third time is the charm

ok after two failed tries at getting a fountain pen on my own (well with the help of google) i have failed and have decided not to give up on the fountain pens.

i was able to return the bad monteverde pen but only for store credit not refund. crap i say but whatever, so i have a $74 credit at a large independent office supply store in brooklyn.

so here is what my deal is:
i want something in the $40-$70 range (dont know why finding a good pen for that much is so hard, but there you have it).
simple but not ugly
not plastic (sorry but paying $35 for a plastic pen, as nice as lamy's sound seems wrong to me)
takes converters or other ink filling system.
writes like a charm. smooth medium or fine point.

i also would like a number of different suggestions so if they dont have one pen i can look at other options.

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Not plastic?

You're going to have a bit of a time with this requirement, I think. Most modern pens have at least some plastic to them, or have their barrel made of "resin" (which covers a number of substances.) The nib's the thing that really matters on a FP, and I've heard nothing but good things about the Safari.

If you're after a metal barrel, then I think that limits your choices much more, like a Parker Latitude or that sort of thing, although even that model has a plastic section (the part you grip when you write.)

Good luck on your search.

Couldn't agree with you more!

Buying a plastic fountain pen for the price that some of them are is wrong.

That was one of my requirements too. I had another requirement too which was really silly...I didn't want a black barrel. Not sure why. I just thought a silverish barrel was more attractive.

So I began scouring ebay for the right one. Having never tried any of these pens I had no idea whether they would write or not.

But I found a beautiful silver Sensa. It is a Sensa Meridian Crystal some thing. It came with a converter and I am currently using Skies of Blue Levenger ink. It is nice and heavy. No plastic. Shiny chrome.

I also bought a brushed metal (blue color...silver barrel) Cross pen. But I think I read on one of your other posts that you had bad luck with a Cross and a Waterman.

The Cross is really nice too. It did not come with a converter unfortunately.

Now I got both of these on ebay so I got them both for significantly less than I would have if I had bought them at the store. So for the $ I really feel like I got a good deal. But you would have to be willing to do the ebay thing, ask questions of the seller and that might be too much of a hassle.

I sure wish you the best of luck!! Let us know what you pick.


Lamy! Again!

The Lamy Studio is a great pen, has the same nib as the Safari, and looks drop-dead gorgeous. Metal barrel, too. There are several different models, let me find you some links...

Stainless steel

I have the black one. I love it. It's very classy looking, and sells for around $55-60.

[ blog | photos ]

Waterman Philéas

I suggest the Waterman Philéas. You better get one before they all dissapear since they are being discontinued in NA. But they are delightful and far superior to their price. The added advantage is that Waterman cartridges are available everywhere.

Re: Third Time is the Charm

What brands of fountain pens do they carry at the store where you have the credit?

Pilot Knight


I have a Pilot Knight. I have the aluminum one, which has heft. It's smooth and undecorated, very classy I think. It's got a medium point (IMHO, anyway) and it writes smoothly. It came with both cartridges and converter, and I think it's in the price range you specified. Personally, I find it too heavy and the point is too fat. :) It was a gift.

I would think you would have better luck finding a pen you like if you go to a pen store and make them let you try some out. Then you could order the one you like from the place you have credit. If it makes you feel better, you can buy ink from the place that lets you try them all out. :)

If I were going to get a fountain pen, I would get a light one with a fine point. Light, in this case, means plastic. I don't want a heavy pen, I'm too used to plastic gel pens and I don't want my arm to get fatigued just holding up the dang thing. I prefer fine points, I like a very thin line, but I still like to be able to *see* the line. :)


i am reading...

i am reading so please keep the comments and recommendations coming.

so far we have:
Lamy silvery
Pilot Knight
Waterman Philéas
Parker Latitude
Sensa Meridian Crystal

p.s. i am considering the waterman hemisphere as it seems to have the best of everything mentioned here and is from a brand people who know pens seem to trust.

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.


For all the Levenger love (TM) on this board, I'm curious why nobody ever recommends or even mentions the Levenger True Writer pens? Any reason?


for me i heard that they are

for me i heard that they are somewhat pourly made plus the fact that i cant play with them in hand before buying.

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

Well, I have one

I've got one, and I got it on a crazy clearance price. It's perhaps a bit more girly colored that I would have preferred (Periwinkle, sigh) but it came with a F nib. For my first exploration into "real" pens, I think it's fine. It certainly has a bit more heft than my cheapo Office Depot aquisitions, but I don't know that it's any better of a writer, to tell you the truth. It's a basic stainless-steel nib, though I would imagine (hope!) that it's better tipped than, say, a Pilot Varsity.

I don't know that I'd drop $60+ dollars on one, plus Levenger's shipping costs (which are based on the price of your order.)

I do prefer the fact that this is a true resin pen, and the coloration on the barrel is not printed on, like the Phileas IIRC. I've discovered, though that I prefer modern pens with little adornment so YMMV.

Me too

I have one too in fine nib. I like it. I'm not in love with it. It is not my favorite pen. It is nevertheless a good writer and a good starter pen. It writes a crisp wet line. I think I would have prefered the Metalist over the True Blue, but I'm discovering I prefer metal to plastic/resin pens.

Waterman Phileas

I have the Waterman Phileas and it writes like a dream! I use a fine nib. It starts every time with no skipping, even when I have had it capped for a while. I also like it for everyday use because the cap pulls off instead of screws which can be handy if you stop and start a lot like I do at work.

"To fly, we must have resistance."

What I have...

Here are the pens I have:
Pilot Petit1 $4.35 at - cartridge only
Ohto Tasche 14.50 at - all metal - cartridge only
Pilot Birdie $20 on eBay - This is a metal pen that can take either a cartridge or a converter. This is an oblique (left-hander's) nib, but this guy seems to have a good supply

Pilot Varsity A disposable - $3 at Pen City. I got mine at Border's Books for $4. Got one for my son so he could try a fountain pen.

I believe they cannot be beaten/matched for the money. They all write great, no problems.
I am tinkering with cartridge refill options.

Good luck
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

"I am tinkering with

"I am tinkering with cartridge refill options."

dude if you get that done for the varsity you will win prizes from everyone!!!

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

Already been done

I am working with actual pen cartridges -- the Petit1 and the Ohto Tache specifically. The Ohto cartridge is very promising -- see this thread
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


It's been the Ohto Tasche carts ygor's refilling. See here.

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life

See, you can post links

Congratulations :)
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


Thanks again, ygor. Got the message.
-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life

An honest and sincere suggestion

You seem to be thrashing about and getting very frustrated.

My suggestions:
Start cheap.
Approach it with a sense of adventure.
Expect disappointment, but try to learn from it.

And do not ignore the possibility that you may arrive at the conclusion of "This was a bad idea for me".

That happened with me about trying to learn to play a musical instrument. I accept that I would be wasting my time trying again, but I still enjoy and appreciate music and other folks who can play it.

Good luck. Really. <3
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Experimentation is Inevitable

Some degree of experimentation is inevitable it seems to find what you like best. I got into fountain pens a couple of years ago. I started out with Pelikano Juniors moved to a Pelikano and then to a Lamy Safari. Then I went to the LA Pen Show and got my first piston filler, a Pelikan M200. It's still one of my favorite pens. It writes great and holds a ton of ink. If you'd like something a bit dressier look at the M215. Another pen I really like is the Lamy 2000. It's also a piston filler and writes very smoothly. It's very plain looking though. I also have a Namiki Vanishing Point. That's the one with the retractable point. It's also very nice, but the placement of the clip bothers some people. It also doesn't hold nearly as much ink. It uses a cartridge or converter.

It can take a while to zero in on what you like best, but I guess that's half the fun. Hopefully I won't go broke along the way. Especially since I've recently become enamored with Circa!

Good luck!

I find metal pens too heavy

I find metal pens too heavy for my taste, except the old aluminum Rotrings (not sure they're still done). Nice workhorses. They also had one that felt like it was made of lead (very heavy). You never know when you'll need a weapon.

Pelikan 200s are resin (i.e. plastic) but really, really nice. And piston fill, so no need for converters... (and contain LOTS of ink)

I also support the Lamy choices...

third time IS the charm


after some research here, at fountainpenhospital dot com and at fountainpenforums dot com i chose three pens:

Waterman Phelias
Waterman Hemisphere
Parker Latitude

of the three they had waterman hemisphere and parker latitude, i chose the hemisphere because i could get one for $55, less than the latitude, and though the color is a simple silver and plain in color.

It did not come with a converter but the store owner opened it up and gave me two that fit for free.

I also used the store credit to get a purple waterman ink and a brown one.

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.


Let us know how it works out for you!

[ blog | photos ]


I've seen Waterman cartridges in all the local big-box office supply stores, so you should never be too far from ink. Please do let us know how it works out for you!

so when i do my review do i

so when i do my review do i place it here or in new topic/thread?

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

This is such a long thread....

.... that it would probably be best to start a new post for it. And let the comments begin anew. :-)