About eight months or so ago, I decided on a whim to buy a fountain pen. I bought a Lamy Safari, and kind of hooked ever since. I recently added a Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib, and tomorrow another Metropolitan with a fine nib should arrive. I wrote a three page letter to someone today using the Metro, and it was a wonderful experience. The pen writes very smoothly and the ink flow was much better than with the Safari.
Using a fountain pen is a little more complicated than using a regular ball point or gel ink pen. The ink flows differently, and because the pen doesn’t hold as much ink, you need to refill it more often (every few days to few weeks, depending on how much writing you do). Refilling ink involves getting either new cartridges, or filling ink from a bottle. You also need to maintain the pen for best ink flow and protect it against damages (did you know that there used to be such a thing as a pen repairman? That’s how the Parker of Parker Pens got his start). Since it’s all so complicated, and I’m still a beginner myself, I thought I would link up one of the really helpful resources I’ve discovered:
Fountain Pen 101 – The Goulet Pen Company
If you’ve never tried a Fountain Pen before, I really recommend it. The Pilot Metropolitan is less than $15, and comes with a cartridge so you don’t have to worry about refilling it. If you decide that you like it, you can just get some ink, and you’ll be good to go for a long long time.
Good luck and have fun!