When it comes to finding the best pen forums then you may be forgiven for thinking that there is only the Fountain Pen Network.
Whilst they may be the biggest pen forum online there are alternative forums out there that offer something different. FP Geeks is worth checking out as is Reddit, not to mention international pen forums.
Don’t worry we go int to more detail about these and other forums to help you find the best pen forum.
Table of Contents
- 1 Fountain Pen Network (Biggest Pen Forum)
- 2. Fountain Pen Board (Now on Facebook)
- 3. FP Geeks (Popular Fountain Pen Network Alternative)
- 4. Pen Trace (Dated but Good Marketplace)
- 5. Reddit (Very Active Pen Communities)
- 6. Pen Turners Forum (Biggest Pen Making Forum)
- 7. International Pen Forums (Great for Making New Friends)
- 8. Frequently Asked Questions
1. Fountain Pen Network (Biggest Pen Forum)
The Fountain Pen Network is by far the biggest and most established fountain pen forum online. The forum was started in 2004 by a small group of fountain pen enthusiasts and by September 2005 there were 693 registered members who were very active posting a very impressive 37,709 posts.
In June 2021 at the time of writing this article The Fountain Pen Network membership has grown to 118,418 members and an incredible 4,366,441 posts. It looks like fountain pen enthusiasts do not limit their writing skills to good old-fashioned pen and paper but are also prolific with a keyboard.
AS the forum itself you can browse all the main boards but if you want to post a question or place an advert in their classifieds then you need to register.
Fountain Pen Network Categories and Boards
The fountain pen network is without doubt the best pen forum online it has nearly 50 different boards which are divided into eight categories. These cover a wide of topics that are not just fountain pen related.
The full list of Categories and boards or on the Fountain Pen Network is as follows
1.1. FPN Community
FPN Community is the first category that you come across on the Fountain Pen Network commonly known as FPN
This is where announcements are made by the moderators and administrators. It includes posts on the status of the website, new moderators, and any planned upgrades or downtime.
New members are encouraged to post here introducing themselves to the community. They usually get several replies along the lines of hello and welcome.
This board is a bit of a free for all where you can post about anything else that is not fountain pen related if you abide by its posting rules.
Clubs, Meetings, and Events
If you are looking to meet up with like-minded fountain pen enthusiasts, then this is the place for you. Not only are there the annual pen shows but you can also find local pen clubs and groups.
Pay It Forward, Loaner Programs & Group Buys
I have to admit I had not come across the term pay it forward until I saw this board but it means to repay a kindness received with a good deed to someone else. So how does this relate to the board well if you are looking to borrow a fountain pen to try here would be a good place to start. They also have group buys where the members club together to buy in volume at discounted rates.
Members Helping Members
The fountain pen network is a huge resource as we have already mentioned with over 4 million posts. The answer to your fountain pen/ink-related question is most likely posted somewhere. This board is where other members give advice to people on how to use and navigate the forum etc.
Does what it says on the tin if you are having problems with the website, or ideas to improve the forum this is the place to let the admins know.
The Market Place
The marketplace is a collection of boards where retailers and members can post up pens for sale. Also, any news of new releases etc.
This is where retailers such as Nibs.com and pensandpencilsdotnet advertise rare and unusual fountain pens.
Market Watch – Who doesn’t like a deal or special offer FPN members post those up here and also details of any new pens that are about to be launched.
This is where members can buy and sell pens, depending on your membership level determines the number of ads a year that you can place.
Historical Sales Forums
Basically, it is just an archive of pens and parts sales and requests from yesteryear.
1.2. Writing Instruments
Writing instruments is the biggest category on the Fountain Pen Network forum. It has 5 boards that cover everything from where to start, nibs, other writing instruments the history of pens, and pen repairs.
Fountain & Dip Pens – First Stop
This is where to post questions, take part in discussions, or get help identifying unknown pens.
Fountain Pen Reviews
Reviews, reviews, reviews, and even more reviews in fact there are 128,000 posts in this forum. This is a great place to start if you are thinking of buying a new pen.
Of Nibs & Tines
Probably the most important part of a fountain pen is its nib. This board covers all things nib-related. There are lots of questions and posts on nibs, feeds, materials, personal preference, and last but not least adjusting the ink flow to make the pen nib wetter.
It Writes, But It Is Not A Fountain Pen
This pen forum may be called the Fountain Pen Network but there are lots of other interesting writing instruments. This board is for them if it writes and is not a fountain pen then you can quite happily post about ballpoint pens, gel pens, highlighters, wooden pencils, mechanical pencils, markers, and anything else that takes your fancy.
Pen History is quite an interesting board as there are lots of posts about manufacturers, trademarks and patents. These are very educational if you want to learn more about the history of the brands and how they got to where they are today.
This is a great board for getting answers to any problems that you have with your fountain pens. Including advice on repairs modifications, cleaning, and much more.
1.3. Brand Focus
The brand focus category has the following 11 boards for discussing fountain pens made by each of the individual manufacturers.
- Mabie Todd Research/Special Interest Forum/Group
1.4. Regional Focus
The regional focus has 7 boards that discuss fountain pens from different countries around the world.
China, Korea, and Others (Far East, Asia)
This board is for discussing pens manufactured in countries such as China, Korea, and Singapore. Brands from this region include Baoer, Delike, Hero, Jinaho, Moonman, and PenBBS.
Great Britain & Ireland – Europe
This board is for discussing pen brands such as Conway Stewart, Dunhill, and Yard-O-Led among others.
India & Subcontinent (Asia)
This board is for discussing pen brands such as Asa, Deccan, Jaipur, Gama, Guider, Sultan, and Teveni to name but a few.
Italy – Europe
This board is for discussing pen brands such as Ancora, Aurora, Columbus, Delta, Montegrappa, Signum, Stipula, and Visconti,
Japan – Asia
Japanese fountain pens are hugely popular and this board is for discussing brands such as Namiki, Ohto, Pentel, Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, and Tombow.
USA – North America
This board is for discussing pen brands such as Bexley, Chilton, Conklin, Eagle, Edison, Levenger, Moore, Noodlers and Retro51,
Other Brands – Europe
This board is for discussing pens manufactured in countries such as France, Germany, and Russia by brands such as Caran d’ ache Dupont, Kaweco, Ohto Hutt, and Rotring
1.5. Inks, Inc.
Without ink, a fountain pen is just a paperweight and the Inks, Ink category has six boards for discussing all things ink. Topics include general discussions, ink reviews and comparisons, and your own ink concoctions.
The six boards in Inky thoughts are:
- Inky Thoughts
- Ink Reviews
- Ink Comparisons
- Th-INKing Outside the Bottle
- Inky Recipes
1.6. Paper, and Pen Accessories
The Paper, and Pen Accessories category has two boards for discussing what you are writing on and other related accessories the boards are :
- Paper and Pen Paraphernalia
- Paper & Pen Paraphernalia Reviews and Articles
1.7. Creative Expressions
The creative expressions category has seven boards covering topics including pen making, improving your handwriting, and calligraphy.
Pen Turning and Making
Pen Turning and making is a board where you can get technical help if you are into making your own pens. Or need somewhere to bounce your ideas off.
Pictures & Pen Photography
A picture tells a thousand words as the saying goes and on this board, you can show off your prized possessions for the world to admire and perhaps envy.
The Write Stuff
Do you want to use your fountain pen more often? Then this board may be the solution as this board discusses snail mail and everything related to writing.
Handwriting & Handwriting Improvement
For those that want to improve their handwriting, this board is the place to be for helpful advice tips, and even show off a bit o that cursive penmanship.
This board is for discussing all things calligraphy including how to do it, the history of calligraphy, which pens you are using, etc.
Pointed Pen Calligraphy
This is a resource for those who want to learn more about writing scripts with a pointed pen including Copperplate, Spencerian, etc.
Broad (or Edged) Pen Calligraphy
This board is for people who like using big broad strokes to write Italic, Blackletter, Fraktur, Batarde, etc.
2. Fountain Pen Board (Now on Facebook)
The Fountain Pen Board pen forum has been around since 2010 its statistics show that it has 1811 members with 43,608 posts. It was set up as an Alternative to the Fountain Pen Network by Dr. David Isaacson.
Unfortunately, it does not look as the forum is active or maintained as the last posts were in 2020 and the website is not secure still using http:// protocols.
After a bit more research It turns out that David was having problems with the back end of his website and has a growing Facebook Group FPNuts Which is where you can now find him.
3. FP Geeks (Popular Fountain Pen Network Alternative)
FPGeeks is the largest alternative fountain pen forum to rival the Fountain Pen Network it has 30 boards that broadly cover similar topics as the FPN. There are 16,099 members and 319,155 posts.
FP Geeks was set up in 2010 and with a bold vision stating that they wanted “To create a virtual neighborhood where fountain pen geekiness is not only embraced but shared, celebrated and encouraged.”
The original FP Geeks website had a forum, a pen & paper-related wiki, a pen show calendar, and a blog. It was a well-respected source of information but something went wrong in 2015 between Dan and Eric the two founders which resulted in the main site been shut down and only the forum remaining.
4. Pen Trace (Dated but Good Marketplace)
Pen Trace is the oldest pen forum online and was started by Donal Higgins in 2000 four years before the Fountain Pen Network.
It is looking very dated now and still using http:// protocols which give an insecure message. Some of the menu links do not work and produce 404 error pages.
However, there is still plenty of activity on the main message board and there are lots of pens advertised in the pen market.
This only makes it worth a visit as there may be pens advertised for sale here that are not available elsewhere.
5. Reddit (Very Active Pen Communities)
Although not strictly speaking a forum in the traditional way Reddit is a great place to interact with people. If you are a pen enthusiast then it is the place to be.
What makes Reddit different is that it has conversations that are strictly threaded and posts are automatically moved up or down on a page. These threads are known as subreddits and the conversations take place here.
For pen enthusiasts the most popular subreddits are as follows:
Ballpoint Pens – r/ballpointpens
Gel Pens – r/GelPens
Fountain Pens – r/fountain pens
Pens – r/pens
General Pen Talk – r/TheMightyPen
Pen Turning – r/PenTurning
Fountain Pen Trading & Sales r/Pen_Swap
6. Pen Turners Forum (Biggest Pen Making Forum)
For all those who are making their own pens then there is a dedicated forum called The Pen Turners Forum.
It has a general board for discussing pretty much anything relating to pen turning There is also a dedicated woodturning board and one for pen-making accessories. You can also show off the finished handiwork of your pen turning skills on the Beauty Parade board.
The Pen Turning forum is a very active pen-making forum with 2345 members and that has created 347,474 posts.
If you are looking for a pen turning forum for beginners then this is a great place to start and its members will be very friendly and helpful.
7. International Pen Forums (Great for Making New Friends)
These days you don’t need to limit yourself to English language pen forums there are plenty of international forums that can be easily used with the aid of Google Translate.
This is a great way to meet like-minded pen enthusiasts from different cultures.
The following are some of the international pen forums online:
China – PENBBS
China – GangbiWang
Italy – Fountainpen.it
Poland – Forum O PIorach http://www.forumopiorach.net/
Poland PWF – https://www.piorawieczneforum.pl/
Russia – Elite Pen – http://elitepen.ru/forum/
Spain – Fountain Pens Forum
8. Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Find a Montblanc Pen Forum?
Reddit also has a dedicated subreddit for Montblanc pens r/montblanc
Where Can I find a Cross Pens Forum?
The Fountain Pen Network has a dedicated Cross Pens Board.
Where Can I Find a Ballpoint Pen Forum?
Again there is not a dedicated forum for ballpoint pens but they can be discussed at the Fountain Peen network on their board It Writes But It is not a Fountain Pen. There is also a dedicated subreddit r/ballpointpens.
Where Can I Find a Pen Repair Forum?
Whilst there is no dedicated pen repair forum there is a board at both the FPN and FPGeeks dedicated to pen repairs.
Where Can I Find a Tactical Pen Forum?
There is not a dedicated tactical pen forum however The EDC forum (every day carry) does have some threads on tactical pens and is probably the best place to start with.
Where Can I Find a Glass Pen Forum?
Again there is not a dedicated forum or board for Glass pens but the Fountain Pen Network is the best place to post questions for these.
Where Can I Find a Pen Collecting Forum?
There is no dedicated pen collecting forum the Fountain Pen Network only has a classified ads board and there are also fountain pens for sale on the Pen Trace Forum.
However, there is a very active Pen Collecting Facebook Group Fountain called Pen Collecting Buy-Sell-Trade. It has over 8,000 members and more than 100 people contribute on a regular basis to the page.