Fountain Pen Day and Why to Use a Fountain Pen

Fountain pen day is on 6th November, and those who love fountain pens will be happy to hear we have some offers coming up that they may be interested in. The interesting question for those who don’t love fountain pens, though, is probably why those other people do. Is there really something so special about fountain pens, or are those people just a bit strange?

The answer is probably ‘yes’ on both counts.

So why might a fountain pen be worth trying for you?

  • They should normally write with little or no pressure - no need to push down the tip of the pen against the paper, just let it glide smoothly. This can reduce strain on your hand and wrist, making writing more comfortable.
  • With most pens, you have a choice of, perhaps, black or blue ink. There may also be bright green and red, but they aren’t really usable for most of us. Most fountain pens can use hundreds of different inks, so if you’d prefer to write in a deep, dark green, you can. Want a dark walnut brown, or a vivid orange? Plenty are available.
  • A lot us are trying to throw fewer things away. Throwing away a pen into the landfill every time you’ve emptied the ink is quite wasteful. We stock refills for lots of ballpoint and rollerball pens, which does help, but they are still quite intricately manufactured items to throw away. Fountain pens can use ink from recyclable bottles, and even cartridges are usually just a simple plastic tube to contain the ink. Most fountain pens will last for a lifetime of use, so the pen itself never needs to be thrown way.

There are a few misconceptions around about fountain pens, too, which don’t help. Many of then are outdated if they ever were true, but tend to be brought out to help sell more ‘modern’ types of pens.

  • Fountain pens don’t have to be intimidating. Yes, there’s a lot to learn if you really want to get into it, but all you really need to do is pop in a cartridge and write. They’re barely more complicated than a simple stick ballpoint.
  • Your pen doesn’t need to become a hobby. Some will tell you that you’ll soon gather a cupboard full of inks, and fill three drawers with fountain pens from all around the world, but if you just want a nice writing experience, you really don’t need to do any of that. Pick a nice reliable pen from our Starter Fountain Pens page and use it.
  • Many years ago, fountain pens did risk leaking and dripping ink on your page or in your pocket. That really isn’t a problem these days. Modern fountain pens have very reliable feeds that keep the ink where it should be, and are no more likely to leak with normal use than a ballpoint or rollerball pen. Those of us who always have ink on our fingers have probably been playing, and the mess is our own fault!

We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with those strange fountain pen people, who make a hobby of their writing instruments - we’ve made several careers out of ours, so we’re in no position to judge! But those of you who don’t want your pen to become a hobby may still find a lot to love about a fountain pen.

3 November 2015

Comments

  • Andrew S (Cultpens Team) 5 November 2015
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    Hi Jo, If you soak the nib section in some water overnight it should penetrate any dried on ink allowing you to rinse it through with clean water. Once it's cleaned out you can pop a new cartridge in and away you go! If the ink proves more difficult to get shifted, a little dish soap in the water often helps.

  • Jo G 5 November 2015
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    I've dug out the rather beautiful brushed metal Sheaffer fountain pen I last used 20 years ago in honour of Fountain Pen Day. It has a dried up old Skrip ink cartridge in it, and I'm wondering what I might need to do to bring it back to life (apart from buying some new cartridges). I'm very much looking forward to your special offers tomorrow!

  • Sarah G 3 November 2015
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    As another left-hander, it's worth remembering you don't necessarily HAVE to have a left-hand nib. And I agree with Gemma, somehow writing looks classier when a fountain pen has been used.

  • Gemma S 2 November 2015
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    And one more positive.... writing that just looks plain messy in ballpoint somehow gets seen as 'creative' or 'eccentric' when written in fountain pen ink - thank goodness :)

  • Matt W 1 November 2015
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    It's also worth pointing out that fountain pens aren't just for right handed people to enjoy. If you're left handed (like me) you can still enjoy them

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