Fountain Pens

I’m considering getting a fountain pen; what would y’all recommend?

Characteristics I care about:

  1. Fairly fine nib; I currently write with 0.35 mm gel ballpoint pens; I’d like a fountain pen to have a line of similar thickness.
  2. Relatively cheap. I’m looking for less than twenty dollars, thirty max.
  3. Non-cartridge option; I would rather not be locked into buying ink from a specific supplier.
  4. Relatively transportable, as in it won’t get sad if placed in a backpack and carried around.
  5. Holds a reasonable amount of ink. I….would rather not have to refill half-way through each day.

I’m currently mostly looking at the fine-tip converted Platinum Preppy, with probably a Noodler’s bulletproof ink….any opinions?

As for a clue of how small I write:

That’s college-ruled notebook paper.


2 responses to “Fountain Pens

  1. The Platinum Preppy is an okay option if you want to start, but I found that it was a little TOO cheap and not very nice to use. It was rough and chalky feeling against the paper.

    I recommend the Sailor Clear Candy instead. The nib width is about the same as the Preppy F, but the nib is higher quality. It’s more expensive (about $20 including the converter, vs. like $8 for Preppy + Converter), but I think it’s worth it for the better nib. You probably won’t have to refill it every day, but I can’t guarantee it, since I don’t really write that much compared to students. The Preppy can be turned into an eyedropper that DEFINITELY won’t need to be refilled as often, though.

    Another option is the Noodler’s Ahab which when converted into an eyedropper holds an absolutely massive amount of ink. You can use the extra fine flex nib that comes with it or purchase a #6 nib in EF as a replacement, but that will be putting you well into the $35-50 range. The Ahab does have a lot of options for color, which might be desirable.

    • By the way, the .35mm Pilot G-2 is my non-fountain pen of choice, so I kind of get where you’re coming from with the nib size. I’m really pleased with how thin yet smooth-writing the Sailor Clear Candy is. The .35mm G-2 can be a little scratchy/sharp, but the Clear Candy doesn’t do that, in my experience. I’ve used a Goulet F nib as well, with my Noodler’s Konrad pen, and it wasn’t as nice, though the B was just lovely.

      Probably the best thing for you would be to get a Preppy in F with the eyedropper conversion and see how you like it, since you’re already leaning towards it. I had experience with other pens before the Preppy, so it didn’t take me long to decide I didn’t like it, but if you haven’t used other fountain pens, you might like it just fine.