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I was wondering what everyone's take is on good value fountain pens out there. Best pen under $50? What about best under $100? Am curious to know!

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  • Bluey

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Google best pen under 50 dollars (or 100), you will be amazed by the number of results, from blogs and commercial websites. The topic has been discussed several times.

 

My take. Under 50: I would go for a Piliot Metropolitan (more classic shape) or a Lamy Safary (if I need to try a variety of nibs, Metropolitan only comes in fine and medium).

 

Under 100: I think that through ebay or amazon it is possible to snap a Platinum 3776 at around 100usd. But be warned, it is fairly small if not posted, but nib performance is stellar.

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You can buy new Pelikan M200/205s on ebay for $100-115 US, including shipping. Just saying.

 

In the middle-range, you can get Waterman Hemispheres, $30-70 depending on the finish.

 

At the other end, Sheaffer VFM is a decent all-metal pen for ~$15 US. Only comes in medium (it's pretty smooth) and only uses short int'l carts; cap doesn't have the tightest seal but not really a problem if used daily.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Best pen under 50? I would stretch that by 10 dollars and say the Twsbi vac mini. That is one cute and extremely functional pen.

Under 100? Now that's a tough one but definitely a Pilot Custom 74 or Platinum 3776. Yes you've read that correctly, you can get a modern 14K gold nib for under 100 dollars.

Hope that helps, this is of course very subjective and be warned I've also excluded vintage pens exclusively of which there are many models worth getting but I decided to pick pens that are widely available. :)

Dr. Jafar Mohammed Uddin (MBBS.)

 

Daily Drivers = Visconti Kakadu LE #100/100 - 18Kt Gold 'M' Nib -- Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog LE #785/888 - 23Kt Pd "1.3mm Stub" Nib -- Pilot Custom 823 - 14Kt Gold 'M' Nib

Currently Inked with MB Toffee Brown, Akkerman #10 IG, and Akkerman #10 IG respectively :wub: :wub:

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I have been far more impressed by my Pilot nibs than my Platinum nibs. I had problems with both my 3776s until I was able to introduce a tiny bit of baby-bottom to their nibs (a Soft Fine and a Medium). My $20 Pilot DPN-200s were perfect out of the box.

 

You might want to look at the Pilot Custom 74, available from Amazon from $75.

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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$50 or less: Twsbi Eco or Pilot Prera around $30 - you can step up to the Twsbi Mini or 580 by going all the way out to $50. You might be able to find the Platinum PtL-5000 for under $50 (about as cheap as a gold nib gets).

 

$100 or less: Platinum 3776 or Pilot 74/91 (same internals, slightly different bodies). If you like compact pens, the Pilot E95S or Pilot Stargazer.

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TheRealMikeDr

Best Pen under $50 Lamy Safari.

Best Pen under $100 - Pilot Custom 74 (you may need to shop and be willing to buy direct from Japan for this price)

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Under $50, the Metro and Safari are hard to beat. Much as I like old Sheaffers, the VFM I have is very poor... I did SO want to like it too.

 

Under $100, I love my two #3776's (F and M). If you wanted a heavier pen a Waterman Phileas is a stellar writer, but a bit "showy" for some folks. And with careful shopping I'll second the Pelikan M200 pens. Excellent pens.

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


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$100, if you look at German Ebay....vintage Geha 790 semi-flex....can be found for as little as 19E with great luck. 40-50-60 E seems to be the going price now. Standard sized, well balanced, posted.

 

For the old normal, springy 'true' regular flex, Geha School pen...piston ... From 12E to 19E....not the ones who take a dead can't find cartridge.

Depending on which one...one a near clone of the 790, the other thinner. The nibs of either do not fit the 790.

 

Of course for only $89 you can get that 12 E pen from German pirates selling that school pen to idiots in America..

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.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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

 

 

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I believe that "best pen under x$" is a bit too much of a broad criteria, where personal preference comes first. It might need more options to refine the criteria:

 

Most forgiving pen? This might rule out many pens that have been known to have issues out f the box, or that have narrow sweet spots.

 

Most comfortable pen?

This might rule out tripod grip pens and/or others that have clips in the section, a la Pilot Capless

 

Nicest looking pen?

Although (mostly) a matter of personal preference, it might give you an idea of what you like and what you do not like

 

Otherwise, another excellent question would be: "what is the best American/British/French/German/Indian/Italian pen under x$?"

 

But, to answer to your question, I believe there are many good options under 50$, such as

 

Aurora Style

Delta Unica

Marlen One

Platinum Plaisir or Platinum Preppy

Sheaffer Prelude NOS

Waterman Graduate

 

Under 100$ I have no doubts: Desiderata Daedalus for that flex nib

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For a good smooth and reliable writer under $50, a Jinhao x750 or similar is perfect, as is a Pilot Metropolitan and Twisbi Eco.

 

Between 50$ and 100$ there's the Pilot Custom 74 in soft fine/medium, Pilot Custom 92 in transparent blue, and the Platinum 3776 in transparent blue or red in medium, broad, or course. Most of those you can get for around $70 on Amazon or eBay.

 

 

You can buy new Pelikan M200/205s on ebay for $100-115 US, including shipping. Just saying.

 

In the middle-range, you can get Waterman Hemispheres, $30-70 depending on the finish.

 

This thread is about good value for money.

Edited by Bluey
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Hi,

 

As ever I am reluctant to pick a 'best of' pen paper or ink.

 

But I will nominate the Easterbrook J series.

 

(So sorry Pelikan M215, Sheaffer 330, and Parker Newhaven Junior Duofold, and Parker 45, and and and ...)

 

Bye,

S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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TheRealMikeDr

Best Pen under $50 Lamy Safari.

Best Pen under $100 - Pilot Custom 74 (you may need to shop and be willing to buy direct from Japan for this price)

 

To clarify a bit on the value part:

 

Lamy Safari - it's made of hard plastic and would likely take a LOT of abuse - so it would last a long time. Secondly you can swap nibs on it so it's more versatile. Lastly mine can sit for a week and start right up - and I've never had any nib (I have three) skip.

 

Regarding the Pilot Custom 74 - you get a gold nib and a classy looking pen (you could stop right there as far as climbing the "pen ladder" and be happy) and while Pilot nibs don't tend to be exciting mine are very robust. It tolerates some rotation and doesn't skip or hard start. The Platinum 3776 Century is a close second but from my (limited) experience the pilot converters are better than the platinum (had one fail) so that's the deciding factor. Frankly for $80 or so I think both the Pilot Custom 74 and Platinum 3776 are superb values!!

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A new category: best value under $3, shipped. The Hua Hong blue belter. Details in this review:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/308732-a-review-of-the-hua-hong-blue-belter/

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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