5 Cheap-Ass Fountain Pens
1. THE PILOT VARSITY — THE THINKING MAN’S BIC
The Varsity is smooth beyond its price point, I’d compare it to any gold-nibbed jotter on the market. It will pain you to throw it out, but that’s what you have to do since there’s no cartridge. The nib has just enough flex and never scratches. These go for $3.00 a pop at Rite Aid.
2. PLATINUM PREPPY — おたく/オタク
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Practical and simple, with a brand name that doesn’t quite mean anything in English, the Preppy captures the spirit of modern Japan. You’ll want a cup of these in every color on your desk.
The Preppy black ink was the blackest of all the pens I tested.
$4.45 at Jetpens.
Cartridges are two for $1.65.
3. LAMY SAFARI — THE GIFT
The Safari is the pen for someone who says “I would never spend X on a pen.” At $22, this is the most expensive pen I could justify. Anything more and you’re just paying for the frocket factor.
5. PILOT KAKUNO — UNLEASH YOUR INNER JAPANESE SCHOOLGIRL
The most kawai (cute) pen on this list. The perfect first fountain pen, the Kakuno comes in bright colors so you won’t loose it.