Best Fountain Pen Reviews 2018

When choosing the right fountain pen for your personal use, its overall design and nib style are important aspects to consider. Picking one can be difficult, given the numerous designs available on the market. Our review of the best fountain pens aims to simplify your choice. It presents you with a carefully selected list of five top pens from some of the best fountain pen brands on the market. Each highlighted product features a unique design, with a touch of sophistication. It’s also worth noting that, although we didn’t cover them in our review, the Montblanc and Pelikan brands deserve an honorable mention for their high-quality fountain pens.
Nib Type
Ink Filling
Size & Weight
Our Top Choice
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen with Black Ink
The Parker Pen Company was established in 1888. It’s famous for its ingeniously handcrafted pens that come in stylish and attractive designs.
Comes with a lacquer-coated metal construction. Its design is elegant and timeless.
Not airtight. This makes the ink dry out fast.
Medium Nib
Lacquer Plated Metal
5.7 Inches Long; 0.4 lbs.
1 Black Ink Refill
Best Value
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
The Lamy company was established in 1930. Over the years, it has grown to become a global leader in the pen manufacturing industry.
Durable ABS plastic body. Lightweight design. Smooth writing nib. Various nib types to pick from.
It does not come with a converter.
Available in many nib grades
ABS plastic
5.5 Inches Long; 0.03 lbs.
5 black & blue Ink Cartridges
Cross Townsend Star Wars Fountain Pen
The Cross Pen Co. was founded in 1846. It’s renowned for its skillfully crafted writing instruments that offer unmatched performance.
Durable aluminum construction. Solid and balanced feel. Attractive and classy.
Fairly expensive.
Medium Nib
5.9 Inches Long; 0.076 lbs.
2 Black Ink Cartridges.
Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen
Waterman pen company has over one and a quarter centuries of experience in creating exceptionally elegant pens that make writing pleasurable.
Durable stainless steel construction. Beautiful design. Writes smoothly.
Nib is hard and may need smoothing to prevent scratchiness.
Medium Nib
Stainless Steel
5.39 Inches Long; 0.056 lbs.
1 Blue Waterman Ink Cartridge
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
Pilot Corporation is a global company with operations in 14 countries. It specializes in writing tools, stationery, and jewelry.
Strong brass body. Highly affordable. Sleek and attractive.
Grip section tends to be small for users with long fingers.
Fine Nib
Brass and Stainless Steel
5.31 Inches Long; 0.055 lbs.
1 Black Pilot Ink Cartridge

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Fountain Pen?

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:

Nib Type

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.

What is the Best Fountain Pen?

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.
Our Top Choice
The Parker Sonnet Matte Black Fountain Pen is 5.7 inches long and weighs 0.4 pounds. It comes with an 18K gold-plated nib. Are you looking for a fountain pen kit with extra ink? We recommend the Parker Urban Black and Gold Fountain Pen Kit. It comes with four ink cartridges and a 2-ounce bottle of ink.
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen with Black Ink – Available in 3 Nib Sizes & 17 Style Colors

Parker Fountain Pen S0817950 – Medium Nib – Matte Black and Gold

When it comes to designing executive pens, the Parker brand has stood the test of time with more than 100 years of experience. The company manufactures ballpoints, fountain pens, inks and ink refill accessories. Parker Pen Company is committed to the continuous improvement of the writing experiences of its clients.

The Parker Sonnet Medium Nib Fountain Pen is stylishly handcrafted for timeless elegance. Its nib is made of stainless steel and is skillfully designed to ensure that ink flows sufficiently, no matter the writing angle. It costs only $101.66 and lasts long, which makes it well worth the money.

In addition, this fountain pen comes in an ergonomic design for added comfort when writing. It also comes in seventeen shades to allow you a wide range of colors to choose from. Its two-year limited manufacturer warranty is a guarantee of quality workmanship.

If the medium nib fountain pen is not what you are looking for, do not panic; Parker has this pen in a fine nib design too.
Best Value
The Lamy Safari Umbra Fountain Pen is 5.5 inches long and weighs 0.03 pounds. Its black steel nib is chromium plated for added durability and exceptional performance. Looking for a fountain pen that’s compatible with the Z24 cartridge converter? Check out the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen – Charcoal with fine nib.
Lamy Safari Umbra Fountain Pen – Charcoal – Fine Nib– Available in 2 Pack Types

Lamy Fountain Pen L17F – Charcoal

The Lamy company embraces innovation and produces some of the best award-winning pen designs in the world. Also, the company manufactures a wide range of products such as multisystem pens, ballpoint pens, propelling pencils, and ink refills. It produces over seven million pens per year that are sold all around the world. The wide range of product designs gives customers the flexibility to pick pens that suit their tastes and preferences.

The Lamy Safari Umbra Fountain Pen features a highly durable ABS plastic body that’s sure to give long years of service. It’s also available in various nib types for added options to pick from. This fairly priced fountain pen comes with six ink cartridges – five black and one blue – so that you can start using it as soon as you get it. It uses the Lamy T10 cartridge but can be modified to accommodate the Z24 converter.
The Cross Townsend Star Wars Fountain Pen is 5.9 inches long and weighs 0.076 pounds. It’s a perfect gift for Star Wars fans. If you need a writing instrument with a stainless steel nib, we recommend the Cross Classic Century, Lustrous Chrome, Fountain Pen. Its cap and barrel are threaded for a secure closing mechanism.
Cross Townsend Star Wars Limited Edition Fountain Pen – Available in 8 Colors & 10 Styles

Cross Fountain Pen AT0046D-40MD – Star Wars/BB-8 – Fountain Pen/Medium Nib

Besides fountain pens, the Cross Pen Co. also manufactures a wide range of products, such as electronic styluses, pencils, ink refills, pencil leads, wallets, and pen cases. The brand has continued to grow in popularity because of its consistency in providing quality and reliable products.

The Cross Townsend Star Wars Fountain Pen is designed with various characters in mind. While R2D2, C-3PO, and Stormtrooper designs are available, our featured pen is made to look like BB-8, the droid from the newest Star Wars movies. Darth Vader is also available, but in a rollerball pen. While its price is somewhat on the higher side, it’s sure to thrill fans of the Star Wars movies, especially the newer ones.

This fountain pen has other features listed below:
  • Comes with a Stars Wars booklet featuring the story of BB-8.
  • Has a 18K gold nib for added classy look.
  • Ink flows flawlessly and dries quickly for efficient writing.
  • Comes with a converter to enable the owner to use bottled ink.
  • Has a Certificate of Authenticity from the designer.
  • Comes in multiple shades and package styles for more options to pick from.
  • Has a lifetime mechanical warranty as a guarantee of quality.
The Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen is 5.39 inches long and weighs 0.056 pounds. It’s ergonomically designed for exceptional user comfort. Need a Parisian-styled fountain pen? We highly recommend the Waterman Expert Black Fountain Pen. It comes with a 23K gold-plated nib.
Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen – Available in 4 Styles & 9 Colors

Waterman Fountain Pen S0920430 – Medium Nib – Stainless Steel

In order to produce top-notch product designs, the Waterman pen company relies on the expertise of highly trained professionals. They use various processes, including hand-crafting techniques, to make writing tools that have won global accolades. A sense of class and luxury is reflected in each of the brand’s products. Moreover, the company strives to provide customers with highly versatile pens that can use different inks.

The Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen is meticulously hand-crafted for a sophisticated and classy look. Its slim frame fits comfortably in the user’s hand for a great writing experience. This fountain pen comes at a pocket-friendly price and is sure to give you value for money.

In addition, the features listed below make many consumers fall in love with this fountain pen:
  • Comes with either gold or chrome trim for an executive look.
  • Comes with a luxurious gift box for stress-free packaging.
  • Features a stylish lacquer finish.
  • Available in various colors and packing styles for multiple options to pick from
  • Has a three-year limited international warranty.
The Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen measures 5.31 inches long and weighs 0.055 pounds. It’s specially designed for everyday use. Need a retro-styled writing tool? Check out the Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen. It comes with a squeeze converter and a black ink cartridge and is available in six colors.
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen with Black Ink – Available in 3 Colors & 4 Styles

Pilot Fountain Pen 91111 – Black – Fine Point Fountain

The Pilot Corporation was founded in 1918 in Japan. Its American subsidiary was established in 1972, and it has since grown to become one of the leading writing instrument manufacturers in the United States. Some of its products include mechanical pens, markers, and highlighters. The company also trades its products under sixteen trademark names, which include VBall, G6, Varsity, and Dr. Grip.

The Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen is designed for a comfortable and balanced feel in the hands. It has an excellent flow of ink and writes smoothly. It’s highly affordable and comes with a converter that allows you to use bottled ink.

And that’s not all! Here are more features of this fountain:
  • Comes in multiple colors to appeal to varied customer preferences.
  • Elegant gift box for hassle-free wrapping
  • Stainless steel nib for added durability
  • Available in both fine and medium nib types
  • Comes with a three-year limited warranty on workmanship.

Get the Best Fountain Pen of 2018!

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.

Our Top Choice
Parker Sonnet Fountain Pen with Black Ink
Best Value
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
Cross Townsend Star Wars Fountain Pen
Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen