If you had to curate a standard 5-pen collection that in theory would cover almost all of a person’s fountain pen needs, what would that collection be?
The question is interesting, and Drew’s answer was fun. While I wouldn’t be happy with just the five pens I list below — I enjoy variety — I think they would satisfy most of the general pen desires. So, allow me to share my version of the 5-pen collection. My goal was to provide a wide range of writing experiences without breaking the bank on any one pen.
1. “Pretty Ink Stick”
By having a “pretty ink stick,” you get to have a favorite material. And, since most indie-made pens are Jowo/Bock, you can swap out nibs to use or try various grinds and nib widths. The original question doesn’t specify a number of nibs. Loophole!
Also, for those who feel they need one, you can get a pocket-sized “pretty ink stick.”
2. Pilot Custom 74
Custom 74s have buttery smooth nibs that glide across the paper. Depending on the colorway you choose, this can easily be your “safe for work” pen, if that’s something you need to consider.
3. TWSBI 580 Series
I know many people love high-capacity pens and TWSBI 580s check that box, even the minis. They are also demonstrators and can be completely disassembled, which makes them perfect for shimmer inks. TWSBIs are also wet writers, another plus for shimmer inks, and even better for shading inks. As an additional pro to the 580 line, you can easily purchase additional nibs and swap them out; we’re back to the loophole.
4. Pilot Falcon
This one is for those who want an “everyday” flexible nib. If one from the factory is too stiff, a nibmeister can soften it up. I prefer the SF and SEF nibs because they offer more line variation, and let you have super fine lines.
The falcon also comes in both plastic- and metal-bodied versions, so those who would like a metal pen — whether for aesthetics or weight — you’re set.
5. Platinum #3776
The #3776 family has nibs with some feedback. It also has Platinum’s “slip and seal” cap that keeps the nib from drying out. I believe Platinum has one of the greatest variety of nibs, with at least 8 options: Ultra Extra Fine, Extra Fine, Fine, Soft Fine, Medium, Broad, Coarse, and Music.
Let’s review how many “fountain pen needs” this collection covers:
- Pretty material / “fancy” pen
- Pocket pen
- Work appropriate
- Multiple nib sizes & grinds
- Easy-to-swap nibs
- Buttery smooth nib
- Nib with feedback
- Flexible nib
- Wet nib
- Large ink capacity
- Multiple filling systems
- Easy to clean
- Medium weight
Of course, that isn’t all needs, but I think this covers a pretty decent list.
What do you think of my version of the micro collection? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.