For all the buying guides out there on the internet, few talk about fountain pens specifically. Maybe it’s because there aren’t enough fountain pen blogs (like this one) or maybe it’s because not many people actually know how to buy a great pen. Nonetheless, allow me to add to this small list by offering my own guide to buying a fantastic pen that you’ll love using, and love taking everywhere with you.
Many people have a whole lot of pens, myself included, yet there are a select few in my collection that I would consider the best; the pens that, if I had to give up all my other pens, I would choose to keep. I imagine you’d like to be in the same situation, having a pen that writes when you want it, looks fantastic in your hand or your pocket, and that would make you think twice before handing it over to someone else to use.
Flicking through my emails, I saw this pen featured on the JetPens newsletter. It looks incredibly cool, and with just under two days left on their Kickstarter, I thought I’d share it with you guys quickly. It’s called the Apollo pen.
Reading through the description, it looks like a metal drafting pen that’s completely modular, and takes a huge variety of refills. I mean, look at the list of compatible pen refills at the bottom of the page. That’s immense. It also has a stylus tip on the other end, and even takes a Lamy mechanical pencil refill!
I tend to only use fountain pens, not ballpoints, so I won’t be backing it, but if you’re after what looks like an extremely well made pen that takes all your refills (plus more), you may want to take a look!
That special day involving a fat man and a few billion chimneys (and a lad named Jesus I hear) is less than a month away, and I’ll bet you’re stuck for gift ideas. Even if you’re not, take a look at my Christmas gift guide to grab some last minute stocking stuffers, or something special for your significant other.
Please note that the prices here are general guides and apply mostly to Australia, but I’ll try to list stuff that’s available all over the world too!
CHEAPIE (Under $10)
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pens ($3.30USD, JetPens): In a world filled with pens both brilliant and terrible, it’s hard to sift through the crud to find true gems. The Hi Tec C is one of those gems. Well constructed, smooth writing, and available in a dizzying array of tip sizes and colours, this is a favourite of pen-users the world over!
Palomino Blackwing 602 ($4.95AUD, NoteMaker): Whether they’re true to the, now extinct, original or not, these are some of the best pencils going round. If I reach for a pencil, I reach for my Blackwing almost every time.
Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil ($7.50USD, JetPens): I said I reach for my Blackwing almost every time. The rest of the time I reach for my Kuru Toga. This pencil separates itself from the pack with solid construction and a mechanism that rotates the lead as you write, so you’ll never have a sharp edge and writing is always smooth.
Pilot Varsity ($3.00USD, JetPens): For such a cheap fountain pen, these really do pack a punch. Smooth nibs, quality construction, and great ink colours make the Varsity a cheap intro to fountain pens! (see my review here)
Rhodia Bloc Pad #13 ($5.95AUD, NoteMaker): I cannot recommend this cheap notepad enough, as it’s Rhodia (my favourite) and is so perfect for so many things. Fountain pen users, you owe it to yourself and your pens to use Rhodia! See my Rhodia Notepad post here!
One reader, Gordon, has let me know that many cheaper pens such as the Varsity can be purchased cheaply in Australia from www.JustWrite.com.au Thanks Gordon!