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Choosing the right fountain pen, pointers to help you make the right choice

Making the choice, in this electronic computer-keyboard-driven world, to adopt a time-honoured method of writing with a fountain pen is rather bold. Which pen will most suit your style and personality? The following considerations may make choosing a pen somewhat easier.

The nib:

Considered to be most important factor as this is the part of the pen that transfers thoughts, ideas, drawings and plans to paper. The size of the nib has the greatest influence on the look and style of the writing that you produce.

For practical purposes, nib sizes range from XF (extra fine), F (fine), M (medium), B (broad), S (stubby) and OB (oblique). There are, of course, additional sizes and the fine produced by one brand may equate to medium in another.

Nib

Ultimately, it comes down to trying a few different brands out for yourself and finding the one that is the most comfortable and produces a line thickness that appeals to you. If you are the type of writer who likes to tilt the pen when writing, then consider an oblique cut nib, in either left or right, to ensure smooth and skip-free writing.

Nib Material:

Nibs are usually made from a variety of materials and alloys and are often the point (no pun intended) of robust debate amongst aficionados. Traditionally iridium has been the tip material of choice, expertly welded to the nib. Nib alloys can include osmium, silver, copper, rhodium, tungsten and platinum.

Pen Size:

The general rule of thumb governing pen size is directly proportional to the users hand size, the larger or smaller the hand, the larger or smaller the pen size. Pen thickness also comes into play as some writers find a pen that is too thick to be unwieldy. Similarly, a pen that is too thin can cause a fair amount of hand fatigue. It should also be noted that pen size does not necessarily refer to the capacity of the pen to store ink as this is governed by reservoir type, for example, plunger fillers hold more volume than cartridge or converter pens.

Personal Aesthetics:

Finally personal aesthetics play a major part in the decision making process. This refers to the type of material that the pen body is made from as well as the overall visual appeal. While some may say that this is the least relevant consideration, others will argue to the contrary. A beguiling pen can inspire the imagination and get the creative juices flowing in the right direction.

Ranging from very affordable to exclusively luxurious and expensive, there is a wide choice. Today, the use of ABS plastics create a cheaper range of pens. However, a high class fountain pen can be found in finer, more exotic materials such as gold, sterling silver, platinum, rare woods, animal bone, brass and more.

Fountain pen and ink

Unique designs and theme-related pens make a great personal statement. Pens engraved with initials, monograms and special messages also set them apart from the rest.

With all of these considerations at your disposal, making a decision should be more manageable. With careful thought and some serious deliberation, you should end up with a choice that suits both your needs and personality perfectly!

To help you along, take a look at our selection of fountain pens here.

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