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Old 3 July 2020, 09:15 PM   #1
Amg7861
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Best starter fountain pens for rookies

Hi all! Hope you’re doing well. Can any of you suggest a starter fountain pen and good quality ink within 50-100$? Planning on treating myself!

Regards,
Al


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Old 3 July 2020, 09:29 PM   #2
NewEnthusiast
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Hi Al

Welcome to the world of fountain pens. Lots of good ones available in that price range.

If you're looking to treat yourself and want something stylish and elegant that writes brilliantly, I would suggest a Cross Century, Visconti Rembrant or Waterman Hemisphere. You might have to be a wee bit flexible on price but are all brilliant pens that will last a lifetime. All of them can use either cartridges or be bottle filled.

On the ink front, I would recommend Diamine. They do excellent inks which work well with all of my pens and come in a fantastic range of colours (both bottle and cartridge).

Let us know what you go for.

James
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Old 4 July 2020, 10:43 AM   #3
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I'm new to fountain pens too and it's a great big world. I've become particularly fond of Montblancs. I like their limited editions. There are some very cool pens representing literary, artistic, and different characters. The other thing is that the Montblanc brand is a lot like Rolex in that it has the best brand recognition of any pen imho. If you don't care about that then buy a less expensive pen and write, there are many out there. My first pen was a Lamy Safari and it's a great writer at a bargain price. I believe I got mine on Amazon.
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Old 4 July 2020, 11:25 PM   #4
Amg7861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewEnthusiast View Post
Hi Al

Welcome to the world of fountain pens. Lots of good ones available in that price range.

If you're looking to treat yourself and want something stylish and elegant that writes brilliantly, I would suggest a Cross Century, Visconti Rembrant or Waterman Hemisphere. You might have to be a wee bit flexible on price but are all brilliant pens that will last a lifetime. All of them can use either cartridges or be bottle filled.

On the ink front, I would recommend Diamine. They do excellent inks which work well with all of my pens and come in a fantastic range of colours (both bottle and cartridge).

Let us know what you go for.

James

Hi James,

Thanks so much for the advice. I’ll definitely check out some of the brands you mentioned.

Not sure about you guys but I’ve been hearing a lot about a brand that goes by the name ‘Twisbi’. They do look quite quirky and a bit different from the usual conservative looking pens but not sure what you all think about them.

Will definitely let you know what I end up purchasing.

All the best!
Al


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Old 4 July 2020, 11:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogwldFLTR View Post
I'm new to fountain pens too and it's a great big world. I've become particularly fond of Montblancs. I like their limited editions. There are some very cool pens representing literary, artistic, and different characters. The other thing is that the Montblanc brand is a lot like Rolex in that it has the best brand recognition of any pen imho. If you don't care about that then buy a less expensive pen and write, there are many out there. My first pen was a Lamy Safari and it's a great writer at a bargain price. I believe I got mine on Amazon.

Hi Hogwld,

Thanks for the background info. I myself quite like Montblanc fountain pens, even though they can be quite pricey at times.

I’ll definitely checkout the Lamy Safari pens.

Thanks again!
Al


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Old 5 July 2020, 03:12 AM   #6
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Hi Amg,

Some good advice here.

When you are new to fountain pens, you need two things. You need the pen / ink combo to flow well, and you need the pen to be manufactured to a consistent standard. You don’t want to be thinking you are doing something wrong, when you in fact have a “Friday afternoon” pen that’s not flowing properly.

I would echo the advice here and consider a Lamy Safari. They are very good quality for the money, very consistent, and should you wish to you can experiment with different nibs, you can do so at minimal cost.

I’d be a little wary of the Cross. Cross pens used to be good, but to my knowledge most of them, and certainly the lower cost ones, are made in China. Like most things Chinese, they don’t do well when it comes to consistency, and they’re overpriced for a Chinese pen!

The Visconti Rembrandt is nice. I own a couple. While the quality is generally first class, Visconti refuse to use a porous material for their ink feeds, and this reveals itself in the ink flow of the pen. I‘d avoid as a first pen!

TWSBI are made in Taiwan. They’re not actually too bad, considering the company doesn’t have a huge history, but they are geared a little more towards enthusiasts than first time users.

Mont Blanc are fine, but on the costly side. If you’re paying that money and like a traditional pen, consider Pelikan (M400?) perhaps some of the a Japanese pens (look at Pilot) or even Onoto.

My other choice for a first pen would be a Pilot Prera in any case. Although they are plastic pens with stainless nibs they write very nicely, and on budget too!
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Old 7 July 2020, 01:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave455 View Post
Hi Amg,

Some good advice here.

When you are new to fountain pens, you need two things. You need the pen / ink combo to flow well, and you need the pen to be manufactured to a consistent standard. You don’t want to be thinking you are doing something wrong, when you in fact have a “Friday afternoon” pen that’s not flowing properly.

I would echo the advice here and consider a Lamy Safari. They are very good quality for the money, very consistent, and should you wish to you can experiment with different nibs, you can do so at minimal cost.

I’d be a little wary of the Cross. Cross pens used to be good, but to my knowledge most of them, and certainly the lower cost ones, are made in China. Like most things Chinese, they don’t do well when it comes to consistency, and they’re overpriced for a Chinese pen!

The Visconti Rembrandt is nice. I own a couple. While the quality is generally first class, Visconti refuse to use a porous material for their ink feeds, and this reveals itself in the ink flow of the pen. I‘d avoid as a first pen!

TWSBI are made in Taiwan. They’re not actually too bad, considering the company doesn’t have a huge history, but they are geared a little more towards enthusiasts than first time users.

Mont Blanc are fine, but on the costly side. If you’re paying that money and like a traditional pen, consider Pelikan (M400?) perhaps some of the a Japanese pens (look at Pilot) or even Onoto.

My other choice for a first pen would be a Pilot Prera in any case. Although they are plastic pens with stainless nibs they write very nicely, and on budget too!
Great advice in this post. I agree, a Lamy Safari is a great place to start especially if you're not used to fountain pens.
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Old 9 July 2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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I recommend the TWSBI Eco. Not sure why someone would say they're not geared toward beginners. They are piston-fill fountain pens for around $30. Good luck finding that deal in any of the other brands mentioned. They are also clear so they are fun to look at and good for monitoring the ink level.

The LAMY Safari is a decent pen, too.
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Old 9 July 2020, 02:21 PM   #9
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Black Forest excellent pen
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Old 10 July 2020, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave455 View Post
Hi Amg,

Some good advice here.

When you are new to fountain pens, you need two things. You need the pen / ink combo to flow well, and you need the pen to be manufactured to a consistent standard. You don’t want to be thinking you are doing something wrong, when you in fact have a “Friday afternoon” pen that’s not flowing properly.

I would echo the advice here and consider a Lamy Safari. They are very good quality for the money, very consistent, and should you wish to you can experiment with different nibs, you can do so at minimal cost.

I’d be a little wary of the Cross. Cross pens used to be good, but to my knowledge most of them, and certainly the lower cost ones, are made in China. Like most things Chinese, they don’t do well when it comes to consistency, and they’re overpriced for a Chinese pen!

The Visconti Rembrandt is nice. I own a couple. While the quality is generally first class, Visconti refuse to use a porous material for their ink feeds, and this reveals itself in the ink flow of the pen. I‘d avoid as a first pen!

TWSBI are made in Taiwan. They’re not actually too bad, considering the company doesn’t have a huge history, but they are geared a little more towards enthusiasts than first time users.

Mont Blanc are fine, but on the costly side. If you’re paying that money and like a traditional pen, consider Pelikan (M400?) perhaps some of the a Japanese pens (look at Pilot) or even Onoto.

My other choice for a first pen would be a Pilot Prera in any case. Although they are plastic pens with stainless nibs they write very nicely, and on budget too!
All solid advice.
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Old 11 July 2020, 07:27 AM   #11
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I'm curious if there was a decision made on this?
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Old 11 July 2020, 03:41 PM   #12
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I'd suggest the PILOT Metropolitan as an inexpensive, but solid entry-level fountain pen.
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Old 12 July 2020, 01:40 AM   #13
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I'd suggest the PILOT Metropolitan as an inexpensive, but solid entry-level fountain pen.
The Metropolitan is a great writing pen, at a terrific price. Mine tends to have clogging issues though. If I set it down for a few days, I’ve got to clean the nib. Do you have any ink choices that work for you?
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Old 12 July 2020, 02:20 AM   #14
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This website may answer some questions and offer advice. http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/

I am happy with my Montblanc Meisterstuk, but I agree with earlier posts that before investing significant funds try some starter pens. The nib is key - try different styles and materials. Inks are also fun to explore. The feel of the pen, balance, cover on/off, ink flow all work together to customize the pen to your style. Finally, paper is critical. High quality fountain pen compatible paper is a synergistic match for the pen. Writing becomes like a Zen experience instead of a chore.

Enjoy.
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Old 12 July 2020, 03:31 AM   #15
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All good suggestions! If you decide to pick up a fountain pen, I recommend picking up a decent pad of paper that holds ink well. Printer paper or a standard notebook won’t give you a good writing experience—even with a great pen. I like Rhodia pads.


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Old 11 September 2020, 10:13 AM   #16
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My other choice for a first pen would be a Pilot Prera in any case. Although they are plastic pens with stainless nibs they write very nicely, and on budget too!
Thank you. My first fountain pen and it writes beautifully. I bought this from your recommendation and appreciate the solid advice.
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Old 13 September 2020, 10:29 AM   #17
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I started with a twisbi
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Old 14 September 2020, 02:28 AM   #18
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I realize someone resurrected an older thread, but I thought I'd opine based on my experiences.

There have been some good recommendations here, but I would warn anyone to AVOID THE LAMI SAFARI pen. They are worthless crap, in my experience. Based on recommendations elsewhere, I tried to like this pen for far too long. I have owned 12 different models of the Safari over a 3 year period, and THEY ALL LEAK. I am not rough on pens, and I have other entry level models that have never leaked on me.

Save your fingers and shirts a lot of ink stains and avoid the Lami Safari. They are cheap for a reason, and all of mine have ended up in the garbage.
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Old 14 September 2020, 03:49 PM   #19
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I recommend the TWSBI Eco. Not sure why someone would say they're not geared toward beginners. They are piston-fill fountain pens for around $30. Good luck finding that deal in any of the other brands mentioned. They are also clear so they are fun to look at and good for monitoring the ink level.

The LAMY Safari is a decent pen, too.
I will second the TWSBI. Love them.

And the Lamy's are also fun!
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Old 15 September 2020, 01:06 AM   #20
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I'm excited, I have a TWSBI arriving today, my first fountain pen!
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Old 16 September 2020, 07:49 AM   #21
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Thank you. My first fountain pen and it writes beautifully. I bought this from your recommendation and appreciate the solid advice.
Glad it all worked out!

They’re decent pens. Although I have quite a few really good pens, I always have a cheaper one to hand that I can pop in a shirt pocket if I’m going shopping or something, and it’s often the Prera (in lime green)!

They’re a bit ‘under the radar’ too, compared to the Lamy Safari.
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Old 17 September 2020, 08:01 AM   #22
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I agree with the Lamy Safari recommendations as a good new starter fountain pen. They also sell extra nibs so it is easy to try out different nib widths with little investment.

For inks I recommend purchasing several different ink sample vials in colors that you think you would like. Many websites (goulet, anderson, etc) have vials for any ink they carry. This allows you to test how the ink will behave on different papers that you normally use. My personal favorite black ink is Sailor Kiwaguro, I've found it to be easy to use on just about any paper (including post-it notes), quick drying, and just enough of a sheen in certain light to make it unique to a normal rollerball pen.
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