Five Must-Own Pens

These are the top five pens we think every enthusiast should own.  Don't forget to use discount code FOUNTAIN for 25% off.

1. The Glass Dip Pen

The glass pen is generally credited to Venetian glass blowers.  It is made of glass, traditionally by lampwork. Fine grooves toward the point act as capillaries and draw ink from the bottle when dipped.  This stores enough ink for a sentence or two. 

Glass pens had a number of advantages over quills:  They allow more to be written before dipping in the ink well again, they are hard and durable, and they write more smoothly and evenly.

Why you must own one - Glass pens, in addition to being a beautiful conversation piece, are great for trying out new ink colors.  The pen rinses completely clean quickly and easily, and can be use with inks that aren't suitable for fountain pens.   

Price: 29.95 from


2. The Quill Pen Set

Traditional quill pens are carved from feathers.  They wear down rather quickly. If you've ever tried making one you may have noticed it wearing down after only a few pages of use.  It takes a great deal of practice to be able to cut a feather in such a way to allow it to write smoothly. 

The steel nib holder replaced the quill pen for these reasons.  The problem with these is they are usually rather bland affairs - a simple, cheap feeling, plastic holder.  Fortunately there are stylish metal and feather nib holders available.  You'll feel like John Hancock writing with one of these, and it comes in a gift set with ink, seal, and sealing wax. 

Why you must own one - Makes a great gift for yourself or the calligrapher in your life.  Will be appreciated by fans of retro technology, historical and fantasy fiction, and artists. 

Price: 49.95 from

3. The Daily Use Fountain Pen

Once you are used to writing with a fountain pen, the steep angle required by ballpoints will seem uncomfortable.  You don't always want something flashy, fragile, or expensive though.  For daily use at work or at school, it's nice to have a cheap plastic barrel, steel nib pen or two lying around.  There are a number of pens that may fit the bill, and you should be willing to try different options.  The Pen Fountain offers a school pen from Jinhao.  It's a budget option that will serve you well.

Why you must own one - Have a few pens around that you aren't afraid to lose or break for daily use.  When I was in school there were a few times I was heartbroken after breaking my favorite pen.

Price: 7.99 from limited time use offer code FREEPEN, and new customers get this pen free

4. The Affordable yet Elegant


Classy looking pens used to be expensive.  Fortunately more and more modestly priced but still beautiful options are available.  Of course we want you to browse our entire selection, but our pick for this niche is from Jinhao again.  Featuring a two tone, gold plated nib, and available in a variety of colors and gradients, it's eye-catching but affordable. 

Why you must own one - Fills both the role of daily use pen, and classy accessory

Price: 14.99 from

5. Hero Gold Dragon Pen

Made by Hero, a high end manufacturer from Shanghai.  This is a quality, decorative, pen that showcases its heritage.  Features a two tone, gold plated nib and gold plated accents.  Still affordable enough for daily use, but higher quality than the other options on this list, it's sure to impress.

Why you must own one - Makes a great gift and conversation starter

Price: $39.00 from