But thanks :)
I'm actually looking pretty closely at those 10 packs listed on the site...
I saw Parker Jotter at Office Depot, in blister packs so they shouldn't be that expensive.
My husband was given a Cross ballpoint, the thin one. I couldn't even graps it for more than a second, forget writing with it! :eek:
However, I love fountains pens but not all of them. That is the really important point.
When starting with fountain pens, I believe new users would be better off choosing a cartridge/converter school fountain pen, one made in Europe or Japan for school students.
Then go from there.
If you like steel fountain pens, try a Cross, Parker or Waterman available at Office (something) and Staples.
They sell the cartridges that fit the pens. Those 3 brands have proprietary cartridges.
Office Depot also has Yaffa fountain pens, really cheap in a blister pack with some international cartridge in various colors.
Pen that take international cartridges can be used with many ink cartridges including Herbin and Pelikan.
Next, you can buy a converter for your pen, essentially a refillable cartridge and use bottled ink made in a dazzling array of colors.
You will eventually buy more fountain pens to contain the ink colors you like the best.
Modern converter/cartridge or c/c pens do not leak unless you take them on a no gravity ride and back in a few second or they have a crack if they fall on concrete.
Plastic school pens or steel pens are very very very strong.
The CEO of Levenger boasted that he drove his big SUV on top of a plastic Lamy Safari and the pen had barely a scratch.
I am not in the habit of driving on top of my pens but... school fountain pens have to be pretty strong and they are mandatory in France if not in the whole E.U.
If they leaked and damaged homework or pen cases, the companies would no longer be in business.
I just treated myself to a blue Lamy Safari from Scottsdale Pen. The store is so very nice and I love the pen's feel and writing flow. I told the owner about Tom Bihn, saying the pen and store were recommended from this thread and he was honestly interested. I had my small cafe bag with me and showed him my various pouches and the quality of the product. He was impressed!
Got my yellow Lamy Safari ballpoint this morning and the pen made a fine addition to my small TB Cafe bag!!!
I prefer plain. Especially the Moleskine City Notebooks that have all of those extra features. I highly recommend them for anyone traveling to a major city. I have used the Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Munich editions. The plain pages are for journaling, but it also has maps, tabbed organizer, itinerary pages, and conversion charts. I hope this helps.
I too have had a couple of Lamy Safaris, and they are great. I use them for different colours, but my main, everyday pen is a Montblanc Meisterstuck - the big chunky one with a double broad nib. One pen, used everyday, becomes part of you, so I really only use the one with Montblanc Blue/Black ink. One of the Lamy's has red ink.
I also have the ball pen and pencil to match.
I've used these for over 20 years and in that time I managed to, one, stop losing them, and, two, stop people pinching them! When you have a £10 pen you don't worry much about losing it or someone pocketing it. However, when you have a £300 pen ($450), you tend to keep an eye on it, and always make sure you get it back. The ball point is worse because I often hand it to a client to sign a contract, and frequently it goes straight in their pocket. If its just a £5-10 pen and you're charging a £1,000 fee you just let it go, but a £150 ball pen you've had for 20+ years? You ask for it back!
Oh pens and papers - and bags (of course!) - my favourites!
I used to use the Moleskin pocket lined book, but switched to Leuchtturm1917 - much better paper, fountain pen friendly, and they are cheaper than Moleskin too! They have a wonderful selection of products, and you can buy a matching pen loop for the side of the notebooks. Plus they come in a variety of fun colours.
Rhodia is dreamy - lovely silky smooth paper. But I found the paper in their "Moleskin style" book is a little different from their writing pads - not as nice. I find myself buying the Rhodia pads and leaving them all over the house, and to give away to people - they must try this paper!
Yesterday, I was in my favourite pen and paper store (Laywine's in Toronto - they are so professional and know their stuff!), carrying my black Co Pilot. The owner of the store recognized the Tom Bihn label and we were chatting Tom Bihn quality. I was all set to dump out the contents on the counter to show the staff and other customers what I could hold in it - but I don't know if they would have all appreciated such...especially as the counter had a selection of pens, inks, and papers and I didn't want to take over.
Anyway, I was at the fountain pen counter. I am in the market for a new pen, and was debating between a particular Caran D'Ach (I do like their ball point pens), and a Graf von Faber-Castell...until I tried a Sailor Professional Gear pen. Well, that did it. I will be getting one...now to decide what style casing. (Gosh, it's like trying to decide what colour Tom Bign to choose!)
The Sailor nib was so smooth, and made such a difference for my small tight hand writing. I would have been perfectly happy with the plain black style - just had to decide gold or rhodium details. But on the Sailor website - they show a MOSAIC in black / grey, and an EBONITE MARBLE. Okay, I think these are the same pens - at least technically - and there is a large price difference, but I don't want to shell out this kind of money for something and yet fear I will say over time "I wish I had waited and saved up and bought the casing I preferred..."
Any advice would be appreciated!
In case anyone is interested in Sailor pens - here is a link: