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Thread: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

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    Default Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy.

    I should just knock my head on the wall and induce a revelation... there is a reason why fountain pens are no longer popular in the general population and most people use computers and ballpoints now. No, fountain pens will not make you connect with God, no, it will not connect you with "history" or some other bullshit reason that makes fountain pens superior.

    What my FP journey has done however, was it allowed me to try all different types of paper. And yes the paper is important. And I have found a paper that makes ballpoint pens just as good a writing experience as fountain pens. My handwriting looks more legible, there is zero frustration, zero distraction, pure writing my thoughts down unlike that I have with fountain pens.

    Whenever I write with fountain pens, I always get distracted by the small imperfections like pooling of ink, feathering, the smoothness not to my tastes because of my peculiarity of writing; do I really like this writing experience? Is it me or is it the pen?. None of these distractions ever occur when I write with a ballpoint - it is simply click write click write - no bullshit.

    So yes... I cannot believe it, and while I have enjoyed parts of my FP journey, it has led me back right back to where I started - using ballpoints. [Cheap ballpoints 0.7mm from Muji, if you really want to know.] But now I use found a good paper for them, so at least something good came out of using FPs.

    [The usual YMMV/this is only my current opinion disclaimer]

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy....
    Well, you are free to use whatever pen(s) you like. I love some of my gel-pens, too.

    But with "thousands" of dollars, you did not find a properly working fountain pen??? That's hard for me to understand. I find working pens (new) for $3, or $10, or $20....

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy....
    Well, you are free to use whatever pen(s) you like. I love some of my gel-pens, too.

    But with "thousands" of dollars, you did not find a properly working fountain pen??? That's hard for me to understand. I find working pens (new) for $3, or $10, or $20....
    Maybe that's why I got burned out... I went too far. I should've stuck with my innocent and good enough Pilot Kakunos...

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Sorry to hear that. A dependable fountain pen should be neither that expensive nor that much fuzz. Personally I find the major advantanges with fountain pens in the selection of inks; colors, some like alternative features like scent and shimmer. The nibs themselves give more option too; flex, firm, round tip, stubb, etc. There are quite good inks to be found among rollerball pens though, Pilot Gel Rollers comes in 0.5 and 0.7. I always have an 0.7 some where. Parker Quink refill rollerballs are available in the basic colors, I used to have several of them. I think Pelikan rollerball has a wetter ink too, not the sticky thick inks some ballpoints have. Our favorite pen isn't always the most expensive of fancy. In the past I had a basic Pelikan piston filler, and for years it was a steel nib hand-me-down Parker 51 aerometic.
    Last edited by arrow; December 12th, 2020 at 07:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy....
    Well, you are free to use whatever pen(s) you like. I love some of my gel-pens, too.

    But with "thousands" of dollars, you did not find a properly working fountain pen??? That's hard for me to understand. I find working pens (new) for $3, or $10, or $20....
    Maybe that's why I got burned out... I went too far. I should've stuck with my innocent and good enough Pilot Kakunos...
    'Thousands of dollars'. I have a decent number of pens, mostly vintage with the most expensive costing less than about AUD 200, and a small selection of inks. Each of the pens i have is usable and gets used -- some more than others. At the most, I may have spent nearly AUD 1200 for all of the pens and inks I own. But then, I am neither 'a collector of things' nor do I chase the 'holy grail' -- the perfect pen. I also believe that there is much value in the exercise of self discipline. While I can easily afford to buy myself a new Yard-O-Lead Viceroy pen, I won't simply because I choose not to submit to what in my mind would be an ego-based and frivolous purchase.

    That being said, I am not you, and you are not me. We each make decisions based upon our own individual motives. With that, it is regrettable for you to have gone so far at such a great expense (time,effort, and capital) only to find unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

    Best wishes for you and your future endeavours.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy.

    I should just knock my head on the wall and induce a revelation... there is a reason why fountain pens are no longer popular in the general population and most people use computers and ballpoints now. No, fountain pens will not make you connect with God, no, it will not connect you with "history" or some other bullshit reason that makes fountain pens superior.

    What my FP journey has done however, was it allowed me to try all different types of paper. And yes the paper is important. And I have found a paper that makes ballpoint pens just as good a writing experience as fountain pens. My handwriting looks more legible, there is zero frustration, zero distraction, pure writing my thoughts down unlike that I have with fountain pens.

    Whenever I write with fountain pens, I always get distracted by the small imperfections like pooling of ink, feathering, the smoothness not to my tastes because of my peculiarity of writing; do I really like this writing experience? Is it me or is it the pen?. None of these distractions ever occur when I write with a ballpoint - it is simply click write click write - no bullshit.

    So yes... I cannot believe it, and while I have enjoyed parts of my FP journey, it has led me back right back to where I started - using ballpoints. [Cheap ballpoints 0.7mm from Muji, if you really want to know.] But now I use found a good paper for them, so at least something good came out of using FPs.

    [The usual YMMV/this is only my current opinion disclaimer]
    Your mistake, IMHO, was spending thousands for a writing tool. There is simply no need if writing/communication is of need. I recommned the Pilot Precise V5 rather than a BP.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    jace, I suppose you´ve had a bad experience because you bought modern pens.

    Vintage is a joyful experience

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Nobody spends thousands of dollars on fountain pens just because they like to write with them. I'm new to this. I now have a dozen pens and a couple bottles of ink and my total expenditure was less than 100 bucks. Several of my pens are a pleasure to use. If they weren't, I sure wouldn't buy any more. And even so, I doubt whether my collection will grow much. I've bought enough to satisfy my curiosity.

    Some people are collectors by nature. For them, spending lots of money on things they love makes sense. These could be fountain pens or cookie jars shaped like pigs, whatever. The pleasure they get from owning them makes it worth it. I am not one of them, and maybe you aren't either. It's a shame you didn't figure that out earlier.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    The Kakuno is a great pen, keep using it! Sell the expensive ones that disappoint.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    At the end of the day, this story really isn't about pens.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    Yes, it is true. I've finally given up on fountain pens. Maybe this is just a temporary break, maybe it is permanent...

    I don't know why I thought I would love fountain pens. Maybe I thought it would be more comfortable to use and that longer term it is cheaper to use fountain pens because you can just refill the ink instead of buying a new ballpoint pen every time it's finished - yeah no, neither of these points turned out to be true.

    After spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on fountain pens, occasionally going to nibmeisters to "fix" some unruly nibs, the frustration of trying to make fountain pens work for me has led me to a breaking point.

    Honestly, the best writing experience I have ever had with fountain pens was the Pilot Metropolitan M. Right out of the box, it worked. Every other fountain pen was a "forcing myself to love this pen because of general consensus high opinions of the pen". I feel like a big part of it is marketing and sunk cost fallacy.

    I should just knock my head on the wall and induce a revelation... there is a reason why fountain pens are no longer popular in the general population and most people use computers and ballpoints now. No, fountain pens will not make you connect with God, no, it will not connect you with "history" or some other bullshit reason that makes fountain pens superior.

    What my FP journey has done however, was it allowed me to try all different types of paper. And yes the paper is important. And I have found a paper that makes ballpoint pens just as good a writing experience as fountain pens. My handwriting looks more legible, there is zero frustration, zero distraction, pure writing my thoughts down unlike that I have with fountain pens.

    Whenever I write with fountain pens, I always get distracted by the small imperfections like pooling of ink, feathering, the smoothness not to my tastes because of my peculiarity of writing; do I really like this writing experience? Is it me or is it the pen?. None of these distractions ever occur when I write with a ballpoint - it is simply click write click write - no bullshit.

    So yes... I cannot believe it, and while I have enjoyed parts of my FP journey, it has led me back right back to where I started - using ballpoints. [Cheap ballpoints 0.7mm from Muji, if you really want to know.] But now I use found a good paper for them, so at least something good came out of using FPs.

    [The usual YMMV/this is only my current opinion disclaimer]
    Wow. Let me first say that if I were in your situation, and using the same perspective as you described above, I'd be quite frustrated too.

    So you got my commiseration there.

    Now, with the hope that this could be helpful to you, let me offer you another perspective.

    Why I enter this fountain pen hobby, and why I stay in it, is because I like fountain pens, for many reasons. Here are a few:

    1. I like the way they look. The more I see, the more variety and nuances that I appreciate. And I know I'm not alone in this because I have dear pen friends who has been in this hobby for decades and I *still* see their eyes lit up when I show them my findings, which, nothing they never seen before, really.

    2. I like the way some nibs (flex, stubs, italics, etc.) make my handwriting looks better (to me at least). But more importantly, fountain pens gave me the motivation to learn and explore style of writing that I had only admired from far away before.

    3. I like the fact that fountain pens are made in literally hundreds of different ways, and this reason is the one that turned me into vintage pen restoration.

    4. Last but not least, fountain pens reconnect me with my old love: Sketching. Prior to using fountain pens, I pretty much gave up sketching because I was never truly happy with anything that I produce using pencil, brush, let alone ballpoints, I just don't have the energy to even *want* to try sketching with it.

    As you see, none of the reasons above has anything to do with the expectation that fountain pens must be superior to anything else. I just love it, love talking about it, love using it, love tinkering and restoring old ones, love to interact with others who feels the same way, that's pretty much it.

    And here's the most pertinent point: Because I love fountain pens, I don't mind that sometimes they burp, that I sometimes have to drop water to revive a dry nib that hasn't been used in a while. I don't even mind if I smudge a portion of my sketch because the ink was not dry, or when I find a particularly stubborn pen when all I wanted is to nurture it back to health.

    So my message to you is this: Given your current feelings and situation, feel free to go away from fountain pens, do not even think about them any more. Life is too short to try to enjoy something that you don't.

    And maybe soon or maybe years from now, you'll somehow find a reason to love fountain pens. At that time, you can always go back just like I went back to sketching because I find a new motivation.

    I wish you luck, whatever you decide. I hope you stay around in this forum, because you ask interesting questions, and that's what this forum needs, not immature trolls.

    EDITED for clarity.
    Last edited by penwash; December 12th, 2020 at 12:27 PM.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    The Kakuno is a great pen, keep using it! Sell the expensive ones that disappoint.
    Wasn't it a Met in the OP? (I guess they're similar).

    PS: Will's sketches lift my spirits.
    Last edited by Sailor Kenshin; December 12th, 2020 at 12:29 PM.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    Dr. Inkenstein--it was a dark and stormy write!

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    At the end of the day, this story really isn't about pens.
    True.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    The Kakuno is a great pen, keep using it! Sell the expensive ones that disappoint.
    Wasn't it a Met in the OP? (I guess they're similar.
    It was. But then he/she mentions the Kakuno, additionally.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Will's comment in this thread is a great encomium of fountain pens. If I'd never even thought about a fountain pen before, reading that I'd really want to try one!

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsimonious View Post
    Nobody spends thousands of dollars on fountain pens just because they like to write with them. I'm new to this. I now have a dozen pens and a couple bottles of ink and my total expenditure was less than 100 bucks. Several of my pens are a pleasure to use. If they weren't, I sure wouldn't buy any more. And even so, I doubt whether my collection will grow much. I've bought enough to satisfy my curiosity.

    Some people are collectors by nature. For them, spending lots of money on things they love makes sense. These could be fountain pens or cookie jars shaped like pigs, whatever. The pleasure they get from owning them makes it worth it. I am not one of them, and maybe you aren't either. It's a shame you didn't figure that out earlier.
    I would not sign this, I‘m for sure not a collector.
    I‘m a user but I spent for sure a lot of money in the pen hobby.
    Good quality pens cost money, vintage pens cost money, and if you have more than a couple this sums up......

    For sure somebody could also be satisfied with a bunch of Chinese pens, 3.5$ each, nothing wrong with it.

    But the generalization „nobody“ in your statement is for sure not true.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Parsimonious View Post
    Nobody spends thousands of dollars on fountain pens just because they like to write with them.
    Actually, a lot of people do precisely that.

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    Will's comment in this thread is a great encomium of fountain pens. If I'd never even thought about a fountain pen before, reading that I'd really want to try one!
    Signed!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    I spent some money, but I technically didn't really need to. My first five vintage pens, all very good ones, didn't cost me anything. Although I paid a repair person to resac them, I could have done that myself if I wanted. I did have to buy ink though.

    Before I got "into" fountain pens I also wrote with a fountain pen half the time. A cheap Sheaffer Student pen from the drug store. I think they were $5 in the day. It always wrote when I wanted to use it and it never blobbed ink or anything else. It still writes just fine. To wit, as easy as a ballpoint.

    Ironically, the reason I got into fountain pens is that when I went to use that old Sheaffer, although it worked fine, it eventually ran out of ink and I couldn't quickly get cartridges. There are no such stores within several hundred miles of my town. So I went on line and found an inexpensive pen that took international cartridges that were cheap, thinking that I would try something else. That primed the pump, and I scrounged around the house and found a bunch of vintage ones that had dried up many decades ago. The rest is history.

    I've recently spent over $300 on a couple of vintage pens, but that was certainly not in search of a pen that writes well. It was because I liked them.

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by jace View Post
    ....
    Show_response_1888 by Ptero Ptero, auf Flickr

    (Bic Cristal 1.6mm, Serwex MB - flex EMF ..... Rohrer & Klingner Salix)



    Quote Mahatma Gandhi by Ptero Pterodactylus on DeviantArt

    (Montblanc Oyster Grey)

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    amk (December 13th, 2020), Cyril (December 26th, 2020), Detman101 (December 12th, 2020), Lloyd (December 12th, 2020)

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    Default Re: Quitting fountain pens and going back to cheap ballpoint pens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    I would not sign this, I‘m for sure not a collector.
    I‘m a user but I spent for sure a lot of money in the pen hobby.
    Good quality pens cost money, vintage pens cost money, and if you have more than a couple this sums up......

    For sure somebody could also be satisfied with a bunch of Chinese pens, 3.5$ each, nothing wrong with it.

    But the generalization „nobody“ in your statement is for sure not true.
    You are indeed a user. I have seen your work and it is beautiful. Whether you are a collector or not, I guess depends on your definition. To me, a collector is someone who has way more of something than he or she needs. Could you not enjoy writing with a fountain pen if you only had a couple good ones? I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with collecting fountain pens. They can be lovely things and a joy to own. But, if you own thousands of dollars worth, I find it difficult not to call that a collection unless it's just a couple thousand dollar pens. Which I suppose is possible.

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