TOTD 2020-2-19: A Great Little Pen

I have been playing around with fountain pens and found a great little pen. It is the Metropolitan by Pilot. It is about $20 and writes smooth. If you are doing any extended handwriting it is well worth it.

Here is a review. (This is old but good.)

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30 thoughts on “TOTD 2020-2-19: A Great Little Pen”

  1. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Check this out Dime. I have always wanted one of these.

    I have already watched this, thanks.

    What I have heard one needs to be careful about traveling with a fountain pen because of the pressurization on an airplane. I figure I can just use ballpoints at that time.

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  2. Here is a discussion about flying with a fountain pen.

    I didn’t realize I can use my ink filler, converter, to get extraneous air out.

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  3. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Yeah biggest fear is an ink blot on my dress shirts. It’s like the dream where you’re giving a speech but you are naked or something. It’s nearly a phobia.

    Buy shirts the same color as the ink. 🙂

    What I gather is that you don’t use a fountain pen in the same way. Its strong point and its weak point is the fluidity of its ink. They are a pleasure to write with but could spill far easier.

    Right now I am having fun learning about them. 

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  4. I have that fear with any pen really. Fountain pens are something I have always been interested in but have never bought one. I think I will once I am done with law school. I do have a useable quill pen and ink well though.

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  5. Robert A. McReynolds:
    I have that fear with any pen really. Fountain pens are something I have always been interested in but have never bought one. I think I will once I am done with law school. I do have a useable quill pen and ink well though.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how good the starter pens are. Give it a shot it.

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  6. The other advantage is that one can pick the ink from a wide varieties and tons of colors. So far I just have bottles of black, blue, and red.

    Does anyone have a favorite ink?

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  7. When I was in the third, or was it the fourth, grade, the nuns wear teaching us to write with fountain pens. The vogue, at the time, was Shaeffer cartridge pens.  That was one of the times my inventiveness got me in trouble. I wanted to do something different, so for St. Valentine’s day I decided to swap red and blue ink cartridges and sign my Valentines with ink that would fade from blue to red.

    Where they came from I don’t know, but in the 50’s it was much easier to get hypodermic syringes and needles. I used one to fill an empty cartridge with red ink. I had timed it in my experiments so I knew how much I could write before the ink color changed, not too long. It worked pretty well.

    But…

    Swapping the ink cartridges got ink over my hands. I dodged the bullet at home, but when I got to school, the nun had a field day with me. She was merciless. Anyone growing up in the fifties should remember the 15 inch ruler smacked across the knuckles. Painfull.

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  8. I was fascinated by fountain pens when I was in middle school, and experimented with them while in high school.

    Until my drafting class.   After learning how to handle Rapidograph drafting pens, I was ruined for ever going to fountain pens.

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  9. MJBubba:
    I was fascinated by fountain pens when I was in middle school, and experimented with them while in high school.

    Until my drafting class.   After learning how to handle Rapidograph drafting pens, I was ruined for ever going to fountain pens.

    What type of ink does a Radiograph use? Why did you like them?

    What fountain pens did you try?

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  10. Robert A. McReynolds:
    Check this out Dime. I have always wanted one of these.

    I noticed that a lot of his examples use the Lamy safari.  I’ve used both their fountain pens nd what they call their calligraphy/broad nib pens for years and swear by them.  Inexpensive and a pleasure to use, and cartridges come in a rainbow of colors.

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  11. Roxie:

    Robert A. McReynolds:
    Check this out Dime. I have always wanted one of these.

    I noticed that a lot of his examples use the Lamy safari.  I’ve used both their fountain pens nd what they call their calligraphy/broad nib pens for years and swear by them.  Inexpensive and a pleasure to use, and cartridges come in a rainbow of colors.

    I have a Lamy Safari. It is really close in quality to the Pilot Metropolitan but I like the Pilot better. The Pilot has a finer nib.

    I just got a converter for the Safari and I found that the Pilot ink in the converter makes it write a little smoother.

    Roxie, I am glad you are not the type to use a Vanishing Point Pen.

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  12. Fond memories…I used a Waterman fountain pen to take all of my notes through grad school.  The flow was just wonderful.  I go back to it when writing letters, but it’s been such a while.  Email and–worse–WhatsApp and texting have really made a mess out of my correspondence habit.  Okay…time to get the pens out, soak them in a little water, and get back to it.  I have several Waterman pens, an old piston one–don’t know the maker–and a MontBlanc that has leaked from the day I got it.  I also have a lovely one made of blown glass.  Sigh.  I think there’s a friend or two out there I need to write to…

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  13. Caryn:
    Fond memories…I used a Waterman fountain pen to take all of my notes through grad school.  The flow was just wonderful.  I go back to it when writing letters, but it’s been such a while.  Email and–worse–WhatsApp and texting have really made a mess out of my correspondence habit.  Okay…time to get the pens out, soak them in a little water, and get back to it.  I have several Waterman pens, an old piston one–don’t know the maker–and a MontBlanc that has leaked from the day I got it.  I also have a lovely one made of blown glass.  Sigh.  I think there’s a friend or two out there I need to write to…

    I am not writing letters but trying to write a page of thoughts a day. It is more brain food because seeing and writing longhand makes ideas stick.
    I am challenging myself to write with my opposite hand. The fine control is not there yet.

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  14. Caryn:
    Fond memories…I used a Waterman fountain pen to take all of my notes through grad school.  The flow was just wonderful.  I go back to it when writing letters, but it’s been such a while.  Email and–worse–WhatsApp and texting have really made a mess out of my correspondence habit.  Okay…time to get the pens out, soak them in a little water, and get back to it.  I have several Waterman pens, an old piston one–don’t know the maker–and a MontBlanc that has leaked from the day I got it.  I also have a lovely one made of blown glass.  Sigh.  I think there’s a friend or two out there I need to write to…

    Welcome, Caryn!

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  15. What I have found out is fountain pens can be a piece of art, therefore very expensive. But one can buy a decent one that writes well at a reasonable price. Long term these can be cheaper than the disposable pens when you use liquid ink to refill them.

    Let me know if have written with a fountain pen recently.

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  16. Interesting thread.

    I have long used a fountain pen and only quit when I developed a tremor and my handwriting went to hell. I have about a half dozen Montblanc’s, one Waterman in silver, a couple cheap Parkers that I got in the PX way back when I was on active duty, a set of sterling silver Parkers, and my favorites, two Pelicans. Initially I got medium nibs, but once I learned there were options, I have bought the pens and had the seller send it back to the company before I took possession and install a right oblique nib.

    Nibs come in two varieties – chisel point and roller point. The latter is WAY more common. The former is used for calligraphy and cannot be pushed. One reason all calligraphy lettering is made in sections. For a while back in the early 80’s I carried a calligraphy pen and wrote all my notes in that. (I wrote a prescription in that and about a half hour later the office gets a call from the pharmacist asking,  “?DO I fill it or frame it.”)

    The invention of the ball tip allowed one to write with a fountain pen with continuous movement to form the letters. However, generally the letters formed are pretty even in appearance. The older nibs are more flexible and so allow a softer style of writing and give a more varied letter formation. Most modern pens, except the high end ones, have steel nibs, which are harsher in feel and less flexible in letter formation.

    If you are interested in a more calligraphy-like appearance, I would suggest you get a pen with a right oblique nib. It will probably quickly become your favorite pen.

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  17. Fountain pens are more difficult to use in some (mine) work environments. Instead, what I have taken to using is a roller ball pen. I have used the same cheap pen for at least the last 15 years. I use blue-black ink, and get a 1.0 size tip. It gives a bold appearance to your writing, and since what I use it for mostly is signing prescriptions, it becomes well known at the local pharmacies where ever I work. It is VERY hard to forge. For one thing, you have to buy the refills on the internet because most regular office supply stores don’t carry 1.0 tips – too “big”.

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  18. For the last two years of college I carried and used a Koh-I-Noor drafting pen. Unlike MJB, it didn’t seem to spoil me for using a fountain pen, but it did require changing how I wrote. Drafting pens come with replaceable tips of specified width so you can make lines that are even on a blueprint. The tips are a tube of specific width with a plunger inside. Since there is no “tilt” to the tip (you are to use them along a ruler to make a line so you tend to hold it straight up), you have to adjust how you hold your hand to get the ink to flow. The ink is also different, thicker. If you use it in a regular fountain pen it will clog it (guess how I know!). But OTOH, it gives a distinctive shiny look to the black ink. I wrote Fitness Reports with them on active duty and always got comments on the appearance of the report from my superiors. It is that noticeable.

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  19. Which Pelican did you buy? That was the first pen I bought because it had a left handed nib. I don’t understand quite the effect of a right oblique nib gives.

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