Fountain Pens

I'm thinking of starting, trying a fountain pen. I'm lusting after the True Writer in classic red from Levenger, I'll admit. But I read about the Pilot Varsity other brands, and Varsity seems to be the most common disposable FP.
So for you wisemen and wisewomen out there, would you suggest I start with a disposable(price vs. start w/ inferior FP-->dislike FPs), and where to buy one and which brands, if there are good locations and/or types you know off.

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

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

Depends on your needs

For my personal experience with fountain pens from Pelikan, Cross, Lamy and Waterman at the moment waterman leads. Selecting the right pen can only be done in a well equiped store where you can try them by yourself.
Set yourself a limit for the money you want to invest.
Another important point is the nib, that determines the line thickness of your writing. But be aware, that just by dipping the pen into the ink the result will be less broaden than with ink filled into the internal reservoir.
Folow-up costs of the ink can be reduced, when an ink-adapter is available. Alternatively ink-cartridges can also be refilled by use of a medical injection device and a classical inkpot.
The feeling of writing on paper depends on the whight of the pen, the type of the nib and the ballance that can be changed by putting the cap on the pen when writing.
Personally I prefer gold-nibs because I rate them smoother, but this is a point of individual preferences.
Writing with ink on paper is also a challenge for the paper. Some types of paper are very close to botting paper. Differences may occure even in different charges. So have also a close look at the paper you are about to use. You could take some sheets into the store for your tries.
By the way this forum reveals a lot of viewpoints concerning the topic in other threads, let alone the fountainpennetwork.

Good Luck!

I second the first responder.

Try to locate independently owned stationary, art or luggage stores in your area. If you are lucky you might have a pen store or a Levenger store.

Try a Lamy Safari and a Waterman Phileas in different nib sizes, ask if you can dip the pens.

Buy a Rhodia pad when you buy your fountain pens.
Bad paper can ruin the wonderful experience of writing with fountain pens.

I own several fountain pens under $100 which I acquired over a long period of time.

I have several Lamy Safaris and Waterman Phleases for nib sizes and pen colors, I love those pens.
Which is why I recommend them.

I also recommend The Fountain Pen Network message board.

I was reading TFPN - how I saw the disposables.

The thing is, I have a good fountain pen at home... well, in China. Did not bring it because we were afraid the vial of ink would break in the luggage. I wish I had.
And I'm sure my family has quite a few... again, in China (darn).
So I'll get them eventually.
What I need to know is, what cheap FP to try to decide if my handwriting can pull it off.
And cause I'm too impatient for the next trip to China to try it.
I'm thinking of making a bamboo quill too, cause they r so COOL!

(sry, barely non-teenager, so these words....)

What brand is your good fountain pen at home?

You already gave much more info.

Which means you are used to China/Japan aka Eastern nib sizing versus U.S/Germany manufacturers Western nibs.

Western nibs typically write one width wider than Eastern nibs.

If you are in love with the True Writer look, go for it.

I would suggest going to a Levenger store to hold the pen and dip the pen then see if you still like it.
Or you can buy it used at the Fountain Pen Network marketplace.
You will have to be registered for a month or so to buy and sell in the marketplace.

At any rate, go to the Fountain Pen Network and check the Levenger True Writer reviews.

Levenger has an outlet store on Ebay.
Once, at their Delray beach store, there was a basket of bargain pens which were selling for $100 a year before.

The Varsity is cheap but disposable.
In Office Depot there are Yaffa fountain pens, very cheap but refillable with international cartridges included in a blister pack. I don't remember if there is a converter.

Take your time and look

Take your time and look around. You will find what you like. Sometimes in the most unusual places. I found an unsused Cross Century for $1.00 at the charity shop.
Last week I purchased a brand new Parker 100. These were $280 MSRP and I found mine in a bunch at the clearance sale at the local Tuesday Morning for $27. Previously I'd scored a Waterman Phileas there for $18.00. There is nothing like a new quality name brand pen (so much so that I'm compelled to dispose of my collection of vintage fountain pens) When they come to hand comfortably and glide across the page they just make you want to write (and neatly)especially on 24lb paper!