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  1. My current pens!: So, I was given a fountain pen as a gift some years ago. I finally decided to try using it. I don’t know what brand the pen is, but here is a picture: Pen Nib It is very beautiful, has a great weight and balance, and I think it is fairly wet—it puts ink down thicker and thinner giving the writing a nice marbled texture (although that means it can bleed through printer paper part way). It has a ball on the nib, which makes it great for moving in any direction on a piece of paper (like for signatures), but doesn’t make my handwriting instantly beautiful like the italic nibs—which I was very pleased to discover italic nibs did. Here is my handwriting using that pen with Antietam ink: (Sorry it is rotated. The server seems to rotate it sideways no matter what I do.) Handwriting 1 Before I could use the pen, I had to replace the converter, which wouldn’t draw up water or ink. For some reason, it seems that there is not a good seal on the plungerhead, so no suction was created. I went out to Michaels (because there are no fountain pen stores where I am) and bought two Manuscript Calligraphy pens (italic nibs in: fine, medium, broad, double broad. I like medium the best, but may be moving to fine when I get new ink in the mail). I cannibalized one pen for its piston converter, and used a cartridge in it. Here are my Manuscript pens: Pens Nib Side Nib These make my handwriting look amazing! However, because I don’t use them frequently enough, they dry up a bit: sometimes they don’t start writing right away. And I have to write slower, because the pen won’t ink the stroke moving in just any direction (I have to pull the fountain pen always with a component normal to the blade—no easily moving then pen up the page). These pens write very evenly—never put down a gob of ink (so no marbled texture like on my wet pen)—does this mean it is dry? Here is what my handwriting looks like using these pens (currently identical, but the cartridge in one is out of ink): (Sorry it is rotated. The server seems to rotate it sideways no matter what I do.) Handwriting 2 I am wondering what the third pen I purchase should be. I would spend $50, but $35 is really more palatable. I think I want the nib to be italic because I like how using the Manuscript pens forms my handwriting. I would like the pen to be somewhere between my current pens in wetness—wetter than the Manuscript and drier than the Montenegro pen. I would like it to start easier than and be less resistant to pushing in arbitrary directions than the Manuscript pens—if that is possible—while still making my handwriting look awesome. I would like a nice weight; I like thick pens; I would like a clear case if I can find it. I’ve heard non-steel tips are better: don’t know what to make of that. Attribute importance: 0) < $50, $35 or so perhaps as a minimum, with happiness-with-the-cost decreasing exponentially from there to $50. I would spend $50, though. 1) The thing I want most is for my handwriting to keep looking calligraphic like it does with the Manuscript pens… but the Montenegro pen is way more awesome in every other respect: 2) Better flow and writing experience than the Manuscript pens (medium wet? …?) 3) More stylish and balanced like the Montenegro pen. I am definitely pleased that I have been able to try two very disparate types of pens! Again, I haven’t found a shop in Reno with fountain pens I can try… The last one seems to have closed up before I ever visited it. Does anyone have suggestions for me?

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