What is a Fountain Pen?

If you love paper like we do, finding the perfect pen for your favorite Notebook is a monumental decision. Our writing tools collection is a curated mix of tried and tested luxury brands, cult-favorite bullet planning tools, and classic everyday writing companions like the perfect no. 2 pencil. The question we get asked most often however is about an enduring classic—the fountain pen.

We're going in-depth on the history of this timeless writing tool, why and how to use one, and our recommendations for best in class performance. Let's get to it:


What is a Fountain Pen?

Simply put, a fountain pen differs from other types of pens like the ballpoint or felt tip due to its metal nib and reservoir that expels water-based ink. There is evidence that fountain pen prototypes were used as early as 1st century Egypt. However, it wasn't until the 17th century in Europe that we find early models of the modern fountain pen made from quills and cork. The 19th century brought patents, innovation, and mass-manufacturing, making the fountain pen widely available and affordable, and encouraging education and literacy.

Fast forward to modern day, and though it's widely seen as a collector's item or status symbol, the fountain pen is making a comeback. Whether using for calligraphy or design, chosen for its reusability and sustainability, or simply for the ease and elegance of writing, the fountain pen is an unbeatable choice for everyday performance. 


Fountain Pen Performance

Curious about how they stack up against other pen types? We've tested out some favorites on our 70 lb stock so you can see the difference—notice the smooth appearance of this water-based ink, with no feathering and no bleed-through.


A pen test shows the performance of various pen types against the kaweco skyline sportA pen test shows the performance of Appointed-approved pens on our 70 lb stock.


How To Use & Refill a Fountain Pen

When it comes to customizing a fountain pen, the world is your oyster. From ink pots and piston converters, to single-use disposable pens, there are options out there for everyone. We prefer a simple ink cartridge refill, which can be purchased in different colors and easily snap in to your pen for a one-step process.

Take a look at the video below to see how to refill the Kaweco Skyline Sport Founatin Pen with the cartridge it arrives with:


Our Choice: The Kaweco Skyline Sport

Kaweco Fountain Pens are an enduring classic for good reason. This is a pen known not only for its durability, compact design, and smooth writing performance, but for its unrivaled value. Our favorite, the Kaweco Skyline Sport, is refillable via standard ink cartridges, and is the perfect introduction if you're new to fountain pens.

For a limited time only we're stocking special-edition colors including lavender, olive green, and mint, making these the perfect stocking stuffer or add-on to your favorite Notebook.



Three skyline sport fountain pens in white, gray, and black sit uncapped against a light gray background

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