First pen recommendations

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by fis41, May 1, 2012.

  1. So not long ago in an effort to avoid a shaving soap and cream disorder, I started poking around other parts of the forum and came across The Nib. Having never been all that pleased with the usual common ballpoint pens, I decided to look into fountain pens and picked up a Pilot Varsity. The first time I used it I hated it, it was so different and I wasn't used to it. But as I continued to use it I began to love how smooth it was to write with and how it didn't need any pressure on the paper. Now I'm no longer that happy with the rollerball pens I used to like. (It's amazing how this place gets you hooked on things. I think B&B needs to start a new section: the support group for those suffering from various AD's.)

    So now I'm looking to start out with something a little more permanent and would like to get some recommendations on choosing a pen.

    What I'm looking for is:
    - A pen that is relatively problem-free and low hassle, as far as fountain pens go.
    - Has a more fine nib (the Varsity is a little broad for my taste and seems to put out a lot of ink). I've also noticed italic nibs which seem to add an interesting texture to writing, but from what I've read these may be more appropriate for calligraphy and not so well suited for everyday writing. Is that the case?
    - I tend to prefer pens with a bit of mass to them, so most likely I'd prefer something made of metal rather than plastic, but I am open to either.
    - Preferably under $30 to start, but maybe up to $40 for something more ideal.

    Any suggestions?
  2. rearviewmirror

    rearviewmirror Moderator Emeritus

    RE: italic nib

    Target sells the Pilot Plumix for about $7, which has an italic/stub nib. Probably the cheapest way to try one out.
    I use a 1.1mm stub nib on my everyday pen and it does put out a lot of ink, but I like the way it writes.
  3. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

  4. Huy


    I can't think of a heavy pen in that price range (maybe a Hero?) but here are some great starter pens:

    Lamy Safari/All-Star
    Pilot 78g
    Hero 616

    Italic nibs can be great for regular writing depending on how broad they are, your style of writing and your personal preference. Most of the typical italic nibs out there are pretty broad for my taste and probably you too if you prefer fine nibs. There are nibmeisters that can make you a fine italic nib but that would cost a lot of money.
  5. It's the combination of attributes that makes this so difficult. You could get a Sheaffer 100 for less than $40 which is metal and probably heavier than a lot of other options (I have a 300 and it's quite heavy). I don't think you'd find the nib to be as fine as you'd like.

    You could get a Sailor HighAce which would be plenty fine, but it's not heavy. The same goes for the finer of the options on the Platinum Plasir, though it is at least metal (aluminum probably).

    The Lamy al-Star can probably be had for under $40, and the extra fine nib might come close to being fine enough for you. It's not a real heavyweight, but I think it outweighs the Plasir. That would be my suggestion.
  6. Thanks for the input. I have a feeling I'm going to end up with one of the Lamys.
  7. Hero Liseur. Metal, fine nib, full size, snap on cap. It does have a hooded nib though. I have one and like how it writes and feels in my hand.

    Check it out here:

    No affiliation, but a satisfied customer.

    Good luck.

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