Aug 14, 20182382 views

Interest Check: Fountain Pens

Hi all,
We'd love to hear more details on the different fountain pens you like. We do our best to source a variety of different brands, types and styles, and are always looking to stay in tune with the interests of the community.
· What do you look for in a fountain pen? · What kind of nibs do you prefer? · Are there particular models and brands you like?
Your suggestions and feedback are taken into account when we look for new products to put on the site so tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any preferences you have in between.

Check out our past and current fountain pens here:
robomuffin, Betti Thomasian, and 17 others

I'm all about the demonstrator style fountain pens. I think about ink capacity, like the opus 88 has amazing capacity that is currently one of the drops. I personally like fine or the fine-medium nibs. It would be interesting to see some italic stubs or flexy nibs.
I like demonstrators and ebonite pens, especially larger pens like the ones Ranga makes.
What would be brilliant is a special order of larger converters. An Extra Large Lamy converter, for example, for all the safaris, Al Stars and Joys...there is room in the pen! At present I just carry a tiny Nalgene bottle of the inks I am using with me. My favourites are a bit of a mix. I use the Lamy Joy with an EF nib in my dairy loop - love the feel of this extra long pen. (Also love the feel of the platinum, Sailor and Pilot Desk Pens) I have another Joy with an EF Gold nib but it is less fine. I like the feel of the Joy in my hand and love all this range for writing and occasional sketching. I use piston feeds specifically for sketching and drawing so have the TWSBI diamond 580 extra fine (inked with brown De Atramentis Document ink) and two pilot heritage 92 fine (inked with document black and grey) in my everyday carry. Piston fillers are terrific for high use pens. The Pilots are lovely for writing and drawing. I find the fine is good in Japanese pens as the EF can be more scratchy for drawing on watercolour paper. For studio work I love the Pilot Falcons and Sailor EF nibs - the first are great for expressive lines and the Sailors can draw incredible detail. So I look for smooth flow, fine lines and, ideally, good ink capacity. I rather like gold nibs. Always fine or extra fine, apart from a couple of Lamy’s I use for calligraphy. I tend to use lighter pens as I may be drawing with them for some hours. While I do not actually think I need any more pens, I’d like to see TWSBI piston feeds, Sailor and Pilot more on Massdrop.
Above all my fountain pens need to be smooth consistent performers and I prefer them to be nice looking, cool colors/designs etc. For nibs I prefer Fine or stub, cursive italic, some true flex, gold nib options too. I love Lamy, TWISBI, Pelikan, PIlot. I generally DO NOT by ordinary black or blue pens. An option to get the pens tested or tuned before shipment would give more confidence to buyers.
Extra fine fountain pens from Platinum, Pilot or Sailor. Would be interested to see more unusual nib grinds like italic, oblique, stub, etc.
Would love to see more gold nibs on modern-design pens.
I missed the most recent drop for the Makrolon Lamy 2000, and I am hoping that there will be another one soon.
I am interested in any Aurora product.
Extra-fine nibs.  Taccia, Platinum, Twisbi.  Pens that are good workhorses.
I've purchased a Pelikan M205, Waterman Carene and Italix from Massdrop. (Have many others not acquired through Massdrop) My favorite is the Waterman Carene by far as it is elegant AND is an amazing writer. I look for pens that are nice looking, writes great, doesn't feel cheap and doesn't break the bank. (The Pelikan M800 is beautiful, but too much money for me) As far as nibs go, I normally go with a Fine, but have Medium and Italic Stub. (great for ribbon and curves) I also like the two-tone tuxedo nibs. I just think they are more attractive. That said, I have both steel and gold nibs and prefer the softness and flexibility of a gold nib. Personally I would love to see a Pelikan M600 for an amazing price that I simply can't say no to :)
I like broad no. 6 nibs or larger, (a pen offering with a music nib option would be awesome!) and non-cartridge converter fillers, thus Pelikan, Aurora, Visconti, Pilot, Sailor, and the like.
I have a very specific pen I want, and it may be my grail pen: Pilot Vanishing Point, fine nib, gunmetal and rhodium
Your grail pen is generally the se ond last pen you will buy. 😁
I really look for a pen with visual appeal. I use a medium nib most of the time and am kind of a rookie in fountain pens so nib selection isn't a big deal to me. I just want a pen that looks sharp, that separates itself from the rest of my collection and then that writes well. Feels good, and flows ink cleanly and smoothly. I'm looking for the pen that says "Pick me up and write with me. You won't be disappointed."
The recent drop for the Laban Mouviso (Actually called the Genghis Khan) is exactly the type of pen I am looking for. That is a low-mid price range pen between $80-150. I prefer a medium or fine nib. Personally I don't have the money to spend $500+ on a fountain pen but I love a pen that lets me feel as though I found that diamond in the rough. The Laban Mouviso (Genghis Khan) was that for me recently. In general: More LABAN pens! The pens I am mostly disinterested in are the "kit" pens. The pens where the manufacturer made the body but then uses prefab products. A good example would be the "Tree Ring Natural History Pen". Don't get me wrong, that is a pretty pen and the "parts" they use are high quality (minus the nib) but in my personal opinion this pen exemplifies the "kit" pen idea.
Agree with @Georgiebirrell in terms of both the fine and extra fine nibs (dry please) and not exotic finishes. I own Lamy, Kaweco, and Pilot but would also like to see Sailor, Platinum, F-C.
I like fine or extra fine nibs. Also Plunger, Vacuum or Piston fillers. Not interested in exotic finishes or materials.
I agree with jjlax10 Platinum and Sailor pens would be nice here. I personally look for italic and cursive nibs of medium and broad, as well as specialty nibs like music nibs.
Two brands that are notably absent at least for the higher end pens are Platinum and Sailor. Excellent pens for the price, and because Massdrop can purchase in quantity, a variety of nibs and exclusive colors are possible. Another brand to consider is Opus 88, which are very nicely made and fun, not too expensive, and take JOWO nib units. I also would suggest that MD consider group buys on pen nibs themselves. JOWO make BB and OBB 18K nibs, and if a quantity purchase with savings is possible, I think it would be a big benefit to the community.
I like large, but not oversize pens, with stub or italic nibs and ideally with integrated filling systems, although I have some cartridge/converter pens, but I prefer an integrated filling mechanism.
I love the Pelikan pens, esp anything under the $75 mark. Something with a longer barrel, as I recently purchased a Pelikan Stola ($12). The barrel is four fingers long. I have the Pelikan Pharoh ($50) and its barrel is five fingers long, and it really improves the feeling in the hand. Both nibs are excellent.

As a Collector with limited experience, I was looking for the Fountain Pen that was easiest to write with. I’ve whittled it down to Medium Size Pens but they must have solid gold Nib . So far, my vote goes to Sailor King of Pens.
Isn't that one bigger than a medium sized pen?
Yes it is a bit bigger and seems fatter than smaller Sailor Pen’s answer to the German made 149. However, if you hold a Sailor they have manage to design it so that it isn’t heavy in the hand at all. It always writes straight away when I’ve not used it for a bit. So, it balances very lightly in the hand and it’s the smoothest, easiest writer that I’ve ever bought.
For me, these middle Level pens. No grail pens for 800usd, more like 100-300usd list price models. Pelikan, lamy, montegrappa, platinum
More pens that leans towards a custom build, ie you can easily change nibs etc yourself. Nice and unique pens and also classic pens. Doesn't matter, as long as they deliver on one thing - they have to be all about writing!
I love demonstrators and piston fillers.
I would purchase Montblanc fountain pens.
From attending pen shows, I've learned that I love the appearance of the old Parker vacuumatics and duo folds, and really appreciate the feel of Aero 51s. But for modern pens, Franklin-Christof is a great brand. You've had some unique ice pens (clear, slightly cloudy) from F-C (I bought one). More of those! They have beautiful green-tint or white-tint ice pens. Also, Pilot Namiki Falcon pens are phenomenal, I never see them on Mass Drop. Enough with the Metros and Lamy Safaris, already!
Somebody posted a picture of a helix fountain pen that looked amazing, would love to see that sold here!!
I like unusual but inexpensive fountain pens. Also, I wish you offered a greater nib variety, particularly broader, more flexible nibs and like stub and italic.
I happen to like flexible nibs (both vintage and modern) in Japanese sizing where the points are one to two sizes finer than Western nibs. My current daily writers are a TWSBI VAC-700 with an Eversharp Symphony nib and modified feed, as well as a Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with a Falcon nib.
This is a bit of a long shot but I've always wanted to see higher end pens find wider distribution, such as Franklin-Cristoph, Romillo, Nakaya, and Sailor's fancier stuff.. Having tried out a lot of those, each pen has certain characteristics that are interesting and distinct.
Ultimately, my decisions for fountain pens come in threes: capacity, nib feel, and hand feel. If the pen writes well but runs out of ink quickly, it is hard to take it on the go to be a daily writer. Similarly, if the nib (and feed) have a hard time getting started or have a tendency to burp while on the go because of a bumpy ride, it reduces overall enjoyment of the pen. The feel of the pen in the hand is hard to quantify, but posted or not it should extend a little past the crook of my hand over the knuckle with a medium weight.
A Nakaya Decapod is actually really good in all of these aspects, but the cost is pretty expensive and the manufacturing process takes quite a long time. Modern made pens like TWSBI's stuff are pretty good and a great platform for tinkering. I feel like Asian manufacturers are represented the least inside of the drops available on rotation, and I'd love to see more of them!
I had a number of fountain pens some years ago - I sold most but still look for good, USEFUL pens...not big ornate things you'd pull out to sign a Treaty... I have some Lamy daily users, but also Pelikan, Omas, Cross, a big Montblanc in a black base - I have a pair of cool colorful Bexley pens and another older blue Bexley set. I probably carry the colorful Bexley set as much as anything. Roller + Fountain I generally only use them to sign things, and generally like Broad nibs - I find I don't use the fine/medium nibs that I still have.