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Ok, I'm completely new to the world of good pens. Can you help me with this?
1) What's the difference between this and a standard office max ball point pen?
2) Why would it be worth investing in a pen I am (possibly) going to lose?
3) Is this pen itself a good pen for what it is?
4) Where can I get replacement parts for it when I need them and how much are they?
i will try to answer some of your questions, but most of them are personal preferences
1) with a fountain pen, you dont need to press hard so it is easier to write. for me, i find the ball points run away from my hand and most of them just are too thin to write with comfortably. A good fountain pen is typically very comfortable to hold and use.
2) if you enjoy writing, it is quite enjoyable to use such a pen. only after you write with one a few times do you feel the difference. Regarding losing the pen, most people actually keep track of their fountain pens better and dont lose track of them that easily. I have invested in a little pouch to carry mine around in.
3) Pilot is a very good brand that is inexpensive. I own the vanishing point by them, bought here again, and absolutely love it. Quality is really good and they write beautifully right out of the box.
4) So far I havent had any problems, neither has my dad from whom i have inherited some pens. But if there is a problem, parts are typically available on amazon or ebay. If you have a decent pen store nearby, they too can help you get your pen fixed.
All in all, i would say the difference between a fountain pen and a ball point is like the difference between a straight razor and safety razor. Once you get used to them and enjoy them, you cant put them down. There is a certain joy to have with these instruments that are being forgotten in modern times. In addition, I would say a good fountain pen is a thing of pride and culture.
Hope that helps.
Well, I'm not an expert... but I'll give it a shot. Keep in mind I'm speaking more generalities here, and can't go too far into specifics.
1) There are probably a ton of things people can tell you about a fountain pen vs. a ball point pen. But basically, a ball point pen uses a little ball at the tip that keeps the ink back. When you write, that little ball moves/rotates and allows the ink to flow out. A fountain pen simply allows the ink to flow with contact to the paper. A good fountain pen feels like you are writing on a cloud. Another thing to note about fountain pens is the freedom in ink. You can buy prefilled ink cartridges, or you can use "converters" which allow you to buy any ink you want and you essentially refill it yourself. Find the color(s) that says YOU (and that you like), and stick with it.
2) The price of a Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen is low enough that if you do happen to lose it, its not a huge deal, but high enough that if you EXPECT to lose it, you probably shouldn't bother. Every person has their own price point. This is definitely a pen you don't want to let out of your sight if you let someone borrow it. Any pen enthusiast is going to try to hold onto their pens. We don't buy pens to lose them.
3) Its a fantastic pen for what it is. Especially for beginners. It feels very high quality, and writes very well. Lesser quality pens may have loose parts or scratchy nibs. There are whole forums and videos showing the differences between different pens and inks. Some write better some write worse. Overall, this pen is absolutely fantastic.. and especially considering how cheap it is relative to other fountain pens.
4) I can't say much about replacement parts. Pilot probably sells replacement nibs, or you may be able to find them online somewhere. Otherwise, you can find ink and extra converters many places online. I hate to give preference to any particular retailer, but I like Amazon. You MIGHT find inks and converters/cartridges in office or hobby stores... but I'm not a very good source for that.