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The Best Budget Fountain Pens for Beginners

It’s no surprise the fountain pen has survived as a mainstream writing tool since first being patented in the 1800s. The lasting popularity of the best fountain pens is owed to their many benefits, such as their smooth writing experience and their ability to improve a user’s handwriting, not to mention their sleek and classy image. So, where do you start when searching for the perfect starter budget fountain pens?

Before jumping the gun and buying the first fountain pen you find, it’s worth noting their feel and technique is slightly different from everyday pens and can take a short time to adjust to. We often recommend starting with a beginner fountain pen until you have established your new writing style, which can change when moving away from ballpoint or rollerball pens. Once you’re confident in using your cheap fountain pen, investing in a more sophisticated model can make writing even more rewarding and provides a family heirloom to pass down should you wish to. But, first, we recommend purchasing a budget fountain pen to help you become accustomed to the particulars of fountain pens.

What to Look for in a Beginner Fountain Pen

  • Cartridge Compatibility – We recommend starting with a fountain pen that takes cartridges, as it’s a simpler way to start than by manually filling from an ink bottle. As standard, many cheap fountain pens will come with cartridges.
  • Comfortable Barrel – While intricate pen barrels look beautiful, it is better to start with a pen that is easy to hold. The angle you hold the pen influences your penmanship, and so the smoother the grip, the easier you will find it to angle your pen correctly.
  • Balanced Weight – Search for a pen that feels of similar weight to pens you typically write with. Anything too heavy or too light can make the adjustment period take longer. A well-balanced pen will feel just right when you hold it in your hand, so don’t be afraid to ask to hold all the pens you look at.
  • Steel Nib – It can take a while to perfect the level of pressure you apply to your nib, and being too heavy-handed can damage your paper and your nib. Starting with a sturdy, steel nib gives you some grace while you navigate the right amount of pressure to apply.

The Best Fountain Pens for Beginners:

1. Cross Bailey Medalist Fountain Pen £60

budget fountain pens

For over 150 years, Cross has been crafting beautiful writing instruments and supplying them worldwide, making them a classic choice for your first fountain pen.

The Cross Bailey Medalist Fountain pen is both sophisticated and simple, finished with gold-plated touches. Its well-balanced profile makes it the perfect fountain pen for beginners, and its steel medium nib adapts to the user’s writing style for extra ease of use.

While we recommend beginners use the pen with the supplied ink cartridges, you can also use this pen with bottled ink later down the line with the help of a converter. To make your starter fountain pen extra special, why not personalise it with an engraving?

2. Cross ATX Brushed Rose Gold Fountain Pen £95

budget fountain pens

Perfect as a gift for a fountain pen beginner, this rose-gold tone PVD design is an elegant choice. The tapered barrel, balanced weight and medium steel nib make the pen a delight to write with. This pen can also be used with an ink bottle, but we recommend using the enclosed ink cartridges to begin with.

With its gift box and a lifetime mechanical guarantee, the Cross ATX is the perfect fountain pen for beginners that can eventually be passed down for generations to come.

3. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen £22

budget fountain pens

Lamy is a popular German pen brand famous for its Safari model. This is a notorious budget fountain pen, often favoured by students and individuals who wish to use a cheap fountain pen while on the go without worrying about high value. Many calligraphers even recommend the Lamy Safari as a great calligraphy pen for beginners! However, the low price doesn’t compromise quality and elegance.

Available in a broad spectrum of bright and cheerful colours, the Lamy Safari is made from light, sturdy aluminium, with a spring-action clip and a transparent grip. Finished with a polished steel nib, this fountain pen for beginners also comes with a two-year warranty.

4. Sheaffer 100 Brushed Chrome Fountain Pen £50

budget fountain pens

For over 100 years, Sheaffer has been leading the luxury pen market with its excellent craftsmanship.

The Sagaris makes a beautiful fountain pen for beginners with its light, slim barrel and comfortable grip. The black barrel with gold trim is in keeping with a classic appearance, but the eye-catching feature of this particular pen is the dual-toned steel nib.

Black and blue cartridges and a converter are provided if you are keen to transition from cartridges to ink bottles down the line. This pen also comes covered by a limited warranty for three years.

5. BENU Briolette Milky Way Fountain Pen £65

This Russian made Benu fountain pen makes a statement with its interesting, galaxy-inspired colourway that’s mesmerising and inspiring.

Perfect for a beginner, the pen body is covered with long facets that help to prevent the pen from rolling. Furthermore, BENU offers a lifetime warranty, so you can get your pen repaired by a professional should it need it, giving you peace of mind.

Its adaptability is second-to-none, with a standard international size converter and international ink cartridge, allowing for a variety of coloured inks. Sitting at £65, this is considered a cheap fountain pen for the quality and longevity you will receive.

Fountain pens are a classic and signature writing instrument and offer a lifetime of enjoyable writing. We hope you have a clearer idea of what to look for as you enter the world of fountain pens! Once you have invested in a fountain pen, you’ll find that taking good care of it will help it last longer; why not read our guide to caring for your fountain pen? To browse for your perfect fountain pen, view our selection of curated brands. For further enquiries, please contact our customer service team today.

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