When it comes to fountain pens, there are many people who actually collect them and even use them as a show of status. People have even been known to pay thousands of dollars for the best fountain pen. The uninitiated may wonder why someone would pay so much for a pen. Truth be told, the differences between a regular ballpoint pen and a fountain pen are vast as it pertains to function and even style. Where the ballpoint pen requires a bit of pressure to write, the fountain pen allows for virtually effortless writing as the ink sits at the nib allowing a natural flow from the moment it touches the paper.
The nib, which is the metal tip of the pen, is one of the most important factors in your choice of a fountain pen. The nib will determine how your fountain pen writes and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from extra fine to broad or rounded to shaped. Each factor will determine not only the size of your stoke lines but also the shape as well. Having a nib with a medium tip will allow for medium-sized stoke lines while a nib with a shaped tip will allow you to vary the stokes’ size depending on how you angle the pen.
Here are some things to consider when you are shopping for the best fountain pen:
The size and shape of the fountain pen’s tip will play a big factor in the outcome of your writings and should most definitely be considered. The size of the nib, whether extra fine or broad, will determine the line size while the shape will determine the style of your text. A nib with a rounded tip will have a uniform stroke, while those with shaped tips will allow for a variation in line width depending on the angle of the tip.
Not only does the tip of a fountain pen vary in its design, so does the overall body. There are some fountain pens that are made on the slender side while others can be a bit thicker. While this will have no direct effect on your writings, it can affect your comfort when using your pen. If your hands are small, you may not want a pen that is big in diameter and vice versa.
Ink Well System
The majority of fountain pens utilize cartridges. However, there are others that can draw up the ink directly from the bottle, or via a syringe or eye dropper where the ink is filled into the pen’s barrel.
The type of fountain pen you choose depends on what your style preference is as well as purpose. If you want a fancier pen that you will use occasionally, then maybe you don’t mind an ink system that takes a little extra time. On the other hand, if you plan to use your fountain pen regularly, you may want a pen that is super comfortable and easy to refill when ink gets low.
To help in your search for the perfect fountain pen for you, we have reviewed and listed what we believe to be some of the best fountain pens. If you’d like to see a list of the pros and cons of some of the best fountain pens, then read below.
Best Fountain Pen Reviews
This Vintage style fountain pen by Dryden Designs is incorporated with ergo-comfort technology to make writing comfortable whether you are left or right-handed. With a medium sized nib and a converter which is included, the Dryden Designs fountain pen is great for use with bottled ink. If you prefer to use cartridges, this fountain pen can accommodate both. If you are new to calligraphy or just fountain pens in general, your purchase will come with instructions that will help you with using your fountain pen. And, if you are gifting this pen to someone, it comes inside of a nice little velvet pouch.
- Allows for the option to refill ink via the bottle or a cartridge.
- The converter is included.
- Very nice looking pen with many color options.
- This Dryden fountain pen only uses specific ink cartridges.
The Wordsworth and Black fountain pen not only comes with ink, but it also comes with six cartridges at that. This fountain pen is ready to use straight out of the box and also uses a converter for ink refill versatility. Not only does the Wordsworth and Black fountain provide options when it comes to refilling ink, but this pen is also compatible with right or left-handed users. With the free ink cartridges, gift case and instructions that are all included, this Wordsworth and Black fountain pen would make a nice gift that is ready to use.
- Uses standard refills.
- Can be used with bottled ink as well as cartridges.
- Cannot change the nibs
This Vanishing Point fountain pen by Pilot is definitely one of my favorites for the retractable feature alone. I find that being able to have this option significantly helps prevent the ink from drying out or damage to the nib. I like this fountain pen for its functionality but more so the look of it. Although this pen style comes in a number of different colors, the matte black is one of my favorites. The black on black with the matte finish just looks incredibly sleek and is one of the features that sold me. The other colors have a gold plated nib which adds to the look of the pen as well.
- Comes with an ink cartridge that is filled and ready to use as well as a converter.
- Nicely made.
The Gentleman Collection Picasso 902 has to be one of the nicest designs I’ve seen in a fountain pen. As the name implies, the Gentleman Collection definitely looks very elegant with such detailed design. The Picasso fountain pen has a medium tip with a slight curve and uses bottled ink.
- This pen has such an elegant design.
- Comes with a converter.
- May only be used with bottled ink which is not included.
Although this fountain pen by Lamy is very affordable, it has a nice sleek look and a comfortable body style. The tip of this fountain pen is fine which would be great for a calligrapher or anyone needing some detail in their work. This fountain pen by Lamy comes ready to use with an ink cartridge and can even be used with a converter also.
- This fountain pen by Lamy is compatible with an ink cartridge as well as a converter.
- The nib is interchangeable.
These Varsity fountain pens by Pilot are a really inexpensive way to get the benefits of a fountain pen along with the conveniences and options of an everyday ballpoint. The multi-pack comes in a variety of colors eliminating the need for purchasing multiple ink cartridges if color interests you. And because the ink levels are visible, you don’t have to worry about running out of ink in the middle of a project or writing session. This pen would be awesome for a journaler, calligrapher or anyone who wants a fountain pen with a little flair.
- Very affordable and convenient.
- Pens are pre-filled and ready to go.
- Pens are disposable so no need for ink re-filling.
The design of this Vintage Collection Bamboo fountain pen by Luxun is nothing short of stunning. With a combination of bamboo and solid brass, this fountain pen is just as pleasing visually as it is functionally. The nib is made to release ink at a smooth and steady flow regardless of what position it is in when in use.
The bamboo that this fountain pen is constructed with is environmentally friendly as is the case that comes in. With the beauty of the pen itself as well as the case, this fountain pen would make a really nice gift. Just be sure to purchase your ink cartridge since it is sold separately.
- Very nice, modern, eco-friendly design.
- Comes with cartridges and converter but the ink is not included.
From function to design, this Classic Century style of fountain pen comes in a variety of finishes from Chrome to blue and has a nib that is plated in 23kt gold. The nib is fine which allows for more detailed lines whether writing or calligraphy. To add to the classic element, this fountain pen can also be used with a converter if you’d prefer to use bottled ink.
- Classic and stylish design.
- The fine nib can be great for caligraphers
This fountain pen offers a lot in the way of style, functionality, and convenience. The matte finish with the blade shaped clip makes this fountain pen stand out in a subtle but sophisticated way. The extra fine tip is great for detailing that is ready to use as this Kaco fountain pen comes with two ink cartridges. Although it doesn’t come with a converter, the Kaco fountain pen may be used with a converter and is compatible with multiple ink cartridges as well.
- May be used with cartridges or via a converter ink system.
- Compatible with multiple ink cartridges.
This fountain pen by Rotring has a sleek tapered design that is lightweight comfortable while the threading above the tip allows for maximum grip. These features combined with the threading above the extra fine tip could make this fountain pen a great choice for drawing, calligraphy, et cetera.
- Comes with two ink cartridges that are pre-filled.
- Can be used with a converter as well as the cartridges.
When it comes to choosing a fountain pen, the choices can range greatly depending on what your personal preference and the ultimate goal is. Are you an occasional user who is more of an aficionado when it comes to fountain pens? Or are you an artist that does lots of detailed drawings or calligraphy? Answering these questions will help you decide whether to get a fountain pen that has a medium or extra fine tip, takes ink via a cartridge or a converter, as well as whether to opt for a pen on the lighter side or a little heftier.
And of course, how much you are willing to pay for your fountain pen is also something to consider. In any event, I hope that this review was helpful to you in deciding which fountain pen is best for you.