The 3 Best Hooded Nib Fountain Pens

Unless you’re a human heat lamp, you wouldn’t go on a winter walk without a hat. A best hooded nib fountain pen is like a hooded jacket that keeps you dry from sleet and snow. Aesthetically pleasing, durable, and boasting excellent ink flow control, hooded nib fountain pens are worth exploring for the seasoned writer. It is this distinctive feature that sets certain fountain pens apart from conventional ones. If you appreciate a precise, controlled writing style (and dry fingers), this is a model you’re going to want to add to your collection.

In this article, we discuss the unique design of best hooded nib fountain pens, the reasons you should consider using them, and spotlight some of our best-sellers to make your choice easy. Best hooded nib fountain pens add a touch of luxury, sophistication, and hidden advantages that can improve your overall writing experience. So without further ado, let’s hop into the talking points of these stylish writing instruments.

What Are Hooded Nib Fountain Pens?

First, let’s define the traditional fountain pen. Fountain pens use metal nibs to apply water-based ink held within an internal reservoir onto a writing surface. The nib is the part of the pen that makes contact with your paper and dispenses the ink. Think of a nib hood as a scarf for your pen. Not only does the nib keep the pen (and your fingers) dry from ink spillage, but it also offers a streamlined aesthetic that some prefer.

This hooded design means that the nib is partially or fully covered by a hood or casing. Unlike traditional fountain pen nibs, the hood was constructed to protect and keep the nib moist so ink would start flowing the second it hit paper. The Parker 51 first sported this design when it was introduced in 1941. Now, let’s investigate the details of these types of beautiful fountain pen nibs.

A Deeper Look Into The Design of Hooded Nibs

Standard fountain pens have visible, exposed nibs from where bottled ink is expelled. The Parker 51 was engineered to mimic the smooth lines of a fighter jet in both silhouette and material. The hooded design meant a portion of the nib was concealed within the barrel. This made for a simplified look that aligned with the aerodynamic aesthetic of the 1940s era. The Parker 51 fountain pen quickly became one of the most iconic pens of its time and remains a favorite for pen enthusiasts and history buffs today.

A fusion of old and new technology, the nib hood has been adopted in various other fountain pen models over the years. One hooded design may not be as concealed as the next, so expect variation across products. The shape and size of the hood will depend on the fountain pen brand. Manufacturing hooded nibs can be more complex and require more precision than typical nibs. The placement of the nib within the pen can present some challenges as far as assembly and maintenance.

The nib hood is what contributes to the durability of the nib itself. Being partially protected, it’s less exposed to air, the elements, and possible damage. This results in a beautiful and robust writing instrument that can withstand years of use.

What Are The Benefits of Hooded Nib Pens?

Aviation-style aesthetics aside, there are also practical benefits to writing with hooded pens. If you’re a left-handed writer dealing with an ink-smeared journal or notebook, don’t overlook the value of hooded nib pens. In fact, we at Goldspot would venture to say these pens could easily become your writing instruments of choice. The advantages of hooded pens are for everyone, but lefties are a good place to start.

Ideal for Left-Handed Writers

Fountain pen ink-smeared fingers and paper are a nuisance left-handers know well. They face the constant challenge of smudging ink as their hand moves across the page. The unique design of hooded nib pens means the writing tip is partially concealed. This minimizes the likelihood of smudging since your hand is less likely to come into direct contact with wet ink.

Less Drying Out

Because the hood protects a larger portion of the nib, the fountain pen ink is less likely to dry out, making these hooded pens some of the best pens for taking notes for students during long lectures or writers who take frequent pauses. Less likelihood of the fountain pen ink drying out means you don’t have to uncap and re-cap your pen multiple times. Since the hooded design encloses the writing tip, ink evaporation is minimized, keeping your pen moist and ready to write when you are. Unlike traditional fountain pens, the filler hole in hooded pens is much closer to the nib. This means you can refill it easier and quicker and with less replacement bottled ink needed to do so.

More Controlled Writing Experience

By design, hooded nib fountain pens allow the writer a more precise experience. It’s easier to guide it across your notebook or journal without the nib catching on the paper, interrupting the fountain pen ink flow. More control also makes hooded pens a great choice if you dabble in frequent art projects. Your grip, or the way you hold your pen, is as unique as your fingerprint. The hooded design allows for more grip variability. This way, if you need to push up close to the nib for more precision in your lines, you can do so without ink-smeared fingers.

The Best Hooded Nib Fountain Pens

Lamy 2000

Displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, the Lamy 2000 fountain pen has been long-revered for its hooded design awards. It is constructed of fiberglass-reinforced Makrolon and stainless steel with a 14 karat gold nib. The hand-polished nib hood prevents your ink from drying prematurely when left uncapped. This beautiful, sleek look garners a natural respect for high-class business men and women. At Goldspot, we offer a gift box for a small additional charge upon request.

Filling System: Piston-fill with large fountain pen ink capacity

Parker 51

The classic Parker 51, first launched in 1941, was unlike any fountain pen that came before it. Eighty years later, Parker Pens reintroduced it as one of their best-sellers with its signature hooded fountain pen nib, metal cap, and arrow clip. The nib is nearly completely hidden inside the barrel, with the tip peeking out beneath the resin hood. Rounded, streamlined, and vintage-inspired, this esteemed hooded fountain pen is a conversation starter for your desk at home or at the office. It also includes a beautiful gift box for birthdays or special celebrations.

Filling System: Parker proprietary cartridge/converter

Pilot Vanishing Point

One of the few collections you can shop for with retractable nibs, these sleek hooded nib fountain pens are suitable for all your writing needs. Professionals across all industries love the convenience of the one-handed click-action mechanism of these retractable hooded pens. The Pilot Vanishing Point is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for luxury. Clip it to your notebook or journal for easy carrying out and about. We offer a gift box option for a small charge upon request.

Filling System: Cartridge/converter

What Pen Brands Are Famous For Their Hooded Nib Pens?

Lamy Pens

Manufactured In: Heidelberg, Germany

Known for its innovative and functional design, Lamy hooded pens are both reliable and affordable. These best-sellers make great beginner fountain pens with nearly every color of the rainbow to choose from. Manufactured in Germany, you can expect high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail from this brand. The Lamy 2000, introduced in 1966, is a great choice for both newbie and seasoned pen enthusiasts.

Parker Pens

Manufactured In: Nantes, France

Originally founded in Wisconsin, these luxury hooded nib fountain pens are now sold out of France. A quintessential name in the world of fine writing instruments, this brand has a tradition of excellence. Parker pens are engineered with precision, premium materials, and ornate details, making them a stylish choice for decades of writers. The classic Parker 51 model hearkens to the golden age of fountain pens with its rounded resin barrel, conical shape, and distinct nib hood. It makes a beautiful gift for those who love the retro styles of yesteryear.

Pilot Pens

Manufactured In: Tokyo, Japan

Recognized for its technological innovation, Pilot offers best-sellers at a wide price range. Traditional Japenese craftsmanship techniques combined with modern materials have made them a staple in the fountain pen world. You can expect a smooth experience and reliable performance from these writing instruments. The Pilot Vanishing Point is a retractable work of art with its slender barrel and precious metal accents.

Differences Between Modern and Vintage Hooded Nib Fountain Pens

Popularized by the Parker 51, the hooded design of fountain pen nibs was most common in the mid-20th century. While it’s less frequently seen in contemporary designs, hooded pens remain a trusted choice for writers who appreciate the unique aesthetic and the benefits they offer. Individual models vary, but here are some baseline differences between modern and vintage hooded nib fountain pens.

 

Nib Materials

Vintage hooded fountain pen nibs were made of platinum, stainless steel, or palladium. Gold alloy, of 14 or 18 karat gold, are also common materials prized for flexibility. Platinum’s corrosion-resistant properties and the resiliency of stainless steel and palladium for maintaining a sharp nib point make for a higher price point. While they come at a premium, the craftsmanship and flexibility of these nibs are unparalleled.

The nibs of modern hooded pens are often constructed with same materials of bygone eras. However, they can also be purchased today with stainless steel, titanium or rhodium-plated nibs. Stainless steel and titanium are known for their durability, while rhodium-plated nibs offer a shiny, corrosion-resistant surface.

Ink-Filling Mechanisms

Retro hooded nib pens utilize filling mechanisms including piston fillers, vacuum fillers, or aerometric systems. Piston fillers are common with higher-end luxury hooded pens, using a knob that operates an internal piston to draw ink down toward the nib, making them some of the best piston filler fountain pen options available.

Vacuum fillers are more complex. They have end caps that can be unscrewed to allow a plunger to be pulled up and down the barrel. This creates a vacuum suction that, when broken, allows the barrel to quickly fill with ink. Aerometric systems require the writer to squeeze a flexible sac inside the barrel, creating a suction that draws ink into the pen. The iconic Parker 51 utilizes the Aerometric system.

While both modern and vintage pens can be found with the aforementioned ink-filling mechanisms, modern hooded nib fountain pens tend to feature a cartridge/converter or eyedropper system. Ink cartridges are pre-filled and can easily be replaced when empty. A converter allows you to draw bottled ink into the pen using a piston mechanism.

Price Range

Not surprisingly, modern hooded pens will entail a more modest price. You can shop for entry-level pens, typically made with plastic or resin with steel nibs, starting at $20. Mid-range pens constructed of higher quality metals, resins and upgraded nibs, can range from $20-$50. As a rule of thumb, the better the materials and craftsmanship, the higher the price.

The expense of vintage hooded nib pens depends on various factors including rarity, condition, and brand reputation. Some pens are highly sought after by collectors, which makes them a luxury. Vintage pens featuring exquisite materials, precious metals, and intricate designs can be upwards of $200. It’s to be expected that vintage hooded nib fountain pens will come at a higher price.

Are There Budget Fountain Pens With Hooded Nibs?

We’re glad you asked. In addition to the Lamy 2000, Parker 51, and Pilot Vanishing Point, there is a selection of Chinese hooded nib fountain pens you can shop for. You might be interested in investing in one since they are often on sale. You can find these products online at a price as low as $25 from platforms like Etsy and Amazon. Be sure to read reviews, as this they offer valuable insight into the product’s performance.

Wing Sung 601

As one of the oldest pen manufacturers in China, Wing Sung continues to offer these types of fountain pen nibs at a steal. The Wing Sung 601 is a low-cost alternative choice that resembles the Parker 51 in design.  

Jinhao 51A

Another dupe for the Parker 51 design comes from Jinhao, featured under the Chinese stationery company Shanghai Qiangu Co Ltd. Made of natural acrylic material, the 51A model is a smooth, quality pen available in various colors.

Hero 616

The nib hood and vintage aesthetic of the Hero 616 is an extremely budget-friendly, near-identical replica of the Parker 51. If you want to shop for the Parker aesthetic without the price, it’s an option. However, be aware that counterfeits are common.

Should You Buy a Fountain Pen With a Hooded Nib?

Hooded nib pens are a good choice if you value durability, consistent ink flow, and minimal ink staining on your fingers and paper. While some people prefer to see the shine of their metal fountain pen nib, you might like the understated look of hooded pens. Reduced drying time, less risk of bottled ink drying out, and a more protected tip are all worthy reasons to shop for hooded nib pens and see what you like.

Can You Replace Your Fountain Pen Nib With a Hooded Nib?

The answer to this question is, “It depends”. There are endless variations in structure of the nib, barrel, and feed of pens. Compatibility is key. If you’d like to replace your fountain pen with a nib hood for less mess, greater control, and a stylish look, you must first ensure that the hood is compatible with the existing pen’s design.

Hooded nib pens have a specific type of tip that partially covered by a casing. This is characteristic of pens like the Parker 51 or the Lamy 200. Goldspot offers a selection of fountain pen replacement nibs. Before attempting a nib replacement, check if the pen brand offers interchangeable nibs for your specific model. The design of hooded nib pens is unique and requires a corresponding feed and housing to perform properly. If you’re uncertain about whether you can replace the nib on your fountain pen with a nib hood, consult the manufacturer. Don’t attempt to force-fit incompatible nibs or you risk damaging your pen.

The Hooded Nib, Hidden No More!

We hope this article has given you an interesting peek “under the hood” at some of these unique fountain pens. A combination of old and new, the hooded design is contemporary history you can write with. If you’re left-handed, prioritize precise writing, or are a long-time fountain pen fan looking for something novel and new, there are plenty of reasons to try hooded nib fountain pens, including exploring the top fountain pens for calligraphy.

About the Author

Madeleine is a copywriter and video script whiz for creative and inventive brands. As an empathy-based marketer, every website, landing page, blog, email, and video she writes showcases her clients at their best. Some say she's a mind-reader, but she's really just an expert listener with one goal in mind: to inspire readers (and viewers) to take action. A true logophile, she's the one who (unabashedly) keeps a hard copy thesaurus on her desk. When she's not on set or crafting copy, you can find her nose in a book sipping a matcha latte.

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