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Fountain Pen

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bearsfan172, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. StopPolloition

    StopPolloition Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    Has no one ever had their fountain pen leak? I am terrified at even the thought of using one.

    No, it shouldn't leak. The clip places it vertically in your jacket pocket where the ink drains down with gravity in the reservoir. If you are throwing it in your pocket tip down, then you may have a problem as the shaking or movement while walking may cause it to leak, although IMO a good quality fountain pen still should not actually drip in this position either.
     
  2. hamish5178

    hamish5178 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    798
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    If your pen is leaking, chances are you did something really stupid, or it's insanely cheap, or you went on an airplane with it full.

    To the OP, I'd advise against getting something vintage as your first pen. There's no point in going through all of that hassle. The $20 one from Amazon would be fine for your first, and those will all be cartridge/converter. However for your second pen, I'd get something quality that doesn't use a converter (ie, skip that step altogether) they are messy and a pain.

    I currently use a Pelikan m215 and highly reccomend it. It has a quality piston filling mechanism, and the fine nib writes perfectly smoothly. If you have messy handwriting I would not suggest going for a medium nib, that will only make things worse.
     
  3. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mellonville, Canada
    Try one of these:

    [​IMG]

    Seriously though, depending on your writing style - the Heroes are cheap and cheerful.


    Nice!!! I am a Parker Vacumatic/51/75 and Pelikan fan but these Wahls are gorgeous.
     
  4. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mellonville, Canada
    I'd recommend finding a good used Parker 51. You can often find a decent one ebay for around $50.00.

    I'd recommend learning about the subtle differences in production years, so that you know what to look for. The following sites are quite good:

    http://www.parker51.com/
    http://www.vintagepens.com/Parker_51.shtml

    I have a Parker 51 from the 50's and it writes beautifully. It is easy to refill, not fussy, and the hooded nib makes it very reliable as it helping keep the ink from drying. It's my favourite workhorse pen.

    As with many other hobbies or interests, don't cheap out. If you buy a crummy pen at the get-go, it will ruin your perception of all fountian pens.

    Best of luck.


    Another vote for the Parker 51 I have over 15 of them ranging from a black Vacumatic filler from 1942 to an early 1970s British MK III with a nice wet broad nib only the British Parker plant could do.

    Another brand to consider is Pelikan, their Souveran line is piston fill like the Mont Blanc 146 and 149 and I consider them better quality than the White Snow cap brand.

    Modern Pelikans

    The Penguin
    a great information and online site for Pelikan and Parker pens.

    Have fun, fountain pens can be safer, not cheaper than drugs.
     
  5. Twotone

    Twotone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,019
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    "...or you went on an airplane with it full." Full is a safe way to travel on an airplane with a fountain pen (empty is good too) as there is little air in the cartridge/converter to expand as cabin pressure decreases forcing out the ink. Half-full is the worst. In all cases...keep your tips up! Back to the OP and question at hand. I recommend starting with a Waterman Phileas -- a very reasonably priced starter pen that writes as well as much higher priced pens. Looks more expensive than it is. I have much more expensive pens in rotation, but still keep coming back to the Phileas. Most of the times my fountain pens are in my briefcase. On the occasion I need to carry one in a suit pocket, I use a vinyl pocket protector (my MIT days are showing). It is, however, on an inside pocket where no one can see it. Never had a pen leak, but I'm prepared if one does. Twotone
    If your pen is leaking, chances are you did something really stupid, or it's insanely cheap, or you went on an airplane with it full. To the OP, I'd advise against getting something vintage as your first pen. There's no point in going through all of that hassle. The $20 one from Amazon would be fine for your first, and those will all be cartridge/converter. However for your second pen, I'd get something quality that doesn't use a converter (ie, skip that step altogether) they are messy and a pain. I currently use a Pelikan m215 and highly reccomend it. It has a quality piston filling mechanism, and the fine nib writes perfectly smoothly. If you have messy handwriting I would not suggest going for a medium nib, that will only make things worse.
     
  6. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Has no one ever had their fountain pen leak? I am terrified at even the thought of using one.
    No, I've never had a problem with a modern fountain pen leaking, even on airplanes. The problems I have had have been of my own making. I'm a devoted fan of Pelikan pens, and I use them pretty much exclusively.
     
  7. Bentley

    Bentley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Has no one ever had their fountain pen leak? I am terrified at even the thought of using one.

    Older fountain pens were known to have leaking problems. Pens manufactured after about 1940 don't tend to exhibit these same issues.
     
  8. bearsfan172

    bearsfan172 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Thanks for all the useful input. I'm going to try and take a look at the Waterman Phileus and the Lamy Safari and try and pick one of those up soon
     
  9. KlezmerBlues

    KlezmerBlues Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    There is also an increased risk of leakage if you get a pen with converter, and fill it by removing it from the pen. If you fill it by dipping the nib, they should not be more messy than other filling mechanisms. They do not hold that much ink though, which is why I prefer piston, lever, button or snorkel mechanisms.
     
  10. caldervale

    caldervale Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    89
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    +1 for Pelikan - can't be beaten in my book.
     
  11. singlechange

    singlechange Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    I've been using and collecting fountain pens for about five years now. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would use Richard Binder as my information source. He is a very respected fountain pen collector and repairs pens too and has a blog and sales inventory of vintage and modern pens. At the first day of every month he puts out a tray of nice pens for sale and they are gone in hours of showing. But the best thing about getting a pen from Richard is that he services and adjusts and tunes each pen to bring out its inherent characteristics, whether new or vintage. My current fav is not a Binderized pen but I did learn so much from him to get to the point where I knew what I really wanted and really liked.
     
  12. derekzee

    derekzee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    89
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    vintage sheaffers are good value.
     
  13. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,364
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    I've been using and collecting fountain pens for about five years now. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would use Richard Binder as my information source. He is a very respected fountain pen collector and repairs pens too and has a blog and sales inventory of vintage and modern pens. At the first day of every month he puts out a tray of nice pens for sale and they are gone in hours of showing. But the best thing about getting a pen from Richard is that he services and adjusts and tunes each pen to bring out its inherent characteristics, whether new or vintage. My current fav is not a Binderized pen but I did learn so much from him to get to the point where I knew what I really wanted and really liked.
    I bought a pen from him. He's top notch.
     
  14. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,411
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I've been using and collecting fountain pens for about five years now. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would use Richard Binder as my information source. He is a very respected fountain pen collector and repairs pens too and has a blog and sales inventory of vintage and modern pens. At the first day of every month he puts out a tray of nice pens for sale and they are gone in hours of showing. But the best thing about getting a pen from Richard is that he services and adjusts and tunes each pen to bring out its inherent characteristics, whether new or vintage. My current fav is not a Binderized pen but I did learn so much from him to get to the point where I knew what I really wanted and really liked.

    Richard Binder is one of many good sellers but there others I would go to first. Go and have a look at pentrace for a less formal pen forum. They have quite an active selling forum and you can pick up all sorts of pens there, new/ vintage or pricey/ cheap.

    Regarding my small collection of Eversharp Coronets, it just seemed to happen by accident...
     
  15. ducatisteve

    ducatisteve Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    I have a Lamy Al-Star (the aluminum version of the plastic Safari recommended earlier), and although it worked fine when I purchased it, a few months later it began skipping like crazy. I tried every cleaning trick in the book and after nothing worked, it now sits in a shoebox, unused. I do also have a Lamy 2000 that works perfectly.

    If I were to recommend a brand for you to start out with (in your budget), it would definitely be a Waterman. You can pick up a Phileas or Graduate model for well under $50 and have a smooth writing, fun pen. But you have to remember that half of the writing pleasure comes from writing on good paper, so head to your local B&N or Target to pick up a Moleskine or Rhodia notebook.
     
  16. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,411
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I found moleskin to be fountain pen unfriendly
     
  17. hansonho

    hansonho Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Try one of these:

    [​IMG]

    Seriously though, depending on your writing style - the Heroes are cheap and cheerful.


    WOW! those look great what pens?
     
  18. hamish5178

    hamish5178 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    798
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    I found moleskin to be fountain pen unfriendly

    That would, of course, depend on what ink you are using. I have no bleeding (or feathering) issues with my Moleskine and Pelikan ink.
     
  19. Bentley

    Bentley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    I found moleskin to be fountain pen unfriendly

    +1
     
  20. Bentley

    Bentley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Never knew there were so many fountain pen enthusiasts here on SF.

    This is awesome!

    [​IMG]
     

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