What Makes a Fountain Pen Worth the Money?

Many may remember the feeling before they decided to buy their first pen, that hesitation to make the leap from inexpensive, possibly office- or school-supplied writing utensils to the more costly, "fancier" fountain pen. While there are many benefits to these great tools, it is also a bit of a push to finally dive into the hobby. In this slice, Brian shares his beliefs on what makes fountain pens worth the money and how you can decide if you're ready to take the plunge.

The first big question you must ask is "What are you trying to achieve by purchasing this pen?" There are a whole host of reasons to want to buy a fountain pen. Maybe you want to reduce your waste and stop trashing disposable pens when they run out, maybe you want to have a sturdier or better looking pen to use in your daily life, maybe you're rewarding yourself for a job well done. Whatever the reason, something brought you to the threshold of buying your first pen and you can start by determining what that is and how badly you want to make this purchase happen.

What do you plan on doing with the pen? Fountain pens are much sturdier and longer lasting than the pens many use in daily life. They are an attractive option because they write well and they feel better in the hand for long writing sessions. You may also admire how well they are created and the thought and attention to detail in designing a well-balanced and appealing pen. There is also an element of quality and practicality to fountain pens that disposable pens don't have. These pens are meant to be carried around and pulled out to use in all situations. They are not the type of pens you'll leave laying around and lose. Fountain pens last for a very long time, maybe even generations. Some fountain pen users will tell you of their first pen being handed down from a parent or grandparent. These pens are built to last and keep on writing for years on end.

What are you willing to give up to get this pen? Is the idea of using a fountain pen more appealing to you than, say, the missed cups of coffee or lunches out you'll have to sacrifice to save up and buy the pen? The joy and pride of owning and writing with a fountain pen can far surpass some of these things if you truly fall in love with the hobby of using pens. Finding the pen in the perfect shade, shape or material that just sets your heart aflutter and makes you excited to use it is one of the best feelings. Your pens even become part of who you are and how you present yourself. Fountain pens are also a great way to reward yourself for a job well done or reaching an important milestone, like graduation or a promotion at work.

multiple colors of the LAMY AL-Star fountain pens

Some of the other reasons for buying pens include picking up a Limited Edition or Special Edition pen before it sells out, reconnecting with a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era, or feeling attracted to the materials used in the pen. Many of the special and limited editions sell very quickly and it is one of the worst feelings to miss out on those pens when you've fallen in love with it. These pens only grow in value, both monetary and covetousness, after the supply is depleted and it can be a sense of pride to have been part of the select group to obtain one. Fountain pens are also often associated with a vintage vibe or something our grandparents used. Using these writing implements can make you feel like they are in tune with a simpler time and slowing things down. There are also some pretty nifty materials used to create pens these days (Lava, anyone?) and you can't help but fall in love with some of them. It is perfectly reasonable to buy a pen simply because the swirled acrylic or other captivating material just speaks to you!

One of the key components to deciding if fountain pens are worth it for you is to educate yourself. Read up or watch videos about the care and maintenance of the pens, check out quick looks to see what makes the pen special, learn what inks you can use with the pen. The more you dive into the hobby, the more you can decide if it interests you and if you want to partake. The simple truth is that when you see for yourself that the pen is worth it, then you will be ready to buy it without hesitation.