Fountain Pens

Resources

Goulet Pens have a great range of resources including tools to compare inks, nibs or different sizes of pens, as well as a glossary and excellent video guides.

Pennaquod will let you search pen blogs for reviews of hundreds of pens.

For discussion, the two main fountain forums are great sources of information: FP Geeks and the Fountain Pen Network. Facebook, too, is a rich source of information on fountain pens and you could do worse that try the Fountain Pens UK group (wherever you are in the world).

The wonderful Pen Addict podcast covers pens of all kinds but particularly, these days, fountain pens.

For vintage pens I’ve found Richard Binder’s site to be incredibly useful. If you’re interested in old Parkers then ParkerPens.net is the place to go; for Esterbrook pens start at Esterbrook.net.

Budget Fountain Pens

If you’re looking to get started with fountain pens, the Lamy Safari (or its clear variant, the Vista) or the Kaweco Classic Sport are both excellent choices. The Platinum Carbon Pen is a great pen for sketching and, if you’d like to dip your toes into the world of calligraphy, the Sheaffer Viewpoint is a good place to start.

Recommended

  • Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen Review I’ve made no secret of my love for Faber-Castell fountain pens. The Loom is one of their cheapest and comes in a range of bright and cheery colours. What’s it like? I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions. This ...
  • Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen review Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen review The Kaweco Classic Sport is the pen I keep in my pocket. This in one pocket, a Pilot Colelo Lumio in the other. It is the perfect pocket fountain pen. The lid screws on so it doesn’t come off unless you want it to. with the lid on the pen is very small. Pocketable, even. Posted, ...
  • Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review Lamy Safari featuredThis site is over three years old and I’ve not reviewed the Lamy Safari until now. How can that be? Perhaps because it’s never been new: the Safari was the first fountain pen I bought as a proper grown up. (Also the first, and so far only, fountain pen I lost.) If you live in ...
  • Lamy Vista Fountain Pen Review Lamy Vista FP clip The Lamy Vista is plastic bodied fountain pen (also available as a rollerball, ballpoint and pencil). It’s available with extra-fine, fine, medium, broad and left-handed nibs at the point of sale but several italic nibs (such as this 1.5mm one) are available as extras. It costs around £14 in the UK and $30 in the ...
  • Pilot Petit 1 Fountain Pen Review Pilot Petit 1 capped The Pilot Petit 1 is a tiny little fountain pen that come in a variety of bright colours. There’s a Petit 2, which is a fibre-tipped pen, and a Petit 3, a brush pen. Price: $3.80 Nib options: fine Barrel options: plastic in black, green, blue-black, pink, orange, blue, light blue, red Filling system: proprietary cartridge Size: 10.8cm capped, 13.2cm ...
  • Platinum Carbon Pen – Sketch and Review Platinum Carbon Pen review The Platinum Carbon Pen is a bit of a legend amongst artists, being recommended by, for example, one of my personal artistic heroes Marc Taro Holmes. Therefore I’m doing something a little different with this review and looking at this pen is for sketching. If you’re wanting to know what it’s like to write with ...
  • Sailor Hi-Ace Neo Fountain Pen Review Sailor are best known for their rather wonderful gold-nibbed pens but an increasing number of their more affordable steel-nibbed pens are becoming available outside Japan. The Hi-Ace Neo is about affordable as a fountain pen can get, coming in at under a tenner. Is it any good? I was able to get this pen at a ...
  • Sheaffer VFM fountain pen review Sheaffer VFM fountain pen capped The Sheaffer VFM is a low cost pen with a metal barrel and plastic section. VFM stands for ‘Vibrant, Fun and Modern’ but that applies more to the other colours this pen is available in than this rather stately and classic looking matt black version. The build quality is absolutely fantastic. It’s a very solidly put together ...
  • Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy Pen Review Sheaffer Viewpoint Calligraphy viewpoint Sheaffer’s Viewpoint Calligraphy pen has been around for quite a while but has recently been updated to the version I have here. Many British school children have used this pen to learn calligraphy particularly as it comes in a very good value kit. I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult ...

Others

Mid-Range Fountain Pens

Recommended

  • Diplomat Aero Fountain Pen Review Diplomat Aero cap and clip I don’t really have a grail pen as such, I think that building up anything to that extent can only lead to disappointment, but I do have a list of pens I really really want. The Diplomat Aero was on that list for a long time but I could never quite pull the trigger on ...
  • Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen review Faber-Castell Ambition fountain pen review The Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood is a beautiful looking pen. I’m a sucker for wood and metal; organic and machined; old and new. Gets me every time. This is a stunning pen. In my big chunky hands this pen is a perfect length and weight but it is a little top heavy when posted and if you ...
  • Italix English Curate Fountain Pen Review Italix English Curate acrylic Italix pens are made exclusively for Mr Pen, a family owned British online pen retailer. The names of the pens in the Italix range are wonderful: The Parson’s Essential, Churchman’s Prescriptor and Viper’s Strike, amongst others. This pen also has a rather splendid name: English Curate. Thank you to Mr Pen for sending this pen for ...
  • Kaweco Brass Sport Fountain Pen Review Kaweco Brass Sport review The Kaweco Classic Sport was my route into the world of fountain pens and I continue to consider the entire Sport fountain pen range to be outstanding. They are a perfect example of a design that is both beautiful and highly functional. Brass is heavy but this pen is quite small so. It feels just about ...
  • Kaweco Liliput fountain pen review Kaweco Liliput fountain pen posted The Kaweco Liliput is a very small metal-barrelled pen. It comes in a variety of finishes and with nibs from extra-fine to extra-broad. This version costs a little over £60 in the UK and a little over $80 in the USA. I doubt it’s possible to make a pen much smaller than this without making it ...
  • Kaweco Student Demonstrator Quick Look Kaweco Student Demonstrator cap band Kaweco are best known for their smaller pens: the Sport and Liliput in particular. I reviewed the Student a while ago and although I liked it, it was eclipsed by the more expensive metal Allrounder. I’ve heard the Allrounder is now discontinued, which is a terrible shame. (It’s still available, at the time of writing, ...
  • Metaxas Stylos Color Fountain Pen Review Metaxas Stylos Color featuredThe Stylos Color is a pen I backed on Kickstarter, designed by a gentleman called Kostas Metaxas. Although, as far as I can tell, it isn’t available to buy anywhere, Kostas has just finished his fourth Kickstarter campaign on a variation of this pen (all but the first one being successful) so there’s a fair ...
  • Namisu Nova Fountain Pen Review Namisu Nova review The Namisu Nova was born of a successful Kickstarter and is now available to buy. Namisu are a British company and that, sadly, is rare when it comes to fountain pens, so I’ve been particularly interested in seeing what they’re doing. The Nova is Namisu’s second pen. It’s available with several barrel and nib options. I ...
  • Pelikan M215 fountain pen review Pelikan M215 fountain pen nib The Pelikan M215 is an amazing pen. It is virtually faultless. It is a piston-filling pen that holds a good amount of ink. The piston mechanism is smooth and has the feel of precision engineering. There is not wiggle or wobble and it glides in the most luxurious way. There is a window just above the ...
  • Tombow Zoom 101 Fountain Pen Review I was very pleased to have a chance to try the Tombow Zoom 101 fountain pen from The Pen Company. Tombow make some of my favourite art supplies and are famous, in particular, for their pencils, but they are not the first company you tend to think of when considering fountain pens. Having spent some ...
  • TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen Review TWSBI Eco review TWSBI spent a long time developing the Eco, apparently to ensure if didn’t suffer from the fragility that has plagued earlier models. Time will tell if they’ve been successful but in the meantime, what is this pen like? Was it worth the wait? Thank you to Pure Pens for sending me this pen to review. Price: $29 ...

Others

Luxury Fountain Pens

When it comes to luxury pens, personal preferences begin to become the most important factor. Nibs should always be good quality but everyone looks for something a little different. Some people like soft flexible nibs, others love the very finest lines, some like nibs that are quite dry, others like nibs that put ink down onto the paper like a hose. My personal preference is for a smooth but fairly firm broad nib with a good flow. I like a pen that puts a lot of ink down.

Recommended

  • Edison Collier Fountain Pen Review The Edison Pen Company’s main business is in custom-made pens, their Signature Line, but they also have this Production Line range, made in the same way but in larger quantities and without the customisation possibilities. The benefit is that they’re cheaper and more readily available. I was lent this pen by The Writing Desk so I ...
  • Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic fountain pen review Franklin-Christoph M02 fountain pen posted The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 ‘Intrinsic’ is an acrylic fountain pen that can be used as a standard international cartridge/converter or as an eye-dropper. It comes in three and a half different colours (black/maroon, black/cherry, smoke and ice, and emerald). This is the smoke and ice version. The barrel is the ice and the section is the ...
  • Franklin-Christoph Model 03 Iterum Fountain Pen Review Franklin-Christoph M03 featured Franklin-Christoph’s Model 03 Iterum is a classically shaped fountain pen that’s available in a couple of different acrylics and with a staggering 22 different nib options. It usually has a clip but my version is a rare clipless version that I bought used. Price: $165 Nib options: there are lots – see here. Masuyama ground nibs cost ...
  • Pelikan M205 Aquamarine Fountain Pen Review Did I need a another Pelikan M200? Apparently I did, because as soon as I saw this special edition aquamarine version I bought it. I also stumped up the extra for a gold nib because Pure Pens were doing the upgrade for a fantastic price. (The total price of the pen was not much more ...
  • Platinum #3776 Chartres Blue Fountain Pen Review It’s no secret that my favourite off-the-shelf pens are Platinum’s #3776 series. Although they are all quite similar to each other, I’m not going to let that stop me reviewing another one when I love them so much. I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. ...
  • Platinum #3776 Sai fountain pen review Platinum #3776 Sai fountain pen review The Platinum #3776 Sai is by far the most expensive pen I own (even though I got it on special offer from Cult Pens). It is also, without doubt, the most beautiful. I have other demonstrators and some look lovely but they don’t sparkle like the Platinum #3776 Sai sparkles. This series is named after Mount ...
  • Platinum President Fountain Pen Review Platinum President trim The Platinum President is a cartridge/converter fountain pen available with nibs from extra fine to broad. The one I’m reviewing has a medium nib. It costs about $220 in the USA or £140 in the UK. It’s available with different barrel colour and trim options for more of your money. The President is quite a large ...
  • Twiss Custom Fountain Pen in Patriotic Acrylic – review and giveaway Twiss Patriotic Acrylic fountain pen unposted John Twiss makes custom pens to order. This is one such pen and as such it is unique. It is also very lovely – and it could be yours! Read on to find out how. The pen is made from what John calls ‘Patriotic Acrylic’. It’s a beautiful combination of shimmery red, blue and silvery white. ...
  • Twiss Marmalade fountain pen review Twiss Marmalade fountain pen review This is a custom made pen from Twiss Pens. It’s the only pen like this and I made up the name myself. Back in April I interviewed John Twiss and reviewed one of his pens. I knew I would need my own Twiss pen and so I asked John to make me a pen to the ...
  • Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Victorian Fountain Pen Review Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Victorian cap I try to keep things at the more affordable end of the price spectrum here on Pens! Paper! Pencils! Although I know that what’s affordable varies dramatically from person to person, I think I’m on pretty safe ground when I say that the Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy Victorian does not fall in that category. It’s from ...

Others

Vintage Fountain Pens

Many people are a little scared by vintage pens but they can be excellent value. The Parker 45 is particularly good as they’re pretty common and of quite simple construction, meaning they have few problems. However, it’s easy to pick up something broken from (for example) eBay, so a better place to begin your search might be at one of the online forums: FP Geeks or the FP Network.

Recommended

  • Parker 45 fountain pen review Parker 45 fountain pen review I’ve avoided reviewing vintage fountain pens up to now because it’s hard to guarantee consistency. Even new pens can vary a little, depending on the effectiveness of a company’s quality control. So many variables can affect the quality of an old pen that it’s impossible to say if a particular model is going to be ...

Others

Pocket Pens

A good pocket pen needs to be small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket, preferably with a screw-on cap so it won’t come undone, but able to lengthen when posted so that it’s comfortable to write with. For me, Kaweco do this better than anyone else. The Classic is a good budget option, the Brass Sport is a robust and better quality alternative, and the Liliput is excellent if you want something really tiny.

Recommended

  • Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen review Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen review The Kaweco Classic Sport is the pen I keep in my pocket. This in one pocket, a Pilot Colelo Lumio in the other. It is the perfect pocket fountain pen. The lid screws on so it doesn’t come off unless you want it to. with the lid on the pen is very small. Pocketable, even. Posted, ...
  • Kaweco Liliput fountain pen review Kaweco Liliput fountain pen posted The Kaweco Liliput is a very small metal-barrelled pen. It comes in a variety of finishes and with nibs from extra-fine to extra-broad. This version costs a little over £60 in the UK and a little over $80 in the USA. I doubt it’s possible to make a pen much smaller than this without making it ...

Others