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The Best Fountain Pen


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38 replies to this topic

#1 mke

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:59

I often read in reviews that this special pen is the best fountain pen.
... and the pens with that label are all different pens
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#2 Studio97

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 04:02

The best FP is the one that performs with the least problems and it could be a $20.00 pen. Hopefully it's the one you have with you when you need it.

#3 Arkanabar

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 04:24

There is no more "the best fountain pen" than there is "the best car" or "the best food."  I have a process I recommend to help people in finding the pens that will suit them best (or at least to help them learn what they'd want to avoid), but I'm not going into that right now.


Edited by Arkanabar, 16 May 2019 - 04:27.


#4 GMCustompens

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 06:59

There are many out of the entire population who do not really like fountain pens. Well, out of these many their people who are even afraid of using them. Several enthusiasts still have a curious approach towards the fact that there are still people who love to use fountain pens despite the availability of hundreds of new varieties of pens.



#5 jchch1950

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:32

As always best fountain pen to who?  B)



#6 Inky-Republic

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:24

All subjective of course - but here's my criteria:

 

1. The manufacturer must offer a variety of nib sizes - extra fine through to stub- plus a couple of speciality nibs (say music and full flex).

2. The manufacturer should offer these nibs in both expensive and cheap materials - say gold or exotic materials for top end  pricing and steel options for lower end pricing (This is to offer both premium and moderate pricing to customers, whilst offering the same high standard of body, cap and filling mechanism).

3. The pen should be easy to strip, re-assemble, clean and maintain (customers who live in remote locations such as myself and don't have ready access to services will appreciate this capability)

4 The manufacturer should offer spare nibs as a separate sale item - and these should be packaged as nibs only or complete sections (for the same reason as item 3 - plus customers like me who employ fountain pens for a variety of uses could simply swap sections, rather than having to carry around a whole stash of different pens)

5. The nibs should be industry standard sizes, so if I want something in the way of a nib that the the pen maker doesn't offer, I can replace or add to my capability with a nib from another supplier.

6. The pen should have a robust and reliable filling system that doesn't leak and can be stripped, cleaned and have the wear parts replaced.

7. The pen should travel well without leaking

8. The pen should be either large enough (or postable) so that I can comfortably hold it (a purely selfish request, but some intellectual horsepower and careful design can accommodate both large and small paws)

9. The ergonomics should be comfortable and accommodate the majority of users.

10 The materials and design should be things of beauty, which you can enjoy handling and be proud to own

 

Those are my top ten criteria and any manufacturer that can offer the above gets my vote.

 

The current pens I own that get closest to the above are Leonardos and Noodlers.

 

:D  Leonardos just fail to be perfect because they don't readily offer spare complete sections as a sale items  - but they do however offer spare nibs in standard industry sizing and they are easy to change over.

:D  Noodlers have deliberately offered a pen with most of the criteria listed above and I've found them to be reliable. :( Unfortunately I've not seen a premium Noodler's model in higher end materials that I could fall in love with - but then again, I don't think they currently target that market.

:D   My new Conway Stewart Winston is a thing of beauty and uses industry standard nib sizing. :( Unfortunately however, the filling system is captured and not readily serviceable although ( :angry: drat i found out too late) you can ask them not to glue the barrel to the section when you order. (I'd certainly recommend anyone purchasing to request this option) The manufacturer also charges like a wounded bull for spare parts and replacements.

 

Pet Hates:

Elitist pen manufacturers who ignore industry standards, charge a pile of money for something that is not easily serviceable and don't offer spare parts. They also usually charge huge amounts of money to do any basic repair work. May all their clients remain unsavoury dictators and nouveau riche football stars!


Edited by Inky-Republic, 16 May 2019 - 10:36.


#7 Rose Nibs

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 10:49

I don't know which is the best pen, but I know which is the best of the hundred or so that I have used and got to know.



#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 14:09

I have whole bunches of best fountain pens.

To me in I grew up when only the well to do had color TV,  a fountain pen must have great balance, which Large pens don't have,outside the Snorkel. The modern Large 146 is ok, but the medium-large vintage '50-60's 146 has better balance and a better nib.

IMO Large and oversized pens lack balance.

 

Then comes the nibs..........I'm not enthused by nails or semi-nails.....but I can understand heavy handed staying with them.

I like regular flex....called 'soft' in Japanese pens. That is better for two toned shading inks.

I like semi-flex, for line variation. But for shading one needs to match ink and paper more exactly.

 

Vintage Superflex is OK, and I do have more than I ever expected to have......and for someone who 'stopped' chasing them early......6-8 of them is more than I need.

 

Once when I was a 20 pen noobie, I did a balance test.....sorting out my top 5 and the nib did count...........I must have 15 top five pens now. And 20 bottom five.

 

Thin medium-large Geha 725, my classiest and sleekest black and gold pen....great clip too. Semi-flex F. Came in second in my first test....is the classier pen. Rolled Gold trim.

When I first ran into them, they were going for E100.00, on German Ebay.

I lucked out and got one from England for E50. :D :thumbup:

The next week I saw two go for E25 on German Ebay.

 

There is a problem, the cap can develop a micro-crack..(I was warned ahead of time by a passed poster).......mine came in with out one....and developed that tiny crack the very next week. It don't matter really. The crack is micro and you have t look for it and makes no difference ...lets in no air. 

They can be had in the E50-60 or less class on German Ebay.

Perfect balance, fancy semi-flex nib; sleek classic looks. Geha developed it to beat MB with, and did so. :thumbup:

 

Pictures obtained off the net. I do own a camera, and take horrible pictures.

Picture with permission of Penboard de.

fqsYWy5.jpg

Either this picture don't show the clip well or it's a variation. I think the clip shown a picture down makes a great difference.

 

ogInSF2.jpg

 

hZrR3oq.jpg

 

qWBcZxy.jpg


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 16 May 2019 - 21:08.

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.

 

 

 


#9 Mangrove Jack

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 16:37

It's strange how my best fountain pen keeps giving up that title after a few weeks. And it's been happening to me for many years.

Some weeks ago it was my Pelikan M200 F nib demonstrator, a forthnight ago I inked my long retired Parker 75 and believe it or not it felt and wrote better than the Pelikan. On Monday I started using a lowly Cross Solo - guess what ? it put performed both the Pelikan and the Parker....... yes, now my Cross Solo is my "best" pen.

#10 pajaro

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 17:00

Every time I use a good pen I think, "this is the best pen ever!"  Five minutes later I use another, and think it's the best pen ever. 

 

So it goes.

 

The better ones are all honest attempts to make an excellent one, done by someone trying to make a living doing what they enjoy doing.


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#11 City74

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 18:51

The best is the one that’s best to you

#12 cratz2

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 20:17

I have several nicer pens but WAY up there on my list is a frosted black Jinhao X450 with a black medium Goulet nib that I've tweaked a bit.

As nice as my Lamy 2000, Sailor 1911 or Sonnet? No, but if something happened to it, $20 and a little bit of work and I'd be back in business!

#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 20:28

There is no more "the best fountain pen" than there is "the best car" or "the best food."  I have a process I recommend to help people in finding the pens that will suit them best (or at least to help them learn what they'd want to avoid), but I'm not going into that right now.

 

I mean, there are some metrics we could use, the Toyota Corolla is the best selling car of all time so it's doing something right.

 

But I have no way of knowing what the best selling FP is, so who know from that standpoint

 

Pointless detail aside, I concur. There is no best fountain pen. But if I had to point someone interested in making fountain pens to one brand and say "That. Just copy them." it'd probably be pilot.

 

The best pen in my collection is probably my wing sung 698 with a pilot stub or my 3776 ultra extra fine, seeing as those are permanently inked at all times. But they're far from my favorites. 


Edited by Honeybadgers, 16 May 2019 - 20:29.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#14 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 21:14

Our Toyota Corolla is now 23 years old and still poking down the autobahn at 170kmh. It is the car that replaced the Volvo as the best car made.

 

The standard sized P-75 is a light for silver (actually light for metal), perfectly balanced pen. It was #3 in my old test, just beating out #4 a Pelikan 400NN.

Of course when I talk about balanced pens, those are all posted as was normal back in smaller pen days.


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.

 

 

 


#15 inkstainedruth

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 22:43

The best pen?  Parker 51 Aerometric.   :thumbup: 

There.  Solved your problem, mke.  

Oh, hard to get in your neck of the woods?  That's a *different* problem.  :rolleyes: 

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."

#16 biancitwo

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:13

I have several fountain pens with which I would not part. Pelikan M605, with medium Pendleton Brown CI. Omas Resin Old Style, with broad Mottishaw CI. Two Nakayas, with one broad Mottishaw CI, and one soft medium. One Visconti HS Lava oversized, with broad PB CI. One Leonardo Blue Hawaii, with a broad PB CI. They may, or may not be the best, but they will always be mine, and always in use. I have several second tier pens that I will always have and use. Each of these is different and in its way utterly satisfactory. I can’t imagine a core collection of better pens.

#17 A Smug Dill

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 04:19

All subjective of course - but here's my criteria:
_...‹snip›...
Those are my top ten criteria and any manufacturer that can offer the above gets my vote.


Sorry, but that says absolutely nothing about what the single best pen is, with one body (of a particular colour, material and finish) and one nib.
 

The current pens I own that get closest to the above are Leonardos and Noodlers.


I don't hate my Leonardo Momento Zero Blue Hawaii, it's nice but not really "€147 nice" and came with an EF nib that was arguably defective or at least irregular, and for the equivalent price of A$240 or less, I've certainly bought "better" pens with steel nibs and "better" pens with gold nibs.

I cannot name my "best" fountain pen among the 200-odd in my household; if there was one, then I probably wouldn't have bought 200-odd!

As far as I'm concerned, the "best" pen — even subjectively — is most likely one that the maker of the statement has not yet encountered and not yet acquired, just out of reach by virtue of either what's on the market (some functional or qualitative "requirement" of one's ideal still not being met) or the constraints of one's budget. The pen that keeps one from being fully satisfied with what one has got, such that one always feels having to settle for second-best. Accessibility is not, in my opinion, a characteristic of the pen, because the lack of access to (or inability to acquire) a pen is the limitation of the individual. I wish there was actually a "best" pen that is known to all, ticks all the boxes for most, and out of reach to 99.99% of fans, because then people will be largely in agreement (if unhappy about realistically never able to possess that "best" pen).

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#18 Gobblecup

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:04

As others have said this a very subjective thing to rate. However, my personal favorites are as follows:

Any Pelikan with a piston (your choice of nib from vintage full flex, BB stub, to a M italic, or nail extra fine).

A Lamy 2000

And the latest but not least, the Conid Minimalistica.

Each of these has a good reliable filling system, the Pelikan and Conid can swap nibs very easily. Each holds a good amount of ink. And especially the Lamy 2000, is durable and a workhorse.

I havent had enough time with my Conid to call it a workhorse, and I have so many Pelikan they all trade places as workhorses.

Then of course, each has its own style. That is even more subjective. I think each of these three will always have a place in my daily rotations.
Gobblecup ~


#19 peroride

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:55

Current "Best" list:

  • Lamy 2000
  • Parker Duofold Centennial Mk I
  • Aurora 88 Chrome
  • Pilot 743
  • Pelikan M605
  • Sailor KOP

My best pens have settled to daily writer workhorse types with a heavier weightings toward easy maintenance, classic lines, enduring design and pleasurable writing experience OOB without adjustment.

 

No vintage made the cut even my most pleasurable writer: Waterman 52 Red Ripple as the vintages leak or outdone by moderns in maintenance 

 

No on Pilot C823, CH92 as the Pelikan is easier to clean and I prefer the 743 FA nib

 

No on the Sailor 1911Ls as KOP nibs has the throne

 

All the cheaper or more expensive stuff also didn't make the cut.

 

With the exception of the white Pelikan, all my best are conservative and black

 

It would be nice to mend all the best into one :crybaby: . But I have yet to see that happen.



#20 A Smug Dill

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:57

It would be nice to mend all the best into one :crybaby: . But I have yet to see that happen.

 

 

For a price that is the sum of the prices of all six pens you listed, would you buy such a "best pen"?


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.







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