I love Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens

Originally published at: I love Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens | Boing Boing

These are cool in an “I never heard of such a thing!” way, but one of my main reasons for loving my (inexpensive) fountain pen is that it has no disposable parts. I don’t use cartridges and my ink comes in glass, so nice and green and fun.


I have used these for years. I freak out if I can’t find one and really don’t want to write with anything else. I buy a box of them every year and they last the entire year.

I’ll add:

Non-disposable pens can be plastic, but many (even inexpensive ones) can be mainly metal construction.

One of my favorites is a cheap $10 “Regal” that I bought because it has a slim profile, and was available with my preferred EF nib.

A disposable is a fine idea if you’re thinking about entering the waters (but be forewarned, fountain pens are addictive), but for the same price as a 5 pack of cheap $2.25 pens, you can buy a pretty decent “cheapo” non-disposable pen.

My favorite pen/pencil seller:
They have pretty good sales, and gasp even carry special edition blackwing pencils if you’re into that sort of thing (not my thing, but I understand that there are some pencil fetishists here on BB).


Made a new account to say that these can in fact be refilled. The front plastic section that holds the nib can be pulled out and the ink reservoir can then be filled using an eye dropper. I’ve been using one for a few years. Also, my more (but not very) expensive pens all dry out if they sit for a while, but the Varsity doesn’t.

  1. If you like the disposable Pilot Varsity ($3) then you should try the refillable (cartridge) Platinum Preppy fountain pen [1] ($4.50).
  2. If one’s inexpensive fountain pen fetish grows more severe then you can convert one’s Platinum Preppy pens (and certain other types) to ‘eyedropper pens’. [2]
  3. If one’s inexpensive fountain pen fetish grows even more severe one can spray paint [3] the eyedropper converted pens, applying an exotic metal finish(s), and thereby creating gift-quality items.
  4. If one turns one’s attention to the Platinum Preppy (non-disposable) from the Pilot Varsity (disposable) then one will obviate the need to delete comments, in this thread, from emotion-wrought green commenters unable to cope with the idea of a cheap disposable fountain pen.

[1] jetpens<>com/search?q=Platinum+Preppy+Fountain+Pen±+Black±+03+Fine+Nib&v=2
[2] jetpens<>com/blog/how-to-do-an-eyedropper-pen-conversion/pt/308
[3] lowes<>com/pd/Rust-Oleum-Universal-Gloss-Dark-Bronze-Hammered-Spray-Paint-and-Primer-In-One-Actual-Net-Contents-12-oz/3728807


And they are not hard to refill. I have two that I have refilled and they consistently punch above their weight class. The ink reservoir on these is much larger than many other more expensive pens. And if you lose one of these, it’s no heartbreak.


I fell in love with muji’s fountian pen I’ve really thought about ordering 10 of them… ( https://www.muji.us/store/aluminum-round-fountain-pen.html ). I don’t know where the cartridge ink black ink comes from but It’s really nice and I need to find a bottle of whatever it is. Right now, I have a universal cartridge converter in it with Sailor Manyo Kikyou ( Ink Review #1320: Sailor Manyo Kikyou — Mountain of Ink ) and it works a treat.


What’s the barrel diameter of the Muji? I love fountain pens, but like slim pens, not the usual “feels like you’re writing with a tree trunk” size that fountain pens usually use. Also, are the ink cartridges standard size? Like “I could probably put a convertor into it to refill with my Noodler’s Polar Eel black ink” size?

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Slim, 10mm.
It comes with a international short cartridge, but It looks like it can fit a long cartridge, I don’t have any so I can’t test it.

I think my converter is one of these ( https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Fountain-Pen-Ink-Converter/dp/B002P2T42G ) if that helps


I always find it weird when reading about people wanting to “try” a fountain pen. Around here that is what every kid learns to write with in primary school. A fountain pen is the one type of pen you can be sure everyone you know has used before.

That said, those would be ideal for school. Little kids and ink cartridges don’t mix very well, nor do rather delicate nibs. Those would solve both of these problems, though they would probably be too expensive in the long run considering how much writing one does in school.

I experimented with a lot of cheap fountain pens last summer - some, like Parker’s extra cheap offering for the Indian market are garbage. I really like this Chinese one, which for £16 is excellent - writes really nicely and built like a tank.

Here is the US amazon link:


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Just bought one. I’ve got a few different spare converters, so I’ll see if one of those fits when I get the pen in my grubby hands. Thanks for the info.

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