Fountain pens are vintage and classical pens whose origins date back to the 18th century. Lewis Waterman patented the first fountain pen in 1884, whereas M. Bion designed the oldest pen in existence today in 1702. As one of the premium pen types on the market, the pens have become increasingly popular, and this has led to their mass production.
Although gel pens and ballpoint pens
have taken the writing industry by storm, none can replace the classy aura and traditional aspect of fountain pens. Manufacturers are continuously coming up with modern designs to entice those who still love these vintage pens.
Fountain pens are easy to write with because of their easy writing mechanism and construction. They support smooth writing so you don’t have to apply pressure for the ink to flow easily onto your paper. Also, since the pens are reusable, they are environmentally friendly. Reusing these pens makes them cost-effective as well, because you can use one for years before replacing it.
Made by popular and reliable companies, fountain pens are of premium quality and built to last. The pens, just like pencils
, are also perfect for elegant and stylish writing, or if you simply want to enhance your style of handwriting. With these vintage pens, you can write sharp and clear words. For just a few dollars, the pens are a good investment you can keep for years.
Fountain pens also make perfect gift ideas, especially to students or those dear to us who love art or writing. According to medical science, vintage ink pens are good for people with hand arthritis to help relieve tension in their muscles. Available in various styles, colors, designs, materials, and even filling systems, you can choose from almost any ink color of your preference. You can also use it as a calligraphy pen
The low weight and contoured grip sections of fountain pens promote comfortable writing experiences. Since you’re able to write for longer, the pens are ideal for students in higher-level educational institutions, as they often have to write copious notes. They’re easy to repair with parts readily available. They also keep away clutter, and their elegant nature makes them just cool to own.
Fountain pens vary in price based on the material they’re made of, nib type, ink filling system, style, and other extra features they come with. For instance, vintage and classic pens are more valuable, hence, their prices can go up to about $450. There are also moderately priced pens that cost between $30 and $100, while budget designs can cost less than this.
Cheap fountain pens might be of poor quality and even blot ink on your writing pad or paper. They might also not last long enough to support your long-term writing needs, not to mention being uncomfortable when in use. Expect to pay more for premium-quality pens you can use for a long time. Look out for pens being sold in packs for a bargain price, especially if you’re buying them for more than one person.
Fountain pens are designed to support smooth writing, among other great benefits. The type of nib you choose determines the kind of writing you get. Choosing the right material for your pen will help it to last longer. You also need to decide whether you want a vintage pen with high value or just a modern design to support your writing needs.
Here are the important features to look for in a fountain pen:
- Nib type, such as round, fine, broad, italic, etc.
- Ink filling system, such as cartridge, dip-ink, etc.
- Material, such as metal or plastic
- The right size and weight for your hands
- Extras, such as keepsake box, comes with ink, collector’s item, etc.
With the right fountain pen, you can enjoy writing for prolonged periods without developing hand fatigue or cramping, and the pen will last for many years to come.
Construction and Design
Shopping for fountain pens? Here are some important factors to consider so you get the best pen for your style, type of paper, and other specific needs:
The nib of a fountain pen is its writing tip, and this is responsible for determining how it writes. Nib sizes can be broad, fine, medium, or extra fine. The tip size you choose determines the thickness of the lines you’ll write. Unlike other brands of fountain pens, Japanese pens have finer nib sizes. Opt for extra-fine or fine nib sizes if your handwriting is small. For larger handwriting, consider broad or medium nib sizes.
Also choose between italic and round nib shapes. Just like regular ballpoint pens, round nib shapes, the most common type, create lines of the same width irrespective of your writing direction. However, depending on your writing direction and stroke, italic-shaped nibs create lines with varying widths. They make thin horizontal and wide or thick vertical strokes. Opt for round nibs if you’re a first-time user.
Ink Filling System
Although all fountain pens use ink, they use different filling systems. Your preference for ink capacity, convenience, and preferred ink colors, or a combination of the three should determine the kind of ink filling system you opt for. Ink cartridges are convenient, simple, and the most common filling system.
However, they limit the ink colors you can use. Whereas some are universal for use across brands, others are only compatible with specific brands. Use converters with your pen for unlimited ink colors. On the downside, converters have a lower ink capacity. Built-in filling systems use vacuum or piston techniques to draw ink directly from the bottle. They have a larger capacity than converters and cartridges.
Eyedropper pens, on the other hand, have the largest capacity and use syringes or eyedroppers to draw ink into the reservoir in the pen’s barrel. You can convert your cartridge pen into an eyedropper pen.
Metal and plastic are the materials commonly used to make fountain pens. Whereas steel and brass pens are heavier and more costly, those made of aluminum or plastic are lighter.
Size and Weight
Choose a fountain pen of the right size to fit in your hands, preventing cramping and hand fatigue. Decide whether you want a light or heavy pen.
Performance and Ease of Use
Choose between capped and retractable pens; the latter are suitable if you fear losing your caps. Decide whether convenience, ink capacity, or a choice of colors are important to you. Buy a fountain pen with a combination of the three if they’re all of importance to you and your writing needs. Make sure it’s easy to set up for use and to clean in case you need to use ink of a different color. Most importantly, the pen should be easy to maintain for prolonged use.
Since pens write differently on different papers, choose one that’s suitable for the type of paper you intend to use. However, opt for a fountain pen that writes well on most papers, if not all, to get value for your money. Although most inks are water-based, they’re of different quality and types. Find quality ink that doesn’t corrode pens or blot on paper. If you intend to use your pen for long, buy quality ink and a fountain pen that is durable.
Since you now know how to pick the best fountain pen on the market, it’s important we review the highlighted features of the selected top five fountain pens from renowned manufacturers. We hope you will find each of the featured products special in terms of performance. As you pick your preferred pen, make sure it suits your taste and writing needs.
Now that you’ve gone through our review of the best fountain pens, we hope that you’ve found one that suits you. If you still wish to sample more options from these trusted brands, click the links on this review page for more details.