One that the best questions many civilization who are somewhat brand-new to fractional pens have is what is the difference between an high value fountain pen and an cheap fountain pen? the is really worth safety hundreds or also thousands more on a pen? In this short article I desire to talk about some the the more significant differences between expensive and also inexpensive pens.

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My Background

The very first thing you need to know about me is I like value. The is not the same thing together being cheap. Ns am ready to invest money on points that will stand up end time and that have a top quality relative to your price. Ns would fairly spend an ext money to buy miscellaneous once and be done v it than need to re-purchase something lot of times. For example, i have owned the same set of kitchen knives because that almost two decades and they’re quiet amazing. Were they inexpensive once I gained them? No, they certainly weren’t. Were they precious it? castle were, together they have actually saved me lot frustration over the years and I haven’t had actually to buy brand-new knives to replaces ones the were no longer any type of good.

When it involves fountain pens, I have actually a similar mindset. Of course, this is a hobby and emotion occasionally gets the far better of me and value goes the end the window. Still, I’d like to imagine that many of mine fountain pen purchases have been kind values.

If I had to guess, I’d say the median amount that I’ve paid for a contemporary fountain pen is $100. This contains a grasp that cost over $150 and also many that price less than $50. I have actually never spent an ext than $400 for a fountain pen. This method I don’t have actually much suffer with the most expensive pens out there. I’ve supplied them and handled castle before, but have never used one on a regular basis. Together you’ll see, this limitation shouldn’t really impact my as whole knowledge of fractional pens and also the info below should be accurate.

Expensive vs. Inexpensive Fountain Pens

Fountain pen at their main point are relatively simple objects. A nib, a human body to organize the nib and a reservoir to organize some ink. Of course, pen are comprised of much more than just three pieces, yet in general that’s what makes them work. Isn’t it remarkable that such a seemingly straightforward object can have such a huge variety of options and prices?

I desire to talk about each part of a spring pen that has actually a significant influence ~ above price and/or performance. My goal is to give you some tools that you can use once considering a pen to decide if that going come be worth it come you. I know that anyone has various tastes and preferences, so i’m going to carry out my ideal to continue to be neutral and also just existing why each details variable deserve to influence the price of a pen.

For each component below, I’ll try to give an actual instance to display how lot of a price difference you have the right to expect. Please keep in mind that for the details pen models i mention, castle will typically feature more than one price-affecting variable, so as soon as comparing a Pelikan M200 to a Pelikan M800 for example, they will certainly have different nibs, sizes and also sometimes even body materials. Pen prices room taken indigenous the same retailer.


Nibs affect your composing experience and also how your creating looks. Less expensive pens often tend to have steel nibs, which deserve to still write very well, but are not generally as soft or functional as a yellow or titanium nib. Incredibly cheap steel nibs may not even have any type of tipping material, which way that they have the right to be fairly scratchy to write with. Nib shapes and also sizes external of Fine, medium or Broad, such as stubs, italics and also even music nibs, deserve to increase the price of a pen.

Nib size can also influence the price that a pen. I’m not talking around Fine, medium or Broad, however the physical dimension of the nib itself. Larger nibs will nearly always cost much more than a smaller nib. One factor for this is that they just have an ext material, for this reason they cost much more to manufacturer. Bigger pens need bigger nibs to keep the in its entirety look balanced, however some world do speak that bigger nibs feeling nicer to compose with.

Example: Lamy Studio – stole nib: $80, yellow nib: $180


This Hinze Americana is make by hand and is different than pens made by significant pen manufacturers.

Price Brackets

In general, i feel choose there room price brackets because that fountain pen in which friend can discover pens of similar quality and features. These space not to it is in taken as a rule, but instead as a guide when considering your following pen purchase:


Basic or beginning of the person pens through the most ordinary the features. Many an excellent pens deserve to be found in this category, consisting of the Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari and also Kaweco Sport.


Another tiny price range, but one that contains some added features together as enhanced filling mechanisms and larger pens. Some significant pens in this price range include the TWSBI Eco and also Lamy Al-Star.


This price selection includes countless popular fractional pens. Yellow nibs start to make an appearance and there is greater variety in pen material and size. Well-known pens in this price range include the Pilot noodles Point, Pelikan M200, Faber-Castell Loom, Lamy Studio and Visconti Rembrandt.


Although it might seem expensive, this is the sweet spot for fountain pens. Yellow nibs room the norm and also there are numerous different size and also material options to pick from. Numerous hand-made pen from little pen creators can be found in this price range. Renowned pens in this price selection include seafarer 1911, Lamy 2000, Platinum 3776, Leonardo Momento Zero and also Pilot Falcon.


This is another very popular price range for pens and also where countless brands’ premium pen present start. Popular pens in this price range include seafarer Pro Gear, Pelikan M600, Aurora 88 and Optima and Pilot practice 823.


While the end of reach because that many, there space still some extremely popular pens in this price range. These pens space almost all of the premium offerings for many brands. Well-known pens in this price selection include the Pelikan M800 and M1000, Visconti Homo Sapiens, Montblanc 146 and 149 and many urushi and also maki-e pens.


This is the price selection where all bets room off. The key difference in between pens in this price selection and other, less-expensive pens are either the products or the the pens are limited editions. Many are premium or exotic products such together urushi, maki-e, Arco, or valuable metals.

So Is It precious It?

After see so plenty of examples that how various features can affect the price that a pen, you’re more than likely asking if few of them room worth it. The vague, however accurate answer is: that depends. It depends on what you choose in a fractional pen or creating experience. It relies on how much you’re ready to invest on a solitary pen. It depends on her aesthetic and also image.

From a composing perspective, the nib and pen dimension will have actually the greatest impact. If you want an italic nib or a double-broad, the only option is to salary more. As you witnessed in the Lamy Studio example, upgrading from a steel nib come a yellow nib will price you one extra $100. I newly bought a Lamy Studio, tried both nibs, and also went through the stole nib together I simply didn’t feel sufficient of a difference to justify the extra cost. As for pen size, some human being want a larger and heavier pen when others desire a smaller and also lighter pen. If you desire a bigger pen, you’ll likely have to pay an ext for it.

From a to trust perspective, steel pens are more than likely worth the extra cost. If you’re accident prone or toss her pens into a bag or pocket and take them with you everywhere, a metal pen will probably hold up much much better than a plastic pen. Together for various other pen materials, the added cost of a urushi or maki-e pen will likely be a large turnoff to plenty of people, nevertheless of just how beautiful the pens are. Still, many will see them together individual works of art and buy castle to have something unique and also beautiful.

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From a useful perspective, brand do not do it matter. You would either prefer or dislike writing with a pen and also it wouldn’t matter who makes it. That’s not always how the works, though. Many world will pay a premium because that a pen from a known manufacturer. Maybe it’s to trust or brand loyalty, yet there is miscellaneous to be said about having a name the is recognized by most. ~ above the other hand, small, elevation pen makers are thriving and also many people love the pens the they make due to the fact that they are not mass-produced through a big commercial manufacturer.

My Thoughts

If i’m going to be totally honest, I’m most likely not the ideal person to compose a blog article like this. I favor black pen that compose well. An elaborate colors and also exotic materials don’t obtain me excited. Unique filling systems don’t average much come me. I’ll leave the limited editions for various other people. Provide me a black color pen with a wet, large nib and also I’m happy.

I know that ns can acquire amazing pens because that under $300 and also can’t really justify safety much an ext than that. Ns am simply as happy writing v my Lamy Al-Star together I am once I am writing with my Omas Paragon. Sure, castle each have actually their own writing experience, but both write well.

I have also taught myself some an easy nib-tuning skills so that if a nib doesn’t compose the means I want, I have the right to tweak the a bit. Ns realize that no everyone deserve to do that and also spending an ext on a pen through a much better nib is important to some people.

You may have actually noticed that i didn’t even cite vintage fountain pens, which room in a classification of your own. Prices and also values for individual pens vary based upon condition, rarity, nib and who is marketing them. Ns am fortunate to have actually a decent repertoire of vintage pens v fun and flexible nibs, so i don’t feel the need to track down a contemporary pen through a versatile nib. Again, no everyone can say that and modern flex is both safe and comfortable.

Ultimately, I’d encourage girlfriend to no fixate on one certain pen feature and also instead search out a pen that functions well v your creating style. If your following pen has to have a gold nib or has to be urushi, think the how many other pens you’re not considering that you may love. Ideally, friend could shot them out ahead of time at a shop or pen show, however that’s no always possible or practical. If you have actually a pen that you’re interested in, acquire online and also ask for referrals for similar pens. World are usually much more than happy to share their experiences and opinions.