How do you choose your next pen?

January 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

Buying a pen, particularly a fountain pen, can be a very personal experience.  The price, the style, the nib and even the presentation can be a determining factor.  At PenFountain, we are currently experiencing the Rolls Royce for a Mini price scenarios on the retail front.  A £5.00 pen in a velvet lined cardboard veneered case so that it the looks the business (but it’s a lie!).

For fountain pen users, without a doubt there are some fine ‘gems’ to be found below £10  – without the presentation case but, for collectors, these are often the little extras for selection from a pot of pens on the desk.  When it comes to buying the more serious pens, is it hearts vs. heads on price and appearance or is it all in the brand?

We are conducting a short poll – please feel free to complete the poll and comment.

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§ One Response to How do you choose your next pen?

  • Kurazaybo says:

    Well, this is a question that brings a lot of subjective answers. But I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing with my last purchases. The common factor has been curiosity. I am a big fan of Sheaffer’s inlaid nibs, I could buy Targas and 44X pens from the 70’s again and again, knowing that the writing experience is always smooth, wet and consistent, and that the inlaid nib is an eye magnet at the meeting room table.

    But for the “new” pens I’ve purchased in the last year or so, I’ve been motivated by curiosity: brands and configurations that I had not tried before. For example, I had never used a Lamy product. I purchased a Safari Vista with F nib. I really did not like many aspects of the pen at all. The build quality was excellent but the performance just wasn’t there. I also was curiuous about itallic nibs and got a second hand calligraphy set from Sheaffer. My mind was literally blown away with the possibilities but the No-Nonsense style pen “body” of the set is so low quality… I ruined the 0.8mm nib and pen with my constant use and experimentation.

    I decided to try the 1.1mm nib on the Safari Vista and I must say, it quickly became my favorite setup. It is as smooth and wet (or maybe more) than the Sheaffers’ and the pen, even being a basic school model, is built to last. Initially I was thinking about selling or giving away the LAMY but now I am seriously considering getting an Al-Star, which is the exact same pen but with a slightly more expensive aluminum-coated body. This is because I’ve become so fond of the Lamy 1.1mm nib!! But the transparent body of the Vista so easily shows wear!

    So, my point is I would have never discovered what is now my favorite everyday pen if I had not decided to try new things and ways; If I had not been open to experimentation.

    Right now I am really curious about TWSBI and Kaweco pens, and I am willing to try some other brands of pens and inks.

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