In this Digital Age of computers and printed documents, handwriting is basically a craft – an art. It is so rare to find a handsomely handwritten letter these days that fountain pens have been promoted from being the most commonplace writing tool of the previous century to some sort of status symbol. And contrary to a common notion that anything manual or analogue is going obsolete, using fountain pens to create stylish notes is becoming more popular these days. We have also written a complete guide about best budget fountain pens under 100.
WHY YOU WANT TO USE FOUNTAIN PENS
- STYLISH AND PRACTICAL GIFT ITEM
If you want to give a gift to someone important but are not sure about the person’s interests or preferences, fountain pens are your safe and tasteful choice. These specialized pens have stylish design and often come in fancy packages. They look expensive but are also practical especially for executives, artists, business fellows and professionals. And they are quite safe, just in case you are not quite sure what to give them. After all, who gets offended by a stylish pen?
Just like everything in today’s workstation, the best writing instruments have high ergonomic value. Ergonomics is designing items so that they promote better workflow and healthier posture while you work. As a result, you achieve higher productivity and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In terms of typing, ergonomic keyboards are best to work with because they ensure healthier wrists and hands. When it comes to handwritten documents, fountain pens provide the most ergonomic solution.
Fountain pens have metal or golden tips that are uniquely designed to adjust to the user’s writing style and stroke. Eventually, writing with your pen becomes more fluid and less strenuous to the hand so you can write longer, nice looking letters without as much strain on your wrists and arms as when using ballpoint or other types of pen.
- LONG USEFUL LIFE
By the time we hit middle school, most of us have learned that ballpens have a very short lifespan. With the way they get lost, broken, or dulled, they are practically disposable. Not much difference can be said about gel pens although these tend to have better writing quality.
Fountain pens, on the other hand, are made from premium materials and tend to last longer than other ordinary pens. Of course, we do tend to place special care for pens when they are quite fancy and relatively costly. And since it adapts to your writing, it makes you want to keep it all the more.
- CHEAPER IN THE LONG RUN
In the long run, buying cheap items becomes more costly. They break easily or do not give you the satisfactory result and functionality that you want or need. On the other hand, buying premium and durable such as fountain pens are more cost effective over the long haul. You don’t need to pay a fortune, as according to our research, there are quite a few quality budget pens at a price lower than 50 dollars.
THE ANATOMY OF QUALITY BUDGET FOUNTAIN PENS
The Nib is the pointed end of the fountain pen that touches your writing surface with ink. It is probably the most iconic component, which also produces the varied textures and stroke width that makes fountain pen writing so attractive. Nibs are like paint brushes, different types produce different specialized results. But for the most basic ones, fine and broad nibs can do the most essential tricks.
The Feed is the tube that connects the nib to the ink reservoir and is also the part that controls the flow of the ink to the writing tip. The feed often has three thin channels inside that determine how much ink leaks out into the paper when the pen is held in certain positions. It also has a grooved collector that keeps the ink from overflowing freely into the nib. This is one of the components that help achieve crisp lines and controlled strokes when using fountain pens.
- FILLING SYSTEM
One of the trickier parts of owning a fountain pen, aside from the actual writing part which is a challenge in itself, is refilling your pen when ink runs low. There are different ways to do this, the most common types of filling systems are cartridges, converters, built-in vacuum refillers and eye-droppers. Being able to choose a system that works best for you could save you a lot of time and stubborn ink stains.
PRIME FEATURES TO CONSIDER EVEN IN BUDGET FOUNTAIN PENS
As a general rule, fountain pens are in the premium league. However, these still do vary in price range, quality and design. When It comes to material and build quality, fountain pens can easily accommodate different preferences.
Some fountain pens have clear acrylic bodies, while others use stylized metal materials or stainless steel. Oftentimes, more economical fountain pens use stainless steel nibs which are more affordable but have less pliability and resistance to corrosions.
More expensive ones in the other hand use materials like platinum and gold, which are more elegant, more pliable and less vulnerable to corrosive damages.
The build, on the other hand, will vary from maker to maker, which is why you need to check them out yourself before you pay a hefty price for them. Each fountain pen is a little unique and different, just like a musical instrument. So you will have to find the one that is built expertly and feels just right in your hands.
If you plan on using fountain pens repeatedly or over extended periods of time, then you have to seriously consider its ergonomic features. How fluidly does it write on your usual letterhead and papers? Is the body shaped to make you feel comfortable while writing or does it cause a noticeable level of strain? Is its weight light enough to add no additional stress to your wrists while writing?
The easy way to find out of course is to test it out, yourself. Most fountain pens tend to adapt well to your hand’s structure and strokes, so using them often gets easier overtime. But if you can find something that is instantly comfortable and fluid, then that is an even better bargain.
The classic fountain pen has quite a large fanbase, and many prominent labels like Parker often dress up their fountain pens in classic design. Classic will always exude an air of sophistication, which makes it a pretty present for some special, including yourself.
For those who are looking for something more quirky, some pens are designed with urbane, futuristic, and unique touches like Dryden’s Bamboo Fountain Pen and Lamy’s Charcoal Safari Fountain Pen.
Style of course, is just one aspect of the design. What is more important is finding the fountain pen that creates the handwritten effect that you like, so the nib design comes into play. It should also come with the filling system and special features that you are most comfortable to work with.
TOP 10 BEST BUDGET FOUNTAIN PENS UNDER 50 In 2020 – COMPLETE CHART
|1. PARKER URBAN FOUNTAIN PEN, MUTED BLACK WITH CHROME TRIM, MEDIUM NIB WITH BLUE INK REFILL||Anodized aluminum, Parker’s richly pigmented Quink, special curved design that fits naturally in an easy grasp, stainless steel nib has a medium-sized tip||$$$||4.3|
|2. PARKER IM PREMIUM SHINY CHROME METAL CHISELED, FOUNTAIN PEN, MEDIUM NIB WITH BLUE INK||Significantly lighter chrome material, chiseled ring texture, attractive metallic sheen, medium-sized metal nib||$$$||3.9|
|3. WATERMAN HEMISPHERE ESSENTIAL STAINLESS STEEL GOLD TRIM FINE POINT FOUNTAIN PEN
|Crafted from stainless steel, Hemisphere’s slender urbane form, replaceable and washable cartridge||$$$||4.3|
|4. FOUNTAIN PEN WITH INK REFILL CONVERTER AND GIFT BOX – TIMELESS CLASSICS COLLECTION||Classic look at an economical price, crafted from light and sturdy metal alloy, slim profile, gold-trimmed metal nib||$$$||3.8|
|5. LAMY SAFARI FOUNTAIN PEN – CHARCOAL – FINE||Nib is crafted from polished steel, Lamy T10 Blue Cartridge with Lamy’s blue ink||$$||4.4|
|6.CROSS STRATFORD NAVY BLUE LACQUER FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 6 CARTRIDGES||Beautiful steady strokes, functional and professional-looking, medium point tip, comes with a ready pack of six cartridges||$$$||3.9|
|7. DRYDEN LUXURY BAMBOO FOUNTAIN PEN WITH GIFT CASE||Handcrafted from premium bamboo, two-toned nib, ink converter conveniently included||$$$||4.6|
|8. LAMY AL-STAR FOUNTAIN PEN (26F) GRAPHITE + 5 BLACK INK CARTRIDGES||Combination of aluminium, steel and acrylic plastic, triangular structure, comes with a 5-piece pack of black and blueLamy cartridges||$$$||4.3|
|9. PELIKAN TWIST FOUNTAIN PEN, MEDIUM NIB, DARK BLUE/LIGHT BLUE, BOX OF 3 PENS||Compact and solid body with rubbery felt-like finish, easy to replace Pelican cartridge with label’s special ink, twisting pattern,rubberish texture that acts as stopper||$$||4.2|
|10. CONKLIN DURAGRAPH FOREST GREEN FOUNTAIN PEN, MED NIB
|Handcrafted from premium quality resin, nib has a remarkably breathing hole, Duragraph, comes along with a standard sized refillable cartridge||$$$||4.2|
The Parker Muted Black and Chrome Trimmed Urban Fountain Pen is simultaneously modern and sophisticated. The renowned label effortlessly pulls off a seamless show of class and functionality in one single design, which is why this urban pen made it to the top of this list. What makes Parker’s Urban Fountain Pen so special?
Parker guarantees expert quality and premium material for every item that bears its quintessential arrow emblem. This fountain pen is no exemption.
The engraved nib is crafted from durable stainless steel and provides a reliably fluid writing experience. It has a choice of medium and fine sized nib to suit your writing style. Unless you write with very fine strokes, the medium tip is just right for making clean and attractive lines.
The anodized aluminum barrel and cap fit into each other with a satisfying snap, ensuring your pen has an airtight protection to keep it at its tiptop condition for a long time. Anodized aluminum is a durable alloy with anticorrosive properties which ensures a long useful life for your fountain pen.
In addition, the pen comes with Parker’s richly pigmented Quink, which creates a rich penmanship while you write with pleasant smooth and effortless strokes.
The pen’s barrel has a special curved design that fits naturally in an easy grasp, so your hand and wrist stay comfortable even when you have to use the pen for extended periods of time. At 4.2 ounces, it is light, balanced and causes no extra strain to your arms and wrist.
This is critical especially for workers, business persons and freelancers who deal with paper works and typing tasks on a regular basis. Their hands are often subjected to high levels of stress everyday making them vulnerable to serious issues like the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Using ergonomic tools in the workstation, for instance switching to ergonomic keyboards, using the correct type of office chair and desk, and using ergonomic writing tools like this fountain pen,helps to lessen the burdens from our hand muscles, joints and bones.
The Parker fountain pen is modern and sophisticated in its muted black cap and barrel with silver metal trimmings. The iconic Parker arrow clip lets you safely and conveniently tuck your pen in your breast pocket for easy access, and you don’t have to worry about spoiling your favorite dress shirt either.
The stainless steel nib has a medium-sized tip, which provides a decent amount of body for a clearly legible handwriting. The pen has a cartridge for storing ink, and comes with a converter for easy though potentially messy ink refills. Using a cartridge for inking could be a little tedious, but it also lets you use different ink bottles if you want to try different types of ink over time.
- Engraved Stainless steel medium-sized nib
- Durable anodized aluminum barrel and cap
- Secure cap and convenient Parker clip
- Ergonomic design
- Light and handy at 4.2 ounces
- Cartridge and converter highly compatible with various bottled ink
- Smooth steady writing with clean and fancy strokes
- Medium nib not suitable for fine penmanship
- Ink refilling using cartridge and converter can be a little messy
Another bestseller from Parker is its IM Premium Shiny Chrome Metal Chiseled Fountain Pen with Medium Nib and Blue Ink. Like the muted black Parker, this pen blends functionality, style and affordability admirably well.
The nib is made of the same stainless steel material, engraved with the Parker label above the feed in a simple yet unmistakable typeface. Though not quite as remarkable as gold and other more premium metals, the stainless steel nib is nonetheless durable and easy to manipulate to produce the artful penmanship you want to create with your fountain pen.
The barrel and cap still have that pleasant snap when you put them together although the difference in the weight and built is quite noticeable. The IM Chrome pen is made of significantly lighter chrome material, which makes it feel less bodied than the solid aluminum barrel of the previous Parker fountain pen.
Though this one may be lacking in body, it makes up for it with chiseled ring texture that helps you take a better grip and adds to a more compact feel despite the lightweight material.
What is advantageous about an all-chrome pen is that the body also weighs significantly less. So when it is filled with ink, it feels comfortably balanced in your grip. Not too heavy to cause unnecessary strain on the wrist and has just the right amount of balance to make smooth steady strokes.
The series of chiseled rings around its barrel and cap look stylish enough but they also help you get a better grip on the barrel while you write, so that you maintain better control of the fountain pen. This means more fluidity and less tension while you write.
The all-chrome fountain pen belongs to a much lower price spectrum than the first featured Parker pen, but it is just as stunning when you look at the classical design. It has an attractive metallic sheen that is eye catching and a compact, practical design that is convenient and comfortable.
The nib is also medium sized, which makes strong neat strokes for medium to large handwritings. The metal nib is armed with a flexible tip that interacts with hood underneath to control the flow of ink as it adjusts to your unique hand movements.
Unlike the Parker Urban Fountain Pen, the IM Premium fountain pen comes with a cartridge and takes cartridge refills only, although you can purchase a Parker converter separately which fits all types of Parker pen.
- Stainless steel nib engraved with Parker label
- Medium-tipped nib for clean and legible handwriting
- Balanced weight for smooth and steady strokes
- Chiseled barrel and cap for firmer and comfortable grip
- All chrome finish for a premium classical look
- Cartridge refill and compatible with Parker converter
- Does not come with converter
- Chrome body less solid than aluminum alloy
- Medium tip not suitable for very fine handwriting
The Waterman Hemisphere Essentials Stainless Steel Fine Point Fountain Pen with Gold Trim is an excellent choice if you are looking for a slender fountain pen that fits well in smaller hands. If you are looking for an excellent gift for a budding artist or you just need something that does not feel too large for your own use, then this Hemisphere Essentials Fountain Penis worth checking out.
The Hemisphere Essentials has a stainless steel barrel trimmed in gold and topped with a slender snap-on cap. The nib is crafted from slim, gold trimmed metal alloy that feels solid and slightly flexible though less pliable than real gold or more premium metal nibs. It has a clean finish that feels smooth on paper so it does not scratch or break even when it comes fresh from its fancy gift box.
The barrel and cap are crafted from stainless steel, which makes it a little on the heavier side considering its slender design, up to 6.2 ounces to be exact.
While a 6.2 ounce fountain pen is not so much of a big deal for occasional users, it weighs in pretty much for those who need to use this fountain pen quite often. 6 ounces is not really too much of a weight, even for a fountain pen, which even helps to achieve firmer and steady strokes.
Most users will not have problem with the weight, and you will find that the balance is even pleasant and comfortable. There may be a few exceptions in the crowd who might find 6.2 ounces a little strenuous to the arms especially for those who have to do a lot of fountain pen writing daily and get cramped wrists easily.
Casting the weight consideration aside for a second, Hemisphere’s slender urbane form is designed to provide an easy and comfortable grip for both left-handed and right-handed writers regardless of their build.
The nib is unmistakably fine, judging from the fine lines that it produces. Waterman classifies it as fine as well. Compared to other fine pens however, this Hemisphere writes with slightly bolder strokes than the thready lines of other fine pointed pens. It is not a deal-breaker but is for certain a noticeable difference for this pen.
The ink refills through a replaceable and washable cartridge, which is easy to refuel with your favorite bottled ink when it runs low. This works with a Waterman or generic converter as well, but does not include one in this package. What it does include in its neat little gift box is a 3-year warranty from Waterman, which can be extended up to 5 years when you opt to register for such.
- Gold-plated metal nib with fine pointed tip
- Elegant Stainless steel barrel and clipped cap with gold trimmings
- Comfortably slender design for easier grip
- Balanced steady strokes
- Refills with replaceable and washable cartridge
- may be a little strenuous when used extensively, at 6.2 ounces
- does not come with converter
If you are gunning for that neat and handsomely classic look at an economical price, Zenzoi has this nice surprise in an elegant little gift box.
The Zenzoi Fountain Pen with Ink Refill Converter from the Timeless Classics Collection comes in elegant Chocolate Espresso Brown and stunning Million Dollar Red glossy finish. The attractive cap and barrel are crafted from light and sturdy metal alloy and finished in a fancy shade of brown or red.
The nib is quite stylish with its neatly designed metal tip trimmed with plated gold. The medium point tip writes easily and comfortably, though it takes a little bit of practice to get it writing your own strokes fluidly. It does feel a little scratchy at first, but if you have been using fountain pens for a long time, you understand that this is because each fountain pen adapts to its owner’s unique writing stride over time.
The ink is also refined and rich but does not have an extra ink bottle or cartridge along with the package. The Zenzoi fountain pen ink has to be purchased separately though you can also choose another bottle of ink for refill in case you are not satisfied with ZenZoi’s formulation.
This Zenzoi fountain pen has a slim profile and weighs about 9.4 ounces when the cartridge is fully filled with ink. The weight helps to balance the pen in your hand and create neat strokes. It takes a little while to get the ink and pen flowing fluidly while you write, although not too long to cause undue irritation or inconvenience.
The trim form of the barrel and clipped cap makes it easy for different users to grip, so it is suitable for right handed and left handed persons, adult men and women and even kids who are just starting to appreciate fountain pen writing as a practical and artistic skill.
The tidy gold-trimmed metal nib has a 0.5 point tip which easily makes the pen a medium, although the strokes tend to feel a little more compact than other medium pens. The sizes medium and fine do not really have a strict standard or threshold, so mediums and fines actually vary across different makers and different local markets. For instance, a German medium may have larger point range than a Japanese-made medium fountain pen.
- stylish metal barrel and cap
- neat and gold trimmed 0.5 point nib
- comes in beautiful gift box
- slim profile
- suitable for most types of hands
- fluid hand writing
- takes a while to adjust to your stroke
- does not come with ink bottle or additional cartridge
The Lamy Safari Fountain Pen is simply one of the best starter fountain pens out there in the market, and is a popular choice for first fountain pen purchases. When you check out its features, you easily understand why this one is an unmistakable best seller.
The Safari pen comes in a nifty sized, ABC plastic barrel, paired with a snap-on plastic cap that comes attached with a flexible chrome clipper. The plastic component is decidedly less durable than stainless steel or metal barrels but is also much lighter than the latter. At 1 ounce, this is by far one of the lightest fountain pens in its price range that delivers excellent result.
The nib is crafted from polished steel and is superbly fashioned to a fine tip for clean delicate lines on almost any type of writing paper. While it is not as pliable as gold or platinum, the steel tip does conform more and more to your unique writing posture the more you use it, and shows the least bit of scratchy friction on the very first time you scribble with it.
For a fountain pen that is made primarily of lightweight ABC plastic, Lamy’s Safari is surprisingly solid and compact, and does not give any impression of mediocre craftsmanship. As a matter of fact, all the parts hold together pretty nicely as one tidy package.
The Safari barrel forms a subtle curve that nicely fits into your grip, while its ridged design keeps the pen from slipping off your grasp. The pen comes with one Lamy T10 Blue Cartridge with Lamy’s blue ink that spreads neatly and evenly on the surface, helping you achieve that flawless penmanship without undue wrist strains.
Lamy’s Safari sports an attractive all-black look, with its external parts all finished in charcoal black from the clipper down to the nib. At roughly 8 inches in height and roughly 1.2 inches barrel circumference this pen is neat and comfortable to use.
The tinted nib has a fine point tip, which feeds from a replaceable T10 Lamy Cartridge, although this can also be inserted with a Lamy converter which sells separately. Or with any generic converter, for that matter since the Safari is quite compatible with most standard sized converters in the market. This goes for the ink as well, if you have a specific inkwell that you prefer despite the premium ink that the label provides.
- lightweight at only 1 ounce
- subtly curved barrel design for a more ergonomic grip
- comes with Lamy T10 Blue Cartridge
- fine-pointed steel nib
- modern and compact charcoal-black profile
- compatible with standard converter
- fluid and steady strokes
- steel nib is durable but not as pliable as other premium metal
The Cross Stratford Navy Blue Lacquer Fountain Pen is a perfect gifting item, wrapped dandily in a square white gift box along with a set of six cartridges, ensuring your gift stays functional and useful for a long time yet.
This fountain pen has a true corporate look with its navy blue cap and barrel trimmed with silver metal. The body is made primarily from sturdy plastic material, which makes the pen very lightweight at 2.4 ounces. Despite the weight, It does not feel too airy and wobbly and actually writes easily in beautiful steady strokes once you have gotten the hang of it.
Like most fountain pens, this one feels better and easier to use when you write with it more often. The flow comes strong and thick from its medium nib but is not messy or scattered at all. The ink has just the right consistency to make clear writing across most papery surface, although there are still some exceptions depending on the type of paper that you use.
Like other hardworking fountain pens, the Stratford Navy Blue pen also curves delicately to trace the inner contour of your hand. With its widest bulge at around 1.2 inches in circumference, it measures just right to fit comfortably in a firm grip without straining your wrist and carpal region. the rich lacquer finish also adds a layer of comfortable coating so that the pen feels firm and steady in your hands while you create your stylish strokes.
The classic colors of this Stratford pen make it a very stylish and sophisticated gift, especially when you want something both functional and professional-looking. The combination of navy blue and black with metallic silver undertones makes this a stunning pen for office or business deals. The cap snaps on tightly over the pen’s curved barrel and has a convenient clipper so that you can keep your pen in your breast pocket or somewhere safe and convenient.
The stainless steel nib is engraved with an intricate design and the Cross insignia, and also has a medium point tip which tends to make slightly thicker strokes than most medium nibs. This is not necessarily bad unless you write with a very fine handwriting. It is a great option when you need to create bold decisive strokes.
Another fine point for this specific pen is it comes with a ready pack of six cartridges so that you do not have to deal with rather messy and tedious refills from your inkwell. Just take out the empty cartridge, pop in a new one, and you are ready to get going again in no time.
- comes in elegant white gift box
- complete set of pen plus 6 additional cartridges for long lasting use
- elegant corporate look that is both modern yet timeless
- thick and strong strokes from steel medium nib
- curved barrel for more ergonomic use
- lightweight body and reliable steel nib
- not suitable for small handwriting
- no converter included
And if you have been waiting for the quirky pens to pop up on this list, here is one of them. Well, it is not so much quirky as it is uniquely artistic. Artistic and sustainable.
The Dryden Luxury Bamboo Pen is truly a piece of luxury, being 100% handcrafted from premium bamboo and finished to elegant perfection. The bamboo barrel and cap are solid lacquered bamboo polished to a smooth shine and tempered with gold-plated accents.
The gilded gold-plated metal nib is fashioned to guide your strokes to achieve the fashionable curves and lines that make fountain pen writing so attractive. The feed is housed in a muted black component that is comfortably fitted to the barrel and ensures the rich ink flows controllably with every variation of your strokes.
From the snap-on cap to the barrel and medium-sized nib, everything feels solidly in place and you will have no hesitations to purchase one for yourself of for someone special as a luxurious gift.
The expert build of this bamboo pen by Dryden is not limited to awesome aesthetics but extends even to its ergonomic details. The finely finished bamboo components do not only look stunning, they feel elegant as well. The finishing feels just right for a strong grip and does not slip off or feel flimsy even with its light weight of 4 ounces.
Making quick snappy strokes or fluid letters feels balanced and steady for both left-handed and right-handed users.
Even the handcrafted bamboo case fits comfortably in the hand so that it is easy to carry around safely whenever and wherever you need to take your writing with you.
The two-toned nib is quite eye-catching and is a feast for the eyes if you happen to appreciate well-crafted nibs or well-crafted anything for that matter. Each little detail has been given attention, from the intricate feed channel to the tines around the breather hole and ink channels down to the medium-sized tipping material that drives ink across your writing area. While fountain pen calligraphy is an artform, crafting these delicately complex pens is an art form in itself. This Dryden Luxury Bamboo Pen is a testament to that.
The pen is easily refillable using an ink converter conveniently included in the package. It does not, however, come with ink cartridges for safety purposes. Aside from that one drawback, this is definitely one great find for someone looking for something elegant, exotic, well-crafted and highly function.
- handcrafted from 100% genuine bamboo
- high-quality finish from clipped cap to two-toned metal nib
- lightweight but sturdy
- crafted by experts using sustainable materials
- easy to refill ink converter
- balanced strokes for both left-handed and right-handed writers
- does not come with ink cartridges for safety reasons
Cross is not the only label that makes generous gift sets out of excellent fountain pens. Lamy’s Al-Star Fountain Pen is built similar to the same label’s Safari pen and packaged like Cross’s Stratford Navy Blue Lacquer Fountain Pen.
The Lamy Al-Star fountain pen is crafted from a combination of aluminium, steel and acrylic plastic. The cap and barrel are made from light and sturdy aluminium material, finished to an attractive graphite texture. The material itself is unquestionably sturdy yet light enough to keep the 5.8-inch pen under 1.5 ounces.
The compartment that houses the feed is crafted from transparent gray acrylic plastic, which provides a tasteful undertone to the silvery sheen of the body.
The nib, on the other hand, is crafted from polished stainless steel and has a stylishly understated cut, with only the Lamy insignia and breath hole breaking the smoothness of the medium-sized tip.
The body has a triangular structure which makes gripping easier and stronger. Writing those intricate curves and lines becomes so much more comfortable and controllable with this body shape.
While curved barrels do fit neatly in a grip, they tend to eat into your grip sometimes or turn a little too slippery to the grasp when you use them for too long. the triangular barrel gets cradled better inside your grip.
If you are looking for a worthwhile gift set that has the premium quality of a Lamy pen and is sure to serve its purpose for a long time yet, then this is worth a second glance. Aside from its stylish modern looking graphite finish and excellent functionality, this Al-Star pen also comes with a 5-piece pack of black and blueLamy cartridges to easily refill your fountain pen once its ink supply runs low.
For someone who is only starting out, does not have time for tedious refills or feel a little too clumsy to maneuver a converter or dropper, having this extra set of cartridges is a big relief. you just need to take a few seconds to replace the empty one and you are good to go again. Nothing beats a practical, elegant, convenient and efficient gift set.
- easy-to-grip triangular barrel and cap
- lightweight and durable aluminium body
- stainless steel medium tip nib
- with flexible clipper and snap-on cap
- with 5 black Lamy ink cartridges
- comes in elegant gift box
- does not come with converter
Most fountain pens are associated with romantic and classic notions of elegance. Here is one that has an unmistakable quirky twist in its funky shape and bold colors. This redefines fountain pen design in more ways than one.
The Pelican Twist Fountain Pen with Medium Nib is crafted from solid plastic showing off bold color combinations, including light and dark blue combination as well as a pink and blue one. The body itself is compact and solid but has a rubbery or felt-like finish, so that it almost feels soft to the touch.
The nib is crafted from stainless steel and culminates in a medium tip that produces quite large strokes compared to other medium tips. The pen comes with an easy to replace Pelican cartridge which contains the label’s special ink that has somewhat buttery consistency. This makes the lines hold together in neat and bold fashion.
The unusual barrel and cap shapes are actually very ergonomic. The twisting pattern follows the shape of the hand quite expertly, so that it feels just right inside your grip. This causes the least amount of strain on your wrist and hand when you write.
The rubberish texture also acts as an additional stopper so your fingers feel comfortably in place when you hold it. since it is plastic, it weighs considerably light and easy to manipulate, at about 2 ounces which would not have been possible if it was made of a much denser material.
Aside from its high ergonomic value, the twisted triangular body is also very handy. It has a compact size that fits into corner pockets easily and does not tend to roll off the table or any smooth or uneven surface.
The nib is stainless steel so it does not adapt to your handwriting quite as well as gold and aluminum. It is quite reliable though for creating steady artistic strokes across most types of paper. In addition, stainless steel lasts quite a long time when it is properly taken care of.
One thing that is noticeably missing in its design is the clipper on the cap. It simply does not exist in this fountain pen. Not that it would have been fashionable to provide one for it, nor or practical. Afterall, it is not one pen that you can so easily clip unto your coat’s breast pocket. You probably do not want to do that either unless you want to ruin a perfectly matched outfit.
Another down side to this pen is that if you are planning to give this away as a present, you will have to find a suitable gift box yourself, since this one does not come with one. If you have to ask, it comes in those stylized plastic wraps that your daughter’s art scissors came in.
The ink cartridges have to be the right ones as well, since standard ink cartridges would not really fit into this pen’s anatomy. However, when you do have the right cartridges at hand, Pelican’s #4001 refill to be exact, changing cartridges can be done in no time, even with your eyes shut tight.
- modern and bold twisted design
- highly ergonomic barrel and cap design
- comes in easy to refill cartridges
- lightweight at 2 ounces
- stainless steel medium nib
- solid plastic body with rubbery finish
- smooth and easy strokes
- does not have attached clippers
- must be refilled with specific cartridge #4001 from Pelican
- no gift box included
- strokes a little larger than most medium pens
The last pen on the list is a careful balance between practical functionality and classic appeal. This Duragraph Forest Green Fountain Pen by Conklin provides a modern appeal to the iconic flat top fountain pen design.
For the most part, the Duragraph’s body is carefully handcrafted from premium quality resin. The dark green marble-like finish creates a dynamic appeal that resembles the liveliness of a teeming forest. The polished resin body is also solid to the touch and provides a reliable enclosure for the pen’s cartridge. The cap snaps on securely over the barrel to keep the feed and nib locked airtight when not in use.
The nib has a remarkably breathing hole, which bolsters up the aerodynamics at work around the feed area and the channels to give off an even better ink flow and provide better looking handwriting. The nib is crafted from stainless steel metal that is reliably tough yet pliable.
The form of this pen is quite classic, cylindrical and flattened at the base. while this is not as fancy or remarkable for a fountain pen, there is a reason that the most common pen shape is also cylindrical. This form provides that sense of fluidity while upholding the classic aesthetic standards.
Duragraph is easy to use and comfortable to the touch. It is even quite refreshing especially when you have tried a wide variety of “ergonomic” pens of different shapes and sizes. It also weighs as light as a feather. Well, not exactly feather-light but at 0.8 ounces it leaves little room for complaints.
The resin body is trimmed with touches of silver, giving an air of class and professionalism. The flat top snap-on cap is attached with a silver clipper, which lets you keep your pen handy in your suit pocket. The Conklin logo and emblems are noticeably emblazoned on practically every surface of the pen, from the nib to the clipper and cap. It is after all a classic by an established name in the industry.
The Duragraph Forest Green Fountain Pen comes with the essential functionalities of an iconic fountain pen. What is missing is an attractive gift box to match. However, it does come along with a standard sized refillable cartridge that could easily be refilled or replaced to accommodate your favorite ink variety.
- very lightweight at 0.8 ounces
- crafted from sturdy handcrafted resin
- special breathing hole to optimize air and ink flow
- snug snap-on cap attached with clipper
- stainless steel medium sized nib
- does not come with gift box
- does not come with converter
- resin not as sturdy as premium metals
- stainless steel nib not as pliable as premium metal nibs