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How to Select The Best Fountain Pen? A Buying Guide for Beginners

how to select fountain pen
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

For a writing experience that is smooth, precise and beautiful, there’s nothing better than a fountain pen. This age-old tool enables you to write in an artistic fashion that looks amazing whilst still maintaining high readability. Writing is beginning to become a lost art, with the constant use of keyboards and screens, it’s easy to forget the sheer joy that a beautifully written letter, note or even just scribbles at work, can provide.

A fountain pen is the absolute best way to revel in the written word, they’re a luxurious and indulgent addition to your daily grind that will encourage to slow down and actually enjoy the physicality of writing. Here a few things to consider when you’re on the hunt for the perfect fountain pen:


The size of the pen that you use will determine how comfortable your writing process is. You should select your fountain pen in relation to the size of your hands. If you have bigger hands, a small pen will feel fiddly and difficult to write with. Similarly, a larger pen will feel impossible to maneuver if your hands are more petite.


An expensive, high-quality fountain pen will usually feel rather heavy. Although this is a signal or good craftsmanship, this can be less than ideal for those who will be using their pen for long periods of time. If you’re going to be scribing all day long, opt for a lightweight pen crafted out of a sophisticated plastic to keep the process productive and comfortable.

Maybe your pen is a little more decorative and a little less functional? If this is the case, you’re absolutely fine to find yourself a pen that is made out of heavyweight, durable metal. These look fantastic and last for decades.

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Ink cartridge vs bottled ink

Consider the inking system of your ideal fountain pen. The two most popular methods are ink cartridges and bottled ink.

An ink cartridge enables you to keep writing, uninterrupted, for long periods of time. This is a fantastic choice if you’re a student, or if you’re taking notes down in high-pressure meetings. A cartridge is definitely the more modern and functional system to use, although you will have to be replacing the cartridge every so often.

This can get expensive if you’re eating your way through liters of ink at a time, so keep this in mind for an informed selection.

Bottled ink is the more traditional inking method. This echoes the quill and ink writing process that goes way back in human history. It’s safe to say that this type of inking is highly tried and heavily tested, so you can trust that it works.

A pot of ink is a savvy choice that uses less plastic and requires fewer trips to pick up the ink. For this, you’ll need to find a converter style fountain pen. Once you get the hang of the fill-up process, you’ll be good to go!


The nib is an essential element to consider when purchasing your pen. A stainless steel nib used to be considered, but after many years of refinement and development, this option is a cost-effective and quality choice. Stainless steel is a perfect alternative to the traditional golden or silver luxury nib.

The size of your fountain pen’s nib is equally as important. Select a wider, broad nib is your handwriting is large and relatively free form. If you prefer a tighter, more precise stroke then find a narrow model.

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By considering these four factors, you can be confident that your fountain pen choice will be the right one for you.

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