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Here is what I currently have in the rotation. I try to keep it to 4-5
fountain pens inked at once. I am always trying different inks as that is part of the fun of fountain pens for me (thanks to Gouletpens.com for offering ink samples).
- Karas Kustoms Render K in Copper. This is one hell of a pen. The design is flawless (Dan Bishop is a genius), and while I prefer the lighter weight aluminum if I’m going to be writing for extended periods, the solid copper is so gorgeous and rugged. It has a permanent home these days clipped to the front pocket of my jeans. It is perfect for quick notes, grocery list check-offs, and if someone ever tries to jump you in an alley they will have their hands full if you’re armed with this beast. I have it loaded up with a black Otho ceramic roller ball refill, .5mm.
- Rotring 600 series fountain pen, fine nib. I’m not sure this is considered a “vintage pen” yet, but it is out of production so you’ll have to troll ebay to find one. As you’ll see as I continue with the list, I love the line variation you get with cursive italic and stub nibs. Pendleton Brown from Pendletonspens.com ground the tip for me into a stub and I couldn’t be happier with it. Pendleton is a gentleman, has great prices for custom nib work and I’ve always experienced quick turnaround times. I love this pen, it is a joy for long writing sessions. The knurled grip is perfect as is the weight (unposted, posted it is a cruel joke). Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku ink (one of my favorites).
- Lamy 2000, fine nib. This one was also stubbed by Pendleton Brown. This is an iconic design that is unchanged since the 1960s for a reason. It is perfect. The gold nib is super smooth, and the weight of the pen is perfect. Again, I prefer it unposted. I just filled it with Noodler’s Saguro Wine. Great maroon color!
- Pelikan M215, .5mm cursive italic nib custom ordered from Richard Binder at Richardspens.com. I picked up this pen used with a damaged steel nib on fountainpennetwork.com for less than $100, then splurged on a replacement nib from Binder. This is the nicest nib I own for sure. It delivers an exceptional writing experience with great flow from the nib–really awesome. The cursive italic grind is a little sharper than the stub nibs I have, so its not great for fast writing or scribbling notes. But when I sit down to write a nice letter, this is the go-to. Noodler’s Dark Matter Ink.
- Kaweco Art Sport, medium nib ground by Pendleton into a cursive italic. I just love these Kaweco Sport pens. I make custom leather sleeves for these little guys to protect them from keys and other pocket hazards. The pair makes for perfect pocket carry. Great line variation and flow from the Pendleton nib. And this “Alabaster” is my favorite of the ArtSports, I love how the white looks likes quartz. Noodler’s Nikita ink – bloody excellent!
I get the most out of these pens and inks by using them with great paper – I love me some stark white Clairefontaine. I am currently brainstorming and outlining for a film I am writing and I’ve found the A4 size spiral bound Clairefontaine notebooks to be a great size for free form writing. For brainstorming I prefer the pace of handwriting to typing (not to mention my dislike for staring at a screen) and I’ve noticed my cursive handwriting has improved markedly in the couple months I’ve been focusing on it while working – an added bonus. For back pocket carry (always in one of my leather covers) I use the 3.5×5.5″ Life Unplugged notebooks from Clairefontaine (no offense to Field Notes, but they can’t hack it with fountain pens – great for grocery lists though!).
First thing’s first, I think I need that table/cutting board/whatever that background is. It really shows off the pens nicely. I really like that you keep it down to a few pens, but each one is special. The Karas Render K is great for when a fountain pen just can’t do the job. They’re all classic looking pens, nothing too trendy, and you could definitely continue to carry these 5 for decades without ever needing any more. Richard Binder does some great work, I’m sure the nib on that Pelikan is out of control. Great pictures, and great pens, thanks Keegan!
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