Do you have an ink dependence? I can help...

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

Hi folks,
It's the first annual Fountain Pen Day, so it's the day to spread a little pen-related goodness to your friends, family and coworkers. If you're in the office today, hand your FP to a friend and say "Hey! Try this!"

I posted about this new "holiday" on Facebook, and I got some interest from friends who haven't tried fountain pens before, and wanted some suggestions for a good starter-pen. That got me thinking, and I wrote up a "short list" of good pens to get started with. These are the ones that came to mind, and I welcome your additions!

Looking for a good fountain pen for under/around $30? Here are a few suggestions:

The Sheaffer VFM is a solid entry level fp for about $15.

The Pilot Metropolitan is brand new, and priced at $15. I've got one on order now.

The Kaweco Sport is a great pen for $23.50. Fits easily in a pocket, and it comes in a variety of nib sizes.

You can't go wrong with a Lamy pen. The Safari and Vista are priced at $28, and they are an excellent workhorse pens. I like the extra weight of the Vista, but both are really good. 

At $25 we have the Lamy Nexx which is a newer Lamy model whose style folks either love or hate. It's got the same good nibs and such from the Safari and Vista, but it has an aluminium barrel instead of plastic.

If you want a classier version of the Safari, the Al-Star comes in at $36 with all aluminum construction.

I don't have any affiliation with any of these companies, but I've ordered from all of them and they're good folk. The pictures below are taken from the companys linked above, and aren't my own.

The Sheaffer VFM: 

The Pilot Metropolitan:

The Kaweco Sport: 

The Lamy Vista: 

The Lamy Nexx: 

The Lamy Al-Star:
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Glen Starrett said...

Do you have any recommendations for starter inks? I see lots of reviews, but with no point of reference I've no idea which ink I'd try after my "starter sample" runs out.

FWIW, my pen came with a Chesterfield ink sample. It seems find to me.. but again, I've never tried any other.

Mike Matteson said...

Hi Glen,
What kind of pen did you get? I'm guessing that it came from if you have a Chesterfield sample. Chesterfields are really re-branded Diamine inks, so if you like it you might try out some more of that brand.

The best advice I can give (without knowing more) is to go to or and find some ink samples that look good to you.

Glen Starrett said...

Hi Michael - Thanks for the quick reply. It's a Bulow pen (X450 Wald) that I got from Amazon (it's a vintage-style pen I got as a prop, but I really like the pen).