01-03-2018, 07:08 PM
#1
User Info
Hi all,

I’m looking to explore the fountain pen world as a hobby for journaling and maybe some creative writing in the future—and would like to get a starter pen that will last a long time, write smoothly, and won’t be too much of a hassle to maintain and refill. Also looking for a good blue-black bottled ink to go with it.

I’ve heard good things about the Faber Castell Loom around the $50 price point—but not sure if there are others that are of similar quality at a similar price. I’d be open to other options as I’m not crazy about the fact that the Loom has the super modern styling going on.

Ink wise, there’s a Noodler’s ink that I found online that is blue-black (Massachusetts 54th or something like that) that I like the look of (from photos anyway) but I’m not sure about quality.

Any thoughts/advice people have would be much appreciated!

Thanks, pen people!

Happy New Year.

Ripkin

0 56
Reply
 01-03-2018, 07:20 PM
#2
User Info
the nib makes the pen.  Every other aspect is secondary.  I own an 18k gold parker sonnet and love it, but it was just over $100.  Most pens will be resin (plastic).  I saw a solid sterling silver waterman going for $2,000 once...

As for ink, I have noodler's and it is quite good.  It is made in the USA and comes in a lot of different colors.  Parker, waterman, and other manufactures make their own ink too.  Their idea is that their ink viscosity is optimized for their nibs.

0 330
Reply
 01-03-2018, 07:25 PM
#3
User Info
Hi there --

I have quite a collection of fountain pens and used to write a column about pen and ink for jet pens, which might still be on their site.  I also wrote a piece about pens in a column for the Boston Globe which talks about my beginnings in the pen hobby.  I think you can google it, if interested.

I started out with a Lamy Safari, which costs about $25 and is a great pen.  I love Noodler's inks and the Massachusetts 54th is a good choice -- I have it -- but if you go to

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/

and join and search for blue-black inks, you will get some very well-informed choices.  That's a community much like this one, full of generous people with valuable advice.

Sheaffer Script blue/black is a nice color, but the 54th and many Noodler's inks are "bulletproof" which means waterproof and more -- a good thing to consider.  The Noodler's Website is great and also if you go to YouTube and search for Noodler's -- look for the video called something like Black Swan in Australian Roses and see the owner, Nathan Tardif, draw and tell the story of that ink.  

You could also post your request for pen advice in the FPN forum and see what you get, but I believe you will be happy with the Lamy.

Happy New Year to you  -- I think you will enjoy the pen hobby.

With best wishes,

John

6 5
Reply
 01-03-2018, 07:34 PM
#4
User Info
 01-03-2018, 08:20 PM
#5
User Info
Based on my personal (albeit limited!) experience, I'd recommend a few TWSBI pens.  They have a bit of checkered history with the pen enthusiast world due to some components breaking in their first batches of pens, but they seemed to have turned that around (this is several years ago, btw).

The TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Mini are both in the $50 range.  The mini is shorter, more of a "pocket pen".  The 580 is a full size.  The TWSBI ECO is around $30 I think.  It's a nice pen although I don't like the proportions personally.  I do have one and it writes nicely.

Also, if you like shorter pens (pocket pens), I personally like the Kaweco Sport line of pens.  At around $25 for a plastic version, they are a good toss around pen, writes well, and has a clever design.

I had, and lost a Lamy Safari, many years ago, but enjoyed that as well.

+1 on Noodlers inks.  I enjoy the few that I have.

23 1,938
Reply
 01-04-2018, 03:06 PM
#6
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
I’m a fountain pen collector owning and using over 100 modern and vintage fountain pens. Nevertheless, one pen that I keep going back to when I can’t decide which pen to use is the Lamy Safari. It’s relatively inexpensive yet it writes like a star and has never given me any trouble. I like the fact too that the nibs are easily interchangeable and that it takes cartridges or a converter. As for inks, I use Diamine and Watermans exclusively. I, however, avoid Noodlers, as it can cause problems for some vintage pens.

9 1,032
Reply
 01-04-2018, 03:38 PM
#7
User Info
At that price, I like the TWSBI pens. The Kaweco pens are also nifty. Lamy pens are reliable but I don't think they're quite as sharp as the other two brands.

4 898
Reply
 01-04-2018, 07:58 PM
#8
User Info
(01-03-2018, 07:34 PM)JohnGerard Wrote: Check out this sale! ---


https://www.lamyusa.com/index.php/crazy-sale.html


Whoa! Awesome!

Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful posts, everyone. It’s nice to know there’s folks out there who can help me out with this stuff.

I just got my first pen in the mail, a “Feeney Fine Writing Instruments” one. I think it’s a re-touched Baoer (sp?) with a swapped out nib, but so far it’s writing pretty well with the standard Quink ink that I bought as a starter ink. It’s only a $25 pen, but so far it’s nice to write with when I’m journaling...

I’m curious what the difference would be with a Lamy or one of the other brands... I might just have to get one of those Lamys from the CRAZY SALE. ahaha. Wink

0 56
Reply
 01-04-2018, 08:01 PM
#9
User Info
(01-04-2018, 03:06 PM)Rufus Wrote: I’m a fountain pen collector owning and using over 100 modern and vintage fountain pens. Nevertheless, one pen that I keep going back to when I can’t decide which pen to use is the Lamy Safari. It’s relatively inexpensive yet it writes like a star and has never given me any trouble. I like the fact too that the nibs are easily interchangeable and that it takes cartridges or a converter. As for inks, I use Diamine and Watermans exclusively. I, however, avoid Noodlers, as it can cause problems for some vintage pens.

Thanks! There’s a lot of good things said about the Lamy safari. I might just order that Petrol color - I’ve always been a big fan of “blue-green”... It was my favorite Crayola color when I was a kid. Now I’m just a big kid, so I suppose the Safari Petrol + ink is a nice developmental step in maturity... maybe. Wink

I hadn’t heard that about Noodlers. Thanks for the tip! Any idea what it is about the ink that tends to gum up the vintage pens, or if the same problem happens to newer fountain pens?

Thanks!

Ripkin

0 56
Reply
 01-04-2018, 09:17 PM
#10
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
User Info
Good advice from everyone. I must have 30 or 40 pens, with 3 or 4 inked up at any one time. I had a TSWBI a few years ago and, while it was a very nice pen and wrote well, I had a bad experience with customer service and won't buy another. But many people love them and they are very good.
I find Lamys to be very smooth writers--I have a couple of Safaris, four AL-Stars and a couple of 2000s. I couldn't resist picking up a grey LX from the "crazy sale". I wish they had the stub 1.1 nibs as an option as those are my faves, but a medium will have to do. For under $30 shipped, that pen is a steal. And the AL-Stars and Safaris are even cheaper. I'd vote for one of those as they are well within your budget and are pretty bulletproof. You'd have to get a converter somewhere else as they apparently aren't on the Lamy US website. Another bonus that no one has mentioned is that you can easily and cheaply swap out the nib on the Lamys.

61 861
Reply
 01-04-2018, 09:53 PM
#11
User Info
I couldnt resist the Lamy LX from the crazy sale either...does razor acquisition disorder exist for fountain pens too...? Wink

PS. whats a stub nib? why is it your fav? just curious... thx!

0 56
Reply
 01-05-2018, 09:17 AM
#12
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
User Info
(01-04-2018, 09:53 PM)Ripkin Wrote: I couldnt resist the Lamy LX from the crazy sale either...does razor acquisition disorder exist for fountain pens too...? Wink

PS. whats a stub nib? why is it your fav? just curious... thx!

Yes, pens can be a very slippery slope, a lot of similarities to shaving gear.
A stub nib is flat and permits one to write in italicized style. It allows more variation of line weights, which results in more expressiveness.

61 861
Reply
 01-05-2018, 09:34 AM
#13
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
An excellent source of information on all-things fountain pen, including nibs and inks, is Richard Binder. His website is

http://www.richardspens.com/

Look at his Reference Pages.

9 1,032
Reply
 01-05-2018, 12:37 PM
#14
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
User Info
Search ebay for "Jinhao x750".  It'll only cost you a couple of bucks and is built like a tank.  A great way to get your feet wet without spending a lot of money.  I've got 6 of them scattered around work/home.  My daughters each have one of their own.

48 2,056
Reply
 01-06-2018, 04:39 AM
#15
User Info
I love my collection of fountain pens. I always carry one with me to work. I like to change the pen I carry every couple of weeks.

Roger





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

0 46
Reply
 01-07-2018, 04:06 AM
#16
User Info
(01-06-2018, 04:39 AM)K5MOW Wrote: I love my collection of fountain pens. I always carry one with me to work. I like to change the pen I carry every couple of weeks.

Roger

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I think there’s something about fountain pens that makes the paperwork at work a little less painful and somehow more fun.... lol.

0 56
Reply
 01-07-2018, 05:31 AM
#17
User Info
(01-07-2018, 04:06 AM)Ripkin Wrote:
(01-06-2018, 04:39 AM)K5MOW Wrote: I love my collection of fountain pens. I always carry one with me to work. I like to change the pen I carry every couple of weeks.

Roger

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I think there’s something about fountain pens that makes the paperwork at work a little less painful and somehow more fun.... lol.


Yes I totally agree. I also enjoy a high-quality fountain pen paper friendly journal.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

0 46
Reply
 01-07-2018, 07:56 PM
#18
User Info
I have a Safari & a 2000. Used to be more into pens, but those two stay wet after a week of non-use, so.... those are the ones for me. Lol.

9 3,056
Reply
 01-08-2018, 02:19 AM
#19
User Info
(01-07-2018, 07:56 PM)WetShavingProducts Wrote: I have a Safari & a 2000. Used to be more into pens, but those two stay wet after a week of non-use, so.... those are the ones for me. Lol.

I ordered a Lamy Lx from the crazy sale— I think they’re just metal versions of the safari (can’t wait to try it!) but I’ve heard good things about that pen. The 2000 looks like a sweet pen too but I definitely can’t afford it right now. Maybe after tax return season. Wink

That reminds me...
What do people do when these dodads dry out? Can i just flush them with tap water or do you really need “pen flush”?
I’m planning on using bottled ink most of the time, if that matters or not...

0 56
Reply
 01-08-2018, 02:26 AM
#20
User Info
K5MOW - I’m just starting to get into journaling with the one fountain pen I have and I’m loving it. Who knew? What’s uour favorite paper? Do you use a refillable cloth or leather journal?

Anyone else have any suggestions? The journal I have now, the paper is so absorbent the ink spreads and feathers a lot.

0 56
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)