If you’re determined to improve your handwriting, then you may want to pick between fountain pen vs calligraphy pen options.
Handwriting may seem like a strange preoccupation these days, in the age of smartphones and keyboards.
But you’re not alone in looking for a pen that can help you take your handwriting to the next level.
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By trying out options among calligraphy pens vs fountain pens, you can really turn your handwriting into an art form.
In fact, it really is an art form.
It’s called calligraphy, and it’s been around for thousands of years.
The Importance of Good Handwriting
Lots of people these days no longer have very good penmanship, which is the main point when choosing between calligraphy pen vs fountain pen options.
That’s because the majority of us no longer regularly use pen and paper.
At work, we use a PC with a keyboard and when we need to take down quick notes for reminders, we just take out our smartphones.
Only kids in school these days write by hand on a regular basis, yet many experts recognize the value of calligraphy and good handwriting.
It teaches discipline and patience, it’s also soothing when you practice your handwriting skills, and having great calligraphy skills is simply impressive.
Whether you get a calligraphy pen vs fountain pen, you’re likely better off than a regular ballpoint.
Factors to Consider
So how exactly do you make your pick when faced with fountain pen vs calligraphy pen options?
The price, normally an important factor in consumer purchases, isn’t really a crucial consideration when picking among calligraphy pen vs fountain pen options.
Of course, the price has to be reasonable and within your budget, but we took that into account when we made our list of recommendations.
It’s just that you can’t assume that a pen is great simply because it’s expensive.
The cheapest calligraphy pen vs fountain pen options may also not be good enough.
Ease of Use
Fountain pens and calligraphy pens aren’t the same as ballpoint pens.
They require a different style of writing.
Fountain pens and calligraphy need very little pressure on the paper when you write.
Your motions have to flow smoothly, to avoid blots of ink on your paper.
Your pen has to be easy and comfortable to hold, and it should encourage you to write in a more relaxed manner.
There are several possible ways you can get ink into your pen.
One is by putting in a cartridge, which should work as long as you get the right size.
Other pens can work as syringes and siphon the ink from a bottle.
Other calligraphy pens such as dip pens require dipping the pen into the ink bottle every now and then, like a quill.
Whichever method you go for, you better find it easy enough so it won’t distract and frustrate you.
How does the ink flow from the pen?
That’s one question to ask when choosing between your calligraphy pen vs fountain pen options.
If it’s any good, the ink flow should be smooth and consistent.
There should be minimal problems like bleeding or feathering.
Your pen and its components should also last a good while.
What exactly do you get with your purchase?
For a newbie, it’s great if you get a nice kit with as many quality accessories included.
Perhaps you can have several nibs for your pen for great versatility.
It’s also nice if you have at least several ink cartridges or a bottle of ink to start with.
Some calligraphy sets offer several bottles of different ink colors, which really offer a nice range of options.
Yes, you may think that the look of a tool isn’t as important as its function.
But just like a good-looking guitar, a beautiful pen can be rather inspiring.
It can encourage you to do the best you can as you try to improve your calligraphy skills.
Besides, it does feel nice when you see other people eyeing your pen with envy.
Also, the looks of the pen matter if you’re intending to give this as a present to someone you care about.
An impressive-looking calligraphy pen might just tempt them to try it out.
When is a Fountain Pen the Better Option?
If you want a daily pen that you can use for a wide variety of writing tasks, a fountain pen is a great choice.
It feels better in your hand compared to a ballpoint pen.
With it, you can take short notes, write checks, sign contracts, or even take copious notes for work or school, all with some practice
The fountain pen is portable enough, and refilling the ink should be easy enough as well.
The nice thing about refilling is that once you’re done, it will take a long while before you need to refill again.
Pick a fountain pen with premium quality components (including a stainless-steel nib) and you’re set for years to come.
When is a Calligraphy Pen the Better Option?
A calligraphy pen isn’t really as practical for daily use, though there’s nothing really stopping you from using it for everyday writing tasks.
It’s just that—as the name of the pen says—the pen is for calligraphy.
That means it’s meant more for artistic pursuits rather than for regular writing tasks.
But with a specialized calligraphy pen, you can try various art projects that are related to fantastic handwriting.
Calligraphy Pen Uses
You can do posters, menus, and fancy party invitations.
In fact, with a calligraphy you can send impressive notes to people you want to impress.
Your crush might take more of an interest in you.
Or maybe the thank-you note you send to the interviewer after a job interview might land you the job later.
Some calligraphy pens are so beautiful that they’re practically works of art themselves.
Having such a pen in your hand may very well inspire you to do your best.
Our TOP 5 Fountain Pen vs Calligraphy Pen Reviews
One way to make sure you don’t get a dud is to start your search with our list of recommendations.
Whichever way you go in the fountain pen vs calligraphy pen debate, you’ll still get a fine choice.
“Great-Looking Starter Fountain Pen”
Our Rating: 4.5
It’s natural to start a list like this with a Pilot.
After all, it’s a widely recognized brand.
Even their cheap disposable pens are terrific, which is why they’re popular.
But the PILOT MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen sure is special.
Funky and Cool Look
Who says a fountain pen has to be boring?
That’s certainly the impression some people have about the fountain pen, but then they probably haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this particular Pilot pen.
This looks funky and cool, with half a dozen lively color schemes to pick from.
First you have 6 basic colors in a matte finish, which include gray, green, red, purple, turquoise, and orange.
But in the middle of the barrel you have a band with an interesting patter that catches the eye.
This can be waves, dots, flowers, marble, or what have you.
Finally, you have the stainless-steel accents.
Overall, it’s a very funky look and forever disproves the notion that all fountain pens are staid and boring.
Even the gift box it comes in looks great.
This may seem playful to look at, but it is made of high-quality materials.
The nib is made with stainless steel, while the barrel itself is made with premium brass.
Ink Cartridge and Squeeze Converter
This comes with a black ink cartridge, which tells you what type to get when it’s time to replace it.
You also get a squeeze converter, which irks adequately enough.
This lets you refill the pen from an ink bottle.
The nib can be fine or medium point, and it’s always made from stainless steel.
It applies the ink nicely on your paper.
With practice, you can get a nice variety of line thicknesses when you use this.
This is great for daily use, but you can start using it for calligraphy for your newbie lessons.
Just practice with it for awhile and you’ll get the hang of it.
The barrel is shaped nicely so you can hold it comfortably.
“Fantastic Calligraphy Set for Pros”
Our Rating: 4.5
Pilot does offer a pen that’s more suited for calligraphy if that’s where your interest lies.
While the Retro fountain pen is great for daily notes, this one is meant for more artistic projects.
First of all, this set actually gives you 4 different pens to work with.
This is surprising, since the cost of the entire kit is actually lower than the price of the Retro.
They come in different colors, so you can tell one from another.
Each pen also comes with 2 ink cartridges, with red and black ink.
You also get a plastic pipette for each pen to clean out the nibs.
Different Nib Sizes
Each pen offers a nib with a different size.
The blue has a 0.6mm nib, and the green has a 0.38mm nib.
It’s 1.5mm for the red and 2.4mm for the orange.
The nibs have a nice sharp edge that lets you put in fine details in your lettering.
Refilling the Ink
Replacing the ink is easy enough once you run out, or if you want to get other ink cartridges with a different ink color.
Just take out the spent cartridge, and pop in the new one.
Squeeze gently to get the ink flowing and you’re on business.
Just don’t over-squeeze, or else you’ll have a mess in your hands.
For best results, you can just wait an hour or two to get the ink flowing down on its own.
Great to Use
Plenty of people love this, and even long-time calligraphers give it 2 thumbs up.
It really is that good.
The nibs keep the ink from drying out too quickly, and the ink flows nicely and consistently.
The pens also feel great when you hold and use them.
These come with good points and bad points.
The good news is that they come in different colors, to help you differentiate the pens from one another.
The bad news is that you need a place to put it when you take it off.
There’s no clip here, and it won’t fit on the other side of the pen.
“Elegant Yet Affordable Fountain Pen”
Our Rating: 4.5
Now if you want a fountain pen that looks expensive and elegant, this is a fine choice.
The good news is that it’s actually not that expensive.
But it will look fantastic in an office setting, if you want to impress clients or your boss.
Dozen Color Options
You actually have a dozen color options to choose from.
All these pens come in one of those colors, with either silver or gold for the accents.
Younger users may go for the blue or pink color, but for office work you really should opt for the elegant black and gold combo.
The silver chrome and silver gold color schemes also work out nicely.
This comes in a nice handy gift box, which should make anyone happy if you decide to offer this as a present for a special occasion.
Inside, you also get 6 ink cartridges, which means you’re covered when it comes to your ink requirements.
If you like to try other inks, your kit has a refill converter that lets you get some ink from a bottle.
For Writer or Calligrapher
This can work for either a writer or a calligrapher, as it’s quite versatile.
The weight is delicate enough that it works for either hand.
The medium nib offers a nice smooth ink flow.
The barrel feels great when you hold it, and in fact it’s like it was designed precisely for your hand alone.
The cap never comes off whichever end of the pen you put it.
This is another less item to worry about.
Great for Newbies
This is affordable, which is important if you’re a newbie.
You shouldn’t spend too much on a writing tool in that case.
What’s really great is that you don’t spend a lot on this and you’ll find yourself using this often.
Not only do you have the ink refills handy, but it doesn’t give you any problems.
Best of all, it also comes with a PDF file.
It contains all the necessary info you need to get started and to take care of the pen properly.
“Great Pens for Watercolor Effects”
Our Rating: 4.5
At first glance, this set doesn’t seem relevant to the fountain pen vs calligraphy pen discussion in any way.
These look fun and inexpensive, unlike the serious looks of the main options in the fountain pen vs calligraphy pen debate.
But for art, and for lettering posters, this set actually makes a lot of sense.
This kit gives you 10 pens to work with.
Actually, you get 9 pens with different colors.
The 10th pen is really a colorless blender pen.
For those who are mostly into colorful works, then this is a nice choice among calligraphy pens vs fountain pens.
First of all, each pen has a tip at each end.
You get both a fine and a medium tip.
The tips of these pens aren’t like the usual hard tips you find in other pens.
Instead, they actually function more like a paintbrush.
The tips have a fine point, but they bend to give you broader strokes.
That means that you can practice using it to create fine to bold brushstrokes that you can use for your calligraphy lessons.
These tips are made from nylon fibers, so they will bend nicely to give you the brushstrokes you want.
But they’re tough enough that they won’t break as you apply pressure.
They also retain their original shape even after a lot of use (unlike the bristles of your old toothbrush).
These tips are also self-cleaning, so you can blend and mix colors freely.
You won’t stain these tips even when you apply other pen colors.
To clean these tips, just brush them on scrap paper.
The ink is water-based, which makes it nicely absorbent on many types of paper.
You’re also able to mix colors easily, or you can use the blender pen for a watercolor effect.
The options among calligraphy pens vs fountain pens can be for drawings too, you know.
“Calligraphy Made Easy”
Our Rating: 4.5
This is a great name for this set, as it tells you everything you need to know about it.
The real good news is that the name really does fit, including the fact that it’s great for calligraphy.
If you’re more a newbie as you look over your calligraphy pens vs fountain pens options, check this out first.
9 Different Tips
This really does offer 9 different tip sizes.
These are the soft brush, brush, medium, fine, extra-fine, 3mm, 2mm, 1mm, and 0.5mm.
That surely gives you a lot of options to work with, regardless of the letter point sizes you’re aiming for.
These tips are flexible enough that you’re able to change the width of the brushstrokes as you go along.
But there’s also a hard tip too, in case you need it.
Comfortable to Use
The pens are comfy enough to hold, like most pens.
The caps come with a pocket clip, which is convenient if you like to bring along a pen wherever you go.
Pigmented Black Ink
This uses pigmented black ink, which is water-based and non-toxic.
It lasts for a long while, too.
Good for Practice
This is great for newbies to practice on, what with all the tips you can experiment with.
You can use this to practice your strokes so you get more precision.
You’ll find that this works very well for Asian characters as well.
Fountain Pen vs Calligraphy Pen: Conclusion
Whichever side you pick in the calligraphy pens vs fountain pens debate, you can’t deny that improving your handwriting will do you some good.
It’s a fun skill to have, and it’s relaxing to practice.
Just go with a fountain pen for daily use, if you’re not sure.
Then go with calligraphy pens for more artistic efforts. In the fountain pen vs calligraphy pen discussion, no one’s saying you can’t go with both options!