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Should I Get Into Fountain Pens?


YairZiv
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Hey guys, so for the past month or two I really got into fountain pens for reasons unknown, I just think they're absolutely fascinating and beautiful. I'm in the 10 grade and I thought about buying my own. problem is, it's expensive, the 2 most inexpensive pens we have where I live is the Faber Castell basic for 135 Sheqels (35.99 USD), or the Lamy Safari for 119 Sheqels (31.72 USD). Not even talking about a converter and an ink bottle, I calculated it to get to around 200 Sheqels (53.32 USD).


What do you think about using a fountain pen for studies, and do you recommend me to get into fountain pens, and buy my own?


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Hi and welcome! Fountain pens can be very much fun, ergonomical and even practical.

 

The good thing about them is that a properly working fountain pen reduces the amount of strain and fatigue to your hands and wrist as you do not have to press the pen down (like you would with a ballpoint pen). Also, the cost of a pen is reduced as time goes by as you need to only buy ink, not entirely new pens (more ecological also).

 

One thing that came to my mind, have you asked your family and relatives if any of them have old pens that they do not use (and you could either try or have)?

 

Also, hunting for vintage ones at flea markets and antique stores can be a lot of fun, provided that you have such opportunities around where you live and the time to indulge in that kind of a sport.

 

Anyway, welcome again and hope you enjoy your stay!

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Hi,

 

Well, if you wish to and you can find a way to afford to, then why not?.....

 

As you can see from looking around the FPN forums, there are thousands of us that feel the same way as you do about using fountain pens.....,so we can't all be wrong about it....

 

Enjoy this unique way of writing and ask questions at FPN if you have some.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mark

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

 

 

 

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Welcome to forum. If you can in your country, you can buy many inexpensive pens from China through eBay/aliexpress that provide extraordinary value. I'd recommend the jinhao x450 or baoer 388 stainless steel. Revaqiews can be found on YouTube or here on the forum. The best part is they only cost a couple of dollars! Some Hero ink (also Chinese) can be brought and shipped very cheaply too.

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Hey guys, so for the past month or two I really got into fountain pens for reasons unknown, I just think they're absolutely fascinating and beautiful.

 

 

Sounds like the decision has been made!

 

They are only expensive if you think of them as a tool, and compare them to other writing instruments in the same fashion. If you think of them as a treasured form of expression that you can keep and use for your lifetime they are not expensive at all!

 

Maybe search around for a decent used pen - they can be had at much lower prices and could be a great way to get started. As stated above - maybe ask a family member to help you find one. Good luck!

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Look to your elders. Let it be known that you want a fountain pen and like water from the rock it will appear.

 

My Website

 

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Sounds like the decision has been made!

 

They are only expensive if you think of them as a tool, and compare them to other writing instruments in the same fashion. If you think of them as a treasured form of expression that you can keep and use for your lifetime they are not expensive at all!

Actually, if you think of them as a tool, and use them only as a tool, they end up a lot cheaper in the long run. A Pilot Metro costs $15, and if you have only one big bottle of inexpensive black ink, which you can get for another $15, you're writing for years for $30. Before I got into fountain pens, I liked the Pentel Energel pens (still do -- they are beautiful and smooth), but I had to drop $50 every time I ordered a few dozen refills, and those gel refills certainly did not provide me with any more writing, and probably with substantially less, than a big bottle of black ink would have. And the pen mechanism itself tended to wear out and need to be replaced, which was another $4.00 every couple of years. In 8 years the duratility of a Metro would have paid for itself just in terms of the pen, while the ink would have paid for itself much faster.

 

Fountain pens may be more expensive than a 20-pack of ballpoints, but if you compare them to gel pens, or other pens of similar ease and comfort in writing, and look only at the cost of usage (i.e., a durable pen, ONE 50-ml bottle of inexpensive ink, and a converter), then FPs do come out cheaper. FPs are only more expensive if you do treat them as self-expression, and start trying different nibs, different filling systems, different inks, fancy papers -- which, to be fair, most of us here eventually start doing, because they're awesome. But if we think of them as a tool, and spend money on them as if they were only a tool, then they're very inexpensive.

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Check your usual online shopping portals (ebay, amazon, aliexpress, Rakuten) for fountain pens by Jinhao, Baoer, Hero, Duke, Bookworm, Lanxivi, Pilot, Platinum, and Lamy.

 

The top three recommendations for a first pen around here are:

 

The Lamy Safari. Tough, lightweight, bright colors, good ink capacity, nibs that nigh unto any fool can remove and replace with other interchangeable Lamy nibs, purchased for around USD$11-$15, in widths from XF to 1.5mm calligraphy. On the other hand, it uses either a converter or a proprietary cartridge, which you should be able to refill with a blunt syringe. The section facets are not for everyone. The Jinhao 599 has a nearly identical section, and sells for around $2-3.

 

The Pilot Metropolitan/MR/Cocoon. Durable (midweight brass body), attractive, sleek (when capped), excellent QC resulting in smooth reliable nibs that run around a half-size smaller than most European brands, and it comes with a converter, which the other two do not. Disadvantages: Narrow section, proprietary cartridge (though they can be refilled easily with a disposable bulb pipette if you pull out the cap when you finish off the included ink), and a sharp step between section and barrel that some find annoying. The MR is made for the European market and takes standard short international cartridges.

 

The Platinum Plaisir (my favorite). Durable, lightweight anodized aluminum body, 0.5 and 0.3mm nibs that have a bit of feedback, more section girth than the Safari or the Metro, and its inexpensive brother, the Platinum Preppy, has earned its reputation as a pen you can dig out of the back of a drawer after a year of neglect and reasonably expect to write on the first stroke. Like the others, it takes a proprietary cartridge; I've had no trouble refilling mine with a disposable pipette. The big chrome trim cap ring offends the sensibilities of some, and if it has a colored finish on the nib (something Platinum appears to have recently given up on), you can reasonably expect that to peel and flake off.

Edited by Arkanabar
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Someone mentioned vintage pens. If you decide you may want to go that route, remember that they often need work to get back into writing condition (perished rubber sacs/diaphragms, worn out or broken plastic or metal parts inside the pen, nib problems, etc. So unless you have the means and knowledge to do repair/restoration work, yourself, you probably want to choose another option, as buying vintage, already restored, pens can cost at least as much, if not more, than a brand new pen, especially if you choose a decent quality Chinese pen, which, btw, often provide free shipping. Only downside is the time it takes for them to arrive, ime.

 

I buy tons of vintage pens (usually Esterbrook J-series pens and Sheaffers of all sorts in the inexpensive column, or silver or gold-filled Waterman's and their ilk in the moderately-priced column, which I classify as anything under $250) when I can find them with flexible gold nibs, and almost invariably they need, at the very least, new rubber sacs or diaphragms. One pretty green Esterbrook that I got in the mail on Saturday needs a new "J bar", which will have to be ordered online and replaced by my husband, along with the perished rubber sac. Not hard to repair, often, but you generally need to know how to replace the part(s) properly, as well as have a source for new ink sacs and other items. There are less expensive ways to get a decent pen, or at the very least, less time-consuming ways to do it :-). Once your budget and situation improves, then you might enjoy the vintage pen route. Or, you could get really lucky and get a restored vintage pen for a really good price. Ime, that doesn't happen often, as the people who restore them generally know their market value.

Edited by IrishEyes

"In the end, only kindness matters."

 

 

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Have your parents buy you a decent pen after you earn it and it will be meaningful and encourage you to get good use out if it. I think a low cost Pilot ot Lamy make good options.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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I used a fountain pen since 5th grade. It was a basic Sheaffer cartridge pen that was sold at the drug store, nothing expensive. In college I used a pair of Parker 45s, again not an expensive pen. But you do have to be careful how and where you use a fountain pen. There are places where a ball pen or pencil is a better tool for the task of writing.

 

Vintage cartridge pens are another option. Just need to clean them and stick in a fresh cartridge. OK maybe you need to adjust the nib. Just make sure that the pen takes current production cartridges, as there are pens that use cartridges which are NOT AVAILABLE any longer.

Edited by ac12

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

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I encourage you to do it. If nothing else, writing with a fountain pen has made every writing experience I have 'deliberate' in a way that it wasn't, before. I'm not saying they're magic, and other people have different experiences. But I won't write with anything else now.

 

My one word would be to look for a fountain pen that you think you really like, really like, that isn't too expensive, and write with that a lot. Try to avoid the 'acquisitive phase' that a lot of us hobbyists went through. You are allowed to spend your money however you want, but for a lot of us fountain pens are a place for us to *sink* all our money. For plenty others, it's a place where you *save* money because you aren't spending that money on disposable pens. That's the best route to go when beginning, I think.

 

I got into fountain pens because a classmate used a Parker 51 and Parker Quink every day, every single day, for our entire time together at graduate school. He wasn't in it for collecting a ton of high dollar pens--he just loved to write with THAT pen and THAT ink, and that is a beautiful thing.

With kind regards,
-Matthew

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Your hand writing will improve, there will as mentioned less fatigue. In there are different Safari nibs for @$7 that one is the one I'd recommend.

That way you can experiment with different widths and a couple of stubs.

 

There many fine inks.....with the Safari you have to have a converter, in Cartridges are only for the Rich....and has always been. In the late '50-early '60's I a workers kid could not afford them...They can be refilled with a needle syringe....do flatten the point....you want the widest needle available and a 12 ml syringe.

You need also a rubber ear syringe to clean out your cartridge/converter fountain pen fast.

 

The next problem, is you need to have much better paper than you normally use. 90g laser paper is the minimum for copy paper. 80g feathers.

Shading inks are fun, that is two toned ink, cause by the ink sitting on the top of the paper for a few seconds.

Many 'noobies' rush out, demanding super vivid inks....only.

One needs both. There is no hurry....first what inks can you use at school, Pelikan Royal Blue/Lamy Blue can be erased can be erased with a Pelikan 'Pirat' pen/pencil gadget.

 

Pelikan Blue Black is a wonderful ink, starts out bluish and dries dark blue to near black.

Before Noodlers, Pelikan Black was rated next to Aurora as the second best black. (((Now there are many Noodler blacks that are blacker....but that would be an expensive imported ink....))))

You do have to use good paper....some folks complained it was too gray, in they used poor paper and an EF nib. I find it quite black enough and always have...since the '50-60's.

Pelikan would be one of the cheaper good inks that you can find, just about anywhere.

Lamy Turquoise, has one of the neatest bottles of all, and will shade on 90g laser paper.

 

The good news is actually ink in a bottle is relatively cheap. Start with something like Pelikan. There are so many inks you can 'express' yourself. You are suddenly like a kid with a 64 crayon, box of crayons after a life with a box of 8.

 

 

There are vintage Jewish fountain pens made in Israel that I have heard good things about. They died with the Ball Point came in.

 

So perhaps one or some is laying around in the family treasure chests or can be found in flea markets. As Jar said, there is bound to be an Aunt or great Aunt with a fountain pen.

 

I have no idea what script you use, or how much 'Jewish/Arabic' scrip you use in your school work. I'd look that up to what nibs would be good for that.

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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I got my first pen in grade 11 ... it was a sheaffer Triumph-Imperial. It got me through high school and out of university.

 

Sticking with a $50 pen for several years is cheaper in the long run than buying a couple of $8 pens a year.

 

The part about getting into fountain pens that is expensive is compulsive buying .... that comes later

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Welcome and best wishes. Similar to what someone just said, I also started in about the seventh grade with a Sheaffer cartridge pen that cost either one or two dollars and cartridges were proportionally inexpensive. I was perfectly happy with that pen and then got a few more in college and graduate school. I also agree with Ergative that you can get off to a good start with a Metropolitan and a bottle of one of the good but inexpensive inks (Pelikan, Herbin, Sheaffer, Parker, and Waterman would be names I would look at to find a color you like. Anything from any of those makers will work just fine.) Regarding the Metropolitan, someone recently gave me a nice gift of some rather expensive ink, and also gave me a Metropolitan, knowing my habit of liking to put new ink in a new pen. I'm so amazed at that pen. I think it writes as smoothly as any pen I have, with the possible exception of two or three that are on a very different price level. The Safari and the Prera are also very nice, and I happen to think the Kaweko Sport has one of the best nibs in the entry level range. We hope you will report back. In particular, I will be interested to see what your classmates and teachers say, assuming you be either the only, or one of just a few, "real" pen users.

 

Edit: I just re-read your original post, and note that you are choosing between the Basic and the Safari, and some of us recommended other pens. Most of the recommendations are available from Amazon or any number of other vendors, but let's go back to your starting point. First, yes, I recommend that you join the fountain pen world. It's the best way to write. For more expansion on that basic remark, just keep reading the forums. Then regarding those pens you mentioned, I would say choose what you like best, because both are excellent writers, sturdy and reliable, and attractive. I would pick the Basic, because I think it has one of the best steel nibs available. But I notice it is a bit more expensive, so the Safari is a fine alternative. In the long run, you will probably want to get a converter, but both Lamy and F-C offer several nice colors in cartridges. I don't think it has been mentioned that the F-C uses what is called "universal" cartridges, which could both expand your range of colors and potentially reduce your costs for cartridges until you get a converter. Lamy uses what is called "proprietary" cartridges, so you much buy from them. Forgive me if you already know all that.

 

I don't think you asked about nib size, so maybe you have that figured out. If so, great! If not, check back here, and I'm sure you can get a few dozen opinions, but there are some folks with good answers, and also some resources you can use. Or, if you are dealing with a store where you can try out some different examples, all the better. I live in a small town, so that's never an option.

 

One last thing: I called the Basic and the Safari "sturdy," and I think that is a fair description. However, they are both plastic, and therefore not unbreakable. Both are somewhat vulnerable to breakage if fulcrum-like pressure is put on the middle of the pen. Therefore, I would (proudly) carry my pen in my shirt pocket rather than in my jeans pocket or backpack. Or at least be a little careful if the pen goes to those places.

Edited by Pensei
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Buy one. Get the best one you can afford. Years from now what it cost will be meaningless. I would go with the Faber Castell, based on recent reading about the quality of their nibs. The best choice is whichever one you really like best, it will always be your first pen.

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Look to your elders. Let it be known that you want a fountain pen and like water from the rock it will appear.

Insightful allegory. Or is it a parable?

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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The easy writing of a fountain pen save me much hand fatigue in college. I recommend it.

I am a fan of inexpensive fountain pens that are suitable for school use. I don't know whether you have access to Ebay, but someone you know should. These are three that have served me well.

I estimate 3.75 Sheqels per US Dollar.

 

Jinhao 599

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_sop=15&LH_FS=1&_nkw=Jinhao%20fountain%20pens&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1&_trksid=p2045573.m1684

 

 

Jinhao x450

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_sop=15&LH_FS=1&_nkw=Jinhao%20fountain%20pens&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1&_trksid=p2045573.m1684

 

 

Jinhao x250

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Luxury-Jinhao-250-Calligraphy-Faountain-Pen-Clip-Art-Pen-Business-Medium-Nib-/311572796921?hash=item488b2f95f9:g:cVUAAOSwxvxW8PS2

 

 

Good hunting !

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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A side bar to this discussion:

 

The Bar Mitzvah Speech

"Today I Am a Fountain Pen"

Sometimes the punch line of a joke becomes better known than the joke itself. Such has been the case with a joke about becoming bar mitzvah. The joke, in fact, is often repeated via this one phrase: ... and today I am a fountain pen.

In the past, a frequent gift at a bar mitzvah was a fountain pen. Before the popularity and price of today's ball-point, a fountain pen was a prized, cherished item not too far removed from a pocket watch. It signified accomplishment, achievement, responsibility, position, and arrival. The giving of the fountain pen was the acknowledgment of entry into adult life, with responsibilities accompanying it.

The cliché bar mitzvah speech usually began with "Worthy (or Honorable) Rabbi, Beloved Parents, Relatives, and Dear Friends," and ended with the forceful declaration of, "today I am a man!' To hear a 13-year-old assertively utter this always brings a wide smile. With the giving and receiving of the adult tool, a fountain pen, it was synonymous to joke, "Today I am a fountain pen."

...http://jewishwebsight.com/lifecycle/mitzvah.html

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It's fun but expensive and, at the end of the day if we're honest, quite useless hobby. I like stuff that lasts and items I develop a kind of relation with, so I love fountain pens.

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