Tagfountain pens

Refilling the Daiso fountain pen

A few months ago I made an important discovery: international long and short standard ink refill cartridges fit the Daiso brand fountain pen.

Daiso brand refills for the fountain pen alongside Waterman inks in international long/short cartridges.

Daiso brand refills for the fountain pen alongside Waterman inks in international long/short cartridges.

This is great to know because Daiso stores are pretty inconsistent as far as what they stock regularly. What’s there one week might be gone the next, never to be seen again. My local Daiso store has had their fountain pen in stock pretty consistently for the last year or so, but it’s always sort of a surprise. I always expect it to be gone.

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Daiso brand fountain pen

Despite acknowledging that fountain pens aren’t really for me practically, I keep…picking them up.

Actually, I pick up pretty much every new brush pen and fountain pen that Daiso Japan stocks because how can you lose when everything’s $1.50? But while I use brush pens for art and go through tons of them every year, I rarely have reason to use other types of pens, which is why I don’t need fountain pens. I still like the idea of them though, so I guess that’s why I’m slowly accumulating a pile of fountain pens.

Daiso fountain pen

I like that the packaging translates everything for once.

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Pilot Penmanship fountain pen

For the most part, fountain pens seem more geared towards pen aficionados and calligraphers than artists that draw a lot of figures. Notably, almost none of the fountain pens I’ve played with have demonstrated much line width variation, which I think is one of the most important things artists look for in non-tech pens.

Pilot Penmanship, extra fine nib

Pilot Penmanship, extra fine nib

So I’ve been using all of my fountain pens to write to-do lists, more or less. The exception is the Pilot Penmanship, which I will sketch with occasionally…because it writes like a fine point gel ink pen. Neat!

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Pilot Plumix fountain pen

So I had that “fountain pens are neat; let me try a bunch!” phase a few months ago.

Pilot Plumix light blue body, flat italic nib

Pilot Plumix light blue body, medium flat italic nib

I think, for the most part, I’ve decided that they aren’t for me, but I still made a few nice discoveries. One of the pens I tried and liked a fair bit was the Pilot Plumix with medium flat italic nib. Since I figured out pretty fast that most fountain pens weren’t very conducive to drawing, I wanted to try a pen with a calligraphy nib so there would a more obvious performance difference from the other writing pens I have.

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Introductory fountain pens

I wasn’t planning on stopping by Kinokuniya, and I definitely wasn’t planning on buying fountain pens, but I ended up with a Pilot Varsity with black ink and a 0.5 Platinum Preppy with blue ink anyway. Whelp.

Kinokuniya has test pens you can play around with for most of the pens and pencils they sell, so I knew after a few lines that neither of these are really suited for drawing. Aside from my random stints in typography and lettering, which these pens are also not especially suited for, I don’t do a lot of actual pen-on-paper writing… I think the only stuff I write on a regular basis is to-do lists, and I have a dozen cheap Bic pens that are more than suitable for that.

But fountain pens look and feel so neat. And…I-I really can’t think of another excuse. I knew I didn’t need these pens, and I  knew they would be cheaper on Jetpens even if I did, but will power and logic only get you so far when you’re already holding the thing in your hands.

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