My Ten Favorite Fountain Pens

My Favorite Fountain Pens

I thought I’d end this week with something personal. These are my favorite pens. At pens shows and meet-ups, people will often ask what are my favorite fountain pens. So, these are them. These are not necessarily the pens I would recommend for a new fountain pen enthusiast and these might not be to everyone’s taste. My most recommended list is more the pens that, as the title suggests, I recommend to other people.

So, I hope you enjoy getting a peek into my pen case.

  1. Schon DSGN “Ferrero Rocher” Fountain Pen: This pen is my first Schon DSGN fountain pen and it is seriously gorgeous.  It’s weighty and the texture is fantastic. The cap screws on to the back to make this pocket pen full-sized. It is also super meaningful to me because there are two other people who own the same pen. I customized it with a SIG fine nib from Franklin-Christoph.
  2. Pelikan M300: The M300 breaks the numbering system set in place by Pelikan where the fountain pens get progressively larger as the numbering gets larger — except in the case of the M300. Like so many of my pens, this little Pelikan came to me by way of a story.  At the 2019 Pelikan Hub, I let one of the gents from our local pen club try one of my Esterbrook Estie fountain pens and he let me try this little M300. He told me he didn’t realize that the M300 was smaller than the M200 and was surprised when it arrived and it was so tiny. I’ve always wanted one. He was mesmerized by my Esterbrook Estie. He sheepishly asked if I’d be willing to trade one for the other. I said yes before he changed his mind. It’s such a lovely little pen.
  3. Franklin-Christoph 45: I love the Franklin-Christoph 45 but this particular one, with the Woodshed Pen Company pearly oyster moonbeam material is my favorite. I have stained it with ink but I still love it best. It has history, mileage and love.
  4. Sailor Pro Gear Slim Purple Lamé: People always mistake this for the newer Purple Cosmos but this is a rarer Purple Lamé. It is not as dark purple nor does it have as many sparkles. But my true love for this pen lays in its nib: a custom grind needlepoint by Greg Minuskin. I purchased the pen secondhand from a friend a few years ago and it’s probably the only pen I have kept inked ever since.
  5. Sailor Pro Color Demonstrator with Gold Fleck: This is a pen that is supposed to have a steel nib but the gold hardware seemed to lend itself to gold nib. My tempter, Jimmy from Total Office Product AKA the host of the Atlanta Pen Show, suggested upgrading the nib to a gold nib and lo and behold he had a little stash of gold nibs. So, I was able to upgrade the nib with one that cost several times the value of the pen. So, it’s basically a 1911 Large-ish but with a great story.
  6. MontBlanc Rouge Et Noir with Custom Nib Studio Custom Grind: This fountain pen was purchased secondhand through the Pen Addict Slack group and was a pen that I’ve always wanted so I was delighted to be able to get it. It’s probably one of the few MontBlanc pens I will probably ever purchase. Then Gena at Custom Nib Studio made the nib something really special.
  7. Opus88 Koloro: The Opus88 Koloro was the first Opus88 I ever used and it has remained my favorite. I love the Japanese eyedropper filling system and the simplicity of the Koloro is the nicest example, IMHO. The combination of translucent resin and ebonite and the massive ink reservoir makes it so versatile and lovely. Monteverde California Teal is a perfect ink match, if you’re curious. (EF)
  8. Caran d’Ache 849 Fountain Pen: I got my first 849 Fountain Pen for a review and Ron at Pen Chalet humorously sent me the hot pink one to match my hair. I was surprised how much I ended up liking the pen. I’ve always liked the 849 ballpoint but the fountain pen was such a great everyday pen for the office. The snap cap was easy to pop on and off. The extra fine nib can withstand being used on crappy copy paper. And the standard international cartridge meant I could swap out from my cartridge roulette stash on-the-go. I loved on this pen so much I broke the plastic threads off where it connected to the metal barrel. Caran d’Ache immediately replaced them nib unit. But while I waited for the replacement part, I bought a lime green model to hold me over until it arrived. So, now I have two!
  9. Platinum Carbon Desk Pen: I modified this Platinum Carbon Desk Pen to fit in my regular pen case by chopping off the bottom of it with a craft knife (see favorite desk accessories post). The pen barrel is hollow plastic so it’s easy to cut. I always fill it with Platinum Carbon Black permanent ink for drawing. After my Sailor Pro Gear, this is always inked up and ready to go.
  10. Pilot Parallel Pen in Custom Barrel by Red Dragon Pen Company with Custom Naifu Nib (Tom Oddo Mod): This pen is the most modified Pilot Parallel pen EVER. And I love it to pieces. First, I got the modified nib. It’s a “Naifu” which was done by Tom Oddo at Goldspot Pens. He showed me the modification at the DC Pen Show years ago and I basically chased him around until he promised to make me one. Then Brian Chu of Red Dragon Pen Company showed me his custom resin Pilot Parallel barrels. He was making them to match the caps and grips. So, the Naifu nib met the Red Dragon pen body. Hello, perfectly wonderful Pilot Parallel pen. I have a full set of Red Dragon Pilot Parallel barrels and Bob is learning to make Naifu-like nib grinds for me. Life is good.

Bonus Pens: Clearly, I can’t seem to keep any of these lists down to ten. I had to include some pens that are my favorite color — which is actually GREEN! I had to include my two favorite lime green pens. One pen has been in my collection for some time and the other is very new to my collection.

  • Diplomat Traveler: The Diplomat Traveler is a great, smaller scale pen that’s available in great enamel colors as well as a flame-singed look. I’ve spoken about the merits of this pen already this week. If you favor smaller, snap cap pens, it’s worth consideration.
  • Esterbrook Camden Composition in Lime: This pen is larger in size than I would normally lean towards if I just saw it online but it’s actually lightweight and very comfortable in my hand. The speckled “composition book” pattern creates such a unique look as well as a fabulous texture.

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16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Great choices! Always fun to have a tour of someone else’s pen case. And the stories about each pen are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve also got a Ferrero Rocher Schon pen, so you know FOUR people who have one just like that. 🙂
    Congrats on your 10 years! It’s quite a feat!

  3. I love the story behind each pen! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been thinking of a Schon for some time, and that FC 45 material from Woodshed is gorgeous!

  4. I was delighted to read that the Pelikan M300 model is one of your favourites. I thought I was the only one who liked this little tiny Pelikan. I love that it is a perfect scale model of the larger Pelikans. Over the last 10 years, I have managed to purchase all six released colours of this model. I also managed to pick up both a Broad and BB nib for this size.

  5. Lovely collection. My favorite part is their back stories. That MontBlanc Rouge Et Noir is on my list. I love their smaller pens. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Very grand collection of my choice. I can not afford to buy but I wish the owner gets the best return out of these pens of lifetime love and attachment.
      Girirajdas Baldua

  6. For some years I’ve thought of starting up a pen, ink, stationery store–perhaps with the odd reconditioned typewriter. These days it’d have to be largely a mailing operation, with a small shopfront. But I doubt it would survive so haven’t gotten far with that idea.

    Now, pens: I’ve never had a fountain pen. I have horrific handwriting–big, loopy, uncontrolled. I’d like to find a way to slow it down. I’m not sure a fountain pen would be the way, but … would its scritchy quality aid in that regard? I bought foolishly a Montblanc ballpoint, and it was just a waste of $100!

    Which of your pens above use cartridges–which I do not want–and which use inkpots to fill up?

    1. All the pens shown in my top ten post will accept ink converters to allow bottled ink to be used. As for scratchy, I wouldn’t describe any of these as scratchy to write with unless the paper is particularly fibrous. Then, only because some have extremely fine nibs. If you prefer a smoother writing experience, I recommend starting with a medium nib to start.

      1. Right after I signed up for this, of course I got a sponsored ad (those persistent cookies!) on Facebook from Daily Fountain Pen. They have a deal of 2 for 1 (it might be a permanent “deal”; I don’t know) on whereby you pay $69.95 and get two. They look good, minus the shiny “gold,” and I’ve tentatively chosen CC-50 and an SG-50 fountain pen. There’s no brand noted. $140 is the alleged full price. I think I’m being had …

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