The superior writing experience

I collect fountain pens, and have done so for the past three years. I believe, as do thousands of other enthusiasts, that fountain pens are superb writing instruments.

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My TWSBI Eco

Now you must be asking: what is a nib? The nib is the metal piece on the above pen. The nib distributes ink onto paper. A great nib makes for a superior pen and a memorable writing experience.

If you enjoy the physical act of writing, or use pens at all, you owe it to yourself to pick up a fountain pen. You may never again write with a ballpoint. Here are five tips on buying and using your first fountain pen.

  1. Finding the right first pen is about feel. Consider balance, weight and how it writes. Go to a pen store, like Wonder Pens in Toronto, and try as many different pens as you can. If you do not have a store near you and you want to buy a pen online I suggest you look at TWSBI’s Eco  It is a durable pen with a smooth feed and flexible but firm nib. Also, Lamy, Kaweco and Pilot pens are excellent starting points for a new collection.
  2.  There are a variety of inks to use. You need to experiment to find your favourite. For beginners, I recommend Pilot’s 70 ml blue-black ink or Heart of Darkness ink made by Noodler’s Inks. Both dry quickly and have issues with bleed through.          IMG_0194[1]
  3. The thicker the paper the better. As shown below, commercial legal pad paper is thin and ink bleeds through the page. Rhodia Paper, Clairefontaine, Pilot, Moleskin, and many other companies put out fountain-pen-friendly paper. JetPens has put together a thorough list of many popular paper choices.
  4.  You need to clean your new pen and maintain its various parts. A good rule is to clean out your pen if you are not going to use it for more than a week. JetPens has an excellent beginner’s guide for the basic cleaning steps. Remember: use a drain screen anytime your pen is disassembled near a sink. IMG_0171
  5.  Have fun with your pen.                                                                                                  IMG_0157[1] Explore, learn, ask questions and enjoy your new pen.
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