Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Scrumpt, Apr 13, 2010.
pen. Whats a good entry level model under $500. fountain? roller? twist?
Faber Castell Ambition fountain pen is probably my favorite. Writes great, looks even better, and isn't old man looking like most Montblancs
def gonna consider one of these
8> 4 > 6 (from the top)
If you're a guido with too much money to spend, maybe.
Does ed hardy make pens?
why would anyone spend $500 on a pen?
I really like my Pelican. It was ~$150. Rollerball. Real pleasure to write with.
I steal pens from work.
i write with a cross
$40 from gilt and i had credit so free
LOL i used to do that with my G2s also. except i stuffed em in a limited edition baller-er g2
oh snap, way to 1-up me bro
I would recommend the MB Star Walker. I can't tell you enough how much I love my platinum/rubber model.
what makes these pens so great?
It's the writing equivalent of wearing a premium watch. It's heft, balance, feel, fit and finish are pretty nice just holding it and it writes smooth as hell. Then pair a fine material of platinum (shines and appears brighter than polished steel, nickel or chrome) with unique inlays of rubber in a grenade-like fashion and it really is something stunning. Every now and then, one and my co-workers will ask to use a pen to sign something and as soon as I hand it over, they do a double take and compliment it.
Really, it's overkill if a pen under a few bucks makes you more than happy; just like a timex tells time just fine so there is no reason to consider something like IWC. However, if you desire something a bit nicer, there are a lot of options. All depends on your budget. When it comes to dropping around $500 on a nice pen, it's all down to personal preference because at that price point, they are all pretty damn good. They just have different characteristics that appeal to each individual. For me, I would visit a boutique and the MBTW would jump out at me every time. I fell in love and eventually got one.
what do you do for a living?
You have a nibble on your line there, troll.
I probably shouldn't show you my collection of $500 flashlights then.
For everyday writing the Pilot G2s are great, but I also have a Cross Century gunmetal/brass that I got as a high school graduation present, and a Mont Blanc Pix that I got as a college graduation present. I keep a tiny Valiant Concepts EDC Pen in my pocket for those times when I need to jot something down at the hardware store or whatever.
<<< click me
It's a great little pen -- harder than hell to hold, but it uses a special Fisher refill and it makes it impossible to not have a pen handy when I need one.
Anyway, back to the question: Mont Blancs are nice, but not so much better than other pens that they're worth paying out the ass for, unless you really really want the little six-pointed snow peak on the cap. If I wanted to buy a fountain pen, I'd probably get this one made by Pilot:
<<< click me
this i can get behind.
I would talk to more people on the subject who review pens. First, go down to Staples and buy a pack of Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. For $3/pen you can decide whether or not you like using a fountain pen. It uses capillary action rather than bearing down on the paper (like a rolling ball mechanism), so you "glide" over the paper as you write instead of pressing down. This means you can write for hours without any discomfort, as opposed to a couple of minutes with a rolling ball.
Problem is, there is a little bit of maintenance that comes with this. It's not grand, but if you like buying cartridge refills and "no no-sense" maintenance and don't use your pen for any longer than a couple of minutes, then a rolling ball is fine. However, if you do use your pen for quite a bit daily, I wouldn't consider using one any longer. Fountain pens are the way to go.
Firstly, Mont Blancs are expensive mistakes. High cost, high cost maintenence, high cost ink... so on. They have cool nibs and a decent build, but for 90% less you can get a Lamy Safari, which users have claimed write as good or better than their MB 146 or 149. The cost of the Safari (in your choice of colors), the convertor (this let's you choose ink out of bottles, rather than limiting your selection of colors that comes from carts), and a couple bottles of ink should be ~50-60$. That's WAY less than a MB for "as good as or superior quality".
If it's too cheesy looking for you, another beginner's choice that often leads to "go to" pens for users is a Parker 51. They don't make these anymore, but plenty are reconditioned and thrown up on ebay for under $100, or a completely restored one for about $150. I think they write better than the Safari, but the filling system shows it's age, and it's hard to know when you are running low on ink.
First I'd rummage around www.fountainpennetwork.com for reviews, insights, etc. Many people on the page own 146s and 149s and you'll quickly see that they are hardly a favorite or even the best. Then I'd check to see what shades of inks you like if you go the fill-it-yourself route (which I highly suggest). Then, if you REALLY want to extend your experience, look into jotters and notepads from brands friendly to fountain pens: I like Rhodia and Clairefontaine.
My final thought is that pens don't really make the person or the experience. There's a really diminished return on how much you pay: the difference between a $1 disposable pen and a $30 fountain is HUGE. Between a $30 and $60 is a noticeable difference. Between $60 and $100 may not be present, and the difference between $100 and $500, and $1000, or even $275,000 pen is nothing (except the uses of gold, precious metals, etc... which don't add to the experience). Moreso than the joy of writing is the way to make it uniquely you: have your own color of ink you can't find at any staples or boardroom. Choose a nib size that writes fatter or thinner than what you normally find. Use cursive, calligraphy, make it unique. But the pen only holds and lays down the ink: it's the user's input that makes the writing special.
Well, you still have to press down on the paper slightly with a fountain pen to open the nib, and if the pen you're using doesn't have rounded tips on the nib this can cause the nib to dig into the paper and sometimes tear it. That might not matter for calligraphy, where there's a proper way to draw each letter, but for scribbling down notes it's a pain in the ass. So I wouldn't bother with a cheap fountain pen, that's for damn sure.
Lamy fountain pens have a "saddle" for your fingers to rest in, which is a nice thing to have considering a fountain pen requires you to hold it at a certain rotation for it to work properly, so that's a good brand.
Ultimately, anything that uses liquid ink is going to be higher-maintenance than normal, because you can get air bubbles in the feed tube, the ink can dry easily and clog things up, changing colors (for refillables) is a pain what with having to bleed out the old color before adding the new one, etc. For just everyday writing, I still think gel-ink rollerballs are the way to go. I remember when gels first came out when I was starting high school; I think I borrowed one from a classmate and I was stunned by how much better they were -- finally a pen I could write with that didn't tire out my hand! I bought a pack and never went back to ballpoints or pencils.
Gels are zero-maintenance and they roll easily and they don't spill. A Mont Blanc may have panache, but a Pilot G2 says you're trying to get things done with a minimum of fuss, and any experienced businessman is going to respect that more than a snow-peaked pen cap.