Finding the Best Fountain Pens Under $200

lamy 2000 fountain penFinding a cheap fountain pen can be difficult. They are often very expensive and it can be hard to understand what makes one pen so different from another. Also, once you buy one of the more expensive pens, you don’t want to be a situation where the pen breaks due to shoddy construction. Unfortunately, pens can be cheaply made yet still be sold for astronomical high prices. So, with that in mind, I have tested out a few pens. The good news is that it is possible to find pens that won’t break and will write well.

The Lamy 2000 retails for under 200 dollars. Don’t let this price fool you, this pen feels and writes as if it was worth double that amount. The pen has a beautiful black and silver design. It really is a wonder to look at. Also, the pen comes with a solid 14 karat gold nib. This nib is sturdy and smooth. The pen is also quite comfortable in hand. When I was using it I found myself writing for very long periods of time without taking breaks. In addition, when I was writing the pen stayed on the page without skipping once. This is one the nicest pens I had the opportunity to use. For the current price and more detailed reviews you can head over to the product page here.

The Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen’s name is descriptive. You can retract the point of the pen by clicking a button on the top. The nib is gold and quite durable. The clip is positioned near the top of the pen, closer to the nib, so that may take a while to get accustomed to. Overall, writing with this pen is a pretty smooth experience. It takes very little time to get comfy using this pen. I think that this is definitely a pen to use if you don’t like to fiddle with caps.  The pen retails for 175 dollars.

The Pelikan Tradition 200 Fountain pen has a steel nib that is gold plated.  It also has a very cool window on it so you can view the ink inside the pen. The heft of the pen is nice. You can write with it for a very long time because the pen is so light. It also has a bountiful ink capacity. I used it for a long time before I had to refill it. The nib is sleek and makes writing a breeze.  This pen retails for somewhere between 150 and 200 dollars.

Each pen that I have discussed here is a fantastic writing instrument. If you are looking for a nice retractable pen that writes quite smoothly then I would recommend the Pilot Vanishing Point. The pen is durable and comfortable. If you are looking for a pen that looks astonishing, pleasing to hold, and easy to write with then I would recommend you go with the Lamy 200 Fountain Pen. If you want a light pen, with a very interesting design and excellent ink capacity, then I would recommend you go with the Pelikan Tradition 200 Fountain Pen.

Lamy Vista Fountain Pen Review

lamy vistaThe Lamy Vista Fountain pen is one of the demonstrator range of pens which means that the body of the pen is clear allowing you to see inside it and giving it a sort of futuristic look. It is available in colours as well. The clear body allows one to see through the pen and judge the ink levels. When purchased in colors, the see through option is compromised, but there is a small elliptical perforation that can allow one to judge the ink levels, really useful for knowing when you will need to change.

There is no old fashioned and ‘fancy’ design as they’ve gone with more of a modern look, and neither is the pen very pricey. The pen’s plastic body makes it lightweight which is perfect for everyday writing. But it’s not that sturdy and as you would expect cannot handle rough treatment. At first the pen is shiny but after wear and tear, the lustre may well end up gone and scratches appear. Since it is made of plastic, this is inevitable, but it is great value and this certainly doesn’t make it a negative choice.

The cap features a pull-off mechanism and the clip is shaped like a huge paper clip. The name ‘Lamy’ is engraved on the pen on one side of the bottom.

The nib is a steel design with a polished appearance. It is available in multiple sizes as well as in a Left-Handed version.

The top of the pen’s body has a kind of curved groove which enhances the grip on the pen and makes it easier to write with. This is a great feature because it ensures the pen won’t slip while writing fast.

When purchased, Lamy Vista comes with a disposable ink cartridge. Lamy Vista has an option to use either a larger pen cartridge, or if you would rather, you can use a piston convertor to use another cartridge.

Now the writing part, this pen is very good for writing as well as drawing. The pen writes smooth and doesn’t scratch even using the extra fine sized nib. The ink doesn’t bleed or leak on the paper or in general.

If you are drawing with this pen, keep in mind that the nib is not flexible which will lead to hard lines with feathering. This doesn’t make it a bad option for drawing at all but it is worth remembering that this will definitely provide a certain look to your drawing.

This pen is suitable for someone who uses fountain pens a lot and can become your first choice, this pen is also a truly great entry level fountain pen. It is ideal for someone just starting out who has never used one before as it grips well and is simple enough to start using. The price is low as is the weight of the pen. Some might consider the pen cheap to use because of the weight. For everyday-beginner-use, this pen is durable and feels functional.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Review

lamy safariWith its sleek and funky design, Lamy Safari Fountain Pen comes in many shades of colour. Be it black, glossy black, blue, white, you name it. Even though Lamy Safari has a modern look, it doesn’t compromise on its quality. It’s made of a polymer, which means that it’s sturdy and will last a good amount of time. It is not fragile like many fountain pens are. The name ‘Lamy’ is engraved on one side of the pen.

Since it’s a Safari edition, the pen cap is big and some people might not like it. The clip of this pen is shaped in a groovy fashion and is made of shiny chrome – also huge, but it’s part of its Safari look. There is a small plus sign on the top of the cap that doesn’t really serve any purpose.

There is a see-through section present on both sides of the pen which makes it easier to judge the level of ink remaining in the pen. The pen has a steel nib, with a polished appearance.

Talking about nibs, it’s available in many sizes – Extra fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and Left-Handed. The one aspect of nib sizes to keep in mind is that it’s not exactly what the size is. For example, a Fine sized nib will be Medium sized in actuality. Extra Fine will be Fine; Medium will be Broad and Broad will be huge. This is something the manufacturers should’ve paid attention to because nib sizes are crucial when selecting a fountain pen. If the nib is bent or not working properly for whatever the reason, you can easily replace the nib yourself. Just place the metal cap on the nib and gently pull the pen’s body away from the nib.

Next we come to the ink. Lamy Safari has an option to use either a giant cartridge, or a piston operated convertor. You can unscrew the bottom of the pen and either have a convertor or use a cartridge. Refilling the ink is easy whichever option you use.

Now we come to writing bit. The grip on the pen is good – it doesn’t slip. The writing part is largely dependent on the nib size. The Extra Fine nib scratches on the paper a little and works slower than the Fine nib. The Fine nib is smooth and writes better, but it’s the thickness of the letters is something that you’d get out of a Medium pen. So if you use a Medium nib, you’ll get really thick letters akin to writing with a marker. And Broad will give you even thicker.

One very important pointer when it comes to writing after you’ve just got a refill is to run Lamy Safari pen a little. Doodle on a rough page on the side and you’ll see that the doodles are thick. Basically, the ink runs on the page when you have got a refill.
Once you’ve worked out all the kinks, this pen is a damn good writing tool. 

The Best Everyday Use Fountain Pens

Mr animalIn this period of time that could be termed “the Age of the Ballpoint” or even “the Age of the Tablet with Stylus” – fountain pens are becoming more and more archaic. Although you can still find enthusiasts who use fountain pens for personal communications, such as letters and invitations, the everyday fountain pen user is seriously difficult to find. Yet there continue to be people who prefer to use an ink contraption for their memos and messages, cheques and other areas of life where written communication is required. For them, the following collection of hardy, everyday pens are a great idea, combining both quality and longevity.

Parker Vector Classic SS Chiseled Medium Point Fountain Pen

A Parker pen of any variety is bound to add class to your prosaic memos. But the Vector series are ideal examples of everday use pens, which are not only sturdy but also long-lasting. They can take a beating and a lot of overuse but they will not give up on you. This particular pen has a stylish steel look with chiseled pen top, making it look elegant in addition to classy.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal Broad Nib

Lamy pens are known for their durability as well as their excellent quality. Not only is this pen worth every dollar being put into it, but the characteristic modern style makes it recognizable as a quality pen.

Pelikan P67 A Pelikano Junior Yellow Fountain Pen

This Pelikan pen is perfect for young ones starting out with fountain pen writing. It is good enough to use every day and neither the nib nor the body spoils easily. Can be a little scratchy when used on low quality paper, but otherwise perfect. The chunky feel and the rubber grip mean that it is easily held by smaller hands, and the bright colors in which this series is available make it appealing to children.

Pilot MR Animal Collection Fountain Pen, Matte Gold with Lizard Accent, Medium Point

Pilot pens are usually both cheap and reliable. While most pilot pens are of the disposable variety, these are quite the reusable pens. Not only do they provide smooth writing, but this series of animal collection pens are stylishly made, with ‘accents’ inspired by different animals. It is a useful and good-looking pen for the price.

Sheaffer No Nonsense Fountain Pen

Sheaffer makes high quality pens that are usually very expensive, but this pen is one of the more affordable varieties. While it doesn’t have the classy Sheaffer build, it is nonetheless a very usable, everyday pen. You could lose it and buy another without much heartbreak or hurting your budget.

Fisher Space Pen, X-750 Space Pen, Matte Black

This ‘space pen’ is purported to work in the most extreme of conditions, including outer space, freezing cold or burning heat. Although it is unlikely that most of its users will be in a position to test its usefulness in such scenarios, the pen provides sufficient workability in everyday use. A favorite for the simple person who wants to add a bit of elegance to life.

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review

lamy 2000 fountain penMany Fountain pens have recently become more of a statement of status than a tool for writing. A reminiscent article of the past, fountain pens giving an air of old-world sophistication and splendor. The Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen is one of these writing tools that give you a blast from the past feeling. Even though it isn’t a 1945’s hand-made pen, the Lamy 2000 is still as special.

Taking it from the top, the Lamy 2000 is very appealing even at first sight. The first impression of this unique tool can only be described by the words, ‘powerful’, ‘unique’ and ‘professional’. The Lamy 2000 is not a modern-day tacky and flimsy little contraption. The pen is not covered with a series of flashy emblems and symbols. Instead that it consists of a simple yet sleek body curving smoothly without any sudden or rough dips in the design. The cap also continues this smooth curve without even as much as a hitch in the design. The matte black Makrolon material that is used to make this beautiful tool is scratch-proof to some extent and doesn’t get smudged with fingerprints, giving it a fresh and clean look always. This Makrolon body is complemented with stainless steel accents giving the pen a calm and quiet look on the whole.

The ears of the pen’s cap are a very satisfactory part of the pen and can be pressed from the top to disappear into the cap providing a sufficient space for any material to be inserted underneath meaning that the clip can be retracted to clip it on to your clothing or any file as well. The pen can be carried prominently yet quietly in your coat’s front pocket, in your shirt or in a professional pen-case.
The inking system for the Lamy 2000 consists of a piston filler with flawless construction. The perfection is complete to the point where you can’t even see the seam where the barrel connects to the upper body of the pen. It pulls ink smoothly and with ease even at the first use.

The nib of the pen consists of a 14k gold plated hooded nib that is half-hidden inside the pen making it seem very attractive to people who like a certain minimalist feel to their pens.
The pen gives mostly smooth strokes and is a pleasure to write with.

Top Features of the Lamy 2000:

  • The pen is skillfully made and very beautiful to carry.
  • It is a practical yet statement pen give it a quietly professional appeal.
  • The body is scratch-proof and smudge resistant to quite some extent.
  • If you are successful in acquiring an acceptable piece, it can be a pleasure to write with.
  • The piston filler and hooded nib give it a beautiful appearance both inside as well as outside.
  • The body is tough and warms up to the hand’s heat make it comfortable to write with. The smooth design is neither too big nor too small and is a ‘just perfect’ fit for most hand sizes.

It is true that most people have a specific and particular set of requirements when it comes to choosing the pen that best matches their personality. But this pen can prove to be an excellent companion for most!