Top 10 Entry-Level Gold Nib Fountain Pens

Once you start into the fountain pen hobby, you realize that there's another level of fountain pens beyond the basic steel nibs: gold nib fountain pens. These pens start around $140 and go up from there, so I wanted to give you my personal favorites that are entry-level price (under $250) with 14k or 18k gold nibs.

A group of five fountain pens

Why gold nibs?

Why gold nibs? The gold is a softer metal than stainless steel, and will act sort of like a shock absorber when you're writing. It will typically make for a smoother writing experience. These pens I'm about to mention are the ones I think are the best value, to give you the best writing experience, most unique features, and best introduction into gold nib pens.

 

Top Recommendations:

In no particular order:

Pilot Custom 74

Colorful fountain pens lined up on a white background
  • I personally just really love the way this pen writes; it was my first gold nib pen
  • Multiple¬†fun demo color options
  • Attractive design
  • Takes the larger Pilot Con-70 converter with slightly higher ink capacity
  • Fantastic nibs

LAMY 2000

An open modern black fountain pen on a white envelope next to a yellow notebook
  • Classic design from 1966
  • Hooded nib stays wet for a long time
  • Very durable
  • Piston-filled
  • Snap cap
  • It does have a sweet spot that takes getting used to

Pilot Vanishing Point/Decimo

A group of retractable Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pens on a dark background
  • Not only affordable, but has a retractable nib!
  • Very convenient to use
  • Nice range of nibs (including a quality stub)
  • Tons of color options
  • VP is fatter/heavier, Decimo is lighter/slimmer but take the same nibs
  • Nibs are swappable
  • Not a huge ink capacity

Pilot Falcon

Colorful fountain pens in various positions
  • Classic design
  • Very unique soft nib
  • Popular among drawers, calligraphers, or anyone wanting line variation
  • Can be used as an "everyday" pen without flexing
  • Reliable and very light in the hand

Platinum #3776 Century

A neat angled lineup of colorful fountain pens
  • Classically designed pen
  • Several beautiful color and trim options
  • Slip-n-Seal cap which seals up amazingly well, preventing ink from drying out
  • Nibs are stiff and toothy, which feel really different than all these others (some may like this)

Pilot E95s

Two vintage-looking fountain pens, one open and one closed
  • Many of us here on the Goulet team LOVE this pen
  • Smaller, great for a pocket pen
  • Not advertised as soft, but the nibs feel pretty darn soft
  • Inlaid nib, throwback vintage-style design

Sailor Pro Gear Slim

A group of Sailor Pro Gear Slim colorful fountain pens

  • Available in a massive range of color options, probably the most of any Sailor pen model at this time
  • Reliable 14k gold nib, available in up to seven different sizes
  • Sailor converter included, also accepts ink cartridges
  • Flat-top design
  • Fairly small in size, more ideal for smaller hands

LAMY studio palladium

A group of LAMY studio fountain pens on a white background

  • LAMY studio comes in both steel and 14k gold nib options
  • Swappable nibs give more options
  • 14k gold nib is very wet writing!
  • Sleek design, snap cap
  • Annual limited edition colors

Sailor 1911S

Sailor 1911S fountain pens on a piece of paper

  • Available in a¬†wide range of color options,¬†with frequent new additions
  • Reliable 14k gold nib, available in up to seven different sizes
  • Sailor converter included, also accepts ink cartridges
  • Cigar-shape design

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf

Black fountain pens with nature/season maki-e designs
  • Basic maki-e techniques with gold leaf
  • Each themed after nature and seasons
  • Snap cap
  • Uses Platinum converter or ink cartridges

Videos:

To learn more about these pens and why we've chosen them, check out Brian's videos below! Our original list of 5 was made back in 2016, with a "sequel" published in 2021.

 

Summary:

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pens with steel nibs, and it's not to say you HAVE to buy a gold nib fountain pen to have a great writing experience. However, now you're a little more aware of some of my favorites! I hope this helps you feel more confident when you're ready to take the step to the next level.

Several fountain pens scattered around papers.

 

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