What I Bought in 2016: Fountain Pens

2016 pen purchases

I like to do a year-end accounting of what I bought, to keep myself honest, and to try to learn a little. Here’s what I’ve learned looking back at my 2016 fountain pen purchases: ouch.

I bought 19 pens this year. They are all very nice pens. But I find the total number surprising, and excessive. Also, two of them are purple. Which is just messed up.

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New Clips for the Kaweco Liliput

Kaweco Liliput Clip

Here’s some welcome news: Kaweco is coming out with clips for their Liliput fountain pens and ballpoint pens. Two clips, because the ballpoints and fountain pens have a different diameter.

I reviewed two of the Liliput fountain pens here, along with the large size Supra. I really liked the Liliput. It’s a very small carry-around fountain pen with a really sturdy form factor, and the excellent Kaweco stainless steel nib also used in the AL-Sport, AC-Sport and Dia2.

And I think the clip’s a great addition. Because it’s such a small pen, I like having the option to clip the Liliput in place inside a pocket or bag. I’m not sure what the clip price will be, but clips for the Sport pens range from $3 to $6 in the US, so I’m guessing “reasonable.”

Kaweco keeps impressing me, because they keep coming out with products and designs that show they are fountain pen users themselves. I really like this pen company.


Photo courtesy of Kaweco press release




Pen of the Day: Sheaffer PFM Green with Kaweco Palm Green

Sheaffer PFM with Kaweco Palm Green ink

Sheaffer PFM Green with medium nib. I’m still rocking the holiday inks.

Here, it’s Kaweco Palm Green. In contrast to the more sophisticated Garnet Red ink that I filled last week, Kaweco Palm Green is an unabashedly kid-friendly color.

It’s the one your kindergarten-aged self would have pulled from the crayon box to color in the Christmas tree, on the construction-paper card you were making for mom.

Sheaffer PFM with Kaweco Palm Green ink

And it reminds me of gum drops.

miniature gingerbread house

Fountain Pen Favorites for October 2016

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October has been awesome, but also has passed a blurry haze. Fountain pens and inks are all very nice. But baseball playoffs have been the bomb. So it’s a little surprising to look back and realize that October was full of fountain pen highlights. This is practically the World Series of Fountain Pen Favorites.

1.  Sailor Kin-Mokusei. A gorgeous orange.

2. Sailor Waka-Uguisu. A great yellow-green. And I don’t even like green.

3. Kaweco Light Blue AL-Sport. Icy blue; I love it.

4. Field Notes. My Field Notes box runneth over. Literally. My daughters did steal ask for some of my new orange and pink ones, which I shared with unworthy mixed feelings understandable mixed feelings. But I’m still flush with Field Notes. I better go write some things down. Like, how to be a better mother. You know, for next month.


Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A Peek at the Pen Cup: Dazed and Distracted Edition

pen cup with fountain pens

You know what I like? I like the reflection of the window in the cap medallion of that Lamy Safari.

My pen cup is reasonably full again, but it’s mostly full with pens I’ve already talked about. Pens of the past. I really haven’t had the time or the oomph to think about new things. My brain is just overstuffed. We’ve had two big family birthdays in the past week, while work has been crushing. Then there’s been baseball to watch.

At first nervously, then merrily. The Cubs did the nearly unbelievable, winning the pennant for the first time in 71 years. Thus ending the failure and futility that has been Cubs fandom for longer than my lifetime. It’s like when you come out of a movie theater into the blinding sun: everything looks nice and bright, but you do have to reorient.

pen cup with fountain pens

So about pens, I can’t really say I’ve spent too much time thinking about them.

Looking at the pen cup, there are a lot of Lamy Safaris and Pelikans, and a few Kawecos. All good. But I’m going to have to clean out some of these pens of the past and try some different pens and inks. Once baseball releases its hold on my brain.

Maybe that will happen during the Ohio Pen Show. Or when the new Pelikan M405 Stresemann comes in — that intrigues me.

If only they had a Pelikan M605 Stressedwoman — now that would be my pen. It would be hot pink, or maybe orange, and it would come with a giant coffee mug.

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen in Light Blue

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

Light Blue is the newest color in the Kaweco AL-Sport lineup. The AL-Sport is one of my favorite pens, blue is my favorite color and so I couldn’t resist.

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

It’s an ice blue that looks silvery in some lights. The look is extra sleek. The finish feels textured or powdered. But the Light Blue sparkles and dazzles in the light.

Kaweco AL-Sports

So, I have four AL-Sports now: the Stonewashed in black, the Grey, the Light Blue and the raw aluminum.

The AL-Sport has my favorite steel nib (by a mile), comfortable weight and size, and a look I love. But it’s also my Green Eggs and Ham pen: it took me forever to try an AL-Sport, because the aluminum models are pricier than the plastic Sports, and I had heard bad things about metal pens. Silly rumors, so wrong.

Kaweco AL-Sport Light Blue

Now that I have four, I have an urge to rank mine.

1. Raw Aluminum. Pure form. Shiny. And it proudly shows the scuffs and marks of use.

2. Light Blue. Chic, ice blue, textured, gorgeous.

3. Black Stonewashed. The one that looks so cool, non-pen people ask about it.

4. Grey. Understated, smooth and restrained. And mine has a great medium nib.

Kaweco AL-Sports

Fountain Pen Favorites for September 2016

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This was a great month for fountain pens and ink for me.

1. Kaweco Traveller Case. This little case worked its way into my heart, moving from curiosity to essential. Some prefer large cases, but not me. Sized for Kaweco pens, the Traveller fits small and standard-size fountain pens. It carries six of those, plus extras, but easily slips into purse or briefcase. That meant I started carrying multiple fountains for the first time. The price is a splurge, but the quality seems high.

2.  Platinum Classic Maki-e. I fell for this, too. To keep the cost down, the maki-e on this pen starts with screen-printing, but it didn’t look or feel like a compromise to me or anyone else who tried it. It’s an attractive pen with a great nib at a great price. And it’s a maki-e pen that you don’t need to fuss over.

3.   Pelikan Hub. That was lots of fun, meeting other Pelikan fans and trying other fountain pens and inks. Kudos to Pelikan for bringing people together. And thanks for the Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. If you get a chance to go next year, I recommend it.

Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.