Fountain Pen Improvements in Recent Years

vintagepensIn recent years, new models and types of fountain pens and nibs have been released. Over time, many brands and models of fountain pens have been seen as luxuries, status symbols enshrined in cases and very rarely used; many other pens are used everyday. In recent years, the availability of good gold and steel pens of high quality for a reasonable price have become available, such as the Parker IM Fountain Pen. Available for around 20$, the Parker IM gold pen has a stainless steel nib and is noted by users as having the same quality when it comes to writing as more expensive fountain pens by Parker and other companies. Recent improvements to pens have also brought a new gamme of lower cost, higher quality pens to the European market, long a market of high cost pens.

Another recent improvement when it comes to fountain pens is the invention of disposable fountain pens, and their increased presence on the market. Pilot has an example of a good disposable fountain pen, the Pilot Varsity. Retailing for around 5$, the Pilot Varsity is available in traditional black and blue coloured ink, in addition to an array of newer, brighter, more fun colours, such as green, purple, and pink. The Pilot Varsity delivers the style of writing that a fountain pen does, with a similar look, without the cost. While the outside of these disposable fountain pens doesn’t closely mimic the traditional, more expensive pens, the final product of the writing is fairly similar. One advantage to pens like the Varsity is that you don’t have to carry around a heavy fountain pen, or worry about losing an expensive fountain pen while on the go. Users enjoy the price to quality that this pen delivers, and the colours it is available in.

Another new product that comes as an improvement to the world of fountain pens is the invention of the Pilot Petit Mini Pens. These pint-sized fountain pens are easy to use and even easier to transport, and come in several different colours of ink. This product line includes not just pilot pens, but also felt tip pens and brush pens. They are an excellent way to have several different colours of ink on the go at once, and are a great introduction to writing with pilot pens for beginners. They allow you to writing some some style and panache, without the risk of making mistakes or making a large investment.

A new type of nib has found its way to the market in recent years, made of titanium. These nibs have a good, spring feel when writing with them, and are very durable, titanium being a strong yet flexible material. One example of a titanium fountain pen is the Monteverde Invincia Titanium Fountain Pen, which retails for around 75$. It writes very smoothly, provides ink smoothly with no splots or jams, and is designed in such a way that it has a nice, solid, heavy feel but at the same time is light and flexible enough to write beautifully with.

These are just some examples of new materials, technology and styles that have brought new types of fountain pens to the market, and improved upon existing ones.

Waterman Carène Fountain Pen Review by Best Fountain Pens HQ

waterman careneThe Waterman Carène is a pen that cannot be fully appreciated until one gets his hands on it. It is a slim and graceful piece of writing instrument that offers an easy grip and a smooth flow of words. Available in several colors and designs, the Waterman Carène fountain pen is a premium product manufactured by one of the first generation fountain pen companies that boast more than a century of experience in this field. Prestige in every way, shape and form.

Waterman has taken great care to create a product that is excellent in every aspect. There are no gaps or clearances between different parts of the pen which translate into a firm hold. The user is spared the annoyance of having to do with unsightly disparities in the making of the pen. Another plus point of the Carène is its cap closure system that enables the top to slide smoothly into the body with a soft tick. The capped pen gives the impression of an elegant piece of solid rock.

I am an avid Waterman user. Having previously used the Hemisphere and the Phileas, I sought another high-quality pen manufactured by the same esteemed company. The Waterman Carène fountain pen proved to be just the thing I was looking for.

The appearance of the pen

I selected a Blue edition of the pen having a vermeil top. The trim is golden. There is a black button at the top of the cap which is made of gold-plated metal. The cap is further adorned by silver bands hammered into the plated metal. There is a clip for pocketing purpose which also shows the typical Waterman logo. At first glance, the pen looks like a reminiscent of the glorious past.

Size and Design

Since the Waterman Carène is principally made of metal, it is weightier than other pens of the same size. However, at the time of writing, the pen does not offer any extra resistance. The pen, along with a complete ink load poses around 35 grams of weight. With the cap on, it is 5 ¾ in length. The cap can be tightly secured with a push, and snapped off with the modicum of strength. The nib is firmly set and offers a smooth writing tip.

Performance of the Waterman Carene

The 18K gold nib is firmly set into the writing point and lays a mark which is around half a millimeter wide. This width is notably narrower than the mark produced by the majority of fine nib fountain pens. Some of us may find the nib to tightly set for comfort, however, once you get used to it you will find out that it is best suited for taking notes or writing things down at length. The mark put down by the nib is wet enough but does not smear the note.

Filling the pen

The Waterman Carène can be refilled with the help of a cartridge or a convertor. Filling can be easily carried out with the help of a hole at the back of the nib. Sink the hole in the ink and use the piston for filling.


The Waterman Carène fountain pen provides a great writing experience while simultaneously satisfying one’s aesthetic sense. I will recommend it to anyone who is serious about writing.


Best Rollerball Pens

rollerballWriting on paper may sometimes be difficult when using ordinary ballpoint pens, like when the ink suddenly stops flowing for a while before it flows again, until it no longer flows permanently. For sudden important matters at home, or anywhere where one should take notes, it would be handy to have another kind of pen other than a ballpoint pen, particularly a rollerball pen such as Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT Retractable Medium Point Ballpoint Pens, BIC Round Stic Ball Pen, Medium Point, Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, and many more. It is similar to how a ballpoint pen is made, but makes use of water or gel-based ink, instead of oil. The ink produced on paper thus appears to be wet, and flows more smoothly and consistently, lessening the chances of skipped writing or ink gaps.

Depending on the purpose of use, rollerball pens are much more comfortable to use as they require less pressure when you are writing. The more consistent ink flow gives more handwriting comfort, making your writing speed quicker. Because Rollerball pens are water and gel-based, they also come in more variety of colors as there are many water-soluble dyes and pigments available. Rollerball pens with extra fine writing points also produce finely written lines, making handwritten text appear more pleasant and presentable in certain penmanship. Even thicker writing points can produce a distinctive character in writing, making certain kinds of penmanship look more attractive. Most Rollerball pens are generally refillable, and buying a new refill instead of a new Rollerball pen can save costs and (brilliantly for the environment) reduce plastic or metal disposal.

Looking for the ultimate luxury in rollerball? Look no further. The amazing Sanford Parker IM is a beautiful pen, that even looks beautiful. All the swagger and beauty of a fountain pen with the comfort and ease of a roller ball. Comes with rollerball refills and an impressive 4.5/5 consumer rating on Amazon.

Rollerball pens vary primarily in point thickness, body material, and in many different colors. A writing point may range from 0.1 to 1.0 mm in diameter, with 0.5 and 0.7 mm as normally the most commonly used. But there are some gel pen users who prefer 0.2 or 0.3 mm, wherein finer writing may help save paper space. Writing points for some rollerball pen brands may also be classified as Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, and Bold. In terms of body material, transparent plastic ones are mid-priced and may cost higher than ordinary ballpoint pens. These pens also vary in ink colors and texture, such as neon and glow-in-the-dark colors which can be used in dark-colored papers, and metallic colors which are also often used creatively. There are also standard colored gel pens in black, red, blue, green and purple. While metal-bodied Rollerball pens are often packaged as high-end products, and its writing points are either ceramic or steel. Rollerball pens with ceramic tips write more smoothly, and are more long-lasting and durable when used on hard surfaces.

Some rollerball pens may also require a small amount of maintenance. water-based rollerball pens tend to blot or bleed through most types of paper over gel-based pens, unless the paper is thick enough. It is thus important to take extra care and precaution when using water-based rollerball pens. It is also important to ensure that rollerball pens are properly capped when not in use, in order to avoid ink leakage in pencil cases, bags and even in clothing. If you are a frequent traveler by plane, and personally prefer using liquid-ink rollerball pens, make sure to use pens that are leak-proof and safe to bring or use in airplanes.

Check out these quality, cheap as chips roller ball pens in loads of pretty colors!

Best Fountain Pen Kits

fountainpenkitWriting is not only a necessity for some people but a passion, the feel of a nib against paper brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of artistic and creative people, it helps them to express their feelings and ideas in a form of art. They’re also useful in the world of work and business, what businessman is complete without a reliable pen? Even in this modern age of technology, almost everything that people do whether at work, in the office, or somewhere else involve writing. No wonder various writing tools evolve continuously; However in spite of this, one kind of pen remains to be undisputed champion no matter how technologies change. And these kind of pens are popularly known as fountain pens.

Probably the best fountain pen kit on the market is the Parker Urban Kit, which comes with everything you need to get started using a fountain kit, and I mean everything, includes ink, the pen itself, cleaning cloth and even a booklet about how to use a fountain pen effectively:

Another option for those of us who are interested in the more artistic elements of using a fountain pen is the Sheaffer Calligraphy Kit, which includes multiple nib sizes and information on how to get started in calligraphy.

The first appearance of fountain pens can be dated way back in 953 BC when a Moroccan Caliph demanded a writing tool that doesn’t stain clothes or hands and delivers ink from a nib. From then on, the production of fountain pens continued to evolve through time allowing people to experience a durable, fast-note taking writing tool which they can use for their paper works. However, due to the innovation of fountain pens, it’s important that you understand and know which type of pen suits your handwriting style best as it comes in various forms, styles and sizes. Writing can be tiring sometimes but by choosing a fountain pen that complements your penmanship best, you’ll definitely be inspired and motivated to write more. If you’re a writer or an aspiring one and you find it hard to determine which fountain pen suits you best, try to check out its filling mechanism and the nib as these two factors are the most essential part to consider in using a fountain pen. If you’re up for something that’s perfect to write smoothly and fast, then it’s ideal for you to have a fine nib. Plus, it doesn’t leave too much ink on the back of the paper so this kind of nib is certainly good for students who take down notes.

The good thing about today’s generation is that there’s a huge selection of fountain pens to choose from such as the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, Parker IM Fountain Pen, Pilot Metropolitan Fine Writing Fountain Pen. It’s almost available in different colors and designs so people would definitely be interested to buy one for them. Whether you’re looking for a green one with a medium-sized nib or a fancy pen with an extra fine nib, it wouldn’t really be hard for you to get those at it’s readily available in all stores and school supplies worldwide. Because of such massive trend, some people think it’s very crucial to select the right fountain pen for them as it kind of reflects the kind of personality they have. Once you  have mastered strategies and techniques on how you can find the best fountain pen you can use for writing, the next thing you should consider to find are the best fountain pen kits. There’s also a wide array of choices when it comes to kits depending on the kind of style you want to have for your personal use.

Best Pens for Lefties

uniballIt’s very well established that all the pens are not meant for both lefties and righties. Using the wrong pen can result in real issues. Lefties will happily tell you about their disasters in the exam where they filled paper after paper with ink blotches and smudges. Being left handed means you have to give the purchase some thought, luckily for us, it’s not 1990, when we only really had pens for right handed people, you can easily find loads after loads of pens for lefties at your local stationers and on online stores like Amazon and eBay. When you get a specifically left handed pen you don’t have to worry about different writing techniques to prevent making a mess which means you can introduce freedom into your handwriting. For instance you won’t have to hook your hand, which needed quick dry ink. The pens mentioned in this article are some of the best pens, as vouched for by lefties from all over the world.

On the top of the list is the Pilot EasyTouch Pen. Featuring fine-point, the Pilot Pens always allow lefties to write as fast and as smooth as anyone else. The Pilot Pens are designed to prevent any unwanted smudging and ensure that the paper always stays clean. No matter how fast you write you can write at ease. Easily available, you can find these pens at your local stationer’s and they are not expensive at all. With a price tag of $6.99, this pen is a great option for all the lefties out there.

Moving on, we have the Uniball Jetstream 101. With special ink that is developed to bind with the fibers of the papers, no lefty will have a smudging problem while writing. Now this feature is not only good for lefties, but it also makes retrospective alterations very hard. Users of the Uniball Jetstream 101 are very happy with it and recommend it to all their fellow lefties. The ink literally dries in a second, there is nothing more alluring to a lefty than instantly drying ink. Starting with a price tag of $6.25 you can find it at your local stationers and of course online at what is a very reasonable price.

Now we have The Fisher Space Pen of which there are numerous models. These pens were designed to write in space, that being said when lefties write they are pushing the pen across the paper. So The Fisher Space Pen allows for easy writing for lefties and in unconventional positions. Users commend the design as it is very easy to carry and most importantly prevents smudges. Now the Fisher Space Pen provides with all the great features of the first two manufacturers, but as it was designed to write in zero gravity these models can come with a slightly more hefty price tag. Still, it’s a cool story to tell your friends when they ask about your pen though!

So the next time you are out on the market looking for a gift for your left handed friend, make sure you get them something thoughtful and practical like this. It is not only a practical gift but also a very sentimental one too.

Best Cheap Fountain Pens

cheapfountainpensFountain pens don’t have to be a lot of investment, and there is often no guarantee that the hundreds of dollars you might spend on an expensive pen will translate to the workability required by you. At the end of the day, a pen is simply to write with, and the following selection provide convenience and durability in combination with cheapness.

Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, Black Ink.

The cheapest pen on this list, this is a disposable and extremely reliable pen. Most pilot pen brand fans agree that you can all but run a lorry over them before they stop writing, so this is not the kind of pen to let you down when you need it most.

BIC Disposable Fountain Pen

Two in this pack, this is also a disposable pen for use on the go. No need to mess about with ink and refills – write and chuck away. You get the feel of the fountain ink pen along with the convenience of a regular BIC ballpoint.

Hero Extra Light Fountain Pen

This is not a disposable pen, but it is one of the cheapest pens on the list. It’s very light and slightly less luxurious looking, the pen can be refilled and reused until it wears out or you lose it. If you’re the kind of person who is forever losing pens, but wants to use a fountain pen, a couple of these will fit the bill without doing too much damage to your bank balance.

Classi Cigar Golden Ring Fountain Pen

Although this is a middle order pen on the list, it neither looks nor feels that way. At its price, it is probably the most impressive bargain of the lot. Not only is the pen reusable, it looks and feels extremely elegant, with a marble finish cover that is absolutely beautiful. Prepare to be complimented over and over for the prettiness of this charming instrument, nobody ever need know it was one of the cheapest fountain pens.

X750 Kompass Fountain Pen by Bulow

A smooth writer with a heavy and sturdy feel, this pen is both stylish looking as well as a hard worker. One of the pricier numbers on the list, it is worth it for the look of the pen. It looks like a much higher end pen even though it may work at a level less than expensive pens.

Nemosine Singularity Velvet Black Fountain Pen – German Medium Nib

This sexy black pen with a plastic barrel is another slightly pricier option, but it is worth the cash. Durable, long lasting and smooth, its iridium nib will leave you with no complaints. Not only that, but it is packaged with a converter and extra cartridges, which make it great value for the money. Although the plastic used in its manufacture makes it feel slightly cheap, but it is worthwhile for its abilities as a pen.

VFM Strobe Maxiumum Orange Fountain pen

The most expensive pen on this list, I included it simply because the sheer quality of the brand coupled with its look make it value for money, even at the price point. This Sheaffer pen is modern and the eye-catching, far from traditional orange color looks quirky and great. The metal barrel makes it feel solid while still being a lightweight pen. Since it writes excellently as well it is definitely a great purchase in all respects.

The Top Fountain Pens for Under $50

sheaffer100If you’ve never used a fountain pen before, or if, much like me, you are prone to losing pens left, right and center, you might want to go for a cheap version. Luckily, there are quite a few pens in the lower price range, which also provide excellent quality and pretty handwriting. Although they may not be what you would class as ‘cheap’, for a fountain pen, $50 is not a great deal of money. Most of the following pens would make an excellent gift for a young person, and may begin a love affair with fountain pens and ink that would last a lifetime. Alternatively, they are also good pens for enthusiasts who want a nice pen for special occasions but don’t use them often enough to justify a large expense.

Parker Urban Black Matte GT Medium Point Fountain Pen Kit

This starter pen set has one Parker Urban Black Fountain pen. In addition, it has an ink bottle, a cartridge converter, and four filled cartridges (two blue, two black). If that wasn’t enough value for money, it also has a small booklet that provides guidance on transitioning to a fountain pen. Parker is, of course, an old brand and has been making pens for over a century, so the quality is guaranteed. Not only does this make a beautiful gift to give a young person, you can but this as a treat for yourself if you’ve decided to start using fountain pens.

Majestic Black and Gold Dragon Fountain Pen Gift Box

I’ve included this because it is simply beautiful to look at, in addition to being a decent quality pen. The pen is quite bulky, so it might not be good for first timers. After your hands get used to lightweight ballpoints, a fountain pen tends to feel heavy anyway, and a bulky one can be a turn off. But for those who prefer bulky pens, this is quite the fit. The golden dragon design is simply gorgeous, and the gift box makes it an ideal gift to any pen enthusiast.

Lamy Joy Calligraphy Black Fountain Pen Red Clip Set

This is a perfect beginner calligraphy set. Lamy makes reliable but reasonably priced pens, which allow them to be a good choice both for a starter pen or a good everyday use pen. This set has three interchangeable nibs, of differing widths (1.1, 1.5 & 1.9 mm chisel point nibs). In addition, because this is a starter set, it comes complete with a very handy booklet with instructions. There is also a set of cartridges included, and a metal gift box that it is delivered in. If you’ve always wanted to learn the beautiful art of calligraphy, this is a superb place to start from.

Sheaffer 100 Matte Blue Fountain Pen

Sheaffer fountain pens are known to be extremely high quality, and are often pretty expensive. However, this is one example of a high quality fountain pen at a very affordable price. The casing is metal and colored matte blue, which in contrast to the classy silver of the grip, nib and clips, it all looks very handsome. The nib is medium wide, although writes a bit thicker than you might expect. It comes with a converter cartridge which can even be filled up with your own ink.

Best Fountain Pens under $100

watermanhemisphereWhile the most expensive fountain pens can set you back thousands of dollars, there are quite a few fountain pens of excellent quality that are available for under a hundred dollars. The following selection consists of pens from major famous fountain pen companies, so quality is definitely guaranteed, regardless of which you buy. What remains are merely differences in details and personal preference.

Waterman Hemisphere Stainless Steel GT (Gold Trim) Fountain Pen Fine

This beautiful pen is from the famous company, Waterman. The pen itself is made of brushed stainless steel, making it slightly heavy, and in addition it has 23K gold trims. In contrast, the handle area is made of black, which looks fabulous against the silver of the steel and the gold tips. The nib style allows a fine stroke, and the effect is one to grace any handwriting.

Sheaffer Prelude Fountain Pens with Cartridges, Black Matte Finish with 22K Gold Plate Trim

Not only does this set include a gorgeous Sheaffer high quality fountain pen, but it also includes ink cartridges. In appearance, this is the pen on the list that I would personally pick if I needed another pen. The gorgeous matte finish black of the body looks startlingly handsome in combination with the 22K gold plated edging. In functionality too, this wins; the writing of the Sheaffer nib, slightly thick in this case, is exactly the kind I prefer. There are also grip pads at the side of the pen, which allow easier and better grip.

Pelikan Tradition Series 150 GT Fine Point Fountain Pen, Black

While Pelikan is not as famous a company as the others on this list, this pen makes up for that by being both classy in appearance and excellent in use. The fine point nib is great for those who prefer that style of writing pens, and the green band on the black body make it look very stylish. There is a piston filling mechanism for ink filling. This is probably the lightest pen on the list here, but the design makes up for it. In addition there are also 24K plated gold rings incorporated into the design, which is the highest karat of gold plating on this list. Despite that, this is an everyday pen for use in all situations, adding a bit of class to all your written communications.

Parker Sonnet Stainless Steel GT Medium Point Fountain Pen

How could this list be complete without a Parker? The company has been my favorite for the past several years. This Sonnet pen is part of a range of gorgeous Parker pens that have all the distinct sophistication of the brand, and in addition a beautiful and classical feel to each. This is also stainless steel, like the Waterman above, and similarly the gold trims are 23K. In fact both pens look quite similar, except the Waterman is slimmer in design and the Parker Sonnet has a chunky feel to it. The nib in this pen is also gold plated, which adds to its beautiful design. A wholly exquisite pen.

How to Use a Fountain Pen

fountain_penUsing a fountain pen may seem to be kind of old fashioned; However, some people can’t get enough of the retro feel and smooth flow of ink every time you stroke your fountain pen on a piece of paper. Many people tend to stick with it even though various kinds of writing tools are available. Aside from its ink mechanism, fountain pens are also more affordable compared to other pens since it’s refillable. This means that you can use it for much longer time unlike other disposable ball pens which can’t be used anymore once the ink has run out.

To fully use a fountain pen effectively, one must first understand its different components and the purpose of each. In basic terms, a fountain pen is composed of 3 main parts which are visible to everyone- the cap, nib and barrel. The Cap is the part you remove so the nib can be exposed. It can either be snapped on and off or screwed depending on your model of pen.

The pointed part where the ink comes out is called a nib. It can also be flat at times especially when it comes to the finer arts of using pens such as calligraphy. And lastly, the barrel covers the remaining parts of your pen. Once you’re able to familiarize yourself on this, it would definitely be easier to use a fountain pen. After familiarizing with the internal parts, it would also be helpful if you’d know its internal parts and the kind of ink reservoir it uses. Ink reservoirs can vary and generally come in three different variations. Piston converter, Cartridge and Ink bladder.

Once you have come to understand the purpose of each part, try to practice writing using your fountain pen. In holding the pen, you should decide whether to have the cap attached onto it while writing or remove it because it can affect the way you balance and control the pen. To write comfortably using the fountain pen, it would be better if you’d be able to hit the sweet spot where the nib’s tip dispenses ink smoothly because if not, the nib may feel scratchy and a little unpleasant. Like fingernails down a chalkboard.

Generally, learning how to write using a fountain pen isn’t that hard and confusing after all. It’s all about finding the sweet spot where the nib of your pen can smoothly dispense ink on the paper. However, what’s challenging is that you have to sustain writing on the sweet spot by controlling and balancing the whole pen so as to create the best handwriting possible. Now if you are someone who’s used to writing ball pens, learning how to write without any pressure would definitely be a great challenge for you as fountain pens aren’t intended for that. Just simply guide the pen using your arms, muscles and fingers and the ink will automatically come out. Also, keep the elevation and rotation of the pen constant. No need to push too hard just to make the ink of your writing darker. Doing this will only ruin the alignment of your nib so it’s not really advisable for you to put pressure while you’re writing on the surface of the paper. This is probably the hardest element of mastering a fountain pen.

Best Fountain Pen Brands

fountainpenWhat do people look at in fountain pen brands? What makes a particular brand the best? Some people look for writing quality, while other look for smooth ink flow. Some are interested in longevity while others are interested in the look and feel of the pen. Others are concerned with the price and the standard of the brand. The following fountain pen brands are rated highly in all of the previously mentioned categories, even by the most hardy connoisseurs of fountain pens. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, then, and you are looking to buy a fountain pen, you can’t go very wrong by picking a pen from any of these companies and their established fountain pen brands..


A European brand, this is a favorite because it makes wonderful pens that do not dent your bank balance. Lamy was one of the first companies to use plastic to make their pens, and they owe their fame to that as well as their current quality. Designed to keep working no matter what you do to it, they make great starter pens because of their cheap price.


This German brand has been around for a long time as well. This also makes affordable pens with a characteristic buttery smoothness to the writing that their loyal customers and regular users find extremely enjoyable.


Established over a century ago and perhaps the most famous of all the brands. Parker has been making high quality pens for a very long time. Parker pens are known for their reliability and long life. In recent years, Parker pens has made an effort to increase their affordability, with reasonably priced pens available as well as more expensive ones. This allows for beginners to slowly work themselves up the ladder, starting from simple and cheaper versions and later on graduating to the fancier varieties, without having to switch brands.


Founded exactly a hundred years ago, in 1913 in the U.S. This company is now owned by Bic. Sheaffer pens are both beautiful to look at as well as to use. They have a wide variety of designs, both in the barrel as well as nib sizes, so it’s not difficult to find a design that you’ll prefer. Like Parker, they are a globally renowned brand that makes pens that are high-end as well as many that are reasonable and affordable.


Waterman pens are best known for their long history (the company was founded in the 1800s) and for their inventor’s patent of a feeding mechanism for ink. Waterman pens are also very distinct from one another, instead of being iterations of the same design. They are aesthetically very pleasing, especially their gorgeous nibs.


These beautiful pens are total luxury items, and the price reflects that. They are valuable pens, whether vintage or more recently manufactured, and they have a resale value much higher than other pens. In addition, the brand is extremely well-known, so if you’re looking to flash your classiness, this is a good choice. Even more importantly, the pens are simply glorious in appearance. It’s hard to not want a pen of such magnificent beauty and attention to detail.