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Purchase Suggestions: Something for the Kids

Because fountain pens are somewhat more peril-sensitive than other writing instruments, and because there is a dwindling range of “so cheap I don’t care if it’s wrecked” models, some people decline to get them for children under a certain age.  This gallery is meant to provide a quick reference for those who can overcome the disinclination; these are pens meant specifically for the younger crowd, and the sooner the youngsters start to understand the notion of caring for quality goods, the better, right?

Hero 616: Cheap, relatively sturdy, not too exciting but doesn’t look like “kid stuff”.  It has, though, a fixed filler rather than a cartridge; dare you let your child have a whole bottle of ink?


Lamy ABC: Really meant for the younger set, but very sturdy so that’s OK


Lamy Safari: Popular with all ages, and built to take a lot of abuse.



Ohto Dude: Relatively sturdy metal body, interesting to look at, and not quick to roll off a desk.


Parker Vector: Sturdy, cheap, and uses large cartridges; if your child can stand to be seen with one, it’s a good bet.


Pelikano: Perhaps less sturdy than the Lamy Safari, but not by much, and possibly less brutalist in appearance


Pelikano Jr.:  Aimed at a similarly young set as the Lamy abc, but a little more able to travel into older age brackets.  It’s also less likely to see its cap lost.


Pelikan Future: A Pelikano that’s put on a decent shirt.


Pelikan Griffix

Pelikan Griffix: Purpose build for the wee ones, much like the Lamy ABC


Pelikan Twist

Pelikan Twist: A Pelikano that thinks about going to Burning Man.


Pilot Kakuno: Very like a Pelikano Jr, with a more specific requirement of cartridge and a lesser one for grip posture


Pilot 0470

Pilot Metropolitan: Something sophisticated for the older kids who worry about looking immature, and really inexpensive to please the parents.


Pilot 0483

Pilot Varsity: Something deeply unsophisticated for the kids you know will lose the thing in under a week.


Platinum Plaisir: Like the Metropolitan above, a somewhat more sophisticated exterior that, if it suits the child, might see them through the the world beyond school


Platinum Preppy: So cheap it won’t cause a great outcry if it’s lost, stolen or broken.


Rotring Core: Teenage Mutant Pelikano– out of production, but there are second hand models about.  A specific sort of kid will adore it.


Sheaffer cartridge pen.: Out of production, but they swarm in online auction markets; excellent starter pens, to judge from how I turned out.


Sheaffer School: Leans upon “so cheap I don’t care”.  Not terrible, but not the best bet for the kids.


Sheaffer VFM: Relatively mature styling.  The small ink capacity helps teach the importance of checking the fuel gauge before starting on anything major.



TWSBI Eco:  Has most of the attributes of an “adult” pen, but with slightly junior styling and an extremely low price.  Built-in filler means trusting kids with a bottle of ink, and it also wants occasional re-lubrication of the seals; two elements which may nuture responsibility in the young.


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