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Best Pens For An Fp Novice?

first time novice low maintenance fountain pen

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Baenlynn

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 07:46

I was discussing pens this afternoon with my fiancée, and she was quite taken with the colour of the 2016 Lamy Safari. It got me thinking that she has even more need for a reliable writer than I do given her job (she works in tertiary education), and when we got to discussing fountain pens she confessed that she has never used one before. I was wondering what brands and models FPN would recommend for a first time FP user at around and under $100 US? As low maintenance as possible, and cartridges over converters with a decent array of colours available. As a geek she's not afraid to tinker when required, but I'm guessing she would much rather not have to mess about with filling from an ink bottle, especially with two cats who like to get underfoot. The kind of pen that would be forgiving of being carried in a pocket or accidentally dropped (cap on) once in a while. Design is also an important aspect. She likes some modern designs, but she absolutely loves art nouveau, flowing organic curves, bold colours, that kind of thing.

 

I would straight up recommend the Safari or Al Star, but I'm wondering if anyone has any other suggestions.



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#2 GJMekenkamp

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 08:15

Parker IM

Perfect out of the box, low maintenance, and has never leaked.

Takes Parker cartridges, which, unfortunately are pretty expensive.

 

Safari indeed, same story as Parker IM.

 

Cheers!



#3 kapanak

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 08:18

Certainly the new Lamy Safari Dark Lilac alongside a bottle and some of the cartridges of the same colour should be your first buy for her. It is cheap, low maintenance, high capacity cartridges, easy to use converter, plenty of colours in cartridge form, and definitely one of the best starter pens. It is also almost out of stock, so best hurry. The price won't break the bank, and gives her a way to try a fountain pen that can take a beating.

Any of the middle range Platinum or Pilot pens (as long as purchased from Amazon) should also fall in the below $100 range and provide an amazing experience for a novice fountain pen user, with little fuss.

From then onwards, the recommendations become more personalized to her and the way she uses the pen. It's hard to make generalized recommendations.

#4 Ileach

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 08:23

I used a Pelikan M200 with a B nib for about ten years and it was (and still is) perfect. Even when not used for weeks I never had Problems with clogging. And it is a piston filler, which is much more fun than changing the cartridge :-)


Edited by Ileach, 02 June 2016 - 08:23.

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#5 Martinsroom

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:29

Have a look at the Kaweco Sport varieties. They're all tough, functional, interesting design and take international fit short cartridges so plenty of manufacturers and tons of great colours available. The Kaweco inks seem very similar to the Caran d'Ache Chromatics range and are rather appealing.

#6 DriftingSands

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:29

Admittedly, I don't have a lot of cartridge pens, but I do have 2 Nemosine Singularity, one in grey with 0.6mm and one in red with a 0.8mm (the magenta or coral is next). Standard international cartridges so the options are near limitless in regards to ink.

#7 hbdk

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:36

As already mentioned:

 

LAMY Safari

Nemosine Singularity

 

And Parker Frontier

 

All easy to use and very low maintenance.


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#8 ian1964

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:43

I think a Parsons Essential. Great pens a really interesting variety of nib options.



#9 J_MM

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:24

Faber-Castell Loom is a nice pen with a great nib. At least the medium is among my smoothest nibs I have.

#10 pkotrcka

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:32

Sheaffer 100, Waterman Hemisphere


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#11 Wandering Man

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:43

She's already admired and test-drove your Safari. It's a first pen, so I'd buy one in her favorite color!

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#12 NobodysPerfect

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:59

Faber-Castell Loom is a nice pen with a great nib. At least the medium is among my smoothest nibs I have.

+1 for the Loom, especially since durability is a factor.  And I would add that the EF is the best steel EF I've ever used, in case she needs to worry about poor quality paper.  Also, it's standard international, so if she prefers cartridges, there are many more options than with Lamy or Parker.  Fantastic starter pen! 



#13 Technomancer

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 14:52

Pilot Metropolitan.  Comes in a wide range of colours, has a very nice nib, and is a good knock-around pen, I carry mine in my pocket daily.  It was my first fountain pen and if it hadn't been such a great experience I would have given up on fountain pens in general.



#14 carlos.q

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 16:30

Another vote for the Lamy Safari. The beveled section will help her develop a tripod grip.
And... You also get to exchange cartridges with her. At least until she finds out there are more ink color choices if she uses a converter.

#15 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 17:10

The Waterman Hemisphere may fit the bill - you're limited on color selections (white, black, silver or the very nice blue) but it may tick the rest of your boxes. It's made of metal so it will be very robust - it has a little style to it and the steel nib writes very nice! Frankly I think it has a feminine look to it - slim and stylish.

 

One thing to note - you will need to go the converter route if you want access to all the cool colors - most cartridges are fairly limited to the basic blue/black colors. She could always start out with the cartridges and begin experimenting with a convertor once she's completely hooked on it :)

 

Waterman Hemisphere Capped.jpg



#16 gryphon1911

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 18:23

My first thought is to keep it in the family and get her a Lamy Safari or VIsta.  The other option would be too look into the Pilot Metropolitans.

 

Then it occurred to me that a first time fountain pen user who wants little to no fuss....look into the Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens.  They are decent writers and write for ever, have like 8 colors I believe.

 

If you want something that is low cost, but capable of being refilled - Platinum Preppy could be an option.

 

My final thought, and this is more of a risk than the other options mentioned above....check out a low cost Chinese made Jinhao X450 or X750...heck even a Jinhao 159 if she liked a fatter gripped pen.  They can all take standard international cartridges.  i have all three and they wrote great out of the box.



#17 Sasha Royale

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 20:01

LAMY Safari is virtually indestructible.  It functions well.  There are six different nibs for it, that exchange in seconds.  A monthly flush of the section and nib, under a running cool faucet is sufficient. It will still be in service when you ask, "What is a good beginner pen for my grandson ?"  The clear plastic Safari is called, "Vista".  


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#18 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 20:03

And the aluminum one is the AL Star.

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#19 ac12

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 20:46

Start with the Lamy that she mentioned, to get her going.
Then plan something nice for her birthday or Christmas.

A reconditioned Parker 45 (a cartridge pen).
They come in different colors, but some colors are harder to find. A classic is a black 45 with gold trim :) After that, anything goes for color.

For later maybe a restored pen that uses bottle ink
- Esterbrook LJ or SJ.
- Parker Vacumatic.

The Parker IM at 30 grams posted, is a bit heavy. But it is a nice pen.
Though Parker does not have many cartridge ink colors to choose from.

I think that once she sees the colors of inks that are out there, she will go for bottle ink.
She can always do what my wife does, hand me the empty pen to refill for her.

Edited by ac12, 02 June 2016 - 20:46.

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#20 Baenlynn

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 06:58

Thankyou everyone for your suggestions. I've certainly added a few items to my wishlist, and She Who Must Be Obeyed has certainly taken a shine to the idea of a pen as an object of beauty and not just utilitarian function.

In the end I did decide to gift her the 2016 Lamy Safari. The pen and its ink will function exceptionally well on a wide variety of papers, and if she warms up a bit more to the idea of bottled ink, something from the pilot iroshizuku range will be her next present. We both love the look of the jinhao x450 and the entire retro series of the pilot metropolitan. The Parker urban premium in amethyst pearl is another gorgeous pen I'm now considering, and I love the lines on the TWSBI Classic and Delta Serena...

This is all your fault by the way.





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