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Starter Pen Question

starter pen under $40

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Rosendust2121

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 18:05

Hey everyone, are there any pens that are Japanese made(or any other maker you can suggest) that have a reliable nib & are under $40?
Regards,
Rosendust


Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favourite  flower, your favourite song, your favourite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”  

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#2 BillH

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 18:17

Pilot Metro.  Reliable.  Write well.  Inexpensive.  Lots of choices, both colors and nibs.  What's not to like?  :D


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#3 voltron

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 18:19

If reliable & smooth nib is all what you want for $40 or less then get a Faber-Castell Loom.


Edited by voltron, 01 January 2018 - 18:20.


#4 Caronann

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 20:00

Newbie chiming in here.

I love the Pilot Metros I have in fine & medium. Surprised at what smooth writers they are. $10 Amazon (case, one cartridge, converter).

Also like my JinHou X750. The med nib was smooth but swapped it out for a fine Goulet nib and I'm very happy. Wasn't a deal breaker to spend the $15 on a nib for a $10 pen and converter. Although this pen is a tad heavy and fat for my small hands, it's still a joy to write with using either nib.
I'm feeling pleased about my purchases (for a newbie).

Edited by Caronann, 01 January 2018 - 20:33.


#5 SoulSamurai

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:41

I recommend the Platinum Plaisir. It's about $15, and is designed not to dry out. If you don't like the nib width you can buy a Preppy for $3 and swap the section. If you want to use it with Standard International cartridges you can buy an adaptor for about $2.

 

Or just buy the Preppy for $3 in the first place since it's the same nib and section (and special inner cap to prevent drying out), it just doesn't look as good (and I've heard the plastic can crack over time).

 

My personal best pen right now is my Sheaffer VFM, which I bought new for $10. Good looking pen, great nib and it feels better in my hand overall than any other pen I own right now. Doesn't dry out even after a week of sitting around nib-up. It's not friendly to converters though; I had to buy a Monteverde mini fountain pen converter and trim the piston handle to get it to fit into the body (for some reason the inner body narrows past the length of a standard international short cartridge). I don't know what Sheaffer's reputation is like right now so I don't know what the chances are of getting a lemon though.


Edited by SoulSamurai, 02 January 2018 - 07:41.


#6 Mech-for-i

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:59

Pilot Kakuno ; Platinum Plaisir ; Sailor Neo Ace Young ; Wing Sung 618 ; there are plenty in this proce range. I hate to say it but European and US mfrs seems not able to offer something likewise in this price bracket or if they do they are more student pen than anything day Pelikan Twist if these fits they can be rather nice to have too

#7 chromantic

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 14:31

The new Pelikano Up looks quite nice, ~$28 on ebay, uses standard international cartridges, should be plenty smooth.


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#8 lectraplayer

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 14:33

I keep hearing about the Pilot Metro, but the Varsity may also be worth a look.

I'm currently using a couple Noodler's pens myself. The Nib Creeper and the Ahab. Both are designed to be experimented with and retooled if desired and I haven't damaged mine yet (which I have a couple other brands I've used). There are videos of the Ahab being run over by a car without being bothered much.
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#9 Arkanabar

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 15:09

+1 on Platinum Plaisir, Pilot Metro & Pilot Kakuno.  Nota bene that the Metro is about 2mm narrower on the grip than the Plaisir, and has a sharp step between barrel and grip section, and that the Kakuno has no clip.

 

And since it hasn't come up yet, the Lamy Safari deserves a mention.  If you're not sure you'll like its narrow, triangular section (and I don't), buy a $2 Jinhao 599 first, rather than a $25-40 Safari/ Vista /Al-Star/ Joy.  It has the exact same section, tho not the same nib, feed, or clip.  Lamy nibs are easy to remove and install, and can be bought separately.  They're available in A (beginner; sturdy enough for carbons, I betcha), XF, F, M, and B, and calligraphy widths of 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm.



#10 welch

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 15:19

Hey everyone, are there any pens that are Japanese made(or any other maker you can suggest) that have a reliable nib & are under $40?
Regards,
Rosendust

 

Parker 45. Many, many available on EBay, since Parker made the P-45 from about 1960 until 2006. The parts can be swapped from pen to pen, so it's easy to find another art if something breaks, although that's rarely necessary. The Parker 45 is a tough pen. Easy to replace the nib...just unscrew the nib unit. The 45 accepts any converter Parker made, including their latest. Same with cartridges: any Parker-formatted cartridge, which includes the Aurora.


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#11 lectraplayer

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 15:44

+1 on Platinum Plaisir, Pilot Metro & Pilot Kakuno.  Nota bene that the Metro is about 2mm narrower on the grip than the Plaisir, and has a sharp step between barrel and grip section, and that the Kakuno has no clip.
 
And since it hasn't come up yet, the Lamy Safari deserves a mention.  If you're not sure you'll like its narrow, triangular section (and I don't), buy a $2 Jinhao 599 first, rather than a $25-40 Safari/ Vista /Al-Star/ Joy.  It has the exact same section, tho not the same nib, feed, or clip.  Lamy nibs are easy to remove and install, and can be bought separately.  They're available in A (beginner; sturdy enough for carbons, I betcha), XF, F, M, and B, and calligraphy widths of 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm.


How dare we forget Lamy? That is almost a sin.

We also need to remember the Preppy. Those two are pretty much staples.
If it isn't too bright for you, it isn't bright enough for me.

#12 bh_horology

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 17:33

Lamy Safari or TWSBI ECO 



#13 pseudo88

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 17:38

I have 7 Lamy Vistas (clear Safaris) and one new Pilot Metropolitan; with $40 I would get a Metropolitan after making sure their nib sizes are acceptable (I find their medium still a little on the thin side), get a 500 pack of 32lbs HP LJ paper, and spend the rest on an interesting ink and a converter: there are other (more expensive per sheet) options for paper, but this will give you the complete experience, as opposed to writing on regular (crappy) paper. it comes with a converter but it's more practical to have a transparent one to check your ink level.

 

If you already have some paper and ink, and some patience, you can hunt down a Lamy Studio, I got mine, used, for $40 on ebay with a coupon I think; same nib as the Safaris, a lot smoother, the steel model is a safer choice, others have a slippery section (which I got used to).

 

Muji makes an aluminium fountain pen for $15, it's nice looking and reliable, if not as smooth as the Pilot.


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#14 sandy101

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 20:34

The Faber Castell Loom, or Basic (same excellent nib) is a good choice.

 

If you can increase your budget by 21/2 dollars, Goulet is selling the Platinum Cool for $42.50, and I'm pretty sure if you look a bit harder online, you may get one under $40.

 

The Plasir is a good starter choice, but I'd look for the Loom or Cool 1st. 



#15 dkeester

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 20:56

I am also a newbie and have taken the plunge hard.

 

 

I have all of the following:

Pilot Varsity - I got the 7 pack. They are decent performers, but I find their lines to be a bit too thick. Also, they are disposable.

Lamy Safari/Al-Star - I have a few of these already. Overall they are great writers, but the QC on the nibs does vary a bit. (For example, my Fine nib Petrol Safari creates a finer line than my Extra Fine nib Blue Safari.)

Wing Sung 3008 - These are cheap and surprisingly good. One of these would be a good first piston filler.

Pilot Metropolitan - These are my favorites so far. They are a real pleasure to use. At around $15 each you could get one with a Fine nib and one with a Medium nib and still be under your pen budget.

Kaweco Sport - Fabulous pocket pen with a great nib. The drawback is that it uses Standard International _short_ cartridges and the converter (sold separately) is likewise a bit small. 

 

 

Any of the above would be a good place to start. They all perform well, and I am happy with all of them. However, I won't be replacing the Varsity pens (or refilling them) when they run out of ink.

 



#16 Feliks

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 16:01

International short cartridges are not really a drawback. At least they are cheap if you get the right ones. But you're right, the way it's solved with the Kaweco Sport is by no means the best of designs.



#17 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 18:13

Pilot, Platinum and Sailor are the "Big Three" Japanese pen manufacturers and all three should have fairly high QC. Find a pen from any of the three that fits your budget and looks nice and give it a try!



#18 mitto

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 19:04

Parker 45 with a 14k nib.
Khan

#19 WJM

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 20:07

There's plenty to choose from... most common choices seem to be Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan/MR. I can't say anything about them, I own none of them. 

 

Pelikan Stola III is a really good writer. Has its downsides though, doesn't post and there's only one nib size (M) and finish (steel) to choose from. If those wouldn't be a problem for you, it's a very good pen. 

 

The Chinese market is a great place to seek for an affordable fountain pen. Lots of choices, usually for a good price, lot of Chinese made fountain pens have qualities you wouldn't ever find for price this low from any of the western brands. A piston filler for $12, Wing Sung 618, is an offer hard to beat (and there are even cheaper piston fillers from Wing Sung - but not as good looking ones). 

 

There's also a lot of even cheaper Chinese pens but they're famous of their poor quality control. You can get pens like Jinhao X450, X750 or 992 (famous for its good writing, infamous for its cracking barrels) for about $5 or even less. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: starter pen, under $40



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