The Best Glass Fountain Pen: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
glass fountain pen

Fountain pens themselves are beautiful and delicate instruments that are delightful to write with. Glass gives a craftsman the ability to elevate these already exquisite pens and turn them into something even better. 

If you take proper care of these pens, they can last far longer than rust-prone metallic pens. 

Throughout this buying guide, we will discuss different aspects that you should take into account before buying a glass pen. We will also review some of our favorite glass fountain pens in a detailed review guide.

How Do You Use a Glass Fountain Pen?

Glass dip pens are different from steel nib pens because they don’t have an ink chamber to fill. Instead, they are dipped in an ink bottle before writing or drawing. 

The tips of these pens have intricate spiral grooves which help them hold more ink. The grooves also allow the ink to flow down the tip in a steady and smooth manner.

While some glass nib fountain pens can be used easily at any writing angle, others have a “sweet spot” i.e, you need to hold them in a specific way for the best ink flow. If your new pen doesn’t write smoothly, try writing with it in different angles.

Check out this video to learn how to use a dip pen.

It is very easy to clean a glass dip pen after you are done writing or if you want to change the ink. Rinse the pen with water and wipe it with a paper towel to dry it. After a few seconds, you can use it with another ink. You can also refer to this article for a detailed glass pen guide.

How To Choose the Best Glass Pen

There are several considerations that you should keep in mind before selecting your glass fountain pen. 

Size of the Nib

Nib size refers to the length from the tip of the pen to its grooves. The bigger the nib size, the higher you will have to hold the pen while writing.

The nib size is designated numerically, and sizes #3 to #15 are commonly available. The bigger the number, the larger the size of the nib.

While the nib size has no effect on the flow of your writing, it does affect your handwriting. You should choose a pen with the nib size that suits your writing style.

Nib Thickness

One of the most important parameters to consider while buying a glass nib fountain pen is the nib thickness. Normally glass pens come with a medium thickness nib, which is also the most commonly used nib thickness. Further details on the nib thickness have been provided below:

Extra fine nibs (EF/XF/X)

You can write thinnest with extra-fine nibs. These are primarily used to draw intricate details in a drawing.

Fine nibs (F) 

Fine nibs have a width of approximately 0.4 mm. This width is preferable if you write very small. 

Medium nibs (M)

These are the most commonly available and readily-used nibs. Most medium nibs are approximately 0.6 mm in width, however, there is no fixed industry standard.

Broad (B) 

Broad nibs are usually 0.8 mm thick and are suitable for people who have larger handwriting.

You can refer to the following article for a visual comparison of different nib widths.

There are no fixed industry standards as far as the nib width of glass dip pens is concerned. Different brands offer their own range of thin, medium, and broad nibs. You can easily find pens with at least three nib thickness variants.

You should note that finer nib pens may be scratchier than broad nib pens. They have sharper tips that lay down less ink and drag on the paper.

Size and Weight of the Pen

Glass dipping pens come in different sizes and weights. As they are completely made of glass, they are a little heavier than other pens, and their weight directly corresponds to their size. The weight may also depend on the material used i.e, acrylic or crystal.

Generally, if you have small hands, it’s better to choose a smaller pen. Similarly, if you have larger hands, go for a bigger and heavier pen to write comfortably.

Now that we understand the points you need to consider before buying a glass fountain pen, let’s look at the type of ink used with these pens.

Types of Ink Suited for Glass Dip Pens

Not all inks are suitable for glass dip pens. For example, if you use fountain pen ink with dip pens, the ink will flow far too quickly. This can seriously affect the clarity and precision of your writing or art.

The most preferred inks for dip pens are acrylic ink, india ink, or drawing ink. Out of these, acrylic ink is the best option.

Acrylic ink works perfectly with glass dip pens or quill pens. 

India ink has some binding agents such as gelatin or shellac that make it unsuitable for fountain pens but good for dip pens. 

Now, let’s get into our top picks for glass fountain pens. 

You can refer to this article for further help.

Best Glass Fountain Pen

1. Molshine Handmade Glass Dip Pen

The first pen in our review guide is the Molshine Handmade glass dip pen. It has a beautiful spiral design with threaded grooves for increased ink absorption and a smoother writing experience. 

It’s available in black green, black silver, ice green, light purple, and several other cool colors. The pen is made of high borosilicate heat-resistant glass that gives it a crystal clear look. It is highly durable and is resistant to heat, water, acid, and alkali.

Its design has a comfortable grip, and you can easily write 20-60 words in one dip of ink. Clean the pen simply by rinsing it under water and then wiping it off with a paper towel. 

Things we like:
  • Holds a lot of ink
  • Has a very comfortable grip
  • Has a round nib tip
  • Can easily be used by left-handed users
  • Resistant to heat, acid, and alkali, which makes it really durable
  • Available in various colors
Things we don’t like:
  • Nib is not flexible
  • Left-handed users may find the nib a bit rough
  • You cannot moderate line thickness

2. Molshine Handmade Glass Dip Pen

This is another crystal dip pen offered by Molshine. The entire body of the pen is made of crystal glass, and its color deepens with the thickness of the glass. 

It’s 18 cm long, and it comes in a beautiful box. The pen is available in a variety of color options including deep purple, deep water red, ice blue, ice green, transparent, etc. 

We particularly love its retro design that preserves the original classic pen tip, as well as its spiral shape and high borosilicate heat-resistant glass.

Intricate grooves on the nib of the pen hold a lot of ink, and the smooth converging design allows for a continuous ink flow. You can clean the pen easily with water followed by patting it dry with a paper towel. 

The pen’s nib writes with 1mm width and is appropriate to use for drawing, calligraphy, or writing.

Things we like:
  • Available in beautiful and vibrant colors
  • Writes surprisingly more in a single dip
  • Round nib tips allow for both calligraphy and writing
  • Left-handed writers can also use it
  • Pen material is very durable and is resistant to heat, acid, and alkali
Things we don’t like:
  • Nib is not flexible
  • You cannot create variations in the thickness of lines 
  • Doesn’t come with ink

3. Mancola Glass Dip Pen with 12 Color india Ink Set

This Mancola calligraphy set comes with a glass dip pen and 12 different ink color bottles. It’s packaged beautifully, which makes it a perfect gift for pen enthusiasts or calligraphers. 

The pen is made of high borosilicate puffco glass, a type of crystal glass, and it has a straight groove design that holds a lot of ink, allowing you to write 40-50 words in a single dip.

The pen comes in different fun colors, and the box includes 12x7ml bottles of india ink. The ink contains gold powder that makes it shimmery and highly reflective. For best results, shake the bottle well before using.

Things we like:
  • Beautiful and exquisite spiral design
  • Wide range of colorful ink
  • Multiple color options for the pen
  • Portable pen box that also makes it a perfect gift option
  • Can be cleaned easily
Things we don’t like:
  • Color names not mentioned on the ink bottles
  • Converging straight grooves can create ink flow issues

4. Xiaoyu Glass Dip Pen

Next in line, we have Xiaoyu glass dip pens that are 100% hand-crafted. They have a thread design that increases the ink absorption to extend the writing time. High-grade glass texture with beautiful colors enhance the classic and elegant look of the pen.

The pen is made completely of crystal glass with a twisted pattern and a spiraling nib. You can write up to 40-70 words with a single dip in the ink. 

It is suitable for drawing, writing, or calligraphy, and has a nice and uniform flow that gives you a direct experience of ink color. This is also an ideal pen to use as a tester for new ink colors.

Things we like:
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Different pens have different color patterns
  • Comes in a beautiful packing 
  • Can be gifted to children
Things we don’t like: 
  • Not heat resistant so cannot be used as a dabber
  • Color stripe is only on one side of the pen

5. A-N Crystal Glass Pen Set

Lastly, we have the crystal glass pen set from the A-N brand. The beautiful pen box comes with 2 crystal glass pens and 12 bottles of different color inks. The box also has a pen holder and a cleaning cup.

The pens are made of high borosilicate crystal glass and have beautifully carved patterns on them. The pen set is ideal for beginner to advanced calligraphers. 

The tip of the pen has a spiral design that increases absorption. This allows you to write 40-50 words easily with a single dip in the ink. 

The 12 bottles of ink that come with the pen contain ornate gold powder. This gives vibrant and sparkling color to your art. The ink bottles have a leak-proof gasket and are packed beautifully in the box.

Things we like:
  • Beautiful color and design of the pen
  • Multiple color inks provided
Things we don’t like:
  • Nib is not flexible
  • Ink is wetter for dip pens


With the Molshine pens, you get a wide range of color options and patterns to choose from. These pens are made of heat-resistant glass, whereas the Xiaoyu pens are not heat resistant so you cannot use them as a dabber pen.

Molshine pens are also acid and alkali resistant, so they are pretty durable. Both of the Molshine pens we reviewed write a lot in a single ink dip and are convenient for left-handed users. There is only a marginal price difference between them.

One major point of difference in both pens is their groove pattern. Spiral grooving in the first pen provides better ink flow than the straight grooves in the second pen.

Xiaoyu pens have a different pattern and design, but it’s on one side of the pen only. They are also slightly more expensive than the Molshine pens.

Both the Mancola and the A-N pens come with 12 ink bottles in different colors, which we love. The Mancola set comes with specifically india ink, however, the A-N pen does not mention the ink type.

We hope that our comprehensive buying guide on the best glass fountain pens has helped you to figure out exactly what to look for when choosing your next pen. Every pen that we recommended would make a great addition to your home or office. 


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