Ookla the Wyrmslayer

Any Fountain Pen Writers?

234 posts in this topic

Any fountain pen writers out there? I fell down the rabbit hole last year after picking up a Lamy Safari with some book vouchers, and now I'm just spending even more time writing things down than before. Favourite pens/inks?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No but I’m curious; do they bleed through normal notebook paper like a sharpie? What are the benefits over a normal ball point? How long does a normal cartridge last? 

A fountain pen is kind like a yeti cup or Hydro Flask water bottle (both around $50). Extremely cool but hard for me to justify the price with cheaper options available.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll split the answer into points:

-Yes and no: whenever bleeding is concerned, it always comes down to three factors—the pen, the ink, and the paper. Some kinds of cheap paper hold up well to fountain pens, some expensive notebooks feather and bleed like toilet paper. Some inks are dry, which helps restrict the result. Some are wet which means bleeding. Pens that are wet (put out a lot of ink) and have a very broad nib (thick lines) will result in disaster on bad paper. For best results with cheap paper, you want a dry pen with a dry ink that puts down a thin, fine line. 

-Mostly it's in terms of pressure. A ballpoint requires you to press down on the page. A fountain pen that is in good working condition (note: not all pens start out that way!) will write the moment it is touched to paper, due to its own weight. There are arguments that fountain pens are more eco-friendly since you refill them directly or refill cartridges but I'm not convinced and the only back of the envelope calculation we have shows it's indeterminate. Basically: you do get some special nibs, which you can't with a ballpoint. Nibs that are bouncy just gives really great tactile writing experience but that's my personal preference not everyone shares. The last thing is ink: you can get ink with remarkable shading, sheen, and shimmer, and now even multi-coloured inks. That isn't possible with ballpoints and the ink was the original draw factor for me. 

-How long a normal cartridge lasts depends on how thick and how wet your pen writes. As a student, I had a cartridge last for a week, but I didn't have a full course load and I was using a fine and dry nib. Other fountain pens use filling mechanisms that store more ink and can take longer to empty. I have a Moonman M2 that stores all the ink directly in the pen body. So it takes me months of admittedly sporadic writing to empty it. 

-Fair enough! I'll note though that while it's definitely a hobby that can get pricey, a lot of my everyday use fountain pens range between a buck or two bucks. Three tops. But the trade-off is they're cheap Chinese pens and sometimes you have to tune them because they won't write just out of the mailbag.

7 hours ago, Ammanas said:

No but I’m curious; do they bleed through normal notebook paper like a sharpie? What are the benefits over a normal ball point? How long does a normal cartridge last? 

A fountain pen is kind like a yeti cup or Hydro Flask water bottle (both around $50). Extremely cool but hard for me to justify the price with cheaper options available.

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a cross refillable fountain pen which has a refillable ink cartridge, so with one fountain pen I can use pretty much any ink I want, which is really nice.

The nice thing about drawing with my fountain pen is that I can get thick to thin line variations with the pen nib and I can use a non-waterproof ink and then use a wet paintbrush to activate the ink and pull it from the lines. It's really fun to shade pen and ink drawings with cross-hatching and then pull the ink around with a wet brush, it's a really nice effect.

@Kasimir do you use any special types of ink? I really like Mont Blanc black, it has a really nice and subtle blue cast.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I have a cross refillable fountain pen which has a refillable ink cartridge, so with one fountain pen I can use pretty much any ink I want, which is really nice.

The nice thing about drawing with my fountain pen is that I can get thick to thin line variations with the pen nib and I can use a non-waterproof ink and then use a wet paintbrush that to activate the ink and pull it from the lines. It's really fun to shade a pen and ink drawing with cross-hatching and then pull the ink around with a wet brush, it's a really nice effect.

@Kasimir do you use any special types of ink? I really like Mont Blanc black, it has a really nice and subtle blue cast.

Oooh yeah, converters are great :P I'm partial to piston-fillers myself, but I do have quite a few c/c pens!

I've yet to try using the wet paintbrush but I totally should at some point! Do you use a soft/flex/fude nib, or do you just vary your pressure for mild line variation? (Or I suppose, use the underside of the nib?)

I used to use shimmer but it's a pain to clean out so not anymore. These days, I just love inks that shade well on paper, and so I favour Ku-jaku and Fuyu-syogun, Will have to check out Mont Blanc black!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Cross Century II, it has a fine split nib that gives good thick to thin variation in line with differential pressure. Also. I can get a nice tech pen style ultra thin line if I turn my pen upside down and write just with the tip. It's worth trying with your pens because it's a really nice effect.

28 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

I used to use shimmer but it's a pain to clean out so not anymore. These days, I just love inks that shade well on paper, and so I favour Ku-jaku and Fuyu-syogun, Will have to check out Mont Blanc black!

Awesome, thanks for the recommendations!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I LOVE writing in pen.  I tend not to do it as often now, but whenever I outline or do corrections it's always in pen.  I save the actual writing for my laptop.  I don't have any favorite pens or anything, I tend to just buy what I can afford when I need to. I do have a golden Frindle custom made for when I was in fifth grade and read that book though.  My mom got that as a Christmas present for me.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2019 at 7:46 PM, NottTheBrave said:

I LOVE writing in pen.  I tend not to do it as often now, but whenever I outline or do corrections it's always in pen.  I save the actual writing for my laptop.  I don't have any favorite pens or anything, I tend to just buy what I can afford when I need to. I do have a golden Frindle custom made for when I was in fifth grade and read that book though.  My mom got that as a Christmas present for me.

Oooh! What is your favourite nib size, then? :o 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goodness, how have I just now found this thread? Yes, I absolutely love fountain pens! :D (One of my favorite podcasts/blogs is The Pen Addict, fittingly subtitled "There are worse addictions, right?" Right?! :mellow:

My first was a Waterman Hemisphere Blue Obsession I got as a Christmas gift, and it was down the rabbithole from there! Since then I've rather impulsively acquired a decent collection of the things. 15, I think, at last count? ranging from dirt cheap to "uh..." in price. Someday, I might even get one that costs "ack!" In terms of actually using the things, though, that's a bit trickier. I use my pens for notes at church, and I've taken up journaling, all in an attempt to make sure I actually use the darn things instead of letting them gather dust in a drawer. Maybe I'll go full insanity one day and write a novel longhand with them...

Really, though, I've always been obsessed with pens ever since they let me use ballpoints in school instead of pencil (I hate writing in pencil. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me). I was always interested in trying new pens, and found that I preferred rollerballs. Of course fountain pens were a natural extension of this, helped along by endless time spent looking through the pen sections of the Levenger catalog. But I think where it really started was the Waterman ad from the 80's my mom has framed in her office. :P 

Edited by Slowswift
Added a bit
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay! A 17th Shard thread on one of my favorite things! :-)

I'm a lefty, so I always thought FPs wouldn't be possible for me, but a fellow-lefty friend encouraged me & it was love at first write, LOL!

I started with a couple Pilot Metropolitans (great starter pens! cartridge/converter so you get some flexibility).

Then I had my parents' old FP restored - it's a vintage Parker 51, and I'm SO glad I saved it after my mom passed: it means a lot to write with the same pen she & dad used all those years ago. Buttery-smooth writing experience. :-)

My prettiest pen is a Pelikan M205 Aquamarine, which is always inked with the matching ink.

I have a Platinum PTL (fine) that's always inked with Aurora Black (VERY black ink, & a real challenge to wash off if some gets on your fingers) - I use that for writing notes in meetings at work, planning in my bullet journal, & lots more tasks.

I've got about 15 low- to mid-priced pens now (Japanese & German; no Italian pens yet), and I like buying ink samples so I don't get into a rut. There are thousands of colors!! some with sheening/shimmering properties too! [[Moderators, am I allowed to recommend an online retailer here? Not sure, so I won't do so, but the one I use is very well known and focuses almost exclusively on fountain pens. I'll post it if they OK it.]]

If you haven't tried a FP, you should do so! It's easier than you might think. You can get a decent Japanese-made pen for $10 or less. And don't hesitate to start out using cartridges - you can always go to converters/ink later. Ask to try a friend's FP, if anyone in your circle uses one. Some cities have FP meetup groups, and there are a couple huge pen shows every year (imagine a con, but instead of scifi/fantasy, it's all about pens, LOL!).

Resisting the temptation to go off on a tangent re: FP-friendly paper ...

@Kasimir you have opened Pandora's box here!!:lol:

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies to the mods for the necro. I decided to post here rather than take up a digression within the Good News thread. I don't know how I missed the two posts here but good to see more FP people on the site! :P

On 1/23/2020 at 4:23 AM, Iarwainiel said:

My prettiest pen is a Pelikan M205 Aquamarine, which is always inked with the matching ink.

Sweet! I love Pels and the M205 Aquamarine looked so good. I regret not getting one :P is this a F nib?

I just received a Parker 45 in decent condition, meaning I didn't have to do much to restore it :P Broad nib because that's my jam, and it writes so well :D I think the aerometric converter is borked, but I'm testing it later since I have cleaned out the ink stuck inside. Ultrasonic cleaners work sorcery indeed :P As requested, photos to come :)

Edited: @Slowswift, here we go :P

Spoiler

pen.png.a2044965d2147ca06bd0228887b66985.png

 

Edited by Kasimir
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2020 at 7:58 PM, Kasimir said:

Edited: @Slowswift, here we go :P

  Hide contents

pen.png.a2044965d2147ca06bd0228887b66985.png

unnamed.gif.4b9a3b4c8b9a461c23b6122cf31e6aab.gif

It's so pretty! And it's blue! Thanks for sharing! :D

If all goes well with our move, once we settle down I'll be getting a new pen! Haven't yet decided whether to go for an Aurora, Pelikan, or Visconti. Leonardo and Montblanc are also on the list, though perhaps lower in priority.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Slowswift said:

If all goes well with our move, once we settle down I'll be getting a new pen! Haven't yet decided whether to go for an Aurora, Pelikan, or Visconti. Leonardo and Montblanc are also on the list, though perhaps lower in priority.

Oooh, fingers crossed it goes well! :D Any special nibs in mind? Visconti makes some lethally beautiful pens, same with Leonardo. Pelikan's and Aurora's filling system are fabulous though.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Kasimir said:

Oooh, fingers crossed it goes well! :D Any special nibs in mind? Visconti makes some lethally beautiful pens, same with Leonardo. Pelikan's and Aurora's filling system are fabulous though.

Thanks! :D I doubt I'll do anything fancy with the nib, unless I order from Nibsmith or Nibs.com (I default to Goulet and Pen Chalet). Actually, I just remembered that I've wanted a Franklin-Christoph for a while too, so if I got one from them I'd probably get a fine SIG. Generally, though, the nib totally depends on the pen. If I get a Pelikan, for example, I'll probably stick to F or EF because I hear they run incredibly wet and at least one size above what they're marked. :P I tend to favor finer nibs, but for Visconti or Leonardo I'd consider a medium.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Slowswift said:

Thanks! :D I doubt I'll do anything fancy with the nib, unless I order from Nibsmith or Nibs.com (I default to Goulet and Pen Chalet). Actually, I just remembered that I've wanted a Franklin-Christoph for a while too, so if I got one from them I'd probably get a fine SIG. Generally, though, the nib totally depends on the pen. If I get a Pelikan, for example, I'll probably stick to F or EF because I hear they run incredibly wet and at least one size above what they're marked. :P I tend to favor finer nibs, but for Visconti or Leonardo I'd consider a medium.

Fair! I really enjoy the F-C Masuyama Broad Stub, so I think our inclinations are completely opposite :P Medium Visconti or Leonardo sounds sweet - and absolutely yes on the wetness and broadness of Pels. Though I picked up a Grasty ebonite feed for my Pel to swap in and make the broad nib write...even wetter :P I might have a problem, yeah. Nibsmith and Nibs.com both have excellent grinds, though! And SIGs are great :) 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This intrigues me. What do you use these pens for? I tend to lose the pens I take to school, and sometimes even the ones I have just at home. So, when do you use expensive pens? How long do they last? Is it just for normal writing or more like calligraphy? Should I start getting fountain pens?

Edited by DramaQueen
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

This intrigues me. What do you use these pens for? I tend to lose the pens I take to school, and sometimes even the ones I have just at home. So, when do you use expensive pens? How long do they last? Is it just for normal writing or more like calligraphy? Should I start getting fountain pens?

Fountain pens are fun to right with when you are in the mood. For me at least, it's just about the aesthetic, 'cause I too loose a lot of pens. I also manage to get ink all over my hands when using ballpoint pens and fountain pens are much worse if you are not careful.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/10/2020 at 11:23 PM, DramaQueen said:

This intrigues me. What do you use these pens for? I tend to lose the pens I take to school, and sometimes even the ones I have just at home. So, when do you use expensive pens? How long do they last? Is it just for normal writing or more like calligraphy? Should I start getting fountain pens?

I use them all the time for just about everything - writing meeting notes at work, grocery and to-do lists, correspondence, etc. I rarely use ballpoints anymore - only when I'm needing to press through copies (which you should *never* press when writing with a FP - that has been a learning curve, LOL, but worthwhile).

You can get a decent FP for just $5 (Platinum Preppy or Jinhao Shark which is shaped like a shark!), so it's easy to give it a try & see if it's for you. They usually come with a couple ink cartridges, so you don't have to buy bottled ink right away.

I like writing with FPs because once you get the hang of it, the writing experience (even for a left-handed person like me) is just so *smooth* - the pen glides over the paper.

Also, there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of colors of FP inks to try! Some of them have shimmer (sparkles) and/or sheen (where the edges of the lines dry a different color, like red edges on teal ink). I love color! so FPs feed that need.

FPs can last for decades, but you have to fill them with ink (that's where the name "fountain" comes from - they have a little reservoir of ink inside, unlike a dip pen like a quill or calligraphy pen). The more you write, the faster you use up the ink, so how often you need to refill is gonna vary. Some FPs tend to dry out if you don't use them every day; Platinum brand pens are known for not drying out (I have 3 & it's true). And if you use a FP all the time, you need to do "maintenance" on the pen every couple of months, like flushing the nib with pure water to prevent it getting clogged.

Re: losing them - that is a concern. I use a pen sleeve in a pocket in my purse to keep them safe & keep them upright. Might be better to start with just using them at home, at first.

I tell my friends that FPs are the "new hipster item," though I'm no hipster by a longshot.

I hope this helps, & I do hope you give FPs a try!:)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kasimir That Parker 45 looks awesome! What are you inking it with?

Glad to see that I'm not the only fan of Goulet Pens & the Nibsmith here on the Shard - it's a joy to support small businesses that have such great customer service!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/11/2020 at 11:23 AM, DramaQueen said:

This intrigues me. What do you use these pens for? I tend to lose the pens I take to school, and sometimes even the ones I have just at home. So, when do you use expensive pens? How long do they last? Is it just for normal writing or more like calligraphy? Should I start getting fountain pens?

Writing! Ordinary scribbling, taking notes, and calligraphy, depending on the nib. I have a cheap [read: for a fountain pen] Noodler's Ahab that I use for calligraphy, alongside a TWSBI Eco 1.1 Stub. Some nibs are better at giving you line variation so you can produce calligraphy, or just add interest to your writing. But I know people who use normal round nibs to do typewriter print font, for instance. For me, I just like the feel of writing with a fountain pen, by which I mean the tactile feel of the pen on paper. I like there are so many fun ink combinations, too. The Chinese market has an awesome amount of ink releases, and I meet with my local pen/friend group to try 'em out and share :P I always carry a normal ballpoint/gel pen with me, but to work, I've always brought either a Lamy Safari or my cheap Hero 007. Lamy Safaris can take a lot of a beating. And since it's under a dollar for one Hero 007, I don't feel bad if I lose it, or if a colleague tries it out. There's also the Delika Alpha, which... My rationale is if (as in people's stories), the Delike Alpha can survive being crushed by a car and being used by a paramedic to break a window, then it's probably fine to be abused by going to work with me :P 

I do have more expensive pens, and they generally remain at home. If I bring them to work, they go in a pen case.

Fountain pens can last a long time if you care for them well. And some companies like Franklin-Christoph have a lifetime warranty. Keep in mind that a lot of people collect and use vintage pens, some of which have been around in the 1930s :) I have and use a repaired Pelikan 140 that has been around since the 50s-60s. On the other end of the spectrum, you have stories of people who accidentally had a Sailor or a Visconti (expensive!) roll off their desk and hit the floor nib-first. Ouch! The thing about fountain pens is that you have to be willing to be careful with them. Some inks are notoriously awful, or can melt nibs/feeds. If you're decently aware of that, and avoid putting an ink like Organic Studios Aristotle in there for ages, the pen can last for quite a long time. Since you're refilling ink, you will be reusing the pen after all!

Should you start? IMO, it's possible, but it's up to you and your risk appetite. Since you mention that you tend to lose the pens you take to school, I would recommend the world of cheap Chinese/Japanese fountain pens. There's no sense dipping into pricier pens if you might lose them :) If you're curious, getting a Platinum Preppy [seconding @Iarwainiel] won't be too much of an investment, and a Preppy will let you try out the fountain pen writing experience. (I'd recommend Chinese, but with Chinese pens, e.g. Jinhao Sharks, they don't always write well out of the box, so you may need to do a bit of tuning/maintenance. If you don't know if you want this, no point in getting into these situations. So...yeah.)

On 8/11/2020 at 11:29 AM, The_Truthwatcher said:

Fountain pens are fun to right with when you are in the mood. For me at least, it's just about the aesthetic, 'cause I too loose a lot of pens. I also manage to get ink all over my hands when using ballpoint pens and fountain pens are much worse if you are not careful.

Inky fingers! Welcome to the suffering!

I kept wondering why I missed replies. Turns out I forgot to follow this thread :P

11 hours ago, Iarwainiel said:

@Kasimir That Parker 45 looks awesome! What are you inking it with?

Glad to see that I'm not the only fan of Goulet Pens & the Nibsmith here on the Shard - it's a joy to support small businesses that have such great customer service!

Thanks! I've been enjoying writing with it too! Due to some weirdness with the converter, I've popped in a Parker Blue-Black cartridge. If I can fix the converter, then I'll probably use that, otherwise syringe-fill. I'm currently planning a refill with Diamine Prussian or Misty Blue - something not extraordinary. I have dedicated beater pens for wild inks :) 

11 hours ago, Iarwainiel said:

I like writing with FPs because once you get the hang of it, the writing experience (even for a left-handed person like me) is just so *smooth* - the pen glides over the paper.

Also, there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of colors of FP inks to try! Some of them have shimmer (sparkles) and/or sheen (where the edges of the lines dry a different color, like red edges on teal ink). I love color! so FPs feed that need.

100% this for me too! :P I'm a bit over sheen - my current hankering is for shading inks - but then one of my friends just shared a dark blue-black ink with a pink sheen from Cherry Blossom Inks yesterday and I was all 'woah.'

Edited by Kasimir
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New pen day!

Spoiler

IMG_0178.thumb.JPG.cb367617c3c6706e7ae4a7da7a3c79cc.JPG

It looks black; sorry about that. It's actually quite a lovely shade of blue! It's the Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue and it's fabulous and I love it, even if it's also smol. :D 

Edited by Slowswift
Formatting
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2020 at 11:36 AM, Slowswift said:

New pen day!

It looks black; sorry about that. It's actually quite a lovely shade of blue! It's the Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue and it's fabulous and I love it, even if it's also smol. :D 

Oh storms, that's one amazing NPD! (Sorry about the Progression mods... I've been out of the loop thanks to RL job woes D: )

I've been eying that, though I'm not so much a fan of gold trim. Pels are just fantastic. What nib did you get?

I picked up a Sailor Pro Gear Midnight Sky with a Zoom nib as an early birthday present to myself too, and justified it by citing how life has been made of crem this year >>;;;

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/20/2020 at 9:55 AM, Kasimir said:

Oh storms, that's one amazing NPD! (Sorry about the Progression mods... I've been out of the loop thanks to RL job woes D: )

I've been eying that, though I'm not so much a fan of gold trim. Pels are just fantastic. What nib did you get?

I picked up a Sailor Pro Gear Midnight Sky with a Zoom nib as an early birthday present to myself too, and justified it by citing how life has been made of crem this year >>;;;

:D It's a Fine, and it writes wonderfully. I'd heard Pelikan's steel nibs are more consistent than their gold, and this seems to be the case.

I've been eyeing that particular Sailor since it was released... good choice!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Slowswift said:

:D It's a Fine, and it writes wonderfully. I'd heard Pelikan's steel nibs are more consistent than their gold, and this seems to be the case.

I've been eyeing that particular Sailor since it was released... good choice!

Fantastic choice! I've heard some of their Fine steel nibs are springy too - especially of the M205 Olivine and the lacquered M215!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Kasimir said:

Fantastic choice! I've heard some of their Fine steel nibs are springy too - especially of the M205 Olivine and the lacquered M215!

I haven't noticed any particular bounciness... just checked, and it is! Not so much with casual writing, but you can press fairly easily and get some variation.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.