Pen friends in the US are celebrating Thanksgiving this week and the countdown to Black Friday begins! It got me thinking that a holiday gift guide would be helpful. This guide is primarily intended for the non-pen person looking for a gift for the fountain pen aficionado, whether newbie or seasoned, in his or her life.
Rollerballs / Ballpoints
No one should be using dinky hotel pens or those pens-on-chains at the bank. A rollerball or ballpoint is a nice gateway drug into fine writing instruments. Even fountain pen addicts will find themselves in situations where using a fountain pen just isn’t practical.
Retro 1951 makes quality ballpoints and rollerballs at a fantastic price point. There is a pen for every taste, style, or interests. Like this Big Shot Black Label for the big shot in your life, or this vibrant Joey Feldman / Vanness Pens colloboration for pop culture art lovers.
Baron Fig Squire is a great aluminum pen with minimalist styling. It uses the same refills as Retro 51 so it performs wonderfully.
Montblanc Meisterstück Platinum-Coated Classique Ballpoint Pen is an iconic pen that never goes out of style. My hubby got me this pen plus a matching pencil when I earned my professional designation many years ago and it still going strong.
For fidgety pen users
CW&T Pen Type B Ahh, I love yanking the pen out of its precision cut brass sleeve for that satisfying pop. It’s fun for the eyes, ears and hands. Check out their video! If your pen-lover is someone who always fidgets with something, then this is the perfect pen.
Brush pens use cartridge ink or converters. Empty cartridges can be cleaned and refilled by syringe. This is a great way for an ink addict to extend the use of their bottle inks.
Kuretake No. 8 Fountain Brush Pen This longer brush pen has synthetic fibres but a responsive tip that is great for lettering or Asian calligraphy.
The natural weasel hair on this brush pen is softer yet springs back into shape and makes for responsive strokes. Pick up a Platinum converter for bottled ink which makes it easier to fill than by syringe.
Kuretake Yumeginga - Dream Galaxy The brush tip is a bit fuller than in the Platinum pen and the celluloid blue body is deep and captivating.
For fidgety pen users
Noodler's Ahab Brush Pen or Noodler's Konrad Piston Filler Brush Pen - Clear Demonstrator These piston filler brush pens represent great value for those who are willing to fidget with them to optimize performance.
Nock Co. makes bags and cases for pen nerds. They have pen cases in different configurations made with durable and bright nylon material. Recently I’ve been into the Sinclair zip case as an EDC carry. I’ve been eyeing the new coffee/amethyst colorway.
I enjoy taking my leather 6-pen case to work. It’s now available in some fabric options too for vegan pen fans.
Superior Labor Leather Pen Roll
This lovely leather case is handcrafted in Japan. It has 3 smaller compartments and a larger one which can hold small notebook. If you don’t mind your pens touching, you can get upwards of 9 pens to fit in. It comes are several colour options.
Nock Co. DotDash Notecards These are great for jotting down quick notes, brainstorming or writing daily good night notes to someone special without being too formal. You can always stash a few cards in your bag or EDC case.
Field Notes Front Page Field Notes made their popular reporter style Byline Edition into the regular line up with the release of the Front Page edition. While not all Field Notes editions are fountain pen friendly, this one is.
I have two of these lovely rulers at home and another at work. Not only are they beautiful wooden rulers, but they also make good paper weights, workspace dividers and pen trays. I keep active pens in use on these rulers to prevent them from rolling away.
This tool box is perfect for corralling all the little accessories that may be used by a fountain pen user such as nibs, cartridges, converters as well as other analog supplies like stamps, wax seals, and washi tape.
CursiveLogic Workbook This is a great workbook for learning to write cursive.
Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy This is a great book to flip through for lettering inspiration.
Fountain Pen Books by Andreas Lambrou Lambrou is an authority on fountain pen history. Mass Drop has a deal for his coffee table books Fountain Pens of Japan and Fountain Pens: United States of America and United Kingdom. I've recently started getting into vintage pens and love to do research in these comprehensive books.
Sailor Jentle Four Seasons - Sailor has been making some pretty inks with interesting properties. They make nice gifts since the bottles are made of glass, are an interesting shape and come in a pretty box which makes for easier gift wrapping. My favourites include Yama-Dori and Tokiwa-Matsu. I missed out on the popular but now discontinued Sailor Apricot. But the recently released Sailor Kin-Mokusei is said to be an Apricot substitute. Compared to the Sailor / Japanese pen shop exclusives (such as Bungbox) the Sailor Jentle inks are easier to get a hold of and cost much less.
Pilot Iroshizuku Mini Set Full size bottles of lovely Iroshizuku ink are pricey but this "pick your own" mini set is a great way to try 3 different ink. Each bottle is 15 ml in a glass bottle the mimics the design aesthetic of the full sized bottles. The set comes in a sturdy foam padded box. Add a bow on top and gift-wrapping is done.
Fountain Pens This is tricky territory unless you know what your pen addict likes and has. I’ve selected some “safe bets”.
Pilot Kakuno Package Set - These pens are so adorable with the smiley face on the nib. Pilot nibs are legendary so these would be great pens to stash around even for the seasoned fountain pen user.
TWSBI Diamond 580 Aluminum is a popular piston filler pen that most pen users will enjoy. This pen was recently released in aluminim pink.
Franklin-Christoph Pens My collection of FC pens has gone from zero to nine in the span of a year. These things multiply like bunnies! And yet, I still have my eye on a few more which is a testament to how wonderful and fun these pens are. I’m currently enjoying the Wonder Pens exclusive Pocket 20 in Translucent bronze.
If ordering direct from FC website, be sure to spring the extra $20 for a Masuyama ground nib.
For the fidgety pen user
Tactile Turn Gist Spring for a couple of these pens with different parts and your pen lover could have hours of fun making Frankenpens.
So what's on your wish list for the holidays? What would you choose for the pen addicts on your shopping list?
If you have any questions on my gift guide, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me.
I have included links above for reference purpose only. None of these are affiliate links and I am not compensated in any way for providing links.