• Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More) 5

Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK 2021 (Caran d'Ache, Parker and More)

It may surprise you to learn that in the age of keyboards and touchscreens, the humble fountain pen’s popularity is on the rise. This could be for several reasons, such as the fact they can reduce hand fatigue when writing or drawing for long periods, or perhaps because they’re better from an environmental point of view as they can last a lifetime.

 
The only obstacle is finding the right one. After all, this isn’t a purchase that someone makes too often, so you're likely unversed in the top brands of ink pens. To help out, we’ve put together a guide highlighting a fountain pen's most essential features, as well as the best buys on sale at Amazon, John Lewis and eBay from Caran d'Ache, Pilot, Lamy and more.

  • Last updated: 01-03-2021
  • 124 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Fountain Pen in the UK – Buying Guide

Of all the different styles of pens, it’s fair to say that the fountain pen is one of the most complicated. With this style, many components need considering, so before heading any further let’s get familiar with these and how they’ll affect your writing.  

Find a Nib Size to Suit Your Writing Style

Find a Nib Size to Suit Your Writing Style

The first place to start is the nib. This is the part of the fountain pen that makes contact with the paper and is thus a fundamental component that affects how comfortable one feels when writing with any given pen. 


The size of nibs available range from extra fine (EF or XF) to double broad (DB or 2B) with various stages in between. As you’d expect, the most popular nib size is medium (M), but while that suits most people, it’s not for everyone. 

Find a Nib Size to Suit Your Writing Style

As a general guideline, a person should look for a nib that matches the size of their handwriting. Therefore, if you have large, broad cursive, a broad nib would be a better option, while a narrower nib will suit those with smaller writing. 


The only time this wavers is if you’re a leftie. If this is the case, opting for a nib that is a little smaller than your handwriting could save you from smudging. This is because smaller nibs release less ink, and as a result, there will be less ink to sully. 

Different Nib Materials Offer Different Qualities

Sticking to the nib, you’ll next want to consider the material of the part. There are two favoured materials to weigh up here: stainless steel and gold. You may choose one or the other based on whether you're looking for a simple, everyday pen or whether you'd like to splash out, so let’s take a look at each individually to help you decide. 

Steel Nibs Are Robust, Inexpensive and Easy to Replace

Steel Nibs Are Robust, Inexpensive and Easy to Replace

Steel is the most common type of material used in fountain pen nibs. It’s durable and sturdy, but also inexpensive to replace should the pen be accidentally broken.

 
And while it may have been true that steel-nibbed pens weren’t as smooth as gold a few years ago, that’s not so much the case nowadays. That said, many of the well-regarded top-quality pens still prefer to employ gold as their material of choice, so you're more likely to find a steel nib on an everyday fountain pen than a luxury one. 

Gold Pens Are Adaptable and Luxurious but More Expensive

Gold Pens Are Adaptable and Luxurious but More Expensive

When it comes to companies producing their fanciest ranges of fountain pens, you’ll see that they will often elect for a gold nib. This not only gives the pen a classier finish, but it’s a superior material because it adapts over time to accommodate your handwriting. In turn, this will give you a more comfortable experience. 


Of course, as with anything gold, you can expect to pay much more, as they will typically use only the top-end 18, 23 or even 24 Karat gold, so they can easily cost well into the hundreds. If you're planning on gifting a pen or investing in something special though, why not go for gold? 

Choose Cartridges, Converters or Both for Refilling Your Pen's Ink

Choose Cartridges, Converters or Both for Refilling Your Pen's Ink

Next, you’ll want to consider how you get ink to your pen. Each pen has a reservoir inside, which is essentially a vessel for the ink. Most pens utilise a classic cartridge which can be swapped for a new one when it’s empty. These are quick, clean and convenient. However, they do create plastic waste, and you’ll be required to buy new cartridges forever, which will work out more expensive than ink over time. 

The other option is a converter. These pens use a refillable reservoir, which looks like a classic cartridge but works a little differently. A converter will allow you to alternate between different inks and save you money over time. The downside is that it’s not as convenient and can be a little messy while you’re getting acquainted with using it. 


Thankfully, some pens combine both of these functions. This versatility gives you more options, and essentially the best of both worlds as you can pick and choose when you want to use one or the other.  

Look for a Size and Weight to Satisfy Your Hand

Look for a Size and Weight to Satisfy Your Hand

Finally, you’ll want to consider the pen's size and weight. The average is around 17 cm, but if you like a longer, chunkier pen, look for one above this, and likewise, if you like smaller pens, look for a shorter one. Usually, you’ll find that people with larger hands find larger pens more comfortable and vice versa for those with smaller hands. 


After the size, you’ll want to think about the weight, which will be directly affected by both the dimensions and the materials used. Fountain pens can range from as low as 30 grams to as high as 300 grams, so there’s a whole range to choose from. 


While it does come down to personal preference, it is worth thinking about how long your writing sessions are, because if you need to write for longer, a heavier pen will bring on the fatigue much sooner. 

Top 10 Best Fountain Pens in the UK

Now you’re a little more clued up on what to look for in a fountain pen, let’s take a look at some of the best options out there today. While these pens can sometimes cost the price of a car, we’ve opted for more reasonable choices, though that’s not to say there isn’t great quality here! 

10
Size of NibMedium
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridge or converter
Length16.25 cm
Weight37.3 g
9

Faber-CastellGrip Edition B Fountain Pen

£25.00

Size of NibBroad (others available)
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridges and converters
Length23.5 cm
Weight80 g
8

ParkerUrban Fountain Pen

£27.99

Size of NibFine
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridge
Length17.7 cm
Weight118 g
7

WatermanExpert Fountain Pen With 23 k Gold Trim

£98.95

Size of NibMedium
Nib MaterialGold
Refilling MethodCartridge or converter
Length17 cm
Weight172 g
6
Size of NibFine
Nib Material23 karat gold
Refilling MethodCartridge (converter available separately)
Length17.1 cm
Weight33 g
5
Size of NibMedium
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridges
Length17.7 cm
Weight68 g
4

PilotCapless Medium Retractable Fountain Pen

£204.14

Size of NibExtra fine
Nib Material18 karat gold
Refilling MethodCartridge or converter
Length20.6 cm
Weight258 g
3

LamySafari Left-Hander Nib Fountain Pen

£21.99

Size of NibMedium (others available)
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridge
Length16 cm
Weight31.8 g
2

Faber-CastellAmbition Fountain Pen

£97.46

Size of NibBroad (others available)
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridge or converter
Length20 cm
Weight141 g
1

Caran d'AcheEcridor Retro Fountain Pen

£143.99

Size of NibMedium
Nib MaterialSteel
Refilling MethodCartridges or converter
Length15.2 cm
Weight240 g

Compare the Best Fountain Pens

Image
1
Caran d'Ache Ecridor Retro Fountain Pen 1

Caran d'Ache

2
Faber-Castell Ambition Fountain Pen 1

Faber-Castell

3
Lamy Safari Left-Hander Nib Fountain Pen 1

Lamy

4
Pilot Capless Medium Retractable Fountain Pen  1

Pilot

5
Parker Jotter Fountain Pen 1

Parker

6
Cross Wanderlust Fountain Pen 1

Cross

7
Waterman Expert Fountain Pen With 23 k Gold Trim 1

Waterman

8
Parker Urban Fountain Pen 1

Parker

9
Faber-Castell Grip Edition B Fountain Pen 1

Faber-Castell

10
Sheaffer Intensity Fountain Pen 1

Sheaffer

Name

Ecridor Retro Fountain Pen

Ambition Fountain Pen

Safari Left-Hander Nib Fountain Pen

Capless Medium Retractable Fountain Pen

Jotter Fountain Pen

Wanderlust Fountain Pen

Expert Fountain Pen With 23 k Gold Trim

Urban Fountain Pen

Grip Edition B Fountain Pen

Intensity Fountain Pen

Features

The Swiss Luxury Fountain Pen That Takes It up a Notch

A Unique Walnut Wood Body and Dual Ink Options

An Innovative Leftie Pen Under £50

A High-End, Modern Choice That's the First of Its Kind

A Great Beginners Fountain Pen to Get Started With

A Beautiful and Unique Design Makes This Perfect as a Gift

Watch as the Writing Glides Across the Page

An Affordable Option From One of the Best in the Biz

Chunky, Grippy and Ideal for Drawing or Writing

A Contemporary, Mid-Range Pen From the Heritage Range

Price£143.99£97.46£21.99£204.14£15.69£84.00£98.95£27.99£25.00£70.00
Size of NibMediumBroad (others available)Medium (others available)Extra fineMediumFineMediumFineBroad (others available) Medium
Nib MaterialSteelSteelSteel18 karat goldSteel23 karat goldGold SteelSteelSteel
Refilling MethodCartridges or converterCartridge or converterCartridgeCartridge or converterCartridgesCartridge (converter available separately)Cartridge or converterCartridgeCartridges and converters Cartridge or converter
Length15.2 cm 20 cm16 cm20.6 cm17.7 cm17.1 cm17 cm17.7 cm23.5 cm16.25 cm
Weight240 g 141 g 31.8 g 258 g 68 g 33 g 172 g118 g80 g37.3 g
Link

More Great Stationery for Writing and Drawing

More Great Stationery for Writing and Drawing

Writing with a good fountain pen can take your cursive from a scrawl to a smart sweep, but there are times when other pens or pencils will be more suitable for the task at hand. For more advice and recommendations on the best stationery for drawing, writing and more, take a look at the articles below. 

Summary

Thus concludes our article on the best fountain pens. We hope that you found the information in the buying not only informative but practical and applicable to your purchasing. Here's to you finding the right writing buddy that will ease your fatigue and have you looking sophisticated all at the same time!

Author: Lewis Clark

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