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How to Choose a Fountain Pen?

how to choose a fountain pen

If you are interested in getting into the hobby of fountain pen collecting or want to try your hand at a different writing tool, you need to know what to look for. Fountain pens nowadays are not that expensive. However, if you do want better performance, then you will need to spend a bit more.

Writing or drawing with fountain pens is a completely different experience compared to regular ballpoint pens. Admittedly, fountain pens do not write quite as smoothly as ballpoint pens, but it does come with their own set of benefits and charm.

If you want to know how to choose a fountain pen for casual use or collecting purposes, this article will guide you through the process.

How Do You Choose the Right Fountain Pen?

There are many kinds of fountain pens you can choose from, so choosing just one will be kind of difficult. Here are a couple of things that you might want to take into consideration when you are shopping for your first pen.

The Size of the Pen

choose the right fountain pen

The size of the pen will not necessarily affect how the fountain pen will work. However, you need to know how to choose a good fountain pen that has just the right size to fit in your hands.

If you have rather large hands, you should choose pens that have a thicker barrel. You might want to check out the pens that have cigar-shaped barrels. These are typically thicker compared to the other pen barrel shapes so they might suit your hands better.

On the other hand, no pun intended, you can try out the straight cylindrical pen barrels if you have smaller hands. Generally, the thinner fountain pen barrels might be easier to use for those who have small hands.

The Weight of the Pen

Again, this will depend on your writing preferences. Some people like using pens that feel solid and have significant weight. Meanwhile, other people like their pens to be quite light, especially those who like to write multiple pages at a time.

Nib Thickness

When choosing the size of the nibs, you should consider what you will be using the fountain pen for most of the time. For instance, if you will be using the fountain pen mostly for regular writing, like journaling or note-taking, you should be fine with a regular narrow tip. Something that is sized 0.5mm to 0.7mm should be fine for your needs.

However, if you are thinking of using a fountain pen for beginner calligraphy, then a nib size of at least 0.7mm is required. Ideally, something around 1.0mm is best. One thing to keep in mind, though, fountain pens are not that great when it comes to calligraphy. You need a dip pen for that hobby.

Nib Material

nib material fountain pen

Since you are just a beginner in the world of fountain pens, you may probably be interested in starter pens. These are pens that are budget-friendly, usually less than $50 each. Budget fountain pens typically come with stainless steel nibs that are perfectly fine for general writing purposes.

However, if you have a bit of room in your budget, you can get one of the more known brands. The fancier and more expensive fountain pens sometimes come with gold-plated nibs. The gold plating is more than just for looks. These nibs are more flexible and are more suitable for sweeping strokes.

Your Budget

If you don’t want to get turned off on fountain pens right from the bat, you should avoid the cheap, no-name brands. The cheap pens do not work well at all. Their nibs usually jam up quite easily and some just outright break.

This does not mean that you should burn your entire budget on a high-end fountain pen. There are plenty of popular brands that offer mid-range pens that are easy on the wallet. These are the best ways to start your fountain pen hobby as they will provide you with a more pleasurable writing experience.


weight of the fountain pen

Fountain pens come in all shapes and designs, so you can surely find one that will suit your tastes. You can choose your favorite colors, designs, patterns, and more. You can also choose from a wide variety of materials, ranging from regular plastics and metals. You can also find pens made from stabilized wood and resin.


Do fountain pens last a lifetime? Yes, you can find those that last for a long time. Fancy fountain pens can be quite expensive, but when you look beyond the price tag, you will find a luxury item that can last a lifetime. This is especially true if you maintain them properly.

You can find a lot of collectors who have pens that are decades old and they still write as if they were brand new.


Are the fountain pens you are thinking of getting good for everyday use? Once you are familiar with writing with the fountain pen you will find that it is an enjoyable everyday writing tool. Go for one that you can easily use every day.

A lot of people like using fountain pens, not just because they are fancy, but because they promote mindfulness while writing. The soft scratching noise the nib makes can also be quite relaxing.


Now that you know how to choose a fountain pen, there is a good chance that you will get hooked on collecting them. Fountain pens are so fascinating that you cannot just stop at just one. Once you know what your preferences are, and how you can choose the right pen for your purposes, finding that one perfect pen might just be possible.

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