Map blogger. Science fiction and fantasy critic and writer. Snake whisperer.

What Is a Grail Pen?

Interesting discussion over at r/fountainpens about the definition of a term bandied about a lot in the fountain pen community: the “grail” pen. For most pen collectors it refers to a singular pen they aspire to but can’t easily buy; the OP argues that “grail” isn’t the right metaphor if it refers to a pen that is slightly outside the buyer’s budget but is readily available. There are some interesting takes in this thread (which is not something you can always say): one points out the absurdity of someone having a “next grail pen,” another that a lot of this depends on how much money you have. It’s possible to spend four figures on a pen, but for most people a $50 pen is the most expensive writing instrument they will ever own—or need to own.


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  1. My grail pen is the Faber-Castell Walden Woods fountain pen. It was a limited edition, a fundraiser for the Walden Woods Project ( and not only features Henry David Thoreau’s handwriting but actual Walden wood.


  2. I don’t know that I have a “grail pen” to seek after at this point. At least not yet.

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