On Fountain Pens…

Stationery community, I feel I have to get something off my chest. It’s a bit controversial, and I might end up with some enemies from saying this but… I don’t really *get* the whole fountain pen thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like reading other people’s reviews of them and I like listening to Brad and Myke go on about them on the Pen Addict Podcast, but I just don’t have any desire to buy them…

In a way I think this is a good thing, a. for my bank balance as it can become a VERY expensive hobby, and b. because there are SO many people already doing brilliant reviews of fountain pens and I don’t think my voice would be adding much, but I do find it frustrating that I can’t get excited about them like other people can.

Since I started blogging just over a year ago, I’ve amassed quite a collection of stationery, but I’ve only felt compelled to buy one fountain pen, my trusty Kaweco Sport Skyline.


I bought this for a couple of reasons; I love the way it looks, and it’s really reasonably priced. I love the way that all Kawecos look, but i don’t really feel the need to get another one.

I guess my stationery taste is pretty shallow, and my choices are very much based on looks as much as functionality. Speaking of looks, I genuinely think the majority of fountain pens (Kaweco excluded) are just not very attractive! Sorry… I do like demonstrator pens, because I think it’s cool to see what’s going on inside, but the rest of the time I think they often look very old-fashioned and can’t imagine they appeal to people like me. I can’t really think of anyone I know “in real life” that uses a fountain pen as their every day pen – is that because they aren’t particularly cool looking/are too expensive/too high-maintenance?

Since going to a couple of calligraphy classes in the last month, I been really enjoying getting to grips with using nibs on dip pens, and I’ve been loving playing with different inks so it is something I’d like to explore.

Am I going to eat my words? Is there any pen I should try that’s going to change my mind? Or any clean, modern looking styles, similar to Kaweco that you think I’d like? Please comment below, or tell me on twitter – what do you think? I’m happy to be converted!!


It depends what your definition of modern style is really, as the Kaweco sport is actually a 1930s design. I’m not personally a fan of the traditional looking FP (I’m thinking normally black, with a gold or silver cap band, clip, and not much else), but I don’t have any of those in my collection of about 25. The Lamy 2000 is a pretty iconic FP with a very modernist design, the Kaweco Liliput is simple, sleek and tiny. Franklin Christophe makes lovely pens that look like ice, and then there’s Nakaya – hand made Japanese pens, unique and beautiful. The #fpgeeks tag on Instagram is a good way to see lots and lots of pens all in one place!

Posted 6 years ago by Holly Reply

    Hi Holly, thank you so much for your super helpful reply! I realise I contradicted myself a bit by saying I like Kaweko AND modern styles. I think I really mean modernist styles… With simple designs and clean lines. All great suggestions – I have seen Franklin Christoph’s that I like, just not enough to pay that price! Lamys… I feel like they match what I say I like but I just can’t get into them. Oh dear, I sound very picky… Thanks for the cheaper alternatives too – maybe they are a better way for me to explore and see what I like or don’t like. You clearly know your stuff!

And, having realised I’ve just listed a load of very expensive pens, a few cheaper not standard looking pens are the pilot Kakuno, pelikan twist, pilot MR (metropolitan in the US), and of course Lamy Safari or AL star.

Posted 6 years ago by Holly Reply

I am of similar thinking! I do like fountain pens (love my Kaweco Sport) but many of them are just not attractive to me, and certainly not for the price tag. I do, however, love my Pilot Kakuno. It’s very affordable, cute, minimal, and colorful – being a regular reader of your posts, this one might be right up your alley!

Posted 6 years ago by Lindsey Hinkle Reply

    Good to know I’m not alone, Lindsey! You’re right, I do actually like the look of the Kanuko, plus it’s super cheap! I think I’m going to have to give it a try…. Thanks for the suggestion!

It’s fine, really. I love FPs and stationery but I’m not into luxury pens/companies. Also, as my apt friend said, “You can only write with one pen at a time.”

Posted 6 years ago by Rae Reply

    Haha, a very good point – thanks Rae!

I have a few cheap, disposable fountain pens that I love–they really make my handwriting look a lot better. I also have a Lamy Safari that I write with occasionally but am not in love with. I love notebooks way more than I’ll ever love pens, I’m afraid.

Posted 6 years ago by JennyME Reply

    It’s true, you do end up writing much for carefully with a fountain pen… But I think notebooks are a much safer (for bank balance reasons) thing to collect for sure!

My handwriting improves when using a fountain pen, but I think the main draw is the ink colour and cartridges and fripperies… #totallyshallow Other than that I adore Muji disposable pens and know exactly what you mean about ‘traditional’ fountain pens. I like your Kaweko.

Posted 6 years ago by Belinda Reply

    I can definitely see myself getting into inks… especially to use for calligraphy with dip pens. I’m just not sure I would be bothered with all the cleaning out and syringing in required with inking up fountain pens! Oooh, I’d not seen the Muji fountain pen before – that is really good looking, I might have to try that one… Thanks Belinda!

Picky is what it’s about. From picky comesunderstanding taste.

Posted 6 years ago by Dick Reply

    I like that attitude!

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