Choosing the first pen can be a daunting task. With a myriad of options, materials, and styles available, newcomers to the world of fine writing instruments often find themselves overwhelmed. I’ve been there too and I have to admit that finding a reliable, well-crafted pen to elevate your writing experience can be a true adventure. To make things easier for you and to guide you along this journey, I’ve rounded up five entry-level pens, each with its unique qualities and charm. Whether you’re seeking an affordable yet stylish choice, a smooth-writing fountain pen, or a pocket-sized gem, our selection will help you take your first step into the captivating realm of fine writing instruments.
Otto Hutt design01
Often underrated, Otto Hutt’s design01 is probably one of the most interesting entry-level series to consider when entering the world of fine writing instruments. With its sleek, minimalist design, it exudes modern sophistication and is built to last. Being made of brass, it has a certain weight to it, and you’ll love that feeling while writing. Although it doesn’t come with a gold nib, the stainless steel nib ensures reliable performance being more than you need to get the job done. Offered in a wide range of finishes and colors, this series is the perfect balance between style, affordability, and functionality making it an ideal choice for those venturing into the world of fine writing instruments.
Price: EUR 160.00
Lamy Safari is by far the most popular entry-level fountain pen and chances are you’ve already heard of it by now. It’s the Casio of writing instruments if you will. It’s affordable and by that I mean it costs you as much as 4 Starbucks coffees. What do you get in this money? A popular design, a fairly well-built resin body, lots of vibrant colors (even limited editions), and a stainless steel nib. The writing experience is decent, but you’ll quickly transition to higher-quality pens once you get the hang of it.
Price: EUR 21.90
Platinum #3776 Century
We’re moving towards a slightly more expensive pen, but we stay in the entry-level range. The Platinum #3776 Century is the most iconic pen in Platinum’s portfolio and has gained a reputation for its 14k gold nib that provides a smooth writing experience, as well as the colors it is offered in. In addition, enthusiasts of fine nibs have another reason to rejoice as Platinum offers one of the finest nibs in the industry, the famous UEF (ultra extra-fine). To prevent the ink from drying out of the pen, each pen in this series features a Slip & Seal cap (an innovative system developed by Platinum). Get your hands on one and you’re one step closer to becoming a pen aficionado.
Price: EUR 195.00
Pilot Custom 74
Made in Japan and offered as a demonstrator, the Pilot Custom 74 is another great pen to start exploring the world of fine writing instruments. My favorite parts are the transparent construction that allows you to monitor the ink level as well as the well-proportioned size. This pen fits so nicely in my hand and is incredibly comfortable to write with. The 14k gold nib is also excellent, sometimes I feel like it floats on the paper.
Price: EUR 165.00
Last on my list is the Kaweco Sport series. I often get questions about this one and I wonder why it doesn’t get more attention from users. Similar in price to the Lamy, but with a more interesting design, the Kaweco Sport remains my favourite in this price range. These German-made writing instruments combine a timeless aesthetic with a durable build, making them perfect for everyday use. They’re available in various materials, including plastic, aluminum, and brass, catering to different preferences. The pocket size is something you’ll love about this series, as you’ll be able to carry them pretty much everywhere.
Price: EUR 24.90