A Guided Tour of Modern Fountain Pens

Getting into fountain pens can feel like you've fallen down the rabbit hole. It's exciting to discover a world exists that flies in the face of modern technology. It's as if you've grown up your entire life shopping at Barnes & Noble and then realized that libraries existed - and that people still go to them!

If handwritten posts on social media have your interest piqued, then this post is what you need to read to start your quick-and-dirty education.

To the uninitiated, fountain pens seem alluring, yet the aspect of getting started with them can be daunting. Many of the questions we get from beginners : What pen to start with? How much should I have to pay to get a good quality fountain pen? Which pen is going to be the best value for the money? What nib size should I choose?

As with many of the purchases that we make these days, one can spend days on fountain pen research. An abundance of information exists in the forms of videos, reviews, forum posts and so on. There's so much information that many first-timers hesitate to commit. Some call it "paralysis by analysis."

Lets make it simple by giving you a guided tour of what you need to know when selecting your next fountain pen.

Consider us your sherpa on this expedition. Goldspot has sold pens online since 1999 when we started out listing Sensa and rOtring pens on eBay. I'm being modest when I say that we know a thing or two about pens. We also rely heavily on the feedback of our customers and the fountain pen community to validate our pen suggestions.

Before window shopping (and getting distracted by the bright and shiny's, ask yourself these questions :

  • What am I using the fountain pen for?
  • What do I usually like to write with?
  • What is my budget?

These questions are important to ask because it is easy to get sidetracked by all the flex nibs, gold nibs, piston-fillers and limited editions. If you are using the fountain pen for detailed note-taking and your hand writing is quite small, a large, music nib isn't suitable for your needs. Taking into consideration the pens you already enjoy using will give you a basis for comparison to find a fountain pen that will satisfy your requirements for size, weight and grip. Lastly, setting a budget may prevent the unpleasant conversation you will have with your significant other regarding the credit card bill.

For true beginners that are looking to inexpensively try out using a fountain pen for the first time, we've put together a list of our best fountain pens for beginners. View List >>

If you like one of the pens on this list, but are curious to see if comes in different colors or point sizes, click on the related items links at the bottom of the product detail page. In the example below, if you want to look at ALL the Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop pens, colors and point sizes, you would click on the link that reads Metropolitan Retro Pop.

"look for similar items"

You don't have to be a master penman like Jake Weidmann to enjoy a good calligraphic fountain pen. Fountain pens with calligraphic or stub nibs can be fun to write with as an everyday pen. Go for smaller point sizes (like 0.8mm) for note-taking. The popular Pilot Parallel is an excellent choice to get started inexpensively. View List >>

Want to keep on writing for a long time without having to go back for a fill-up? Piston-Filling fountain pens provide a higher ink capacity than traditional cartridge converter fountain pens and fill from bottled ink exclusively. View List >>

It's easy to spend one's fountain pen kitty quickly. Hey, we know not everyone can afford to spend a car payment on one fountain pen. That's why we created several tiers to accommodate your budget.

These are some of the best fountain pens in those price ranges that give you the most bang for your buck.

Looking for a fountain pen that is as convenient as a retractable ballpoint pen? There's a fountain pen for that! This selection of retractable nib fountain pens are convenient and just plain cool to play with (especially in long meetings). View List >>

View all of our suggestions and more on our Fountain Pen Guide page at the Goldspot Pens Store.

Fountain pen users - are there other types of fountain pen categories you would recommend for first time writers? Please let us know in the comments section if you feel any categories or pens should also be included in our guide.

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