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Like many fountain pen users, I try to find as many opportunities as possible to use these lovely writing instruments. I have a small, modest collection and having all the pens inked up at the same time just isn’t practical or advisable–the ink will dry up if not used quickly and clog up the nib/feed making it difficult to clean or, in some cases, damage the pen. To avoid this problem, many fountain pen geeks will select only a few pens from their collection for everyday use in case one runs out of ink (they’ll have another one ‘waiting in the wings’) or because they like to use more than one ink color at a time. As time goes by and their preferences change, they’ll rotate the pens in and out as needed.
I use four ‘everyday’ pens and have three ‘specialty ink’ pens on standby. My first everyday pen is a Classic Black Pilot Metropolitan with a fine (F) nib and black Namiki ink cartridges (I prefer bottled ink but have about a dozen black and purple cartridges laying around and this is a great way to use them up). I use this pen to jot down notes, tasks, and schedule meetings in my work planner.
My second pen is a White Tiger Pilot Metropolitan with a F nib–these are great, inexpensive fountain pens!–filled with De Atramentis Lilac [purple] ink. I keep this pen in my personal planner which has fountain pen ‘friendly’ paper.
The third pen is an white and rose gold TWSBI Mini with a medium (M) nib–which sadly, is no longer available 🙁 –and filled with J. Herbin Cafe des Iles [brown] ink. This pen is always in my smaller planner where I keep task lists, track projects, log notes, and store information that I may need on a daily basis. This is a piston filling pen so it has a generous ink reservoir that extends the time between ink refills. Best of all, despite the M nib which would lay down more ink increasing the chances of bleed thru on thinner paper, the medium brown ink color is soft enough to make this pen perform well on almost any paper.
The last pen is an old red/black Pelikan M150 –the red/black model is sadly not available but an all black version is available on Amazon–with a F nib filled with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses (new formula). This pen is a serious workhorse and can also write for long periods of time given the large ink capacity.
In the beginning of this post I also mentioned three ‘specialty ink’ pens that I like to keep on standby. These pens are inked up with inks I’m either testing or whose colors are not practical for everyday use.
The first is a stainless steel and gold trim Jinhao 250 with an M nib and inked up with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses–the older formula, no longer available–that I acquired during a pen club meetup. It is a beautiful burgundy-wine color–the newer formula is more of a dark burgundy-brown–and it’s a shame that this formula is no longer available so I’m trying to enjoy the small ink supply I have for as long as possible.
Next is a hammered copper Hero 395 with a F somewhat flexible nib inked up with Noodler’s Apache Sunset. I love how this pen brings out the full shading spectrum of this ink–shades of red-orange-yellow especially the red tones which I’ve had difficulty bringing out with other pens.
Lastly, I have a red Xezo Incognito with an F nib inked up with Diamine Red Dragon. This medium, neutral red ink is not practical for note taking but I do like to use it on occasion to log key information and make it stand out on a page. Plus, it’s also gorgeous to look at! 🙂
There is one additional pen I recently inked for testing purposes, a Tortoise Noodler’s Ahab with a 1.5 italic nib inked up with the new stunning J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary Emerald of Chivor. This ink has an amazing shading spectrum with colors of blue-teal-green-red-gold. If you’d like to read more about this amazing ink, check out my previous blog post here.
Like any planner user and note taker, I use a variety of pens–ballpoint, gel, markers, etc.–but truly enjoy the experience of holding a fine writing instrument that causes me to slow down and savor every word as it glides out onto a page. That’s why I make it habit of including several fountain pens in my everyday rotation.
Do you use fountain pens on a daily basis? If so, please share some of your favorites in the comments below!