8 Underrated Pens For $50 or Less

Getting a great writing experience doesn't have to cost a fortune. If you're ready to take a leap into the fine writing world with a new fountain pen, you're going to want to see these options. Below we've gathered a list of performance-packed pens that we think don't get enough love, but also won't break the bank. Is your new favorite in this collection? Keep reading to find out!

Jinhao 993 Shark Pen

Assorted Rainbow color Jinhao shark fountain pens uncaped

This terrifically fun pen will make writing an adventure without taking a big bite out of your budget. Very affordable, you can have a pen that Brian Goulet considers "one of the best value writing experiences" he's ever tried. The hooded EF nib and triangular grip are a dream to write with. This pen comes in an impressive variety of colors and with a converter included. If eyedropper pens with impressive capacities are more your style, the Shark pen can do that too! Our Eyedropper conversion video will show you how! Want to learn more about these fun pens? Check out Brian's Overview video here.

Diplomat Magnum

Assorted fountain pens from Diplomat uncapped

It's almost unbelievable that the high-quality Diplomat Magnum is a great value. These German-made fountain pens come in a variety of nib sizes and provide a great writing experience, no matter your nib preference. They are quite lightweight, only 14g overall! The rainbow of available colors is sure to offer a choice for everyone.

Kaweco Sport

Kaweco sport assorted fountain pens on tropical colored background

With a few different models to choose from, there's sure to be a Kaweco Sport model for everyone. You can choose from the Classic Sport with its timeless colors and gold trim, the Skyline Sport in silver trim and stylish color choices, or the Frosted Sport, which features a translucent body, silver trim, and tropical color themes. These are perfect pocket pens for on-the-go writing and feature a smooth writing JoWo nib.

Noodler's Ahab

Clear Noodler's Ahab fountain pen on notebook with assorted ink samples surrounding it

This is one of the most affordable flex nibs we offer and is a great place to start for aspiring calligraphers. It can be a bit finicky and isn't for those who want a pen that works right off the bat, as the Noodler's pens might require a little tinkering to get it right. The Ahabs can be eyedropper converted, however, which gives a HUGE 6ml ink capacity. 

Pilot Kaküno

Pilot Kaküno fountain pens uncapped

Although marketed to children in Japan, this pen is great for fun-loving writers of all ages. The smiley face nibs and bright color options give the Kaküno a whimsical feel. You can even swap the barrels and caps around between pens to make your own custom color combination. The reliable steel nib will also be a favorite for all types of writing tasks.

LAMY logo

LAMY logo fountain pen

If you're used to using a mechanical pencil prior to making the leap to fountain pens, the LAMY logo might be the best pen for you. The slim, metal body and textured grip will feel quite similar to your previous writing instrument, but with a noticeably smoother flow on ink. This sleek pen is compatible with LAMY replacement nibs, so you can switch up your writing style as much as you want. Here's a video showcasing the easy nib swapping technique.


TWSBI Mini fountain pen on drawing of a G

TWSBI is definitely a brand chock full of value pens! The Mini is often overlooked in favor of the popular 580/580AL/580ALR models but is a great pen in its own right. This smaller demonstrator is a piston filler with an impressive ink capacity and affordable price. There is a huge variety of nib sizes to choose from as well.

Monteverde Tool Pen

Uncapped Monteverde Tool Pen close up with screws

Probably the most unique pen on our list, the Monteverde Tool Pen comes equipped with a host of helpful accessories for your next home improvement project. In addition to a functional writing nib, this pen has two screwdriver bits, a few different styles of rulers, a touchscreen stylus, and a bubble level. It makes a great gift for a loved one or yourself.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about these great pens. Maybe there are even some new options for you to try in this list!