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Where Have I Been? Sheltered (To The Pen World)

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Hello my name is Clay and I'm a complete noob to pens in general (especially fountain pens.) The reason I'm "new" to pens is I was born with cerebral palsy and due to that I've used computers to write everything but my name and a couple sentences. I used to hate using pens and pencils to physically write things due to how hard it was physically and also I do not have good handwriting at all. I have come to realize here recently I enjoy writing with pens when the pen "glides" over the paper. Keep in mind the pens I used were not even true Ball point either. So I started to do research and discovered fountain pens. I know that it is a learning curve when it comes writing with fountain pens but I feel up to the challenge. I want to start enjoying putting ink on paper cause the way I see it, the words you write in ink gives the paper soul. I'm looking for a durable beginner fountain pen around $10 (prefer non-disposable) and to give you an idea I've tried the Pilot Varsity. I enjoyed the experience that the Pilot Varsity gave me, but I'm just not fond of disposable pens! Any advice would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance,


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Welcome to our little corner of the universe from a pen user in San Diego. There are some excellent and inexpensive fountain pens coming from China but they sometimes need a nib alignment or other minor repair issues that would keep me from recommending them to a novice as first pens. If you want to take a chance look at the Wing Sung 618, Wing Sung 3008 and if you like large pens the Jinhao 159. All are less than $4 on eBay.

“The proper definition of a man is an animal that writes letters.”

Lewis Carroll

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Hello Clay, and welcome to FPN, from Cape Town, South Africa.


I think you will enjoy using a Lamy Safari. They are nice and light; have an ergonomic triangular grip section and generally have wonderfully smooth nibs.


Just be persistent; write for a few minutes every day. My own handwriting was like that of a drunk crab walking through a blob of ink, but writing for an hour every day during my lunchtime has helped to improve my handwriting in a very big way.


Enjoy your time here with us; write with joy.

To sit at one's table on a sunny morning, with four clear hours of uninterruptible security, plenty of nice white paper, and a [fountain] pen - that is true happiness!

- Winston Churchill

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Welcome to fountain pens and the world wide network of people who enjoy using them.


Since you liked the Varsity another pen to consider is the Platinum Preppy. They're only about $3, but are pretty good and the cartridges are available with many different ink colours. Or once you have an empty cartridge it can be refilled with bottled ink using a blunt syringe. There is a converter available for it but it costs more than the pen and not really necessary if you don't mind refilling cartridges.


If you try the Preppy and like it enough to want to upgrade there's the Platinum Plaisir which has a metal body, but is otherwise the same pen.

It's all about the greys...

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Hello and Welcome to FPN!! Glad to have you as a member!!


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Welcome, Clay !


Do you find the Pilot Varsity easy to use ? Sorry, but I don't know how your condition affects your writing hand.

A Pilot Metropolitan might be a good choice, if you can manage a , somewhat, lighter effort. If you tend toward

a thigh writing grip, and a heavier hand, the Jinhao x450 is a very sturdy pen.


Both pens can be used with ink cartridges, what are convenient and easy to install / replace.


Write with joy .

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

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Hi Clay!


Looks like I'm late to the party. Someone already mentioned the Lamy Safari, which I love (I own several), and I think it has a very comfortable and user-friendly grip. I would also look into the Lamy ABC pen- it is a beginner pen but the larger rubber grip might be useful.


If you liked the Pilot Varsity I second the suggestion on the Pilot Metropolitan. It's very easy to handle with a light hand and you can usually find it at a lower price point (they retail for $15 but I've seen them as low as $9-10). It writes beautifully but the barrel has a very smooth texture.


Good luck on your pen journey and enjoy!

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Welcome aboard, from Charleston, SC. If you are a newbie, you might look at the Reference Pages on a website called Richard's Pens: it has a wealth of info about the basics of fountain pens, their use and care, and it will help you avoid making some mistakes. A couple of other websites with useful information for newbies include PenChalet, Jetpens and the Goulet Pen Company. Goulet has made quite a few videos available on their website and on YouTube, which are helpful with some procedures related to FP use. Bear in mind that how your writing appears on the page is a complex interplay of pen, paper, nib, ink, and handwriting, so be patient as you experiment with these variables. Enjoy, and good luck.


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