How to Choose the Best Fountain Pen for You

Your Guide to buying the best Fountain Pen


A fountain pen is an elegant and timeless writing tool that offers a unique writing experience. With its distinctive design, a fountain pen allows for smooth and precise writing. In this buying guide, we will cover the features to consider when purchasing a fountain pen, the different types of fountain pens available, and tips for choosing the right fountain pen for your needs. Whether you're a first-time fountain pen buyer or a seasoned collector, this guide will help you find the perfect pen for you.

Key features

  1. Nib Material – Choosing a nib material will affect the performance and writing experience of a fountain pen. Common nib materials include gold, steel and titanium.
  2. Filling System – Fountain pens may use cartridges, converters, or eyedroppers to fill the ink reservoir. Cartridges are the easiest and most convenient, while eyedroppers offer the most capacity.
  3. Grip – Comfort is an important factor when selecting a fountain pen. The grip should be ergonomic and comfortable to hold, and the size should fit the user’s hand.
  4. Ink Flow – Some fountain pens offer more flow, while others are designed to provide a drier write. Choosing the right ink flow is important for optimal performance.
  5. Design – Fountain pens come in a variety of designs, from classic to modern. Selecting a design that appeals to the user is important for personal satisfaction.
  6. Price – Fountain pens range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Quality and features will vary drastically with price, so be sure to research your options thoroughly.

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Important considerations


  • Customization: Fountain pens come with a wide variety of different nibs and ink colors, allowing for a personalized writing experience to best fit the user's needs.
  • Writing Quality: The ability to adjust the nib, along with the finer points of the nibs themselves, allows for a smooth, tactile writing experience, with the ink gliding effortlessly across the page.
  • Durability: Fountain pens are far more durable than other types of pens, and are designed to last for many years.
  • Refillable: Fountain pens are refillable, and can be used with a variety of different inks, allowing for cost savings over time.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Fountain pens are better for the environment than other types of pens, since they do not require battery power or disposable cartridges.


  • Cost - Fountain pens can be more expensive than a standard ballpoint pen, which could be prohibitive for some buyers who are on a budget.
  • Maintenance - Fountain pens require regular maintenance, such as refilling the ink reservoir and cleaning the nib. This could be time-consuming and potentially expensive to keep up with.
  • Leaking - In some cases, fountain pens may leak or the nib may get clogged, which can cause an inconsistent line width or other issues.
  • Ink Compatibility - Not all fountain pens are compatible with all types of ink, so it’s important to consider the type of ink you’ll use when purchasing a fountain pen.

Best alternatives

  1. Gel Pen - Gel pens use pigment-based ink with a gel base. They are usually smoother than ballpoint pens and lay down a consistent line of color.
  2. Rollerball Pen - Rollerball pens have water-based ink, which flows more freely than a ballpoint pen, allowing for a smoother writing experience.
  3. Felt Tip Pen - Felt tip pens (also known as marker pens) contain an ink-soaked felt tip that produces bold, vibrant colors and wide lines.
  4. Calligraphy Pen - Calligraphy pens are specifically designed for creating ornamental handwriting styles.
  5. Whiteboard Marker - Whiteboard markers are specifically designed for writing on whiteboards. They typically use special ink that won't smudge and can be easily wiped away.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Nibs - The tip of the fountain pen, made of different materials such as gold, steel, or plastic, and comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.
  • Ink - A specialized writing fluid used in fountain pens, it can come in a variety of colors and brands.
  • Filler - A mechanism used to fill the pen with ink, including piston-fill, cartridge, and converter.
  • Feed - The part of the pen that delivers ink to the nib, usually made from plastic, metal, or ebonite.
  • Nib holders - Used to grip the nib firmly when writing, and usually made of plastic or metal.
  • Pen cases - An accessory used to store and protect fountain pens, they can be made from leather, metal, plastic, or fabric.
  • Cleaning supplies - Brushes, cloths, and solvents used to clean the nib, feed, and body of a fountain pen.

Common questions

  1. What are the benefits of using a fountain pen? Fountain pens provide a smooth, precise writing experience that many people find more comfortable than using a ballpoint pen. Fountain pens also provide more control over the lines and shapes of your writing, giving you the ability to create unique letters and variations in calligraphy, handwriting, and other writing styles. Additionally, fountain pens are often considered to be a more stylish writing instrument.
  2. What is the difference between a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen? A fountain pen uses a reservoir of ink that is fed to the nib (the point of the pen) through a small tube when the user presses the nib down onto paper. Ballpoint pens use a tiny ball to transfer oil-based ink onto paper, creating a thinner line than a fountain pen. Fountain pens also require less pressure than ballpoint pens, making them easier to use for longer periods of time.
  3. What types of fountain pens are available? There are many different types of fountain pens available, including cartridge, piston, and eyedropper fountain pens. Cartridge fountain pens are the most common type of fountain pen and utilize plastic cartridges that contain ink. Piston fountain pens use a small piston to draw ink from a bottle. Eyedropper fountain pens use an eyedropper to draw ink from a bottle.
  4. What should I look for when purchasing a fountain pen? When purchasing a fountain pen, you should consider the type of writing you will be doing, the size and weight of the pen, the type of nib, and the style and materials of the pen. You should also consider the type of ink you will be using and the price of the pen.
  5. How do I maintain a fountain pen? You should clean your fountain pen regularly to ensure that it continues to write smoothly and correctly. To clean your fountain pen, fill the pen with tepid water and empty it several times. You can also use a cleaning solution specifically designed to clean and lubricate fountain pens. Additionally, you should store your fountain pen in a safe place and remove the ink from the pen when not in use.


A funny fact about fountain pens is that the first patent for a fountain pen was granted by the US Patent Office in 1884 to Lewis Waterman, a man who had previously worked as an insurance salesman. Waterman reportedly had a disastrous meeting with a client in which he spilled ink all over the contract he was trying to sign, inspiring him to invent a better pen. Since then, fountain pens have become a popular choice for a variety of uses including calligraphy and signature writing. [Source](

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.