Are fountain pens practical? (12 important things )

Are fountain pens practical? so many people wonder, especially students ask about it.

In this article, we’re going to discover how much will cost you to own a fountain pen. Also, know 12 things that most people don’t know about fountain pens. So keep reading

Fountain pen consume ink

Owning fountain ink has a cost, it is not like a ballpoint pen that you could use for long periods of time. Fountain pen ink has a short period of time, so it is not recommendable to use intensively if you don’t want to refill multiple times a week.

So many people ask about, how much could fountain pen refill last. In other words how many pages or words you can write with a fountain pen.

For this reason, we made an experience with a fountain pen, and finally gathered valuable information about fountain pen consumption ink.

This experience is made with :

  • Lamy safari nibs
  • Midori MD A5 Notebook
  • Sailor Jentle Oku-Yama ink
  • writing 1 page a day

So the following numbers are based on this experience. We arrived to approximate how many bottles of ink last per word, page, and day. You can see the following data.

ink bottle size










332 words 

3 pages 

3 days 

221 words

2 pages

2 days

166 words

1.5 pages

1.5 days

133 words

1 pages

1 days


5000 words

30 pages

45 days

3000 words

18 pages

30 days 

2500 words

13 pages

22 days 

2000 words

10 pages

15 days 


11,000 words

65 pages

90 days 

7000 words

35 pages

60 days 

6000 words

25 pages

45 days 

4500 words

20 pages

35 days 


25,000 words

130 pages

180 days 

11,000 words

65 pages

120 days 

10,500 words

50 pages

95 days 

8000 words

35 pages

75 days 


37,500 words

180 pages

270 days 

16,500 words

90 pages

180 days

16,000 words

70 pages

150 days 

11,000 words

52 pages

120 days 


57,000 words

280 pages

405 days 

25000 words

130 pages

270 days 

24,000 words

100 pages

220 days 

16,000 words

70 pages

160 days 


90,000 words

400 pages

600 days 

38000 words

200 pages

405 days 

36,000 words

157 pages

350 days 

25,000 words

100 pages

250 days 


200,000 words

1000 pages

3.8 years 

90,000 words

500 pages

2.5 years 

85,000 words

350 pages

2 years

35,000 words

150 pages

1.5 years 

the data are shown in this table give a concrete idea if fountain pens are practical or not?

Fountain pen improves handwritings

According to Nypost 7 in 10 people said struggling to read a co-worker’s handwriting is a challenge that they are often faced with.

That means 70% of people don’t have good writings, which fountain pens could help to improve. It is not a magic tool but many people say that fountain pen increases their handwriting and show the clear difference between their other pens’ writings.

What makes people write beautiful writing with fountain pens is 4 things:

Ink quality: fountain pen ink is water-based ink, which is higher quality than ballpoint ink-based oil consistency. This guarantees good quality writing and feeling comfortable holding a pen.

Smoothness: The second thing that fountain pen ink ensure is smoothness. The water-ink fountain pen takes time to dry which makes the surface writing slippery and gives a feeling of ultimate smoothness.

writing posture: The diameter of the fountain pen is 1.5 times bigger than a normal ballpoint pen. So holding a fountain pen is comfortable and doesn’t require exerting pressure on your finger as 1.3 millimeters pens do.

Fountain pen needs a good paper quality

Fountain pens need a good quality paper that helps to keep and preserve the quality of pens. Many people fall into the mistake of using low-quality paper, which causes many problems like nib scratchiness and bleeding ink problems.

Using good quality paper is critical when you use finer nib below 0.5mm. If a student uses bad quality paper, that decreases the life span of a pen who should last more than 20 years. But writing in garbage quality paper like sandpaper is anything else.

In optimal conditions, a fountain pen lasts a lifetime. But on the other sides, using wrongly fountain pens, nibs don’t exceed 3 years for many people.

you could watch this video to see the best 7 fountain pens that last a lifetime. Also, it gives some practical fountain pens for new users.

Fountain pen broad nibs are smoother than finner nibs

Many people don’t know that fountain pen smoothness relates to 3 things:

  • ink quality
  • nib size
  • paper quality

But what is most interesting is the nib size, writing with 0.2mm nib will be totally different from 1.1 or even 1.5 mm nib. In other words, 1.5 mm are smother and could last more than finner nibs.

But everything has a price, 1.5 mm consumes 3 times of ink than 0.2mm would do. To sum up, broad fountains nibs are smother but consume ink and not everyone would love to write with a 1.5 mm ink nib.

Fountain pen leave ink stains on the hand

One of the fountain pens’ downsides, is they leave ink stains on the hand. According to Healthline 2 to 3 days is needed for washing and to get ink to disappear from the skin. It might be annoying for some people, especially girls.

At the same time, many people have ruined their clothes with fountain pens ink. Most cases happen when people try to refill their pens. As result gets easily stained with ink.

But many people accept that and don’t have a problem, hence fountain pen users should know how to hold this pen to not get stained with ink.

Fountain pens have wide nib ranges

Fountain pens have wide nib sizes ranging from 0.2 to 1.5mm, are the famous nibs used in the paper. This is one of the reasons why teachers love using fountain pens. It gives more flexibility and good use for different reasons.

For instance, artistic teachers love finner nibs versus mathematics teachers who love to use broad nibs.

The majority of people who use finner nibs have good quality paper and do that for critical reasons. While the majority use 0.6mm nib because it doesn’t require to have an elegant quality paper as 0.2 mm does.

People who love to use a fountain pen on any paper, tend to use 1.1mm like Lamy safari, which guaranty smoothness and regular quality of the work.

The wide nib range that fountain pens have, makes them practical for many users who love to write with different font sizes.

If you love sheens the ink pen will last

According to our experience that we made, we found that sheen writings consume 2 times than average writings style. Because sheen fonts need to be broader to make the effect noticeable. So instead of consuming 1 ml cartridge in 3 days, it will only last for 2 days or less.

So the 3oz bottle or 90 ml bottle will last in this cast for only 6 mounts instead of 9 months for normal writing style.

Sheen writing styles are 3 times broader than the normal style. People who love to draw artistic lines have to be aware of that. The durability that we noticed above in our table could be cut by half.

fountain pen bleed the ink but

Fountain pens need to have good care, this is what most beginners don’t know about. Many people have problems with fountain pens bleeding ink badly through paper or leaking in hand or cloth.

Most beginners make these mistakes that we’re going to notice and students should be aware of.

Bad quality paper: bad quality paper infect the writing quality, it causes many problems like bleeding, feathering, and ghosting. So the number one to ensure is using good and relevant paper for fountain pens

Bad quality of ink: using cheap ink infects the quality of writing, many bad quality inks cause bleeding issues.

Letting the head pen down: when you finish writing you always have to be sure to put on a pen cap and let its head go up, thus the ink does not flow to the nib. Most people get stained for this reason.

letting a pen in hot places: letting ink pens infect the viscosity of ink, especially for bottle ink. The constructor always recommends storing bottles away from the sun.

Fountain pen could last for decades

fountain pens are made to last for a decade, respecting the fountain pen guidelines guarantee to use it for a lifetime. It could be even inherited from one generation to another, many people say that fountain pens have lasted for 50 years or even more.

You could watch in this video below the correct guidelines to preserve a fountain pen.

Fountain pen ink dry if you let him

Many people don’t understand that letting a fountain pen filled with ink for days can dry out. It is not recommendable to let a pen without using it for more than 7 days. If you would do is better to put the ink back into the bottle to not waste your ink.

The average time that fountain pen ink takes to dry in the paper is more than 30 seconds. So you have to be careful to not get your pager smudgy.

fountain pen is not economic for strong writers

The fountain pen is not for strong writers. In other words, is not for someone who thinks to write a thousand words per day. According to the experience that we notice above in the table. The average cost of a fountain ink pen is $0.5 per 1000 words.

So if you write 2000 words daily with a fountain pen you need $1 a day. This is the average number of words that writers do per day, which is equivalent to 365$ of ink per year.

The average fountain pen user doesn’t overcome 100 words per day. So it is for taking notes or writing something special, not using it for general tasks, the cost will be so expensive.

fountain pens need to be cleaned up every

According to Jetpens fountain pens need to be cleaned every 4 to 8 weeks of use, because dust and dried ink build upon the head of the nib interrupting the ink flow and decreasing the quality of writing.

It causes scratchiness and inconsistency, hence users should take care of the pen and clean each month of intensive use.


Fountain pens reflect elegance and nobless, is a pen that has a lot of lovers and collectors. It shines in a world that has other competitive alternatives and effective tools for taking notes.

According to the 12 facts about fountain pen practicality, we could consider that fountains pens are practical for people who:

  • love taking notes
  • teachers using in for marking
  • people who write a few pages a day
  • people who love to draw artistic writings

But not practical for people who are

  • strong writers(write a lot)
  • arent interested in fountain pens
  • don’t have the mind of taking care of them regularly( cleaning, refilling them …etc)
  • aren’t ready to afford their cost


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.