Top 7 Beginner Fountain Pens
Fountain pens are not only a great hobby, but they make a mundane task (writing things down) much more fun. I’ve put together 8 Reasons Why You Should Write With A Fountain Pen, and now here’s a few great ways to get started. I’ve been writing with fountain pens for about 5 years now, using everything ranging from a $4 Platinum Preppy to a multi-thousand dollar Omas. I’ve purchased, tested, sold, and researched TONS of different pens over the course of running this site. I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best fountain pens under $25 that I have used. These pens are not strictly for beginners, as each of them are very capable writing instruments!
This is the pen that got me started on the road to fountain pen obsession. It’s modern looking, yet has been around long enough to be considered a classic. Some may not like the triangular grip, but it really helps out beginners understand how to hold the pen properly. There’s an ink view window and an included cartridge, but you can pick up a converter for another $4 or so to use any bottled ink you want. The best part about the Safari is that the nibs can be easily swapped out for around 10 bucks, helping beginners to find their preference.
($19 – BUY)
When pocket friendly-ness is a must, the Kaweco Sport is always mentioned. When I got my first Sport, I was shocked at how small it was at first glance. It looks uncomfortable at first, but post the cap and you will immediately be surprised at how well it feels and writes. The nibs are good out of the box and I’ve never had one leak, even after being bounced around in my pocket.
($24 – BUY)
Sailor Clear Candy
Sailor is typically known for their high-end fountain pens. The brand has a long history in the category and their craftsmanship and nibs are great. They’ve managed to carry over some of these high quality characteristics into their budget fountain pen, the Clear Candy. Available in a ton of colors, the Clear Candy writes as well as any other steel nib, all for $16.50. The body is light and the star on the top adds some fun design flair. Not the most serious pen out there, but it’s a solid writer and there are a ton of color/nib options.
($16.50 – BUY)
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 Metropolitan 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)
Pilot Varsity Disposable
Another pen by Pilot has made the list – the disposable Varsity. At $8.50 for a pack of three, these are great to keep on hand to let curious onlookers try out. Fountain pens do tend to draw attention, and nothing is worse than when someone asks to borrow a pen while you’re writing with your beloved Nakaya. The Varsity by Pilot is a great way to get others interested in fountain pens. Although they’re not the fanciest, they still write quite well for being under $3 each.
($8.50 for 3 – BUY)
The Platinum Preppy is one of the first fountain pens that gets mentioned for beginners. It’s extremely affordable at $4.45, but writes and feels like something that costs more. The stainless steel nib is smooth and the flow is right where it should be. The Preppy includes Platinums “slip seal” cap mechanism, which ensures that the pen will not dry out, even if left unused for a full year. Grab a few pens in different colors to feel out your preference!
($4.45 – BUY)
Out of the bunch, this pen is the most classically designed example. Black lacquer over brass, a brushed gold metal grip, and the classic Parker arrow clip result in a pen that looks as great on a desk as any other. The pen is hefty, comfortable, and a smooth writer. The nib on my particular pen wrote a bit narrower than a medium, but that helps on lower quality paper. For just under $25, the Parker IM definitely deserves a little bit more attention than it gets!
($25 – BUY)
Is anything missing from my list? Let me know your favorite budget fountain pen in the comments below!