You may have an idea fountain pens are part of the elite dimension of fine writing instruments reserved only for Lords of the Realm,. Kings, and those who think a little too highly of themselves. They may conjure up images of bitter misers hunched over their desks in their studies as storms rage on the other side of the glass, and ravens perch themselves on the windowsill and drive them close to madness. And you’re not any of these things, (at least we’d hope not) so you might not think the best fountain pens are for you.
This isn’t the case, though, and as classy, high-quality products become more affordable, a fountain pen is a superb accessory to add to your travel backpack, your work environment, or just to have displayed around the house for a little confidence boost. For many, writing pens are just that, but if you want to plan your epic tome you’ve had in your head for years, or even just have a smooth and comfortable pen to scribble down your shopping list, you may as well go for the best around.
These pens are just that. While cheaper fountain pens are guilty of drying out, leaking, and scratching your paper to pieces, these will give you that perfect flow so you’ll feel more high society than ever, even if you’re just using it to make a list of your favorite pizza toppings.
The Best Fountain Pen
Our first pick of the best fountain pens is the Lamy Safari Fine Fountain Pen, which at just over $20 combines the elegance of your classic fountain pen with a modern design perfect for the 21st Century Man.
Despite the excellent price, it delivers smooth and reliable ink flow, ensuring consistent writing lines that will make your handwriting appear much better than it has before. The black ABS plastic barrel, while not the fancy-pants metal of other and more expensive options, is still durable and tough, allowing the pen to take a battering whatever you use it for.
Lamy ink cartridge T10 included and capable of modification with Z24 converter
Black ABS plastic barrel is tough and safe
Fine point black coated steel nib
Shiny chrome clip allows easy attachment to chest or backpack pocket
- Weight0.96 ounces
The Pilot Metropolitan Collection Medium Nib Fountain Pen is a great choice for the modern professional, delivering a sleek look that would look perfect on any desk, in any boardroom, and clipped smartly to any chest pocket around.
It comes with a single Pilot ink cartridge and also comes with the Pilot Press Plate converter to transform it into a proper fountain pen for when you really want to show off. The metal body makes it feel far more expensive than it is, perfect for keeping up appearances and maybe easing those questions about when you’re going to take everyone on your yacht.
1 Pilot black ink cartridge and 1 Pilot Press Plate converter included
Smart and durable black barrel blends in with other stationery
Medium nib provides precise and careful writing experience
Quality construction prevent cartridge bursting and leaking
- Weight3.2 ounces
Another example in a long list of fine pens is the Sheaffer Viewpoint Fine Calligraphy Pen, which may not strictly be a fountain pen you can use for notes and similar everyday use, but it still an excellent option for the lucky (or careful) ones blessed with gorgeous handwriting.
It boasts a long-lasting nib for consistent quality over time, while the rubberized grip is designed with dimples to provide greater purchase and unrivaled control over your handwriting. The barrel window helps you gauge when it’s time to replace the ink, and with 2 ink cartridges sold with the pen, there’ll be no downtime in between.
Durable stainless steel nib is long-lasting and delivers high-quality results
Window in barrel allows for easy ink level monitoring
2 Sheaffer Skrip ink cartridges included
Rubberized grip with dimples ensures traction and control when writing
- Weight0.32 ounces
The Cross ATX Medium Nib Brushed Black Fountain Pen takes a step into the upper echelons of quality at a price that’s likely only acceptable to experienced fountain pen users. Its performance justifies this, though, and you’ll recognize it as money well spent as soon as you get it into your hand.
It delivers smooth writing, made possible with a specially formulated ink that allows it to flow through the pen with ease, giving you zero blotches, zero harsh scratched lines, and an overall superb writing experience. The polished black nib also feels at home on the paper and glides across the sheet with ease.
Brushed black finish with machine-turned, diamond-pattern engraving demonstrates quality
Polished black PVD nib is hand-finished to suit style
Specially formulated ink flows flawlessly and dries quickly to prevent smudging
2 black fountain pen ink cartridges included
- Weight0.96 ounces
The Parker Jotter Medium Point Fountain Pen takes the iconic design of the classic ballpoint and re-imagines it as a fountain pen to provide consistent, reliable, and high-quality stationery for all occasions. At less than $20, it’s an indisputable pick for the best value fountain pen around, and delivers the sheen and style appreciated by just about anyone who’s ever used a pen.
If you’re familiar with another Parker ink pen, you already know what to expect, but if not, you’re in for a treat. The stainless steel barrel is sophisticated and classy while still boasting modernity for whatever you need to write, and the medium point nib creates bold lines that won’t run into one another and gives your handwriting a smart appearance even if you’re used to deciphering your own scrawl.
Feather-shaped nib is easy to use and comfortable for flowing writing
Stainless steel barrel accented with high-shine trims
Arrow clip keeps it securely attached to jacket and trouser pockets
Includes 1 large water-based blue ink cartridge
- Weight2.08 ounces
With a dynamic-colored barrel, the Pilot Explorer Fine Nib Fountain Pen is one of the more unique fine writing pens you can buy to match your personality. It’s weighted correctly to ensure comfort and control and finds the perfect in-between for both function and style.
The plastic casing may disappoint some considering it’s a little pricier than other options, but these disappointments will soon fade once you try it out. The fine point nib glides smoothly over the paper, making it ideal for both casual use when writing in your journal or planning your week, while also offering consistent performance when used every day.
Stylish and contemporary barrel design is finely weighted for all day comfort
Easy to refill with Pilot ink cartridges without risk of leakage
Fine point nib delivers smooth writing experience for casual and professional applications
Vibrant color barrel stands out against standard ballpoint pen designs
- Weight2.88 ounces
The Gullor Advanced Picasso Medium Nib Fountain Pen delivers the superb feel of more luxury pens at a price affordable to anyone who wants to get started on using a fountain pen. The metal barrel is weighted for easy control without straining your hand during long and intense writing sessions, while the 18 karat gold nib is more than just a gimmick.
Instead, it provides smooth writing with marvelous, consistent ink flow, so you’ll never need to shake the ink down again, which, at best, hurts your wrist and, at worst, splatters specks of ink across your paper, which isn’t cool. It’s also unique in this price range at least, and unlike other pens is suitable for both drawing and writing, and any scribbles, scrawls, and doodles in between.
Classic and smooth writing pen for easy and comfortable use at work or at home
18 karat gold plated steel nib is classy and unique
Push cap type prevents ink from drying out and stops leaks
Removable converter and refillable ink cartridge fits to international standard
- Weight4.8 ounces
Moving into the higher realm of affordability and exclusivity, the Faber-Castell E-Motion Medium Nib Fountain Pen isn’t even the most expensive option we’ve found (stay tuned for that). It’s an awesome pick for those knowledgeable about everything fountain pen and delivers consistent results on the 1,000th day as well as it did on the first.
It’s a little weightier than other pens, but still provides a comfortable feel even when using it all day (or if you want to fully commit to the troubled writer stereotype: all night). The ink flows quickly to ensure you don’t stumble and fall halfway through that genius idea that will transform your project, and with the converter, you can get a smooth quality experience lesser pens will struggle to offer.
Deep black barrel with diamond engraving provides extra grip for greater writing control
Unique shape ensures excellent balance and comfort without fatigue
Organic feel allows for curvy lines with less jaggedness and smoother progression
Refill converter included
- Weight1.92 ounces
Our final pick of the best fountain pens is also our premium choice and comes in the smart and remarkable form of the Lamy 2000 Matte Medium Black Fountain Pen. If above all else you’re chasing the smoothest pen around, this is without a doubt the right choice for you.
The black fiberglass barrel combines with brushed stainless steel to create Makrolon, and you need not know what that means, you just have to know it’s good. The quality doesn’t stop there, though. The 14 karat gold nib is coated in platinum to ensure longevity and style and also explains why it’s so damn expensive.
Black fiberglass and brushed stainless steel combination construction
Piston-filled design allows use only with ink bottle
Barrel includes 4 small windows to help you monitor ink level
14 karat gold, platinum coated nib is sleek, smart, and sophisticated
- Weight0.96 ounces