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 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 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.