Disposable Fountain Pens

Let’s talk about this. Disposable fountain pens. These pens serve, often times, as an entry into the world of fountain pens for many of us. Imagine browsing the pen aisle at your local office supply store–having no experience with fountain pens–when suddenly, down hidden near the bottom, you see one. A disposable fountain pen. Hmmmm…..you think. You decide to try it.

Disposable Fountain Pens

If you are like most people who love fountain pens, fast forward 1 month and suddenly you only write with fountain pens, read pen blogs and are plotting your next purchase. It’s a slippery, inky slope.

Then there are those of us who have pretty much always had and written with fountain pens. Maybe we just don’t remember when our journey with fountain pens began.

Cheap Fountain Pens

Let’s just not be snobby about it. A disposable fountain pen may not have the best nib, the most comfortable grip and certainly not 60+ features and things to point out and enjoy. They are utilitarian and they are useful.

Inexpensive Fountain Pens

I am sharing and comparing the Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen, the Pilot Plumix Refillable Fountain Pen and the Bic Disposable Fountain Pen. All three of these were found at Staples. I imagine you can find them anywhere else that has a pretty expansive writing utensil section.

Comparison of Disposable Fountain Pens

Disposable fountain pens are great to have on-hand for travel. If you bring one along on a trip and you loose it, no problem. Many times, when we travel somewhere, even for just a day or two, our routines get shaken a little. It’s easier to lose things. Bringing along a disposable is a pretty smart choice in my opinion because you are, in essence, protecting your non-disposable pens.

Disposable Fountain Pen Nibs

These three disposables are all fine and dandy options, but I prefer two. My first choice would be the Pilot Plumix. It is refillable, inexpensive, has some flex in the nib and honestly, writes just as well as my Kaweco Sports (I have a problem with Kaweco Sports. I have 10. More on that later.) The Plumix has a nice shape, weight and the cap posts.

Pilot Varisty Pilot Plumix Bic Disposable

My second choice is the Pilot Varsity. It comes in a ton of colors, has some flex in the nib and I do believe you can find some hacks online to make it refillable. It is the shortest of the three and has a cap that posts.

Disposable Fountain Pen Writing Sample

My third choice is the Bic Disposable Fountain Pen. It, in my opinion, writes just like an ink pen. Not a ballpoint, but just a regular old office pen. The nib doesn’t really flex, the ink isn’t very black and it looks and feels like a lot of other standard pens you’d find in an office. The cap posts. The Plumix has a unique look and the Varsity has a slightly retro feel.

Above and below you’ll see some writing samples. The Plumix and the Varsity provide a look I like. There is variation in the stroke and you can see where ink pools at the end of some of my strokes. None of that ‘character’ with the Bic Disposable.

Cheap Fountain Pen Writing Sample

Part of the reason we use fountain pens is for their look and feel right? Disposables can’t (and shouldn’t) try to mimic that, but they can have some nods to the classic style of fountain pens so many of us love.

If any of you have written with these or used them, please provide feedback in the comments. And if any of you have written about these or have a link to a hack, please post below. Simplicity Embellished gets a lot of traffic and I’d like to pass on some of that juice to you all, especially if you have more to say and share on the topic than I do.

Read about another Disposable Fountain Pen I found for $3.99 here.


  1. Thanks for this article. I have the Pilot Varsity, set of many colours. The Plumix nib looks like a delicious italic! Never tried that one nor the Bic! Gonna hunt for them soon~

    • Hi! So glad to see you here on ye olde blog! Although, happy to see you on Twitter too. ;)
      I too have the whole Varsity set. I bought one for the last holiday season and gifted each person one. Hopefully to get them on the fountain pen train. The Plumix is a pen I really enjoy. It also takes the same cartridges I use in my Pilot Parallel Pens too, which is nice. Nice bright colors!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hello, I have a Pilot Varsity–a freebie that came with an order–and it’s practically unused. It floods ink (turquoise–not sure why I chose the color) onto my paper. As a result I end up having to write bigger to keep my loops open.

  3. Fantastic post! I’ll link to this tomorrow. ;-)

    • Hi Chris! Long time no talk. I have a backlog of your posts to read in my reader. ;)
      Glad you liked it.
      See you on the ‘net.

  4. Excellent post. It reflects my love of the Varsity. Here’s my review. I like mine so much that I use them at work all the time, refilled, of course, with whatever ink I choose. Here’s how I refill the Varsity. It’s quite easy to do and I recommend it to anyone, instead of just throwing away this great pen.

    • Awwwww YEAAAAAAHHH! This is just the comment I was hoping for. Everyone, if you want to peep another review or learn how to refill your Varsity, see the comment above. Perfecto!

  5. I have a Pilot Petite pocket sized refillable, and Kuritake (?) refillable. They have a wonderful ink flow, and I used the little Pilot petite for over a year. The problem with these refillable nad the disposable ones are that most use a fiber or felt ink feed, and if that dries up they no longer write. I suspect they could be revived by soaking in water, but never tried.

    • Hey Jeff! Thanks so much for your comment. I have some Kuritake writing utensils I use for my etegami and really like them. Have yet to try the Pilot Petite myself.

    • Sorry, it’s a Pilot Petit and a Tachikawa refillable, not Kuritake.

    • Hi, i can confirm that soaking the fibre feed in water will indeed revive most pens except for those that contain permanent / waterprof ink. Pilot varsity / petit pens use water soluble ink and the fibre can be revived by simple soaking.

  6. had to run to staples to get all three. Can’t wait to do my own comparison. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  7. I have all 3. I would rank them in the same order as you have.
    I wouldn’t normally rank the Plumix with the other two. About the only thIng they have in comon is the price. I like the Plumix much better

  8. Hello Cole and all. I have the Varsity, Bic and Plumix as well. I like the Bic as much as the Varsity. The Plumix body is nice but the weight feels cheap. It is okay on some papers but really drags on the paper if is not ultra smooth. I bought some “Eco-Easy”, sugarcane-based writing paper at Staples which seems to work very well for all of the pens… and was very affordable. Staples seems to be catering to our obsession.

  9. Weemeng says:

    I too refill my vpen using the syringe vacuum method which doesn’t damage the pen during the process. See youtube “refill pilot pen”.

    Just be careful about the ink used. The pelikan green ink made mine a hard starter. Had to put a drop of water on the nib each day before it would it would write for the day.

  10. aida rodriguez says:

    Of the three, I have only tried the Varsity, which I adore!!! I love the purple one. Your article is so great and informed me of pens that I did not know exist. Thank you!

  11. These pens write so well they make more expensive pens jealous! I’ve been refilling the Plumix with different kinds of inks.

  12. Love the Varsity, except the pocket clip, the pen falls out of my pocket constantly, for this reason the pen stays on my desk. Whenever I buy a new Varsity I dump the ink that comes in the pen and I then fill the pen with J. Herbin Ocean Bleu Ink. The pen is extra fun to use when filled with your favorite color and brand of ink!

  13. I love my Varsitys, but I was very disappointed in the Bics. The ink flow is terrible the the cap tends to crack and not stay on well.