One year later: What are my favourite fountain pens?

December 12, 2016 | 15 Comments

This time last year I was in the middle of writing my epic series of articles about fountain pens for sketching.

So, one year after all that research and testing of different pens, what am I currently using? Has it changed?

Favourite fountain pens for sketching:

These have remained unchanged!

  • My beloved White Joy by Lamy with a gold nib (I think it is somewhere between a F-M nib size). BTW I don’t think that it has become much grubbier in the last 12 months! (Note: A review of the Lamy Joy with gold nib is included in this article.)
  • Sailor 55 degree fude nib. (Note: A review of the Sailor Fude pen is included in this article.)

Both have black De Atramentis Document Ink in them.

Favourite fountain pens for writing:

  • Platnium Preppy 0.3mm.I do a lot of wrting of ideas, planning etc in my Get To Work Book and other ruled note paper (use a Kikki.K ring binder organiser for my ideas and planning pages) and for these I use a finer nib due to the size of the line spacing. I love the Preppy for this, either just using the standard cartridge or an eye dropper converted version filled normal fountain pen ink. It’s a cheap plastic pen but it’s a winner! (Note: A review of a Preppy is included in this article.)
  • Pilot Prera (with Med Nib). it is funny that when I wrote the article of basic pens I couldn’t find a compelling reason for recommending this pen due to its price. However, I just love it as a pen (especially the clicking of the cap) and love writing with it. It just feels great in my hand – all my morning readings and other slabs of text in my sketchbooks are written with it. I also bought a cream version with a F nib (goregous pen) and filled with with brown ink but haven’t used it much yet. (Note: A review of this Pilot pen is included in this article.)

If somehow you missed it last year, please check out my Fountain Pen Sketching series for extensive information about choosing, using and sketching with a fountain pen.

So there you have it – my sketching pens haven’t changed, but my writing ones have!

I would love to know what your favourite fountain pen is.



  • Cathy Dwyer says:

    Hi Liz. My favorite fountain pen changes from time to time but right now I’m loving my Lamy Joy 1.1 nib with DeAtramentis Document Fog Gray for writing lists, I’m loving my Pilot Falcon with a Soft Fine nib which is awesome for delicate lines with a little variation because of the flex and my Pilot Custom 912 with a music nib which is, imho, better than any of my Sailor or Hero fude nib pens for line variation and smoothness. The two Pilots have DeAtramentis Archive ink in them. But I’m fickle so next month it may be a whole different line-up!

  • I just love the inexpensive Pilot Metropolitan for everyday use. Especially with DeAtramentis Fog Grey, Black Document, Violet Document or Green Cucumber Ink. The fine is excellent for tiny spaces and the medium for headings and large thoughts. 🙂 I enjoy two Lamy Safaris with EF and B nibs and the limited ed. Dark Lilac edition from Safari. I found a stash of the matching ink at an obscure bookstore recently and was v. happy to get three bottles.

    I also have the DeAtramentis Cucumber ink in a Platinum Preppy Sign pen, a refillable fiber tip pen. The ink shades well and is very satisfying and subtle. It’s great for doodling on index cards or brainstorming ideas in a large sketchbook.

    So many pens to enjoy … Still meaningn to try the Sailor Fude from your suggestion of a year ago.

  • I love the Platinum Cool for drawing–the fine steel nib has a little flex, and it’s a demonstrator, so I thought I could monitor my ink level. (However, Platinum Carbon Black ink simply coats the inside of the converter so I can’t tell how much ink is left.) But it suits me nonetheless: expressive, lightweight, and it starts up every time.

  • Kare Furman says:

    Just purchased a Sailor 1911 fountain pen with a Music nib. Incredible to write with – the pen and ink just flow beautifully.

  • Arlene Abel Lennox says:

    Favorite pen… I guess my Pilot Falcon Soft EF for sketching and a TWSBI Mini EF for writing. Have recently discovered the Pilot Penmanship EF and like them better than the Preppy 02 as an inexpensie pen for a selection of inks. Also just got a Sailor Fude–lots of fun to have such line variation! Thanks for your pen series last year–I had just reread it a few days ago.

  • Hi, Liz! My writing pens are: a Pelikano Junior Leftie, 2 Pilot Varsity disposables, and a vintage Shaeffer with an Itlaic S nib. My sketching pens are: a Platinum Carbon Desk Pen, a Pen & ink Sketch pen, a Noodlers Creeper piston-fill pen and 8 Platinum Preppies with different color cartridges or converters. Two times a week I write a line or 2 with each to keep the inks flowing. I call it Fountain Pen Roll Call, lol. If I had to only use one, it would have to be the Platinum Carbon Desk pen – permanent ink in cartridges and a fine nib. Just holding it loosens up my wrist. Thanks for all your wonderful posts and shares. I’m a big fan via email subscription. xoxo

  • Flory says:

    My go-to sketching pens are the Pilot Falcon gold SF with DeAtramentis Document black ink, the Platinum Carbon with its proprietary ink, and the recently discovered (by me) TWSBI Mini EF with DeA Doc black or brown ink. What a great little pen for carrying! The Carbon is actually my favorite EF pen, but I’ve had problems with leakage when carrying them. I regretfully decided that my last non-leaking one must stay home…but then I found the TWISBI Mini to fill the carry role. Has anyone else had this problem with the Carbon? Any insights? I also really enjoy the Sailor bent-nib pen. There’s a learning curve, but the results are worth the effort.
    Now I want to get a couple of pens for water-soluble inks. Ideally, two more gold Falcons, but practically, perhaps two more TWSBI Minis. I have four Lamys, but they never really seemed to click for me.
    One more category of fountain pens: brush pens! Kuretake (cartridge or converter) and the Tombow soft calligraphy pen are my faves. Thanks for rekindling the fountain pen discussion, Liz!

  • April says:

    I feel the same about that clicking top on the prera. I’m a fairly new fountain pen addict so I don’t have a large number, but that one is my favorite so far.

  • Chas says:

    In the last photo in the above posting you have four pens, the first on the left is a fude pen, the second looks kind of like a fountain pen version of a Speedball steel brush. What is it and who makes it? Does it actually work as a steel brush?

  • Chas says:

    OK I now know tha that green pen is a Pilot Parallel Pen in the 3.8 mm size; but I still don’t know how they work and I have noticed that they’re not currently on Liz’s favourite list. So, I would like to know how well they emulate a steel brush and how they are for drawing.

  • Kellie Stapleton says:

    Ordered a Sailor green. I’m assuming it comes with a cartridge? Do you know the refill size of the cartridge? I’m also looking for Super5 inks in the US and can’t seem to find anyone. Any sources you know of? Lastly looking to re-use some cartridges and fill them myself with a syringe; a straight forward task? Flush cartridge with water to clean out old color, fill with new (of course flush pen too)?

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