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I'm a student, and I usually carry one of my nice pens (I don't actually have any cheap pens - just my grandpa's 51, Snorkel, and my Edison Nouveau Premier) in a leather sleeve in a separate compartment in my backpack. In my pocket, along with my keys and knife (and whatever else makes its way in there) I usually carry a cheap ballpoint or gel pen. Just a Bic or a G2, sometimes a mechanical pencil. I want to carry a fountain pen instead, and I was wondering what you thought would be best for something that I can throw in my pocket and not worry about it breaking. It's between a Preppy, a Metro, or a Safari. It'd just be for times when I need something to write with right away, so a cheap pen with a fine nib and a snap cap is what I want. Would a Preppy work? Can it stand up to the abuse of being smashed around like that? Or should I upgrade to a Metro or a Safari? (I welcome other suggestions)

 

Thanks!

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Hi,

In my experience Preppy was too fragile, plastic did not crack, but the pen un-capped few times. Slip and seal, which is a wonderful addition by Platinum even on Preppies, lost the function and the ink dried. So - no go for a quick starting pen need.

Metro has a bit heavier brass body (if you don't mind a bit of extra weight), and it got scratches from the pocket neighbours. Test done on 2 hours walk only...

I use now Kaweco Sport as a pocket pen. The cap is a screw on, plastic didn't get scratched and it is a small and light pen.

Hope this helps, welcome to FPN and happy writing!

LETTER EXCHANGE PARTICIPANT

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In terms of nibs I would rate the Metro as the best out of that lot, then the Preppy then the Safari.

The Safari has the benefit of possible nib swappage at little cost.

The Preppy has the advantage of being eyedroppered, but then you may not feel comfortable carrying it in case of an accident.

The Metro probably comes out top on the toughness stakes.

The Safari has a grip section I find annoying and I find the Metro grip section sharp and unpleasant.

The Metro does't hold a great deal of ink.

 

These are only my thoughts. Your mileage may vary of course.

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I have never written with a Preppy so I can't speak of that pen, but there are several Metropolitans and Safaris in my collection. Because of the Metro's metal body it would hold up very well to being jostled around. But the plastic bodied Safari has more nib options. I would suggest spending a few dollars more to obtain Lamy's AL-Star, because you would then have a sturdy metal pen with great nib options (and also a better color range over the Safari).

 

Another consideration is the Pilot Prera, a tough small pen.

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Go for the Platinum Plasir instead of the preppy. The Plasir has the same nib as the preppy, but has a thin metal body - so it will last longer. Most of my preppys developed cracks after a couple of years.

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I keep a couple different Safaris in a small backpack full of sketching stuff. Great writers and cheap enough I don't care what happens to them looks-wise (the Al Star shows wear from what I hear). They have held up well to that minor abuse, and they start right up even when they have sat around for days. Snap cap. Changeable nibs (very easily). Much to like and recommend them. The grip does not bother me like it does some folks. I have 4 of them. Pilot Kakuno might fit the bill also at an even lower cost... have a couple of those but usually grab the Safaris.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso


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Pocket pen? None of these.

 

I prefer the Pilot Petit1 all the way. True pocket size, posts very well, never dries out, durable plastic, and writes better (better quality nib) than the Preppy. I don't consider the Safari a "pocket pen," although it can be carried there.

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Truly in the pocket, Kwako(sp?).

 

I carry a pair of Al-Stars, metal ver. of Safari. I flip out to my shirt, on the inside of the collar if I don't have a shirt pocket. Or I don't want to look like my nerdy self, which is hard to do with a full beard.

Peace and Understanding

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I keep preppys on the desk, the caps split and pop off too easily to even carry in my shirt pocket. I would go with the Lamy Safari, it's my usual carry for rougher conditions.

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I would suggest the Pilot Prera. It is small and durable and performs well. I believe that the nib and feed are the same as those on the Metropolitan, but the pen is shorter and lighter.

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Have you considered a kaweco sport? They serve a pocket role perfectly, and are pretty cheap

"Oh deer."

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+1 for Prera. It's a sweet little package. It writes every time.

I like the Prera also. But it is ten times the price of the Petit1.

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If you want the pen down inside your pocket, and very small, get a Kaweco AL Sport. If you want a very tough, full size pen, Karas Kustoms Fountain K or Ink, depending on preference.

 

If cost is an issue, get a Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen. It's bulletproof, clips securely to your pocket, and has the added bonus of being an effective impact tool in a pinch. I would recommend buying a quality, German number six nib from somebody like Goulet or Anderson, as the nib it comes with is unimpressive.

Fountain pens forever and forever a hundred years fountain pens, all day long forever, forever a hundred times, over and over Fountain Pen Network Adventures dot com!

 

- Joe

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Don't use a Preppy, it'll crack. A Safari will uncap in your pocket (at least it did frequently in mine). I thought a metro would do well...until my key ring caught on the clip and sent it flying out of my pocket. The cap came off and the pen landed nib-down. Now I use a Kaweco sport. Lightweight, small, tough, and the screw cap keeps it secure. Plus: the clip is optional.

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For me, the Prera is a bit too nice a pen to be a "throw in your bag/pocket" kinda pen.

My vote, which would fit the bill here, goes for the Safari.

Mike L.

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If you want the pen down inside your pocket, and very small, get a Kaweco AL Sport. If you want a very tough, full size pen, Karas Kustoms Fountain K or Ink, depending on preference.

 

If cost is an issue, get a Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen. It's bulletproof, clips securely to your pocket, and has the added bonus of being an effective impact tool in a pinch. I would recommend buying a quality, German number six nib from somebody like Goulet or Anderson, as the nib it comes with is unimpressive.

 

I have the Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen. It's indestructible, it has a gasket that seals the cap - it will write instantly after sitting for a week, it writes well (slightly wet, just the way I like it). It is heavy, but I like that too. The big problem is that they discontinued it. There are a couple of places that still have it (Amazon, Ebay), but it's over $40 now (I got mine for $12 on a closeout sale). I carry it in the cargo pocket of my pants, which previously had destroyed several pens.

 

The Kaweco AL sport looks like the next best thing, but they are $80. I have some cheap Jinhaos and Heros that I leave laying around on my desk at work. Most of them have brass bodies and pretty tough. A Jinhao x450 might be a good choice (snap cap). The Baoer 79 is a MontBlanc copy with a nice secure screw cap and a tough metal body. The Jinhao 195 has a screw cap, but it's not that secure, and it's huge. Of the choices you list I'd get the Metro - great pen.

Edited by frankb3
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Safaris are ever so boring.

 

The Kaweco is a nice pocket pen(smooth too). You should also have a look at the Pilot "Smile" Kakuno. It doesn`t have a clip, instead the nib smiles at you.

 

As for the chinese pens, there are plenty of options. The silver version of the Baoer 388 comes to mind. A very pleasant fountain pen.

 

Also, if you don`t mind the slippery section and thin design, a parker vector SS will last you for years, so would a parker 45. These were built with students in mind, and they do a heck of a job. I wouldn`t trade my 45 for any pen, it`s the jack of all trades. Both these pens are extremely reliable.

Edited by rochester21
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I keep a couple different Safaris in a small backpack full of sketching stuff. Great writers and cheap enough I don't care what happens to them looks-wise (the Al Star shows wear from what I hear). They have held up well to that minor abuse, and they start right up even when they have sat around for days. Snap cap. Changeable nibs (very easily). Much to like and recommend them. The grip does not bother me like it does some folks. I have 4 of them. Pilot Kakuno might fit the bill also at an even lower cost... have a couple of those but usually grab the Safaris.

Safari is still in the running... I'm skeptical of the grip though. Thinking back, I always hated those triangular grip pencils they gave us in elementary school. How durable are the Kakunos? Do they have the same nib as the Metro?

 

Pocket pen? None of these.

 

I prefer the Pilot Petit1 all the way. True pocket size, posts very well, never dries out, durable plastic, and writes better (better quality nib) than the Preppy. I don't consider the Safari a "pocket pen," although it can be carried there.

How durable is the Petit1? Does it take a converter? Couldn't find one on Jetpens, idk how I feel about refilling cartridges. Is it hard to do?

 

I would suggest the Pilot Prera. It is small and durable and performs well. I believe that the nib and feed are the same as those on the Metropolitan, but the pen is shorter and lighter.

That's a bit more expensive than I'd want to spend on a pen that's just gonna get beat up. Shorter and lighter sounds nice... but I don't know that it's worth 40 bucks. I'll see if I can find a used one, might consider that

 

If you want the pen down inside your pocket, and very small, get a Kaweco AL Sport. If you want a very tough, full size pen, Karas Kustoms Fountain K or Ink, depending on preference.

 

If cost is an issue, get a Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen. It's bulletproof, clips securely to your pocket, and has the added bonus of being an effective impact tool in a pinch. I would recommend buying a quality, German number six nib from somebody like Goulet or Anderson, as the nib it comes with is unimpressive.

I might go with a Sport. The $25 plastic version is appealing because of the low cost, but as awesome as the aluminum would be... I don't think I want to dump that much into a pen that'll be in with keys and a knife. I'll look for a used one of those too. The Schrade is DEFINITELY appealing. If you have one, would you be interested in selling?

 

Safaris are ever so boring.

 

The Kaweco is a nice pocket pen(smooth too). You should also have a look at the Pilot "Smile" Kakuno. It doesn`t have a clip, instead the nib smiles at you.

 

As for the chinese pens, there are plenty of options. The silver version of the Baoer 388 comes to mind. A very pleasant fountain pen.

 

Also, if you don`t mind the slippery section and thin design, a parker vector SS will last you for years, so would a parker 45. These were built with students in mind, and they do a heck of a job. I wouldn`t trade my 45 for any pen, it`s the jack of all trades. Both these pens are extremely reliable.

Not a huge fan of slippery and thin. I have a 51 and if it wasn't my grandpa's pen, I'd probably use that. What's the difference between the 51 and 45? (Side note - I'm considering buying a 75 too. Not as a pocket pen, but just because I think it's beautiful. Are they good pens?)

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OHTO's FF10T is a collapsible pen.

 

The cap screws into the back of the section, and presto, you have a larger pen.

 

It only takes cartridges, but it might be worth looking at.

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