10 Jan 2017

a ranking of all the fountain pens in my collection

Today, I've decided to rank the fountain pens in my collection and let me begin by saying: this was a hard thing to do. As a result, I've decided to only do a top 10 as ranking them all was just too hard! If I have multiples of the same pen, I've just ranked that as one (it's not cheating, I promise!). So here we go! I've linked to the relevant blog post for each pen so you can see how much my opinion has changed for each one now that I've owned them all for a longer period of time.

10) Platinum Plaisir
A run of the mill entry-level fountain pen. I don't particularly like the grip as it's too slippery and as a result, this pen rarely gets used.

9) Lamy Al-Star
Originally, I didn't think the weight of it would bother me but when I've been used to my Lamy Safari on placement, this one just hasn't seen much use at all.

8) Pilot Vanishing Point
This pen is absolutely beautiful to look at and the fine nib makes my handwriting look amazing. The retractable nature of it is super convenient because it saves those few seconds of uncapping and capping each time my pen is used. However, I've come to appreciate a cheaper pen for daily use because of the sheer amount of times I've had to lend a pen to someone else.

7) Pilot Prera
I absolutely love this pen but there's just something missing? I love the price point, the nib and the design but it just feels like the Pilot Kakuno that's more expensive. The only difference appears to be the presence of a pen clip. Still ranks higher than the Platinum Plaisir, Lamy Al-Star and Pilot VP because I use it more.

6) Pelikan M400
I bought myself this pen as a 25th birthday present and I think it'll be my 'consultant' pen (hopefully, I'll get there!). For now, it is all inked up and pretty on my desk. I love the design and though the nib is thicker than I would've liked, it actually doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Maybe I'm just blinded by how beautiful the pen is.

5) TWSBI 580AL Diamond in Purple
Another beautifully designed pen! It was my first, and only, piston fountain pen so it'll always have a special place in my heart. This filling mechanism means that it rarely leaves the house though, as it's just not convenient for me. However, if I had a desk job, I wouldn't think twice! The purple accents are beautiful and the ink capacity is outrageous (but I still have nightmares of running out of ink at the wrong moment!).

4) Sailor Four Seasons Yukitsubaki
A totally fickle purchase but one I actually don't regret! The design is gorgeous (delicate pink flowers on a cream background?! Winner.) and the nib - a medium fine - writes smoothly. I always feel like a princess whenever I use this pen which, coincidentally, just isn't often enough! It's just a little too bling for daily use and I might actually use it as my journal pen this year instead.

3) Platinum 3776 Century Nice
I love the fine nib which writes a super fine line, I love the rose gold accents and I love the demonstrator design of it. Honestly, there isn't much wrong with this pen. It's just a little too luxurious looking for everyday use! (Not the worst complaint to have about a pen.)

2) Lamy Safari (Dark Lilac and Coral)
A workhorse of a pen for me! Both the dark lilac and coral see an awful lot of use. The cartridges are affordable, the pen itself is comfortable to hold and it is cheap enough for me to feel comfortable using it on the wards and on placement. One of my favourite fountain pens ever. If they made a nib that was thinner than their EF, I do think it would be the pen of my dreams.

1) Pilot Kakuno
Don't tell me this wasn't that predictable? The Pilot Kakuno is a cheap and cheerful offering which functions ridiculously well for its low price. Pilot nibs are my absolute favourite as the fine nibs actually do write a very fine line and the pens are always well made. The Kakuno comes in many different colour combinations so you just need to find your favourite (good luck with choosing just one) and go from there. The cartridges are also very affordable and the lack of pen clip doesn't actually bother me that much.

The one thing that separated the Pilot Kakuno from the Lamy Safari is the nib - the Kakuno just writes a much finer line which suits my tiny, ant-sized handwriting very well! The Safari forces me to write bigger and that just doesn't make me feel comfortable!

The ones that didn't make the list include: 
- Faber Castell Aqua OpArt Ambition - just too heavy and the nib just too thick.
- Parker 45 (which'll always have a place in my heart as my mum gave me hers when I was in high school. Unfortunately, the plastic portion of it cracked so I bought a replacement which never felt the same.)
- Kaweco Skyline Sport - too small and just doesn't write as well as the others in my top 10.

What's your favourite pen to use on a daily basis? :)


  1. The Lamy Al-Star has been the only fountain pen that works for me. I generally don't get on with fountain pens. I think the angle I hold a pen causes problems with them. My absolute favourite pens are Muji gel pens. They are the perfect pen as far as I am concerned. I live in fear of Muji no longer producing them! I have about 30 in my stash just in case!

  2. Thanks for your ranking! Generally, I agree with all of your assessments. With the pilot vanishing point, I find the position of the clip is a bit awkward when I am writing. I don't bring my fountain pens to work so I do use my nice pens quite a bit at home. The other pen, I find writes really well is my Monteverde Prima in fine.