Basic fountain pen questions .....

Grarea

Forum Plod
.... For a basic pen for a basic bloke.....
I see many gentlemen have a bit of a range of fountain pens.
I haven't used one for about thirty years I think.

I had a Parker 25 as a kid. Had it for about ten years but it got destroyed soon after my finals :(

I am thinking I would like a reliable sturdy pen for day to day use and am thinking this still kind of fits the bill.
I was wondering (seeing as I have zero knowledge) what else there is around that would be worth a look.

I rather liked the design of the nib. With the rounded tip I thought it was a smooth writer.
But the only other comparisons I had were cheap nibs.
So it is function that I am looking at really. And sturdy. I am guessing metal would be better?

I believe I am right that there is a pretty good range of inks these days. As opposed to 'blue or black sir?'
Which sounds pretty intriguing.

I will be looking to go with bottled ink as opposed to cartridges generally (Although it might be good to be able to use them as back up in a rucksack :) )

Obviously feel free to show pics of yours. (Pens, that is. (please also read that word carefully before you post a pic))
 

Grarea

Forum Plod
Thanks, I shall.
I just thought of another question.
Are most nibs pretty good these days?
A scratchy nib is a horrible nib.
They used to say that the nib adjusts to how you write. Is that still the same?
(I was going to look at second hand pens mainly)
 

DamianJ

Forum GOD!
I've only really got experience of the Lamy nibs and Faber Castel nibs, both are excellent in my opinion.

You probably would get some wear of the nib after a lot of writing but someone who was very heavy when writing with a fountain pen would probably wreck it before wearing the nib. I'm not sure I'd let that put me off a second hand pen as long as it was in good condition.

Check out Cult Pens, they have a great assortment of pens, converters and inks. Diamine ink is a personal favourite and comes in many colours. You can get 30ml bottles too. They are also very helpful so don't be afraid of dropping them an email asking for advice too.

The Lamy Safari pens are very reasonably priced if that's something that was swaying you to second hand.
 

Rowlers

Massive Member
Staff member
No, they just run out, are a nightmare to get flowing again. When they work they are nice to write with, but I just ended up using "any other" pen as the fountain pen wasn't working... Sold them on here
 

Nisse

Old geezer
I have a Pilot MR, affordable, works really well, though design is not very exciting.
 
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Nisse

Old geezer
I also have a bunch of nice looking Chinese fountain pens, they cost next to nothing and are great when they work but nibs tend to dry quickly if not used regularly, but maybe that was just the ink supplied.
 
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p.b

Forum GOD!
If you use an converter instead of a cartridge then they don't clog up / dry out so easily. Using a fountain pen makes writing far more enjoyable.
 

Grarea

Forum Plod
I have a Pilot MR, affordable, works really well, though design is not very exciting.
Yes, I am (obviously) drawn to nicer pens. Wood or metal would be nice eh?
But it seems like a lot of the reasonably priced pens seem pretty good.
Sounds like they have sussed pens.
I reckon I might be better getting a recommended reasonably priced one that works then I have something to compare it to.

I also have a bunch of nice looking Chinese fountain pens, they cost next to nothing and are good when they work but nibs tend to dry quickly if not used regularly, but maybe that was just the ink supplied.
I have seen comments about them drying up.
But, you might be right about the ink.
Did you find that the nibs all write pretty similar? As in, all fine?
(Can you tell I had a few cheap scratchy pens as a nipper? (but that was decades ago))
 

Grarea

Forum Plod
Lamy Safari and Al Star are very good options.
If you want to spend a bit more money the Platinum #3776 is a great choice.
Thanks. As tempted as I am, the sensible part of me says I should start lower :)

If you use an converter instead of a cartridge then they don't clog up / dry out so easily. Using a fountain pen makes writing far more enjoyable.
Cool. I didn't know that. I was going for the bottled ink route anyway, but all the more reason to now.
Do you reckon the provided ink might have been the issue with the chinese pens as experienced by Nisse?
 

p.b

Forum GOD!
Cool. I didn't know that. I was going for the bottled ink route anyway, but all the more reason to now.
Do you reckon the provided ink might have been the issue with the chinese pens as experienced by Nisse?
I really couldn't say - I'm not knowledgeable in fountain pens but remember bloody nightmares trying to get my Parker 25 to flow after changing the cartridge. I've not had that problem with my Mont Blanc when using a converter and MB ink, even when the pen hasn't been used for several weeks. AS a mechanical engineer I can understand that just by drawing the ink 'backwards' into the converter ensures a wet path for the ink to then flow back out - it sort of lubricates it. I suspect it is also affected by the quality of the ink.
 
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