Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Fountain Pens*

J Herbin Tempete fountain pen

*But Were Afraid To Ask

So it's April Fool's Day but this is not a joke. It's time to introduce our monthly theme for April and this month we've put our spotlight on fountain pens, and specifically why you should consider giving them a go. You may have once used them many moons ago, before your smartphone ruled your life, or maybe you've never picked one up. Ever. Possibly the nearest you get to a pen these days is an gunge-encrusted Bic biro stuck in a grubby pen pot of Bic biros. Now the Bic biro has a place in the stationery world as do all ballpoint pens, but fountain pens are just not comparable. Yes they're both pens, but one serves a basic, grubby purpose (there's not much point trying to use your fountain pen to sign for deliveries in the warehouse, or leaving it lying around on your desk for others to 'borrow'), and one actually does something to improve your writing, to make you appreciate that writing is more than just a function.

Lamy Al-Star fountain pen

Here's a quick hit list of why fountain pens are something you should consider trying:

  • They make writing more enjoyable
  • They will improve your writing
  • They will slow you down just a fraction, sometimes a good thing in our rushed lives
  • They will make others cast envious glances your way
  • They will make you the centre of attention in a business meeting as everyone asks about your pen
  • They will be the means by which you discover ink, itself a whole new world of pleasure and discovery
  • They may just unlock something inside you that wants to discover more about the act of writing itself
  • They will help you come the day civilisation loses all power and needs to revert back to written communication - you will be the leader of many people simply because you can write with a fountain pen, or simply because you own a fountain pen
  • You will become an expert in a field you never knew you could be an expert - pens, nibs, feeds, tines and more

This is just a list off the top of my head and there may be many more reasons out there. The point of what we will turn our attention to this month is that you shouldn't be put off fountain pens because you see them as something other people use. Buy one, own one, use one just occasionally and they will add to your life. You may not become obsessive but you will hopefully know a bit more about them, and they will be just that bit less...well, scary.

Lamy Safari fountain pen

We will introduce you to some people who themselves love fountain pens, some of them having only recently re-discovered them. We will highlight some classic pens worth looking at. We will provide some useful guides on how to look after your pen. And we will bring you some new fountain pen ranges.

So keep your eyes peeled, maybe sign up for our newsletter or for blog updates, or both.

Visit Bureau Direct and check out our fountain pens now if you just can't wait.

5 thoughts on “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Fountain Pens*”

  • Alex Ball

    The only problem with fountain pens, is that once you find one that suits you - you never "need" another pen in your life. In my case I've been using the same Lamy Safari for over 20 years - it was a present for my 25th birthday and still serves me well. It's had the nib replaced and looks likely to soldier on for decades to come.
    I have bought a second one as a "spare" which lives at home and gets regular use as well. I'm tempted by other pens - but am too attached to old faithful!

  • Wal Callaby

    Thanks to Bureau Direct I have recently taken to using a fountain pen for work. Not for jottings and scribbled notes, no- that's a job for the Palomino Blackwing- but for signing letters. I send quite a few, and insist that anything I write goes out over my signature, not the automatically-applied one of the Ops Mgr. Slows me down a little, but looks fabulous!

    Now- where did I last see blotting paper?

  • farmkiti

    I am a true fountain pen >(nut)< aficionado. I own probably about 50 fountain pens and I use all of them at least once a week for journaling and just anything I need to write. I also own about 30 bottles of ink. Hey, you gotta have lots of beautiful inks for that many fountain pens, right? (That's what I tell my husband, anyway.) Seriously, who's counting? There are so many beautiful pens out there, and they all write differently, it's fun to experience as many as possible. I am "fine-tuning" my interest and now only buy pens that I know will be "good writers." After collecting them a while, I have discovered the frustration of a badly-made nib, so I now only buy those that I am pretty sure will have excellent nibs on them. The nib makes all the difference; a good one makes you want to keep writing.

    • Dominic

      You use all 50 once a week? Impressive. I'm working on it... What would be your recommendation as a first fountain pen for someone to try?

  • Alisa Huang

    Thank you for writing this blog. I've been wanting to buy a fountain pen for the longest time now and my sister and I are huge fans of anything stationary. So this blog encouraged me to buy a fountain pen even more. Thank you so much for writing this blog!!

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