Trying Out Pens

So I’ve read so much that I should be using a fountain pen that I decided to go look at what I could get.  So I went to the local Patrick’s Office Supply and asked for their advice on an inexpensive fountain pen to try. 

They showed me the Pilot Varsity and the Bazic Mileno.  (This isn’t really about the pen I bought, but I opted for the Bazic because it was less than a dollar more ($4) for a refillable pen versus the disposable Pilot.) 

The women I talked to was very excited that a young guy like me (I don’t think of myself as young but she did) wanted to try using a fountain pen and opened the packages and preped the refillable pen to show me how. 

She also wanted me to try out the pens on paper she offered.  It didn’t really matter to my decision since I have no idea what I’m trying for, but it raised the question,  “What should I write?”  I was lame and wrote my name and the word “fountain.”

On thinking it seemed like a fun question so …

What do people write when they are trying out pens?

(by Matthew
for everyone)


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6 comments Add yours
  1. Best bang for your buck is the Pelikan M200 series.

    That takes you to Richard Binder's main page. Click on the Pelikan logo and scroll to the M200 series.

    The pens have interchangeable nibs (even custom ones, if you want), and a unique filling system that is the most reliable and robust you are going to find. Huge ink reservoir. Seriously, this is the best pen you can buy at any price.

  2. There are so very many choices.

    This forum:

    might be of interest to you.

    We all have our likes, dislikes and preferences, and some of those change.

    Vintage pens, of excellent, quality, can be had for much less money than a good, modern pen.

    Filling systems, styles and kinds of nibs, size and shape of pen, weight, type of cap closure, filling system, types of inks, durability, and price are the categories of choice that most easily come to mind.

    I wish you much enjoyment in your research, in trying out pens, and wish you all the best in finding pens that suit you.

    For shorthand I use the following:

    Sheaffer Tip Dip Craftsman with an extra-fine nib
    Esterbrook SJ with a 9450 nib
    Majestic purse pen with a Wearever shorthand nib made a tad finer
    Sheaffer cartridge pens with extra-fine nibs

    They all work very well. None cost more than $30, at today's prices.

    This site is a wonderful encyclopedia of many excellent pens:

  3. You know, I'm re-reading the original post, and I see the question was what to write, not what pen to get. I usually write the eight exceptions to the i before e rule: Weird, height, foreign, leisure, neither seize or forfeit either. I don't know why. I just do.

  4. I usually write my first name and the start of Hamlet's soliloquy, all in shorthand – no phrasing, then repeat with phrasing.

    But first I just do some squiggles to test how smooth the pen is. If it doesn't pass that test, I don't write anything.


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