A well-made fountain pen can be a work of art in its own right. These elegant tools of penmanship have a world of considerations all their own. Though they can require more control and finesse than normal ballpoint pens, when used correctly, they can transform your writing.
Furthermore, you can buy a tool that lasts you a lifetime, writing implement that you use and reuse for years to come. With proper care and replacing of parts and ink, you will never buy another pen again.
Despite their seeming simplicity and elegance, shopping for a quality fountain pen includes several different attributes. From the barrel to the nib, fountain pens have a lot of parts, and they can get expensive. Fortunately, for under $200 there are dozens of quality options that will serve you well. Read on to learn how to find the best fountain pen for you.
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Fountain Pens Have Variety At Every Point
If you really wanted to get into it, you would find that a single fountain pen can have as many as eight different parts! Each of these parts has their own materials and design considerations. A great place to start is determining why you want the pen, and what kind of writing you will be doing.
Functional or Fancy Fountain Pens
It is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on a quality fountain pen, but it’s not necessary, and may not even be appropriate. If you are looking for a writing utensil for everyday notes and scribing, then a simpler pen with a functional design is the right way to go. If you or someone you know is really looking for an elegant device, however, then you also have plenty to work with. Both types can be found under $200.
Fountain Pens Have Grips, Nibs, Barrels, and Ink
The Grip is straightforward, it’s where you hold the pen. If you have a steady grip and write carefully, a plain grip made from plastic or metal will suit you just fine. If you get a little looser with your note-taking, or are a novice to fountain pens, then a rubber, textured, or contoured grip is likely a better choice.
The nib style can determine what kind of handwriting you can produce. Is it cut standard, oblique, or italic? Is the body steel but with an iridium tip? When it needs to be replaced, do you replace the whole nib? The different types have different benefits and difficulties (eg replace the tip may require taking apart the whole pen to prevent a mess) so keeping this in mind will be an important consideration.
The barrel and the ink are also particular choices. Wider barrel pens tend to be more expensive and may come with tips that can use more ink at once. The method of ink storage (they don’t all come with cartridges) changes the difficulty of replacing it. For under $200, you have lots of different models, so be sure to consider this part.
Final Minor Considerations for Fountain Pens
Other things you want to look at are the clip, the closure on the cap, and the warranty/customer service. Clips can be simple straight lines or more artistic affairs crafted to look like arrows, animals, or more. Cap closure can be screw on or snap on, and will depend on how easily you want the pen to close or open, and whether you think there is any risk of the pen leaking on you!
Warranty and customer service are one of the big considerations in the world of fountain pens. Since most people are looking for a pen that will last them a long time, knowing that they can get repairs and replacements as necessary is paramount. Furthermore, establishing a quality long-term relationship with the manufacturer requires good customer service. Make sure to look into this while shopping.
Getting into Fountain Pens is Affordable and Rewarding
From the first moment people witnessed the graceful writing fountain pens can create, they have been fascinated with them. Whether you are looking to up your calligraphy game, or just want a dependable writing tool that you know meets your needs and style, the best fountain pens under $200 can get the job done.
Despite their surprising complexity in such a small package, with the tips and guidelines in this article, you are on your way to making a dependable purchase that will last you for years. Buying a quality piece of equipment always requires a little research and prep. For quality fountain pens, this information gets you much closer to making the right choice.