Moleskine has been making premium notebooks for almost 3 decades. The Italian company set out to create the traditional black notebooks used by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. These black notebooks were popular in Paris during the 19th century, and have a distinct look and charm.
Moleskin has a rather large product line now, including the Classic Notebook, Limited Edition Notebooks, Special Notebooks, Art Notebooks, and Pro Notebooks. Moleskine also manufactures journals, planners, smartbooks, and writing stationery.
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You certainly don’t want to waste a good piece of paper from a Moleskine notebook with a ballpoint pen from the Dollar General store. Fountain pen enthusiasts especially know how amazing Moleskine notebooks are for fountain pens but you want to be sure to choose the right one for the job.
I’ve been purchasing Moleskine notebooks for well over a decade. I now have dozens of these great notebooks and have strong opinions on which fountain pens work well in Moleskins. Read on for my 5 recommendations for fountain pens for Moleskine notebooks.
What to Avoid
Bleed-through is the predominant factor to consider when you’re writing in a Moleskine notebook. You want to use a fountain pen that isn’t going to bleed through the pages.
Paper thickness is rated in GSM (Grams per Square Meter) with 90 to 100 GSM being a good standard for the thickness that you should use with fountain pens. The problem is, Moleskine’s notebooks are usually around 70 to 80 GSM, which means it’s on the lower end of thickness for use by fountain pens.
Knowing this helps to narrow down the best fountain pens for Moleskine notebooks, as you’ll want to stay away from the ones who typically have wetter nibs, which will bleed through the paper.
It also means that if you’re that type that loves to press down hard when you write, you should either adjust your writing style or perhaps Moleskine notebooks simply aren’t for you. Pressing down, even with a moderately wet ink flow down the nib, will be too much for the Moleskine paper.
Features to Look For
As mentioned above, you don’t want the type of fountain pen that has a pretty wet ink flow, as it will be enough to cause either slight bleed-through or something more moderate. Neither of which is desirable. Here are a few features to look for when considering a new fountain pen for your Moleskine:
- No overly sharp tips
- Quick-drying ink (both in the application and as it’s curing)
A tip that’s too sharp is likely to tear the paper, especially the kind used in Moleskine notebooks. Sharp pens also enable what is called “feathering,” which is when the ink spreads into the microscopic materials of which the paper is composed.
Quick-drying ink is something that you want as well. It has to be a happy medium, however, you don’t want the kind of ink that’s going to dry up inside the fountain pen because its cure time is so short.
A good fountain pen is going to distribute the ink in a pretty, precise flow with little to no frictional resistance. The ink that goes into a fountain pen is water-based ink, so fountain pens flow more smoothly than oil-based ballpoints. They’re similar to the gel/water-based inks in rollerballs.
You may think that these undesirable features narrow down the prospects for finding the perfect fountain pen for a Moleskine notebook. Fortunately, that’s not the case. There are a ton of fountain pens on the market, which pair well with Moleskine notebooks.
Best Fountain Pens for Moleskine Notebooks
Pilot Prera Fine Nib
- Pilot Fountain Pen Prera
- Include One Black Ink Cartridge
This pen is definitely usable on Moleskin notebook paper, however, you want to use a particular ink with it. In this case, Noodler’s Black Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink is the perfect companion.
Noodler terms its ink as “bulletproof,” which in this case, means that it’s waterproof. It’s known for remaining wet inside the pen and drying quickly once applied, otherwise defined as having archival qualities.
- 100% made in the USA from cap to glass to ink
- Archival quality
- Medium 3oz. Bottle
As far as the Pilot Prera is concerned, it’s not just an outstanding pen for use in Moleskine notebooks, it’s one of the best writing fountain pens on the planet. You might think that’s crazy considering the numerous options out there that can run well into the $5,000 range.
However, this is a phenomenal pen when it comes to ink application, smoothness, dry time, style, and comfort level. It’s easily the best fountain pen in Pilot’s lineup and puts many, far pricier and highly reviewed fountain pens to shame.
It’s a short fountain pen but the thickness is perfect, which easily makes up for the reduced length. Its shortness also lends it a better balance and it’s astonishingly easy to write with for long periods of time without feeling the slightest cramp in your writing hand.
Its body is entirely plastic but it’s hard and durable, accented in stainless steel and using a stainless steel nib. The cap posts as well, which means you can add that extra length if you just prefer a longer pen.
It’s compatible with either converters or cartridges and if you decide that you prefer to fill it up with an ink bottle, the Prera Con-20, and Con-50 sizes.
|– Smooth application|
– Great grip and feel
– Very balanced
– Supports cartridges or converters
– Durable construction
|– It may be small enough that you have to post the cap|
Parker 51 Fountain Pen
- The Parker 51 fountain pen is a...
- With its unique 18K solid gold...
- The solid black gloss precious...
- Ergonomic and comfortable fit...
- Presented in a luxurious Parker box...
There are two options to choose from with the Parker 51 Fountain Pen, either “Standard” or “Deluxe.” The deluxe version is almost identical to the standard version, however, the difference is the gold plating on the deluxe version over brushed steel on the standard.
Both pens have black, plastic bodies with gold-colored/plated caps that are threaded, which is considered to be a huge no-no in fountain pen circles for some reason. It’s a shorter pen, but not as short as the Pilot Prera, and the cap posts for a little extra length as well.
If you want to make this pen work on a Moleskine notebook, you need to stick with a fine point and use Waterman Mysterious Blue Ink.
- Bottled ink for all WATERMAN fountain Pens
- Liquid ink produces an intense line in brilliant colors
- Conjures bottomless wells of ideas from the depths of imagination
- The ritual of filling ink from a bottle enhances the noble experience of using classic fountain pens
- A Waterman fountain pen helps you rediscover the original writing sensation and create your own unique expression
You can use either a cartridge or a converter with the Parker 51, however, the converter is sold separately and at an unreasonable price, considering that it should come with the pen, to begin with.
In terms of writing, the gold nib on the Deluxe version is the best, hands down. The steel nib on the standard is fine if you’re writing on something different than in a Moleskine notebook but for the purposes of writing in one with little to no bleed-through, Deluxe is the way to go.
|– Smooth ink flow|
– Threaded cap posts well
– Compatible with cartridge or converter
– 18k gold nib Deluxe version
|– Converter sold separately|
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen
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This fountain pen is as light as a feather and contains a cartridge-converter refilling system that works remarkably well. The Platinum 3776 comes with a medium nib but the pen’s nibs are interchangeable and you can purchase an Ultra-Fine or Fine nib, which are the best nib sizes for Moleskine. The Platinum 3776 can conveniently be purchased on Amazon. Click here to see the prices.
If you want the perfect ink for the Platinum 3776 to maximize the presentation on Moleskine paper, you want to go with the Platinum Carbon Black Ink. It’s a good ink for the Moleskine notebooks and goes especially well with the EF and F nibs on the Platinum 3776 since they write drier anyways.
You may have to do a little fine-tuning with the EF nibs, as it may come out too dry on your first attempts to write with it. One of the more interesting features of Platinum 3776 is the “Slip and Seal” cap.
The Slip and Seal cap is supposed to prevent the ink from drying out in the nib for a period of almost 2 years. That’s a pretty special feature, however, whether or not anyone has attempted to try it and wait for two years, is unknown.
The medium nib that the Platinum 3776 comes with is a fine-tuned writing powerhouse. It has an extremely smooth flow as you scribble and it’s one of those pen/nib combinations that just feels right in the hand.
|– Smooth ink flow|
– Slip and Seal Cap
– Perfect length and balance
– Interchangeable nibs
– Compatible with cartridges and converters
|– EF and UEF nibs may need a bit of fine-tuning|
Pilot Capless Decimo Fountain Pen
- Pilot fine Fountain Pen
This fountain pen is unique in that it is a retractable fountain pen. This is a very narrow pen, built for smaller hands so those with long fingers and/or big hands need not apply. As far as writing is concerned, the Decimo is an outstanding pen.
The ink flow is smooth and uninterrupted with the nib that comes with it. It’s also a light pen, which is to be expected seeing as it’s quite narrow for a fountain pen. You will get a lot of work out of it without worrying about cramping or fatigue in your hand.
The nib that comes with it is a medium-sized nib constructed with 18k gold. The nib is nearly perfect as medium-sized nibs go, especially the ones that come with a pen. However, for the purposes of writing in a Moleskine notebook, you’ll want to drop down to a fine or extra-fine nib.
It has a bit of flex in the nib, as gold is a soft metal, so you actively have to concentrate on not pressing down too hard, especially on Moleskine paper. For those who enjoy a little more color in their lives, the Decimo comes in light blue, champagne, burgundy, and black.
|– Smooth, uninterrupted ink flow|
– Lightweight and balanced
– 18k gold nib
– Comes in four colors
|– Too narrow for large hands|
Pilot Metropolitan (Best Budget Friendly Option)
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The Pilot Metropolitan, to be a little more precise, is the second Pilot fountain pen to make our list, and for good reason. Pilot continues to develop and manufacture outstanding fountain pens.
The best part is that the price is exceptional, at $15, and you get a pretty nice fountain pen for it. The Pilot Metro comes with a fine nib which is perfect for writing on Moleskine paper notebooks.
It’s the perfect “starter” fountain pen and very compatible with Moleskine notebooks, especially with a fine tip and Noodlers X-Feather ink. The fine nib is durable and very precise. You can write the tiniest letters with this nib, especially since Japanese nibs are always tiny and more precise than American competitors.
- Refills X-Feather Black Bottled Ink
- Bottled Ink
- The ink represents the minimum shelf life requirements for printing money that allows the ink to dry very quickly
- For new vintage or feathers
All-in-all, the Pilot Metro is an outstanding pen for its price and probably one of the best pens for $15 that you’re likely to find anywhere. The only drawback is the fact that the converter that comes with it is kind of mediocre and oftentimes difficult to deal with.
|– Outstanding value|
– Precision writing
– Great ink flow
– Multiple color choices
|– Too narrow for large hands|
These fountain pens are some of the best when it comes to writing in Moleskine. However, you have to keep in mind that none of these are “perfect” writing instruments for Moleskine, especially considering the fact that Moleskine’s quality has gone through many ups and downs over the years.
That’s why we listed inks as well, and we highly advise you to use fine nibs anytime you write on Moleskine with a fountain pen. With that being said, using the above methods, these fountain pens are bar-none the best for the job.