When people find out I’m a pen and ink junky that is a pretty common question I get asked. I often answer with “Lamy Safari”. It is probably my most dependable, easy to use, reliable pen. I love it so much that I have it in different nib sizes. These days, though, I mostly use it for drawing these days. Why? because I have a bunch of pens and I prefer to write every day with some ink color other than black. I keep my Safari pens all in black for doodling and sketching. They’re my most reliable and I when I set down to doodle out something, I don’t want blobs, messes or scratches. Lamy is my knight in shining armor.
So what pens do I like? I’m going to do a run down here of a few of my favorites from least to most expensive. Ready?
The Preppy Pen from Platinum
Inks: Top: Noodler’s Golden Brown, Bottom: Noodler’s Concord Grape
It’s price point is in the $3-$4 range. Its a decent pen. Nothing fancy. I have Fine tips and they write really well. One came a little scratchy but I used some fine steel wool on it and voila, it was great. Ink converters for that pen cost more than the pen itself though. But! You can turn the pen into an eyedropper pen. What’s that? CLICK HERE. He even mentions how to change the Preppy into an eyedropper pen. Ink Nouveau has a video detailing just that CLICK HERE. I received the preppy free with a bottle of Noodler’s ink. I since bought one and converted it. It really is simple. I do want to mention that if you don’t have a bottle of ink with an eyedropper in it, get a syringe to fill it. A syringe is a handy thing because you can also refill cartridges. No waste folks! The Preppy also can change out its tip to a ball point, felt tip, or highlighter. Really versatile. This may not be your favorite pen but it’s nice to have one or two set up in funky colors when you need some splash.
The Creaper from Noodlers
Ink: Diamine Ancient Copper
This is $14 from Goulet Pen and it is spelled as Creaper and not Creeper like I originally wrote up there. Creeper Amy indeed. It’s not a bad price at all for a decent flex nib pen. Ink Nouveau has a bunch of videos about this pen but I didn’t link them. Search them out if you get the pen, they will help you with adjustments. The nibs and ink feed is completely adjustable. It’s an easy to fill pen. You can change the nib out to italic if you want to. The ink I have in mine now is dry. I had a pretty wet ink in it before and this pen really does react drastically different depending on the ink you have in it. I can fiddle with the feed and nib and I can make it perfect. If you’re into fancy writing and you want to give a flex nib a try, go for this. However….If you already know you like fancy writing and flex nibs I would put up the extra $6 and buy the Ahab or the Konrad. Both made by Noodlers and $20 at Goulet Pen. They’re a little better than the Creaper in my opinion.
Kakuno from Pilot
Inks: Top: Diamine Graphite, Middle: J. Herbin Vert Olive, Bottom: Noodler’s Baystate Blue
The pen with the smiley face on the nib.
How could you not love this pen? Its reliable, simple to use and it’s always ready. I am using the cheap Pilot converter in it and its been just fine. I know there are mixed reviews about the converters but I’ve filled it 3 times and it’s all just fine. The Graphite is my every day color so this Kakuno is now my every day pen. Love it to pieces. This is the pen that took over the Lamy Safari’s job for daily writing and note taking. It’s about $10 cheaper than a Safari at $16.50 from Jetpens. This means you can have at least 2.
Ink: Montaverde Pink
In expensive pen that is a little hard to find. In my opinion this pen might be best served for kids that hold their pen wrong or need a little help with penmanship. It’s triangle shaped at the top forcing you to hold it correctly. It’s not uncomfortable at all. I really like this pen and if you’ve ordered from us and have a pink note on your order – this is the pen I used. The other good thing about this pen is that you can get it with erasable ink. No kidding. I am getting these for my kids. One needs huge help with her penmanship and I believe this will do it. She writes better with a fountain pen and currently she’s using one of my Safaris. Which makes me nervous that she’ll loose it so I need to get on the ball and get this pen for her.
The Lamy Safari
Ink: Lamy Black
What can I say? This is a great pen. If you want a solid dependable pen that will last you a long time without spending a ton, GET THIS ONE. I’ve had these for years and years. I’d buy more in a heartbeat. I love them. You’ll notice my 3 different size nibs. I’m not super thrilled with the broad 1.5 but the ink isn’t really wet enough for that one probably. I’ll switch out the inks and see what I think. There are more nib sizes for this pen and the Fine is a pretty great every day size. I prefer the Ex-Fine for doodling. So that lime green is my most often used pen. I rely on these pens and they’ve not yet failed me.
Also – in case you didn’t know, you can use an empty clean pen as a “dip pen”. Which is what I did to test some inks.
I do not have my Lamy pens set up with 3 different turquoise inks. I’m bonkers but not a complete lunatic. I had an empty one which I just dipped in the ink and tested out the colors. Slick. I wouldn’t write a lot this way but to test out ink colors, it’s pretty perfect. Which, by the way, my favorite out of those 4 Turquoise tests is the Organics Studio Nickel. It’s probably not the best bet for sky sketching. For that it’s a toss up between Diamine Turquoise and Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise. For writing though, I’d pick the Nickel. Hands down.
If you go shopping and buy pens. Please tweet at me what you got. I love seeing how people match up with their new pens. And bonus, if you have a new ink you love, tell me about that too.