Ink Drop Soup: Pens are for Everyone

14 07 2013

Sometimes, in my pen socialization, I worry that I’m too poor for this hobby. I’m sitting there holding a pen in my hands and I think, “Here lies an entire month’s rent.” A passing concern flits through my mind—what if my pens are too cheap? I’ll be looked down upon as some plebeian poser, unfit to hobnob with people whose pens look like they belong in a castle.

I can't even afford a down payment on a fixer-upper castle

I can’t even afford a down payment on a fixer-upper castle

Well, for anyone else that has ever felt the same, I say: don’t think that way! The thing I love about pens is that they are truly for everyone. People with whom you have nothing else in common can be brought together over pens. Even your enemies, whose opinions you find almost vomitously odious, use pens—and that’s ok! That’s great! The pen stands as a point of shared humanity. As long as your language has a written form, you can use a pen. And if it doesn’t have a written form, you can draw. Pens are all inclusive; it doesn’t matter if it cost three dollars or three times my salary, when at the end of the day both pens write.


Shout out to my favorite cheapie pen of all time:

Delicious pens!





9 responses

15 07 2013

I hear you. I refuse to pay >$100 for a pen. I can’t. All I see is a mortgage payment or a credit card payment. But my “pens” are just sticks with a piece of metal but they write. :-) the community doesn’t sneer, they are as friendly and welcoming as if I had a >£1000 pen.

15 07 2013

I hear you, too. I have begun a love affair with fountain pens, but my most expensive is a Lamy Safari and I love it. I feel somewhat silly posting in forums like the Fountain Pen Network, for fear of not being taken seriously. Granted, I have a lot to learn about pens and inks, and I doubt any of mine will ever be considered expensive. The important thing to me is that I enjoy writing with them.

What brand is your favorite cheapie pen?

15 07 2013
Bob M

I agree. I think everyone’s limit of what they are wiling to spend on a pen is different. I recently purchased my most expensive pen and I’m loving it. My friends think I’m crazy but in the pen community it’s about the pen, not how much money I spent. I could be chatting with someone that has 10 models of my most expensive pen and then others want to know what it’s like so when they go to buy one they are more educated. Jackie – jump in over at FPN. Yea there are a few dorks and pen snobs but you learn who they are pretty quick and they get ignored.

15 07 2013

Thanks, Bob. I did post a question this morning, but mostly I just read what others post. I’m getting quite the education!

17 07 2013

I also say “dive in”. There’s jerks in any forum, but at FPN they seems pretty non-representative.

15 07 2013
Syed Ali (pepsiplease69)

I wholeheartedly agree with everyone here. I refuse to go higher than $100 for my pens on principal.

Plus I like to tinker with my pens, adjust their nibs smooth them out. Its much less frightening to do that on a Lamy nib than a Visconti ( I never aspire to owning anything visconti by the way, never have, never will).

Lately I got to buying super cheap pens on and they have very nice #6 nibs and are ultra cheap.

My favorite cheap pens are: Lamy (safaris/vistas/nexx), Kaweco (sport), and Noodler’s Ahab/Konrad/Konrad-Ebonites (but I usually swap the flex nib with a stub on the noodler’s pens).

The only exception to my $100 rule is if I’m buying nice pen from a master nibmeister like John Mottishaw of Those pens are worth the price because they hare free from headaches, and the nib will perform beautifully from day 1.

I’ve had some horrible experience with Stipulas (which cost more than $100 btw) and the nib just didn’t want to write. Until I took it to Mottishaw to have it fixed. Now stipula is no my “to-avoid” list.

27 08 2013
No Pen Intended

I had the same problem with my Stipula Passaporto. I will have to check those sites out, especially for cheap nibs/ fountain pens. I’m looking to try to learn how to do my own nib work and cheap nibs are the place to start

17 07 2013

I can’t say I’ve any principles against expensive pens, but I certainly know the pressures that keep them out of one’s own hoard. There is a certain joy, though, to being able to say of an undiscoloured 1927 Duofold, “Oh, this only cost $5”, and that’s what makes the poverty supportable.

As far as modern low-cost pens, the Sheaffer VFM is certainly worth what it costs.

27 08 2013
No Pen Intended

I will never say no to a fancy’spensive pen at a ridiculously low price :)

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