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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

  1. Pilot Metropolitan - Best beginner fountain pen, period.
  2. Lamy Vista - The demonstrator version of the Lamy Safari.
  3. Kaweco Sport- A great inexpensive portable fountain pen.
  4. Platinum Preppy - A great writing experience for under $5.
  5. Pilot Varsity - Another great writing experience under $5.

Top 5 Fountain Pens $50-$100

Kaweco Brass Sport

  1. Kaweco Brass Sport - Solid and portable. Gotta love that patina!
  2. Karas Kustoms Fountain K - A durable workhorse.
  3. TWSBI Vac 700 - Holds a ton of ink.
  4. TWSBI Vac Mini - Miniature version of the Vac 700.
  5. TWSBI Diamond 580AL - Just a great all-around pen.

 

Top 10 Fountain Pens $100-$200

Pilot Custom 74

  1. Pilot Vanishing Point - Design genius!
  2. Pilot Custom Heritage 92 - One of my favorite Pilot piston fillers.
  3. Pilot Custom 74 - Awesome gold nib and barrel.
  4. Lamy 2000 - Simply a classic!
  5. Sailor 1911 Standard - One of my most loved gold nibs.
  6. Cross Townsend - You'll fall in love with how it writes.
  7. Faber-Castell Ondoro - Unique design and an excellent writer.
  8. Visconti Rembrandt - Italian luxury at an affordable price.
  9. Lamy Studio Palladium - Wonderful gold nib and grip.
  10. Platinum #3776 Century - Classic design that just works.

(This list is too large to limit to 5.)

Top 5 Ballpoint Pens

Lamy 2000 Ballpoint

  1. Lamy 2000 Ballpoint - A great everyday pen! 
  2. Retro 51 Hex-O-Matic - A durable EDC. 
  3. Pilot Axiom - The Center of Gravity refill is great.
  4. Caran d'Ache Original - Excellent compact design.
  5. Lamy Noto - Unique design and smooth writer.

 

 

Top 5 Rollerball Pens

Cross Bailey Rollerball

  1. Cross Affinity Rollerball - Classic design and super smooth refill.
  2. Cross Bailey Rollerball - Will fit in well at the office.
  3. Retro 51 Tornado - Stylish, dependable, and durable.
  4. Uniball Vision Elite - Rich dark color and clean lines.
  5. Lamy Tipo - Nice design and refill.

 

Top 5 Pens In Store

Pentel Energel Alloy RT

  1. Uniball Signo 307 - Best pen in store, hands down.
  2. Uniball Vision Elite - Rich dark color and clean lines.
  3. Pentel Energel Alloy RT - The Pentel Energel on steroids.
  4. Uniball Jetstream - Best inexpensive ballpoint pen.
  5. Sharpie Pen Stainless Steel - A Sharpie Pen made better.

Top 5 Pocket Pens

  1. Lamy Pico - One of the most comfortable pocket pens.
  2. Fisher Space Pen Infinium - The Fisher Space Pen Bullet on steroids. 
  3. Fisher Space Pen Bullet - It can write just about anywhere!
  4. Kaweco Brass Sport - One of the most durable pocket fountain pens.
  5. Kaweco Liliput - A solid and durable pocket-friendly fountain pen. 

Top 5 Ink Brands

Aurora Black Ink

  1. Pilot Iroshizuku - Performs well in almost every pen!
  2. Levenger - Performs just as well as Pilot Iroshizuku, but sells for half the price.
  3. Pilot Namiki - My inexpensive go-to ink. It just works!
  4. Sailor - Works well in most pens.
  5. Aurora - One of my favorite blacks.

 

Top 5 Paper Brands

  1. Rhodia - The paper I use most frequently.
  2. Clairefontaine - This brand really can tie for first.
  3. Maruman - Great spiral notebooks.
  4. Tomoe River - Very smooth paper.
  5. Leuchtturm 1917 - Slightly thinner than Clairefontaine/Rhodia, so dry times are faster.

Top 5 Pencils

Palomino Blackwing 602

  1. Palomino Blackwing 602 - The best pencil for everyday writing.
  2. Tombow Mono - Very similar to Blackwing 602, but half the price.
  3. Palomino Blackwing - A soft and smooth writing experience.
  4. Kimberly by General Pencil Company - An all-around excellent choice for writing or drawing.
  5. Dixon Ticonderoga - Its not called "The World's Best Pencil" for nothing!