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Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

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.

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How To Clean Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are great, but the cleaning is, to put it lightly, a chore. Maintaining and caring for fountain pens takes time, and even if you don’t baby your pens their water-based ink still runs out more quickly than a ballpoint or rollerball. Want to change ink color? That requires a cleaning too.

So cleaning comes with the territory, but what’s the right way to do it?

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Parker 51 vs. Parker 21: What’s The Difference?

The Parker 51 is one of the most famous pens of all time. Even today, over 50 years after this fountain pen first went on sale, the pen is sought after by collectors and mint models can go for hundreds of dollars. The Parker 21 looks almost exactly like the Parker 51, but sells for a fraction of the amount.

What’s the difference between these two vintage fountain pens?

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Rotring 600 vs Rotring Newton Comparison

Rotring 600 vs Newton

The Rotring Newton is often confused with the older, more desirable Rotring 600. Both are great pens and they are remarkably alike, but they are distinctly different models and while the Newton echoes the design of the 600 it is not a Rotring 600. Sorry to say it, but there is no “Rotring Newton 600,” that’s just something people write in auctions.

Does any of this matter though? Are we just splitting hairs? Or is there a real difference between the Rotring 600 and the Newton pens. Let’s find out.

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How to Test Fountain Pen Ink

Few people would argue that one of the main draws to fountain pens is the amazing variety of inks on offer. This selection can quickly go from an allure to a curse when the paradox of choice sets in and you are presented with literally hundreds of shades of blue, all of which are relatively affordable and easy to access.

If you don’t quit fountain pens right at that moment you are presented with an interesting dilemma: how can I test inks? Taking things to their logical conclusion, we here at Unsharpen further asked, “How can we test fountain pens inks cheaply, efficiently, and accurately?”

Here’s what we’ve found…

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