All in fountain pen review
“It’s too small.”
That’s the common refrain you’ll hear from those who aren’t fans of Pelikan's M200/M205 series pens. Having not experienced one myself, I was inclined to agree, until I remembered that sometimes the best things do come in small packages.
After garnering much attention with the M2 and Wancai Mini, the Moonman brand is back with a (relatively) new model, the M100. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Wancai Mini, so I figured I owed it to myself to check out the M100.
I can’t deny it: ever since Opus 88 has gotten more attention in the US market, I’ve been quite impressed. After thoroughly enjoying the Koloro Demonstrator, I was excited to get the opportunity to give their newest pen, the Fantasia, a spin. So has it lived up to my lofty expectations of the brand?
I own and enjoy a few Diplomat pens—the Aero and Excellence A in particular—but I don't have as much experience with the brand's budget offerings. Recently I found myself needing to add an item to my cart to qualify for free shipping, so I decided to check out the Magnum.
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the San Francisco Pen Show. I haven't been to many pen shows, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but there was one thing I was sure of: if I had the opportunity to pick up a Franklin-Christoph pen in the "Antique Glass" finish, I was going to seize the opportunity.
TWSBI is a popular brand in the budget fountain pen category. In fact, one of their most popular pens, the TWSBI Eco, is consistently recommended as among the best options for new fountain pen users. So when TWSBI introduced its newest pen last week, I had no choice but to give it a go.
If you happen to follow the r/fountainpens subreddit, you probably know that the Moonman brand has quickly become a bit of a fan favorite. Though the M2 model tends to get the majority of the attention, I quickly became fascinated with its diminutive cousin, the Wancai Mini.
When searching for budget-friendly fountain pens with flex nibs, most people immediately turn to Noodler's. Fountain Pen Revolution may be a lesser-known brand, but after using several of their pens, I've been rather impressed with the bang-for-the-buck they offer. So when I saw that they offer a flex nib pen for under $20, I had to see if it was my cup of tea.
Opus 88 is a brand that's really burst onto the fountain pen scene in the last year or so. Though I wasn't quite taken with the design of the original Koloro models, a glut of positive reviews for the Koloro Demonstrator forced me to take another look at the brand. So is this pen good enough to have me singing its praises?
The Pilot Metropolitan is one of the first fountain pens I ever purchased. It’s widely hailed as one of the very best budget options and, for many, it serves as a point of first impression on fountain pens as a whole. Now that I’ve had a chance to experience plenty of other pens, it’s time to revisit the Metropolitan and see if it retains the charm that originally lured me to it.
Though I quite enjoy Italian pens, Montegrappa is a brand whose products I’ve yet to experience. Despite having some attractive designs, Montegrappa’s price points sometimes make their pens feel unapproachable. So when I had the opportunity to pick up a Fortuna at a significantly reduced price, I had to take the plunge. After all, fortune favors the bold, right? Right?
Levenger is one of those brands that gets curiously little attention from the fountain pen community. Though Levenger sells fountain pens from other manufacturers, they also have their own line of branded fountain pens, most notably the True Writer series. To make myself more familiar with the brand, I decided to pick one up.
Inspired by a previous Aurora design from the mid-twentieth century, the Duo Cart was re-issued in 2017. With its hooded nib and vintage aesthetic, this pen sets itself apart from other pens in my collection. But is it unusually good, or just unusual?
When I think “budget piston-filler,” the TWSBI Eco immediately springs to mind. With its clear demonstrator body and affordable price tag, the Eco has plenty of appeal for both new and experienced fountain pen users. So how does it stack up?
Fountain pens and pockets don’t always play nicely together. Depending on your everyday carry setup, you can find yourself with a scuffed-up pen, or worse yet, an inky surprise. The Kaweco Sport seeks to buck that trend by offering a capable pen that’s also pocket-friendly. So does it have what it takes to earn a place in your pocket?
The Faber-Castell Loom is frequently hailed as a fourth option to the Safari/Eco/Metropolitan triumvirate of budget fountain pens. Though many are quick to praise the LAMY, TWSBI, and Pilot offerings, Faber-Castell seems to attract less attention. Should that be the case? Or does the Loom have what it takes to earn its own place among the budget fountain pen elite?
Conklin's new Duraflex is the latest offering in the budget flex pen category. With the introduction of its new "OmniFlex" nib, Conklin hopes to leverage its popular Duragraph line to offer flex writing at an affordable price. But does it have what it takes to become your next flex pen?
Many consider the M800 to be the darling of Pelikan’s Souveran line. With its 18K gold nib, elegant design, and comfortable dimensions, the M800 unquestionably offers a premium writing experience. This Renaissance Brown version is a 2017 special edition, and it sure is a stunner.
The matter of “best budget fountain pen” seems to be well-settled: ask a fountain pen enthusiast to recommend a good entry-level pen for beginners and you will invariably be met with some combination of “LAMY Safari,” “TWSBI Eco,” or “Pilot Metropolitan.” Certainly, there are other challengers worth considering, but is the Nemosine Fission one of them?
Dabble long enough in the fountain pen hobby and you will inevitably hear it: the siren’s call of the custom pen. Sure, mass-produced pens can be nice, but for many, nothing will compare to the prospect of owning something truly one of a kind.