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Do You Prefer One Expensive Pen Or Several Less Expensive One?

expensive fountain pen

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83 replies to this topic

#1 lzykramer



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:09

I always wonder if I should save up for one expensive fountain pen or to try out several different one ( nib feels and design), at the end it all adds up the same, I just want to hear your opinions on this topic.

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#2 lynxcat


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:10

oh, several, definitely. there's still so much variation i haven't explored --- different nib types, filling systems, materials...

#3 MBFan



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:40

Do what feels right at the time, at some point you'll end up with a few really great inexpensive and a few really great expensive pens. 6 and two 3s.
'PostedColourless green ideas sleep furiously- Noam Chomsky

#4 ANM


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:44

I enjoy finding expensive vintage pens in antique stores for a low price and a little restoration. 

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

#5 Chettiar



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:44

Hmm.. Until you find the pen that makes you fall in love with your writing, buy everything that catches your fancy!!

Personal experience!!

#6 Algester



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 17:44

if its a statement piece I'll prefer an expensive (BUT NOT TOO EXPENSIVE I have limits give or take I'd rather spend 500 USD on a good pen... functional and good looking to and I would rather have a custom made pen for that price *wink* *wink* no MBs or Pelikans for me haha, but I'd probably get Visconti and GvFC companies that carry my grail pens :X since there's no more Visconti Opera Crystal demonstrator I'd probably get Homo Sapiens bronze) one if not relatively I'm on the inexpensive side to date my most expensive pen is a Lamy 2000 ahahahaha

Edited by Algester, 01 June 2014 - 17:48.

#7 inkstainedruth


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 18:07

I started out buying mostly cheap.  Last year I went vintage -- some inexpensive, and some decidedly not so.  This year, I have tried to curb the piranha feeding frenzy.  I bought one *really*  (for me) expensive pen, and one relatively cheap pen, and been given one relatively expensive one and am waiting for a freebie prototype in the mail.

If I had to do it over again, I might not have bought some of the super cheapies.  But I probably would not have changed what I bought for the most part, because I needed to learn what I didn't like -- size, nib width, type of fill mechanism, new vs. vintage vs. "semi-vintage".  YMMV

We can't really make the decision for what you should buy -- we can only describe our own personal experiences and circumstances.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#8 Thier.


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 18:26

I'm sorry I cannot help.... I have the same problem ! I prefer having more pens I like to use and if they are inexpensive, it´s fine but My prefered are my Graf intuition, my Yard O Led Grand barley and .... Yes, not the cheapest ones ... Thats why I wrote a topic about that ....

#9 william2001


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 18:42

If you already know your pen style (nib size, pen color, nib material, etc.), you should go and buy your expensive pen that is right for you.

On the other hand, if you don't know your pen style, you should try several different pens and see which is the best for you.

I hope this helped you.  :)

-William Park

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. - Graham Greene

#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 18:44

One should have a mix of regular flex and nail, in B, M, F and EF.  Underlined perhaps in nail.

After that you should/could be ready for semi-flex; which will be vintage...and that is not cheap....Geha 790 is less than a Pelikan 140 if you look on German Ebay.

You need to find one that takes Paypal....and will ship to the GB...some won't.

Look for them in British Ebay.


If you go into the "buy now" section you can get refurbished British Swan pens with a semi-flex nib......you are not ready for a 'flexi' nibbed Swan.

Black and Gold is least expensive.....but if you are thinking of an 'expensive' pen there are some real pretty Swan pens.

Don't chase Swan pens unless they are refurbished, and you can get the nib flex you want/need.

I spent 6 weeks reading up on Swan pens chasing cheap...cheap enough I did not buy any. Just about the time I finally decided to do it right, get a better, refurbished vintage Swan...I found a German pen (live in Germany) with the nib I wanted.


There are two pen repairmen with very professional sites in the 'buy now' pen section....look there, buy for more than a pen in the wild, that will need a new sac...the seller will not know what the nib's flex or width is.


Swan is a very good pen, well balanced with a spectrum of nibs from true regular flex, semi-flex and 'flexi'(maxi-semi-flex) that you are not ready for....should have a semi-flex for 3 or so months before; to develop a lighter hand.


The question should always be, what do I want the nib to do.


F&M in regular flex are good nibs for shading inks.


Go to Richard Binder's com....it is the basics of fountain pens....nibs, filling systems, and good advice on inks. 93% of what I know came from there it use to be 97% but one does learn a bit after 5 years.


Always take your time....in buying a pen. Know why you are buying it other than gee....pretty.


I chase the nib, in that is what I write with, and a good nib mostly has a good pen attached to it.


Do not join the Pen of the Week in the Mail Club...nor the Pen of the Month.

You can get a much nicer pen with Pen of the Quarter Club...and have time to learn why you want that pen.


There are some 'good' cheap Japanese pens...look at that as good inexpensive pens ....and a few good Chinese pens.


The longer you take between buying a pen, means you learn more and can get a better pen....for what ever level you are buying.

Once I thought $50 and or €50 expensive....still are sometimes. You can if you hunt slow....get a very good, well balanced vintage pen with a real good nib for that.


Forgot to ask what pens do you now have?

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 01 June 2014 - 18:50.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#11 dneal


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 18:51

I prefer pens I prefer.


It's really cool when they're within my budget.

#12 mirosc


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 19:14

If you are starting out: the more pens you can try the better.

I, personally, would rather pay for one (let's say) Nakaya that has exactly what I want than for five TWSBIs.


#13 Waski_the_Squirrel


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 19:20

I think it would really hurt to buy an expensive pen and discover that you don't like it. I started cheap and actually (mostly) have stayed closer to that end. My occasional expensive pen is purchased knowing what I like.

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

#14 Freddy


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 19:48

Do You Prefer One Expensive Pen Or Several Less Expensive One?

I can go both ways and often do.....
There you go....
no longer seeing stars....
and proud resident of The Empire State....15:50

Edited by Freddy, 01 June 2014 - 19:50.

#15 hbdk



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 20:59

I have only been hoarding...ehh...collecting for a couple of years. Up to about 30 pens by now - could not even have bought half a new CW Winston for what I have spent on those 30 pens (both new and vintage). I am having a lot of fun using different inks in the different pens - variety is the spice of life!


(I still would like that Winston though :P )

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#16 The Blue Knight

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 21:00

Generally speaking I think what people consider to be an expensive pen and a cheap pen changes over time and what they are willing to spend increases over time. This is what happened to me I initially thought that any thing that cost over £25 was more too much. However this slowly changed as I started to get bored of low cost pens and my interests moved on to more expensive pens.


Back to your question is it better to buy few expensive or many cheap? I think you have to strike a good balance. the main benefit of a low cost pen over an expensive one is that if you were to loss it, it wouldn't be too bigger loss. Cheap pens will add bulk to your collection at little cost. However cheap pens aren't as interesting and may not write very well.


I ultimately you have to strike a good balance, have some expensive pens to fuel your fountain pen hobby however also have some cheap pens you can afford to loss for everyday usage.

#17 sandy101



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 21:02

Expensive one(s) for home use.


Lots of cheap ones to carry around. I've had preppies get lost/stolen/borrowed and I'm not sorry.


If my Mr Pen Pens disappeared there would be tears before bed time.

#18 ISW_Kaputnik



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 21:37

I would never buy a pen that costs $X.  It's ridiculous that anyone would pay that much for a single pen.  I'd rather buy five pens costing $0.2X each.


Of course, the value of X may go up over time.

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do." - Benjamin Franklin

#19 alarickc



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 22:20

I'd rather have fewer, nicer pens. I've already proven this with my current pens: 1x Nakaya Long Cigar, 1x Nakaya Dorsal Fin v2, 1x Pilot VP, 1x Pilot Custom 823(my first pen). Get what you actually want, you'll be happier.



#20 orfew



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Posted 01 June 2014 - 22:22

My first fp was a Montblanc 147 that was a gift from my wife. I have tried cheaper pens but have always come back to Montblanc.  

" Gladly would he learn and gladly teach" G. Chaucer

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