Why you should try a fountain pen

Writing with a fountain pen

The first Friday of every November is Fountain Pen Day, which falls on the 4th of the month this year. This is a day to celebrate the existence of fountain pens, embrace our love for fountain pens, and spread the word on the joys of using a fountain pen as a writing tool.

Fountain pen users already know all about the benefits and pleasures of writing with fountain pens, but for those who are new to the idea or would like to give it a go, this blog post is mainly for you. After all, what better time of year to make the switch than Fountain Pen Day!

The benefits of writing with a fountain pen

So, what are the benefits to writing with a fountain pen? Why should you bother? Have a read through these great reasons:

  • Even the messiest of handwriting can look a million times better when formed with the nib of a fountain pen. What might have been an illegible and ugly scrawl in ballpoint pen can become, if not neater, then certainly classier and somehow more acceptable in fountain pen ink! The act of using a fountain pen sometimes encourages people to want to write neater, also.
  • You can personalise a fountain pen to your exact needs – choosing the body of the pen, the nib width, material and type, whether to use ink cartridges or bottled ink, and which ink colour and brand to use. With so many options, the exact pen of your dreams is just a few choices away. If it all seems a little daunting, don’t worry: just try out a ‘standard’, simple fountain pen, and decide what you feel you’d like to change. If you’re a ‘leftie’, there are plenty of nibs available for left-handed people, however you might find that you are actually fine with a standard nib.
  • Compared to other pen types, which are disposable on the whole, a fountain pen is a purchase which will last you a lifetime. This makes it more eco-friendly – especially if you fill yours with bottled ink as opposed to cartridges.
  • Using a fountain pen requires virtually no pressure to be applied to the pen, and less grip is needed too, meaning it is an excellent option for those who suffer from discomfort or cramping when writing, carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or repetitive strain injuries.
  • There are a vast selection of fountain pens on the market, and they are often more aesthetically pleasing than ballpoints or rollerballs.
  • Using a fountain pen in public is a great conversation starter – especially in the office, on the train, in a lecture, or at school.

Tips for starting out with a fountain pen

The Lamy Safari fountain pen in Blue

The Lamy Safari fountain pen in Blue

If you’re new to fountain pens, or haven’t used them for years, fear not – it is simple to start. Don’t get bogged down in all the technical ins and outs. I’d recommend starting out with a simple pen, such as the Lamy Safari, which is robust and functional yet attractive, with an excellently ergonomic grip section. Try a M (medium) nib first, as it’s not extreme. If you prefer a less modern, more classic design in a pen, a good starting point for you is the Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen.

Are you going to try out a fountain pen in celebration of Fountain Pen Day? If so, let us know which pen, and how you get on, in the comments below!

Lucy is our lead editor and has been passionate about stationery since childhood. She has a particular fondness for rollerball and calligraphy pens and is a keen advocate of snail mail.

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