Reccomend First Fountain Pen

I recently discovered this website and I'm in love. It's amazing how self centered humans can be; I never thought for a second there was a community of people like me out there!

Anyway, I've decided I'd like to buy my first fountain pen. I'd like it to be a fairly cheap one (~$20) as I'll probably abuse it terribly. I'm sure this question has been asked a million times, but what pen do people recommend for beginners? I've read a similar thread, but I don't do any sketching, just journaling, record keeping, list making, etc. so I thought I'd post a new topic just in case the advice is different.

Thank you everyone!


Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

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

Go cheap --

Pilot Varsity or Pilot Petit1
They can be had for less than $5 each
"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)

Safari by Lamy

The best!

"To fly, we must have resistance."


Quick and painless, you guys are awesome!


More about the Lamy Safari

I love the Lamy Safari as an expensive fountain pen because:

-You can get the nib you want (I use medium because it is a little smoother than the fine). And if you change your mind, you can get a replacement nib.
-You can get a converter--great if you want to experiment with ink and/or you don't want to throw away cartridges.
-It's lightweight and easy to write with
-It comes in a good assortment of colors.

I got mine from and they also carry Noodler's Ink. I love the Lexington Grey ink as a restful change from black.

Hi, Amelia - I second the

Hi, Amelia -
I second the above! I've been using the Pilot Varsity for a few months now and really like it. Great intro before you decide to spend the money. Just got in a Lamy Safari Vista yesterday. I love it! Very smooth, and I love that with the fountains I don't feel the pressure that you do with other pens. As an executive assistant and college student, I do alot of writing.


A Ton of Inexpensive Pens

Lots of "cheap pen" choices! I don't have a Lamy but hear many good things about. Fountain Pen Network is a good place to look for pen reviews and get more confused. Search for "cheap pens" or "pens under XXX". You'd need many hundreds of $ to try all of them. A $20 limit is perfect. Most I own are less than $20 and all are wonderful writers. New pens to look at -Hero (models 329, 330, 712, 100, 110, 616, 200A, 58M, 800, 237-1) all are good writers, most look like Parker "51"s... maybe not your taste. OTHO (Fine or Tasche - they are all metal). Pilot 78G.
Google the pens to find sellers, but dealers I have used are
isellpens and swisher also sell ink.
In a new pen I have no problem using an ink brand called Noodlers. There are many, many wonderful colors and lots are bulletproof (ie, waterproof) or Near Bulletproof (some ink will run but you'll still be able to read the writing)
Good Luck.

I'm also fond of the

I'm also fond of the Pelikano and the Pelikan Future, both of which can be had under $20 and will take cartridge and converter.

"In some situations you need to ask yourself 'WWRD?' What would Riggins do in a situation?"
Landry Clarke -- Friday Night Lights

Second the Pelikan

The Pelikan Future, Pelikano, and Pelikano Jr. are all available at and other places for $25 and lower. They use the short international cartridge, which is widely available, or can use a converter for bottled ink. I think the Future is the only one available with a fine nib, if that's important. I have one and it works well. The others come with medium nibs.

These are good alternates if you find the Lamy to be a bit big for your hand.

A great line of pens.


"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

I would second the Lamy

I would second the Lamy Safari at probably $25ish (actually £14/15) or the Platignum No 5 at £12 both write well are comfortable. Of the two the Lamy is likely to be more readily available and has a slightly softer nib. A bottle of good ink - see pendemonium "ink facts & reviews" for guidance!!


Lamy View and Pilot Knight

A nice variant of the Safari is the Lamy View - I have two now, in clear polycarbonate, and love them. Smooth writers, clear body, nice ability to see how much ink is left (and to be able to see the ink color through the body).
Same price, I believe, as the Safari.

A friend purchased a Pilot Knight as his first pen for around $30 or so, and absolutely loves it. Solid, writes very well, very dependable in his experience.

Of course, there's always finding a nice restored Esterbrook for about the same money...

Lamy View ? Do you mean Vista ?

Like this ?
It is part of the Safari line, so it would be priced the same as other Safaris
"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)

First Fountain Pen

My first fountain pen, which I still have, was a Shaeffer Targa. I wrote two honors theses with it in college. But I don't see anything comparable in the catalog.

I second the recommendations of the Lamy Safari. I've had mine for 25 years now, but I did have to sand down the hard edges of the barrel so I could hold it comfortably. I also added a gold nib, which was a great improvement over the inflexible steel one.

Once or twice, in books stores of major universities, I've seen cheap Watermans and Pelikans made for students in Europe. They were fun - bright colors and all that - wrote well, and were cheap in case you lost them (or, in my case, got conned out of them by a classmate with a pretty smile....)