One of my first fountain pens was a Metro with a medium nib. I had been using a large, squishy-gripped pilot gel pen (Dr. Grip, I think) but started blowing through ink cartridges while studying.
I thought I’d give fountain pens a go to mix things up. Others said they could write with less effort & money (refillable from a bottle) than I was using. I was intrigued.
When I started using the Metro, I felt most of my expectations were met - except the grip was too small and it bothered my tendinitis. I also didn’t know how a smooth flowing pen could become scratchy overnight.
After learning more about writing posture, writing pads, pen balance and nib alignment and flossing, these conundrums were made clear.
My daily writer (at home) is my L2K (my 1st Massdrop purchase) using Take-sumi ink. My “red pen” is a Pilot Kakuno. When I’m out, I bring all the pens I mentioned with me (my Lamy Vista also from Massdrop).
One of the things I love to do is give away pens to interested folks.
But I’m incredibly poor. How do I do this? I buy Pilot Varsities when I can get ‘em for a buck, each. If I use them up, I remove the branding and refill them as eye-droppers. When someone asks to borrow a pen, I hand them one without the cap (that way they return it when done). About half the time, they’ll ask about it.
”Is that a real fountain pen?”
”Wow, that’s really cool. Do you know where I can pick one up?”
”Sure. Here’s the cap. Enjoy. Check out fpn.com if you’d like to know more.”
So what’s my point? Well, I enjoy tangents. Also, if you don’t like the Safaries or Metropolitans then decide if you WANT to like them. If you do, figure out what will work for you. If you’re not that into them, pay it forward. These entry level pens are great workhorses when paired with the right ink and paper (Seven Seas Writer, for me).
When I save up enough, I hope to get a Karas pen. They have some less expensive aluminum offerings that have the right balance, weight and grip for me. They’re made in the USA, are nearly indestructible (when capped) and are occasionally offered as a drop.
Speaking of preferences, I have a Jin-Hao (?sp) I would be happy to trade for a Safari.
The other interesting tidbit: most of these pens were created as a result of the renaissance the New York Times article discusses. Many newly initiated in their use go to fpn (myself included). It would be great to have Massdrop be a bookmarked site for those already involved and those about to be indoctrinated. ;-)
Thanks for humoring my rambling post.
Cheers to all.