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What Is A Student Fountain Pen?

The phrase “student fountain pen” doesn’t get thrown around as much as it once did, but there still exists a whole class of fountain pens known as “student” pens.

What is a student pen? What makes one good? What are the best student fountain pens today, at a time when much fewer people are actually learning to write using a fountain pen.

Student Fountain Pen vs. Fountain Pen For Students

This might seem like a silly distinction to make, but it’s worthwhile to explain now.

A student fountain pen is a clear category of pens. These are fountain pens specifically designed for students that are, oftentimes, distributed in schools and used for learning to write. While no longer a popular practice in the United States, this lasted much longer in Germany. Fountain pen makers often has a pen that they specifically see as their learning pen, for instance the Lamy ABC.

A fountain pen for students is any fountain that, generally speaking, if a good fit for a younger audience. Good fountain pens for students are sub-$20, steel nib pens that aren’t delicate and work with refills. Some pens often found in this category are the Lamy Safari, Pilot Varsity, and Pilot Metropolitan.

Student Fountain Pen Features

Student fountain pens are generally pens that are designed for teaching kids to write properly. This means they are light, small, affordable pens. They have strong, stiff, steel nibs. Interestingly most offer Lefthanded nib models, in order to facilitate learning by lefties and not put them an an early disadvantage.

Most of these pens are technically cartridge/converters but they are almost always only used with cartridges so as to prevent messy ink spills in classrooms.

The pen usually have wider, rubberized grips that are triangular. These style of grip is easier to hold for small hands and promotes proper finger positioning.

Top Down: Lamy ABC, Pelikano, Sheaffer Student

Are These The Best Fountain Pens For Kids?

As you may have noticed at this point, student fountain pens are essentially fountain pens for kids. Being focused on school use student-specific fountain pens sometimes have less colorful designs than a fountain pen designed to get the attention of a kid, but the feature set is generally the same.

The things that will differentiate a fountain pen that is simply painted to make a kid happy and a student fountain pen will be the features that make life easier in a classroom. These include space for a name label (as seen on the Lamy ABC) and red coloring on the pens that are left-handed.

List of Student Fountain Pens

What Are The Best Student Fountain Pens?

If you are choosing from the the above list then the pens we’d especially recommend for students are the Pilot Varsity and the Lamy ABC.

The Pilot Varsity is not refillable, which isn’t really the best lesson for young people, but it is super consistent, it’s affordable, and it lasts for a long time.

The Lamy ABC is a bit more expensive at about $18 but it does sell in a leftie nib, it uses all the same nibs as Lamy’s standard fountain pens, it has a wood body, and it has a great grip for small hands.

Did we miss any pens in the list? Send an email and we’ll get that fixed.