Friday, August 14, 2009

Wet Ink

So I was writing in the 'ol journal this afternoon and spilled some condensation from my glass on the paper. It gave me the idea of testing how the ink of different pens stick to the paper when wet. I remembered in the trash there was a balled up piece of paper that I used the other day to see how different pens I use wrote. It was after reading LFP’s different opinions on pens what not. When journaling I like to use pens that flow across the paper and write fairly evenly. I tend to write very small and use almost exclusively either the Jotter or my Uni Ball Vision Elite. I am willing to invest in a nice fountain pen that doesn’t write so boldly but have yet to find one. Last year I picked up the disposable pilot fountain pens at staples but never really used them. They write so damn boldly. I write with either a .5MM or something similar. As much as I love my Jotter, my hand can become sweaty and likes to slide down the pen. But when that happens it’s usually time to give my hand a quick break anyways. I guess my somewhat lack of pen knowledge led to my preference of the typewriter. But although I’m aware of what I’m getting myself into here ($$$) and being an office supply geek LPF brought up an interest I avoided since high school. My stepfather owns a business selling promotional products. He brought my pen addiction to a full time high when I was a kid. But fountain pens are a whole new world for me. Opinions??


  1. This is a cool test. Although I love fountain pens, and use my Pelikan loaded with Quink blue/black almost exclusively, most FP inks bleed like a hemophiliac in a cactus garden (!)

  2. When you are back in Boston, try to get to Bromfield Pen Shop

    They'll let you test-drive different fountain pens before you make the investment- and they have all the major brands, along with some exotic things. Most of my fountain pens were bought from them. They even have a sale counter.

    As for myself, Waterman is my favorite (models: the Hemisphere, the Phileas, the Expert). These have a wide grip, and large refills/pistons that hold a lot of ink. The Hemisphere is very solid, too. The gold content in their points give them some good flexibility. And the caps don't pop off while writing- like many of the other brands.

    If you're up for my absolute favorite ballpoint, treat yourself to this:

  3. Liked this! Inky fun is good fun.

    Just following up on what Speculator has said, I like the Phileases (Philei?) a good deal--I have a blue one that was one of my first good pens, and it never lets me down, but the fine nibs aren't particularly fine. They can also be a little pricey if you don't find one used these days. Worth a look, though. Others in the typosphere are very fond of the Lamy Safari, which is rugged and relatively inexpensive--and the nibs can be swapped out, so you can try different widths. They're steel nibs (no gold content), but good ones.

    Japanese pens (especially those made for the Japanese market) and other Asian pens tend to have very fine nibs. The downside is that a very fine fountain pen nib can be scratchy.

    If you want to experiment for a very low cost, I'd recommend getting a Platinum Preppy. has 'em, so do Swisher Pens (I wuv Swisher, though their catalog is a bit disorganized). There are a few different versions--Swisher sells some that are converted to eyedroppers, so the whole body of the pen holds ink. Fun little pens, and the most basic are about three bucks. Might be a good way to just dip your feet into the world of fountain pens.

  4. If you feel like throwing all your money away, go for a Montblanc Meisterstuck rollerball. It's exactly the perfect blend of the Jotter ballpoint and Uniball. The medium writes a fine line, I think. Too fine for me, but it's got a great feel. Same with their fountain pen, although mine clogs constantly.

    Call me crazy, but a sturdy Parker 45 fountain pen is really quite nice. You can't kill them, either.

  5. Has anyone tried the Uni Ball Vision Elite??? I think it is a 10 out of 10 as far as writing. I just found out today that it unscrews and I can replace the cartridge!

  6. Joe V, so true. I used FP ink on a datebook in my purse, and then something spilled in there and caused a total data crash.

  7. I bought a box of Vision Elites a few years back and have them scattered all over the in my purse in addition to whatever fountain pen I'm carrying that day, one by the bed, one for the grocery list, one by the computer. They're a good quick-grab pen, always reliable. The ones I have aren't particularly fine, and they do bleed through thin paper, but I like 'em. The ink holds up well, too. Uni Ball makes good stuff.

    As to the water resistant fountain pen ink comments...I'm tellin' ya, Noodler's Black is *awesome* stuff! I've never had a problem with it, except that it can take a little while to dry if I write with a really wet writing pen.

    Word verif: spail. Ain't got no spail check with them writin' pens.

  8. I was looking at the speegle special, the Lamy safari. I like how it is not more than 50 bucks and you can change out the nib.

    Is it just me or does anyone else notice that office depot has such a general selection for the most part of pens. I need to find a little corner store where I can bask in all its glory.

  9. I pens just say "Vision," not "Vision Elite." The rest stands. I don't think mine refill.

    The Safari without the converter is usually right around $25 from somewhere like Swisher Pens or Jet Pens or Yes, I know too many suppliers. This is bad for me.

    I tend to like Staples and Office Max over Office Depot for most stuff. Yes, I have office supplies store preferences, too. This too is sad.... But it's true, none of those stores are the greatest places to find fountain pens or other-than-standard notebooks. I'd love to have a real stationery store in the area!

  10. I just got a Hero 329 (is that right?) from LFP, AND some Waterman Havana brown ink, and the thing is FANTASTIC. The EF nib flows great and isn't scratchy at all. You barely have to touch it to the paper, and it works like a charm.

    That, and it's got a hooded nib, so it makes me feel like I am writing sooper sekrit messages.

  11. Mike--yes, it's a Hero 329. I like that model. It has a nice heft and balance to it. Glad you're enjoying it!

    Incidentally, I have just a few more of these if anyone else wants to give one a shot. Sometime in the next little bit I'm going to stop by one of the crafty type stores like Michael's or Jo-Ann's to see if I can find some small bottles that would work for shipping a small amount of ink, too.