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I Used To Hate Fountain Pens... (How I Got Into The Hobby)


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Before I got into fountain pens, I absolutely hated them.

I had always like pens, pencils and stationery. My favourite was the Pilot G2 when I had first used a fountain pen.

The first fountain pen I had ever used was a "cartridge pen" from Tesco:


It was terrible. Ink dropped out of the nib, the ink colour was washed out and it feathered and bled through and paper. (Recently I discovered that the pen and ink bleeds and feathers on Clairefontaine!)

From this experience, I thought all fountain pens were like this. I had no idea there was such a vast range of fountain pens and how much they cost.


A few years later, I was given some money as a gift, so I decided to get a Parker (my mother praised Parker a lot, and she wasn't even a pen enthusiast). I got a Parker Jotter ballpoint after doing much research. It was the most expensive pen I ever had, at £6. Some time later, I discovered Uni-Ball Jetstreams- the best ballpoint you will ever use. After that discovery, I got really into pens. I was into ballpoints, rollerballs, gel pens, felt-tip pens, but not fountain pens. I still thought they all behaved the way the Tesco pen did.


When I saw prices of fountain pens, I couldn't believe it. They were enormously more expensive than regular pens. I also discovered bottled ink online, and my interest grew a bit.


What made me want a fountain pen was a small stationery shop. I was in there when I saw a few fountain pens and bottles of ink. Suddenly, for some reason I really wanted a fountain pen! I did some web-surfing and discovered that fountain pens were awesome!

After loads of research, I decided I wanted a Lamy Safari with a converter, and a bottle of Diamine Oxblood for Christmas.


And that's how I got into fountain pens.


Sorry for the long post. Here's a aesthetically pleasing pen:


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Thanks for the post. It's always intriguing to hear how people get into hobbies. Parker 15s (jotter fountain pen nowadays) were my gateway.


I used one all through school and years after starting work I then thought "why have I stopped?" And it all got expensive from there...

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I went from:

- Cross FP (50 USD appox)

- Pilot Varsity

- Pilot Plumix

- Bic Disposable Fountain Pen

Starting here was my addiction.

- Pilot VanishingPoint

- Noodler's Ahab

- Platinum Preppy

- Platinum Desk Pen

- A Load of Jinhaos

- Pilot Justus95

- Pilot Elite (Old JP)

- TWSBI Vac700

- Pilot Knight

- Pilot Metro


My Gateway pen was extremely bad though for the value. That said I had some Yafa's FPs and some Sheaffer and Crosses in my path but they are really trash. My original path is to get a Waterman FP as we know Waterman as the old classic pen. Some how I ended up with Pilot.


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I used gel pens and liked them. Then I heard about the Vissionaire fountain pen on Kickstarter and backed it. The idea of bottled ink appealed to me. And the idea of a pen that would be more pleasure and less pure utility intrigued me as well.


The interactions in the update comments made me nervous though. Doing more research led me here, where I learned that fountain pens were a thing, and not so rare as I thought. I cancelled my backing, fortunate in hindsight. Less than a week later, after reading uncountable threads here, I had a Pelikan M200 from Amazon (before I knew of better alternatives) with a few Waterman inks in my hands. That was the last I saw of my sanity.

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Interesting story! My first encounter with fountain pens was when I was much younger and I would take my dad's montblanc from his cupboard or his shirt pocket to draw with. I remember I really liked the pen cause it would GUSH ink, and it would get all over my fingers. I didn't know at the time that it wasn't supposed to do that! Well school got in the way and I turned to more widely available, cheap pens for my homework. Now I've long since graduated, I was looking around for good pen that'll get me into sketching with ink pens, and I remembered - that fountain pen! And that kids, is the story of how I met your mother...uh.... How I got my first (second) fountain pen! :P

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

~ Mark Twain


Pen and Inkstagram!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started with drugstore Shaeffer pen; I believe my first one was bright yellow plastic cartridge pen. During college, I tried the Pilot Varsities and purchased a Cross that skipped; when I called their customer service, I was told that my handwriting must be too "firm" for a fountain pen and I should just stick with ballpoints. Undetered, , and after watching a college friend write with vintage brown tortoise shell Pelikans, I realized I could write with real ink. 2 faceted VPs, a Parker 51, a few Tuckaways, a couple of Lamys (Safari/Vista), and my own brown tortoise shell Pelikan (not vintage at the time, c. 2003), I have my own little collection. I still owe a debt of thanks to Brian, whose display case of Pelikans intrigued me, and helped me on my journey.

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For me the introduction was my grandmother who gifted me a Waterman Hemisphere when i was 8...I still have it but don't use it anymore

A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too...

Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F.


Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

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My dad's fountain pens were rolling around the house for as long as I could remember. I was intrigued by them, and would go looking for them every few months. Later on I bought a bottle of ink and inked them up now and then, but always put them back because they were my dad's after all, and not mine. Eventually I realized that if he had left them in a bin for 30+ years he wasn't going to be looking for them anytime soon. So I commandeered them for good and that's how I got my first Pilot and Parker 21.

Edited by legume
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I first used a Pilot Varsity and thought it sucked. I tried a Pilot Petit, but although it was cool, I still thought it sucked. Then I won a Lamy Vista, and decided to take time and learn how to use it. Once I figured it out, I was hooked, so I bought a Pilot 78G. It..was...on! Bought three more 78G's, and now I can't stop (Well, unless my wallet is empty).

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I got into fountain pens through a coworker. He and I share the same love for unique pens, stationery, etc. Every time he got a new pen, he would show it off to me. One day, he came in with a fountain pen that was pretty cool and he let me try it out. I wrote really smooth. It was a Lamy Safari. I ended up buying one of my own and have been in love with fountain pens since then.

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I always used a FP from Grade 4 until Reynolds introduced their sleek Blue and White BP in India while in my second year engineering. I was the first one to get one of them in my college!! Thereafter FP usage was less but not entirely stopped. Then at job carried them but office supplied pens were BPs. Sometimes I get a FP fever and switch to them. Some 12 years back got a Cross Morph that I thought BPs are more advanced!! Now after so many years in employment have collected a few not so expensive FPs. Many were not in use and now cleaned them up and filled with various inks. Now ditched BPs altogether except to tick shopping list.


Honestly only after joining this forum did I know what makes a pens more expensive than others, kind of inks and their character(istic)s, how to maintain a pens, how to make them smoother etc.


Now my drawer contains


Pilot Birdie

Pilot 82g

Parker 45

Parker Frontier Black Matt

Parker Vector

Lamy Studio

Lamy ST

Camlin SD

Camlin Cartridge

Reynolds cartridge

Creeks N Creeks - TRADITIONAL

Sheaffer School Pen (I came to know it is called so only now)

WenRung (sleek black with a long cap and short body)

Edited by subbu68
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  • 3 weeks later...

Back in my childhood, when I learned to write, needed to use a fountain pen. But that was an awful one, made me dislike fountain pens. But after it many years went, and I wanted to have a nice pen, finally gave a try for a Parker Urban fountain pen. Well, the story starts there, got hooked. Most of the time I use a Parker Sonnet, which is looks more beautiful, than an Urban.

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