Daiso brand fountain pen

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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.

This is actually the second Daiso fountain pen I’ve picked up, but I never got around to reviewing the first one, and now I’ve misplaced it. Daiso’s stock of pens (and other supplies) varies a lot from month to month and year to year, which is one of the reasons I almost always pick up something new when I see it — who knows if I’ll ever get another chance? Some of the Daiso brush pens I’ve reviewed in the past I haven’t seen in stock since I reviewed them.

Components of the pen and the pen put together. The ink cartridge is very small.

Components of the pen and the pen put together. The ink cartridge is very small.

No one can expect much out of a $1.50 fountain pen, so I was actually pretty impressed when I opened up this package. The pen has a good weight to it, and the metal body has a smooth matte finish. The pen posts and caps securely and with a nice click. It doesn’t look or feel like a $1.50 pen.

One of my weird particulars is that I really hate aluminum body pens — I hate the way the aluminum sounds and feels against aluminum and other metals. Once upon a time, I resold my Copic Multiliner SP set a week after I got it because I just couldn’t stand sound the pens made rolling into each other on my desk or in my bag. It’s just one of those things. They’re like nails on a chalkboard to me. So! I was really glad that this pen wasn’t aluminum (update: it’s brass and steel) and that the metal body wasn’t offensive to me.

Daiso fountain pen writing sample

Ignore the “part II” in the writing sample. I thought I’d reviewed that other Daiso fountain pen, but that’s a lie~.

The pen writes nicely. About as nicely as it looks like it should, if that makes sense. The nib looks like a medium and is smooth on the page. The ink flow is even. I’m not all that picky with the pens I write with (compared to the pens I draw with), so rating a writing experience is kind of weird for me, but I can definitely say that writing with this pen was pleasant.

The only real downside is that the ink cartridge for the pen is very small, barely half the length of the pen body. Daiso had refill packs for the pen with five cartridges each, so that comes out to 30 cents a cartridge. Not bad, if you can find them in stock!

3/9/2016 Addendum: International short and long cartridges fit this pen, so you can pick up whatever brand and color refill ink you like as long as it comes in a standard international ink cartridge!


Comparative sizes may not be to scale.

It’s a pretty normal-sized pen to me, but apparently some people care about these specs?

Cartridges aren't waterproof, but they're alcohol-proof!

Ink cartridges aren’t waterproof, but they’re alcohol-proof!

I don’t like medium nibs for drawing, but this nib is at least smooth enough that I can doodle without thinking too much about what angle I’m holding the pen at. Dry time for the ink isn’t bad, but even when completely dry, one drop of water will wash everything out. On the bright side, the ink doesn’t run much under water, and it’s reasonably alcohol-proof (against Copic inks, at least).

Daiso fountain pen nib. It says "iridium point" on it.

Daiso fountain pen nib. It says “iridium point” on it.

It’s been a while, but I think this Daiso fountain pen writes pretty similarly to the Pilot Varsity while looking and feeling a lot nicer. It definitely surpasses the medium nib Platinum Preppy in all categories — though based on others’ reviews, I think my Preppy wrote more scratchily than most.

All in all though, I’d say it’s a pretty good fountain pen, even a great one when you factor in the price. I don’t need fountain pens, but I don’t regret this $1.50 purchase in the least.

If you don’t have a Daiso in your area, you can make a habit to check their online store regularly — like their physical stores, it seems stock changes pretty frequently, so finding a certain thing is, sadly, often a matter of luck.


  1. Don’t forget you can wash out an empty cartridge and refill it with any color you like.

  2. Susan Gillespie

    August 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Do you know where I can buy* refill cartridges for Daiso Rivere ($1.50) fountain pens?
    I can’t remember where I bought the pen, but really enjoy using it.

    *online or in the greater Seattle area.

    • As with most Daiso goods, stock seems to be really random. I don’t remember the last time I saw refills for the Riviere at the Westlake Center Daiso (where I usually go). However, the Riviere is manufactured by Pilot for Daiso, so standard Pilot refills might work? I’ve not tried it myself though, so I’m not sure.

      Alternatively, you can try syringe-filling your existing cartridge with an ink of your choice.

    • Hey – ebay “Platinum fountain pen cartridges”, those will fit. The Riviere pen is actually made my Platinum (thus the P on the nib) and Platinum actually a real fountain pen company.

  3. Hi, have you even bought a DAISO fountain pen with the cartridge stuck inside the barrel? If so do you have any tips to get it out? I can hear and see it sliding within the barrel but it just won’t come out! Thanks in advance!

  4. so has anyone tested a platinum cartridge on this pen? or international short cart?

    all i know is pilot, parker and converters don’t work

    i have tested it… btw i got it today just to fiddle around with it

    • Just eyeballing my Platinum cartridges I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t fit. The width of the opening at the bottom of the cartridge is wider than the ones for the cartridges that come with the pen.

      I don’t have any international shorts, but looking at photos of those cartridges — they look VERY similar to the ones packaged with this fountain pen. This gives me hope that the international longs will also fit! I’m ordering some and will report back!

    • Huzzah! International shorts and longs both fit this pen!

  5. I bought the fountain pen from Daiso but the cartridge wont come outside of the barrel!! I tried tapping it out and shaking it but it just keeps getting stuck. Do you have any ideas on ways to get it out??

    • Tapping really hard against something is about the best advice I’ve got unfortunately! Once it’s out though, make sure to really secure the cartridge against the pen section so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. Making sure all the pen parts are clean may also help it not to get stuck again.

  6. I’ve had this pen for a while now and I still can’t figure out how to put in the cartridge so that the ink flows. How do you put the cartridge in yours?

    • You push the smaller end of the cartridge into the nib section. The direction the cartridge is facing in this photo is wrong; it should be the other way! Push until it fits snugly, then write with the pen until the ink flows. Shouldn’t take more than a minute. Hope that helps!

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