The Top 5 List serves as a guide to educate readers. Some of my favorite pens are listed in the categories below; however, you must do research to find which is best for you. This list will be updated with new recommendations as I continue my pen journey.
Top 5 Fountain Pens Under $50
- Pilot Metropolitan - Best beginner fountain pen, period.
- Lamy Vista - The demonstrator version of the Lamy Safari.
- Kaweco Sport- A great inexpensive portable fountain pen.
- Platinum Preppy - A great writing experience for under $5.
- Pilot Varsity - Another great writing experience under $5.
Top 5 Fountain Pens $50-$100
- Pilot Vanishing Point - Design genius!
- Pilot Custom Heritage 92 - One of my favorite Pilot piston fillers.
- Pilot Custom 74 - Awesome gold nib and barrel.
- Lamy 2000 - Simply a classic!
- Sailor 1911 Standard - One of my most loved gold nibs.
- Cross Townsend - You'll fall in love with how it writes.
- Faber-Castell Ondoro - Unique design and an excellent writer.
- Visconti Rembrandt - Italian luxury at an affordable price.
- Lamy Studio Palladium - Wonderful gold nib and grip.
- Platinum #3776 Century - Classic design that just works.
(This list is too large to limit to 5.)
Top 5 Ballpoint Pens
- Uniball Signo 307 - Best pen in store, hands down.
- Uniball Vision Elite - Rich dark color and clean lines.
- Pentel Energel Alloy RT - The Pentel Energel on steroids.
- Uniball Jetstream - Best inexpensive ballpoint pen.
- Sharpie Pen Stainless Steel - A Sharpie Pen made better.
Top 5 Pocket Pens
- Lamy Pico - One of the most comfortable pocket pens.
- Fisher Space Pen Infinium - The Fisher Space Pen Bullet on steroids.
- Fisher Space Pen Bullet - It can write just about anywhere!
- Kaweco Brass Sport - One of the most durable pocket fountain pens.
- Kaweco Liliput - A solid and durable pocket-friendly fountain pen.
Top 5 Ink Brands
- Pilot Iroshizuku - Performs well in almost every pen!
- Levenger - Performs just as well as Pilot Iroshizuku, but sells for half the price.
- Pilot Namiki - My inexpensive go-to ink. It just works!
- Sailor - Works well in most pens.
- Aurora - One of my favorite blacks.
Top 5 Paper Brands
- Rhodia - The paper I use most frequently.
- Clairefontaine - This brand really can tie for first.
- Maruman - Great spiral notebooks.
- Tomoe River - Very smooth paper.
- Leuchtturm 1917 - Slightly thinner than Clairefontaine/Rhodia, so dry times are faster.
Top 5 Pencils
- Palomino Blackwing 602 - The best pencil for everyday writing.
- Tombow Mono - Very similar to Blackwing 602, but half the price.
- Palomino Blackwing - A soft and smooth writing experience.
- Kimberly by General Pencil Company - An all-around excellent choice for writing or drawing.
- Dixon Ticonderoga - Its not called "The World's Best Pencil" for nothing!