WTB: A Fountain Pen

Discussion in 'The Nib' started by Sluggo, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. This is a shot in the dark, but in the interest of doing things the old fashioned way...

    Anyone out there want to part with an average fountain pen? This would be my first so I don't want something that will explode all over my suits.

    Thanks everyone!

    If you don't have one, your suggestions on which pen I should be looking for would be helpful!
  2. There are many choices for new reasonably priced fountain pens and you should try a few to find what pen/nib combo works best for you. Think of the pen like your razor, and the nib like your blade and the B&B mantra...YMMV.

    Aurora makes a fine entry level cartridge pen for under $30. I have several of their pens, both fountain and ball point, and have used them for years without complaint. I promised my young daughter, a budding artist, a fountain pen as a gift and picked her up a resin body Aurora for $20 in Italy this past summer when the exchange rate was at its worst. You can likely do around that if you look hard enough.
  3. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    Check out Duke pens here:


    They are one of the better Chinese pens offered plus they are cheap. This would be a good starter pen.
  4. Sluggo, if you just want to give one a try to see how it suits you, the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen might be a fun first outing.
  5. A Lamy Safari is a nice, inexpensive pen. They are pretty sturdy as well.
  6. Duke is actually a Chinese company that makes its pens in Germany. Sort of like some of the crap straights on the bay... only in reverse... and a good product.

    To clarify that rambling, Duke makes good pens.:cool:

    Edit to add:
    Also at that sight, they sell the Pilot 78G. It's sort of the Tech of the pen world. Cheap, reliable, widely available, and if it's the only one you have, you could have done much worse.

    Also, for Japanese and Chinese fountain pens, add a nib size to get the western equivalent. Asian M= Western F and so on.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  7. I've been a pen freak since I was a little kid. Have a look at these 2 sites as they are both pretty quality pens. The Rotring is more average these days but probably a good starter pen. The Faber Castells are definitely among the higher-end but they are beautifully crafted and the weight and balance to them is simply awesome.
    I have the initial and it is a very sleek looking aluminum pen...the finish is brushed and polished over different parts of the pen. But both will last you a very long time.

    Couldn't find a direct link on the rotring site so...

  8. isellpens.com (no affiliation) has a huge selection of very inexpensive Chinese fountain pens, and great customer service to boot. Duke and Hero pens are generally pretty good although they're manufactured in huge numbers in China so you do run across some quality control issues.

    Lamy pens are generally bulletproof, especially the Safari and Al-Star lines. The Waterman Phileas is easy to find at Staples or Officemax and is generally an excellent starter pen - it's around $40.

    If you want a current production fountain pen and are willing to spend about $75 you can't do much better than a Pelikan m200 from Richard Binder (richardspens.com). Binder is probably the best current "nibmeister," and the Pelikans are reliable and elegant. If you want a vintage fountain pen that's a whole other story - vintage pens are generally vastly superior to current production pens, but you kind of need to know what you're doing to be sure that you're not overpaying.

    EDIT - if you use a cartridge/converter or get a pen with a real filling system I recommend Waterman ink - it's kind of the Proraso of ink, a classic with amazing performance. Pelikan and Parker inks are good too, as are Sheaffer inks (in about that order). Waterman is extremely gentle on the pens and has a great glide on the page. Steer clear of Montblanc ink (and the pens, which are adequate but incredibly overpriced).
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  9. Austin

    Austin Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for the clarification. I certainly agree.
  10. Hey Sluggo, I have an inexpensive fountain pen I bought from New for Men in Canada on eBay. It is no Waterman, but has a nice heft. It is not the smoothest, but it worked for me. Let me know what you think. It take standard international cartridges (I have a million so I'll give you a couple) and an ink well insert (if I can find it).


  11. Agree with much of the above. Dukes are decent pens and extremely good for the price. Also, there are many, many very good fountain pens in the under $100 range. A vintage Parker 51 is one excellent option (can usually be found for about $50).

    If you want more information, I suggest you check out http://www.fountainpennetwork.com. They have some FAQs on this subject and you could also post questions.

    Like the BST here, theirs has many honest people, some of whom might have a pen to sell that matches your needs or just give you excellent advice.
  12. WOW Thanks everyone for the great information...looks like I have somemore internet time in front of me doing research!
  13. A couple of folks here have already mentioned Lamy pens and I thought I would 2nd (or 3rd!) these.

    I've had a bunch of different Lamy pens and have loved them all. A little more on the "modern" side... but I personally love the look of them.

    The Lamy Safari is a great pen (fountain or roller ball!) and its available in a wide range of colors at a reasonable price.
  14. +1 on the Lamy and Waterman Phileas.

    My favorite bottled ink is Noodler's Bulletproof Black. I haven't used cartridges in a long time, but Waterman are readily available.

    Another good site to check out is www.pendemonium.com. No affiliation, but I've bought stuff from them for some time and never had a problem.
  15. And we all forgot to mention that fountain pens are absolutely delightful to write with. I used to basically dislike writing until I started using fountain pens about eight years ago. Changed my whole outlook.

    Go figure, the old-fashioned, non-disposable (and wet as opposed to gel) method works better. It just takes a little more care and a little investment. I actually learned about wetshaving from a posting at FPN (Fountain Pen Network) mentioning it and (I think) directing me to B&B!!

    Sound familiar!? :wink:

    Warning though -- as you'll see from the FPN website -- FP acquisition disorder can be every bit as bad as RAD & SBAD!!
  16. Something I forgot to mention about the Lamy Safari writing tools.. all of the caps have a different mark on top of them (some have an "X" others have a "-".

    So if are like some folks and need to carry a fountain pen, roller ball and mechanical pencil in the inside pocket of your jacket at the same time you can easily distinguish between the different tools without needing to take them out an open the caps... a little gimmick, but one that I love!
  17. I really like my parkers 51. If you want a great classic to test the waters I'd say get one of these.
    I think thefountainpennetwork is a good place to look for one. I got my favorite one there.
  18. An aerometric Parker 51 is probably, without exaggeration, the best fountain pen ever made. Fountain Pen Network is one of the few places where you might be able to get a restored, working model for under $100.
  19. I will, if I may, affirm the recommendation for a Waterman Phileas. $40 gets you a solid pen that tolerates being dropped... unlike the resin-body Mont Blancs.

    (I now have a steel barrel pen because of my drop habit.)

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