Top Starter Fountain Pens

We are commonly asked what are the top starter fountain pens. Everyone has a personal preference which is the best starter fountain pen. Based on a few simple criteria such as economical, easy to use and low maintenance we suggest the following fountain pens. Let’s start with a couple of the most popular first.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Lamy Safari Starter Fountain Pen
The Lamy Safari is arguable one of the most popularly suggested starter fountain pen for beginners. The pen offers a fairly low price point(around $29). It comes in a wide selection of colors including the clear Vista version as well as multiple nib sizes. The pen is made from a sturdy ABS cap and barrel that make the pen light weight. The barrel of the pen includes an ink window for viewing the ink level without opening the pen. Another nice feature about the Lamy Safari pen is the ease to swap nibs on the pen. The Lamy Safari fountain pen  comes with a ergonomical grip section for holding the pen which some users enjoy while others do not like as well.
Pros about the Lamy Safari:

  • Reliable
  • Swappable nibs
  • Wide color selection
  • Ink window to see the ink level
  • Easy to use

Cons about the Lamy Safari:

  • No converter included with the pen
  • Slightly higher price for a beginner pen
  • Proprietary ink and converter

Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan Beginner Fountain Pen
The Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is made from a sturdy aluminum cap and barrel and is one of the best values of the starter fountain pens. This fountain pen is very well built and a reliable pen right out of the box. Although the Pilot Metropolitan pen is available in many colors they are not as bright as the Lamy Safari. Unlike the Safari the Pilot Metropolitan comes in a nice case and has an ink converter included allowing you to use bottled inks. The nibs on Pilot pens, like most Japanese pen companies, are finer than other brands so keep that into consideration when purchasing.
Pros about the Pilot Metropolitan:

  • Reliable out of the box
  • Great value
  • Converter included with the pen
  • Durable and well made
  • Pen case included with the pen

Cons about the Pilot Metropolitan:

  • No ink window to view the ink level
  • Proprietary ink and converter

Kaweco Classic Sport Fountain Pen

Kaweco Classic Sport Starter Fountain Pen
The Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen is a great pocket pen. It comes with a longer cap making the pen more compact but longer when posted. A great pen to carry with you in your pocket. The Kaweco Classic Sport comes without a clip but for only a few dollars more you can purchase one. The pen also comes without a converter, once again for a few dollars you can buy the Kaweco squeeze converter. The pen however takes a standard international ink cartridge. This means the pen can use other brands of fountain pen ink cartridges and not just Kaweco inks. This give you more flexibility on ink colors and brands. The Kaweco Classic Sport comes in several different colors as well as a clear transparent ICE Sport version.

Pros about the Kaweco Classic Sport:

  • Compact design for ease of transport
  • Uses standard international ink cartridges
  • Multiple colors including the transparent ICE Sport

Cons about the Kaweco Classic Sport:

  • No clip included
  • No converter included

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

Platinum Preppy Beginner Fountain Pen
Out of all the starter fountain pens the Platinum Preppy is the cheapest. With a retail price under $4 it is by far the cheapest and most affordable. Don’t let price fool you. This is a great starter fountain especially for a first fountain pen.  The pen is made from a clear transparent plastic cap and body allowing you to see the ink cartridge and ink level. The cap on the pen has the best seal of the starter fountain pens as well as many expensive fountain pens so the ink doesn’t dry out when the pen is not used for an extended period. The Platinum Preppy does not come with an ink converter but one may be purchased, however, the price is more than the actual pen. The nib on the pen is color coordinated to the clip and ink on the pen which is a nice touch.

Pros about the Platinum Preppy:

  • Low cost leader
  • Reliable writer
  • Great seal on the cap
  • Clear body to view ink level
  • Color coordinated nib, ink, and clip

Cons about the Platinum Preppy:

  • Branding printed on the pen
  • No converter included
  • No packaging
  • Limited to fine or medium nibs
  • Proprietary ink cartridges and converter

Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

Platinum Plaisir Beginner Fountain Pen
The Platinum Plaisir is the big brother to the Platinum Preppy. This pen has the same nib and feed section as the Preppy but comes with a more durable, sturdy aluminum cap and barrel. The pen has the same cap seal system which is a bonus. Once again the Platinum Plaisir has a proprietary ink cartridge and the ink converter is not included. Like the Preppy the Platinum Plaisir fountain pen comes  with no packaging. The nib is also limited to fine or medium nibs but the nib is color coordinated with the paint of the pen. The price of the Platinum Plaisir is more in line with the other starter fountain pens. The Platinum Plaisir is not discussed as often as the Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan as a great starter fountain pen but is definitely an competitor.

Pros about the Platinum Plaisir:

  • Reliable writer
  • Great seal on the cap
  • Color coordinated nib and pen cap/body
  • Sturdy, durable, lightweight aluminum cap and barrel

Cons about the Platinum Plaisir:

  • No converter included
  • No packaging
  • Limited to fine or medium nibs
  • Proprietary ink cartridges and converter
  • No ink viewing window

Which is the Top Starter Fountain Pens

That is for you to decide. Everyone has their own personal likes and preferences. We have discussed our top 5 beginner fountain pens and some may argue others. Any one of the starter fountain pens on this list is great, each for their own reasons. Choose your pen based on features you are looking for. Is it price, flexibility, low maintenance or a combination of factors. With their low price, starter fountain pens allow you to try different brands, inks and other options without breaking the bank. Once you find what you like and dislike you can then upgrade to bigger and better pens!