Let’s face it – a lot of people do not like fountain pens. It is actually kind of sad since these luxurious pens can make mind-blowing creations when used correctly. We cannot blame those people though; using a fountain pen may lead to annoying smudges on paper and ink stains all over the user’s fingers. On the bright side, fountain pens are ideal for professional or corporate use because their lines are more vivid on paper. They are also perfect for artists, thanks to their smooth tip and long-lasting quality. To reduce the risk of messy writing on paper, we are here to give you the best fountain pen in today’s market while considering affordability.
Before finding out the best fountain pen for most people, it is best to understand first what makes this writing instrument different than other types such as ballpoint pens. Fountain pens are basically known for their distinct design or components. Their cartridge or converter allows the ink to reach the end point, which is the metal nib – usually made of gold. It also makes fountain pens refillable every time the ink is all used up.
Our Pick: Lamy Safari Charcoal Fine Fountain Pen
Lamy Safari Charcoal Fine Fountain Pen has a body made of ABS plastic with a classy charcoal black color. Regarding its nib, it is composed of steel with black coating and a fine point. This product includes a Lamy T10 Blue Cartridge. It works with a Z24 cartridge converter.
Runner Up: Scribe Sword Calligraphy Luxury Designer Medium Nib Fountain Pen
Scribe Sword Calligraphy Luxury Designer Medium Nib Fountain Pen comes in an elegant case to protect the fragile writing instrument and make it a great gift for office Christmas parties as well as your artistic or professional loved ones. It is ideal not only for business executives but for beginners as well since it comes with instructions on how to use it well.
Also Great: Gullor Elegant Colors Fountain Pen Set
Gullor Elegant Colors Fountain Pen Set comes in three to four pieces of pens with various colors such as red, purple, green, brown and blue inside a special PU leather pouch. Its ink cartridges follow the international standard for easier replacement. The converter, as expected, is refillable and removable.
Budget Pick: Pilot Metropolitan Collection Silver Barrel Classic Design Fountain Pen
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Silver Barrel Classic Design Fountain Pen looks modern and sophisticated with its matte finish and polished accents, perfect for workplace settings. It is reliable and comfy in your hands.
How to Select the Best Fountain Pen
Since fountain pens are probably the most complicated type, learning about the features of top products is not enough to guarantee that you will have the best fountain pen for your writing needs. The following are important factors to consider in choosing the best fountain pen from a wide range of choices:
One of the reasons why many people hate using fountain pens is their ignorance about available varieties according to the user’s skill level. Obviously, you would feel frustrated if you are practicing with a fountain pen made for advanced users.
There are three categories when it comes to skill level: beginner, casual, and expert. Fountain pens for beginners are very cheap. After all, it is frustrating to mess everything up with a pretty expensive pen, right? These affordable fountain pens usually come in sets since each piece is not durable enough. When one breaks, you can easily replace it without going to the store.
Meanwhile, casual users tend to use fountain pens mainly for work. They already know the basics, hence their farewell to beginner types. What they need now are more expensive fountain pens that have smoother nibs and comfier bodies to avoid straining their hands and guarantee beautiful writing on paper.
Lastly, advanced users prefer only the highest quality possible. However, the kind of fountain pens they want is extremely expensive already. Factors for the ultra-high price range are the pens’ pure metal structure, built-in filling system, and unbelievably perfect styling.
After considering your skill level, it is time to think about what you really need. Some major types of fountain pens are pocket-sized, signature, business, calligraphy, and extended writing.
Usually, pocket-sized fountain pens are only four to five inches long. They are clearly the most portable type.
Meanwhile, signature fountain pens are great for taking notes as well. They are ideal for people who are always on the go. They basically have a retractable clicking mechanism, making it easier for you to use one single-handedly while your other hand holds the receipt, notebook, or document.
Next, business fountain pens focus on appearance and authenticity. They usually have a classic or vintage look for VIPs to flaunt. They are also typically made of genuine metal from top to bottom.
Regarding calligraphy fountain pens, they have the best nibs. They are known for their nibs that are perfectly shaped. Interestingly, their nibs are even soft enough to form lines with different levels of thickness based on how much pressure the hand gives during the activity.
When it comes to long hours of writing, you need the most comfortable fountain pens. The ones made for extended writing should have a convenient barrel and a great structural balance. They must also hold more ink for longer use.
Comfort and convenience are kind of tricky to discuss since all of us have different personalities. Our hands also come in different shapes and sizes. To make the search for the best fountain pen easier, let’s evaluate the product’s general structure after considering our skill level and preferred type. After all, this is the first thing we notice from fountain pens.
As soon as we see a fountain pen, its size directly comes to mind. The rule of thumb is to make sure that the pen’s length and barrel thickness is compatible with your hand’s size. If the pen is too big or too small for your hand, your wrist and fingers would suffer from cramps and fatigue.
The next thing we notice is the material. Two common materials for fountain pen bodies are metal and plastic. What composes a pen actually says a lot about its weight. Steel and brass are heavier while aluminum and plastic are lighter.
Speaking of weight, it is all up to your preferences and actual writing style. You might like it heavy to guarantee more vivid lines. On the other hand, you might prefer it to be light as a feather because you have a heavy hand. Choosing the wrong weight for your hand would result in lackluster results or unnecessary markings behind the paper or page.
The final thing to evaluate regarding the fountain pen’s body is the cap. There are three options for this: snap-on, screw-on, and retractable. Snap-ons are easier to remove and attach than screw-ons. However, screw-ons are more secure, avoiding instances that you would accidentally snap the cap off and leave the nib exposed. On the other hand, retractable pens do not have caps at all. They are perfect for people who tend to forget stuff a lot.
This component is probably the most crucial to consider before purchase. After all, fountain pens are well-loved by enthusiasts, artists and professionals because of their excellent lines. Without nibs, ink will not form beautiful lines on paper. Only two factors are relevant here: the tips’ shape and size.
Nib tips are either shaped or round. Shaped tips produce different levels of line thickness based on the stroke’s direction. Italic writing is best with this type of nib tip. It needs thin horizontal lines and thick vertical ones. On the other hand, round tips form the same kind of lines over and over again. They are very similar to what ballpoint pens give on paper. They are meant for beginners.
Next, the size of the nib tip determines the line’s width or thickness. Standard sizes include broad, medium, fine, and extra fine. Japanese fountain pens produce finer lines than other international brands. If you have a small handwriting, resort to fine nibs to avoid letters merging together. For bigger handwriting, feel free to use broad or medium nibs.
Let’s save the most complicated part for last. If you are particular about refill convenience, ink color and capacity, prioritize knowing what kind of system a fountain pen has. There are four types: cartridge, converter, eyedropper, and built-in filling system.
Cartridges have fewer color options. They are also tricky to replace since you have to make sure that the new cartridge is compatible with your fountain pen. Some cartridges can only be used by certain brands, so be careful in spotting which ones are interchangeable. You cannot use ink bottles with cartridges.
Fortunately, a lot of cartridge fountain pens can function with converters as well. Converters are almost the same as cartridges except for their ability to get ink from bottles. You can definitely explore ink colors with this type of system. Sadly, it has a significantly smaller ink capacity than cartridges.
With eyedropper fountain pens, the barrel holds the ink. You really have to use a syringe or literally an eyedropper to transfer the ink from the bottle. This system is definitely a hassle, but it can hold a lot more ink than the previous types.
Built-in filling systems use a vacuum or piston mechanism to directly suck ink out of the bottle. That is clearly a straightforward way to refill the fountain pen. This system is the most hassle-free and, at the same time, budget-friendly type.
We selected Lamy Safari Charcoal Fine Fountain Pen as the best fountain pen for most enthusiasts. It is simple yet high-quality. It only focuses on its main purpose – producing excellent lines on paper without any hassle. In choosing the best fountain pen based on your needs and preferences, consider your skill level first before evaluating the product’s type, body, and ink filling system.