Cheap Fountain pens, worth it?

I dislike handwriting in general (I have atrocious handwriting, probably a factor), but I like the feel of gel pens, and wondered if a cheap fountain pen would restore some semblance of respect for the necessary evil of handwriting, even went to look at the FPN site.
My regular handwriting instruments are a .9 mm mechanical pencil and a bic 4 color pen, with occasional use of two highlighters, a fine point marker, and a gel pen. In that order.

Two concerns: 1-I am not motivated to spend lots of money for something I might lose carelessly. 2-I got the impression at FPN that some people there are more concerned with the welfare of their pens than of their white shirts, a feeling I do not share, and I was left with the impression that leaks do happen often enough (as compared to normal pens).

I just wish to learn whether my attitude could change with using something different. Last time I tried, it felt like writing with a nail, so I was not impressed. But I fear getting something cheap will not give me the benefit others here seem to enjoy.

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You're a tough sell, Civil.

Just kidding.

It's an odd thing. I didn't like ballpoint pens because it felt like you had to press fairly hard to make it work. I think that encourages bad handwriting. I ended up using my Dad's fountain pen in college to take notes because I couldn't stand ballpoints. Then when rollerballs came out (you can see that I'm dating myself), I ended up switching to rollerballs. Now, I'm back to fountain pens again.

What does that have to do with the quality of my writing? Not a heck of a lot. But, if you can write with less effort, which is possible with fountain pens, roller balls, and gel pens, you can write well and write quickly.

The other thing about using a fountain pen is because they generally cost more than the usual ballpoint or rollerball. You may feel that the quality of your writing should be commensurate with the quality of the pen. On the other hand, you may feel this is a lousy justification for improving your handwriting.

Maybe what really matters is that when you find a pen that makes it a pleasure to write, whether it's because of the way the pen feels on the paper, the way it looks and feels, or the way that the ink flows from the nib, you may find that you want to write more. You may want to send handwritten letters to your friends instead of emails. Then you may begin to care more about your handwriting.

That's what motivates me. Try it.

Walter

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"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Pilot Varsity is decent

I went to a pen store to look at fountain pens. Wasn't going to buy their stock, because they had the higher-end pens and prices. They had Pilot Varsity - decent, if not very easy flow - though that would mean less likelihook of leakage, I'd assume.
I also tried out the Lamy. It was actually similar to the Varsity, and at $40 ($20 or $30 online) it would have bought me 2 packs of Varsities (7-pack, they have many colors!).
I still felt that both needed a bit more pressure than I thought, more like a high-quality rollerball (I have a fav, that writes like a dream, but is slightly scratchy... ) The Lamy was like that one, without the scratchiness - very nice, but not as easy as a dip pen (used my grandma's before, very nice - and messy). The Varsity needed a bit more pressure, but for $3 or $4 each they are worth it.

But go to a pen store. I was tempted to buy a posture-correcting pen...almost. At $45 and $5 a refill.... for ballpoint....

Coincidentally, I just wrote my first Pilot Varsity dry

this evening. I thought I'd give refilling the pen a try, following the directions on many sites.

So I wrapped a rubber 'jar opener' about the front end (to protect the finish) and gripped it with a pliers and pulled.

And pulled. And pulled. So hard I wrenched the body out of the grip of my other hand.

So I scrounged up a second rubber sheet and another pair of pliers and tried again with both grips enhanced.

Nothing. Not the slightest movement. The pen might as well have been molded in a single solid piece for all that I accomplished.

I guess I'll have to stick to refilling the pens *meant* to be refilled. :D

theres some places online telling you how

There's a youtube video on how to use a syringe (cut off top) to force air out, and force ink in. Apparently works pretty well. Somebody also said not to add ink from the flat/back end, it gets messy.

~~~~~
Circa: check.
Now onto...fountain pens.
This new office supply kick is getting mighty expensive real quick.

Check my review...

http://www.diyplanner.com/node/6254
of the Pilot Petit1

For $4.50, you ain't risking much.
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Give it a try.

Cheap pens: Some are great. The Pilot Petit was mentioned. Pelikan Future or Pelikano, which you can find for about $20, comes to mind. Lamy Safaris are not very expensive (if you like to write with bigger pens). I have tried countless "cheap" fountain pens. The no-name ones usually do write like a nail. If you can find "Bic" (formerly Stypen) fountain pens you may get lucky, too. Inoxcrom makes nice inexpensive pens for school kids (and the beautiful Atlantic, a stainless steel pen that "clicks" nicely). Every single Pelikan with a steel nib I have ever written with has been a dream writer. You might want to start with a medium nib considering what you're used to writing with. It will also be smoother. Give it a try! There is a Pilot 78G available at hisnibs dot com is a screw cap and great value (and solves part of the problem below).

White shirts: Based on 20 years of experience using fountain pens, especially cheap ones, it's not so much leaks but mishaps involving uncapped pens that I find most problematic for shirts. I had a Waterman Phileas that ruined a brand new silk suit, both jacket and skirt, because the cap was not secure enough. The silk wicked all the ink right out. If you tend to leave pens uncapped you may encounter problems, too. But it's somewhat similar to liquid-ink pens. Once you start toying with bottled ink, there are big rewards but the risks are also heightened.

I tried it once

Hi.

I got a nice low end fountain pen from my mom as a gift when I expressed an interest. I also tried a couple of the disposable pilots in ink colors I like.

I used the metal FP to write in a journal every day for months--just a couple of lines, but every day. The journal was a pretty one--not a moleskine, but along the same lines but with a decorative cover with a magnetic clasp closure, two ribbons and a pocket at the back. The paper was nice and smooth, and the pen was nice and smooth too.

The experience of writing with an FP was interesting. It was definitely smooth--but in the end I rinsed out my pen and put it away. I don't use it anymore--not because it wasn't nice, but because it wasn't fast enough or easy enough. I am a low-maintenance girl, I like a low-maintenance pen. I love liquid inks and smooth writing, but I don't want to have to look at the orientation of my pen before I start to write. I'm too used to ball points, rollerballs, and gels--you can write with any side up. With FPs you have to have them just so or you're not writing.

Now my favorite is a TUL from OfficeMax. Blue ink, .5.. I don't get fatigue writing with that, and it's lighter than my good FP.

The disposable FPs didn't write as smoothly as the metal one (as expected), but they were cheap and easy and I didn't have to worry too much about them. I tried them for regular daily use, but again it was the shape and angle that sent me back to the ball pens.

It was an interesting experiment, and I'm glad I tried it. But it's not for me for the long term. I advise you to try it too--with a $30 or $40 pen or a disposable. Either way will let you know whether you're willing to spend effort on your pen.

shris

I am the same way

Maybe I should return the pen I just bought before opening it. I did not know one could not just grab and write. I too need the tool to adjust to me (within reason), not the other way around.

I saw some liquid ink pens at Staples that were not fountain type, I am curious whether they achieve the same effect. They come in a pack for a reasonable price.

Re-fillable Rollerballs instead of Ballpoints

You mentioned liking being able to use liquid inks. Try a Pelikano or Kaweco rollerball. You can fill them with fountain pen ink and have access to that multitude of colours. They write even smoother than a ballpoint and only cost $10 to $12 from www dot shopwritersbloc dot com (no affiliation).

Another cheap fountain pen

Another cheap fountain pen that's actually pretty good is the Plumix. It can be found at Target for $6 (if they still carry them; Target is a fickle source). I like it because it's both light and well-balanced, and it has a triangle grip that pretty much guarantees that you'll hold the nib at the right angle. It takes a Namiki refill, which can be had from their website for $2.20 for a package of 6.

I have a couple of Levenger True Writers that I use for note-taking and other writing. I use the Plumix most often for doing Sudoku and crosswords and the like, because it doesn't bleed on the cheap paper of the puzzle magazines the way the True Writers do.

All in all, it's the best cheap pen I've ever bought.

---
"I want to live in Theory. Everything works there."

The Plumix is an Italic pen

Possibly not ideal for a fountain pen noobie.
But try it and see

JetPens has a pen called the Pilot Penmanship Fountain Pen which appears to be identical to the Plumix, but it has an extra fine point
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

sheaffer caligraphy fountain pen

I am looking at a sheaffer caligraphy pen for 6 bucks at offiemax, medium and fine. I wonder if it will write ok, the tip looks funny, the metal not so atractive, though that doesn't matter to me as long as it doesn't feel like a nail.

Pretty, but not as smooth

Hi.

My guess, having done calligraphy once a very long time ago, is that you'll find a calligraphy pen rather finicky to write with.

Calligraphy pens tend to have blunt, square points, so they can write a fine line in one direction and a thicker line in the other direction. They range in size from very fine to very fat, and they make very pretty froufs if you like real calligraphy. Most of the pens I've seen are the type that you can't push 'up' the paper--they're too sharp. You can only write sideways and down, thus forcing some letters to be two strokes rather than one, and nearly prohibiting true cursive..

Fountain pens for writing have a little rounded area on the nose so the point skates easily across the page. They tend to write lines that aren't as variable as calligraphy pens. They are also quite narrow by comparison with some calligraphy pens. Mostly they push 'up' just fine so you can write as with a rollerball, once you have the pen oriented properly to the paper.

There are, of course, exceptions to what I just said. But generally, calligraphy pens seem to be for making art, not so much for regular writing..

At least, that's my understanding as a former artist and having tried a couple of FPs.

shris

Thanks

You are right, that's what I got, I will return it tomorrow

Calligraphy (~italic)

Yup, shris is right. Calligraphy (aka Italic) pens require a special writing technique. A stub nib is halfway between an italic and a round "ball" nib. It gives some line variation but can write as smoothly and as quickly as a regular round nib.

Entry level pens will come with some form of rounded nib. They'll write smoothly in almost any direction, but like any fountain pen, position is important. You have to hold the pen so the "shiny side" of the nib is up. The other side will have the feed, which is the plastic piece which supports the nib and supplies ink to it. Also, fountain pens work when the pen is held at an angle, unlike ballpoint or rollerball pens, which can work vertically. So yeah, they are more finicky. (I'm not being condescending; I've had friends use my pens upside down. They just didn't know.)

Another cheap pen worth trying is the Platinum Preppy. It has a fine to extra fine nib and is available for about $3-4. Jetpens has it. The Pilot Petit is a smaller than average pen. The Preppy is a standard size pen. If you have big hands, the Petit may feel too small.

Another thing to consider when you're looking at a fountain pen is the nib size. Fine to extra fine nibs are good for journaling and planners. Medium to broad nibs usually give you more line variation, and usually give you an even smoother feel. Wider nibs are better suited to someone with medium to large handwriting, and for signatures.

-----------------------
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Thanks for the tips, I had

Thanks for the tips, I had been wondering about those very things, could not find them yet while checking fpn. I will keep them in mind.

re: Handwriting improvement

Civil,

Someone was kind enough to suggest this site once. It might even have come from diyplanner.com. You might find it helpful. I haven't put the tips to work myself yet, but it sure makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems very doable. Check it out.

http://briem.net/

Cheers,
Walter

-----------------------
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Foutain pens - depends on...

Civil, it really depends on what you want out of a pen.

If you want a pen that you can pick up and throw into a bag or pocket anyway up, sit on, never maintain, write with even if laying on your back with the pen point-up in the air, and never refill then don't buy a fountain pen.

If you want a pen that writes with old-world-charm, doesn't need to be replaced as you refill it, makes your writing look artistic, and always works if treated with kindness. Then you would enjoy a fountain pen.

If you're not interested in the mystique of fountain pens then I can't recommend one to you. I use a gel pen that takes cheap refills myself as I don't have the patience for a pen I have to think about. I want to be able to leave a pen full of ink in a drawer for 6 months and then pick it up and have it work instantly.

K

I am intrigued

Yesterday I got 3 Pilot "Precise Grip" extrafine roller ball pens, on the recommendation of the salesman, who claims he prefers them to fountain pens (I did get to try before buying).

Today I received their order of one fountain pen, a Pilot varsity disposable. I am intrigued by the similarities and differences.

Both perform the same, as far as ink, I guess must be the same type of ink. Both write best in cheap or porous paper (paper bag/ yellow steno pad) with no smear right after writing.

Both seem to do well on inkjet printer paper, but do not do so well on the paper my franklyn rolla pad came with, maybe it is laser paper? They smeared more.

My Pilot G2 gel pen performs well, but seems to require a little bit of pressure or it will skip some. The rollerball works well with light touch, the fountain works best of the three with the very lightest of touches

Both the roller and the fountain worked fine writing several lines upside down, just got a little lighter, but did not skip at all.

I am not sure what to think. The roller ball is much smoother, the fountain more scratchy, yet I had the slightest illusion of more control with the fountain. The feel on the hand is different somehow.

I almost did not go for this, as the above negative comments definitely apply to me. Now I am thinking maybe they apply more to the more expensive fountains, as mine feels mostly normal, apparently no special handling needed. I did notice the angle issue at first, but after that, I no longer had to pay any attention to it.

Does this mean the more expensive fountain pens are a pain in the neck? If so, what makes them so much more worthwhile?

Either way, I am just trying to discover whether a different pen would make me hate handwriting less. So far both types of pens seem nice, so far I am not being particularly nicer to the fountain one, works well enough.

Diyplanner, Rollabind, GTD templates, are all reasons why I am trying more handwriting again. Otherwise, me and a keyboard get along famously (I have been using PDAs since the HP200LX was the king of the hill, to avoid handwriting among other reasons).

Edit: I am finding that the fountain pen is harder to control as far as fine lines, it is easier to draw fine lines with the roller pen, so I guess I will not use the fountain pen as much with 3x5 cards, which need smaller lines.

Fine lines

come from fine nibs, the fine-ness of which varies by manufacturer.

I use fountain pens almost exclusively, as I have problems with my hands and can't press down hard while writing without pain. I have a variety, from the Pilot Petit1 up to some moderately-expensive pens (sadly, no vanishing points or really expensive pens. Probably better, as I would be afraid of breaking or losing them!) and one vintage Esterbrook. I use them all in rotation, and keep them scattered.

So, since you asked: I use them because they do not require a lot of pressure on the paper to write, I have control over the line width, it looks nicer (I lost a lot of handwriting control with the hand issue), and they are refillable (makes my eco-conscious soul happy). After using them for only a short while, I didn't have a problem with the directional-issue, and simply glance at it without thinking when I uncap it.

The scratchiness of the Varsity could be simply because it's a cheap pen. My Petit1 writes like a dream, but my Preppy (also a Pilot) skips an drags. My Schafer Javelin takes the most abuse, sits around for ages, then writes first thing every time. I think the Levenger True Write is too heavy for me, and I will probably be selling both of them (let me know if you want one!). My Waterman is smooth, but leaves a wide, wet mark, and is a bit heavy for me as well (again, might sell it). The Esterbrook is a nice dry writer, but I'm not happy with the nib I popped on it after dropping it (point down, of course!) last year. I'll have to start haunting eBay again to find the nib I want. I have a couple of old, cheap plastic Schafer fountain pens, too, dating back to highschool, and use them regularly, as well.

Each brand is different, and if you really want to find what works for you, then try some more of them. See if you can find a generous soul nearby who will let you write with their pens. Find a pen store and try some. Or just wait until you find some on sale or used, and try them. My collection stems from trying to find the pen that would work best for me, and while I haven't found it yet, I have discovered things about my preferences that I wouldn't have known if I hadn't tried them.

Long answer for a long question. Does it help at all?

Upside Down = Finer

To get a finer line out of my fountain pen, I simply hold it so the nib faces the opposite way (shiny side down). It's a lot scratchier, but the line is noticeably finer.

RN

Wow, so I was doing it wrong all along

No wonder it was scratchy, shiny side up is a lot smoother, was doing it wrong all along!

But shiny side down is not fine enough for my taste, and shiny side up is too wide.

Now I see why I did not notice before, shiny side down is very consistent, while shiny side up sometimes skips, I don't like that. But it is smooth, probably good for drawing, I need it for writing in cramped space (planners).

I am finding that the liquid ink does not dry fast enough for my taste on card stock, but on porous paper it is quick. I wonder if faster drying ink would cause trouble for the pen.

Depends on what you call cheap.....

I just received a Hero 330 that I bought from hisnibs dot com. It is wonderful! It writes a very fine line and is so smooth. I didn't know it was possible. I also the Chocolat brown ink and it is great. I am new to fountain pens, so I do not know too much, but I know what I like and I really like this pen. Give it a look. It seems that he adjusts the nibs before he ships, I think? Anyway, give it a try.

Thanks, I will check it out.

Thanks, I will check it out. 15 bucks is not far from my price range, especially if it will make a significant difference from the one I got. I wonder about shipping though.

+1 for the Hero 330. The

+1 for the Hero 330. The 110 and 100 are slightly nicer versions of the same pen (I paid $25 for my 110) and I use the 110 regularly as my knock-around, daily writer. I like the fine line for writing in my planner and the smooth writing. What is cheap? At $25, it's not disposable, but it will not break my heart if I lose it somewhere.

I also very much like the pilot varsity pens, which I took most of my notes with through University and grad school. The nib on these is fantastic (to my taste) for a fountain pen that is essentially disposable.

If the ink smears on your favorite paper, try another ink. I guess you'll have to try another pen other than the varsity for this, though. Permanent FP inks tend to dry more quickly.

itoya blade

I have an Itoya Blade. they come in both blue and black inks. they are not refillable to my knowledge BUT they do offer a very fine line for around $4. I found mine at Hobby Lobby and even found a 40% off coupon on their website.

I talked about the Blade here on my blog.

--> my blog <--

Just a little bit disapppointed

Thanks for all the comments to this topic. I now have both the Pilot Varsity and the Itoya Blade (the latter from local Hobby Lobby, not exactly friendly folks, but I digress). Both are nice enough, considering I am a new fountain pen user. But I am a little disappointed as far as the "fine" part. I guess I have a different understanding as to what that means. While I like the smooth feeling, any cheap pen that I have tried writes finer than they, I would call them medium at best. Attempts at making them write fairly small (as I would do with a cheap ball point) often results in smudges and messy writing (particularly in my hipster cards). In larger space on a steno pad, they are nice enough, especially the blade. I guess I must have misunderstood something.
At least I am doing a bit more handwriting than I am used to, it seems not so bad. But more pleasant and smooth so far has not resulted in better handwriting, oh well.

My current small writing needs are being met by a couple of Pilot Extra Fine Roller ball pens I got with the Varsity. I am weighing the decision to try the Lamy Extra Fine Nib people keep talking about, though I suspect it may end up being only ‘fine’, not ‘extra’. Better than medium I guess.

Variations on a theme...

Civil,

It sounds like you may be looking for an extra extra fine (XXF) or something like that. It's not easy to find those kinds of nibs nowadays. I would call the F nib that my Namiki Vanishing Point pen had was an extra fine, and the fine nib on the Platinum Preppy an XF too. As noted, Japanese nibs seem to run finer than their designation.

I would guess that a Lamy XF nib might be a bit wider than you'd like, as my experience is that most European nibs (Lamy, Pelikan, etc.) seem to run a bit wider. Does Lamy make an XXF?

It might be a good idea for you to look for a used Esterbrook pen that can take their interchangeable screw-in nibs. You can still find Esterbrook nibs around, especially on the net. Maybe you can find an bookkeeping nib, which is supposed to be XXF. There are others here who know more about these pens. Richard Binder has Esterbrook nibs for sale (http://www.richardspens.com/).

Pelikan also has screw-in interchangeable nibs, at least in their M series. Easy to change.

One caveat, the finer the nib, the scratchier they will feel, because the surface area of the nib contacting the paper would be smaller. Makes sense.

You probably want a fast drying ink, since you mention smudges. Some of the ink reviews you can find on the web will give you info on that. Do a search for ink reviews and you should find some.

The better handwriting? That's an ongoing self-improvement project for most of us! :-)

Good luck,
Walter

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"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Thanks, will research that

Thanks, will research that. I do feel $25 bucks is a lot of money to spend just to get the same result (Lamy), even if it is a better quality pen, so I will go with what you said about it and not buy it.
I am interested enough in fountain pens that I might someday start experimenting with different inks. But first I need to be reasonably satisfied with the 'extra fine' issue. I am not yet really hooked on fountain pens, just enjoying the novelty for now, as long as the price is within reason.

Why not get a Hero 329 or

Why not get a Hero 329 or 330? They run really fine.

You want a Hero? I might have one.

Civil,

I have a Hero around someplace that I used a while ago. XF to XXF nib, made to look like a Parker 51. If you want to try it, I'll mail it to you, if I can figure out where I put it. I found that I didn't care for XF nibs. Hope you're in the US?

Email me your address at wike2004 at gmail dot com.

I wouldn't rule out the Lamy. The only way to know is to find a shop nearby that has them and try them out. They're good pens, just that my experience was that their nibs tended to run wide compared to the Japanese/Chinese pens, and it sounded like you really wanted an extra fine nib. The Hero is a Chinese pen and has F nibs that are more like XF.

Walter

-----------------------
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Really? What is it that you

Really? What is it that you did not like about the xf Hero? I am in the USA. I have not found a pen shop in my city, only some within a 2 hour drive on the highway. Maybe next time I go down to Cincinnati I may look one up, but I don't go there often.

Thanks for the offer.

XF just not my cup of tea

Although I find it useful sometimes to have one. XF nibs work great in planners or pocket diaries because you usually don't have much space for writing. XF good for those who write small because they prefer to or because there's little space. I have a couple of other XF pens that I use occasionally, but most of the time, I prefer fat fine or medium nibs. The latter are usually smoother too because of the larger surface area touching the paper. The ink acts like a lubricant and they just glide across the paper with little effort. It's a personal thing. :-)

I also found a Wingsung pen with an XF nib. Forgot about that one. I'll test it out and see how it works.

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"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Definitely check japanese and Esterbrooks pens.

I have used fountain pens since the 4th grade and have been a Fountain Pen Network member ever since it started.

The way to use a fountain pen is definitely shiny side up ;) :)

Japanese pens are famous for their extra fine nibs.

A great place to get them is hisnibs.com

Esterbrooks pens are vintage, they are no longer in production but they were so well made that there are still plenty of them on the market, they have interchangeable nibs.

What you need is a fine or extra fine nib and I think that your best bet would be a bookeeping Esterbrooks nib.

Pendemonium.com just got a new batch of Esterbrooks nibs, they find new packages of nibs at estate sales and auctions when old stationery stores go out of business.

Pendemonium owners, Frank and Sam (a woman, co-owner and wife) are Esterbrooks expert and love to deal with new users.

They will help you find the right Esterbrooks or other vintage pen that best suits you need.

They are lovely to deal with, they helped me choose pens when I went from school pens to more expensive ones but still under $100.

I am a very happy customer and I am not affiliated with them.

Some pen vendors, like in any other trade, take advantage of noobies.

I don't like that at all.

The Ohio pen show take place in November, if you could attend, it would be great.

Address of the website below
www.ohiopenshow.com/index.html

I'm looking at the cheap

I'm looking at the cheap ones now. I got the Varsity; pink; it might be because its new stock or whatever, but its very wet. Remarkably good for a $4 pen (bought in store). I'm gonna try to refill it with tea, see how that goes.
I'm looking at the cheaper real fountain pens, and they r still a bit much for me. because i may not like it. i love the size and type of the Varsity grip (plastic barrel, love it in the uniball, etc rollerball versions too - looks cool, good size for me, not too bad a grip (or lack thereof).

So, any cheap ones out there with a similar-sized grip? any1 wanna sell one they don't use anymore?

what i dont like is how fast

what i dont like is how fast the ink runs.
im gonna be outta ink soon! ive only used it 2 days, for my planner only, it used half a cm of ink. Thats about 2 pages of the circa jr paper, single-sided (like i said, very wet-it sorta goes thru)

Sometimes the pen helps

I have been way too busy to do a lot of handwriting which I love to do. I found a fountain pen that is not too expensive and improved my handwriting dramatically. I always thought a fine nib would be best to clear up my lops but I found that a broad nib actually makes my handwriting look like a rational person is in charge. It is a Pilot Broad Nib 78G. I got it from Norman at His Nibs for $25.00. I bought one for home and school and I use it every day in both venues. The ink flows well and it is the perfect weight in the hand. BTW--if you spend real money on a pen you do not lose it--you track it carefully!

Good luck. I have used many inexpensive fountain pens and like the Preppy Platinums the best.

sporter
"To fly, we must have resistance."

im actually thinking of

im actually thinking of using a pen with a converter, and bottled ink. more affordable, better, and so much more of a...fountain pen-y feel

Pilot 78G

I also bought a broad nib Pilot 78G from Norman at His Nibs. I currently have it filled with Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, and it writes beautifully. One note of caution, though. You need to hold the pen a certain way so the corners of the nib don't catch on the paper.

Norman sells many different inexpensive pens from which to choose. I am not affiliated, just a happy customer.

RN

im picky with grips tho

i need particular diameter, and completely, no-rubber round barrel grip to have a comfy experience. Lamy, Pelikan use triangle grip, which hurts my fingers. Too thin, it slips; too big, it hurts too.
So i need to try the pen....
so which pen would be round, regular bic ballpoint (or slightly larger) hard plastic grip? Yeah, i can't even use half my mechanical pencils these last couple of years, because i'm writing so much. The soft pencil grips make me grip harder, which is worse in the long run.

so, what are my choices?
under $50, easy to find, and round non-rubbery grip?

or am i too picky, for the price range?

Sailor Inkbar

The Sailor Inkbar is the Bic ballpoint of fountain pens. Unfortunately, it's not refillable.

Still, it's a handy pen to have to throw into your bag...

(I'm going to respond to your comments on the other thread too.)

thanks. and for the

thanks.
and for the throw-in-bags stage, i think ill get a pack of varsity-colors!
or maybe a few preppies.
ive been looking at the plaisir tho too. it looks like something i'd use. hows it feel?