Say goodbye to the everyday ballpoint pen and welcome the best affordable fountain pen.
When putting ink onto paper, nothing is smoother and more professional than using a fountain pen.
However, since these pens are often crafted (and collected) by enthusiasts, they aren’t always the most affordable.
That said, not all fountain pens are the same. Join us as we break down the best budget fountain pens and give our thoughts on each of them.
What is a Good Price For a Fountain Pen?
When we speak about the prices of fountain pens, the quality of the pen comes into the conversation. The price depends on the quality.
Certain brands like Montblanc, which are considered to be the Rolls Royce of fountain pens, will raise a few eyebrows with their price.
These pens have 14k gold nibs and can be around the same price as a smartphone.
However, in this case, we want to look at the best low-cost fountain pens that give you a good bang for your buck.
Generally speaking, an inexpensive pen that still delivers on quality will be the same price as a men’s sweater.
With that said, let’s look at some of the most inexpensive fountain pen options and discuss what we like about them.
Best Affordable Fountain Pen (Reviews)
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
- Fountain pen with cartridge filling system with ink cartridge LAMY T 10 blue (can be modified for use with converter Z 24).
- Steel nib, polished.
- Available nib grades: medium (M) / extra fine (EF) / fine (F) / broad (B) / left-handed (LH).
- matt black
- Designer: Wolfgang Fabian
The Lamy Safari fountain pen kicks off our best budget fountain pen list.
Most beginner fountain pens are made from plastic, and this one is no different. It has a steel nib and uses a cartridge converter filler system.
The packaging is simple and gives off an industrial design. Inside the package, you will find the fountain pen with a blue Lamy fountain pen ink cartridge.
The nib itself is a black stainless steel nib, matching the matte black body of the fountain pen.
These nibs are easily interchangeable, meaning if you have a medium nib at home, simply swap it out for the Lamy nib.
Going back to the body; it’s made from ABS plastic, a common material in a cheap fountain pen.
This plastic makes the pen feel cheap compared to its more expensive counterparts, but you’re essentially getting what you paid for.
You cannot use any 3rd party ink converter as this Lamy pen only accepts proprietary Lamy converters.
The pen fits well in the hand, both posted and unposted.
When writing, the pen has decent line variation, and no matter the nib, it feels very smooth when putting pen to paper.
It’s a reasonably wet pen with a steady ink flow. Using a medium nib, it keeps up well, and there are barely any noticeable problems. For more detailed insights, read our comprehensive Lamy fountain pen review.
- Good line variation no matter the nib
- Contains a fountain pen ink cartridge filler system
- A good amount of wetness
- Cheap feeling plastic body
Parker Jotter Fountain Pen
- Glossy black finish with a retro touch inspires original ideas
- The iconic Jotter design, now as a fountain pen
- Ultra resistant scratch-free plastic body
- Feather-shaped medium nib allows you to experience the pleasure of fountain pen writing
- Includes one long black and one long blue Quink cartridge to take on any writing task that comes your way
Parker is generally best known for its standard ballpoint pen or gel pens found in offices. But, the brand is no stranger to the world of fountain pens.
The entry-level Parker Jotter fountain pen is marketed as a budget fountain pen. This is one of those classic design metal pens that exhibits style.
It has Parker engravings on the lid and displays when and where the pen was manufactured. The pen itself comes in various colours, from blue to red to black.
Looking at the nib – it’s brushed stainless steel with the signature Parker and Chevron engravings. You will find a medium nib in the package when purchasing your pen.
The cap posts securely when you need to write, and the grip of the fountain pen can be described as thin.
While the Parker Jotter doesn’t come with a fountain pen ink converter, it does include a cartridge. This cartridge is larger than the standard international cartridge converter. What this means is you will find yourself with a large ink capacity.
When purchasing the Parker Jotter fountain pen, the ink in the cartridge will either be black or blue Parker ink.
If you need a refill, you can normally purchase the bottled ink canisters.
Holding the Parker Jotter fountain pen when writing is light and feels very close to a metropolitan pilot fountain pen.
Still using a medium nib, the pen itself is really smooth and very quiet. There’s no drag or skipping when writing, with lines remaining constant, keeping up well with the writer.
In terms of wetness, it borders the line between wet and dry, hitting that sweet spot.
Read our complete Parker Jotter fountain pen review to get the full specifications on this stylish pen.
- Not too wet, not too dry
- Light and easy to hold
- Professional aesthetic
- Secure posting
- Ink converter not included
Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen
- Fine 0.3mm nib width
- Stainless steel nib
- Slip and seal' Mechanism prevents ink from drying out
- Smooth writing with reliable ink flow
The Platinum Plaisir fountain pen, despite its name making you think otherwise, is inexpensive.
It has an aluminium pen body with a shiny flourish along the metal pieces on the cap. The aluminium design makes for a good quality pen that feels light in the hand.
The body of the pen has a variety of colours, from orange to blue to silver.
The metal band around the cap has engravings of the brand as well as where the fountain pen was manufactured.
This is the only place with embellishments on the fountain pen.
The clip on the pen is metal with a cheap feeling to it, but this is common in most inexpensive pens.
Various fountain pen nibs will feel right at home on the Platinum Plaisir as they are easily interchangeable.
Depending on your choice, it comes packaged with a medium or fine nib. It also includes a Plaisir cartridge, and you can have a converter in it.
In terms of size, the fountain pen fits comfortably in the hand, both posted and unposted.
When it comes to writing, the experience is a smooth one, especially when using the Platinum Plaisir steel nib that it comes with.
There’s rarely any skipping, and the pen offers a good line variation for the price.
In other words, it’s not highly pronounced, but it does the job.
It sways more on the dry side than the more wet fountain pens, causing the ink to dry in mere seconds.
Overall this fountain pen is consistent once it hits the paper. It’s a low-cost fountain pen that serves as a good introduction for beginners.
- Easily interchange nibs
- No skipping when writing
- Light aluminium design
- Ink dries quickly
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
- Pilot's sleek Metropolitan Collection signature pens
- Finest quality at a mid-range price
- Medium nib
- Ships with 1 Pilot black ink cartridge and 1 Pilot Press Plate Converter
- Black barrel
An inexpensive pen like the Pilot Metropolitan fountain is often the go-to when it comes to a beginner’s first fountain pen.
The fountain pen comes in a neat box with a magnetic closure. Inside this box, you will also find a Pilot ink cartridge.
These fountain pens don’t have a large variety of colours, but the available colours are sleek and professional. The most common colour you will find is the silver body with black dots.
This pen has the classic cigar shape with a shiny chrome clip engraved with the manufacturing location.
The fountain pen might feel a bit uncomfortable for someone with larger hands as the rim section before the steel nib doesn’t offer a lot of room.
It’s a good-sized pen, and posting is secure with the cap remaining on the backend when writing or shaking the pen.
The nib on the Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen is a medium steel nib that has Japanese engravings around it.
These are interchangeable so feel free to add an extra fine nib or your fancy gold nib to the mix.
If you don’t want to use the included cartridge, the fountain pen comes with an automatic converter.
This allows you to take your bottled ink and squeeze it into the converter. From there, it compresses and decompresses as it fills up with ink.
Using a medium fountain pen nib on some Rodya paper, the pen is smooth and a joy to use.
The feed keeps up relatively well when writing at a faster pace. Barely any signs of skipping can be seen, which is a definite pro for these cheaper pens.
The line variation is decent, but the Pilot steel nib isn’t very flexible. So, you will need to press down harder than usual to see results.
The wetness on this fountain pen is a reasonably wet steady ink flow. Overall, you’ll see from our Pilot Metropolitan review that this pen is affordable and well-rounded, which many beginners can appreciate.
- A good amount of wetness
- Aromatic converter included
- Packaged in a sleek box
- Uncomfortable for big hands
Fountain pens can range from being affordable to being as expensive as your imagination allows for.
The fountain pens on our list are the best way to introduce yourself to the world of fountain pens. Whatever model you choose, rest assured that your wallet won’t run dry.