Best slim fountain pen?
September 1, 2015 2:23 PM   Subscribe

I love my Jotter, but I'm looking for something similar in a fountain pen. My number 1 priority is slimness - I hate fat pens - but I would also like to avoid cheap-feeling plastic. What are my options for under $50? Should I stick with Parker? Is the Cross Classic worthy of my grasp? What's the best non-bulky fountain pen you've used?
posted by Think_Long to Writing & Language (16 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: It's really weird that gauche posted a pen-related q in the time it took me to write this one. SYNERGY
posted by Think_Long at 2:26 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like my Lamy Studio(s). They're not the thinnest pen around, but they certainly don't feel chunky.
posted by brentajones at 2:45 PM on September 1, 2015

It's double your budget but well worth it. Pilot Decimo Capless Fountain Pen.
Failing that, Cross makes some slender fountain pens as well.
posted by ApathyGirl at 2:57 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Pilot Birdie is pretty tiny, and it writes OK for a cheap pen.
posted by a halcyon day at 3:14 PM on September 1, 2015

Best answer: The Cross Classic Century (hrmph! In my day it was just the pen and not "classic" -- off my lawn damn you) is the world's greatest pen for people who like slim pens.

I notice some Amazon reviews fuss over made-in-China build quality? I have never had a problem with more recent Cross pens, but, eBayed vintage can be a very good way to go for pens. People just don't use them as much as they used to, so there are loads of carefully cared for ones out there with deceased or disinterested owners, with low enough demand for very good prices.

It is my all-time-favourite pen as far as the feel in one's hand goes. (I wear size 6 or 6.5 gloves, if that helps to know -- small hands.) I find a Jotter plump in comparison -- it's quite a difference.
posted by kmennie at 3:21 PM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Waterman Hémisphère pens are quite slim as well, and available in just about any finish you might want. Beautiful pens.
posted by bonehead at 3:25 PM on September 1, 2015

This! The Pilot Cavalier is a fabulous pen and slim as a regular ball point. The Fine nib is perfect and gets you a very fine and precise line. I haven't used the converter and only run from cartridges but those are also absurdly cheap on Amazon and easy to get.

Personally, I love this pen so much that I now have two. One for the office and one for my purse. I have even contemplated getting a third and hiding in case I ever lose one, but that seems excessive. Although....
posted by teleri025 at 3:37 PM on September 1, 2015

The Lamy Logo is safely within your budget, and the Lamy cp1 can be found in the $50 range. Both are very handsome and feel nice in the hand.

If you dislike fat pens mostly because the sections (the grips) are too large for your hands, the Lamy AL-star might be an option. They're basically the Safari but aluminum rather than plastic, and are identically-shaped down to the small tapered, triangular grips. If you dislike fat pens for their looks, or they just don't feel right anyway, forget I suggested this :)
posted by ardgedee at 4:47 PM on September 1, 2015

My two favorite pens are a slim black and gold Cross and a nearly as slim silver and gold Cross. I love them equally, yes I do. And I swear by Cross because they last forever and write so smoothly.
posted by bearwife at 4:58 PM on September 1, 2015

My husband who is a pen addict recommended the Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:02 PM on September 1, 2015

Pilot Metropolitan. $15, made in Japan, all metal, includes a squeeze converter, and uses the same nib as more expensive Pilot pens.
posted by elmwood at 7:51 PM on September 1, 2015

Haven't had time to respond until now, but I would have said Pilot Metropolitan (w/ med. nib) as well. Inexpensive, well-made, writes well out of the box. To my hands they feel about the same size as a Pilot G2 gel pen, or perhaps just slightly bigger. They are available in both businesslike and fun colors.
posted by gauche at 6:41 AM on September 2, 2015

If you could go over $50 a bit? you might like the Kaweco Lilliput. It looks like it's available on amazon for $55ish? $57.90? This would be for the aluminum body, the brass one is more expensive (also heavier). I have one and like it - slim, and even though it's short (which I like) you can screw the cap onto the body when you're writing so the length is more normal.
posted by you must supply a verb at 10:52 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hojeez those 'Fireblue' flame-blued Lilliputs are gorgeous.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:22 AM on September 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

The Platinum Carbon Desk pen. This is the one I use; it's sensational and stylish.
posted by dhruva at 12:54 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I decided to go with the Cross Century after looking through these options. If I continue down this path, I will definitely pursue some of the other elegant options y'all have listed here, so thanks for the advice.

For future reference, my experience with the Century for the past week has been really good, especially for its price point. It is every bit as slim as I wanted, even compared to the Jotter. I think, like kmennie said, that some may get a "cheap" vibe from it because of its light weight and the thinness of its metal cylinder. Our brains naturally associate heft with quality, but despite its light construction, it's a really sturdy pen.
posted by Think_Long at 11:04 AM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

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