In early 2016, I decided it was time that I finally try out some fountain pens. But just dipping a toe into the fountain pen world can be intimidating. With a variety of nib styles, filling mechanisms, body types, and inks, they can be complicated little tools. There’s also the added chore of cleaning and maintaining them, so as not to destroy what are sometimes expensive products.
So, I wrote a series of ten blog posts in an attempt to help myself learn about fountain pens in a more organized fashion. If you’re new to fountain pens, or hoping to just re-live the experience of a newbie, then I hope these posts are helpful to you too.
- Part 1: The Pilot V Pen – For my first fountain pen, I picked the cheapest one I could find. The Pilot V Pen, also known as the Varsity, was a good way to get a feel for using a fountain pen nib.
- Part 2: The Zebra V-301 – Since I’m very familiar with the Zebra F-301, this was a good (and inexpensive) way to get comfortable with using an ink cartridge. Unfortunately, my experience was pretty poor.
- Part 3: The Sheaffer Calligrapher – A hand-me-down pen, found by my mom at the bottom of a desk drawer. Here I learned to use a different style of nib.
- Part 4: The Lamy Safari – The Safari is a great-looking pen, but I had to learn an unexpected lesson about buying fountain pens from trusted sources.
- Part 5: The TWSBI Eco – It’s the first time I spent over $30 on a fountain pen, and I did not regret it. Also in this post, I include an update on the Zebra V-301.
- Part 6: The Parker 51 – This is a slight tangent into vintage fountain pens, which is a whole world unto itself.
- Part 7: The Noodler’s Ahab – A flex nib! I had always heard about them, so I was excited to try one.
- Part 8: The Platinum Preppy – Here I attempt some fountain pen modification.
- Part 9: The Retro 51 Tornado – I’m a big fan of the Retro 51 Tornado rollerball pens, so I really had to try out one of their fountain pens. In this post, I also force myself to do some proper pen cleaning.
- Part 10: The Pilot Vanishing Point – At over $125, this is the most expensive fountain pen I own. But I had to have it – it has a retractable nib! It’s the pen I’d been coveting since I started this series of blog posts, and I finally bought it for myself.
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