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What Are Your Favourite Metal Pens?

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125 replies to this topic

#1 MuddyWaters


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 14:44

I have found over the years that I prefer metallic pens than plastic/resin/acrylic ones. It is probably due to the cold feeling and added weight, though I have found brass pens to be too heavy. The metal > plastics is not a hard-fast rule but that is indeed my preference. Probably my favourite material in a fountain pen is the matte black non-slippery material of the Faber Castell E-motion. I was hoping that we could make a shortlist of nice metallic pens in this thread, while I am also looking for suggestions for other pen purchases. 


Those that I own are: 


Faber Castell E-motion

Pilot Metropolitan

Lamy Al-star

Delike brass sport copy

Various Chinese Baoer and Jinhao pens (388, 3035, 159, x750, x450, etc)


Others known to me: 


Pilot Vanishing point

Pilot Metal Falcon - never tried or held this one

Penbbs pens - metal is a bit too slippery for me

Hero H718 - never tried, but seems very heavy from reviews and documented weight

Ensso Italia - looks like a beast that I would love


There are also a large amount of Waterman pens, which I have never really delved into but would like to in the future if people think their modern pens hold up. 


What are your favourites? 

PS. While I love metallic pens, I am not a fan of slippery metal sections. Thankfully, there are some pens with really nice metal non-slip sections but that is relatively rare in my experience. 

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072

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#2 Freedom



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 15:06

I'm quite the opposite actually. I sold the few metal pens I had after realizing I didn't like metal pens at all.

I especially hate metal sections, whether they are slippery or not. I have actually wanted more than one Italian pen that I would have bought in a heart beat 

if it wasn't for the metal sections on those resin pens. 

Mike L.

#3 Mercian


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 16:18

I like my all-stainless steel Parker Vector.

It is lightweight and it is robust. You, on the other hand, may dislike its metal grip section.


The Parker Frontier in S/S feels slightly less robust to me (which could be subjective), but has a hard plastic grip section.

Both the Frontier & Vector are now made under licence in India by Luxor, so are very inexpensive for US/UK consumers.


For contrast, my (old-style) Parker Urban in the brushed S/S finish feels much heavier because it is made from brass. It too has a hard plastic grip section.


I prefer lightweight pens, because I find them to be far more comfortable for long writing sessions. The best pen for me is still the Parker “51”, because its size and shape just feels ‘right’ in my hand.
I know that most of them are plastic, but Parker did make versions in Stainless Steel (though I believe that their grip sections were still plastic), and maybe gold/silver if you prefer metallic pens (and have loads of cash to spend! ;) ).


In modern pens, I believe that most Parker models can be had in all-metal versions, and the Sonnet, Premier, and Duofold are generally well-regarded. Lamy also offer several all-metal models, including a steel version of the 2000, as do another well-regarded German brand, Diplomat.


As for how slippery the grip sections feel, that is going to vary for every person - it can be affected e.g. by how much one personally sweats, and also by the humidity in one’s location.
There is, I’m afraid, no substitute for picking pen ‘x’ up in person and seeing how it feels to you.


Whatever pen you think of buying, I strongly recommend that you read the reviews of that pen on here.
Different users find different things to be ‘deal breakers’ (e.g. the Parker Vector & Lamy CP1 are a bit too slim for me, but some people prefer slim pens), and reading several reviews can warn you of potential hazards that you hadn’t even thought of (e.g. some people cannot abide the feel of the little metal lugs that hold on the cap of a Lamy 2000).


Good luck!  :thumbup:


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#4 A Smug Dill

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 17:05

Pilot Capless matte black and blue matte Vanishing Point pens. I don't much like the models with bodies that are just glossy lacquer on metal.
Rotring Initial. Heavy and girthy, but there's just something about it that really speaks to me, and I liked my first one so much, I got two more in different colours when I had the opportunity (but they didn't turn out nearly as well in all respects as my first one).
Rotring 400 in gunmetal. Very slender, very lightweight. It never dries out when capped and unused, and has been ready to write throughout the last four or so years, even though I've only refilled its converter maybe three times. The EF nib on it is a true EF nib, comparable to Japanese EF nibs. I'm prepared to put up with its fingerprint-magnet glossy surface because of aforementioned virtues; but generally I only like metal pens with matte and/or textured finishes (but guilloche on glossy metal usually fails to make the cut, so to speak).
Lamy cp1 in black titanium oxide. It's my super pencil that dispenses fountain pen ink and writes with flair. I now have three of them. I also have the platinum version but I don't like it nearly as much, and not even half as much. Doesn't seem to be prone to drying out when capped, but one can observe the effects of loss of ink volume in two to three months.
Lamy Studio Lx All Black (SLAB). One of the most comfortable pens I've had the pleasure to use. Slightly less effective at preventing ink evaporation when capped than the cp1, although it's by no means bad, compared to say the Lamy Logo.
Diplomat Aero.


The Lamy Imporium, which reminds me somewhat of the Diplomat Aero, is quite nice but a little heavy. The aptness of the cap to cross-thread is annoying.
Delike New Moon 3. Actually it's a little bit too heavy and short on balance to write with unposted, and the cap doesn't post particularly well; but for US$7 apiece (and each came with an extra nib) it's awesome. I have five of them myself, and it was the runner-up among the candidate models I considered giving away for wedding favours last year.
The HongDian Black Forest isn't too bad, especially for the price, but it's quite slender and not as comfortable as the Lamy cp1.
Metal pens I have that I don't really enjoy using all that much:
* Platinum #3776 Century "The Prime" silver edition — I don't find it nearly as comfortable to use as other Platinum #3776 Century pens such as the kanazawa-haku models.

* Aurora 88 Sigaro Blu — It's OK, and the glossy metal section doesn't bother me in practice nearly as much as I initially feared, but it's heavy and the finish of the metal barrel is glossy. I prefer to use an aurolide Ottantotto model any day.
* Pilot Elabo with metal body — Again, it's just OK, I don't hate it, but I prefer to use a resin-bodied Pilot Namiki Falcon any day.
* Delike Alpha in brass with a brushed finish — heavy, requires posting, and comes with that stupid "War and Peace" inscription.
* Cross Townsend titanium herringbone — guilloche on glossy metal, and mine came with a (Western) Medium nib, so there's just no way I could enjoy using it. (now banished from my fleet of pens)
* Parker Sonnet Gold Cascade — again, guilloche on glossy metal, EF nibs on them don't write nearly fine and crisp enough, and the caps are just ineffective at preventing ink evaporation. (now banished from my fleet)
* Sheaffer Targa Slimline 1019s — looks absolutely gorgeous, but too light and small to be comfortable in my hand. I'd originally bought it for my sister, many years ago, but she never uses it so some years later I asked for it back, and gave it to my (now-)wife she-who-has-tiny-hands to use.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 14 January 2020 - 17:08.

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.

#5 pajaro


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 17:17

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Cisele.


Sheaffer Prelude steel CT medium italic.  The nib makes this pen worth using.

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#6 Bill_D


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 17:35

I have a Namisu titanium Orion and I love it. I also dislike slippery grip sections, but the Orion has three grooves that prevent any slippage. The pen was less than $100 but the quality is unsurpassed. I don't see the titanium any longer, but they still offer an aluminum version.



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#7 sanphoemo



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 18:30

I have a Kaewco Sport Steel with rollerball as a set, a Kaweco Supra and a Diplomat Aero Factory. Love all of them.

#8 Zookie


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 19:23

I have an Asia Crocodile 577 that I've become very fond of.
It's big, and heavy.
Heavy Metal
I like it like that!

#9 GoldenNibs



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 19:30

Cross Century Classic and the gold filled Skyline are some of my favorites. I wish I kept the gold filled skyline I had but sadly sold it before I knew how to fix pens. 

#10 sidthecat


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 19:40

My best metal pen is an old Hicks ringtop: beautifully-built and very sturdy. The nib isn't the flexiest. but it makes a nice, expressive line and is quite reliable. I don't know where you'd find another. 

#11 Bill P

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 20:48

Visconti Metal Opera

#12 bemon



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 20:54

My two favorites are the Lamy 2000 steel- love the weight and the Waterman Carene Gunmetal. No slippery sections, though the Waterman is a fingerprint magnet. 

#13 silverlifter



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:06

I only own one. The first one I bought in 1984, a Sheaffer Targa. It continue to write beautifully today.


I picked an all metal pen because I wanted to be able to throw it in my university bag with my books, football boots etc and not have to worry about damaging it. It was my sole carry throughout university and never failed me. It may have a few worn spots now, but it is definitely my favourite pen.

Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

#14 BDarchitect



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:23

All aluminum Diplomat Aero; mine is orange with dark grey trim.  The section is also metal but with a matte anodized finish that is sufficiently grippy.

#15 como


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:24

- Yard-O-Led Grand Viceroy in Barley or Victorian finish

- Montegrappa Reminiscence

I don't mind metal pens as long as they are tastefully done sterling silver engraving or Guilloche pattern.

#16 N1003U


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:25

My favorite metal pen is probably the Lamy Studio for a combination of its overall reliability and clean looks. I also find its weight pleasingly hefty.


My least favorite is perhaps the Cross ATX. I like the design, but my experience with poorly constructed nibs and fast dry-out has been unpleasant.


I am sure there are a lot of other nice metal pens out there, but I don't have so many. Does the Pelikan M215 count as a metal pen? If so, it would rank up there near the Studio for me.


Edit: I would like to try a Diplomat Aero, which is on my purchase list for 2020.

Edited by N1003U, 14 January 2020 - 21:28.

#17 ItsMeDave



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 21:33

Different strokes for different folks, I have no metal pens. I won't even buy a resin/plastic pen if it has a metal section.

It's a drag because there are a number of pens on the market that I think are attractive, but I won't buy because they have metal sections.

#18 Freddy


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:06

I enjoy usin' metal..However I have an affinity for Ag pens...Currently at another location

usin' Waterman 452 1/2 LEC in the hand engraved pattern and Montegrappa Reminiscence large

Ag octagonal in Greek Key pattern.



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#19 txomsy


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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:08

I have a number of them. I learned to prefer them after breaking a large number of plastic/resin pens over time.


Sheaffer Targa slim, very slim. Lasted me about 20-30 years before finally breaking (the ring in the section broke, probably to age, strain and rust) and the section followed.


Montblanc Slimline and Noblesse, a non-negligible amount of these I've bought over time for me and as presents. Great pens, no longer made, inheritor of a design milestone.


Also abandoned is the Waterman Graduate Oryx Satiné, a wonderful pen that I hesitate to use due to the plastic section which to me feels a bit weak.


The Liliput copper is a marvel, at least to my eyes: tiny, thin, light, metal, nice, gorgeous and developing an ancient copper patina that is becoming more attractive each day, if only I could get a nicer nib for it, it'd be a dream pen (for me, that is).


Kaweco AL Sport (stonewashed blue and black), and Brass Sport, the first two are very light and not slippery at all due to the stonewashed metal section, the later is hefty, and acquiring a gorgeous patina, I don't find it slippery either. I have F, M and 1.1 stubs for them.


Delike Alpha, they are now available in brass, aluminum and acrylic, so while the brass ones are heavy, the others do  not need to. I have the brass Alpha and the grey which I believe is brass too.


Clones of the Delike Alpha, these are a bit longer, but also brass and heavy, and cheap, cheap, cheap. Of these I have a bunch that I bought to give away after I run out of Jinhao 750 and 450 pens for giving.


Yeah you also have the Jinhao 450 and 750, which are brass underneath the appealing overlay finishes. Heavy, large, the archetypal pen for replacing in a Zebra G nib. I have given away a good number of these as presents, and the ones I keep have Nemosine or Goulet stub nibs.


The Baoer Skywalker is also brass underneath, a clone/homage to the MB Starwalker. Can take an FPR #5.5 nib.There are many other Chinese pens that are brass underneath, and easy to swap nibs: the Jinhao 992 takes #6 FPR flex nibs, for instance. Unexpensive as well.


There is also the Lamy Logo, which I do not like that much. Steel, light, actually nice, streamlined design, simple design but... I don't know, it is nice, yes, but seems to not be the pen for me right now.


There are many more. I'm sure they'll come up on this thread sooner or later. Pens like the OTOH Tascher, tactical pens, and many, many more.


Oh, and do vintage overlay pens count?

Edited by txomsy, 14 January 2020 - 22:15.

#20 sansenri



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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:09

I don't usually like metal pens due to the fact that they feel cold...

Some are not so bad though, particularly if they are silver, or gold.

One typical example is the Parker Cisele.

Another example is the Aurora 88 BIG millerighe gold, which has a resin section.

Some vintage pens also follow this approach, which makes them comfortable to hold.

This is an Aurora 98 for example



Then there is also the Lamy 2000 02 metal edition, a heavy pen and the section in brushed steel (like the rest of the pen) is slightly slippery, but strikingly beautiful.

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