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 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 pen?

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. This is why we often recommend starting out 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, investing in a more sophisticated model can make writing even more rewarding and provides a family heirloom to pass down should you wish to. 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 Compatability – 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.
  • 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 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.

Discover our range of the best budget fountain pens:

Cross Bailey Medalist Fountain Pen £53

beginner fountain pen

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 is both sophisticated and simple, finished with a gold-plated central ring and clip. 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?

Cross ATX Brushed Rose Gold Fountain Pen £85

best budget fountain pen

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 so the beauty is not limited to its appearance but also to its function. As previously mentioned, this pen can also be used with an ink bottle but we recommend first using with the enclosed ink cartridges.

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

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen £18.90

budget fountain pen


Lamy is a popular German pen brand, famous for its Safari model. This is a notoriously budget fountain pen, often favoured by students and individuals who wish to use the pen while on the go without worrying about high value. 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.

Sheaffer Sagaris Black/Gold Fountain Pen £70

best budget fountain pens

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

The Sagaris makes for 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 medium, 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 is for three years.

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. Read our guide to caring for your fountain pen here and why not browse our further selection of fountain pens?