Best Fountain Pens

28 May

Yesterday, a potential customer called and said he wanted to ask some questions before purchasing a fountain pen.  He was especially interested in a specific pen selling at $190.  He wanted to know:  Was the pen reliable?  Could it be filled with a cartridge or did it need a bottle of ink for refilling?  Did the fine nib put down a line of ink similar to a roller ball pen?  Did the pen “bleed” a lot of ink?  Did we recommend the fine or medium nib?  He had some interesting questions, even some good questions.  But, the answers are really hard to come by as writing with a quality fountain pen is so much a matter of personal preference and how one actually uses the pen.

Our discussion started off by saying that how the writer used the pen would make a big difference in how the pen functioned.  For example, did the writer press hard on the pen, causing the nib to spread and thereby leave more ink behind?  Did the writer plan to use the pen frequently and for what type of writing?  We see a big difference in the pen needs of a college student taking class notes versus an executive signing memos and letters.

Moving on, we discussed cartridges versus bottled ink.  Again, the preference of the writer and how the pen would be used come into play.  Is the pen always with its owner?  If so, cartridges are more convenient.  If the pen is at a desk or same location all the time, then bottled ink is feasible.  We talked about using quality ink – ink with good color and low solids content as a better ink will generally flow more smoothly and lead to less clogging.

Then we moved on to nib size.  This was the hardest to explain as it is dependent on the writer’s hand as well as the actual size of the nib.  He wanted to have a fountain pen that would write a line similar to a fine roller ball point.  We never were able to definitively answer this one.  He had to try out a few different nib sizes to see what worked best for him.  It’s like ordering a steak cooked medium rare at 5 different restaurants.  We agreed that would yield 5 similar, but not identical, levels of rareness.

He then asked about other brands.  How might they fare against the brand our discussion had focused on?  We sell high quality, brand name pens, so that was easy.  We talked about all the brands on our web site.  Unfortunately, it came down to the user and his preferences.  That’s what is so great about fountain pens.  Over time it is a personal thing, just you and your fountain pen!  That’s what makes for the Best Fountain Pen


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