Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen
Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen
Despite the undeniable practicality of a ballpoint pen in today’s world, it is difficult to replace the classical elegance of the traditional fountain pen. Each pen is an extremely personal writing implement. As you wear it in, it molds itself to the way that you write, becoming a truly unique representation of your writing style.
To help you find that perfect pen for special occasions and every day use, we have looked at ten of the best fountain pens on the market, with differing designs and functions to fit every writing style.
The Best Fountain Pens
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen
Pilot specialize in all different types of writing equipment, from the modern gel roller, to mechanic pencils, and of course, high-quality fountain pens. The Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen combines modern convenience and style with some of truly classical features from the traditional fountain pen.
The pen itself is built from premium materials, with a brass barrel and a nib crafted from stainless steel. There are two types of nib available; medium or fine, which allows you to select a style that fits your writing requirements. The main barrel is sleek and attractive, with a matte finish that creates a beautifully refined look.
One of the best features of the Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen is the addition of the press plate converter, which comes included with the pen, along with a black ink cartridge. The press plate converter allows for an easy transition between ink cartridge use, and ink bottle use – giving you full control over how you use your new instrument from our best fountain pens guide.
- Weight15.4 ounces
Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen
The second additional from Pilot on our list, the MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen, is a fine addition to any collection. The design of the fountain pen really stands out, forgoing the classical elegant look, and instead creating a pen that is truly memorable with a fun retro design.
The grey finish with hound’s tooth accent is one of the more understated designs in the MR Retro Pop collection, with multiple different alternative designs to choose from; featuring varying accents, and bold, fun colors. With so many designs available in the range, it is easy to customize the style of pen to your tastes.
Each Pilot features a beautiful matt finish, with the same high-quality nib made from stainless steel, and a brass barrel. The MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pens are designed for use with either bottle ink or ink cartridges, with a black ink cartridge coming included with the pen, along with a squeeze converter for use with Iroshizuku ink bottles.
- Weight3.2 ounces
Cross Townsend Medalist Fountain Pen
Cross is the all-time favored fountain pen brand, and when you look at the sheer luster of this beauty, it’s clear as to why. Plated in 23K gold with an ultra-fine nib, this masterful piece of equipment drips with status and style, whether it’s resting on your desk or being handed-off to a colleague for a moment, it’s bound to leave a lasting impact. Cross brought over one dozen styles to the table, so you can choose from your favorite.
Polished chrome makes up most of the case, while a hand-finished 18K gold nib adds a regal feel to every note and contract you sign-off on. You get two black ink cartridges included, as well as a deluxe gift box for storage and showcasing. Subtle, high-end and built to withstand the test of time, Cross Townsend Medalist Fountain Pen stands as a cornerstone to their success and an extension of yours.
- Weight1.12 ounces
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Charcoal
The exquisite design of the Safari Fountain Pen by Lamy has a wonderfully unique grip and a well-designed ABS plastic barrel. Lamy pens perfectly combine style and function, putting a lot of emphasis on the practicality of the writing instruments that they produce.
With a charcoal body and a steel nib with black coating, the Lamy is undeniably an original choice, standing out from the other fountain pens available. Each pen comes with a blue ink cartage included and are also compatible with Z24 cartridge converters. If you enjoy fountains with a difference, this is a wonderful option to go for.
- Weight0.96 ounces
The ArtPen, designed by rOtring, is an addition to our list that is a little different. Instead of classical designs, and traditional styling, the ArtPen has a primary focus on practicality and variance. The rOtring features a nib similar to that of a traditional quill, but the style and design of a fountain instrument.
There are multiple types and styles of nib available, each of which is crafted from stainless steel, and features an easy replacement design. The nibs can be rotated through all the varying ArtPen designs produced by rOtring, for incredible practicality and ease of use.
Whether you are just starting out and learning how to write with a fountain pen or are seeking a writing implement to enhance your artwork and further your skills in calligraphy, the rOtring Fountain Pen, ArtPen is a fantastic choice.
- Weight0.32 ounces
Pilot Vanishing Point Collection Retractable
Another outstanding offering from Pilot, the Vanishing Point Collection Retractable Fountain Pen, offers the convenience of a ballpoint with the elegance of penmanship from a beautifully constructed tool. The retractable nib is a winning feature and sees the nib able to easily retract back into the body of the pen, much like in the standard ballpoint pen designs.
The modern design of black carbonesque highlighted with rhodium accents, is a standout choice, with further options available for brighter and more classical styles. Medium, broad, and fine nibs are available, crafted in 18 karat gold. The luxurious fountain pen will be an outstanding addition to any collection, featuring both practicality, and elegance with premium materials used from the metal body to the golden nib.
- Weight3.2 ounces
For a fountain pen that is crafted from high-quality materials, the Scribe Sword Fountain Pen is an outstanding choice. The Scribe Sword is a wonderful combination of antique styling mixed with contemporary design, combining traditional delicate accents, with a beautifully sleek and well-crafted finish.
The pen is not just beautiful, but highly practical for everyday use, whether you are experienced with fountain pens or not. The ink flow is consistent, and the balance of weight is ideal for finer writing. The medium precision nib is customized to glide across the paper, ensuring that you get the best possible experience during use.
- Weight9.6 ounces
Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen
The Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen is at the premium end of our list of top fountain pens and another spectacular addition from Lamy. The pen itself is exceptionally high-quality, weighing more than many similar pens. Despite the weight, it is easy to use for prolonged periods of time.
Crafted from a mixture of fiberglass and stainless steel, the Lamy is a luxury writing implement from body to nib. The nib is available in extra fine, fine, medium, and broad, for varying writing styles and needs. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this luxury fountain pen is the 14-karat gold nib with a platinum coating – an assurance that you’re getting nothing but the highest quality of writing implement. The fountain pen is a highly worthwhile investment for those who want a high-quality pen with excellent all-around performance.
- Weight0.96 ounces
Faber-Castell E-Motion Fountain Pen
Designed by Faber-Castell, the E-Motion Fountain Pen is created for ease of use, without compromising on the quality of the finish or the beautiful styling. The cap and clip are colored in pure black, making for a stylish and modern finish. The pen is heavy and well-balanced, feeling substantial when you use it, but without making it difficult to use for prolonged lengths of time.
Unlike many of the other fountain pens in this higher price region, the elegance of the Faber-Castell the E-Motion Fountain Pen in unstated, with the diamond-engraved barrel serving both as a decorative feature and an aid to make the pen easier to use. If you’re more accustomed to the style of ballpoint pens, then this pen is especially wonderful, with plenty of similarities in design.
With a quality fountain pen like the Faber-Castell E-Motion, you have ultimate control over the way your writing appears, with the pen allowing you to change the color, thickness, and calligraphy, with ease after a bit of practice. While there are plenty of benefits to writing with a fountain pen, you need to make sure that you pick a style, and nib, that’s right for you, and practical for your needs- this is a great all-rounder.
- Weight5.6 ounces
TWSBI Diamond 580
A technical spectacle for all fountain writing instrument enthusiasts to adore: the Diamond 580 comes with a piston ink-filling system, meaning you don’t have to replace entire cartridges at a time. Seeing this in action is almost as satisfying as writing with it, from the smooth glide, right on down to the case and how it operates under your influence.
One unique feature is that this can be completely disassembled during the filling process, so you can experience first-hand how the intricacies of your fountain pen work. Fitted with an engraved tip and comfortable grip, you’ll turn your signature into an art piece, and your penmanship into a gift from God. If nothing else, premiering it on your desk is an excellent talking point.
- Weight1.76 ounces
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Fountain Pen
Tip Size - This affects so much more than most give it credit for. First and foremost, the size is going to partially dictate the flow, which in turn determines how quickly your ink is going to run out. Furthermore, it’s how you’ll know how large the lines will appear.
Tip Shape - The shape defines how cleanly and at what orientation the lines appear.
Ink Filling System - You’re mostly going to run into a standard/piston ink-filling system, or cartridge reloads. Cartridges bring fewer chances of making a mess with the ink, while standard/piston systems are a little more involved. If you’re an aficionado, the latter may be preferable.
Body Design and Material - The best fountain pens come with a slew of different designs, including clips, ergonomic grips, and textured surfaces. One of the most important aspects of this pen is the material, which will also define the weight. A solid, weighted pen will last through every letter, contract and signature you use it for.
Weight - Holding a weighted pen gives purpose to whatever you’re writing down. When you grab a cheap Bic ten-for-one pen, you’d might as well be scribbling down a cartoon. The weight comes from the materials, which also help define the worth.
Size - Referring to the length, the size defines how well you’ll be able to handle it. Most of these pens fall within a uniform length to properly distribute weight between the ink reservoir/cartridge, and the rest of the pen and its materials.
How to Fill a Fountain Pen
Cartridge - Similar to the reservoir pen style, you’ll have to turn the converter counterclockwise. You’ll have to also pull (gently) at the nib until the cartridge seat releases. Take your new one, and simply replace where the old one was. Be sure to dispose of these properly.
Reservoir - This is guaranteed to get you excited. You’ll have an ink reservoir, just like in the good old days, and you’ll dip the nib right into it. Turn your pen’s converter counterclockwise, and your internal reservoir will begin filling up with ink. Do this carefully and slowly, and if you can help it, never overfill your pen.
Q: Should You Wash Your Fountain Pen?
A: From time to time, you’re going to have no choice. With a standard ballpoint, it gets jammed, we toss it out, no big deal. With these, you can still get that same jam from fibers, dust, and ink that settles and dries, creating a muck.
Cleaning your new instrument is relatively easy, so long as you know the internal anatomy of how it operates. For ink reservoir models, simply fill it up with water, and apply gentle pressure until the water runs clear. You may need to repeat this process one to three times. You’ll know you’ve done a good job when the nib is completely clear from buildup.
For cartridge pens, you’re only going to need to clean out the nib. This requires a bit more of a hands-on approach since you won’t be using pressure to allow the water to flow. Rinse this under a strong current from your faucet, being careful not to drop it.
Q: Do Fountain Pens Work the Same on All Paper?
A: You can use your fountain pen on just about any type of paper, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to look good. Fountain pens were invented in 1827, way before we had industrialized production of paper. The main design has only come so far because there’s no need to mess with a good thing. These are the results you’ll get from different types of paper you see on a daily basis.
Delivery Receipts - If you’re answering the door for the pizza guy, you likely aren’t going to have your fountain pen on you. Whether it’s a delivery receipt while you’re out and about, or simply signing your name over a credit card on a restaurant receipt, you’ll notice that you have to take a light approach so your ink doesn't run.
Printing Paper - Doable, but definitely not preferred. Ink bleeds through this ultra-thin paper far too often, turning an art form into an inky mess. Printing paper does come in higher grades, such as those used to draft up contracts and important documents. For those, take the fountain, and fire away.
Semi-Gloss Paper - We’ve all had a pamphlet from the mail sitting idly by, and tried to draw on it when taking down notes. You can’t really get away with this, otherwise, it’s going to feather and potentially run depending on the thickness of the glaze.
Photo Paper - Gloss or glaze will run horribly, but matte finished photographs are a canvas you rarely get to experience. You’ll need a high-quality ink that doesn’t mess with the photo quality, and you’ll have an absolute blast. Much like semi-gloss paper, this will feather and split when you try to sign glossed photos.
Q: Is Ink Waterproof?
A: The short answer, no, it isn’t. Ink that’s made for fountain pens are very specific, and most formulas are going to dissipate in water. If you’ve ever seen an animation of ink spreading through clear, clean water before, that’s basically what happens.
Your ink expands and swims through water. If water hits the page you’re writing on, it’s going to run the ink, even if it’s been dry for over twenty-four hours. Fountain pen ink is very unique: it’s far more permanent and everlasting than basic dime-store pen ink, but also water permeable to a fault.
Waterproof ink provides a little more protection, which may make a difference when it comes to light spills on documents, but ultimately won’t do anything if a document gets waterlogged.