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How to Choose a Fountain Pen

Buying a fountain pen that’s perfect for you and your writing needs may seem like a challenging task. Fountain pens are an elegant and timeless writing tool that can last a lifetime, so it’s important to understand how to choose a fountain pen that ticks all of your boxes.

The Pen Shop is committed to helping you choose the correct writing instrument, and with 150 years’ worth of experience and knowledge, we can guide you through the process and help you get you exactly what you want.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss how to choose a fountain pen and help you figure out what fountain pen model will work best for you.

Choosing Your Fountain Pen Nib

One of the first things you need to consider when buying a fountain pen is the pen nib. You need to decide what nib thickness and nib material you want.

In terms of pen nib thickness, there is no industry set standard meaning that the difference between brands can vary. However, most fountain pens come fitted with a medium grade nib from the manufacturer, and to most, this is an ideal thickness. If you find a slightly thinner nib more pleasing to the eye or a broad nib fits your style better, these fountain pen models are largely easy to come by.

When it comes to pen nib material, most fountain pen models will either have a steel nib or a gold nib. Steel nibs tend to be more affordable, although that certainly doesn’t mean they lack quality. Deluxe fountain pen models with steel nibs will offer you a smooth and comfortable writing experience. The Cross Bailey Medalist fountain pen is a fantastic example of a steel nib pen that provides quality and class.

For added luxury and style, you should consider a gold nib when buying a fountain pen. Gold nibs tend to be of superior quality in terms of how they are produced and how they write. Usually, a fountain pen model with a gold nib will feel softer, more comfortable and more expressive than their steel nib counterpart. Some of our favourite gold nib fountain pen models include the Diplomat Excellence A2 pen with a 14-carat gold nib and the Pelikan Souverän M1000 pen with an 18-carat gold nib.

Pelikan Souverän M1000 Black Green Fountain Pen 18k Gold Nib

Fountain Pen Size & Weight

When it comes to how to choose a fountain pen, you should also consider what pen size and weight are optimal for you.

If you have large hands, you may find a smaller fountain pen model uncomfortable to hold. Likewise, if your hands are more petite, you may find a larger fountain pen model difficult to work with. We suggest experimenting with different pen sizes that you already own to discover what size feels most comfortable.

In a similar vein, when buying a fountain pen, you need to think about the weight of the pen. A fountain pen that is too weighty may feel uncomfortable, especially if you tend to write for long, uninterrupted periods. However, a fountain pen that is too light may not feel right in your hand and for your style of writing.

Price Range

Fountain pens are a timeless and much-loved writing tool, which explains why their prices are so varied. So, before buying a fountain pen, you need to evaluate your budget.

You can find fountain pen models that are more affordable and still offer a great writing experience. These are especially perfect for those who are fountain pen beginners. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find extremely luxurious and finely crafted fountain pens with a greater price tag which would make a special milestone gift, especially for any avid writer.

Personal Preference

As with most things in life, you need to think about your personal preferences when it comes to buying a fountain pen. Try different models to see what feels the best when you write, even if that differs slightly from the guidelines.

You’ll also want to find a fountain pen that looks great and matches your personality. You can find many fountain pen models in classic colours, such as black, silver and gold, which offer a truly classic look. Montblanc fountain pens and Parker fountain pens are some of our favourites for a fountain pen that is sleek and timeless.

However, for extra character, there are also more colourful fountain pens, patterned fountain pens and marble effect fountain pens on offer. For something fun and eye-catching, take a look at the Cross Bailey Light fountain pen or the Cross Wanderlust Antelope Canyon pen.

And, it goes without saying that if you’re gifting a fountain pen, you’ll need to think about the personality and preferences of the person you’re buying for. For something really special, take a look at some unique and intricately designed limited edition fountain pens like this gorgeous Parker Duofold 130th Anniversary pen.

Another factor to consider is engraving. By engraving your fountain pen, you’ll truly make it one-of-a-kind. And, if you’re gifting a fountain pen, engraving it will instantly add sentimental value and ensure the pen is a special keepsake.

Cross Wanderlust Antelope Canyon Fountain Pen

We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to choose a fountain pen that is ideal for you and your writing! If you’re still feeling unsure about what pen is right for you, take a look at our helpful pen buyers guide and our blog.

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