Fountain pen enthusiasts are always on the hunt for a new writing experience. Even those with an affection for fine or medium nibs can sometimes reach outside their comfort zone and try an italic or broad nib. While there are hundreds of fountain pen options out there, finding a unique but still pleasurable writing experience can be a challenge.
Luckily, at Goulet Pens, we offer a world of different fountain pen options. If you are looking to get out of your old writing zone and experience something new, try changing your writing instrument! We’ve put together a collection of 10 options, sure to spice up your writing experience. Who knows? You may even find a new favorite!
Extra-Fine: Pilot Vanishing Point (EF)
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku|
If you’re looking for an extra-fine nib, the ever-popular Pilot Vanishing Point is a great affordable and unique option to try. This nib is a Japanese-ground, so the extra-fine will be much finer than other pens, especially those with European nibs. Because of the nib size and the amount of ink it puts out, this is an excellent pen to use on more absorbent paper or cheaper paper.
The retractable nib on the VP lends itself perfectly for everyday writing, especially short, quick notes or memos. Additionally, it comes in a variety of color choices and even has swappable nib units if you want to try a broader nib eventually. You can find the Pilot Vanishing Point in a variety of colors at GouletPens.com starting at $148.
Broad: TWSBI Eco (Broad)
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo|
While broad nibs aren’t the most popular, the TWSBI Eco broad offers the chance to try this unique writing style at an affordable price. One of the best benefits of writing with a broad nib is that they almost always offer a smooth writing experience due to the increased surface area on the tip of the nib. That’s certainly the case with the TWSBI Eco as the broad nib features a stiff stainless steel nib that writes wet.
With the benefits also comes a few drawbacks. Combining a wet nib with absorbent paper can result bleed through or feathering, but if you’re using a paper that can handle the ink, you’ll get some great color variation (especially with shimmering inks). At GouletPens.com, you can grab a TWSBI Eco for just under $29.
Dip Pens: J. Herbin Glass Dip Pens
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai|
Now for something completely different! J. Herbin glass dip pens offer fountain pen ink fun without the hassle of an ink reservoir. They are completely handmade, so there can be some variation. There is no standard ‘fine’ or ‘medium’ tip or nib designation for them, but they do tend to be pretty wet writers.
The glass dip pens work because they are fluted, meaning they have grooves in the tip that holds the ink when you dip the pen into the ink. When putting the tip to paper, capillary action draws the ink down the grooves and onto the paper, leaving a mark. Because of this, you may need to turn the pen in your hand as you’re writing to get a groove to touch the paper.
Glass dip pens are great for ink sampling! Additionally, if you are in a hurry and don’t want to ink up an entire pen, you can still write a message. All in all, they give you a pretty stiff writing experience that might have some tooth to it. You can pick one up at GouletPens.com for around $25.
Brush Pens: Platinum Brush Pens
|Ink: Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin|
For those who want a huge variety in line width, check out the Platinum brush pens! Synthetic or natural hair fibers will act as the ‘nib’ and wick the ink down from the reservoir to the tip. By using just the very tip of the fibers, you can achieve an incredibly fine line, but if you press down (or hold it at an angle) you can get a juicy broad line and wet swath of ink.
Clearly not meant for signing documents, the Platinum brush pens excels in creative ventures like drawing or calligraphy. Ranging from $40-$65, these are must try for any creative types out there.
Italic Nib: Aurora Ipsilon (1.2mm Italic)
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri|
The Aurora Ipsilon is offered with a crisp italic nib that is ground to be square on the edges. Because of the grind, it offers a unique and toothy writing experience. It’s also very sensitive to the angle and rotation by your hand as you hold the pen. Some people love the feeling of feedback when using this pen, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a super smooth writing experience, you may want to pass on this one.
The benefits of using this italic nib is you can get very crisp line variation. The cross stroke will be thin while the down stroke will be wide, creating clear line variation in your writing. We offer this pen at GouletPens.com for just under $100.
Soft Nib: Pilot Falcon
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao|
While not quite a flex pen, the Pilot Falcon gives beautiful line variation with its soft nib. The amount of pressure you apply controls the width of the line, giving you good control in your writing. You may be tempted to emulate other flex nibs you see online, but be cautious as you can spring the tines on this pen if you’re applying too much pressure.
Featured in a classic design and backed by fantastic quality control by Pilot Pens, the Falcon is a great pen if you’re looking for a bit of line variation. Find it at GouletPens.com for $140.
|Ink: Diamine Meadow|
Noodler’s changed the fountain pen game with the introduction of the Nib Creaper and, subsequently, the Konrad, offering an affordable modern flex pen in a world where only expensive vintage fountain pens offered true flex nibs. The stainless steel flex nib on these pens offers a substantial amount of line variation. Because of the nib material, you do have to be pretty intentional when flexing the nib to get the line width, but using a lower pen angle can help get you the line variation you are looking for.
Stub Nib: Pilot Metropolitan (1.0mm Stub)
|Ink: J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor 1670 Anniversary Ink|
Brand new to the scene, the ever dependable, highly favored Pilot Metropolitan is now available in a 1.0mm stub nib option. This stub is a bit more rounded than the crisp italic nib on the Aurora Ipsilon, but still offers some line variation on the cross and down strokes.
Because it’s more forgiving on the pen rotation, this is a more reasonable everyday carry. If you’re familiar with the stub nib on the Pilot Plumix or Prera, it writes very similarly to that. Offered at GouletPens.com for $15, this is an affordable option to spice up your writing.
Thin Stub: Nemosine Singularity (0.6mm Stub)
|Ink: Noodler’s Army Green|
The Nemosine Singularity with a 0.6mm stub nib is a pen that sits in the ‘best of both worlds’ category. With the thinner stub offering, you can have a daily writer that resembles a medium nib, but can also produce some line variation when needed.
With this nib, you can even produce some ‘faux-calligraphy’. You don’t really have to change your writing style, but the nib will produce line variation that gives off that impression. The Goldilocks of nibs, the Nemosine Singularity can be found at GouletPens.com and is yours for under $25.
Thick ‘Stub’: Pilot Parallel
|Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki|
While not as functional as an everyday writer, the Pilot Parallel fountain pens offer something completely unique. These pens lack a conventional nib but have 2 (parallel!) plates that can produce sharper hand-lettering. The Parallel fountain pens come in a variety of thicknesses: 1.5mm, 2.4mm, 3.8mm, 6.0mm. Especially with the thicker plates, these are very fun to use when trying out calligraphy.
For another trick, check out this GPC video that shows you can blend 2 ink colors by touching the tips of 2 Parallel pens. Grab these pens that offer a unique writing experience at an affordable price. Purchase them individually for $10 or get the whole set for $32 GouletPens.com.
From the extra-fine on the Pilot Vanishing Point to the thick stub on the Pilot Parallel, each of these options will add a little something new to your normal fountain pen line up.
What pen offers your favorite unique writing experience? Let us know in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team