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Fountain pens aren’t relics: they’re functional, durable, and customizable. They can turn writing into a pleasurable, meditative experience. With fountain pens, you can select the nib-size that’s right for your handwriting, whether you want a precise narrow line or a broad one, and you can shop for a beautiful bouquet of ink colors. Plus, because they’re refillable; one great pen could last decades.
Cleaning and maintenance means taking a couple of extra minutes out of each week, but we think it’s worth it. Try out these beginner-friendly fountain pens to see if you think so, too.
The Lamy Safari is a dearly beloved workhorse in the fountain pen world—and for good reason. It has a distinctive, flat-edged barrel design and an easy-to-hold triangular grip to ease into writing. The plastic barrel holds up to daily use—you can toss it in your bag and bring it on your travels without worrying about damage. The matte charcoal is a great, versatile starter pen, but it also comes in an array of eye-popping and special edition colors. The pen comes with a pre-filled blue ink cartridge—pick up an easy to use Z24 converter to make it refillable.
The Pilot Metropolitan has a sophisticated, matte brass barrel in a variety of subdued and brighter shades, with stainless steel accents and nibs. Because it’s metal construction, the pen has a nice weight to it, making it feel much more luxurious than its price. Pilot is known for their easy-starting, smooth writing nib, and the Metropolitan lets you select between Japanese fine and medium nibs, which are slightly narrower than European ones. It comes with a converter, so you can refill it with your own ink, and looks perfectly in place in an office or boardroom.
Not quite ready to commit to a refillable fountain pen? Grab a multi-pack of Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. They come in seven pre-filled colors, including standard black/blue/red, and fun, brighter shades like turquoise, pink, and sky blue. You’ll be able to test out writing with a fountain pen nib without messing around with converters and ink bottles. Because fountain pen nibs require less pressure to write, they’re also a great way to ease into writing with a lighter touch without fear of damaging more expensive nibs. If you’re constantly losing your pens, you’ll also be safely back-up ready. Use these to mark up to-do lists and bullet journals, and know that if you lose one, you’ll have plenty of backups.