7 Tips About Fountain Pens for Beginners
Most of us grew up writing with the ubiquitous Hero or the Parker fountain pen. The fountain pen held much mystique and sentiment but somewhere between growing up and adulthood, the world changed and so did we and slowly the magic faded away.
While the tradition of the fountain pen remains the same, the technology has changed. Now as we reacquaint ourselves with a fountain pen, here are a few tips that will help you choose the right pen. There’s a whole lot of glossary and terms used in the fountain pen world that we could give you but that’s not the goal here. We just want you to have basic information when you buy your first fountain pen online or from any physical store.
The nib size
Fountain pen nibs are one of the first decisions you’ll have to make when buying a fountain pen. The size of the nib has to be chosen very crucially. There are 3 standard nib tips that one can go with. That is the fine, medium and broad. The tip of the nib will determine just how much ink is released, and the thickness of the lines that you will put down. A person with an emphatic handwriting may want to buy a broad tip while someone with a small and close spaced writing may want to stick to a fine or a medium tip. A professionally trained consultant at a specialist pen store will help you find a size suitable for your writing style.
Fountain pen material
Ideally, a beginner should stick to a pen that is light in weight, for example, pens made of resin, lightweight aluminium or ABS plastic. This will ensure that your hands don’t cramp or tire as you get used to writing with the fountain pen. As you become an expert and start to enjoy the pure pleasure of writing with a fountain pen, you can move on to pens made with brass or precious metals.
Fountain pen ink
When you buy your first fountain pen, make sure the ink is preferably from the same maker as the pen or from any other reputed international brands. People hardly give this a thought but it’s true that the pen will only write as well as a good quality ink. Inks are usually made of water, dyes, and solvents. Colours within the same brand can give you a different output depending on the colour you use. For example, if you are using a standard royal blue from a particular brand and want to change to a red from the same brand, the flow of the ink could differ. Therefore, when you buy a good pen make sure you tell the consultant your usage, as in, do you intend to write pages with it or just use it for a few scribbles. Check out our range of fountain pen ink.
Cartridges are a result of a modern man’s prayer for a convenient ink filling method. A cartridge is the reservoir of ink that you can swap out of your pen and replace in its entirety, similar to how you would refill a ballpoint or a gel pen. The advantage of cartridges is that they are convenient. When you’re out of ink, you simply pop in a new cartridge, and you’re good to go. Though, in our opinion, a true fountain pen experience only begins once you’ve started using bottled inks and refilling your pens. But if you are someone who prefers the quick and easy, then you could ask the consultant about ink cartridges.
As you start using your new pen, you will notice something that you had never really had taken stock of while using your old ballpoints or gel pens and that is the paper quality. You will soon find that some papers worked great with your pen, while others make it feel scratchy, or cause the ink to bleed, blot and feather.
You can read exhaustive articles on which paper is the best to try with what ink and pen combination. However, our best advice is to try a bunch of different things. Write on whatever plain piece of paper you have lying around the office. Write on post-it notes or write in your favourite notebook. You’ll soon get a feel for the difference that paper can make and stick to the one that your fountain pen likes!
Maintenance of fountain pens
This is a critical part of your writing experience and the life of your pen. You must ensure you absorb and retain the after sales maintenance advice that is given by the pen consultant.
The fountain pen investment
We would recommend that as a beginner, you invest in a pen that is not expensive and one that will give you a true pleasure of writing. We recommend brands such as Lamy which makes some of the best fountain pens for beginners. Collections such as a Safari, the Al-star or the CP1 are pens that lay down perfect strokes. Then there is the Pilot Metropolitan or the 849 fountain pens from CARAN D’ACHE, Pens from Faber Castell, Platinum and Kaweco to name a few.
At this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself, this all seems like a lot of trouble just to buy a pen. And you’re right. It is. If you just want a pen that just works, then we suggest grabbing a rollerball or a ball pen. If you’re looking for a utilitarian tool, that’s the way to go.
However, if you’re approaching fountain pens as a piece of art, a hobby, or worse, a potential addiction! – Oh, what a wonderful addiction it is!! If you are approaching it as a passion you wish to pursue or to live vicariously through your writing then we think it’s worth taking the time to understand the basics with these brands before diving head first into the vast selection of supremely opulent, sumptuous, extravagantly elegant fine writing instruments that exist. It is difficult to express in words the feelings one experience while writing with a fountain pen; a fountain pen gives you pause for thought, giving you a wider perspective of the world that surrounds you. Invest in one today and as the days go by, you will understand what we mean.
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