Saturday, April 16, 2016

Why Fountain Pens?

Hi. I actually get asked this quite a lot. What is so special about fountain pens? What's the big deal?

The only answer back that I have is asking if they have ever written with one. That is what got me hooked. I had heard about fountain pens ever since I was a kid and had always wanted to try one. One day I was in an office supply store and saw a cheap one for sale. Well, here is my chance so I bought it.

I got home, opened the package and inserted a cartridge that came with it. It seemed to take forever for the ink to reach the tip so I can finally see what this was like. Holy crap! I actually said that out loud when I started writing. The experience was so effortless as the pen glided along the page and the ink looked so much richer than a standard ballpoint.

I then started researching this pen and fountain pens in general. I then learned about converters and then which one fit this pen. I ordered it and a bottle of Iroshizuku Take-Sumi (black). This was even better for me. That is when I fell in love with bottled ink, in fact I do not ever use cartridges any more.

So what other pens are out there? I found a Pilot Metropolitan and ordered it with a M nib (which is more like a western Fine as this is a Japanese pen) as well as a Rhodia dot pad. And so started my journey into the fountain pen world.

I now have around 25 pens of differing dollar values and over 50 bottles of ink. My notebook collections are getting a little out of hand as well. My wife will ask me what I'm watching when I am on YouTube with my iPad and then see that I am watching a pen video. She rolls her eyes and calls this my version of porn, my pen porn.

So why do I love fountain pens? It is really simple, honestly. I love how the pen will glide on the page of nice paper with no effort required. I love how the ink can shade on the page with each letter of every word. I love the ability to have different pens with different nib sizes to change up line widths or the vast possibilities with ink colors. There is a freedom with fountain pens that I never imagined could happen. With proper care, they can last a lifetime which cuts down on the disposable pens clogging up landfills, which is also why I don't use cartridges. I also love that scratchy sound the nib has when writing too.

Are they for everyone? No, they are not but I believe everyone should try one even for a moment. You may find out what others of us have already learned. Fountain pens are wonderful and make you fall in love with writing which is a treasured thing in this digital age.


  1. "The only answer back that I have is asking if they have ever written with one?"

    I don't have a bunch of empirical data for why I'm enjoying using a fountain pen. I just DO.