How to choose a fountain pen: Some Ideas

The unmaking of India's fountain pens | Mint

Owning and using a fountain pen can be a joy and finding the pen that’s right for you (or the person for whom you’re buying) can mean gaining a life-long partner. However, knowing which fountain pen to buy can be a daunting task at first so we hope that this buyer’s guide will help you select the right pen for you.  We have fountain pens to fit all budgets and tastes so whether you are buying for yourself or as a birthday, wedding or graduation gift there is sure to be a pen that fits the bill.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Why use a fountain pen?

There are many reasons why people choose fountain pens over other types of writing instrument, for example ballpens (“biros”) and roller-balls but here we are just going to concentrate on the ergonomics of writing. A fountain pen delivers liquid ink to the tip of its nib so that when in contact with the page the ink just flows naturally. Contrast this with a fountain pen – virtually no pressure is needed so it’s much less fatiguing to write, especially if you need to write a lot. We would therefore always choose a fountain pen as a person’s main writing tool. Here is the best fountain pen under 50.


A pen must feel comfortable in your hand, especially if you write a lot. People with large hands may find a small pen uncomfortable to hold, although there is no formula for the right size pen. Look at the detailed dimensions for each model we stock and compare them with others you have tried or own.


Although a heavy pen may feel more substantial at first, even more luxurious, ask yourself whether the weight may cause fatigue during longer writing sessions. The Kaweco Brass Sport on the left is a heavy pen best suited to short periods of note taking. If you need to write for longer, consider a lighter version like the AL Sport on the right. Most pens are 25g or under. Anything well above 30g is considered heavy.

Filling mechanism

Maybe this is important, maybe not. If you have to write for very long periods between refills then choose a piston or vacuum-filler as these hold a lot more ink than cartridge/converter pens. Many people relish the thought of frequent changes of ink colour so if this is you then cartridge/converter models are probably the best.


Lastly we have the cartridge/converter system, so called because disposable ink cartridges can be used but these can be replaced with a “converter” to fill from bottled ink. Most converters are piston types that are easy to use and reliable. Cartridge/converter pens are the easiest to clean.

Amanda Peterson: Amanda is an economist turned blogger who provides readers with an in-depth look at macroeconomic trends and their impact on businesses.