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Best Entry Level Fountain Pen



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Hello, I'm currently new to fountain pens, but I was definitely looking into buying my first pen, which I was hoping wouldn't be disappointing. Because of this, I was just wondering if the community had any suggestions on a decent entry level (I'm hoping to purchase the pen for less than $50) fountain pen. So far I've heard that the lamy safari and waterman phileas are quite popular, but I can't seem to find a waterman phileas for less than $50, and a large portion of the reviews I've read on the lamy safari have suggested that the pen runs into problems quite quickly. If anyone has any suggestions on a pen, or if they have experience with these pens (you own one, or you know where to purchase it) would you mind giving me some advice? Thanks everyone!

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Well, not exactly $50, but my entry pen was a Waterman Hemisphere. 65 dollars for it, and a few years worth of ink. Totalled just under 100. Shipping in there too.

 

Another worthy mention is a Franklin-Christoph Model 27. $70, free shipping. Great pen, great company and service, couldn't be happier with mine.

 

You can also get a Sheaffer Imperial II Deluxe from Peyton Street Pens for $50. Shipping is an extra $10 or so. I got mine in not that long ago and I like it quite a bit!

 

If you don't want to save the extra few bucks for my suggestions, then you can certainly get Noodler's Pens. Some work out of the box, some don't. They're great pens for beginners and tinkerers alike. And they are indeed easy on the wallet. 20 - 40 bucks.

 

The Lamy I-Clip-Onto-Everything Safari is also quite good. Most problems I've seen with them are regarding Extra-fine nibs. Requires tinkering. Medium and up, you're great to go. Just give it a wash in soapy water, let dry, ink up and write your mind out!

Edit in: Welcome to the FPN! It's a great place to be! :W2FPN:

Edited by Nashten

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often at times we call a man cold when he is only sad." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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I will second the suggestion of a Lamy Safari: economical, sturdy and you can change the nibs as your tastes evolve. I've had two: one with a F nib and the other with a M nib with no problems at all. I'm noe considerin buying a 1.1mm nib.

 

The grip that so may people complain about is designed to help you hold the pen correctly. After all, it IS a school pen.

 

I did have problems with a Lamy 2000...

 

And... Welcome to the FPN!

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I would like to add the Pilot Prera to the recommendations -- I was pleasantly surprised how smooth it writes, and mine has been extremely reliable so far -- no skips, no starts, no drama, just great out of the box. I would buy another (or a couple) again :) Its kind of small though, but eminently portable.

 

Good Luck, and Enjoy!

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Parker Super 21. Easily available for less than $50. Some of them have problems with cracked hoods, but otherwise it's a workhorse of a pen. Not flashy though if you're looking for that. Lots of options in your price range. Consider vintage Sheaffers and Esterbrooks too.

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Parker Frontier

Sheaffer NoNonsense

Pilot 78g

Lamy Safari

Cross Solo, probably the best

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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Horseknitter

Welcome to FPN from another Texan! You will learn here all you need to know.

 

My 3 recommendations in order of preference are:

 

Sheaffer NoNonsense - great writing experience, requires cartridges I think which are easiest for beginners

Pilot 78g - great writing experience and simple filling mechanism

Lamy Safari - good writing experience, nibs that can be changed for variance, reliable.

 

Any of these will leave plenty of change from $50 for ink and shipping

 

 

edited for duplicated word

Edited by Horseknitter
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Thanks everyone for all the feedback and thanks for being such a welcoming community, I'm excited to start looking into the joys of fountain pens!

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I have yet another question, does anyone know the difference between the Lamy Al-star pens and the safari?

The Al-star pens are aluminum and the safari is plastic. Otherwise they are basically the same pen and use the same nibs. The black charcoal is awesome!

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If I were starting out again, here is what I would buy:

 

$15 - Pilot Metropolitan

 

And/or

 

$21 - Lamy Safari

$6 - Lamy Z24 Converter

 

The pilot is just a great pen for the money, it comes with a converter to fill with bottled ink. It feels solid, very nice to write with. The Safari is a lighter, plastic pen, but you can pick a nib size, and get another nib like the 1.1mm stub to find out what kind of nib you like on a pen. The safari doesn't come with a converter so you need to purchase one separately. I highly recommend bottled ink over cartridges. It's much cheaper (by volume) and there is much more variety.

May your ways be green and golden, and the wind be at your back.

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I have yet another question, does anyone know the difference between the Lamy Al-star pens and the safari?

The Safari is a very durable plastic. The Al-Star is made from aluminum. I have a Safari and I think they are bullet proof. I dropped mine in the yard and stepped on it before I realized it. I could find no sign that even happened.

 

I know its not always possible, but I recommend trying a pen before buying it. Especially your first pen. If you're anywhere near Houston, Dromgoole's is a well regarded shop.

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I second the Pilot Metropolitan (M tip only)

It was my first "modern" fountain pen. All my other fountain pens are over 30 years old.

The smoothness blew me away.

And it was only $15 at Staples.

 

The next pen is a Baoer 388 (M tip only). This is a Chinese clone of the Parker Sonnet. And available on eBay for less than $10.

Mine is a nice writer.

The only thing that bugs me is the cap needs 2 hand to uncap and it is noisy to recap, something you do not want to do often during a meeting.

 

So you do not have to spend near your budget for a decent starter fountain pen.

Use the pen for a while to develop your feel for what you want in a 2nd pen.

 

The AL-Star is made of aluminum. AL = Aluminum. vs. plastic for the Safari.

The advantage to the Safari and Al-star is that the nib is easily changed, so if you want a narrower or wider nib, it is easily done.

The nibs on the Metro and 388 are for all practical purposes fixed, and there are no other nib options other than what comes on those pens.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Hello, I'm currently new to fountain pens, but I was definitely looking into buying my first pen, which I was hoping wouldn't be disappointing. Because of this, I was just wondering if the community had any suggestions on a decent entry level (I'm hoping to purchase the pen for less than $50) fountain pen. So far I've heard that the lamy safari and waterman phileas are quite popular, but I can't seem to find a waterman phileas for less than $50, and a large portion of the reviews I've read on the lamy safari have suggested that the pen runs into problems quite quickly. If anyone has any suggestions on a pen, or if they have experience with these pens (you own one, or you know where to purchase it) would you mind giving me some advice? Thanks everyone!

SpinThePen,

 

There are many good pens available. But, having tried to "skimp" before, allow me to suggest something: Find the pen you really want and go for it.

 

You could buy a cheap, metal Chinese pen and someone like myself of Linda Kennedy (of Indy-Pen-Dance) for relatively little money (but more than you'll pay for the pen) can make it write like a million bucks.

 

But, cheaper isn't necessarily better.

 

If you're like most of us, there's a "look" your going for in your pen choice. That's fine, we all do that. But, I've spent more money on junk-ish pens that were not of good quality, all the time thinking a fountain pen is a fountain pen. I have come to realize that it's not really quantity that matters, it's quality (and...if you're like most of us...the quantity will come too).

 

So pick a good pen, buy it from a reputable seller--one who'll tune the nib for you. Or, if the pen you want isn't sold by a nib worker, send your pen to a nib tech who'll tune it for you.

 

Had I started this way, my earlier years in the hobby would have been MUCH more enjoyable than they were.

 

Anyway...that's my $.02

 

Blessings,

 

Tim

Edited by TimGirdler

Tim Girdler Pens  (Nib Tuning; Custom Nib Grinding; New & Vintage Pen Sales)
The Fountain Pen: An elegant instrument for a more civilized age.
I Write With: Any one of my assortment of Parker "51"s or Vacumatics

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Next to the Safari, I recommend the Lamy Logo, simply because the Safari's grip section isn't for everyone. It also is made of stainless steel and uses, IMHO, the better Z26 converter. Less flow issues than the Safari and whatnot.

 

Outside of that, a steel nibbed Sheaffer Targa should definitely be considered. It's an excellent pen, although it may take a bit of eBay trawling to get a good price. Whether the nib is steel or gold, broad or extra-fine, it will write smoothly, generally speaking.

Calculating.

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Top three entry level pens in my book are Esterbrook, Sheaffer nononsense and parker 45 -all are true classics.

Edited by cellmatrix
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