The best fountain pens in the UK 2023

Invented in 1884 by Lewis Waterman, the fountain pen is experiencing a resurgence of interest from consumers, especially collectors. Choosing the right fountain pen requires considering its fluidity, the harmony of its lines and many other parameters including the budget. We have put together this guide to help you make the right choice.

Waterman Hemisphere 1

Best value

Waterman Hemisphere

The best fountain pen in 2021

This beautiful fountain pen from the famous brand Waterman combines simplicity and elegance. It is made of black steel, with a few golden touches, especially on the nib.

65,92 £ on Amazon

The pioneer brand Waterman offers us here a fountain pen with a fine point, in a totally Parisian spirit. The product combines elegance and French sophistication. It is entirely made of black steel with a few golden touches on the cap and nib. All these beautiful little details are highlighted by palladium finishes.

Designed with a tapered shape, the Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen guarantees ease and lightness while writing. To accentuate the refined side, Waterman delivers it in a dark blue case with an ivory interior that is extremely soft to the touch.


Best cheap


The best entry-level fountain pen

Fountain pens designed by Stabilo are among the most in-demand pens available today. Their popularity is due to their performance combined with an exceptionally low price.

11,24 £ on Amazon

If you are looking for a quality fountain pen designed for a child in elementary school, choose the Easybuddy model from the Stabilo product catalog. This pen is equipped with a non-slip grip area with fingerprints, perfect for ensuring a good grip. Note that this accessory is refillable with an ink cartridge. In addition, Stabilo has taken care to include a transparent reservoir so that the child can know when to refill.

The iridium-finished nib ensures the style's solidity while allowing it to glide efficiently over the paper. Also note the anti-spill feature provided by the shock-mounted cap. Stabilo's Easybuddy fountain pens are available in 7 different colors and you can choose between left and right handed models. This model is perfect for kids, but older kids, students and even professional adults will benefit from it.

Waterman Exception 3

Best premium

Waterman Exception

The best high-end fountain pen

The design and finish of this pen are a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of the Waterman company, which created the first fountain pen refill.

340 £ on Amazon

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line fountain pen, it's hard to find what you're looking for without taking a look at the Waterman Group's catalog. A pioneer in the industry, this brand has constantly innovated, demonstrating a particularly rich creativity in the design and ornamentation of its successive products. The exceptional model has a square, tapered silhouette that enhances its elegance. The intense black lacquered body adds a touch of luxury.

You will surely appreciate the rhodium-plated 18-carat solid gold nib on which you will see ornaments and engravings of breathtaking finesse. In short, as its name indicates, this model is exceptional, it is simply a work of art witnessing the age-old know-how of the Waterman house.

Scriveiner Midnight Blue 4


Scriveiner Midnight Blue

In chrome steel

If you are looking for a fountain pen that combines performance and elegance, this model designed by Scriveiner will perfectly meet your needs.

38,39 £ on Amazon

Made of lacquered brass and finished with chrome plated steel, this fountain pen is an excellent deal because it is almost impossible to find a model with these features at this price. If you're looking for the perfect gift to give to a board member, business leader, or senior government official, you've found it.

On the technical side, you'll appreciate the smooth gliding feel that allows you to write easily on any type of paper while ensuring a perfectly smooth writing experience. Once this Sciveiner pen is in your hand, calligraphers need not worry. Note that you can return your fountain pen within 365 days if it disappoints you.

Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter 5


Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter

The entry-level alternative

An essential classic, the Parker Jotter also exists in a ballpoint version. Accessible to small budgets, it still displays a rare elegance and quality of writing.

14,27 £ on Amazon

The Parker Jotter's body and cap are made of stainless steel, with chrome trim. The cap has a beautiful arrow-shaped clip. This fountain pen measures 17.7 cm with a diameter of 2.7 cm at the widest point and a weight of only 16 g. The tip is also stainless steel, but the handle is plastic. Note the slight sharp edge where the handle connects to the barrel.

In addition, the Parker Jotter has a medium point, which writes smoothly. The Quink ink dries quickly and has a rich black color. Overall, this is a good fountain pen to choose, especially if you have small hands or want an inexpensive pen to use every day.

Waterman Allure 6

Very good

Waterman Allure

Smart choice

Thick and sturdy, the Waterman Allure will suit those who write at an infernal pace. Despite its price point, it is not to be outdone by more expensive models.

12,30 £ on Amazon

The Waterman Allure has a chrome-plated steel barrel, which protects against bumps and drops. But sturdiness isn't the only strength of this entry-level fountain pen. In fact, its fine point makes it possible to write on different surfaces while being suitable for different writing styles. And if you're looking for a pen to write with every day, not just a decorative or collector's item, buy without hesitation.

A rubber grip supports your fingers, reducing the risk of your grip on the pen being compromised by moisture in your hand, even in the toughest work environments. The sturdy stainless steel nib easily accommodates all types of paper.

Schneider Ray 7


Schneider Ray

A very versatile model

You are looking for a quality fountain pen adapted to the needs of the whole family, the Schneider brand has thought of that with this blue ink model designed by Schneider.

11,86 £ on Amazon

This fountain pen has been designed with a sporty look. With its sleek style, it is at home in classrooms, university lecture halls and offices. Every user will appreciate the ergonomic rubber grip. To ensure smooth, fatigue-free writing, Schneider has equipped it with a high-quality stainless steel nib with iridium grain.

You'll appreciate the nib cap with a solid and perfectly stable stainless steel clip. This model is designed for right-handed users, but you can opt for the left-handed model. As an added bonus, there are replacement springs available for both right- and left-handed models.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best fountain pen

Any specific needs?

The best fountain pen in 2021

The best entry-level fountain pen

The best high-end fountain pen

In chrome steel

The entry-level alternative

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best fountain pens

Waterman Hemisphere 8
Waterman Exception 10
Scriveiner Midnight Blue 11
Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter 12
Waterman Allure 13
Schneider Ray 14
Waterman Hemisphere
Waterman Exception
Scriveiner Midnight Blue
Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter
Waterman Allure
Schneider Ray
This beautiful fountain pen from the famous brand Waterman combines simplicity and elegance. It is made of black steel, with a few golden touches, especially on the nib.
Fountain pens designed by Stabilo are among the most in-demand pens available today. Their popularity is due to their performance combined with an exceptionally low price.
The design and finish of this pen are a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of the Waterman company, which created the first fountain pen refill.
If you are looking for a fountain pen that combines performance and elegance, this model designed by Scriveiner will perfectly meet your needs.
An essential classic, the Parker Jotter also exists in a ballpoint version. Accessible to small budgets, it still displays a rare elegance and quality of writing.
Thick and sturdy, the Waterman Allure will suit those who write at an infernal pace. Despite its price point, it is not to be outdone by more expensive models.
You are looking for a quality fountain pen adapted to the needs of the whole family, the Schneider brand has thought of that with this blue ink model designed by Schneider.
Ink color
Royal Blue
Brass with blue lacquer and chrome details
Stainless steel
Rubber, Stainless Steel
17.6 x 3.8 x 6.9 cm
15 x 1.8 x 2.1 cm
16.51 x 5 x 16.51 cm
17.6 x 6.91 x 4.6 cm
17.7 x 5.2 x 2.7 cm
7 x 1.5 x 20 cm
15.2 x 3.8 x 2.2 cm
Tip type
177 g
20 g
381 g
159 g
68 g
30 g
31.8 g

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Buying guide - fountain pen

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How to choose your fountain pen

The fountain pen is a tool that allows you to take care of the handwriting of letters or documents of all kinds through neat, personal, soft and rounded calligraphies. But to obtain a successful typography, it is important to choose a quality fountain pen. For this, several characteristics are to be taken into account, namely the quality of the nib, the model of cartridge used or the material of manufacture of the device. To help you make the best choice of fountain pen, discover these purchase criteria in detail.

#1 - The quality of the pen

What characterizes such a pen model the most is obviously its nib. The quality of the writing instrument depends on the nib, especially the material it is made of. Indeed, a pen nib can be made of gold or steel. Some models even offer platinum or palladium nibs. In any case, this has a direct influence on your comfort of use and on the rendering of your writing. It is therefore best to choose a nib that offers a great deal of flexibility in its hold and that requires little pressure. The gold models are perfect for this purpose. In addition, the nib should also be chosen according to your requirements in terms of typography. Do you prefer a fine writing or rather a thicker calligraphy? Besides, you should know that nibs have different calibers:

  • XF is an extra fine nib
  • F is a fine nib
  • M is a medium nib
  • B is a broad nib.

#2 - Type of cartridge

When buying a fountain pen, it is also important to consider the type of cartridge used on the model. Indeed, there are references that work with universal cartridges and others that use their own cartridges. The same is true for the ink. The fountain pen references that only receive specific cartridges can be a problem insofar as these are sometimes difficult to find. For more convenience, it is recommended that you turn to a fountain pen with a universal cartridge. It is true that the latter is slightly more expensive, but it is well worth it.

#3 - The material of manufacture

The material of which the fountain pen is made determines the quality of the tool. It is thus preponderant to make a meticulous choice of it. The most common materials used to make a fountain pen are metal and wood. There are plastic models, but they are often considered to be of poor quality. Wood gives the fountain pen a chic and luxurious look. It is also comfortable to use as it is pleasant to the touch. But a wooden fountain pen is often more expensive. The metal fountain pen is more affordable. It offers several aspects that suit all tastes. However, it can be disturbing because it feels cold to the touch.

Good to know

The way we write evolves according to the writing tools we use.

How to take care of a fountain pen?

A fountain pen will last longer than a ballpoint pen... as long as you take care of it. So, to ensure a long life for your fountain pen, here are some maintenance tips to follow.

Put the cap on when you are not writing

It is absolutely essential to put the cap on when you are not using your fountain pen. This prevents the ink in your nib from drying out and protects the nib from damage. If you leave your pen out in the open and find that the ink is dry, you will need to remove the dried ink that is blocking the flow. Soaking the nib in water can often do the trick. If that doesn't work, consider giving your pen a thorough rinse - filling it several times and emptying it with cold water.

Don't lend your fountain pen

This may seem selfish, but it will ensure that proper writing comfort is maintained. This is because as you use your fountain pen, the tip adapts to your writing style. If you let someone else borrow it for long periods of time and apply their own style to it, the nib can go haywire. If it's just to sign a document, you can give it away. But if you're writing a letter, lend your cheap ballpoint pen instead.

Rinse your fountain pen regularly

It is recommended to give your fountain pen a small water bath once a month. This ensures proper ink flow by removing any buildup in the tip or feed. In addition to rinsing, you may also consider soaking the tip of your fountain pen in a cup of cold water overnight to remove any stubborn ink buildup.

The different types of fountain pens

Fountain pens are differentiated by their ink refill system. The first type has a cartridge reservoir and the other works with a piston.

Cartridge fountain pen

This type of fountain pen contains a tube called a cartridge. It is filled with ink and is embedded in the body of the pen. The latter is easier to refill. When purchasing the cartridge, you can choose the long or short version depending on the amount of ink you want to have. Be careful, some fountain pens require cartridges of the same brand. This information should be checked when purchasing.

Piston fountain pen

Piston fountain pens are prized by purists and enthusiasts. This system is more noble, but not as common as the cartridge. To refill the pen, you simply put the nib in an ink pot and the piston sucks it into the reservoir. But first, you have to trigger the system with a device that is on the top of the style. In addition to its authentic appearance, the piston fountain pen is an environmentally friendly choice. Unlike the cartridge, you don't need to replace anything in the reservoir. However, it is larger since the piston takes up more space, but this has no impact on the use.

Fountain pen or ballpoint pen?

Fountain pen

Fountain pens allow a natural flow of ink from the ink reservoir to the tip. The speed and angle of the nib controls the width of the lines as you write, and the ink cartridges, although disposable, must be replaced manually when empty.

The fountain pen is known for its elegant design and noble materials. It is the top of the range manual writing tool. It has been around for a long time, but has retained its authenticity in today's society. It allows a neat typography and is especially suitable for handwritten correspondence and for writing historical documents.

Ballpoint pen

Ballpoint pens are the most common pens used today. They are considered cleaner and more convenient than fountain pens. These disposable writing utensils dispense ink through a ball bearing to the tip of the pen in any direction and a uniform line of ink appears.

The ballpoint pen is the most popular handwriting tool, whether for school, work or personal use. It offers a high degree of reliability in terms of calligraphy, thanks to a strong ballpoint and an ink reservoir that dries quickly. It is easy to use and convenient for putting thoughts on paper in any situation. In addition, the ballpoint pen offers a wide range of colours. Its ink is durable and difficult to erase.


Your choice will depend mainly on the use you will make of your accessory. Use a fountain pen if you're looking for ink control and expressive lines of varying widths that will impress your friends, or use a ballpoint pen if you want something that's low-maintenance, disposable and easy to use and replace. With the pros and cons of both, it's not at all incongruous to have one of each.

Did you know?

The most expensive pen in the world is set with 12 carat diamonds and adorned with 1500 diamonds and pink sapphires. It is worth 2.4 million euros.

Why buy a fountain pen?

The fountain pen is a writing instrument that combines tradition and art. Considered a collector's item, why do people still choose to use them today? With the variety of pens on the market, why choose the fountain pen in particular?

To enhance our writing

Writing plays an important role in our lives, both personally and professionally. Indeed, we write for pleasure, to express our feelings, to correspond, to sign, etc. Handwriting is particularly attractive because it allows us to have control over the art of typography. And to express this art, a simple ballpoint pen is not enough.

You need a tool that provokes unique sensations like the fountain pen. The contact of its tip with the paper, the soft sound of rubbing, the fluidity of the hand movements, the agility of the writing, etc., lead to an exceptional rendering: graceful, soft and authentic forms. Indeed, the words put on the paper with a fountain pen have a unique stamp. They have a beauty, a personality and a singularity.

For the pleasure of owning a valuable object

A fountain pen is a high-end object that is always pleasing to own for the luxury it represents. Moreover, the fountain pen is not only an ornament, it is also functional. It is the witness of different moments of your life like signing an important document, writing an intimate letter, etc.

To return to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly writing instrument

The fountain pen works with a cartridge system. It is known to consume less plastic and metal than a ballpoint model. Indeed, if the latter is disposable when the ink is dry, the fountain model is durable. You just need to refill the cartridge.

The best brands of fountain pens

In our opinion, the best brands of fountain pens in 2022 are :

Mont Blanc

With over 130 years of expertise in the field of fine writing instruments, this brand offers a unique style. It offers world-renowned craftsmanship that is reflected in its innovative products. The Parker brand is always striving to revolutionize the writing experience for consumers.

Created by L.E. WATERMAN, the very inventor of the first reliable fountain pen in history, this brand is still a reference in the field of luxury writing instruments. From its first REGULAR model to the present day, its products never cease to amaze.

This brand is one of the international leaders in terms of writing instruments. It offers a wide range of products, including fountain pens renowned for their quality. In terms of sturdiness and comfort of use, Schneider fountain pens are a reference.

It is the iconic brand of writing products with a colourful theme. It also offers innovative, high-quality designer fountain pen models. STABILO brings a touch of fantasy to its products, which sets it apart from the competition.

This company is a pioneer in the field of writing instruments. It has been offering products known for their quality since 1906. Most of the fountain pen models offered by Mont Blanc are of the highest quality.

What is the price for a fountain pen

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

15 £ to 50 £
50 £ to 150 £
more than 150 £
Price range diagram


Hold your fountain pen correctly

Indeed, it is a little more difficult to write with a fountain pen than with a ballpoint pen. To write well and to avoid fatigue, your fountain pen should be positioned correctly between your fingers. Gently pinch it between your thumb and forefinger, and let its body rest against your middle finger. The other fingers should act as a support to stabilize your hand.

Find the right position for the nib

This seems easy with any pen, but not with the fountain pen, since its tip is not rounded, but pointed. First, position your fountain pen at a 45° angle. Next, draw a few lines on the paper, rotating the pen slightly each time. This will help you find the ideal position, one that allows you to write easily without snagging the paper.

Remember to keep your hand steady

While your fingers are more than enough to control a ballpoint pen, it's essential to control the fountain pen with your whole hand so you don't lose the sweet spot. To do this, hold the pen with your fingers and keep them, as well as your wrist, rigid. When you move the pen, move your arm from the shoulder. To get used to it, you can practice writing in the air.

Press gently on the paper

When writing with a fountain pen, there is no need to press too hard on the paper. Doing so can damage the nib, and throw off the flow of ink. Normally, writing with a whole hand movement rather than just a finger movement will succeed in pressing less.

Store your fountain pen carefully

When not in use, always make sure to store your fountain pen so that the tip is up to prevent the nib from clogging. Also, remember to place the pen in a protective case so it doesn't get dirty or scratched.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
Waterman Hemisphere 15
Waterman Hemisphere
Waterman Exception 17
Waterman Exception
Scriveiner Midnight Blue 18
Scriveiner Midnight Blue
Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter 19
Stylo-plume – Parker Jotter


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