Once again, I’m sharing my current top pens. I took a somewhat different approach this year, so that I actually choose a top 10. I’m judging my pens based on appearance and the way they write. So I have two different top ten lists. Because of this, I won’t be comparing to last year’s top pens, which ended up being a top 28.
This was so much just as hard as I expected it to be. I’m fortunate enough to have an absolutely fabulous pen collection, so narrowing it down to my favorites grows increasingly difficult each year.
But without further preamble, enjoy my top 10 pens of 2022 by appearance and by nibs.
Top 10 Pens by Appearance
All of these pens are bring a smile to my face whenever I pick them up. And, almost every time I do, I spend a moment or two just admiring their beauty.
#10: Feather in the Wind
#9: Rock Garden
At first glance, the Rock Garden isn’t at the same level as the rest of the pens on this list. However, the 3D stones are a fabulous tactile sensation. And, something about this design really grabs me.
#8: Art Deco Nibs
Plain and simple, I love this design. What sets this pen above the other Iron Feather Creative art pieces I have is the complexity of it. But, with my Mayan pen in the works, I image this guy will be dethroned next year.
#7: Four Elements Fire
The Fire is beautiful. The different layers of color lead your eyes on a merry dance. When viewed alone, it’s absolutely gorgeous. But, when viewed next to the other three Four Elements pens, there’s something slightly lacking. Perhaps it’s the lack of raden? I’m not sure.
#6: Four Elements Earth
The Earth is everyone you could want from late spring/early summer: rich greens, beautiful flowers, and the bright gold of sunlight. Whether viewed up close through a loop or from afar, you can’t fail to find something worth appreciating.
#5: Skull and Crystals
While my custom pen will always be dear to my heart, the Skull and Crystals is well above it in execution, while maintaining a similar theming. Cypress pens continues to improve and impress, and I don’t doubt there will be more of their pens joining my collection in the future.
#4: Four Elements Air
The Air is just as beautiful and swirly as Water. This one simultaneously makes me think of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and galaxy photos from the Hubble telescope. While it’s technically the last of the series that I bought, it’s worked its way up in my favor the more I’ve looked at it.
#3: Four Elements Water
The Water just slightly edges out the Air because of the raden scales. This pen always makes me think of The Rainbow Fish, and the nostalgia that goes with it gives the Water an extra point. And, the fact that it was my first ARTUS pen doesn’t hurt, either.
#2: English Garden
I’m sorry to keep featuring this when you can’t just buy one, but look at it!! How could I not include the English Garden in this listing? Lisa did an absolutely fantastic job on this pen, and I still have a hard time believing I was lucky enough to get one.
#1: The Right Royal Pen
If this surprises you at all, then you must be new to my blog. What other place can this special place hold. Stanford Pen Studio collaborated with Marian Binder to create a pawtrait pen of my familiar, His Meowjesty, Alpha Bumbledore I. If this pen is ever not in the #1 spot, it’s because I’ve somehow gotten a pen made with a perfect carving of Bumbledore on it somewhere.
Top 10 Nibs
Some of these nibs are specific to a certain pen, others are nib grinds. But these are my favorite nibs to write with.
#10: Pelikan m600 14C F
I enjoy the smoothness of the nibs on my M640 series. Pelikan runs so wide, though, that even the M is a bit too broad for me.
#9: Cursive Italic M
I love the line crispness on cursive italic nibs. Plus, they give a nice bit of character to my writing.
#8: Visconti 18K EF
More specifically, I love the EF nib on my Il Magnifico Lapislazzuli. It writes like a M, not an EF, but it’s fantastically smooth and a joy to write with.
#7: Vintage Esterbrook 9128
I’ve tried several vintage Esterbrook nibs at this point, and this is my favorite. The bit of flex adds some unique character to my writing, but is minimal enough for everyday use.
#6: Platinum President F
This is definitely a daily writer. The line is beautifully precise, and, despite the thinness, the nib isn’t remotely scratchy. It’s fantastic.
#5: Pilot Custom 74 F
I still have a hard time believing how much I love the Custom 74 nib. It’s such a great writer, truly. If you don’t have one, go get one.
#4: TWSBI 580 F
I’ve raved about TWSBI 580 nibs often enough that I don’t really need to do it again. Suffice to say they’re fabulously wet.
#3: Namiki Yukari M
This is my “finger of God” pen. Its nib is so smooth. It’s like it isn’t even touching paper. It’s hard to say it’s in third place, but I can’t deny I love the first place winners a teensy bit more for their versatility.
#1: StyloSuite Spencerian and Oblique M
These tie for first because they’re both amazing, but are so different. I love them equally, and can’t place one above the other.
The Spencerian is my favorite for specialty writing, although it is perfectly usable for standard writing. The line variation is exquisite, ranging from hairline to at least BB.
The oblique is my favorite for everyday writing. I adore the character it gives to my writing. To me, it provides all the best aspects of both the stub and the architect. It’s so cool. I’m slowly working on having an oblique of each type of nib. I have a few oblique Jowo’s, a Bock, and a TWSBI. I want to get a Pelikan and probably a Schmidt as well. If I can buy an extra Sailor nib, I would like an oblique one of those, too. If anyone has a source, please let me know.
Well, there you have it, my top 10 pens based on appearance and my top 10 nibs. I’m proud of myself for actually sticking to 10 this year. I didn’t even spill over into honorable mentions.
Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. What do you think of my lists? Is there anything you disagree with? Did anything surprise you? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.