All posts by edjelley

The Ultimate Gift Guide For the Fountain Pen Fanatic

The Ultimate Gift Guide
For the Fountain Pen Fanatic

The season of gift giving is upon us, which often results in that sinking feeling of “I have NO idea what to get them!” It’s not always easy to shop for something you’re unfamiliar with (like pens). I’ve put together a wide range of goodies from affordable to “wow that’s a nice gift” to help you pick out something for the stationery fan in your life. If you’re already a pen fan and want to get others into the hobby, check out my guide for 7 starter fountain pens under $25.


Fountain pen collectors tend to have more than just one pen. Each fountain pen writes, feels, handles, and looks different from the next. I usually have somewhere around 6 pens inked up. Some of my personal favorite pens and best writers are affordable ones. Don’t worry that a cheaper pen is too “beginner” for an experienced fountain pen user, either way they’ll appreciate the gift.

Top Posts 2013 Fountain Pen Ink Reviews Lamy SailorLamy Safari – The Lamy Safari is one of the best beginner pens out there. It’s built with German precision, has a modern look, and the triangular grip ensures proper form while writing. The nib (the metal part that writes) can swap out, which is ideal for anyone who hasn’t figured out their preference in line width.
BUY – $25

Top Posts 2013 Fountain Pen Ink Reviews Lamy SailorPilot Metropolitan
Regarded by many as the best deal in fountain pens, the Pilot Metropolitan stands out from the pack. This excellent writer is only $13.25 and includes a converter for bottled ink use. The body is constructed of metal and the Japanese nibs glide across the page effortlessly. Available in several colors and patterns, there really is a Metrolpolitan for everyone. Even though the pen is priced cheaply, it makes a great gift for fountain pen enthusiasts new and old. Personally, I’d much rather throw a Metro into my pocket than my Mont Blanc, especially during travel.
$13.25 – BUY

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen ReviewAl Star Gift Set – Lamy’s Al-Star is essentially the aluminum version of the Safari. It feels a bit more premium due to the metal construction. This gift set includes cartridges to get you writing right away, as well as a bottle of ink and converter. It includes everything needed, and comes in a nice gift box to boot.
BUY – $54

Pilot Vanishing Point Metallic Orange Fountain Pen ReviewPilot Vanishing Point – This pen is a little more expensive, but it’s super cool for the gadget lover in your life. The Vanishing Point by Pilot is a retractable nibbed fountain pen – think classy click pen. Made in Japan, the pen feels premium and its gold nib writes like a dream. It’s especially useful for students and note takers since there’s no cap to lose!
BUY – $145

Kaweco Sport Burgundy Fountain Pen Handwritten Review 9Kaweco Sport Burgundy – Kaweco’s Sport line of pens have been around for the better part of the century, and for good reason. This pocket pen is smaller than you may think, but once you post the cap (place on the end of the pen barrel) it’s the perfect length to write with. They’re great for those who always want to have a pen in their pocket or bag without taking up too much room.
BUY – $28

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Handwritten Review 049 5Lamy 2000 – A design classic. This is my all-time favorite pen, and it’s barely been altered since its release in the 1960s. Featuring bauhaus design, a reliable piston filler, and a silky gold nib, this workhorse of a pen will make any fountain pen fan happy. Durable Makrolon resin with a brushed finish give the pen a modern, understated look — ideal for the practical person in your life who appreciates design and function without being flashy.
BUY – $125

PreppySet of Platinum Preppys – The Platinum Preppy is one of the best beginner fountain pens out there. They’re cheap, they write smooth, and if you end up not liking it, you’re only out a few bucks. This set of Preppys includes a ton of colors, perfect for those who like to express themselves. It’s nice to have a beater pen that you won’t cry over should you misplace it.
BUY – $23.50

Civil Defense Documents 1960s Platinum 3776-9Platinum 3776 Black Diamond – On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Platinum 3776 Black Diamond. This classically designed fountain pen is comfortable in the hand, looks great in a shirt pocket, and features a unique cap mechanism that keeps the pen from drying out for a really long time. The Japanese-made nibs are smooth as glass and they come in a nice presentation box.


Fill It Up 

Most pens come with a disposable cartridge to get you writing. One of the most fun things about the hobby is the vast selection of inks out there. I’ve put together a list of 5 Inks For Everyday Use that is full of safe bets. The inks below are a little more flashy and are well-suited for letter writing or special occasions.

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor Review-9J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor – A beautiful shade of emerald-green with red edges and gold shimmer. This ink is absolutely incredible, and it’s no surprise it is one of the most popular releases of the last few years. This ink is best in broader nibs to get the full effect!

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-PekiIroshizuku 3 packs – Iroshizuku is Pilot’s premium line of fountain pen inks. They come in beautiful bottles that will look great on any desk, whether at work or home. This three pack is a great way to try out several different colors and comes in a presentation box.

50mlRedLustresmallDiamine Shimmer Inks – Diamine’s answer to J. Herbin’s shimmering line of ink! Diamine is a trusted brand who has been manufacturing quality fountain pen ink for decades, they make some of my favorite colors. Available in a range of shades, these inks feature either gold or silver flakes inside that will make your writing pop.


Premium Paper for a Premium Pen

Regular copy paper is rough, feathery, and ink tends to bleed though. Snag a premium notebook to really make that fountain pen shine. This is one of the most important, and often overlooked accessory that ensures full enjoyment of a new pen.

R by Rhodia No 18 Stationery Review 11Rhodia R Pad – Rhodia makes some of the highest quality, smoothest paper out there. It’s thick enough to accommodate fountain pen ink on both sides of the page and is an absolute pleasure to write on. The R by Rhodia is even nicer, featuring cream-colored paper and a  soft touch, water-resistant cover. Ditch the crummy copy paper and use your fountain pen to its full potential.
BUY – $12

Maruman Mnemosyne 182 Notebook Review-9Maruman Mnemosyne Pads – These are amongst my favorite notebooks ever. Available in a wide range of sizes and rulings, they all play nice with fountain pens. The wire binding allows the book to lay flat and makes each page easy to write on. Featuring black plastic covers and subtle ruling, these understated books are much more than they appear.
BUY – $2+

Leuchtturn Jottbook Review 3Leuchtturm1917 Notebook – This notebook features 249 numbered pages of smooth, ruled sheets. It includes a page marker ribbon and is held closed by an elastic band. The A5 size provides just enough room for writing, while still being easy to throw in a bag and go.
BUY – $19


If you’re spending more than a dollar on a pen, at least give it a proper home! These desk accessories and pen cases are ideal for keeping your new investment in writing pleasure safe and sound.

DSC_4014Dudek Modern Goods – Made by one man in Arizona, these handsome desk accessories keep 9+ pens or pencils displayed nicely and ready to write. They’re fashioned from solid walnut and will look great on a desk or shelf. Use the coupon code “EDSENTME” at checkout for an additional 10% off!
BUY – $45+

One Star Leather Pen Sleeves ReviewOSLG Pen Sleeves – One Star Leather Goods use premium leather from one of the oldest tanneries in the country. Expert craftsmanship and clean designs add a hint of class to anyone’s fountain pen collection. The stitching is flawless and the leather will age gracefully the more you carry it.
BUY – $25+

Nock Co. Brasstown Final Production Run Pen Case ReviewNock Co. Cases – Nock Co. is a company that’s been Kickstarted into pen world fame. They make intuitively designed pen cases out of durable nylon with heavy-duty zippers. A wide range of cases accommodate both pens and pocket notebooks. If you’re looking for something especially unique, check out The Brasstown. It’s a zippered pen roll that can house an entire collection.
BUY – $15+

240-0812Alvin Cutting Mat – These make a great background for photos, and an even better barrier between ink and desk. Cover up that nice wood table or kitchen counter with one of these mats and easily wash off any ink-related spills that may have happened.
BUY – $27

I give up…

It’s okay if this is all overwhelming, sometimes the best route for gift giving is a gift card. There are tons of fountain pen and stationery related items on Amazon. If you’d like to guarantee you’re getting something pen-related, make sure to check out Pen Chalet, JetPens, and Goulet Pens.


Hopefully now you’ve got a better idea of what to pick up for your pen-obsessed loved ones. For the pen people already reading, check out my 7 Beginner Fountain Pens Under $25 if you’ve been looking to recruit others into this wonderful hobby. If you think this list would be helpful to your family and friends, make sure to hit the share button and drop that subtle hint!

Did I miss any of your favorite pen-related gifts? Let us know in the comments below!






Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links that support the website. Any funds earned go towards review units and site maintenance. This is a labor of love!

Maruman Mnemosyne 182 Inspiration Book Review

Maruman Mnemosyne 182
Inspiration Book Review

Maruman Mnemosyne 182 Notebook Review-9


  • Book Size – A5 (5.8 x 8.25″)
  • Ruling – grid / blank
  • Grid Size – .5mm
  • 70 Sheets, perforated
  • Top wire binding
  • Plastic cover
  • 80gsm, fountain pen friendly paper
  • Made in Japan
  • $10.50 from JetPens

Maruman Mnemosyne 182 Notebook Review-3

The Mnemosyne line of notebooks by Maruman are definitely amongst my favorite. They look great, they’re filled with fountain pen friendly paper, and they come in a variety of convenient sizes and ruling. The inspiration book was designed with the creative in mind, featuring both blank and grid rulings. It’s the perfect size to toss in a bag and go. It also doesn’t take up a ton of desk real estate, but still provides enough room to sketch out ideas, take notes, and more. I’ve found that I tend to go through Maruman notebooks rather quickly. If that’s not a testament to how much I like them, I don’t know what is. This configuration is fast becoming one of my favorites. Make sure you check out the gallery below for a ton more pictures, all at full resolution!

Maruman Mnemosyne 182 Notebook Review-13

Thanks to JetPens for sending the book over for review!


Disclaimer: This book was received as a review unit, free of charge. All opinions are my own.

PSA: Tactile Turn Gist Has 1 Day Left!

Tactile Turn Gist Fountain Pen-1

Only One Day Left!

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up, there’s only one day left on the Kickstarter campaign for the Tactile Turn Gist. This is definitely one of my favorite pens that has come out recently. You can check out my full review of the pen here.  This pen brings something new to the market, yet oddly familiar. I’ve been carrying the pen in my pocket, next to a Tactile Turn Shaker, and it’s held up well to abuse. I haven’t been overly careful with it, and it still looks as it did on day one. I can definitely say I’m a fan. After shooting the product photos for the campaign, I immediately backed it for a brass grip/finial model with a steel nib, in addition to the titanium grip/finial model with titanium nib I have on hand. If you’ve been on the fence about it, might as well snag one now before the prices shoot up to retail after the campaign ends. Did you already back the project? Let me know which combo in the comments below!

Karas Kustoms “EDK” Machined Pen Review

Karas Kustoms EDK
Everyday Carry Pen Review

Karas Kustoms EDK Massdrop Review-4Specs:
– Machined Brass / Tumbled Aluminum
– Schmidt P8126 Rollerball Refill
– Stainless Steel Pocket Clip
$45 from Massdrop

Karas Kustoms Massdrop EDK EDC Pen Review-4


The EDK (everyday karas? karry?) is a new pen by Karas Kustoms that’s launching exclusively through Massdrop. The pen is geared towards the EDC community. It’s sort of a hybrid “Bolt”  / “Retrakt” with some added machined rings for grip, a click mechanism, and a knurled top. Inside there’s a Schmidt Capless Rollerball refill, but the pen is able to take standard Parker Style refills as well. The model that Massdrop sent over for consideration (thanks!) is composed of a brass grip and a tumbled aluminum upper. Karas Kustoms Massdrop EDK EDC Pen Review-3While I like the pen, I think there could have been more optimizations for EDC as the name implies. I wish the clip/knock allowed for a deeper pocket carry. I’ve had the silent knock mechanisms (used on Karas Retrakt, Tactile Turn Mover/Shaker, Airfoil Click, and many more) accidentally engage in my pocket. It’s a bit more prominent on the Retrakt/EDK because of how high it sits in the pocket. Karas Kustoms Massdrop EDK EDC Pen Review-7The Schmidt P8126 is nice and smooth, and writes with little effort. I’d like to see an EDC pen that has to write anywhere at any time have a refill in it that’s capable of the same. A Fisher Space pen or some other pressurized ballpoint would have made a lot of sense here when reliability is a key factor. I’m happy to report that these can be easily swapped in as long as they’re Parker-size. I was surprised to see an EDC pen built around a rollerball refill. The EDK features a brass grip that adds some nice weight towards the front of the pen. The forward balance of the pen makes it super easy to write, and the pen puts ink on the page with little effort. I like the very noticeable forward balance of the pen. Karas Kustoms Massdrop EDK EDC Pen Review-6The grooves in the grip (never before seen on a Karas pen) add a nice bit of tactile feedback and visual flair. The tumbled aluminum looks great and does an excellent job of hiding scratches, which is nice considering that the pen has been riding next to my knife in my front pocket. The brass grip is also starting to patina nicely, adding some character to the pen. The length of the EDK is comfortable to write with – shorter than the Bolt and Retrakt, but not so short as to be inconvenient to write with. The construction of the pen is top-notch, exactly what I’ve come to expect from a Karas Kustoms pen. Karas Kustoms Massdrop EDK EDC Pen Review-5Overall, I like the pen, but I’m not in love with it. I think there are many optimizations that could have been made for an absolutely killer EDC pen. I think even something as small as a deep pocket carry clip would have made the pen closer to my ideal EDC pen. Fit, finish, and construction are top-notch, so there should be no disappointments there. If you’ve been looking to add an EDC pen to your collection, consider the EDK – this pen is available on Massdrop right now!

The EDK next to the Retrakt!
The EDK next to the Retrakt!


Disclaimer: free stuff. 

Dudek Modern Goods “Divide” Winner Announcement & Discount Code

Dudek Modern Goods “Divide” Winner Announcement & Discount Code!Dudek Cube GAW-7

…and the winner is…
Congratulation to Ginni C!

Thanks to all who participated, read the review, and clicked around the site. We had over 280 entrants, which is huge! Congratulations to the winner, Ginni C! The random number generator has selected your comment as the winner. You’ve been emailed with information on how to claim your prize. Please make sure to answer soon, if I don’t get a response in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll draw another comment from the entries.

Since there can be only one winner, Mike Dudek and I have aimed to make the loss a little less harsh by providing an exclusive discount code.

and use the code “EDSENTME” 

(Good for 10% off  any of his wonderful, handmade pieces.)

Thanks again!