My Favorite, and Least Favorite, Starter Fountain Pens

fountain pens

Starter fountain pens: let’s get into it. Everyone loves a “what starter fountain pen should I buy” question. I am no exception: I have a few suggestions. The problem is, I also have a few I really don’t suggest, even though they are commonly recommended for beginners.

My choices are based on my own preferences, my own experience and my own tastes. Feel free to disagree. Different opinions and experiences are part of the fun.

For a starter fountain pen, I want a pen with a fairly low price. That encourages people to take the chance. And if you don’t get the hang of writing with the fountain pen, or don’t like it, or you lose your pen, it’s not the end of the world. I only consider new pens, not vintage pens, for ease of purchase and ease of use.

But another requirement for me is that the pen be capable of providing lasting satisfaction. My ideal starter fountain pen can be used regularly even when you’ve moved past the starter stage. Because fountain pens don’t have to be expensive or precious, in my opinion.

So let’s jump in the pool.

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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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Pen of the Day: Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu

Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu

Nemosine Singularity with stub nib. It feels like forever since I’ve done a Pen of the Day, so here’s a reasonably-priced pen that’s new-to-me, the Nemosine Singularity.

I bought one with a stub nib, and I’m happy with it so far. The nib has a bit of feedback, which I like, but it’s a smooth writer with nice line variation and moderate to wet ink flow. It’s a medium stub, comparable to a Safari 1.1 mm nib, so good for everyday writing.

The nib itself is very large in size and has attractive stamping.

Nemosine Singularity with Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu

I’ve got my Nemosine Singularity inked with Sailor Jentle Four Seasons Tokiwa-Matsu, a nice evergreen ink with shading and sheen.

The Singularity design is pretty utilitarian, but the pen is a good size. The weight is light, but balanced, and the section is comfortable. The Singularity works for me unposted or posted. It comes with a converter, or you can use standard international cartridges. It also can be used as an eye-dropper. I think it’s a nice deal for under $20.

For a better idea of size, here are a Kaweco Classic Sport, a Lamy Vista, the Nemosine Singularity and a J. Herbin fountain pen.

Nemosine Singularity size comparison