If you’re looking into fountain pens but aren’t sure where to start and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, than this guide is what you need. We review the 14 best fountain pens under $50 on the market with an eye for daily use, design, beginner friendliness, and nib quality.
The buyers guide will help you understand what to look for in a pen, and once you know you can look at the different and affordable options for a great fountain pen!
Quick Overview: Top 3 Best Fountain Pens Under $50
|Luxun Bamboo Fountain Pen|
|Beiluner Luxury Fountain Pen Set|
|Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen|
Best Fountain Pen Under $50 Reviews
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular fountain pens for under $50 on the market.
1. Luxun Bamboo Fountain Pen – Best Balanced Pen
Luxun pens write as beautifully as they look. This is an extremely well balanced pen in every sense of the word – from value, to writing, to design.
Yes… wow! This is a fantastic pen. It’s gorgeous, ergonomic, eco-friendly, and well balanced. It feels very comfortable in your hand and writes very smoothly. The lovely wood makes it look like it belongs among fancier and more expensive pens.
- Comes with 1-year replacement warranty.
- Comes with a beautiful wooden case.
- Extremely well balanced pen with perfect grip.
- Ink is not included – order separately.
- Skips until you break it in.
This is a gorgeous pen. The bamboo wood is eco-friendly and the soft gold nib is a soft color that perfectly matches the rest of the pen. Keep in mind that writing with gold nibs is much softer than metal, so you’ll need to have the skills to keep your penmanship smooth.
The pen doesn’t come with ink, so you will have to buy your own ink and cartridges or jars separately. It does include instructions for using and refilling, though.
It writes very smoothly once you break it in, but you will need to adjust to the pen first. It’s got no skips and a great grip once you finish your first few letters.
2. Beiluner Luxury Fountain Pen Set – Best Value Pen
The Beiluner pen is a fantastic value for your money. It comes with the case and box, the pen, and 5 cartridges for refills. It’s striking and beautiful, durable and elegant.
This is a great value for your money. It is a highly recommended pen. The steel construction and nib are very forgiving to new users, and advanced users will know how to prevent the ink spatters that are the only downside to this pen.
- Weight centered for better control
- Includes lots of ink refills
- Durable stainless steel design
- Ink splatters everywhere and doesn’t flow smoothly.
- Pen leaks frequently
This silver stainless steel pen is beautiful, with polished accents and a stitched case. It’s got a contoured shape that feels great, especially when paired with the tapered grip meat to fit well in your fingers. The piston knob makes it extremely fluid while the material keeps it solid in your hand.
The nib provides consistent lines on the paper and allows even pressure to be placed regardless of penmanship style. It doesn’t scratch or snag. This pen mixes antique aesthetics with modern design. The pen weighs 30 grams.
One thing to keep in mind is that the pen says that it is a German manufactured pen, but the company that actually makes their Nibs is Chinese.
3. Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen – Most Affordable
Pilot has been making pens for a really long time. They’re one of the best in the business when it comes to disposable and office pens. That’s what makes it so interesting that they have designed a cheap fountain pen.
- Fantastic ink flow from ink to paper.
- Uses Pilot ink cartridges, which is tested and reliable.
- Sits really well when writing.
- Extremely durable outer body.
- Pen leaks a bit occasionally.
- Scratches when you write.
- Low ink capacity, so you will be frequently refilling it.
The Pilot Metropolitan Collection has a lot of great pens. This 91107 model offers an extremely simple design. It won’t be flashy or eye catching, and it looks nearly identical to heavier weighted ballpoint pens, but it’s a nice gateway pen for everyday use.
This model uses a medium nib, but has the ability to be swapped out for a finer point if you prefer. The pen is designed ergonomically, so it will feel great in your hand. It also has a great ink flow to paper.
4. Picasso 902 Gentleman Collection Fountain Pen – Most Aesthetically Pleasing
The Picasso pens are absolutely gorgeous. They feature artistically designed caps, nibs, and boxes. These are fabulous pen!
These are great gifts. Any collector will appreciate the Picasso designs on these gorgeous pens, especially with the aesthetically pleasing artsy boxes.
- Makes a great gift!
- Aesthetically gorgeous – features Picasso art
- Nib and box design change regularly in terms of aesthetics.
- Does not come with ink.
- Can’t be used as dip pen.
This pen has a medium steel nib. It’s 137 mm long and 11 mm in diameter. It weighs 37 grams. It uses a push cap with a screw converter.
This pen can be tricky to use because it has a very fat nib but very thin, watery ink. The ink can often look more grey than black in color. It is also too heavy for daily use.
These pens are stunningly gorgeous and look like they belong among the expensive collectible pens that can often cost hundreds of dollars. It’s got a great weight to it, so even beginners can write with them.
5. Pilot Prera Fine-Nib Fountain Pen –Best for Home and on the Road Use
Pilot Prera is one of the popular pilot pen brands for a good reason. They do have good-looking and well-made pens, perfect for a variety of uses. One of them is the Pilot Prera Fine-Nib Fountain Pen in Slate Gray color. It is regarded as a great fountain pen for use at home and on the road due to its lightweight and compact size.
This pen belongs in the Prera pen series that usually has a CON-20 bladder converter. This one, however, does not have one for whatever reason. The lack of converter makes Pilot Prera Fine-Nib Slate Gray have such a good price. The body seems to be made of plastic. However, it does not seem to be cheaply made as Prera is known to craft solid, durable fountain pens.
The biggest advantage of this Prera pen is its small, compact design. It is just the same as other Prera pens – lightweight. That is why it is convenient to bring the pen anywhere. Pilot Prera pens often come in a variety of colors and this one is available in slate gray. Though it is a subdued color, it still looks great.
The fountain pen features a smooth stainless-steel nib. It is an exquisitely made nib that helps in making sure the pen writes smoothly. Included in the package is a single black ink cartridge and a gift box. Unfortunately, it does not include a converter. This version of the pen is the slate gray, but there are other colors available, allowing users to choose the one that suits their personal style.
This Pilot Prera pen is short and small, but it does have a sturdy clip. Smaller pens usually have smaller, thinner clips. However, this one has a nice, big clip that full-sized fountain pens often have. Such solid clips are likely appreciated by users who like to clip their pens to their notebooks. The nib of this Pilot Prera pens is Fine.
However, since it is a Japanese nib, it is more likely really fine. Japanese nibs are usuallyfiner compared to Fine or Medium nibs that are Western-made. Really fine fountain pens tend to have more trouble when used with inks on dry sides or on papers that are more cloth-like. The most crucial quality of this pen is the smooth writing experience.
It provides a generous flow of ink, but not so much so that it bleeds. Pilot Prera Fine-Nib works well even in different types of paper. There is no skippingand the nibs glide smoothly across the papers. The pen feels comfortable in hand although it mainly depends on the user’s grip strength. Pilot Prera Fine-Bib Slate Gray Fountain Pen is, in many ways, a great pen to have.
- Performs well and writes legibly
- Has nice design and comfortable to hold
- Durable body and better cap seal to prevent ink from drying quickly
- Does not include a converter
- Might be too short for some people
- The metal accents do not seem to be sturdy
6. Dryden Luxury Fountain Pen – Best Color Options
The Dryden Luxury Fountain pen has a ton of great colors available. This stunningly beautiful shiny pen comes in red, deep blue, purple, emerald green, black, pink, silver, and pearly white. These are some of the most gorgeous pens you will ever find at this price level.
Yes, but… We recommend this pen for beginners. This is not going to impress true fountain pen lovers, but thanks to the instructional PDF of best practices, it’s a great training tool for beginners who want to learn to use fountain pens.
- Lots of stunning colors! Beautiful aesthetic design.
- Comes with a PDF of instructions and best practices so beginners can use.
- Dryden has top-notch customer service.
- Handcrafted nibs.
- Ambidextrous design with an extremely comfortable grip and weight.
- Doesn’t come with ink.
- Barrel is poorly designed – closure issues, and won’t cap to the end of the pen while you write without falling off.
- Very inconsistent ink flow – leaves blotches and quits writing randomly.
Dryden is a family owned company that offers top-notch customer service. Their founder was tired of extremely expensive fountain pens, so he set out to design luxury fountain fens at affordable prices. This pen comes with a lifetime money back guarantee because their customers are the center of their business.
One of the great thins about this pen is that it is designed with ergonomics in mind. It is extremely comfortable to use for long periods of time and can be used by write or left handed people.
These pens come with either cartridges or bottled ink, so you can choose what your favorite method is for inking. It uses a twist converter for ink and an elegant medium nib. It weighs 1.12 ounces and is jut over 7 inches by 2.8 inches.
7. Delike Brass Fountain Pen – The Minimalist all Brass Pen
Delike Brass Fountain Pen is a writing instrument somewhere in the middle of the most common sizes of fountain pens. When closed, it is around 120.5mm, while the uncapped length is 111mm, and the posted range is 149.5mm. As for the barrel diameter, it is 11mm, while the section diameter is somewhere around 9.5 to 10mm. Without the cap, it weighs around 29g and 44g with the cap.
The most notable feature of this fountain pen is the lack of adornment. It is as minimalist as you can get. Both the barrel and the cap are simple design and havea rounded shape. It does have a bit of light threaded texture on the barrel and cap. This milling adds a bit of sophistication and style to the pen, but it still as simple as it gets.
It is possible to post the pen by screwing the cap on the barrel’s end. There are a few turns to cap and post the pen, but it is solid, and the threads are well-made. Both the posting and capping are firm and tight. When capped, there is no worry that it will come off the pen even if it bounces around in the bag or on the ground.
The pen’s section is quite short. It has a slightly concave shape, akin to that of an hourglass. It also has noticeable threads, but it is not that sharp. This pen has a stainless-steel EF bent nib. With this, the pen delivers a smooth writing experience thanks to easy and steady flow of ink. It includes a converter for the bottled ink but does not ink cartridges.
The pen is short and weighed enough to be convenient when going on a trip. Since the pen is made of raw brass without any lacquer or electroplating, the color will soon erode due to natural oxidation. After a while, the brass color will turn into a retro color making the pen look vintage. All in all, Delike Brass Fountain Pen is made for people who like excellent writing experience.
- The pen is solid and sturdy enough for rough everyday use
- Writes smoothly and legibly, making it a good bargain for its price
- It has a well-balanced structure that feels comfortable in hand
- It comes with a longer base that can accept standard international converter
- The capping and posting routine is somewhat tedious
- It is not ideal for people new to fountain pens
- It does not include an ink cartridge
8. Wordsworth & Black Fountain Pen – Most Upscale Design
This pen is a great looking pen. It’s got the aesthetic look of more high-end pens – probably because it is 100% handcrafted!
This pen is recommended. It’s got a lot of weight and a durable design. It’s also handcrafted and tested, so it feels much nicer than the price would suggest and makes a great daily use pen for fountain pen collectors who need a durable workhorse to use for meetings.
- Free instructional eBook
- 100% handcrafted and tested
- Free converter and 6 ink cartridges included
- Amazing customer service
- Takes practice to use properly
- Inconsistent ink flow
- Heavier than similar pens
This pen has a smooth barrel. It is extremely well balanced and easy to hold. The cap posts well when writing. It is heavier than other pens in this price range, which is either a strength or weakness depending on the person. If you’re new to fountain pen writing, this may be hard for you to handle.
This pen takes quite a bit of practice to use properly. It has a medium nib, but it writes more like a fine point. It’s going to skip around at first and have a very inconsistent ink flow. You will need a lot of practice controlling fountain pens before this one is a good idea for you.
9. Parker Jotter Fountain Pen – Great for Daily Use
When it comes to looks, this pen is nothing special. When it comes to use, this pen is amazing for daily use!! The iconic Jotter ballpoint pen has now been converted into a fountain pen.
I highly recommend this pen for daily use. It is solid, durable, and reliable. It’s got a nice balance and weight, the ink doesn’t bleed, and it’s light enough to use when taking notes in meetings.
- Perfect for daily use and note taking!
- Smooth writing style.
- Ergonomic design feels like standard pen.
- Ink flow can be a bit heavy. They write wet.
- New nibs cost more than a new pen.
This pen has a stainless steel barrier with a medium nib and includes a cartridge of water based blue ink. No one would know based on the design that this is a fountain pen until it was uncapped.
It writes incredibly well as long as you can handle wet ink and heavy writing. It’s very smooth and doesn’t have the weight to glide as well as other pens. This is a great option for beginners, too.
10. Dryden Luxury Bamboo Fountain Pen – Best Fountain Pen at Cheap Price
Dryden Luxury Bamboo Fountain Pen is advertised as a luxury pen, but it is not. Definitely, not at a price of less than $50. However, it does look great with its unique bamboo body. It has an impressive finish that makes it interesting. Even the end parts of the pen are interesting. They are rough due to the bamboo having been sheared off, glued, and then coated with matte finish.
It is not only the pen that is fascinating, but also the bamboo gift case that comes with it. It gets anyone who receives the pen exciting, making the fountain pen an excellent gift for family, friends, and colleagues. As for the pen, it has a classic shape that looks like a cigar. It comes in a medium nib with a gold color, not precisely plating.
Even the feed is in gold color and made of steel. The feed does well in keeping the ink flowing, contributing to how the pen writes so well without skipping. The nib is also made of steel and does not have a lot of flex in it. However, it is smooth and produces theright amount of ink when writing. The problem is there may be some heavy bleeding or ghosting, but it depends on the paper used.
When it comes to the cap, Dryden Luxury Bamboo Fountain Pen’s posts on the back securely. It posts it well even though it looks a little awkward at first. Many fountain pen users also like their pens to have a satisfying click. This fountain has it – pull off the cap and snap it on to hear an excellent click. However, the clip does not seem to be made that well.
Dryden Bamboo Fountain Pen is good for people looking into good wood fountain pens. It is a nice pen to be bought as a gift. It is ideal for journaling, day-to-day writing, taking notes, and even doodling. It is an excellent gift for anyone new in collecting or buying fountain pens, especially with the price.
- Gift ready with a bamboo box and gift wrap service
- Writes smoothly and beautifully
- Well-made and fascinating body
- Ink flows well for a smooth writing experience
- Reasonably priced and offers great value
- The pen measures small so that those bigger hands might have hard time writing with it
11. Scribe Sword Fountain Pen – Best Nib Design
I recommend this pen for sure. It’s gorgeous, so it would make a great gift. On top of that, it has incredible smooth writing flow with a precision-machined medium nib for the perfect line thickness every time. The weight is balanced perfectly so it feels great in your hand.
- Gorgeous nib design
- Extremely smooth flow over the paper
- Amazing warranty policy
- Inconsistent ink flow
As with all of the more budget friendly pens, this one also has some ink flow inconsistencies. It is recommended that you know how to use a pen really well before using these types of pens regularly. They are essentially the disposable pens of the fountain pen world.
This pen comes with a lifetime guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied with the pen for ay reason they will refund it with no questions asked. On top of this, they offer a lifetime damage warranty o all their pens. If you suffer any accidental or incidental damage they will have a replacement to you within 3 days.
12. Duke D2 Fountain Pen – Most Flexible Pen
The Duke D2 has a really interesting design. It comes with a black leather case and a calligraphy bent nib fude for versatility in writing needs.
This pen is recommended for people who need flexibility with writing style. Whether you want to take notes or pen beautiful invitations in perfect calligraphy, this pen will get the job done. Aside from having 2 nibs, it also lets you maximize your angles of use and strength to get a massive range I thickness effects for your writing and artistic needs.
- Ink never clogs, even when left lying around for several days.
- Can handle medium to thick writing (6 to 1.2 mm) by changing the angle.
- Can be used with bottled or cartridge inks.
- Included ink converter doesn’t draw ink, so you will need disposable cartridges for it.
This is an all-metal pen in a Cigar style design. It’s got a black lacquer finis and iridium trim. It’s a medium iridium nib that remains stiff but isn’t difficult to use and won’t scratch holes into paper.
This pen comes with a medium nib pen (no ink cartridge), a calligraphy fude with a bent nib, and a black case. It’s about 123 mm uncapped and weighs about 42 grams, so it’s got a great feel in your hand.
13. Lamy Al Star Fountain Pen – Simplest Pen
The fine nibbed Lamy Al Star Fountain Pen is extremely light. It weighs only .6 ounces. It’s 6 x 0.4 by 0.4 inches of aluminum.
This pen is recommended… but only barely. It’s got a lot of problems that need to be worked through, but if you can get past them then the lightweight of the pen makes it a great option for daily use.
- Comes with medium, fine, or extra fine nib options.
- Not a very pretty design.
- Quite small.
- Bleeds all over the paper.
It’s a cute pen that has several nib options. If you have issues with the smoothness, change inks and clean your pen. Once you get used to the grip of this pen, you can use it for hours.
14. MUJI Aluminum Body Fountain Pen – The Beloved Fountain Pen
Many writing enthusiasts love MUJI pens. It is especially popular for its lovely aesthetic –stylish, simple, and functional. The pen is also unbranded, which is a nice touch for those who like minimalist style. The pen’s structure is that of a simple aluminum tube with a standard stainless-steel nib at one end.
Like all other Muji fountain pens, the nib is a size of German fine in width. It is a fine nib marked as “Iridium Point.” This pen is super slim with a rounded body that it will roll down the table if nothing stops it on its track.It does have a textured grip, however. It helps so that the user can hold the pen well in hand. This Muji pen has a snap cap and can post quite uniquely by sliding into the barrel.
It is a neat way of capping and posting as it means the cap has an incredibly thin metal end. It looks nice and all, but then you might worry that the metal is too flimsy. Muji pens have cartridges and this one comes with a black ink cartridge. However, it can also use other cartridges, so it is possible to use different ink colors.
This Muji pen is slim, sleek, and modern looking. It has a nice weight and feels light in hand. Putting the cartridge inside the pen is quick and easy and does not show any immediate problem. When used to write, it shows clean lines that do not feather or bleed. Overall, Muji Aluminum Body Fountain Pen is truly a lovely pen that will interest most writing enthusiasts.
- Looks modern and stylish
- Simple, elegant aluminum structure
- Nice capping and posting
- Can use other cartridges
- Might feel a little flimsy
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best fountain pen for the money?
Out of this list, if we’re talking about the value for your $50, then we would have to say that the Beiluner Luxury Fountain Pen Set is the best one for the money. With this cheap deal, you’re not only getting a good-looking pen but one that comes with the whole set too.
What is a good fountain pen for beginners?
Being an article about $50 range fountain pens, a lot on this list are great for beginners wanting to learn the art of this style of writing. If we’re to choose, then it’d be the Dryden Luxury Fountain Pen. Although the number of colors you can choose from can be attractive to newbies, it is more the instructional manual that catches our attention.
Are all fountain pen cartridges the same?
Although all cartridges have the same purpose and do the same thing, you can get them in two kinds. You can either get them in long sizes or short ones – short being the more common.
Are fountain pens hard to use?
Of course, anyone can learn any skill. Moreover, some people just naturally learn quicker than others. But, getting good at using fountain pens just takes practice. If you’re used to writing with a regular pen, then you already have an advantage. If you’re really worried, you could always opt for a simple or beginner pen to start you off well.
Do fountain pens leak?
Yes, fountain pens can leak, some more than others. After all, they don’t work like ballpoint pens where the ball acts as the regulator of how much ink flows out. Whereas the fountain pen, the ink is meant to flow freely. So, how much leakage there is highly depends on the quality.
Picking the right fountain pen can be a major decision. There are a lot of things to consider before deciding what the right pen is for your style and needs. Here are a few things to know about fountain pens before beginning.
What’s it made from?
The material used to craft a pen has a massive impact on the decision to buy a pen. It is arguably one of the most important factors to determine. The material affects the aesthetics and appearance of the pen, which is what a lot of buyers are initially drawn to when picking out pens.
On top of that, the material affects the weight and feel of a pen in your hand. It will determine a smooth, cool or rustic, warm feel to your hands when you grip it. The material also determines the weight of a pen, as well, which impacts writing style and penmanship.
The weight and feel of a pen, combined with how it looks, are the top determining factors when it comes to buying pens for most people. This makes the material of your pen the most critical thing to pick before moving forward with decisions.
What are you using the pen for?
How you use a pen will also determine what you buy. If you are regularly using the pen, then you need a pen that can last. The nib should be durable and the pen itself needs to be tough enough to withstand daily use.
You should also use this to determine the cartridge size for your pen. Writing regularly throughout the day means that you’ll need a larger cartridge unit. Having to stop and swap cartridges can cause you to miss critical notes in important meetings.
This also determines whether you need a wet or dry nib. If you’re writing all the time, you will have to find a dry nib pen so that you can flip papers without ink smearing. Wet nibs have a huge improvement over the smoothness of your writing, but they also dry much slower, so you should only have a wet nib pen if your intended use of rarely, for adding a signature to important documents.
Speaking of nibs, you also need to think about what you’re looking for when it comes to writing style. The nib is what spreads your ink.
It comes in 3 different sizes: fine, medium, and broad. The size will factor into what type of calligraphic styles you can attempt, changing fonts and allowing for humans to write in italics or bolds.
The nib’s flexibility determines how much control you get over your writing. The more rigid the nib, the more firm and elegant your script will naturally be. If you use a softer nib, then you’ll need far more skill when it comes to penmanship and style in order to make the writing look great.
Cleaning a Fountain Pen
In order to extend the lifespan of your pen and keep it from clotting and dumping ink blots all over your papers, you need to clean it properly.
Break your pen down first, separating the ink case, nib, outer covering, barrel, and cap from one another. Soak the nib in warm water to loosen trapped dirt, but don’t use hot water or you will damage it. It should soak for about a couple hours. You can use a clean cloth to swipe away dirt as it appears.
Once the soaking period is done, you can remove the nib, rinse it in warm water, and use a clean cloth to gently absorb the water and dry it. Set it out to dry it properly, and then reassemble your pen.
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