Unlike ballpoint pens, fountain pens are not just pens; they are an experience. Right from selection, purchase, unpacking, and first use – it’s far from comparable with a ballpoint pen. Purchasing a premium fountain pen adds to your style statement and gives you plenty of years of service.
While the practical use of a ball pen cannot be overlooked, Ink pens add a touch of traditional elegance. As you wear your fountain pen in, it mends itself to suit the way you write and becomes a candid rendition of your writing style.
Although most people picture a Parker when they hear fountain pen, there’s actually a flourishing market with some reputable manufacturers that offer a wide selection. Aficionados can now pick a fountain pen that agrees with their taste and sports an ergonomic style that perfectly fits their hand.
This list suggests some classic fountain pens for your perusal. Read through to pick a writing pal that best compliments your taste and style. Now, without any further adieu, let’s get started!
- Best Fountain Pens in India (2020)
- 1. Best Overall: Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen
- 2. Best Runner Up: Lamy Safari
- 3. Best Under 2000 (INR): Pilot Metropolitan
- 4. Best for Writing: Pilot Crocodile
- 5. Smoothest Fountain Pen: Amazon Basics (Refillable)
- 6. Best Ink Pen Under Budget: Gold Leaf Jinhao X450
- 7. Best Pen for Students: Parker Frontier Matte
- 8. Best Slim Fountain Pen: Neo Gold Leaf Baoer 79
- 9. Best Value for Money: Parker Vector Mettalix
- 10. Cheap Fountain Pen: Camlin Elegante
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Fountain Pens in India (2020)
But before we get to that, let’s scan through a few essentials of a good fountain pen that you should watch out for during the selection process.
- Material: Fountain pens come in several materials such as stainless steel, brass, and plastic. Most entry-level pens use plastic to contain the cost, and while they don’t look the most elegant, they’re quite durable. Fountain pens made of base metals are more popular because they are lightweight and durable and are easy to engrave.
- Type of Pen: Disposable fountain pens function like a cheap ballpoint pen that you can throw into the trash when the ink runs out. A cartridge fountain pen, as the name suggests, comes with a cartridge that carries the ink. The cartridge can be replaced when it runs out of ink. Converter and Piston fountain pens allow filling up the ink from an inkwell, a process that may not sit well with beginners. Converter fountain pens, however, also accept cartridges.
- Nib: This is the heart and soul of your fountain pen. Nibs can vary in size and come in broad, medium, fine, and extra-fine – with fine (0.5mm) being the most commonly preferred. Ideally, the smaller your handwriting, the finer you want your nib to be.
- Barrel and Cap: If you only plan on using the pen occasionally, look for a slip-and-seal cap that will seal the pen tightly, so your ink doesn’t dry out. If you travel often, a threaded cap or a screw cap will suit your purpose, so the cap doesn’t come off on a bumpy road. If you’re buying a workhorse, though, it’s convenient to have a click-on cap that will come off without applying a lot of force.
Now, with this in mind, let’s dive into the reviews!
1. Best Overall: Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen
If you’re looking to add a champion writing instrument to your pen case, look at Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen that is designed for zero distraction so you can get straight to your work. The pen checks all the boxes – it’s lightweight, has a straightforward design, large ink capacity, and a decent nib that’s not excessively wet.
The Lamy 2000 has a to-the-point minimal design that is timeless and has continued to be relevant ever since the 60s. The pen is made out of Makrolon, a brushed material that gives this pen a texture unmatched by any other pen. It adds just enough friction to avoid slippage for sweaty hands and is smooth enough to deceive your mind as you examine it.
The 25 x 25 x 25mm fountain pen features a piston filling mechanism as against other modern fountain pens that carry an ink cartridge allowing the pen to be used right out of the box. The Lamy 2000 houses an ink chamber that’s filled via the piston mechanism, which eliminates the hassle of ink spills. All you have to do is twist the piston when your nib is dipped in the ink bottle, and the piston will suck the ink into the ink chamber.
The Lamy 2000 is without a shadow of a doubt an absolute delight that gives you a smooth and highly constructed experience with your writing. Its elegant design will continue to awe people for years to come.
The fountain pen only comes in Black with a 10 days replacement policy. You cannot go wrong with the remarkable Lamy 2000 that proudly flaunts a mid-twentieth century design with an edgy element. The ink window and piston knob are visible only when required and otherwise hide inside the instrument’s brushed body. From writing experience to the style factor, the Lamy 2000 scores full points across the board.
- Non-distracting featherlight writing instrument
- Elegant Design
- Posts Well
- Large Ink Capacity
- Piston Filling Mechanism Works Well
- The Nib May Require Fine-Tuning
2. Best Runner Up: Lamy Safari
Affordable fountain pens that work like a charm are a rarity. However, Lamy Safari is excellent for both beginners as well as fountain pen wizards.
The very recognizable design is a tad different from the traditional looking pens and has a rather distinctive look. The plastic molded body is not perfectly round and has flattened curves to keep the pen from rolling off your desk. The handgrip is flattened – now this may be a pro for some, during a con for others. The pen has a thick barrel and can be comfortably held for extended durations.
The 13.8 x 1.4 x 1.4 cm pen has a window that lets you peek inside and take stock of the ink cartridge. The pen uses a piston converter, which enables you to refill the ink by dipping the pen’s nib into the ink and twisting the body. But don’t sweat about having to use the converter right away. If you find it complicated, buy a pack of regular ink cartridges from different brands in different colors and see what you like.
The Safari comes with a medium-sized steel nib, but you can purchase a fine or extra-fine nib, and it will fit on practically any Lamy pen. The medium-sized nib is 1mm thick, which many people may find excessive, so it’s prudent to add an extra-fine nib to your cart.
Lamy provides a 10 days replacement on the Safari fountain pens that are available in 5 color variants – Off White, Red, Black, Blue, and Transparent. The Lamy Safari fountain pen is a majestic writing instrument that’s attractively priced and comfortable to hold.
- Distinct Look – Very Recognizable
- Flattened Handgrip
- Piston Converter Mechanism
- Available in 5 Colors
- Medium Sized Nib is Thick
3. Best Under 2000 (INR): Pilot Metropolitan
Anybody who has been educating themselves about fountain pens has at least once come across the Pilot Metropolitan. The quintessential fountain pen has a sleek and professional-looking black body and a shiny black plastic band wrapped around its barrel.
The brass body confers a decent weighted feel to the pen that has a slick and premium look. It will not let you down if you carry it to a fancy business conference, which is seldom true of fountain pens that cost so little. The pen’s cap features a snap-fit mechanism that gives a pleasurable click. That being said, the pen’s posting performance is sub-par. The cap tends to wiggle when you write unless it’s forced down onto the pen’s barrel.
The 30 x 58 x 178 mm fountain pen sports both a cartridge and squeeze converter. Piston converters are almost always preferable over squeeze converters. The squeeze converter requires you to pinch the metal strip to make sure it sucks in enough ink. To make things more difficult, the converter is opaque, which means you can’t tell if it has been filled entirely.
Upon first use, the nib scratches across the page, but it gets better within a few minutes of writing. The Metropolitan’s fine nib is considerably finer than their European counterparts. That being said, the tiny nib manages to slide across the paper flawlessly.
The Pilot Metropolitan has a 10-days replacement policy and is shipped in 3 color variants – Black, Gold, and Silver. The Pilot Metropolitan is a leader fountain pen and always makes an appearance when discussing its price segment.
- Brass body
- A pleasurable Snap-Fit mechanism
- An ideal companion for business conferences
- Poor posting performance
4. Best for Writing: Pilot Crocodile
The Pilot Crocodile Black Crocodile is a tasteful writing instrument with an animal accent on the barrel. The pattern is not one of those cheap stickers and sits lavishly on the body’s matte black barrel.
The pen is designed to focus on simplicity and elegance. Although the design choices may be influenced by an intention to contain the pen’s cost, it doesn’t seem to have any adverse outcome in terms of quality or appearance. The quiet design speaks through a simplistic center band.
The animal pattern on the pen adds a fun element to it and doesn’t erode the classiness in any way. The 40 x 40 x 150 mm pen remains highly usable for business settings with its minimalist and elegant design. The cap and barrel are made of brass, but it doesn’t make the pen feel heavy. The pen’s strong and durable body also doesn’t scratch easily. If you like writing with a posted pen, you may have to push the cap a little tighter.
The pen’s aerometric converter works fine but presses into the section instead of screwing into it. It also doesn’t hold ample ink, but Pilot makes many other converters that you can use for the Metropolitan. The pen can be equipped with Pilot cartridges, so you can always replace the stock converter.
The Japanese nibs are generally finer than the German and American nibs. If you’ve got miniature handwriting, the Japanese nib will work excellently for you. It provides terrific line variation, so your tiny cursive handwriting will still have stellar legibility.
The pilot has a 10-days replacement policy on the fountain pen that comes in Black with a Crocodile pattern. If you’re only just getting started with fountain pens and don’t want to offload your bank by a significant amount, don’t blink an eye and bring home the Pilot Metropolitan.
- Simple and elegant
- Fun crocodile pattern
- A durable body that doesn’t scratch easy
- Works perfectly for small handwriting
- Doesn’t hold ample ink
5. Smoothest Fountain Pen: Amazon Basics (Refillable)
The Amazon Basics Refillable Fountain Pen is accompanied by 3 ink cartridges in the box, with 1 being inside the pen. The Amazon product is, like all things Amazon, competitively priced and is an ideal choice for gifting to a potential fountain pen lover.
The 14 x 1.7 x 1.3 cm fountain pen features a generic body made of lacquered brass and has chrome trim. If the AmazonBasics branding would’ve been absent from the clip, it could’ve easily passed as a Waterman or Cross pen that costs upwards of 7,000 (INR).
The build quality is way above the pen’s price point. When posted, the cap doesn’t wiggle as it does on inexpensive pens. The pen weighs right not to tire out a daily writer, but some might find the metal section a little slippery. The instrument ships sans a converter, so you’ll need to buy one separately.
The fountain pen currently has a fine and medium nib option, consistent with almost any pen in this price segment. The nib draws a classic, smooth western medium line, which works fine right out of the box without an adjustment.
The AmazonBasics fountain pen is shipped with a one-year warranty and a 10-days replacement policy. The writing instrument comes in a single Black variant. The pen delivers excellent value for money and is particularly suited for those who want to test the waters as a novice fountain pen user.
- Brass body
- Excellent build quality
- Nib writes delightfully well
- One-year of warranty
- Convertor is excluded
6. Best Ink Pen Under Budget: Gold Leaf Jinhao X450
This fountain pen has a standard cigar-shaped design and comes from the Shanghai Qiangu Stationery Limited – a brand that has been manufacturing pens since 1988.
The 12 x 6 x 5 cm Gold Leaf pen sports gold trims across the body, including the cap top, cap band, barrel top, and clip. The brass body weighs 44 grams when posted and 30 grams without the cap. Although the pen’s weight is above average, it doesn’t adversely impact the writing experience and balances well when writing. The overall design of the pen is beautiful and gives off a vintage vibe.
The Jinhao X450 uses universal converters and cartridges, and it comes preloaded with a converter. The converter quality seems decent and can be used with other pens that use a standard converter. The spring-loaded box that the pen is shipped in doesn’t carry any cartridges.
The instrument’s round grip is a combination of brass and plastic and has three indents that enable you to place a firm grip. The 18-carat gold plated steel nib is carved with the Jinhao logo. Upon applying pressure, the nib gives some line variation, and you can use a flexible nib on the instrument for calligraphy.
The pen manages to write well on almost any type of paper and doesn’t hard to start, skip, or smudge as you write. The Jinhao X450 comes with a 10-days replacement policy. It is available in ample color variants such as – Glossy Black, Matt Black, Black Marble, Spiral Blue, Dark Blue, Red, Red Silver, Red Ivory, Purple, and White, among others.
If you’re looking for a workhorse that is beginner-friendly and easy on the wallet, this is your best bet.
- Gold trims add a premium Feel
- Simplistic design
- Indents that facilitate a firm grip
- Ample color options
- Would’ve preferred lower weight
7. Best Pen for Students: Parker Frontier Matte
Parker’s tale commenced way back in 1888, and the company has since become synonymous with fountain pens. The Parker Frontier Matte has a production date code E, which means the year 2008. What it also means is that Parker had 120 years’ worth of experience at the time of manufacturing the Parker Frontier.
The Frontier is made of brushed stainless steel with a cap that has no ring. The cap has a sharp rim that sits flush with the pen’s barrel when capped. The cap posts securely on the pen to bring its weight to 22gm, while the pen weighs about 14gm when uncapped. The pen accepts proprietary cartridges from Parker or a Parker converter, which do not accompany the pen.
The 20 x 20 x 120 mm fountain pen sports a steel nib that writes buttery-smooth and proves how a decent steel nib can deliver exceptional writing experience when correctly set up. The nib and feed come right off upon unscrewing if you want to do some quick cleaning or maintenance.
The Parker Frontier comes with a 10-days replacement policy and ships in Matte Black and Silver colors. This is a pretty straightforward pen with a convenient feature that lets you unscrew the nib and the feed. The pen looks smart and durable and writes with an excellent flow.
- Durable stainless-steel body
- Looks smart and simple
- Buttery-smooth flow
- Nib and feed can be unscrewed for cleaning
- Cartridges and converter excluded
8. Best Slim Fountain Pen: Neo Gold Leaf Baoer 79
At such a small price, the Neo Gold Leaf Baoer 79 is a no-brainer for those working on a slim budget. When you unbox the pen, the seemingly terrific build quality is likely to pop your eyes out. Grab this excellent quality instrument if you’re hoping to embark on an enjoyable writing excursion.
The handsome looking fountain pen has a full metallic body. The matte-finished barrel and the cap are covered in silver lines that form a grid across the pen’s body. The fountain pen’s external accents are silver and include the slim cap band, the clip, the endcap threads, and the cap-top where the finial is housed.
The pen has an outstanding build quality. It has a sturdy feel with well-assembled components that are not wobbly and certainly won’t make you feel that the pen will disassemble on you. The cap screws onto the barrel instead of snapping. But the threads on the pen are not too sharp to become bothersome as you write.
The Baoer 79 has a simple, push-on type converter. Although it doesn’t come loose when you’re using the pen, being able to screw it into the section would’ve been nicer. The nib gives a nice line variation when you apply pressure, but it’s quite likely that you’ll turn your F nib into an M. The pen does seem to have some hard-starting trouble, which doesn’t seem to go away with use.
Baoer 79 is shipped with a 10-days replacement policy in a single Black variant with a silver grid. If a medium stroke or hard starts, don’t get on your nerves; you will find this solid pen delightful. The fountain pen gives you plenty for its price and is a fantastic writer if you can invest some effort and adjust a few things.
- Sturdy construction
- Looks fantastic
- Remains tight when posted
- Value for money
- Hard starts
9. Best Value for Money: Parker Vector Mettalix
Parker is among the greatest legacy manufacturers of pens, so, logically, they have introduced their own entry-level fountain pen in the form of Parker Vector Mettalix. People have used the Vector for years, and it has recently regained some spotlight with the introduction of some fresh color variants.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. That being said, the Vector does look rather plain. The cap sits securely when posted, and the chances of the cap splitting are slim. The clip doesn’t add much personality to the pen either but works just fine with thin shirts and thick jackets.
The 20 x 20 x 120 mm pen accepts Parker cartridges, or you could opt for a Parker converter to use bottled ink rather than piling plastic cartridges in your trash. The stainless-steel nib delivers just the right amount of ink regardless of the writing speed, unlike some expensive Parker pens that might write a little too wet.
Although ballpoint pens are the supreme choice for school purposes now, the Vector still works perfectly fine for students. It doesn’t leave any smear marks and survives accidental drops just fine. It doesn’t fail to write even after a few idle days, so students don’t need to be concerned about the ink drying during long weekends or Diwali holidays with the Vector.
The Parker Vector is replaceable for 10 days and comes with a two-year warranty period. It ships in three color variants – Black, Blue, and Red. If the name Parker on your pen does something for you, this is your go-to pen when looking at a slim budget. Fountain pens from other brands that are priced slightly higher fare poorly than the Parker Vector.
- Posts well
- Stainless steel nib works excellently
- Doesn’t write too wet like some other Parkers
- Works instantly after an idle period
- Two-year warranty
- Plain design
10. Cheap Fountain Pen: Camlin Elegante
Camlin is a brand known to most Indian students. The brand has managed to churn out excellent stationery products like earplugs for studying, English grammar books, and GST books for accounting students over the years, and the Elegante fountain pen is no exception.
The Camlin Elegante fountain pen is sized on the higher side as compared to other pens from Camlin. That being said, it is an elegant looking full-bodied pen that has a fine flex nib. The pen’s appeal emanates from the frosted silver-finish brass cap that sprinkles character over its chrome body. The section sports an ergonomic design that is another eye-candy on the instrument.
The gold-plated fine nib allows for a decent ink flow, and there are no hard starts either. It has slightly lesser feedback than the Parker Vector but writes broader. It also beats the Vector in terms of smoothness. The 15 x 15 x 144 mm fountain pen posts tightly and won’t disassemble as you engage yourself in writing.
Camlin ships the pen with a 10-days replacement policy in three color variants – Black, Blue, and Red. If you’re looking for an entry-level writing instrument that costs you less than a Big Mac, this dazzler from Camlin will serve you well.
- Classy look
- Ergonomic design
- No hard starts
- Writes smooth
- Slightly large
Frequently Asked Questions
A cartridge is similar to a refill of a ballpoint pen. It’s a plastic capsule that you can directly put into your fountain pen and dispose of it when the ink runs out. A converter, though, is entirely different. They are detachable actuators that have a piston, which sucks the ink into the fountain pen. To fill the ink, you must immerse the nib into an ink bottle and draw ink into the cartridge.
You don’t need a new converter. However, it’s recommended that you flush the pen when you change the ink’s brand or color. What you need to do is thoroughly clean the converter, nib, and feed. If you don’t, the color and properties of the previous ink and new ink will mix.
It’s a good idea to start with the same brand’s ink as your fountain pen. When you want to experiment with different inks, consider the following ink characteristics – Flow, Lubrication, Staining, and Clogging.
A fountain pen skips when the feed cannot supply sufficient ink to the nib’s tip or if the nib’s tines are misaligned. It’s fairly simple to fix insufficient ink supply, but repairing a misaligned nib requires a pen technician’s service.
Identifying a fountain pen that floats your boat can be a subjective decision. In addition to the pen’s traits, you also need to bring your writing style, preferred size, and other personalized attributes into the picture – and these are different for everybody.
With that in mind, there are some general aspects of fountain pens that affect your overall writing experience. We’ve focused on these attributes to present the Lamy 2000 as our top pick. The extremely lightweight instrument has an elegant design and a large ink capacity. The pen posts excellently while you write and also features a piston filling mechanism. The pen is a combination of class and convenience and aces all parameters of an ideal fountain pen.
The likes of Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan are extraordinary pens, too, for those looking to fetch a premium-looking business-friendly fountain pen at a reasonable price. If you are fond of pens that sport a bold look, the Pilot Crocodile with its crocodile pattern will certainly turn a few heads. For beginners, though, the Amazon Basics or the Parker Frontier will be a much prudent choice.
Choosing a good quality fountain pen comes with some specific caveats, and the perception of a pen’s characteristics may differ among individuals. Use this list as a directory tool that will guide you through the process of choosing your perfect writing instrument, and be sure to gauge your selection in terms of personal preferences such as budget, barrel size, and aesthetics, among others.