New Year’s Grab Bag

***The grab bag is empty****

****I’ve replied to all entries.****

But you can still take the poll…

The TWSBI/Lamy theme of the grab bag starter pens leads me to the following poll question…

The poll has been deleted.

Let’s begin the new year with a Fountain Pen Quest first – a grab bag to thin out my fountain pen accumulation. This will be on a first come first served basis so hopefully my blog subscribers and followers will get first crack. This is open internationally, with apologies to those of you asleep or still hungover when this post goes up.

There will be 4 “bags” in the grab bag. One of the four pens pictures below will start off each of the four bags. I’ll add other pen related goodies to each bag. These pens are used but in good condition. Other items may be unused or slightly used but in good working condition. Stuff that’s perfectly usable but I know I’ll never use it for one reason or another.

The TWSBIs will include the TWSBI wrench but other that that there are no boxes, papers or other extras. The Lamys do not have a converter. So just the pens you see in the picture. Nibs? Sorry, it is a grab bag so no details, but as you can see, they do have nibs.

Grab Bag Pens

Here’s how this will work:

  1. You cannot request a pen, it’s random.
  2. International readers are in. You will be responsible for any custom fees or taxes. Shipping is from the US. All pens are used and the TWSBI 540s are the most expensive when new so I don’t expect the declared value to exceed $30 with all the goodies (but your local tax man may disagree). Shipping will be via a low cost USPS method which may not provide tracking or will stop tracking once the package leaves the US. (This varies depending upon country.) Not to be harsh, but I won’t be responsible for packages which never arrive.
  3. You must use the form below to submit your entry. The first four entries take them and I’ll try to remove the form as soon as I can once they’re gone. The email address must be valid so I can contact you. You do not need to include a shipping address until I contact you if you win. I will not share your email address, or your mailing address if that is provided. Shipping will use USPS.
  4. Happy New Year!

Grab Bag Submission

***The grab bag is empty****

****I’ve replied to all entries.****

Ink By The Bottle or Cartridge

Which do you prefer – ink by the bottle or catridge?

Poll no longer available

Bottle or cartridge

I’ve been a bottled ink kind of guy for as long as I can remember. I would use cartridges for specific reasons, such as in the Lamy’s I kept in my office desk or in Vanishing Points to maximize ink supplies.

I recently began to consider using cartridges more regularly and I was wondering what other people use. So I put up the above poll. It’s unscientific and will only prove what people who read this blog and answer polls prefer. But it’ll also satisfy my curiosity.

I came up with some pros and cons for using cartridges. Any others?


  • Convenience – easy to store, carry and load up the pen. Often a spare cartridge can be stored in the pen barrel.
  • Less messy – no need to clean off the nib. No risk of spills.


  • Less choice of ink – but does it matter if you like the ink that is available?
  • Ink can evaporate from the plastic cartridges (or actually the water in the ink), unlike glass bottles. So long term storage is a problem.
  • It may take coaxing to get the ink flowing when a cartridge is added to the pen.
  • More expensive per ml than bottles.
  • Wasteful – empty cartridges get thrown out.