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How Do You Refine An Interest In Pens?


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I only own one actual fountain pen (a Pilot Metropolitan), and the Pilot Parallel pen. I don't care for vintage, I guess cause I grew up with alot of those things. But I'm beginning to start liking Retro 51 ball point pens. Not cause I want to just write with them, I want to own them. They aren't fountain pens, but there;'s only one store here that sells fountain pens. Thank goodness it's not too close. Everytime I visit the shopping area, that's one of my stops. I didn't understand the mechanism of fountain pens until I found out they aren't complicated at all. I use every day throw away pens for my medical coding job, no way would I use a nice pen with wonderful ink. But the pen store is one of my favorite stores. I travel for my job, and constantly look for pen shops. Frankly, I have no idea where to start, and often I don't want to over spend during job travel.


Online is another story....But I have no idea where to start and how to refine this.....many pens, how do you start? Like the Springtime Lamy, It's gorgeous, affordable, and I'm getting it when i get my tax refund...would I then get 10 more Lamy's, or do people mix their collection?


But every time I see a pen display I get an ecstatic feeling. There's a store that has the Retro 51 pens, here, and I know the exact one I'm getting. And I saw the other pens as well. Heck, on Goulet pens there's a case that holds 48.


But fountain pens are gorgeous. When and if I do see them, I get the same feeling I do with the Retro 51 pens. I own a Pilot Ageless Future, and honor it. It's gorgeous. It feels so perfect in my hand. And it's a nice ballpoint. And ofcourse, I want the solid black Ageless Future. But I also want a Pilot Cocoon for the fine point nib.


I don't care about vintage pens, or $1,000 pens. But I like looking at them. I don't know how to refine my interest in pens, or even where to start. Does one get every type of certain brands? Geez, with Pilots it would be 1,000's of pens. With Retro51, hundreds. I guess I'm asking, I don't know where to start, but i love pens.

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To summarize my experience. I have only been into the hobby for about a year but I have found I'm know able to hone my interests. I started with a quite few experience from the pens I owned at school about 6 of them from that I got the basic knowledge essentially what Brian Goulet offers in his web series fountain pen 101 which I recommend. Once you are off the mark and know all the basics It's worth setting aside a bit of money to narrow your interests.


I think you have to go through a series of trial pens with a view of trial and error. This will hopefully help you find out what you really like. This is what I did and I have to admit the 6-7 pens I brought when I first got into the hobby did set me me back over £150 but now I really know what I like and has meant that now can buy more expensive pens with a higher certainty that I will really like them.


In terms what pen you should buy next I'd simply choose a pen that you would class as "affordable" and you like a lot and read a few reviews on them. I know from my own experience it's best to start small and only go for something a bit more special when you really know what you like as it's far less risky.

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I would start where you are....the Pilot Metropolitan is a good pen. Do you love it? If yes, maybe you would like to try it with another ink? If you almost love it, going to the Lamy Safari may be your next step.


Ink samples are an inexpensive way to try new inks.


There are some very good relatively inexpensive pens out there.


I have very little organization to my collection. I buy what I am attracted to and don't worry about how to refine things too much. I have a bunch of Lamy pens because I love them. Same thing for the higher end pens.


Buy what you love and you can't go wrong.

pentulant [adjective]: immodest or wanton in search of all things related to pens<BR> [proper noun]: Christine Witt Visit Pentulant<br>

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That's what I wanted to know. If people have organization. In my ink order from Brian Goulet, I received a Pilot pen catalog. It felt like I was looking at something specific, like a Lexus cataloger. If I don't need to catagorize the pens, and only get the one's i like, the next one will be the Lamy spring 2014.


And also the Retro51 ball point that looks like tooled leather but is steel. It's beautiful!

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Like others have said : buy what you like/want.
I started out with a Parker Vector and it served me well. One day I wanted something different/more high end and ended up buying a Faber-Castell Ambition.
Then I decided I wanted at least one piston filler in my collection so I went vintage ( for budgetary reasons ) and after that I wanted to get more piston fillers.
But then I discovered stub nibs and I wanted to get some more pens with a stub nib.

So now, I just search for piston fillers or pens with stubs. ( or in an ideal world, without a limited budget , piston fillers with stubs )

On the experimenting with different ink : it can make a pen feel like a different one, even if the difference is only subtle, it's there

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Some people are super organized and want to collect all of a certain kind of pen, some people just have one or two pens that they use all the time, some people focus on inks or papers, it all depends on what you like and are interested in. Some people like to get one example of each filling mechanism, or collect pens from a single region, some like to restore vintage pens, there's all kinds of ways to group pens. Beware that ecstatic feeling though, it can mislead you into buying way more pens than you really want and then you have to cut down or figure out how to justify the pens (that's the stage I'm at now).

Edited by WirsPlm
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I started with writing. Grew up learning to write with a fountain pen. Then a modest interest in collecting – some vintage some modern. For me, the writing remains as the only real constant.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

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I can easily control the ecstatic feeling...just don't buy any of them lol But I'm very controlled. Cause I don't have any idea which to buy.

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Organization: Can be anything you want. All one country, all one manufacturer, one of my pen pals who collects Pelikan pens is trying to get every version of the M100 through M250. He has all of the M205 versions (~8) https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/256278-pelikan-m205-collection-completed/


Personally, I have a nice combination of pens from different manufacturers.


"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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What do you want your pens for?


If it's simply to build a collection, then find a theme - a colour you like, a manufacturer, a year, a filling system etc. That gives you a focus to build from.


If you want to use your pens for writing huge tracts you may want just a couple of very comfortable pens with huge ink capacity.


If you write a daily journal, and like lots of ink colours you might want a few pens with similar nibs but different barrel colours so you can distinguish between them.


Do you do a lot of drawing, doodling, and noodling around? Then a selection of nib widths and levels of flex may suit you.


Basically there's no one correct way to gather pens - just get what you need, or want, and enjoy them.

Instagram @inkysloth

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It's all about the kind of experience you want. Do you want them to write with? Do you want to just look at them?


For me, I wanted pens I could write with that would provide a very nice writing experience. I started out with a Lamy Al-Star and a TWSBI 580, because they are both very affordable, and at first, I liked the looks of them better than any other fountain pen. As I learned more about fountain pens, I became conscious of the brands that are most talked about, and decided to create a brand list, telling myself I would get one pen from every brand. As I worked my way through that list, I was able to figure out which brands and styles I liked the most, and then that dictated future purchases. I don't now have a pen from every brand, but that's okay. That's no longer what I want, because I have a great collection of pens that I love using!


Unlike some others, I haven't experimented much with nib sizes. I've basically just stuck to the western M. I have a couple of Japanese Ms as well, and a couple of Japanese Bs. I have a Lamy 1.5 stub that can be fun sometimes, but I rarely use it. For me the western M provides a great width to show off shading inks and the like. But others like to have different nib sizes to use in different situations.


Another consideration for me has been ink. I've tried a LOT of ink samples, and I have still a lot more that I've gotten but haven't yet tried. If I find an ink I like, it is then my duty to find a pen for that ink. Or vice versa.


This is how I've made my collection, but everyone does it differently. It doesn't have to be very deliberate - just buy what you like and enjoy. :)

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I am new to the hobby as well. I think the best thing is figure out what you like first.


So far, I'm just trying different pens, to see what I like best. I want to try all the different nib sizes, and I am keeping my pens on the inexpensive side. Then there are all those lovely INKS...


So far my favorite pen for a daily writer has been either my Lamy Safari, or my Nemosine(s) (all fine nibs). I am also into ink; I got a the Platinum Preppy rainbow collection of pens from Goulart so I can play with ink colors and have an idea what color is in what pen.


I use mostly blue-black (am currently looking for the perfect blue-black) in my daily journal, but highlight with other ink colors, and I do a daily card draw and use a different color every day.


There are those who collect only one brand, as stated in earlier posts, or who want only vintage. It just depends on what direction you want to go. That's what makes it fun.

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Go to Richard Binder's com...it is the basics of fountain pens; nibs, filling systems and good advice about inks.


What is your definition of vintage pens in you have had a lot of them, and don't like them? A 20 year old pen is not vintage.

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




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Limit yourself. Do not buy a pen unless you will use it. Put your money into a very few good pens. Don't be tempted by an inexpensive pen (= $20 or $10) just because they look nice. The purpose of a pen is to write, not to look good.


That means: don't do what I've done.


Get a Parker 51, even though it is "vintage", because the 51 is the best pen ever made. No glitz, no glam, no extra glitter, no diamoinds on the soles of its shoes...pure pen designed to function well. That's why a P51 is in the Museum of Modern Art as an example of some of the best design in the 20th Century.


Get a 51 from one of the pen restporation experts, who, incidentally, can tell you what sort of nib the pen has. Most (maybe 80%?) US-made 51s had a fine nib or finer. That fit American taste. Parker England (made in Newhaven) made more medium and even broad nibbed 51s. Therefore, if you buy a 51 from Ebay US, there is a good chance the pen will have a fine nib. Since the nib width is not marked, a seller has to guess what sort of nib is in a 51...or other pens from the same era.


As Bo Bo suggests, read in Richard Binder's site. Be careful you don't get lost...he has so much that it's possible. There are other good sites: Jim Mamoulides (Pen Hero) will tell us something interesting about almost every pen he has restored. For Parker pens, in general, see Tony Fischier's http://parkercollector.com/. Tony seems to be working down through every model that Parker ever made. He's not finished, but he also has business information that nobody else has. There are many other sites dedicated to individual companies.


Read first. Then buy. Don't over-buy. Save your money.


Oh, and take your time. Read carefully and you will learn the best restoration people.


Trust this site, FPGeeks, and the Fountain Pen Board. Each has a slightly different focus; you will meet many of the same people; all around, you will find that fountain pen addicts...I mean devotees...are a friendly sort who love to share information because we want more people to use fountain pens. Expensive pens, inexpensive, in-between, all inks...doesn't matter.



Washington Nationals 2019: the fight for .500; "stay in the fight"; WON the fight

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