The Unexpected Awesomeness of the Platinum Preppy

Platinum Preppy, a great beginner fountain pen.The Platinum Preppy may be the most unexpected awesome beginner fountain pen you will ever find.  at first glance it looks like a simple pen with a clear barrel (also called a demonstrator in fountain pen circles).  However, once you start using it you will see why this little pen is one of the most recommended as a first fountain pen.

Pros

Where to start?  First, the pen is simple and solid, despite looking like it might be fragile.  I have one that I keep in my everyday use bag, and it stands up to the abuse wonderfully.

Second, writing with the Preppy is a pleasure.  Unlike many other pens in it’s class, when you take the lid off of the pen and start writing, it just works.  No need for wetting the tip or shaking it or endless scribbling on paper.  Simply take off the cap and start writing.  If you are new to fountain pens, this is a great benefit.

The reason the pen works every time is in the special cap Platinum has made for the Preppy.  Inside the top of the cap is a small is what Platinum calls its “Slip and Seal” mechanism.  This small, spring-loaded portion at the top of the cap fits perfectly over the nib of the pen when you put the cap on, which keeps the end of the pen from drying out.  This makes it possible for the pen to write the first time, every time.

Another great feature of the Preppy is the color-matching cap.  When you buy a Preppy it comes with an ink cartridge.  The color of the cap will match that ink so it’s easy to pick out the color you are wanting to use.  Also, the cartridges last quite a while, are easy to get, and come in several fun colors.

Lastly, the nib on the Preppy is great for a first time fountain pen owner.  It is smooth and reliable.  The nibs come in .2, .3, and .5mm.  This would be considered Very Fine, Fine, and Medium tips in most other pens.  I prefer the Fine.  It is not scratchy and matches my handwriting very well.

Cons

When it comes to the Preppy as a beginner fountain pen, I can’t really come up with any down sides.  It is reliable, sturdy, comfortable, fun, and inexpensive.

All-in-all, the Platinum Preppy is a magnificent beginner fountain pen.  It is easy to use, fun to use, and at less that $4 each, you can have one in every color of the rainbow.

What do you think?

Have you tried the Platinum Preppy?  If so, tell me what you think about it.

Lamy Safari – The Ultimate First Fountain Pen?

Is the Lamy Safari the ultimate first fountain pen?  Let’s check out the pros and cons to see.

Style

The Safari is different from the Pilot Metropolitan in that it is a plastic pen, instead of metal.  Also, it has a very unique style.  The main body of the pen is almost square.  On opposite sides of the pen it is flat and the other two sides are curved.  This gives it a unique profile.  It also keeps the pen from rolling off your desk if you set it down without the cap on it.

The grip section is one of the most controversial parts of this pen.  It is triangle-shaped, which most people either love or hate.  I like this feature because once you grab the grip section, the nib is actually in the correct position for writing.  For many people getting their first fountain pen this can be an issue.

Along with the unique shape of the barrel, the cap and clip are very oversized and recognizable.  The clip is completely functional and will keep it clipped securely to just about anything.

Also, there is a small window in the barrel that allows you to see how much ink is left.  This comes in very handy and makes it easy to know when to ink up again.

Lastly, the Safari comes in a huge variety of colors.  You can get it in red, blue, purple, green, white, black, etc.  The color choices are huge!!

Function

One of the most important features for a first fountain pen is that it is easy to use.  You don’t want to have to worry about whether or not the pen will write immediately or fuss with changing the ink.

Fortunately, the Safari excels in both of these areas.  I use my Safari almost every day and it always starts writing immediately.  It uses what is known as an “international standard cartridge”.  These cartridges are easy to find and come in a rainbow of colors.  This makes it easy to switch inks whenever you want.  Simply flush the pen with a little water and put in a new cartridge and start writing.  This is great for a beginner fountain pen.

Also, the Safari holds up very well to being carried around as part of your daily carry.  I clip it to the pocket in my bag to and from work every day.  I’ve never had a leak or any other problem.

Cons

While there aren’t many cons to the Safari as a first fountain pen.  However, as I mentioned earlier, the triangle-shaped grip can be a problem for some people.

Also, the nibs on the Safari tend to run a little wide.  If you like fine lines,you will definitely want to look into getting the fine or extra fine nib.

The nibs on Safaris can be a little rough.  This has not been my experience, but it is a somewhat common complaint.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for your first fountain pen it is hard to beat the Lamy Safari.  It is sturdy, reliable, and stylish.  You can depend on it and be proud of it as part of your daily carry, and at around $24, it is easy on the pocket book.

Pilot Metropolitan – Classic Beginner Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan - The Classic Beginner Fountain PenInvariably, when you ask a member of the fountain pen community for their recommendation for the best beginner fountain pen, one of the top three choices will be the Pilot Metropolitan.  There are many good reasons that myself and many others would include this in our top recommendations for the best beginner fountain pen.

Why We Like It

First, the Pilot Metropolitan is very reliable pen.  When you pick it up and take off the cap it almost always starts writing immediately.  You don’t have to worry about having to start the pen after it has been sitting for a few days, or even a few weeks.

Second, unlike a lot of other pens in this price point, the Metropolitan feels very solid and well made.  The body of the pen is made ou

t of brass, which makes it sturdy and solid.  It also gives it a substantial feel when writing.  It just feels like this pen will be here for years of writing enjoyment.

Next, the nib (the end of the pen that actually does the writing) is very smooth.  Sometimes when getting a pen at this level the pen can be very scratchy, which can make writing with it very uncomfortable.  Imagine writing with a nail on a rough piece of paper.  However, with the Metropolitan, the writing is smooth and effortless.  It consistently puts down a smooth, clean line.  Below,  you can see a sample of the writing from the Metropolitan.  You can compare the line to that of a Pilot G2 with a fine point.  You can see the nice line and good ink flow.  You’ll have to forgive my poor handwriting.

Lastly, once you have been using fountain pens for a while you will want to start experimenting with different inks.  The orange in my writing sample, for example, is an ink called Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki.  It is my favorite ink.  The Metropolitan makes it easy to change ink as it comes with a converter that allows you to put your own ink in and express yourself.  Until then, it takes some very simple-to-use cartridges.   It even comes with two cartridges to get you started.

Things That Could Be Better

Of course, with all of the good things about the Metropolitan, there are a few less than great things about it.  The biggest, at least to me, is that it can be a messy pen.  It has been my experience that this is not a pen that I can just throw in my bag that I carry and toss around everyday.  When I do that I often find ink inside of the lid, on the nib, and on the area where you hold the pen when writing.  I have tried a couple different cartridges and converters with no luck.  It could very well be that it is due to my specific pen as others around the web say that they have never had this problem.

The only other problem I have with this pen is the quality of the converter that comes with it.  The converter is rubber and does not feel very durable.  It also does not hold much ink.  If you are going to be doing a lot of writing with this pen, you will be better off using a cartridge, which can be found in many colors, or buying a better converter.

Overall, the Pilot Metropolitan is a solid contender for the best beginner fountain pen.  It writes well, is very solid, and will last for a very long time.

If you have one of these pens, or decide to pick one up, let me know how you like it.

Welcome to Beginner Fountain Pens

So, you’ve decided you want to buy your first fountain pen, but you’re not sure which one to pick. Well, you’re not alone. Many people decide they want to get started with fountain pens, but just don’t know where to start. That’s why BeginnerFountainPens.com was started. We’ve been exactly where you are right now and we want to share what we have learned along our journey so that you can be confident in your first fountain pen purchase.

Price
The first concern for people when they pick their first fountain pen is the cost. You can find pens that cost anywhere from one dollar to several thousand dollars. If you are like me, you want to start with something a little lower on the budget. Luckily, you can find beginner fountain pens that are of great quality for just a few dollars. On BeginnerFountainPens.com we are going to focus on pens that come in around the $30 range and below.

Quality
The next thing that people looking for their first fountain pen worry about is the quality. Can you really get a good fountain pen for just a few bucks? The answer is yes. My current favorite pen cost me less than $30 and I use it everyday. I carry it in my bag to and from work and it writes every time I take the cap off.
There are lots of high quality pens in this price range. Many of theme will give you years of service with very little, if any, problems.

Other Factors
There are other factors that will affect which beginner fountain pen you select. The color, size, weight, shape, etc. will come in to play. We hope to give you all of the data you need to help you make that first decision and be completely happy with it. What follows on this site is a list of reviews that will be ever-growing. These reviews will cover the best beginner fountain pens on the market. We will use them and abuse them for you so you will know what to expect from each of them and can make an informed choice.

One Last Note
The term “beginner fountain pen” should not be seen as an insult to you or to the pens that receive this name. Beginner does not mean inferior. It does not mean that it is of poor quality. It simply means that it is an introduction to the world of fountain pens. You may only ever buy one fountain pen if you find the one that is exactly right for you. Or, if you are like the rest of us, you will continue buying pens to meet different needs and desires. This can become quite an addictive hobby. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Happy reading and please, let us know if we can help you make your decision in any way.