Using a fountain pen elevates writing to artistic achievement. However, not everyone has pockets that are deep enough to buy a truly premium fountain pen. This means that it is necessary to look for less expensive alternatives.
Fortunately, many affordable options are available today. Opinions with regard to the best fountain pens under 50 dollars vary between users, making it necessary to test various models to determine those that offer the best value.
By comparing factors like comfort, smoothness, aesthetics, durability, nib, and ink flow, the following list of 10 exceptional fountain pens was compiled. Any of these products will help you to enter the world of fountain pens without breaking the bank.
Best Fountain Pens under $50:
1. Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen – Best Overall
Priced at less than $25, there are plenty of reasons why this model from Pilot is considered the best fountain pen under $50. The manufacturer designed all products in the Metropolitan Collection for everyday use. Accordingly, you’ll discover that it has excellent writing performance and that it lasts for a long time, even if you use it frequently.
The Pilot Metropolitan has a sleek, elegant look. Finished with silver accents, the black barrel and cap make for a fashionable combination. Each of the materials used is of premium quality to ensure durability, reliability, and performance. This fountain pen is compatible with both pre-filled cartridges and with converters so that you can use the ink that you prefer.
An ergonomic design makes this pen easy to hold, and that is one of the factors that makes this pen a good choice for beginners as well. Users say that the pen’s operation seems to get smoother over time.
It glides across even the cheapest paper. Fans even say that this pen is especially easy when it comes to ink refills. Critics note that the cap doesn’t stay in place very well, which can lead to nib damage.
If you have never used a fountain pen before and want to give it a try without breaking the bank, then the Pilot Metropolitan Collection is an excellent place to start. These pens are inexpensive, functional, and fairly easy to refill. Just keep an eye on the pen’s lid as it does seem to have some issues with coming off at unexpected moments, and this could expose the pen’s nib to damage.
- Sleek, elegant look
- Smooth performance across a paper
- Compatible with cartridges and converters
- The lid may not stay in place
2. Waterman Graduate Chrome Fountain Pen
Priced at less than $15, this fountain pen looks sophisticated. Nonetheless, people looking for inexpensive fountain pens will agree that this selection is an affordable one. Equipped with a chrome metal barrel, you can trust that this pen will always make you look professional and accomplished. The fine nib is a good choice for many people who are just starting to use fountain pens, and this model comes in a gift box, which makes it the perfect present.
With a contemporary look, the Waterman Graduate Chrome Fountain Pen is designed for the modern student or professional. The chrome trim is especially stylish, and really makes a distinctive statement wherever it goes. Each Waterman pen is built in France. A slim profile makes this penlight in the hand while the carefully crafted nib ensures the consistent, smooth performance that experienced writers demand.
The pen arrives in its gift box with one pre-filled ink cartridge. No converter is included, but the pen is compatible with converters.
Fans of this pen praise its smooth performance and affordable price. They even like the idea of being able to buy a genuine French product of this quality without breaking the bank. However, some people say that this pen does feel a bit slick in their hands, which may make it less comfortable to write with.
The Waterman Graduate Chrome Fountain Pen makes an affordable yet lovely gift for a high school or college graduate. Even a birthday, anniversary, or new job could be celebrated with it. Alternatively, feel free to gift it to yourself to use as your favorite everyday pen. Its smooth performance makes it a winner.
- Comes in an attractive gift box
- Looks stylish
- The slick barrel may be hard to hold
3. LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal Medium Nib
Any listing of fine fountain pens under $50 must include the LAMY Safari. It is a widely used model by both novices and seasoned fans of fountain pens. It’s priced at under $25, and this price makes it a remarkable value. Chances are good that you will use this handsome, charcoal-colored pen for years to come.
The LAMY Safari is crafted from durable ABS plastic. This means that it can stand the test of time and continue to look new even after years of heavy use. The pen is equipped with a flexible chrome clip so that it can be attached to a book, pen holder, or pocket with ease.
A polished stainless steel nib is a reliable choice. The medium nib is the ideal, all-purpose choice for an everyday pen.
The pen arrives with a LAMY ink cartridge T10. It also is compatible with the Z24 converter. The LAMY Safari is suitable for use with all drawing and writing projects.
Additionally, the LAMY Safari frequently is recommended for people who are just beginning to use a fountain pen. This is largely because of the well-designed nib, which ensures smooth performance across the page.
The LAMY Safari is the pen of choice for many people. They love it because it doesn’t feel scratchy and because of the quality of the nib. Many reviews say that this product boasts superior ergonomics.
Even left-handed writers have had success with this model. Perhaps the most common complaint is that it sometimes takes the ink a bit too long to get flowing.
The LAMY Safari not only is affordable but also durable and glides smoothly across the paper. It’s an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike.
- Durable, well-designed barrel
- Finely made nib
- Excellent ergonomics
- The ink may require extra time to start flowing after the pen has been sitting
4. Dryden Designs Fountain Pen Medium Nib
These awesome fountain pens perform even better than they look. Made by Dryden, this fountain pen is available in a range of attractive colors that include Mysterious Blue, Dangerous Red, Decadent Purple, Intense Black, and others.
Each one is priced at a little less than $30. The price is definitely worth it when you consider this pen’s features. These include a twist-off cap to ensure you the very best protection against leaks and nib damage.
This Dryden fountain pen is perfectly weighted and balanced to provide you with an unparalleled writing experience. Relying on “ergo comfort” technology, Dryden has designed a pen that is a pleasure to hold in your hand. It feels just as great when you pick it up as it does after a long writing session.
This pen is equipped with a stainless steel nib that features an iridium coating. The result is a nib that is incredibly durable and built for outstanding performance. If you have not used fountain pens extensively before, then you may appreciate the addition of a PDF file that provides all of the information you need to make a success out of your experience with this pen.
The company further provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return it for a no-questions-asked refund.
Many people who use Dryden fountain pens call them their all-time favorite writing instruments. Reviews suggest that these pens are simply exceptional, especially at this price point. The pen’s weight is solid without being too heavy, but some people feel that the pen is a bit small for someone with large hands.
A cool-looking pen that’s also functional, the Dryden is an excellent choice for the beginner or the well-practiced artist or writer.
- Beautiful aesthetics
- Writes smoothly across any paper
- A solid weight that’s not too heavy
- The pen’s dimensions are small for someone with large hands
5. Sailor Fude De Mannen – Stroke Style Calligraphy Fountain Pen
A bargain at less than 12 dollars, this is an excellent choice for the best everyday fountain pen. This pen also is the ideal choice for the calligrapher. It’s equipped with a special nib that makes this art easy, even for people without much experience.
It also is possible to buy this pen with a Wakatake nib, which is a high-angled nib to allow for extra-fine lettering. Some people also may enjoy this nib for drawing or sketching.
The pen’s barrel is made of durable, high-grade plastic, and it’s longer than the standard fountain pen. This is because it’s designed to be held more like a brush than a pen. This is one of the features that make it perfect for sketching and drawing.
Additionally, it helps to vary the pen’s strokes from ultra-fine to thick and bold. The pen comes with a couple of cartridges, which are extra long in accordance with the pen’s longer length. It’s also possible to use this pen with a converter.
Because this is not the standard fountain pen, it stands to reason that practice is necessary to use it well. A skilled artist, or an individual who wants to improve their calligraphy technique, will be willing to put in the time and effort to make success of this unique pen.
While some reviewers love this pen, others do not. Fans say that it gives their artwork and documents a unique and distinctive flair that other pens cannot match. Of course, there are other reviewers who say that this pen didn’t work for them. They disliked having to hold the pen like a brush and couldn’t get accustomed to the pen’s length.
If you are looking for a fountain pen that can handle calligraphy and artwork, this one is a great choice.
- Comes with an unusual nib
- Extra-long to be held like a brush for Asian calligraphy
- Glides well across the paper
- Some people have difficulty adjusting to gripping the pen differently to get maximum performance
6. Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen, Extra Fine Nib (EF)
Available for around 50 bucks, this superior writing instrument is an elegant fountain pen that provides outstanding performance.
Known as a Loom fountain pen, the nib is extra-fine. The grip section on the barrel features fine rings for extra texture and to make the pen more comfortable in your hand. A subtle curve makes this an ergonomic choice that helps you stay relaxed even during long writing sessions.
The barrel is made of durable metal and then chrome-plated. Given a matte finish, the overall effect is one of understated taste and elegance.
The nib is made of stainless steel, and an ink cartridge is included with the pen. Users love the relatively light weight of this pen and the way that it moves so smoothly and silently across the page.
Nonetheless, some users feel that the weight of the pen is a little too light. They would like something a bit more substantial to hold on to. Still, people who like the pen argue that it feels quite sturdy despite its lightness.
Faber-Castell is a recognizable name in the writing industry, and this pen does not disappoint.
- Stainless steel barrel and nib
- Ultra-smooth performance
- Excellent ink flow
- This pen may be too lightweight for some users
- The price is a bit higher than fifty bucks, so you need to wait till sales to get this one for under $50
7. Parker Jotter Fountain Pen, Royal Blue Metal Body
Priced at well below $20, this is a tasteful and elegant choice. Parker is known for making several models of high-end fountain pens. While some of them cost well in excess of $200, they do have a few models that are more affordable.
The Jotter is one of these, making it the best Parker fountain pen under 50. If you are looking for an entry-level Parker fountain pen, this is your opportunity.
Despite the affordable price, this offering from Parker has some truly exceptional features. The barrel is entirely made of stainless steel, and a feather-shaped nib makes for a superior writing experience.
A gift box encloses the pen with a medium nib and a cartridge of blue ink. With its streamlined look, the Parker Jotter successfully combines timeless traditions with modern sensibilities.
The arrowhead clip is a particularly distinctive Parker touch, and the company has received two royal warrants attesting to its “commitment to the highest standards of service and excellence.”
Compatible with cartridges or a converter, many people who have used a Parker Jotter have fallen in love with it. They say that it makes their handwriting look better and that it promises a memorable writing experience.
Additionally, the sleek and stylish design of the pen is a plus. However, the flow of the ink is a bit too heavy for some users.
The Parker Jotter pen is an excellent choice for someone who wants the look and feel of a high-end fountain pen at the expense.
- Parker quality at an affordable price
- Sleek, stylish design
- Exceptionally smooth performance
- Ink flow is sometimes too heavy
8. Picasso 902 Gentleman Collection Fountain Pen with Original Box
This decorative, intricately adorned selection is priced at under $50. Available in a variety of colors and styles, these fountain pens are sturdy enough for masculine hands, but pretty enough for a woman’s more delicate sensibilities.
These nice pens under $50 feature a medium-sized nib that is fashioned out of stainless steel. The push cap stays in place, and the pen is compatible with both cartridges and converters. Remember that this pen comes without ink so you will need to buy ink cartridges or bottled ink for fountain pens.
Part of the Gentleman Collection, these beautiful pens are designed to make an impression in classrooms and boardrooms around the world. The black with gold accents is a perennially popular choice, but some people prefer the carnelian or the understated black and silver.
Reviews suggest that this pen offers excellent value for the money. It has an ergonomic shape that makes it easy to hold, and even beginners are able to use a pen from this collection with little difficulty.
If you aren’t ready to invest in a higher-end fountain pen, then many reviews suggest that you may be happy with this choice. However, some users do remark that the medium nib seems quite wide to them.
The Picasso 902 Gentleman Collection Fountain Pen makes a distinctive statement wherever it is found. It performs very well in testing, and the nib seems well-made and durable. Both beginners and pros will love this elegant fountain pen.
- Beautiful, intricate styling
- Made from sturdy, durable stainless steel
- A well-made cap that securely snaps into place
- The medium nib has a heavy ink flow that may be too much for some writers
9. Scribe Sword Fountain Pen – Calligraphy Pens for Writing
A brushed stainless steel body and accent pieces that are highly polished make this an eye-catching fountain pen. Keep it in the handsome stitched case to ensure that your pen looks as good as new for years to come.
Carefully balanced weight ensures that this is one of the finest writing instruments that you will ever hold in your hand. Plus, it costs less than $30. That is an excellent value for your money.
The machined medium nib is capable of producing both fine and bold lines. It flows nicely across the paper with excellent consistency and predictable ink flow. A snap-fit cap prevents ink from leaking or evaporating.
The pen arrives in a beautiful gift box along with six ink cartridges in addition to a set of instructions. The company provides additional tutorial videos on its website for people who are new to using fountain pens.
Scribe Sword provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee with their products. Their no-questions-asked return policy makes this a reliable company from which to order a new fountain pen.
Reviewers mainly are impressed with the even ink flow and the balance of the pen. With effortless pen strokes, they say that writing has rarely been easier. Even people who have been using fountain pens for years say that this is a high-quality pen that deserves to be noticed.
Outstanding craftsmanship makes it a genuinely great value. Others say that you must use at least 80-gsm paper to prevent the ink from bleeding through. That is why we have created a list of the best papers for calligraphy.
The Scribe Sword Fountain Pen is a high-quality choice at an affordable price.
- Smooth performance
- Even ink flow
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Heavy ink flow may make it necessary to write on heavier paper
10. BEILUNER Luxury Fountain Pen Set – Modern Classic Limited Edition
This gorgeous pen boasts superior materials and craftsmanship, yet it can be purchased for less than $20. This makes it the best budget fountain pen. Made from highly polished stainless steel, this pen features a contoured and tapered shape to make it incredibly comfortable in your hand.
The materials give the fountain pen a solid weight that feels substantial, but not too heavy when writing.
The stainless steel nib features an iridium coating for improved performance and durability. Fine manufacturing keeps the ink flow steady and precise while the nib glides across any paper with ease. Changing or refilling the ink on this pen is a breeze.
Cartridges easily fit inside, and the pen arrives with six cartridges of black ink. Also included is a refill converter, all of which is presented in a gift box. Each fountain pen, which is manufactured by BEILUNER in Germany, is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
People who have used this BEILUNER fountain pen say that each pen stroke is effortless. Users appreciate the pen’s balance as well as the clear instructions for replacing the ink cartridge. Many people remark that this pen makes for a fantastic present, that it is well made, and that it is suitable for everyday or special occasion use.
Nonetheless, some people say that the medium nib is more like a fine nib, which they consider a drawback.
Packaged like an elegant gift, this BEILUNER pen looks fantastic and performs even better. Its stainless steel nib is built to last, and it boasts perfect weight and balance for a superior writing experience.
- Beautiful weight and balance
- Smooth movement across the page
- Comes with six ink cartridges and a converter
- The medium nib performs more like a fine nib
Tips for Choosing the Best Fountain Pen Under $50
The writer’s personal opinions and preferences will always help to determine which fountain pens they feel are the best. Nonetheless, there are certain tips that are sensible to consider prior to making a purchasing decision.
For instance, using the ink cartridge or converter frequently is the most intimidating part of writing with a fountain pen. This means that it is critical for the novice to consider whether or not they want the convenience of using pre-filled cartridges or if they prefer the variety of using converters.
Most modern fountain pens will accept both cartridges and converters, but keep your preference in mind before you buy.
When testing the performance of a particular pen, it is advisable to hold it correctly.
Ballpoints and other more common pens are less finicky, but a fountain pen needs to be held at a 45-degree angle in relation to the writing surface.
Hold it at a sharper or shallower angle, and the performance will suffer. Additionally, keep in mind that the two tines on the nib must rest with equal pressure on the page. Failing to do this may result in skipping or stopping.
As you’re doing your own testing, keep in mind that you shouldn’t have to press hard when using a fountain pen.
Too much pressure may interfere with ink flow and also may damage the nib.
Most modern fountain pens work well without pressure or with just a slight amount of pressure.
Whether you are choosing your first fountain pen or are looking for a new favorite, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Try various paper, pens, inks, and nibs to figure out what works best for you.
Recommendations from fellow fountain-pen enthusiasts can be quite helpful, but recall that your experience may vary based on numerous factors.
Changing just one of these factors may revolutionize your experience. This is one of the reasons why many people say that they experience a highly personal relationship with their fountain pen and wouldn’t dream of using any other writing instrument.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Fountain Pen
While many of the inks that may be used with fountain pens are lovely and fairly durable, they are typically not as tough and water-resistant as gel inks.
If you need to use an ink that is archival-quality or designed to last for several lifetimes, then a fountain pen may not be the best choice for that project.
Additionally, you may want to consider how often you are likely to need to refill your fountain pen.
Students with a demanding academic load and professionals who rely heavily on the written word may find themselves refilling the ink in their fountain pen every week or even every couple of days.
This may be a huge drawback to some people.
More occasional writers may refill their ink far less often, which makes the fountain pen less inconvenient.
Consider the nib on the pen before you buy it. Stainless steel nibs are common, and they are sturdy and strong.
Replacements are inexpensive too. More expensive pens may have a stainless steel nib that is reinforced by iridium, ensuring even greater durability.
Top-of-the-line fountain pens may have a solid gold nib that actually conforms to your writing style with the passage of time.
Another factor to consider is the width of the nib. Fine nibs are an excellent choice for drawing or when writing needs to be small and precise. Medium nibs are an all-purpose choice while broad nibs are ideal for large, bold statements.
Also, take a look at the grip. What material is it made of? Does it feel comfortable in your hand? Does it encourage the proper placement of your fingers? Any of these factors may affect your choice.
Refilling the ink is another critical factor. Does the pen use quick, convenient cartridges? Will you have the option to use a converter? Be on the lookout for pens that have a reservoir instead. These tend to be more expensive and more difficult to maintain, but they hold more ink.
A screw-on cap is the best choice for ensuring against leaks and accidents. However, even a snap-on cap can be effective if it’s designed well. Be sure to check on this before making a purchase.
Making the Decision
It typically is only through experimentation and practice that people find the perfect fountain pen for them. Occasionally, a novice gets lucky and falls in love with the first pen they use.
This is a rare occurrence, so don’t let the need to try various pens discourage you. Using a fountain pen is definitely worth it.
If you want to use a fountain pen, but don’t want to make a huge monetary investment, then start with one of the options on this list. Each one has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it represents excellent value for the money you’ll spend.
They perform well, are durable, and have nibs that are designed to last. Any one of them would be a wise fountain pen to consider. Plus, you may even discover that you love writing more than you ever thought possible.