I keep a couple different Safaris in a small backpack full of sketching stuff. Great writers and cheap enough I don't care what happens to them looks-wise (the Al Star shows wear from what I hear). They have held up well to that minor abuse, and they start right up even when they have sat around for days. Snap cap. Changeable nibs (very easily). Much to like and recommend them. The grip does not bother me like it does some folks. I have 4 of them. Pilot Kakuno might fit the bill also at an even lower cost... have a couple of those but usually grab the Safaris.
Safari is still in the running... I'm skeptical of the grip though. Thinking back, I always hated those triangular grip pencils they gave us in elementary school. How durable are the Kakunos? Do they have the same nib as the Metro?
Pocket pen? None of these.
I prefer the Pilot Petit1 all the way. True pocket size, posts very well, never dries out, durable plastic, and writes better (better quality nib) than the Preppy. I don't consider the Safari a "pocket pen," although it can be carried there.
How durable is the Petit1? Does it take a converter? Couldn't find one on Jetpens, idk how I feel about refilling cartridges. Is it hard to do?
I would suggest the Pilot Prera. It is small and durable and performs well. I believe that the nib and feed are the same as those on the Metropolitan, but the pen is shorter and lighter.
That's a bit more expensive than I'd want to spend on a pen that's just gonna get beat up. Shorter and lighter sounds nice... but I don't know that it's worth 40 bucks. I'll see if I can find a used one, might consider that
If you want the pen down inside your pocket, and very small, get a Kaweco AL Sport. If you want a very tough, full size pen, Karas Kustoms Fountain K or Ink, depending on preference.
If cost is an issue, get a Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen. It's bulletproof, clips securely to your pocket, and has the added bonus of being an effective impact tool in a pinch. I would recommend buying a quality, German number six nib from somebody like Goulet or Anderson, as the nib it comes with is unimpressive.
I might go with a Sport. The $25 plastic version is appealing because of the low cost, but as awesome as the aluminum would be... I don't think I want to dump that much into a pen that'll be in with keys and a knife. I'll look for a used one of those too. The Schrade is DEFINITELY appealing. If you have one, would you be interested in selling?
Safaris are ever so boring.
The Kaweco is a nice pocket pen(smooth too). You should also have a look at the Pilot "Smile" Kakuno. It doesn`t have a clip, instead the nib smiles at you.
As for the chinese pens, there are plenty of options. The silver version of the Baoer 388 comes to mind. A very pleasant fountain pen.
Also, if you don`t mind the slippery section and thin design, a parker vector SS will last you for years, so would a parker 45. These were built with students in mind, and they do a heck of a job. I wouldn`t trade my 45 for any pen, it`s the jack of all trades. Both these pens are extremely reliable.
Not a huge fan of slippery and thin. I have a 51 and if it wasn't my grandpa's pen, I'd probably use that. What's the difference between the 51 and 45? (Side note - I'm considering buying a 75 too. Not as a pocket pen, but just because I think it's beautiful. Are they good pens?)