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Looking for starter fountain pen

I am interested in purchasing a starter fountain pen, preferable a cartridge type and something that won't break the bank...e.g under $50.

There are lots of fountain pen reviews on Youtube, but I really don't know where to begin. I may upgrade at some point to a converter type pen, but for now the cartridge will suit me well.

Any and all suggestions welcomed. :pipe:
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Here’s a couple of solid recommendation lists from heavy hitters in the on-line pen community:



You really can’t go wrong with anything from the big Japanese and German companies - Pilot, Platinum, Lamy, Kaweco, Faber-Castell, etc.

Another one I’d add is the Retro 51 Tornado. It’s at the top end of your price range, but is a great metal-barreled pen with a fantastic nib. Plus, it’s available in many fun designs, including several aviation-inspired models (if that’s your jam).
 
Recently got another Platinum: Platinum Procyon. Comes with three ink cartridges (converter has to be purchased separately, around $6). Love mine (got the blue, Fine nib). It comes with the slip-n-seal cap, so theoretically, you can leave ink in the pen for up to a year and the pen won’t dry out.



 

Ridpath

FIGHTER!
My go to recommendation is the Lamy Safari (plastic cousin to the Al-Star mentioned above). Should be easy to find in any stationery store so you might be able to see one in person before buying - if there’s an open store, that is.

Ask to dip test the pen as well to make sure it’s not a scratchy one, you don’t want to have to adjust the nib out of the box.
 
I would go for a Lamy because the ink flow is pretty wet and consistent - avoiding issues you can run into with other brands and you can easily upgrade the nib yourself to a gold one at later date.
 
I see the Lamy Vista is also available in a left handed model (I'm a lefty). I believe it may have something to do with the triangular finger grips? Any lefty out there use the Lamy Vista?

Lots of good suggestions so far. The Pilot Metro and Lamy Vista look ike a nice empty options.
 

Ridpath

FIGHTER!
I see the Lamy Vista is also available in a left handed model (I'm a lefty). I believe it may have something to do with the triangular finger grips? Any lefty out there use the Lamy Vista?

Lots of good suggestions so far. The Pilot Metro and Lamy Vista look ike a nice empty options.
I believe the triangular grips on the Safari, Vista and Al-star are ambidextrous. The term you’re after, if you’re looking for more pens that are transparent, is ‘demonstrator’. The Vista is basically a demonstrator Safari.
 
I see the Lamy Vista is also available in a left handed model (I'm a lefty). I believe it may have something to do with the triangular finger grips? Any lefty out there use the Lamy Vista?

Lots of good suggestions so far. The Pilot Metro and Lamy Vista look ike a nice empty options.
.

I can see swmbo right now and in her left hand is a purple coloured Lamy AL. She even uses the one I had (right handed) seem to be exactly the same.
 
I see the Lamy Vista is also available in a left handed model (I'm a lefty). I believe it may have something to do with the triangular finger grips? Any lefty out there use the Lamy Vista?

Lots of good suggestions so far. The Pilot Metro and Lamy Vista look ike a nice empty options.

Our oldest kid is right handed, he has a Lamy. Matte black, great looker. Our youngest kid is left handed as well, and he has the same Lamy that is his favorite. It is this pen: LAMY Safari Yellow Fountain Pen - https://www.pwakkerman.com/en/lamy-safari-yellow-fountain-pen-(c)1308112/info/

I am not a big fan of the grips, so give it a try if you can.
I do like the TWSBI's a lot, not sure if they come with a cartridge.

I know Pelikan come, but they might be out of your budget, but it can be found under 100 euros.
The M200 series is a great pen though.
Here it is: Classic zwart - https://www.pelikan.com/pulse/Pulsar/nl_NL.FWI.displayShop.257709./classic-zwart?variant=162213
 
I see the Lamy Vista is also available in a left handed model (I'm a lefty). I believe it may have something to do with the triangular finger grips? Any lefty out there use the Lamy Vista?

Lots of good suggestions so far. The Pilot Metro and Lamy Vista look ike a nice empty options.
That should read..."look like nice entry options"...not empty.
 
In case you are wondering where I am going with all this...I recently read Betty Edward's book "Drawing on the right side of the brain". She has a chapter in the book on how to improve your handwriting. And my handwriting is terrible, barely legible to even myself and always has been. And one of my pandemic isolation projects is to try and improve my handwriting. I thought a fountain pen would assist in this endeavour. Thank you for all your suggestions. :pipe:
 
Interesting...not sure why they market a left handed model...
Left handed nib, I know bit there is such a thing. Again the wife rights with her left hand like a right handed person and as such has no need for a left handed nib, she does not smudge as she keeps her palm and fingers away from the page. Strange to see for the 1st time but works for her.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
@Rusty Blade Bravo for working on your penmanship! :a14:In my experience, fountain pens won't automatically make your hand writing look better (okay, it does a little bit, I think), but it will make writing a much more pleasurable experience. And that will encourage you to write a lot and practice your handwriting. Plus, fountain pens are just cool. Its nice to slow down a little and do things the old school way. Very much like traditional wet shaving with soap, brush, and single-blade razor.

From what I have heard and read, opinion varies widely on Lamy's "left-handed" nib, which probably reflects the fact that lefties tend to write differently from one another (over-writers, underwriters, etc) more so than righties. Go ahead and get one, if you want, but it is by no means a necessity. A bigger consideration is probably the ink, as lefties are usually more likely to have smudging issues. Having said that, the standard-type inks that come in cartridges are usually fairly quick drying and shouldn't be a problem. Its when the pen virus mutates to the ink virus, that you'll need to be careful. 😜
 
Platinum Preppy or Lamy. Both are good, and reasonably priced. More to the point, you can get them online (I've got both. My hanmdwriting is HORRID, and they help make it legible, to a point, so to speak ;) ).
 
I clicked purchase on a Pilot Metro with some extra cartridges. This will get me started and if I progress I will likely upgrade. I am guessing fountain pens can be a deep rabbit hole? I am prone to falling in these kinds of holes. But I must say it does look Interesting. Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Moderator Emeritus
OK lads, we've hooked another one.

I used to recommend the Pilot 78G, great daily user, I like it much more than the heavier metal Metropolitan. The Japanese made ones -- I've read and understand they are now made in China and the quality isn't quite there any longer. Some older ones are still out there and maybe the new production isn't all bad.

1589476105637.png
(pic from Peyton Street Pens)
 
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