I love fountain pens so much. There’s something so satisfying about writing with a good pen, especially if you’re writing on good paper and can see some sheen on it. But we all can’t start with the more expensive pens. Heck, I’m still using the middling cost pens (even though I covet some of the ones over $1000). When I first got started looking at fountain pens, I was overwhelmed by the cost and amount of choices for them, so I’m going to try to make this simple for everyone. If you want the basic steps, check out my post of 5 simple steps for getting started with fountain pens.
Rule 1: Fountain pens are not just for calligraphy. You can get great fountain pens that are for every day use.
Rule 2: Fountain pens don’t need to be expensive. Budget fountain pens exist and we’re going to find the one that’s perfect for you!
I’ve previously talked about the best stores to order fountain pens from for Canadians and fountain pens on a budget, but here are the 5 best budget fountain pens on the market today. All of these have been tested by me, so I can attest to their quality. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Without further ado, here are the top 5~!
As always, please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. If you’re interested in buying the books, please consider clicking on them! They help keep the lights on.
5. Jinhao Shark
In terms of price, the Jinhao Shark can’t be beat. You can get a whole set of them for the same price as another one of these budget fountain pens. They’re lightweight and cute. They worked well when I had them. The thing is that they can be a little scratchy to write with and they dry out quickly. You won’t be able to get ink cartridges for these, you’ll have to get a bottle of ink. That said, for the price, they’re worth it. You’re not going to feel like you got a bad deal when you’re spending less than $4 per pen! I have two of them which I ended up giving away to my baby siblings and they love the shark design. Be careful not to use shimmer inks in these pens, since they’ll clog.
Current price: $19.11 on Amazon.ca
4. Lamy Safari
If you end up on a fountain pen forum or subreddit, you’ll find that there are a lot of people who love Lamy. It’s for a good reason too, they make great pens. I love my Lamy Al-Star with a passion. That said, since this is a budget list we’re going to focus on the Lamy Safari instead.
The Safari that I have works well and doesn’t dry out quickly. It will work both with cartridges or a converter so you can get the best of both worlds. The only complaint that I have about my Safari is that it doesn’t feel like a perfectly smooth writing experience. It can be a little scratchy. I still love it though and highly recommend the pen. Lamy is a high-quality brand and their pens are top notch. If you’re willing to put out a little more money though, I’d suggest a Lamy Al-Star instead (available on Amazon and Indigo). All of the benefits of the Safari, but with a smoother writing experience.
3. Hongdian 6013
Hongdian’s 6013 is a beautiful matte black fountain pen made out of titanium is incredibly solid and the pen I take with me on the go since it can take a beating. It’s still beautiful though and writes smoothly. It does not work with cartridges though and you’ll need to fill it up with bottled ink. It works well though, doesn’t dry up quickly and is built Ford tough, basically. Even though it’s not as well known of a brand in the fountain pen world, it holds its own against the other budget fountain pens. If you need a pen that you can throw in a bag and go, this is the pen for you. Just keep in mind that it’s made out of titanium. This means that it’s the heaviest pen on this list.
Current price: $31.99 on Amazon.
2. Pilot Kakuno
Known as one of the great beginner pens, Pilot Kakuno is one of the simplest pens to use. You can use it with cartridges or buy a converter for it which will allow you to use it with inks. Kakuno is incredibly reliable, but if you’re planning on writing with it, I wouldn’t go any wider than a medium nib. It’s light and easy to write with and doesn’t dry out quickly. My baby step-siblings are currently writing with Kakuno pens and they have no issues with them. On top of that, Pilot is a huge brand in stationary so you’ll be able to find ink for your pen easily.
Current price: $14.45 on Amazon.
1. Platinum Plaisir
If I had to choose one budget pen for the rest of my life, it would be the Plaisir. Platinum is my favourite brand by far and has never let me down. The quality is great, the writing is smooth and you can use cartridges or buy a converter for bottled ink. It doesn’t dry out quickly and I’ve been using mine for over a year without any issues. You can’t go wrong with the Kakuno or the Plaisir, but the Plaisir just feels nicer to write with for me. I prefer bottled ink to go with it, but you can buy platinum ink cartridges that will work perfectly with it.
Special Mention! Platinum Preppy
Honestly, if the Plaisir weren’t already on this list, the preppy would have been number one. It’s the cheapest pen aside from the Jinhao and it writes smooth. Everything the Plaisir can do, the Preppy can do. It’s just a little less sturdy because it’s a cheaper pen and writes a little less smooth. Still, if you’re looking for a beginner pen for under $10? This is the pen that you should buy from this list.
Do you have any suggestions or are there things you think I’ve missed? Leave a comment below. Or if you want more posts like this? Sign up today and never miss a post!