Thanksgiving is over, so the Holiday season has officially begun. It's time to start thinking about what to give the pen lover in your life. I've prepared a guide to assist you.
Pens for Beginners
Retro 51 Tornado - The Retro 51 Tornado is one of the first pens I purchased for myself when I seriously started collecting. It is reasonably priced (typically between $20 and $25) and comes with an excellent Schmidt liquid ink rollerball refill. The Tornado comes in many colors to fit the recipients taste.
Caran d'Ache Original 849 - An excellent ballpoint for those starting a collection as well as a seasoned collector. It is extremely well-made and has an impressive design. The 849 comes in an array of colors and has a long lasting refill.
Lamy 2000 Ballpoint - A little more expensive than my other suggestions; however, it is the nicest. An all-around great Bauhaus designed pen with similar looks to the fountain pen. The barrel is made of beautiful brushed Makrolon which gives the pen a unique texture and style. It is one of my favorites!
Pilot Metropolitan - The best beginner fountain pen period! The Metropolitan writes quite well for a fountain pen under $15. At that low price, you get the Metropolitan, ink cartridge, and ink converter. What a steal! Oh, I forgot to mention, it has an all-metal body too!
Lamy Vista - The Vista is another great fountain pen for beginners. It is actually the clear demonstrator version of the Lamy Safari. The Vista has a reputation for reliability and smooth writing.
TWSBI Vac 700 - The Vac 700 is my favorite TWSBI model to date. It comes in multiple color options and holds a massive amount of ink! You won't have to worry about running out of ink again!
Cross Townsend - If you're looking for a clean and wet writing experience, the Townsend is for you! The shiny, luxurious, and executive styling is sure to catch the attention of others.
Pens for Avid Collectors
Pilot Vanishing Point - The Vanishing Point is design genius! It is known for its retractable nib and durable metal barrel. With its 18k gold nib, you will experience an incomparable writing experience.
Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen - The Lamy 2000 offers one of the most classic designs on the list and provides a buttery-smooth writing experience. A must have for an avid collector!
Edison Nouveau Premiere - A fantastic collaboration between Edison Pen Company and Goulet Pen Company. It is beautifully designed and lightweight pen. Ink flow is very consistent with little to no pressure. New designs are released seasonally and are made in the USA.
Faber-Castell Ondoro - Faber-Castell has been making quality writing instruments since 1761, so you know the Ondoro is a quality fountain pen. It has one of the best stainless steel nibs I've used to date. It is buttery smooth and lays down a clean wet line. Its hexagonal design is unique and contemporary.
Pilot Custom 74 - The Custom 74 is absolutely gorgeous! It is offered in many color options to fit your taste: blue, orange, purple, smoke, and clear demonstrator. It has a 14k gold nib and holds a substantial amount of ink. The Custom 74 is the perfect upgrade for those looking to upgrade to a gold nib.
Kaweco Brass Sport - The Brass Sport is solid and extremely portable. The body is made of brass, so the pen is on the heavier side, but due to the smaller size, the added weight feels comfortable. The raw brass will develop a patina over time meaning the color will evolve as you use the pen.
Schon DSGN - The best pocket pen around! Made in the United States and based just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Ian Schon created a durable and long-lasting everyday pen. Although only 4" capped, it extends to a full-sized pen when posted. Each Schon DSGN model uses a pressurized Fisher Space Pen refill, so you can write virtually anywhere.
Lamy Pico - I've been using the Lamy Pico for the past few months and I am absolutely impressed. The Pico's ability to retract and extend to a full-size pen has given it an edge over its competition. Its Lamy M22 refill is very smooth and does not blot. See a comparison of the Lamy Pico and Fisher Space pen Bullet here.
Fisher Space Pen Bullet - A beautifully designed pocket pen that can write virtually anywhere. The cartridge is pressurized with nitrogen gas so that it does not rely on gravity to work. It can be used in freezing cold, extreme heat, underwater, and upside down.
Palomino Blackwing 602 - The Blackwing 602 is made of firm, yet smooth Japanese graphite which makes for an enjoyable writing experience. It is one of the smoothest and darkest writing pencils I have used to date. I'm not an expert on pencils, but after testing several other brands I've come to the conclusion that the Blackwing 602 provides the best writing experience.