What’s your workhorse? In praise of plodders…

horsesSome things are defined by their purpose, whether it be working dogs and horses or the tools we use every day…  I’m of the opinion that in a sense all fountain pens  should be so defined, which means that they are at their best when they are used. The opposite of this is the idea that fountain pens should be collected, admired, but never inked and used. I’m sure you know enthusiasts like that, I call these people barrel collectors rather than pen enthusiasts. In my humble opinion true fountain pen enthusiasts use their pens, true some are used more than others, but whether it’s your Meisterstück or your cheap mini fountain pen get it inked and use it!

penSo I though that we would therefore spend a little time praising our workhorse pens, our plodders, if you will… You know the one that gets used in the daily grind whether it be the office, the study or merely for the shopping list, they might not be the most glamorous pens we own (then again they might) but they are the ones we reach for first and most often. For me these pens are the real heroes of the fountain pen world. What these pens are depend wholly on the user I guess, one man’s meat is another man’s poison as they say. Obviously I have mine and you have yours and the object of this post is not really to focus on mine but by commenting on this post to share what your workhorse is and why, what sets it apart and makes it the go to pen for you?

IMGP1014A word also to those chronic rotators, the “I don’t have a particular pen” guys. To you my friends can I encourage you to get off the fence for a while and join in too. I won’t hold you to your decision, I’m not yet a member of the pen police (although that is a great idea…. we should all totally have pen police) so you won’t be fined if you change your mind tomorrow or next week.

To get things going I asked for an answer on this on Twitter yesterday and got some really great answers:

-Bob (@BlkWhiteFilmPix) sets us off with a bang with his workhorse being a Montblanc LeGrand (wow), and Noodler’s BayState Blue ink.

-For Adam (@freemind62) it’s his Cult Pens/Kaweco mini FP and his vintage Shaeffer snorkel foun tainpen.

-For Brandon (@uvawahoo01) its his Kaweco AL Sport with Platimunum carbon black ink

– The folks at Vanness (Vanness 1938) gave a shout for the Pelikan 400 with F nib and Lamy 2000 XF

Finally for me, and I’ve thought long and hard about this. I would say its my blue Kaweco AL sport with Cult pens/Diamine deep dark blue ink and my black Pilot Bamboo with Diamine Ancient Copper. Then again right up there at present is a recent addition (cheers Adam), the Pilot Custom Heritage 91 Tsuki Yo edition along with the corresponding Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo ink.

Some great pens there, some that I would hardly call ‘plodders’ but to each our own. Oh BTW what’s yours?

AFWAP

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20 thoughts on “What’s your workhorse? In praise of plodders…

  1. My workhorse & the pen I constantly go back to is not Pilot Perea, EF. I may change the ink around but I always fine myself going back to the Pilot.

  2. What a good idea for a post. I can’t wait to hear what people use on a regular basis. There’s some really nice pens on that list. I’m sort of surprised at the number of premium pens like Montblanc and Pelikan. Then again a good pen is a good pen, and those are made to last a lifetime.

    I’m a rotator, but I picked the Sheaffer Snorkel because since I got it a couple months ago I’ve found it hard not to use it when at the office. Besides writing really well (if a little broad for my needs) the filling system means you can refill it with no fuss. You just extend the Snorkel mechanism, place it in a bottle of ink, and one stroke of the plunger fully fills it. Plus there’s no wiping since only the tip of the snorkel touches the ink. Quick and easy. Perfect for sample vials too where other self filling pens can’t reach the ink.

    1. Yeah. I keep hearing that Bay State Blue is made out of Alien blood, and can eat away certain pens. I tend to avoid that line to be safe. I may get some, and put it in a pen I’m not too bothered about to give it a try.

  3. My Hobonichi planner goes with me everywhere and attached to that via a Leuchtturm 1917 Pen loop is a red Pilot Petit 1 with the M nib from a Vpen. It is 100% reliable, small enough to go through the narrow loop and is filled with Diamine Red Dragon (old cartridge filled via syringe). It is not glamorous, but it’s servicable and if I lost it I would not be TOO upset. Good idea for a post, keep it up, Chris

    1. The Pilot Petit1 is a great little pen. Cheap, small, and a great writer. Though it seems you’ve modded the heck out of yours. I like the nib though so I probably wouldn’t replace it. I’d anything I’d like it a shade finer.

  4. I am a rotator, but…the Platinum 3776 is the most reliable for me. It never hesitates. It is inked with Waterman ink. I avoid the Noodlers line of ink. Currently, I am using a Retro 51 Tornado Lincoln. That Schmidt nib is a beautiful writer, and it will remain in my EDC.

  5. I have 5 different colored, decade old, Pelikan Futures, which I keep inked with Pelikan, Noodler, Lamy, and Levenger colors. The Red nib started to fail, so after Christmas 2013 I went to Internet U and bought tools and have since shaped the red and blue to cursive italic nibs.

  6. I rotate through my pens, but I always find my Parker Vector and Parker 21 (both with F nibs) to be my favorite EDC pens. I usually use Noodler’s Heart of Darkness in them, because of it’s great dry-time and bulletproof nature.

  7. Sheaffer Targa- M Nib, with whichever of my inks suits the situation; ‘cos I know the old girl can Handle it with indiscriminate smoothness.

  8. I’m definitely a rotator, but when I really think about it I would have to say it’s between my Esterbrook SJ with a 1550 nib filled with Diamine Syrah. And a fine Pilot Prera filled with Organics Studio Arsenic.
    They’re inexpensive enough that I take them with me everywhere and wouldn’t have a heart attack if I lost one. And the inks are well enough behaved (plus the nice fine points) that I can use them on just about anything.

  9. and mine….? A Conway Stewart 58 (circa 1955) in grey and white cross hatch with a medium 14kt semi flex gold Duro nib matched with a variety of inks….largely Parker Quink Blue, Montblanc Midnight Blue, Montblanc Oyster Grey and Omas Black. The Model 58 is light, consistent, no start up issues with ink flow and virtually no pressure required to leave a line. It never leaks, has little nib creep and leaves the most wonderful line, crisp, wet and delicious. I have three 58 models, all different colours, but the 58 crosshatch is my my favourite. Nice blog by the way, well put together.

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