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Thread: Starter fountain pen

  1. #1

    Starter fountain pen

    Now working from home permanently, I write quite a bit, notes I need to refer back to, and have discovered my hand writing is awful, through lack of use.

    Would like to slow down and write properly so I can read what I've written lol, and get some enjoyment from writing

    What's a good pen to get, new or second hand , budget 150 ish

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Master
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    Lamy 2000 fountain pen with a fine nib. Check out Pen Heaven or Cult Pens.

  3. #3
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Rotring Art Pen. Get a 1.5mm nib to force you to write larger.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  4. #4
    Is 1.5mm regarded as fine?

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  5. #5
    I've had several fountain pens over the years and the only one that has stood the test of time and remained steadfastly in my pocket is a humble Lamy Safari.

    OK, it's brightly coloured plastic rather than exotic finishes but it's nice to write with and most important of all, always works the moment I get it out; something I could never say for some of the more expensive pens I've owned.



    Nib is Medium, many other colours are available but mine is easy to find when I put it down.

    And in your pocket for less than £20 :-)

  6. #6
    Journeyman Hattori Hanzo's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with a Lamy Safari. I think a lot of people will probably stay here.

    I use A Parsons essential and never had a problem. Real step up in class as well.

    https://www.mrpen.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d184.html

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Daveya. View Post
    Is 1.5mm regarded as fine?

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    Quite the opposite.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit View Post
    Lamy 2000 fountain pen with a fine nib. Check out Pen Heaven or Cult Pens.
    I do think this very good advice for the OPís situation; and little outlay from which he might scale or stet.

  9. #9
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit View Post
    Lamy 2000 fountain pen with a fine nib. Check out Pen Heaven or Cult Pens.
    ^ This ^

    If you buy here

    https://www.cultpens.com/i/q/LM09382...0-fountain-pen

    And at checkout use the code birthday15 you get another 15% off so that £200 pen becomes £128 after the discount they already applied. No brainer. It is a piston filler so buy some decent ink for £8 or so.

    Up the scale a bit the absolute best writer before getting into silly money is IMHO the Pilot 823. The nib is just phenomenal. I'd go medium as Japanese nibs tend to be smaller than their Euro counterparts. Imported from Japan around £220 after VAT

    But the Lamy as suggested earlier is an all time classic and a superb Bauhaus design. You'd not go wrong with that.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    The TWSBI Eco is a fantastic starter fountain pen.

  11. #11
    Awesome thanks for the advice

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  12. #12
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveya. View Post
    Is 1.5mm regarded as fine?
    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    Quite the opposite.
    Exactly, quite the opposite. I find that my handwriting descends into a spider's crawl with a fine nib.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    Exactly, quite the opposite. I find that my handwriting descends into a spider's crawl with a fine nib.
    Medium is described as 0.6mm when googling , would 1.5mm be the right nib to start with?

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  14. #14
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    I don't honestly know. The advantage of the Rotring and a few of the other recommendations above is that you can probably buy one of every nib size and still remain within your budget. One other thought might be to buy a multi-nib calligraphy set but I don't have any experience of those.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  15. #15
    You can buy a beginners nib for the Lamy Gyp posted. Described as medium but somehow different.

  16. #16
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Another Lamy 2000 recommendation from me - itís the Speedmaster of the pen world in my opinion, timeless, very well made, and if looked after, will last at least one lifetime. Oh and the Lamy service centre in Germany is absolutely superb to deal with.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    I've bought the Lamy 2000 medium nib and a bottle of ink using the link and birthday15 code above, £143 quid delivered

    Thanks for all the advice, will experiment with nibs and start with medium cheers

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Master
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    Off the wall suggestion - how I started a collection

    Get a Parker 45 or two off the bay


    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...5&_sacat=14001


    start with a medium nib and go from there.

    It can be habit forming

    B

  19. #19
    Master
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    The best fountain pen ever was the Parker 51. They are bomb proof and will take abuse, lots of spares about, easily repaired. They just go on and on.

    Do a google, there is shiploads of info on them.

    Just to sound like a saddo WIS, make sure the tassie (little shiny decoration at the end of the cap) is still there as affects the resale value.

    They are the perfect pen.

  20. #20
    I think I'll get a few of the those suggested form eBay for a bit of fun and see which I prefer

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  21. #21
    Master
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    Pelikan M205

  22. #22
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    The best fountain pen ever was the Parker 51. They are bomb proof and will take abuse, lots of spares about, easily repaired. They just go on and on.

    Do a google, there is shiploads of info on them.

    Just to sound like a saddo WIS, make sure the tassie (little shiny decoration at the end of the cap) is still there as affects the resale value.

    They are the perfect pen.
    They've actually just reissued it btw

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveya. View Post
    I've bought the Lamy 2000 medium nib and a bottle of ink using the link and birthday15 code above, £143 quid delivered

    Thanks for all the advice, will experiment with nibs and start with medium cheers

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    Excellent! Enjoy


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Lee View Post
    The TWSBI Eco is a fantastic starter fountain pen.
    Agreed, and super value too.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    They've actually just reissued it btw

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    Not the same pen though, a shocking shadow of itself with inferior parts and materials.

    Same as Montblanc, they use plastic where ebonite and metal used to be and are no way worth their £600 price tag now, its not the same pen anymore.

  26. #26
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveya. View Post
    I've bought the Lamy 2000 medium nib and a bottle of ink using the link and birthday15 code above, £143 quid delivered

    Thanks for all the advice, will experiment with nibs and start with medium cheers
    Something which you may like to check, if you haven't already done so. Whilst nibs for the Lamy Safari are readily available and relatively straightforward to replace, I seem to recall from when I looked into it a while back that the same is not quite so true for the Lamy 2000.

  27. #27
    Cheers I'll get the pen shop man to change the nib

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  28. #28
    Master Qatar-wol's Avatar
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    Lamy Safaris are great - a wonderful start to fountain pens. But may I also recommend the Metro? Similar price, and there is a reason why the FP thread on my "other forum" was, for a long time, sub-titled "Just get a Pilot Metro".

    No need to go crazy for your first few pens. A couple of bottles of ink, wash out used cartridges and use a syringe or pipette to refill them with wonderful and interesting colours. Or buy Lamy cartridges bulk on eBay in different colours. Fill a pot, reach for a cartridge at random. Don't even wash the pen through - just let the colour fade through as you write.

    I recently found Lamy Safaris for sale at a local mall, and bought four.

  29. #29
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Try a fountain pen at a local stationers or better still, buy a refurbished Parker 51 from a reputable vintage pen dealer ... most vintage pen dealers will fit a nib to suit your needs.

    https://www.heritagecollectables.com...ker/parker-51/
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  30. #30
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    Reform 1745, M-nib.

    You can find them NOS on eBay.

    Maybe the best budget pen ever made.

  31. #31
    Italix Parsons Essential from MrPen

  32. #32
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    Nothing to add with respect to the pen choice, but a couple of other things to consider are:
    • Choice of paper - many Ďbleedí when using fountain pens
    • Choice of ink - some, bizarrely, will fade over time!

  33. #33
    A quick google popped up this Lamy 2000 for £106 plus 6 shipping.

    https://www.bigpen.co.uk/en-gb/a/J40...ountain-f.html

    Dont know the seller or anything. Anyone like a punt?

  34. #34
    Master
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    This thread has got me thinking about borrowing my 11 year old's Safari and giving it a try. My hand writing is atrocious. Maybe a fountain pen will make me work on improving it.

  35. #35
    Dont know if anyone has mentioned them but for me without doubt the best starter fountain pen has to be a Visconti. About £100 for one of their least expensive pens their nibs are so easy to use, never dry up and the ink flows perfectly. I have tried a few Lamy pens from the safari up and especially the safari one I found scratch and poor ink flow. Never had that problem with Visconti just about the only complaint I can think of is many of their pens are rather thick, I have never understood why they do this but you can find slimmer ones for a little bit more. Either way they are well worth it.

  36. #36
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Dont know if anyone has mentioned them but for me without doubt the best starter fountain pen has to be a Visconti. About £100 for one of their least expensive pens their nibs are so easy to use, never dry up and the ink flows perfectly. I have tried a few Lamy pens from the safari up and especially the safari one I found scratch and poor ink flow. Never had that problem with Visconti just about the only complaint I can think of is many of their pens are rather thick, I have never understood why they do this but you can find slimmer ones for a little bit more. Either way they are well worth it.
    My experience with Visconti is with the Homo Sapiens range. Utterly phenomenal pen. I had the bronze age version.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  37. #37
    Master
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    Another bit of advice, always, always and I mean always buy washable ink. If you get any permanent ink on your shirt you are another shirt down.

  38. #38
    Working from home, it's a vest

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  39. #39
    Master
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    Ok, if you get a splash of permanent ink on your vest, you will be one vest down.

  40. #40
    Doesn't say what it is

    Montblanc Ink Bottle 60ml Midnight Blue*(MB72641-MB).is what I've ordered

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  41. #41
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveya. View Post
    Doesn't say what it is

    Montblanc Ink Bottle 60ml Midnight Blue*(MB72641-MB).is what I've ordered

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    Dip your finger in the bottle and then rub your finger in a cloth rag and allow both to dry. If it is washable the ink will come out under cold water, it it remains it will be permanent. Best advice if it is permanent, send it to someone you don't like as a gift.

  42. #42
    It's permanent , I've just checked.

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  43. #43
    Iíve always had great results with Diamine inks. If you want something a little better, the Robert Oster range offers phenomenal shading and sheen.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    My experience with Visconti is with the Homo Sapiens range. Utterly phenomenal pen. I had the bronze age version.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    I have the same pen, and can only agree. The nib just glides over the paper, and basalt material it is made from feels weirdly wonderful.

    --Tim

  45. #45
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Dont know if anyone has mentioned them but for me without doubt the best starter fountain pen has to be a Visconti. About £100 for one of their least expensive pens their nibs are so easy to use, never dry up and the ink flows perfectly. I have tried a few Lamy pens from the safari up and especially the safari one I found scratch and poor ink flow. Never had that problem with Visconti just about the only complaint I can think of is many of their pens are rather thick, I have never understood why they do this but you can find slimmer ones for a little bit more. Either way they are well worth it.
    Never had a problem with scratchy nibs with Lamy, including the Safaris. I'm intrigued to try a Visconti now, though they all seem to be stainless steel nibs until you get up to the pricey ones? (I like a chunky pen.)

    I like the Lamy 2000, I use one as a daily pen and really like them. Someone else has already mentioned Pelikans, and they make a great pen. I've got a 200 upgraded to a nib from a 400 (gold instead of stainless) and an 805 at the moment in daily use. Also, the humble Kaweco Sport for a daily user is excellent because it is so compact and handy. My favourite is a brass one that I've put an upgraded nib into (I like a bit of weight in my pens).
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  46. #46
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Dont know if anyone has mentioned them but for me without doubt the best starter fountain pen has to be a Visconti. About £100 for one of their least expensive pens their nibs are so easy to use, never dry up and the ink flows perfectly. I have tried a few Lamy pens from the safari up and especially the safari one I found scratch and poor ink flow. Never had that problem with Visconti just about the only complaint I can think of is many of their pens are rather thick, I have never understood why they do this but you can find slimmer ones for a little bit more. Either way they are well worth it.
    Pen collectors often consider Conway Stewart to be the best starter pen and indeed, some of the smaller models are often referred to as "as a schoolboy pen".

  47. #47
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    In my humble opinion Pelikan make very nice pens but don't have the 'wow' factor. On the other hand Japanese nibs are IMHO consistently superb. Platinum, Pilot, Sailor, all fantastic. Re Conway Stewart I was looking at them and they are a fair whack of cash (£500+ as an entry level) and so I was wondering is this the same Conway Stewart that made great pens 80 years ago or is this a name that someone has bought and is leveraging the brand name? Basically are modern CS any good?

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  48. #48
    Craftsman
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    For Me, the Pilot M90 is the best fountain pen I've ever had.

  49. #49
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by markdotreed View Post
    For Me, the Pilot M90 is the best fountain pen I've ever had.

    Do you still have it? Would love to see some pictures if you do. Not quite as rare as henís teeth, but rare enough.

  50. #50
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    In my humble opinion Pelikan make very nice pens but don't have the 'wow' factor. On the other hand Japanese nibs are IMHO consistently superb. Platinum, Pilot, Sailor, all fantastic. Re Conway Stewart I was looking at them and they are a fair whack of cash (£500+ as an entry level) and so I was wondering is this the same Conway Stewart that made great pens 80 years ago or is this a name that someone has bought and is leveraging the brand name? Basically are modern CS any good?

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    Conway Stewart was "relaunched" a couple of years ago.

    The 1950s models are no where near the price you quoted and it would be hard to beat their quality.

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