I mean seriously, do people even use fountain pens anymore? Actually, YES! Although they may seem like an archaic writing tool, fountain pens have a very devoted and loyal following. It seems like more than ever people are reaching for the 100 pens for $2 deal on disposable ballpoint pens. So why do so many people continue to use fountain pens when ballpoint and gel pens are so readily available and much much cheaper?
Many of the people using fountain pens today grew up doing so. Fountain pens used to be on the list of required school supplies. Those writers may simply be accustomed to using fountain pens or enjoy the nostalgic feeling that comes with it. Using a fountain pen may remind people of simpler times, when good handwriting skills were praised, rather than how many words per minute you can type. Fountain pens also used to be a great way for students to interact, sharing fountain pen ink, or trading nibs was similar to trading your ham sandwich for your best friend’s chocolate chip cookie.
The laundry list of advantages that come with using fountain pens is endless. In my research I found a few things that attracted people to fountain pens. The novelty of using of a fountain pen is a great conversation starter and many like the attention they get when they use it. A student using what could be described by other students as a “grandpa pen” might enjoy the onslaught of “why are you using THAT?” or “Hey, that’s really cool”. In a sea of laptops, ipads, and tablets, a student using an actual pen, let alone a fountain pen, can be shocking, and on some occasions, very much appreciated.
There are also technical advantages of using a fountain pen. The liquid ink flow requires less pressure when writing which reduces cramping and overall discomfort when writing. Fountain pens are great for those with weak wrists or hands, and carpal tunnel. The quality and variety of fountain pens is also very attractive. Fountain pens, if well maintained, can last for decades. Fountain pens may be more expensive than a pack of ballpoint pens, but they last for a lifetime, making them much more “eco-friendly” than your usual go-to disposable pen. There is also more variety when it comes to fountain pens. They can be tailored to suit the needs of their user. Left-handed options, pen styles, nib sizes, and the vast spectrum of ink colors allow users to customize their pen to fit their unique personal style. In addition to their unique design, fountain pens offer a larger range of writing styles. Depending on nib, hold, and angle of the the pen, writing styles can be altered and changed accordingly.
So why, with all these advantages are people still reaching for disposable pens? There some aspects to using a fountain pen that may be off-putting for some. Fountain pens need careful maintenance in order to prevent leaking and promote long lasting use. Refilling your fountain pen can be messy and tedious, and although fountain pen inks can be sold at rather inexpensive prices some view buying them as unnecessary expenses. Taking fountain pens on airplanes can be risky because the air pressure changes at high altitude may cause ink explosions, and unless you like to unintentionally dye your clothes, most people view this as an inconvenience. Fountain pens must also be paired with high quality paper for best performance, which for some may also seem as an inconvenience. Although there may be some disadvantages with using a fountain pen, with proper maintenance and a thrifty eye most of these inconveniences can be avoided.
Let us know why you still use a fountain pen! We would love to hear your feedback!by