A Love Letter To Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are a welcome change from the disposable world of ballpoint pens. They have a smoother writing action and their refillable nature lets you go wild with different ink choices.

Fountain pens are good enough for the Queen and they’re good enough for me.

It’s easy to become entranced with the idea of using a fountain pen. There’s something romantic about doing things the old fashioned way. Although when you write as much as I do, the reasons for using fountain pens are far more practical. The smoother writing action reduces hand strain and gives a consistent feel while writing.

Fountain pens function differently than ballpoint pens. The ink is stored in a reservoir that is fed into the nib. From there, the ink flows from the nib onto the page with minimal pressure.

Different pens with different nibs filled with different inks will give you a wealth of writing options. Fine nibs are great for everyday note taking while broad nibs are almost paint brush like for calligraphy and there are options for everything in between.

It’s the difference between walking around in a comfortable pair of boots or chucking on some thongs. Sure, you won’t always need the option but damn does it feel better when you do.

There’s no frustration about having a pen run out of ink either, having to dig through draws to find another working pen. When my pens run out, I simply grab a nearby ink bottle and refill them. A quick and painless process.

Bored of writing in black? Refill with a claret coloured ink or green. Whatever colour takes your fancy, you can find an ink to fill your fountain pen with and that versatility is something to be appreciated.

[referenced url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/06/budget-fountain-pen-showdown-lamy-safari-vs-pilot-metropolitan/” thumb=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/06/bkhjaxpht1tca32sr2po-410×231.jpg” title=”Budget Fountain Pen Showdown: Lamy Safari Vs Pilot Metropolitan” excerpt=”There’s nothing like writing with a fountain pen, and while they can be expensive, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to own one. For less than $50, you can have a refillable pen perfect for art, journaling, or taking notes in style. Let’s look at two of the best, most accessible budget options you can buy.”]

You can look at fountain pens and be put off by the prices. It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars on a pen. It’s just as easy to spend under $30 to buy an entry-level pen that will last years.

I’ve been using several Pilot Metropolitans as my day-to-day pens for a while now and have reached the point where it would’ve cost me more to use standard ballpoint pens over the same period. Being a writer does skew my pen usage towards the high end of the spectrum but plenty of professions require regular note taking.

Admittedly, my wife and I also own several more expensive pens including a gorgeous gold and white Pelikan pen that we signed our wedding certificate with. Sometimes you want a special pen and that’s a niche that fountain pens fill superbly.

The biggest price problem with fountain pens is not the cost of an individual pen. It’s the cost of building up a collection of pens and ink that fill your study with stationery. Having more options available means you have to exercise self control. Or don’t and just acknowledge that having enough ink to fill a bathtub is going to cost quite a few dollars.

Switching to fountain pens can lead you down a deep hobbyist rabbit hole from which you may not return. You may not want to return and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s about finding something simple in life that you appreciate.

[referenced url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2018/08/why-you-should-try-dot-grid-paper/” thumb=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/08/Getty-Images-Notebook-410×231.jpg” title=”Why You Should Try Dot Grid Paper” excerpt=”When you need a notebook to jot things down in it’s easy to just grab a lined notebook or one with blank pages. There’s a third option to consider that has the benefits of both styles. dot grid.”]

Entering into the world of fountain pens also opens you up to other premium stationery. You won’t want to write on random legal pads with your fancy pen. No, it might bleed through the paper or smudge. It’s tempting to go all in and buy some notebooks from Rhodia or Clairefontaine. It’s also completely unnecessary to go that far, a quick trip to Officeworks can find you plenty of cheap options that are entirely suitable for fountain pens.

It’s not all sunshine and roses. When I first started to use a fountain pen, I managed to get ink everywhere and smudges were a constant concern. I adapted, I kept paper towels nearby to make sure no problem got too out of hand. Then things changed as I got used to the quirks of using a fountain pen and now I don’t think I can go back.

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