I have something of a small addiction to pens. Right now that addiction tends to take the shape of gel pens and rollerball pens. Even after I find pens I’m happy with, such as the Pilot Precise V5, the Pentel Energel, the Uniball Signo, and the Bic 537R, I’m always on the lookout for new pens. I justify the pen hunt by keeping in mind that whenever I write a story, I always write the first two drafts by hand, and whenever I’m writing a new role-playing game, I always write the design notes for the game by hand.
But alas, I’ve recently become curious about fountain pens.
As I’m on a budget, I don’t really want to spend a ton of money. Basically, I want one that’s cheap, but still decent. I know a lot of people are fond of the Lamy Safari and Lamy Al-Star, however I’ve also heard quite a few people mention them to be scratchy and skippy, and even saw a video on YouTube where someone went through a lengthy process filing down and refining the nib on the Lamy Al-Star, which makes me very wary. I want a pen that just works, nice and smooth, right out of the box.
I’ve also heard of the Platinum Plaisir, but haven’t heard much about them.
I found the Platinum Preppy which is very inexpensive, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Also, because it is so inexpensive, I think it may be a good way for me to start my fountain pen exploration. As I understand it though, the Platinum Preppy won’t work with international ink cartridges, which is a concern of mine, as I’d like to use the Private Reserve international ink cartridges. I’ve also heard that the standard Platinum Preppy ink cartridge will only write about five pages before running out, which is also a concern because I do much more writing than that, and the ink cartridges are rather expensive for them to last for so few pages.
Finally, I found a kit called Pen and Ink Fountain Pen Sketch Set. It comes with an iridium tip instead of steel, which it claims makes the writing smoother. It’s gotten mixed reviews on Amazon… some people love it, and some people don’t care for it very much. It comes with the pen itself, three ink cartridges, a converter, and a suede wrap to carry it all in. I think it also works with international cartridges.
So all-in-all I’m not sure which one to get, but those are on the top of my list.