My fountain pen collection
To think a few years ago I hated fountain pens.
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I did have a fountain pen – the Parker pen that everyone seemed to have growing up. After school and into university though I became a gel pen kinda gal. Rediscovering fountain pens came thanks to Hobonichi and its lovely Tomoe River paper. This stuff handles fountain pen ink like a dream. I decided to purchase a new fountain pen, just to give it a whirl and fell in love with my writing with it.
Once I started using fountain pens again my collection started growing. It now stands at eight pens I believe (not including the old Parker).
As I’ve built up a modest collection I thought it would make a good post taking you through it!
Platinum – Preppy
The cheap fountain pen that started it all. I picked this fine nibbed pen up for just £4 from Cult Pens. I’m glad I went for fine as it’s a bit thicker than some fines I’ve now used. Had it of been thicker, I may have given up on the pen.
You can get these in a range of colours, but I opted for a nice green. The ink is vibrant but won’t be to everyone’s tastes. You can buy ink cartridges though so you’re not tied to the colour you initially choose. If you want a green pen but need black ink, you can do that easily.
This writes so smoothly. It’s more smooth than some more expensive pens I now have in my collection and I still use this fairly frequently in my meal planning. Next time I place a Cult Pens order I’ll probably pick up some black cartridges for it.
For an introduction to fountain pens, or even as a nice solid pen you really can’t go wrong with this.
TWSBI – Eco
I already knew this was a beautiful pen as I’d researched and purchased one for an ex as a special present. He seemed to really like it and I’d liked it when I tried it so when I wanted to buy myself a ‘proper’ fountain pen, I went for this. Again, I got it in a fine nib.
This pen is my daily driver and I use it almost exclusively in my Hobonichi Cousin. Any weekly spread you see me posting, it’s probably using this pen.
At just £28 this pen is an absolute bargain. I’m no pen expert but it feels like it should be more expensive. It’s sturdy, nice to write with and the piston mechanism for refilling is so easy to use. There’s very little mess or fuss, you just pop the pen nib into the bottle and twist the knob at the end of the pen to fill it up.
It never skips, it’s super smooth and my handwriting is lovely in it.
Pilot – Kakuno
I saw this pen recommended a few places and as I’m a massive Pilot pen fan, I had to try it. This was tricker to get hold of so I ordered one from Etsy*. Delivery wasn’t an issue and there were no customs charges!
This is another cartridge pen but I don’t mind. The Pilot ink is a fantastic rich black.
The fine nib is also the thinnest of all the pens I own. It’s lovely to use in the Weeks. It’s possibly my favourite fountain pen to use in it.
The only issue is the ink is a little wetter than what I use in my pens that don’t use cartridges (which is Diamine ink) so I end up smudging it more than I’d like.
At around £15 though it’s a great pen. Doesn’t feel as well made as the TWSBI (which you wouldn’t expect for half the price) but it writes really nicely and the colour range available means you can probably get it to match your planner very easily.
Kaweco – Perkeo
My first Kaweco pen was this pretty funky looking Perkeo. This never got reviewed because when I went to go and take pictures of it, I realised that I’d lost it.
I then found it about two months later in a bag. It had fallen out of my planner cover!
I actually hated this pen when I first started using it. The fine nib was just way too thick for me (I’d purchased it to use in my Weeks).
It was only when I recently set up my goal planning bullet journal that I started using it regularly in my Leuchtturm. Paired with some shimmery ink it’s a lovely combination. It’s not perfect to write with though as the ink seems to dry out slightly on the nib which makes it skip sometimes. I know it’s not the ink, as it doesn’t have this issue with other pens.
I think this range is discontinued now, so you can find it for a bit cheaper* than I purchased it for.
Kaweco – Sport
This was the most recent addition to my collection. I purchased it because I wanted a smaller pen for carrying in my Hobonichi Ane Pouch.
This is an extra fine nib. As I’ve found with another extra fine I’ve used, I found it a little scratchy.
I also opted for the grey cartridges as they came free, instead of getting a converter. I really regret this and will be picking up a converter the next time I place a Cult Pens order. The ink is just way too washed out. So much so I really don’t like using it.
This was about the same price as the Perkeo* and to be honest I’m a little disappointed. The pen feels a little cheap and flimsy and between that and the scratchiness of the nib means I kind of regret picking this up. I’m hoping with a converter and better ink in that I’ll fall in love with this pen. But for now, it’s collecting dust on my pen holder.
Lamy – Safari
Somehow I now own three of these! I was bought a fine in matt petroleum blue as a gift and absolutely loved it. It’s got the same shimmer ink in as the Perkeo and I just love to use it. It writes beautifully smooth.
My only complaint with this pen is that the barrel comes loose with use. I’m forever having to re-tighten it when I’m writing for long periods of time with it.
It does however write slightly finer than the Perkeo, which I like.
Despite my reservations with the loosening barrel I have purchased two more of these. A matt black in an extra fine nib, and a yellow in a fine to match my Hobonichi Weeks.
The extra fine nib is way too scratchy for me. I’ve also found that two fine nibs from Lamy aren’t necessarily the same. The fine nib on the yellow is not like that on the matt blue sadly.
The nib feels flatter than that on the matt blue and so my writing just isn’t as neat with it. It’s almost like it has a slightly chisel tip to it. Despite being originally purchased to be used with my Weeks it was never used more than a few times.
These are pretty inexpensive pens*, but definitely hit and miss in terms of what you get.
Over 1000 words later, this was my fountain pen collection.
The big thing I’ve learnt is that no two nibs are created equally it seems. Just because I like a fine nib from a manufacturer doesn’t mean other fine nibs made by them are going to work exactly the same.
Given how much I love my TWSBI Eco, I may give this theory a test and pick up another if I see a new colour I like.
In terms of recommendations there’s three I’d absolutely recommend. The Platinum Preppy if you want an introduction to fountain pens; Pilot Kakuno if you want a lovely fine tip and TWSBI Eco if you want a beautifully well made everyday pen.