Best Cheap Fountain Pens Under $50 – Reviews and Comparison
A foreword about fountain pens
Fountain pens are, basically, ink pens with class. There are countless pens on the market, but I’ve decided to narrow down the list of the best models to the shorter variation which includes only the budget models.
It’s only normal that some people who are low on cash want to acquire such commodities, and there are no reasons why you should be left out of it. Let’s check out the models which bear the title of the “best foutnain pen under 50 dollars”.
Best Fountain Pen Under $50 – Comparison Table
|Lamy Safari||Very good||4.8/5|
|Pilot Lucina Fine Nib||Very good||4.6/5|
|Feeney Fine Writing Instruments||Very good||4.6/5|
|Dryden Luxury Bamboo||Exceptional||4.7/5|
Best Cheap Fountain Pen Reviews
The first fountain pen in this review is also the best model, in my humble opinion. This pen literally has it all – it comes with a superb set of features, it’s outfitted with a beautiful luxury gift set, and it doesn’t cost too much.
Let’s begin with build quality – Scribe Sword fountain pen, as well as the luxury case are both crafted using the best-quality materials which provide unparalleled durability and lightweight qualities. In fact, this might be the sturdiest fountain pen I’ve ever used.
On the other hand, the premium-class nib is something to behold – this pen is outfitted with a customized easy-glide nib which will allow you to dish out consistent lines without having to fret about a thing.
What’s more, this foutnain pen is, without any doubt, the most beautiful pen you’ll find for the buck. It features multiple stylish engravings (Scribe Sword logo and initials) which help it excel in aesthetics like no other.
Now, I’ve seen that most people have troubles regarding the instructions. The brand clearly stated that “you’ll receive your instructions via e-mail as soon as you make the purchase” – this might not be as convenient as having a physical form of user’s guide or something like that, but the fact remains that you’ll still get your copy of instructions. People who say that there are none have, apparently, not checked their mails for a while.
On the other hand, some reports indicate that the ink refill process isn’t as straightforward as with other pens. Again, this is tightly correlated to the aforementioned “instructions”, as you’ll have troubles replacing the ink cartridge by using logic alone.
Overall, these “flaws” are more of “misunderstandings” than actual problems you’ll potentially face. As I said already, this might be the best fountain pen under 50 bucks, and I’m certain you’ll find it as valuable as soon as you start using it.
What we liked
- Top-shelf overall quality –this fountain pen was made using premium-class materials.
- Designer gift-box – comes in a neat complementary box.
- Excels in aesthetics – Scribe Sword’s fountain pen is amongst the most beautful pens on the market.
- Extremely reliable – you won’t have any problems regarding the consistency of the ink flow.
- Money-back guarantee – if you happen to be unsatisfied, the brand offers full refund without any questions asked.
What we didn’t like
- Instructions are provided via e-mail – a bit inconvenient, but they’re certainly available.
- Slight issues with ink cartridge recharge – some people repoted that recharges take a while.
Next up is Lamy’s Safari Fountain Pen. At first, I was a bit puzzled regarding the name – when I saw the “Safari” label right next to the price rag, I immediately expected vivid, wild color patterns, elephant engravings, or at least the zebra coating. What I found was something completely different.
First of all, this “Safari” fountain pen looks very traditional and vintage – old-school trinkets enthusiasts will certainly like how it looks like. It’s made of durable ABS materials, colored in “charcoal”, which was perfect to my liking. This material is not only for show, though – it feels quite gentle once held as well.
The nib of this exquisite fountain pen features coated steel materials – it promises consistent ink devliery and accurate, fine writing and scribing, especially due to outstanding quality point.
This pen comes with a single Lamy T10 cartridge, but it accepts all Z24 cartridges (important to know when you need to replace it). However, the replacements are sold separately, and the single cartridge will only last for a while.
Most people liked the smooth feel of this remarkable pen, myself included, but there are certain things that aren’t as good. For instance, the cap might not be too your liking. It’s not seated properly or securely when the pen is closed, and regardless of the firmness of your grip, it will eventually come off.
This might not sound like much, but you may end up destroying your pants or shirt (depending on where you put the pen). Now, you can easily take care of this problem by purchasing a storage box for your pen, although it will cost you extra buck and space (e.g. you won’t be able to carry it in your pockets, so you might need a briefcase).
As for the price, we’re mainly talking about cheap fountain pens, but this particular model is cheap, even by cheap standards. It belongs to the mid-bracket of the medium price point category, and it’s safe to say that it’s both valuable and affordable.
All things considered, this is a beautiful, dependable pen, if we’re to discount the cap problem. It works like a charm for the buck, and it’s certainly valuable enough to be considered as the best fountain pen under 50 bucks when compared to similar models.
It might be worthwhile to mention that you can get this pen in the “pen + refills + plexon” bundle package. This bundle includes the base charcoal pen, a set of five blue refills, and the plexon pen as a complementary feature, although it does cost extra.
What we liked
- Looks rather amazing – the charcoal coat of Safari fountain pen makes it excel in aesthetics.
- Available in base & refills bundle – for a couple extra bucks, you can get five replacement ink cartridges and benefit from a gratis pen.
- Steel-cated nib – the top-class nib is durable and accurate.
- Consistent ink delivery – you won’t experience any problems with too much or too little ink, regardless of the situation.
- Comes with a gratis T10 cartridge – this fountain pen can be used straight out of the box.
- Exceptionally smooth feel – the smooth materials feel very smooth and gentle to the touch.
- Very affordable – Lamy’s Safari fountain pen belongs to the mid-bracket of the “medium price point category”.
What we didn’t like
- Charges last quite short – a single charge won’t last for long.
- Problems with cap – the cap isn’t secured properly, so you might destroy your pants if it gets loose. Consider getting a ink box to prevent this issue.
Pilot’s Lucina fountain pen might be the most expensive pen in my review, but let me assure you, it’s well worth the cash. Even though it features an overly simplified design which excludes the modern, complex features, its simplicity only contributes to its beauty.
First of all, the Pilot’s Lucina pen can be purchased in three different colors. My personal favorite is the standard “Black”, as it brims with eleganc all over. In my opinion, this is the most aesthetic variant of this remarkable fountain pen, especially when compared to the other two.
The “blue” is a bit too casual for my preference, but it’s cool nevertheless. I suggest it to laid-back office workers and people who generally like the color, although the “red” (it’s more of an orange pen than a red one) is a bit wilder, and perhaps, a bit more on the aesthetics side.
Just as I mentioned earlier, this fountain pen doesn’t come with any special features – it is equipped with a fine nib, and shares the same design as that of a standard-issue mechanical pencil.
This pen, however, comes with certain flaws I just couldn’t look past. First of all, it leaves a thicker line than most fountain pens I’ve compared it with, but that’s not all. Namely, it doesn’t feature a converter – you’ll only get a single black cartridge, so you might need a Con-50 type converter if you wanna use forms of bottle inks.
The last thing I didn’t like so much is the price – this fountain pen is a bit more expensive than other models in this review, although it could easily pass off as a “cheap” fountain pen, given the circumstances.
Overall, I liked it a great deal, and, if I might add, it boasts a considerable value for the cash, despite the small flaws it comes with.
What we liked
- Exquisitely simple design – though simple, this fountain pen excels in aesthetics like no other.
- Available in three color variations – you can choose between the “black”, “blue”, and “red” color variations.
- Great value for the price – even though this fountain pen is a bit more expensive than other models in this review, it still holds a massive value for the cash.
- Fine nib – most people compare this to high-end models regarding the nib, even though it’s just a budget fountain pen.
What we didn’t like
- No special features – its simplicity is, perhaps, somewhat of a hinderance to some.
- Doesn’t come with a converter – you might need to purchase a Con-50 converter if you want to use any form of bottle inks.
Feeny Fine Writing Instruments are famous for making numerous top-shelf products, and this particular fountain pen is just one of their best works so far. It comes in two color style variations – the first one is “black” which looks elegant and exquisite while the “stainless steel” variation looks a bit barren, but pretty cool nevertheless.
The brand boasts about this pen’s absolute reliability – consistent ink delivery and fine lines are the least you should expect. Apart from that, the smooth surface of this fountain pen is one of its greatest benefits.
The thing I really liked about this fountain pen is that it comes with both the ink cartridge and the converter. As you’ve probably figured already, most pen “bundles” come with these necessities, while people who are buying standalone pens need to invest extra for them.
Now, there’s one thing I didn’t like as much as the other ones – even though the flow of ink is reliable, certain ink “explosions” are possible. It never happened to me personally, but I’ve heard that some people have reported this happening.
What we liked
- Available in two color options – you can choose between “black” and “stainless steel”.
- Very reliable – this fountain pen delivers a steady stream of ink at all times (although some people report that exceptions are possible).
- Written tutorial – easy to use and understand, you’ll find all information regarding the recharge, installation, and how-to-use questions.
- Complementary features – you will benefit from the ink cartridges and the converter feature as bonus items.
- Sufficiently affordable – this fountain pen is cheap, even for a budget fountain pen.
What we didn’t like
- Mediocre functionality – people who experienced problems with this fountain pen stated that “hitting the sweet spot was hard”.
The last foutnain pen in this review comes from Dryden – the Luxury bamboo fountain pen is one of “Amazon’s choices” in the vintage pen department, which is how I came to hear about it. It’s fairly cheap, Dryden boasts about its high performance, and you’ll get a free converter along the way.
First of all, you can wave goodbye to blotching and skipping once you get accustomed to this pen – its reliability is unparalleled, and it’s safe to say that it excels in numerous fields of performance.
The bamboo gift-case is a cool addition, given that most budget pens come without those bundle pack features. What’s more, you’ll be able to benefit from the free converter, as well as the luxury packaging completely free of charge.
Even though any sum of cash below $50 isn’t a risky investment, this brand offers a lifetime money-back guarantee. I found it really convenient, and, in fact, this was one of the key motivators which propelled me to try it out.
The only real problem with this pen is that it’s a bit too short for comfort – men with exceptionally large hands will find it as useless. Overall, it’s great for the cash if that’s not an issue for you.
What we liked
- Comes with complementary features – you’ll get a free converter and a matching gift-case free of charge.
- Money-back guarantee – this is a riskless purchase, and that’s an understatement.
- Fairly cheap – this fountain pen belongs to the “medium” price point category.
- Medium nib – consistent ink delivery and quality lines.
- Ergo-comfort technology – uninterrupted writing and strainless experience are the least you should expect.
What we didn’t like
- Too small – people with large hands might find this fountain pen useless.
How to use a fountain pen?
A fountain pen should be used like any regular pen with a small exception – you’ll need to change the ink cartridges every once in a while.
Most models come with replacement cartridges or with detailed instructions which explain the entire process of replacing them. Make sure to read through these tutorials and manuals carefully, and inquire about details with the brand if none are provided.
Things to consider before purchasing a fountain pen
A good fountain pen should have the following characteristics:
First of all, it shouldn’t cost a fortune. The sheer fact that budget models are as capable as high-end ones should tell you quite a lot. In fact, more often than not, it’s the brand that’s expensive while the pen itself doesn’t do anything special in particular.
Secondly, bonus features are always welcome. Fountain pens usually need frequent recharges, and some even need converters in order to be used, so keep looking for those models that come with these gratis supplies.
Lastly, you should pay close attention to the reliability of a pen. It’s a second name to performance in this sphere, as a reliable pen won’t explode on you or make blobs.
Finding the best fountain pen in the budget price point category is certainly not rocket science – most models in this review boast a massive value for the cash due to the fact that they’re made by reputable brands, excel in reliability, and provide a decent bang for the buck.
After carefully reading the reviews of the top models, it’s up to you to decide which one suits you the best. Keep in mind, these are budget fountain pens – some might come with minor flaws, some are nearly flawless, but there are some models that are far from perfect. Good luck with your search!