Best Fountain Pen for Beginners

It is a fact that the art of writing is not as popular as it used to be. Nonetheless, the authenticity and appeal of the calligraphy process have not been lost on certain corners. New people are taking on calligraphy every day, and if you’re one of those, a decent and reliable fountain is a must-have. As a beginner, your experience with your first pen can affect your desire to go on with the art, and if you’re in it for the long ride, you ought to choose a good pen model when starting out. However, choosing the best fountain pen for beginners is not so straightforward. To make it less overwhelming for you to make the right choice, we have selected and carefully reviewed some of the best options available on the market.

Comparison Table of Fountain Pens for Beginners

ImageProductNibPrice
Dryden Designs Fountain PenMedium FineCheck
PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain PenFineCheck
Lamy Safari Fountain PenMedium NibCheck
Lamy Black 2000 Fountain PenMedium Point Stainless Steel NibCheck
PILOT Metropolitan Collection Fountain PenMedium NibCheck
Jinhao 450 Normal nib Fountain PenNormal NibCheck
Parker Jotter Fountain PenMedium NibCheck
PILOT Kakuno Fountain PenFine NibCheck
LAMY ABC Fountain PenSteel Polished NibCheck
Dryden Designs Luxury Bamboo Fountain PenFine/Medium NibCheck

Dryden Designs Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Medium Nib
  • Versatile Pen
  • Smooth Metallic Finish

This Dryden Designs Fountain Pen is one of the best and most affordable fountain pen options available to beginners today. It has a well-balanced design that is easy to grip, and ink flows smoothly and naturally from the nib under gravity. It comes with a medium-size nib, and that’s a perfect nib size for beginners to start with.

The stainless steel material is perfect, and the smooth metallic finish does improve its aesthetics. Also, it is designed to be used by both left-handed and right-handed writers. Another interesting fact about the Dryden Designs Fountain Pen is that it is compatible with both cartridges and bottled ink, making it one of the most versatile options for beginners.

Pros

  • Comes with a converter
  • Perfect for both left and right-handed writers
  • It is reasonably priced

Cons

  • No window to check the ink level

PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Premium Brass Barrel
  • Elegant Gift Box
  • Fine and Medium Nib Options

PILOT is one of the most popular fountain pen brands today, and their products are usually highlighted by affordability and impeccable functionality. The PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen is specially designed to deliver a refined style and an exceptionally smooth calligraphy experience. It features a premium brass barrel that’s neither too big nor too small.

Stainless steel accents add some excitement to the otherwise plain and boring barrel. Furthermore, it is a versatile fountain pen that’s compatible with both the cartridge and converter refill system. The pen is fitted with a stainless steel nib that is the perfect option for beginners.

Pros

  • Comes with a converter and cartridge
  • Comes in a beautiful gift box
  • Elegant barrel design

Cons

  • Only available in fine and medium nib options

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Sturdy ABS Plastic
  • Medium Nib
  • Piston Converter

Check out this sleek looking fountain pen from LAMY. While there are more advanced options available from this brand, this is a must-have for every beginner. With a body made from ABS plastic material, it is sufficiently durable. It has a triangular grip section that is significantly easier to grip for beginners compared to the typical round grips.

Unlike some of the other pens on this list that come with cartridges and converters, the LAMY Safari only comes with a cartridge. Nonetheless, you can always buy a converter separately. One of the things we love the most about the pen is the small window that gives you a view of the ink level at all times. The durable clip on the pen cap is also worth commenting on.

Pros

  • Smooth writing
  • It is not expensive
  • Durable stainless steel nib

Cons

  • The ink reservoir is quite small

PILOT Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens

Key Features

  • Medium Point Nib
  • Advanced Liquid Ink System
  • Retro Style Barrel

You don’t come across disposable fountain pens quite often. While they may lack the authenticity and appeal of typical fountain pens, these PILOT Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens are just perfect for beginners. The pens are prefilled with ink, and they come ready to use. The disposable nature of the pens means that you don’t have to worry about pen maintenance.

As the pens come in packs, you get enough to last you for a long time at an affordable price. We love that the disposable nature does not affect the durability of the pens. They come with medium point nibs that are made from durable stainless steel material, while the barrels are made from durable plastic.

Pros

  • Multiple pens in one pack
  • Durable stainless steel nibs
  • It is reasonably priced
  • No maintenance required

Cons

  • The ink may run heavy

PILOT Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Medium Nib
  • Strong Brass Barrel
  • Stainless Accents

This is another line of fountain pens from PILOT that’s perfect for beginners. The PILOT Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen comes with a smooth brass barrel design with stainless steel accents for a bit of decoration. The medium point nibs are made from strong stainless steel material for an exceptional writing experience.

It comes at a reasonable price for all its exciting features and is very valuable for what it’s worth. Furthermore, the pen comes with a prefilled cartridge and a converter that you can fill with ink if that’s what you prefer. If you are a beginner, you need a pen that can produce a clean cursive style; it is the best fountain pen for cursive writing.

Pros

  • The cartridge comes prefilled with ink
  • Smooth and comfortable grip section
  • It comes with an ink converter

Cons

  • No window to check ink level

Jinhao 450 Normal nib Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Meticulously Crafted
  • Normal Nib Size
  • Contoured Grip

Check out the Jinhao 450 Normal Nib Fountain Pen if what you need is an affordable fountain pen that has a premium feel. It comes with all the right things you need to start your journey into the world of calligraphy. The package comes with a pen and ten ink cartridges of five different ink colors.

One of the things we noticed is that the ink doesn’t clog the pen, and it dries really quickly. The sleek, stylish frame is crowned with a strong cap that keeps the tip secure when the pen is not in use. There is a strong clip on the cap with which you can fasten the pen to your journals and notebooks.

Pros

  • Smooth writing
  • It comes with 10 ink cartridges
  • The contoured grip makes for better handling

Cons

  • The package does not include a converter

Parker Jotter Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Feather Shaped Nib
  • Medium Point
  • Screw Off Cap

The Parker Jotter Fountain Pen is the perfect combination of aesthetics, functionality, and durability. It comes with a smooth stainless steel design that is punctuated with shiny trims and finished off with a strong cap with arrowhead clips. It makes for a great gift option, as it comes in an elegant gift box.

It is also one of the pens on our list with which you can attain that authentic writing experience. While it does not come with an ink converter, it does come with a cartridge of ink. The medium-point nib is very smooth and writes thickly enough for beginners. Like most of all the other pens on our list, it is budget-friendly.

Pros

  • It is a lightweight pen
  • Very durable
  • Budget option pen

Cons

  • Available with only medium nib

PILOT Kakuno Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Fine Nib
  • Hexagonal Barrel Design
  • Slightly Moulded Grip

Most beginner fountain pens come with medium point nibs, but the PILOT Kakuno Fountain Pen is the one to go for if you need a fine point entry-level pen. For one, it is extremely lightweight and very comfortable to grip. We would have loved the cap to feature a clip for fastening, but the flat sides on the cap prevent the pen from rolling around.

It is designed to be compatible with ink cartridges and PILOT converters, but the package only includes a standard ink cartridge. You’ll need to buy a cartridge separately if you need one. The pen’s overall appearance is not like the typical classic fountain pens, but that doesn’t affect the functionality in any way.

Pros

  • Smooth ink flow
  • Secure and comfortable grip
  • Designed for beginners

Cons

  • Unusual fountain pen design

LAMY ABC Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Maple Wood Barrel
  • Plastic Grip
  • Steel Polished Nib

The LAMY ABC Fountain Pen is one of the popular classics when you talk about beginner fountain pens. It differs considerably in design from high-end pens, but you really should focus more on functionality at this point, and it is a functional pen. It comes with a maple wood barrel, with a plastic cap and a cube accent at the rear.

One problem that is not uncommon to many fountain pens is slipping. This pen features a non-slip rubber grip that’s very secure to hold and write with. The LAMY ABC pen is compatible with both the cartridge and converter filling system, so you get the choice to choose which you prefer.

Pros

  • Non-slip grip
  • Both converter and cartridge filling system
  • Sturdy stainless steel nibs

Cons

  • No window to check ink level

Dryden Designs Luxury Bamboo Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Lifetime Money-back Guarantee
  • Smooth Refined Nib
  • Gift Ready

The Dryden Designs Luxury Bamboo Fountain Pen is one of the best options to gift to your friends and family. The barrel of this exquisite fountain pen is made from natural bamboo material. This material choice adds some premium appeal to the pen. While it costs more than most of the other pens on our list, it is definitely worth every penny you spend on it.

The grip section is smoothly finished with polished steel accents on both ends. The steel nib is of medium size, perfect for elementary calligraphy practice. It comes in a matching bamboo case, and a high-quality converter is included in the package.

Pros

  • Comes in an attractive package
  • Aesthetically pleasing bamboo frame
  • Smooth ink flow
  • Comes with an ink converter

Cons

  • It can be slippery to hold

Overall Best

Dryden Designs Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Medium Nib
  • Versatile Pen
  • Smooth Metallic Finish

The Dryden Designs Fountain Pen is our overall pick as the best fountain for beginners. At its price, it is one of the most exquisite fountain pens you can get. The medium size nib is just what every beginner needs at the start of the calligraphy journey. It is a versatile option that can be used with both cartridge and converter refill systems. We also love the sturdy but responsive stainless steel nib. It is one of the best flex nib fountain pen for beginners.

Read More: Fountain Pen for Journaling

Features and Factors to Consider When Buying a Fountain Pen for Beginner

If you don’t have experience using fountains or have too little experience, you should consider some things before choosing any fountain pen to buy. Here are some of the significant features and factors to take note of when buying.

Nib Material

There are a couple of things to consider as they apply to the nib on any pen choice. One of the most important is the material used to make the nib. Typically, fountain pen nibs are made from stainless steel, iridium, or gold, with stainless steel being the commonest. While the choice material comes down to personal preference, in the long run, we advise beginners to stick to stainless steel nibs as they are sufficiently durable and the cheapest options available. You don’t want to go for the more expensive options until you have developed some skills.

Nib Size

The width of the nib is another important factor to consider. The options available are extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad nibs. Your selection should depend on how thick you want your lettering to be, but you can avoid the finer nib sizes when starting as a beginner and gradually work your way down from the broad nib to the finest nib size.

Barrel Size

This will affect how comfortable and secure your grip on the pen is. You should choose a barrel size that will fit into your hand perfectly. If you have small hands, large barrel sizes may not fit snugly, and likewise, large hands cannot comfortably grip extremely small barrel sizes. Better still, stick with averagely sized barrels that can fit both large and small hands alike.

Refill Mechanism

There are two typical refill mechanisms used in fountain pens: an ink cartridge and a converter. Your choice of refill mechanism dictates how ink is replaced when you run out. Ink cartridges are the easiest to use as all you have to do is to switch out the old one for a new one. However, using a converter is considerably cheaper.

Fountain Pen Terminology

At first, you are likely to come across certain new terminologies when dealing with fountain pens. It is essential that you are able to identify and discern these terminologies as you start your journey into the world of calligraphy.

The Nib

This is one of the commonest terminologies you’ll come by, and the nib is, in fact, one of the most functional parts of a fountain pen. It is the little part at the tip of the pen through which ink is inscribed on paper. The nib can be made from a number of different materials: stainless steel, gold, or iridium.

Cartridge

A cartridge is a small removable container of ink that fits into the pen. The cartridge can be easily replaced when it runs out of ink. Regardless of the ease of use, it is relatively costly to keep replacing ink cartridges, compared to simple refilling. However, they are the easiest to use, and if you can afford to replace them, you should go for them when you’re just beginning.

Converter

Converters special attachments used to change the cartridge style refilling into the refillable style. While there are different types of ink converters, they all perform the same basic function of housing the ink that feeds the nib of the pen.

How to Care for Your Fountain Pen

One of the things you should learn as you start your journey into the world of fountain pen calligraphy is how to take care of your fountain pen. Regular care and maintenance are really important if you hope to get the best out of your pen. When you’re ready to clean, disassemble the pen and remove the nib and the cartridge/converter. Swish the nib in a container of water or place it under running water to eliminate the ink. You can go further to soak repeatedly in water until all the ink is gotten rid of. Let dry completely and reassemble.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What fountain pen ink is best for my pen?

One of the interesting things about fountain pens ink is that they work well with different models, but in most cases, the manufacturers highlight the best ink to use with their pens. You may want to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation to prevent clogging.

Are fountain pen inks waterproof?

Most fountain pen inks are water-based, and as such, they are not resistant to water. However, there are some waterproof and water-resistant options. It is best to prevent your ink from getting wet – water-resistant or not.

Conclusion

Getting it right when starting your journey into calligraphy will affect the kind of experience you get. While it is important to buy a good quality pen at the beginning, it does not necessarily have to be an expensive high-end model. What you need is a stable and durable pen that is forgiving enough for beginner errors and mistakes. These pens we have reviewed are some of the best options available on the market for you today. Also, we have discussed some important things you need to know about fountain pens.