Why Use A Fountain Pen?



Some of My Favorite Things From 2014


Recently, I was asked why people use fountain pens. The question caught me off guard as I hadn’t given it a thought in ages. Having written with them for almost twenty years, they are just a part of who I am. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of reasons for using fountain pens. 

Value for money. A well-designed and well-built pen will last decades if not generations. I have pens that are over 100 years old and still write perfectly. Ink can also last decades. Some of mine are more than 25 years old and continue to perform as they should. 

Environmentally friendly. No detritus for the landfill, unlike gel pens, ballpoints and markers, since fountain pens get reused indefinitely. The ink comes in glass bottles that are perfect for recycling.

Variety. Pens and nibs come in lots of shapes and sizes off the shelf. Not satisified with standard models? Purchase a custom-made pen or a custom ground nib. No need to compromise when you can buy a match made exclusively for you.

Improved penmanship. Some users find that fountain pen nibs produce lines that enhance letter formations. Stubs and italic nibs are especially good for this.

Comfortable size and shape. Especially good for arthritis and other limitations. Long writing sessions can be less fatigue-producing with a fountain pen since it will glide rather than drag across the paper.

Uniqueness. Inks have a variety of characteristics from subtle shading to multi-toned, reflective coloring and many variations in between. The right nib on fountain pen-friendly paper will bring out its best qualities.

Enjoyment. Writing with a fountain pen can be cathartic and relaxing. Its use encourages time away from technology with obvious benefits.

These are at least some of the reasons to use a fountain pen. What is yours?


  1. Personal expression: I used a Pelikan demonstrator for almost all my note taking in grad seminary, which was different enough. I filled it with a fifty-fifty mix of waterman purple and blue-black. It was just dark enough to be legal, and purple enough to be mine. Teal, aqua, burgundy, brown and orange inks show up in my personal pages. And, much to the detriment of my bank account, I’ve recently discovered iridescent inks.

    Comfort: I have RA. Long writing sessions are impossible with most writing instruments. A good nib means I use little to almost no
    pressure to write. It helps a lot

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really like the “purple enough to be mine.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They amazing for drawing. Thanks to you, I got my Vanishing Point and can’t live without it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy to have been of service.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. After five years of using fountain pens, I’ve become able to give up a lifetime of bad habits, such as holding my pen in a death grip and dragging it across the lines. It is SUCH a relief! I find writing with my fountain pens (especially my Pelikan stubs) very relaxing and energizing. It has changed the style of my writing for the better, I believe. I have to slow down my thoughts to write by hand, and that leads to more fully formed ideas and opinions going down on paper. Writing with fountain pens stirs up my creative side, too. I get some great ideas while writing; since it just so happens that I already have pen and paper in hand, I can keep those ideas safe and go back to them when I’m ready to flesh them out.

    And then there’s the pure enjoyment of the feel of a juicy nib gliding across smooth, substantial paper; watching the ink color shade and evolve as it dries. Indulging my love of color by accessing the seemingly infinite variety of available tints, not to mention shading and sheen. I never could draw very well (at ALL); writing has become my version of art. I don’t do any special lettering, except that I mostly print now so that my shading inks get the chance to shade. It doesn’t happen every single time I write, but when I write long enough to get into what I call “the zone,” my writing looks pretty nice (to me, anyway). The slant and size of my letters become much more regular and relaxed as I become more content and relaxed.

    I enjoy writing with fountain pens for these and dozens of other reasons.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Debi, for the thoughtful and informative response. Great to see a former newbie become an aficionado.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your thought-provoking article. Well written. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for the kind words. They are much appreciated.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I always have a little chuckle when a pen aficionado blogs about the advantages of using fountain pens and the first thing comes up is ‘value for money’ and that it’s possible to use a pen for a very long time given proper maintenance. Then I think the blogger does not even remotely live long enough to give all his pens a good run for their money… just like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Why Use A Fountain Pen? | An Inkophile’s Blog […]


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  8. Using a fountain pen makes me a better note taker. Instead of writing everything down, like a stenographer, I am more thoughtful about listening for the important points of a presentation, conversation, or meeting. As has been mentioned, I have become more deliberate in my writing, so that my notes are legible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  9. […] Why Use a Fountain Pen: Seven reasons why people use fountain pens. As a fountain pen user, I’m always trying to convert others. This is true even within my own family; we’ve already got our children (ages 7, 5, & 3) using fountain pens. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your blog is amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!


  11. haha, what a question “Why Use A Fountain Pen???” why use a ballpoint pen when you can you a fountain pen 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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