Fountain pens have been around for a long time, but when the ballpoint pen came along, lots of people abandoned their fountain pens for the convenience it brought. And the rollerball tempted even more people, with its smooth writing. Gel pens could do things that liquid ink couldn't, and more people were tempted.
So, why are fountain pen sales on the rise again now?
Well, there are a few factors that can bring people to fountain pens - we'd say back to fountain pens, but they're very popular with people who grew up with ballpoints and rollerballs.
They're very smooth, and can write with no pressure - great for people who have to do a lot of writing, like students taking notes, or anyone with a lot of meetings.
Choice of nibs - from super-fine Japanese nibs to super-broad; from italic nibs to nibs with flex for line variation. Pick what suits you, but a simple steel medium nib will be most similar to the feel of a rollerball.
Choice of inks - usually at least a few if your pen uses cartridges; but if it can take a converter to use bottled ink, your choices extend into the hundreds or even thousands. Almost any colour you could want is available, with specialist choices if you need, say, waterproof ink, or you want your ink to sheen or sparkle!
They're very economical to run, especially with bottled ink. Yes, a disposable ballpoint is cheap, but a reasonably priced fountain pen with bottled ink is still likely to work out cheaper in the long run - another thing making them popular with students!
If you're thinking something like "But don't they leak?" or "What about the mess?", you may be remembering fountain pens from years ago. Almost all fountain pens are very reliable now, and leaks are rare. Even filling from a bottle shouldn't end up with any ink on your fingers if you're reasonably careful.
We're not going to tell you that you should use a fountain pen - if you're happy with your ballpoint or rollerball, enjoy it. We love other pens and pencils too! But, especially if you do a lot of writing, it's well worth trying one to see if it makes it all a bit more enjoyable and easier on your hands. And as an added bonus, you could be saving money too!