advantages but also disadvantages; and fountain pens have not only disadvantages, but also advantages.The hand does not get tired of them. And the handwriting is better. You can also collect balls from International standard cartridges.
It is, of course, better to start learning to write with a fountain pen under the supervision of an adult. For the safety of the fountain pen itself. Because for a child it is no more dangerous than any other similar object. You can perfectly poke yourself in the eye with a pencil. And you may not even have the ability to do this.

It would be surprising if Japanese manufacturers had nothing for children and schoolchildren.Sailor has a set of My First Pen (although it would be more correct to call it Second: not every kid will appreciate a calligraphy pen) and a Sailor Clear Candy pen (the owner of not the most rave reviews; but with an MF nib, a star on the cap and such a choice of prints and colors, which can be used to create a separate collection). Pilot has a bunch of handles that can be safely considered childish: there is no lack of brightness and accessibility in the brand’s model lines. You can take Petit, Vpen, Plumix, Prera, Penmanship … Anything.Only Vortex, it seems, is almost nowhere to be found.

And then I discovered Pilot Kakuno and realized that my childhood was wasted. We can assume that I did not have it. Not only is the color of this pen my favorite, that is, life-affirming gray, but it also “smiles”: eyes and a smile are engraved on the Kakuno nib. And the air hole (which is the “peephole”) is a round nose. It’s strange that everyone else didn’t think of something like that.And they still release some kind of boring stuff, compensating for it with an unhealthy riot of colors.

None of the reasons for buying this pen were rational. For the first time I came across Kakuno not on my favorite foreign resources, but in a store of Japanese fountain pens with a poetic name “Pearl Harbor-1941”. But I was almost disappointed in the world and in people when it turned out that besides GetPen there are also amateur enthusiasts, and the situation with fountain pens and consumables for them is not as deplorable as it might seem at first glance.That is, it is still deplorable, but it is noticeable now only at a second glance. And if you don’t look closely, then in general everything is fine.
At first in the “Harbor” I was tempted by obscenely low prices for Iroshizuku. And I love both Iroshizuku and the indecent. Five bottles, which cost half as much as everywhere else (that is, even in semi-mythical Europe) seemed to me quite seductive. I decided that I can handle it: I write a lot. I have to admit that I overestimated my capabilities. And now I have not just a collection of good ink in beautiful bottles, but a real strategic stock.
And then I myself was tempted by pens with “smiling” feathers. That is, at first, in the same place, in the “Gavan”, they showed me pictures with these pens, told something about them, and only after that I completely on my own (of course, on my own) was seduced.
The only inconvenience for me was delivery by Russian Post. She made me Hachiko. Which is not so bad, if you remember that Hachiko lived in Japan, and I really love and respect everything Japanese (almost everything). But I would rather be myself.

It is said that “kakuno” in translation means “to write” (not “sumino” as Google thinks). That is, “to write” so that no one is mistaken with the accent. The “U” in the title is also a smiley, not a u-umlaut. Like, “Ü”. Everything is very well played, everyone is smiling at everyone.
The pen was invented not only for the youngest Japanese schoolchildren who are learning to draw their first hieroglyphs, but also for older students. To keep improving. The pen “smiles” for a reason: in order to learn how to hold the pen correctly, you need to hold it so that the smile can be seen.If it is not visible, then the angle is not the right one. All ingenious is simple.

Kakuno’s feathers are regular, that is, steel. Standard. Not removable, but understandable. Exactly the same as most inexpensive Pilot’s pens (that is, nothing special and childish; except for the body, of course). Once I figured it out (because the list of pens with the exact same nib as the Kakuno was almost endless), the Pilot 78G became even more of a mystery to me. Which is legendary.And which is, in general, in the same “weight category”, but which I definitely will not buy now, because I already have a Kakuno, and it does not use a cheap “gold” in the finishing of the case, whose appearance scares me away … And her pen is better. Which makes buying a 78G completely pointless.
Compared to the 78G, Kakuno writes softer. The ink supply is slightly more generous. Sometimes not even a little. This is best seen if you fill the pen with regular black Pilot ink, which is already “drier” than all other inks of the brand.The cap is not screwed on, but snaps into place. Air does not flow inside, ink does not dry, less fuss. The cap has no clip (and I like it), but it has a special clever shape so that it is convenient to grab onto it if you want to take it off. The case is hexagonal (it must be emphasized that in this case we are talking about a cross-section and a regular hexagon, and not about any other, which is very convincingly proved by equal sides and angles of 120 degrees) so that it does not roll on the table.But he does not know about this, and therefore calmly skates. He is stopped only by the cap put on. Also, this shape should resemble a pencil. So Pilot assures. And she reminds. Pencil. And also: pens Stabilo, Corvina, Herlitz … But they are all ballpoint, so it doesn’t count, so be it.

Triangular grip. This is if we talk about the cross section. And completely uncomfortable when it comes to me. It was because of him that I could not get used to Kakuno, although I tried very hard. Before, I already had a bad relationship with Lamy and Faber-Castell with their triangular grips and shapes.And for some reason it seemed to me that at least the Pilot would suit me: before, everything was fine, but here it is an ideal option, which was done with a child’s hand in mind. But the moment came when something with this brand did not suit me. All the time you want to move your index finger to the pen. And if you write Kakuno for too long, then your wrist will also tighten. I see a “smile”, that is, I keep everything correctly. The ink supply is excellent, so the hand can relax. But something is still wrong. In general, no matter how sad it may be for me, triangular grips and I are not made for each other (however, otherwise Kakuno is so good that I am ready to forgive her for this small flaw).You must either be a child, or have a more impressive paw. Because in a man’s hand, Kakuno is wonderful. Like a glove.

But the grip is plastic and transparent. This is already convenient. Remaining ink is visible in the cartridge. Provided that the CON-20 converter is not used, shiny and solid, with which everything becomes a little more mysterious. Of course, the handle is compatible with it. With the CON-50 converter, too. And this allows you to use not only multi-colored cartridges, but also multi-colored ink.And in a transparent flu, even if it is gray, ink of some unusual iroshizuk’s shade looks very, very interesting. To want a “demonstrator” must start from childhood.
And any pens and pencils, even Pilot’s ones, have rubberized grips that tend to get dirty and get dusty in some strange way. Plastic will not do that, for which many thanks to her.
Light handle. This is true both for Japanese kids, among whom heavy backpacks are very popular, and for me, because I just don’t like heavy backpacks.Even though I didn’t get along with the triangle grip, the Kakuno is perfect as a handle that you can carry with you anytime, anywhere.
The “smiles” of feathers are not annoying. Nice, encouraging and not at all mocking. And not stupid. How Pilot managed the latter is not clear at all. Apparently years of development. In difficult times, I don’t feel like spitting into this smiling face. Although I did not sign the mortgage lending agreement for her, so there is no one hundred percent certainty. Maybe at this moment and pulls.

Pilot does not pay any attention to the problems of left-handers (right word, I don’t even know where such callousness comes from).Perhaps they simply don’t exist in Japan. Perhaps, even in infancy, they are thrown from the top of Fuji, as soon as they notice that the child is pressing his beloved Monchhichi to the heart with the wrong hand. After all, as the Japanese proverb says: “After three it’s too late.” In general, Kakuno has nothing for left-handers (but Japanese manufacturers do have it, so the Fuji version is not considered working).
But you can choose the F pen, or you can not choose the M. The variety is not limited to this, by the way. You can take a pen with a gray body (and even with a gray cap, which is nice; although there are other colors as well), or you can take a “softer” version, which, in the variant, has a white body.The colors of the caps there are very “marshmallows”: yellow, blue, pink and violet. Very nice, if we develop the theme of diminutive suffixes. The pens with white bodies (appeared in 2014, that is, this is almost a novelty; the world community started talking about gray Kakuno in 2013; and both two have already won the Good Design Award 2014), the feathers not only smile, but also wink. As there were M and F, they stayed. But how many emotions! How much expression! How significant and conspiratorial it looks.Like, I’m with you, buddy. Cheat while nobody sees.
But apart from the pen and the bright cap, this is a completely ordinary pen. Very schooly and very simple. That’s what you need, to be honest.

On the first day I wanted a pen M. It turned out too dry. And with passes. And then either the pen “signed”, or I got used to it, but everything became fine. Now the pen glides over the paper so quickly that I think I think more slowly than I move my hand. Writing Kakuno quickly and boldly is to please yourself and your pen.And she liked to draw right away. Never before have my little kalyaks looked so elegant, now I can be proud of myself. I also tried to write with my left hand: I did not feel any difference. With Capless, by the way, too. Either I write in a wrong way with my left hand, or pens for left-handers are just another commercial gimmick.
The case was instantly covered with minor scratches. It seems that I managed to do this in the packaging (not in production, right?).
Standard cartridge included. With black ink. And also the instructions, where anthropomorphic fountain pens (both are boys, it should be noted; therefore: “both”), the same as on a special page on the Pilot’s website, explain what and how to do with the pen.For example, how to insert a cartridge. And it is easy to insert it, just like in all other pens of the brand. As a general rule, do not twist the cartridge. The rest is comprehended intuitively. However, through the transparent grip you can see to where the cartridge should be moved. This simplifies the process. I never managed to get dirty, even if I did not take out the cartridge according to the rules, in which not all of the ink was used. Perhaps this requires childlike spontaneity.
Also pens-boys explain what to do if the ink has dried up.Actually, the same as for changing the ink color. The grip section must be unscrewed and soaked in a glass. This is accompanied by an illustration that might be titled “He knew too much.” Although the artist conceived something different. For example: in a completely nonviolent way, the separated, upper half of the body has a pleasant time and relaxes, going to the bottom and blowing bubbles. Change the water in the glass several times until it stops staining. You can also rinse the grip section under running water (with the feather down, of course).Then wipe dry with something white, but not fluffy. If traces of ink are visible: see what kind of figure they remind you of, analyze associations, repeat the steps until everything is completely washed out.

Kakuno’s steel nib F writes in the same way as Capless’s gold F. But somehow softer. And this is somehow not surprising. It is easier to rinse the Kakuno. Much easier. But I don’t see any sense in going further in comparison. Capless “work” and “horse”, and Kakuno is an excellent pen for learning to write, to carry with you in a bag, for a gift not only to a familiar first grader, but also to anyone.And I love Capless, but I just love Kakuno. Here with Kaweco Special, albeit a different manufacturer, can already be compared. And if you attach a pen from Kakuno to the almost eternal Kaweco body (although this is already some kind of violence), then you could get a wonderful pen. Comfortable with a normal grip and an excellent steel nib. Also “smiling” (because Kaweco’s pen not only does not do this, but is inferior to kakuno’s in many points). Although it’s easier to find something ready-made.

The pen is good.The price is also good. Because it’s low. Foreign comrades willingly buy these pens for the realization of their audacious fantasies and bullying, which they prefer to call “experiments” and “work on improvement.” It turns out something in the spirit of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” or the monster of Frankenstein: experiments do not contribute to the progress of science, and the result looks scary (the same thing, however, they do with other pens; but this one is for children; perverts, nothing sacred for they do not exist, you cannot live like that).

The handle has a peculiar name. And it is written right on the cap, that is, in one of the most prominent places. The pen is suitable for a student without prejudice and / or with strong nerves. Or a student who has already “grown out of all this.” Or someone with a passion for Japanese culture. Or language, or animation, or something else. Handles, for example. Or someone who skillfully scrapes the Kakuno off the cap. Or anyone who doesn’t give a damn about conventions.
And if the shape of the grip section does not interfere with life, but rather fits; if there are no prejudices, but there is sadness and despondency all around, and a whole school year ahead (which is not a prerequisite, but from such a prospect it is usually sad, and cats do not do anything in their hearts), then you should get a Pilot Kakuno pen, so that at least just try to cheer yourself up (get your oniomania back on track).Although, of course, not only can you try to acquire it. There are many interesting things around.

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