Best Fountain Pen for Journaling

Most people have gotten too used to ball pens to appreciate the pleasure of owning a good fountain pen. This appreciation is only diminishing as we advance further into digital lifestyles. Nevertheless, if you are a true fan of journaling, you know it is art characterized by the authenticity of owning a true fountain pen. Even though they are not as popular as they used to be, there are still many journaling pens available on the market today. If you are a beginner or experienced journaler searching for the best fountain pen for journaling, we have made a selection of and reviewed some of the best you can get today.

Comparison Table of Fountain Pens for Journaling

ImageProductNib SizePrice
Hongdian Matte Black Forest Fountain PenExtra FineCheck
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain PenMediumCheck
Lamy Safari Fountain PenExtra FineCheck
Lamy Black 2000 Fountain PenGold Fine NibCheck
Hongdian Silver Birch Forest Fountain PenExtra Fine NibCheck
Cross Bailey Light Polished Teal Resin Fountain PenExtra Fine NibCheck
Pilot Vanishing Point Collection Fountain PenExtra Fine NibCheck
Cross Bailey Light Polished Black Resin Fountain PenExtra Fine NibCheck

Hongdian Matte Black Forest Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Extra Fine Nib
  • Thick Metal Material
  • Metal Pen Case

At first glance, this Hongdian fountain pen’s matte black finish may not seem so captivating, but there is much more to it than its appearance. We were quite shocked by the affordability initially and did not expect such a high level of functionality from it. It features a unique, streamlined extra fine nib with a diameter of 0.38 mm. The nib makes for small and elegant writing while helping the user achieve improved precision on paper.

The pen itself is made with thick metal material, and it has a textured, crosshatch pattern that adds a bit of variety to the otherwise boring design. The cap and grip sections are, however, smooth. At 31g, it is not so heavy, and the weight is well balanced throughout for comfortable handling. The pen doesn’t come with an ink cartridge, but it comes with a converter for bottled ink. However, you can easily buy a fitting Hongdian cartridge to use with the pen. Interestingly, you can get the pen in the Bent Point and Fine Point nib options.

Pros

  • Well balanced weight
  • Stainless steel extra-fine nib
  • Made from thick metal material
  • It is reasonably priced

Cons

  • The ink cartridge is not included

Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Medium Nib
  • Brass Barrel
  • Prefilled Cartridge

This sleek Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen is one of the more common fountain pens today. Its popularity is likely as a result of its elegant design. If not for the nib, one could easily mistake it for any other type of pen. Journalers who appreciate the art of fine writing are very likely to be impressed by the medium nib that strikes a balance between big and small calligraphy. It comes with a brass barrel that has a common black finish. However, there are stainless accents that add variety and contrast to the overall appearance.

Furthermore, it comes with a prefilled cartridge and converter that can be filled with ink. The Iroshizuku bottled fountain ink is what Pilot recommends. Moreover, it comes with a carrying case that houses the pen when it’s not in use. A common misconception is that good fountain pens are expensive. However, most will find the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Affordable enough, and as far as we can tell, there are no significant concessions as regards the functionality. The Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen is, without a doubt, one of the best pens for journaling you can get today.

Pros

  • The brass barrel gives it a premium feel
  • Perfect for beginner journalers
  • It features an ink-control system
  • It is not expensive

Cons

  • The converter is quite small

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Black ABS Plastic Body
  • Steel Nib
  • Molded Grip

This is another fountain that has been, for a long time, recommended as one of the best for beginners. It doesn’t have that traditional fountain pen design. Instead, it comes with a unique half-rounded design that has the curves flattened on both sides. You won’t have to worry about hand fatigue, thanks to the lightweight design. Ink leak is not uncommon with many fountain pens, but this one is securely designed to prevent the ink from leaking.

The pen has a window that allows a preview of the level of ink in the reservoir. This may seem like a negligible feature to many, but it lets you estimate and prepare for when the pen needs refilling. We were also impressed by the smooth operation. You don’t have to shake or press down the pen before you get the ink to flow, and there was not a single hint of scratchiness. You can easily secure it to your journal, thanks to the pen clip, which is simple yet elaborate. It comes with an extra-fine steel nib, but you can as well get fine and medium nibs.

Pros

  • One of the best journal fountain pens
  • Strong pen clip
  • Smooth writing
  • Interchangeable nib design

Cons

  • Plastic barrel material
  • Small ink reservoir

Lamy Black 2000 Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Fiberglass Material
  • 14 Carat Gold Nib
  • Piston-Operated Filling System

If you don’t mind splashing some cash on a fountain pen, the Lamy Black 2000 Fountain pen is one of the best journaling pens you can get. It is the flagship of the Lay collection, but the design remains quite simplistic. The pen is the perfect embodiment of the saying “less is more,” as the manufacturers have exalted functionality above aesthetics. The pen is made from lightweight fiberglass material, with a matte brushed stainless steel finish for durability.

Regardless of the simple design, attention was paid to minor details, as evident in the knife’s perfect balance and the very effective piston-operated filling system that is filled with bottled inks only. There are four small windows all around the barrel that allow you to check the ink level as you write. All the exciting features, nonetheless, the highlight remains the fine platinum-coated gold nib.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Premium platinum-coated gold nib
  • Piston filler body is easy to use
  • It is not heavy

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive

Hongdian Silver Birch Forest Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Extra Fine Nib
  • Metal Barrel
  • Velvet Pen Bag

The Hongdian Silver Birch Forest Fountain Pen is quite simple in its design, but the combination of silver and birch colors makes for great aesthetics. The pen is available in several exciting color options as well. It comes with an iridium extra-fine nib, which is about 0.38 in diameter. However, the pen is available in the bent nib and fine nib versions. At 23g, it is not the lightest fountain pen there is but it is not overwhelmingly heavy that it feels uncomfortable to write with.

We love that it is compatible with both bottled ink and cartridges. The package includes the pen itself, an ink refill converter, and a velvet pen bag for storage when not in use. However, it doesn’t come with ink, and you’ll have to buy that separately. Another highlight of the Hongdian Silver Birch Forest Fountain Pen is its affordability. You’ll get so much value for your money with this pen right here. Without a doubt, it is one of the best extra fine fountain pens you can get today.

Pros

  • It is not expensive
  • Compatible with cartridges and bottled ink
  • It is not excessively heavy
  • Durable metal material

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with cartridge

Cross Bailey Light Polished Teal Resin Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Lightweight Resin Material
  • Glossy Teal Finish
  • Stainless Steel Nib

Are you looking for the best writing fountain pen? Check out this colorful Cross Bailey Light Polished Teal fountain pen. It does not have that classic and traditional fountain pen appearance, but it writes just as well as classic fountain pens. It features a lightweight material for most of its sleek profile and a glossy teal finish with polished chrome accents. The click-off cap has a strong clip with which you can fasten the pen to your journal. The extra-fine nib is made from stainless steel.
We love that the pen comes with two black fountain pen ink cartridges. You don’t have to shop separately for them. Also, you get an optional converter if you prefer to use bottled ink. Depending on your preference and writing style, you can choose to go for the medium nib or the fine nib versions of the pen. There’s not much complexity to this fountain pen, and it is perfect for people who prefer simple but functional bullet journal fountain pens.

Pros

  • Lightweight material
  • Polished chrome accents
  • Strong stainless steel nibs
  • Comes with two black fountain ink cartridges

Cons

  • No window to check the ink level

Pilot Vanishing Point Collection Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • 18 Carat Gold Nib
  • Retractable Design
  • Smooth Writing

Seeing a retractable design on a fountain pen is unique, and one might wonder if it can work. Well, this Pilot Pen is proof that it can. The pen has a unique patented design that includes the rhodium-patented 18-carat gold nib retracting inside the barrel. It is available in the extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad nib options. The pen is delivered in a beautiful gift box, and it does make for a valuable gift. The package comes with a cartridge and an ink converter so that you can refill easily. 

The only thing we don’t like is that the barrel runs a bit large, but that is to be expected, given the retractable design. When it comes to durability, we are confident in the sturdiness of the pen. If handled with care, you can bring it anywhere with you. Regardless of the big barrel, the weight is surprisingly well balanced.

Pros

  • The retractable design makes it more durable
  • Premium gold nib
  • Comes with cartridge and converter

Cons

  • Some may find the location of the clip awkward

Cross Bailey Light Polished Black Resin Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Polished Chrome Accents
  • Click-Off Cap
  • Glossy Black Finish

The Cross Bailey Light Polished Black Resin Fountain Pen is the perfect option for people who don’t like flashy fountain pens. Black is classic and simple. Moreover, color doesn’t affect a pen’s functionality. Most of the pen is made from lightweight resin, so you don’t have to worry about hand fatigue, even when you write for extended periods. There are polished chrome accents that add some contrast to the otherwise dull black design.

It comes with a click-off cap that releases easily and fastens securely. There is a pen clip on the cap with which you secure the pen to your diary or journal. Furthermore, the pen features a strong stainless steel nib. The nib is extra-fine, but you can also get it in the medium and fine options. If you prefer more colorful fountain pens, there are several other color options available to choose from.

Pros

  • It is not too heavy
  • Glossy finish
  • Shiny chrome accents
  • It comes with two ink cartridges

Cons

  • The writing is a bit scratchy

Overall Best Fountain Pen for Journaling

Lamy Black 2000 Fountain Pen

Key Features

  • Fiberglass Material
  • 14 Carat Gold Nib
  • Piston-Operated Filling System

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

Choosing the best fountain pen is dependent on several factors, most of them being personal. Here are some criteria that can make it less overwhelming for you to get the right fountain that is peculiar to your needs.

Size

One of the highlights of using a fountain pen is the smooth flow on paper. However, that ease of writing cannot be achieved if you can’t manage a comfortable grip. No rule guides size selection, but you want to make sure that your pen fits snugly into your hand. Small pens will not fit well into large hands, and likewise, large pens cannot be comfortably gripped by small hands. Averagely-sized pens are, perhaps, the best options for both large and small hands.

Weight

Many people get too lost in aesthetics to consider the effect the pen’s weight will have on their writing. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that a lot of the fountain pens available are relatively heavy. If you plan to journal regularly and for extended periods, a heavy pen will cause hand fatigue. Nevertheless, you can make do with heavy pens if you only write occasionally.

Nib Material

For a very long time, nib material has contributed significantly to the durability and cost of fountain pens. Nib material may not be so significant to a pen’s functionality, but it may affect the feeling you get while you write, as some materials are softer than others. Stainless steel is one of the commonest materials used for fountain pen nibs, while high-end pens may feature gold nibs or palladium nibs. It all comes down to your personal preference, and at times, how much you are willing to spend.

Nib Width

Regardless of your handwriting, the size of the opening on the pen nib will affect how your writing comes out. You can even influence your writing style with the right nib size. As a rule of thumb, choose fine nibs if your writing is typically small and broad nibs if your writing is big. Many fountain pens come with multiple interchangeable nibs to help writers achieve different writing styles and effects.

How to Clean a Fountain Pen

It doesn’t matter if your pen shows signs of malfunctioning or not. You should carry out basic cleaning from time to time. Here’s how to go about it?

1. Remove the cap and unscrew the nib part from the main barrel. Remove the cartridge or converter if your pen uses one.

2. Place the nib part under running water for a few seconds to get rid of all the ink

3. After washing under running water, soak the nib section in clean water, replacing the water whenever it becomes saturated with ink. Continue until the water becomes clear

4. Let the nib part dry completely. It may take up to 24 hours, but you can wrap it in a soft cloth or paper towel to fasten the process.

5. Replace the cartridge or converter when the nib part is dry, and screw it back on to the barrel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When Should I Clean my Fountain Pen?

We recommend that you clean your fountain pen at least once in 2 months. Even if your pen is still writing well, you should endeavor to clean it when it is due. Furthermore, we recommend that you clean the pen whenever you are ready to add ink, to prevent adverse reactions from combining inks.

Why Do Fountain Pens Dry Out?

With time, the pen ink’s water content will evaporate, and when this happens, the fountain pen is most likely to dry out. Improperly sealing the cap and dry weather can also influence the drying out of a fountain pen.

Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or an expert journaler, these are some of the best fountain pens that can enhance your writing experience. We’ve tried to cover a wide range of designs, nib sizes, and colors. Furthermore, we have discussed some of the important factors and features to consider if you hope to make the right selection for your journaling purposes.