Although there was a huge surge in people switching over to using fountain pens a few years back, many of these people initially decided to go with an entry-level fountain pen to test the waters. With the recent surge in questions from people asking about the premium price point, luxury fountain pens, it would seem that many people are now looking to upgrade their fountain pen.
We have noticed a number of people looking for a dedicated Pelikan m800 vs Montblanc 146 comparison article and as the each of the models are two of the best pens on the market at the time of writing, we have decided to publish our comparison article. We hope that our article will be able to help you choose the correct fountain pen for your needs and budget and that you will be happy with your choice after going over the various points we raise below.
As usual, we have our comparison table going over the key features of the Pelikan M800 and the Montblanc 146 below to offer a quick way to compare the two pens to each other. That said though, we know that many of our readers will want to know as much about each of these fountain pens as possible due to their high price tags prior to purchasing one of them so we have our in-depth breakdown of each pen below our comparison table too.
Pelikan M800 Vs Montblanc 146 Head To Head
As you can see from our comparison table above, both pens do have a number of very similar features but in our opinion, the Pelikan m800 is going to be the better option for a large number of our readers. We are huge fans of the Pelikan brand and feel that they are under rated while having a very fair price tag for you what you are getting for your money.
Although the Montblanc 146 is a great pen that also has an excellent reputation amongst the community, Montblanc do add a premium to their price tags for their fountain pen range simply because of the Montblanc brand. This means that the performance and functionality of the Montblanc 146 is similar to that of the Pelikan m600 but the added price premium for being a Montblanc pen pushes its price tag up to the Pelikan m800 with its functionality slightly lagging behind the m800.
Pelikan M800 Review
Our regular readers will know that we are huge fans of the Pelikan fountain pen range due to the brand offering excellent quality throughout all of their models while keeping costs to a minimum. This allows you to get more bang for your buck when going with the Pelikan m800 over the Montblanc 146 as we pointed out above due to Pelikan not charging a premium just for having their logo on the pens.
The Pelikan M800 Nib
The design of the Pelikan nibs ensures that they offer writers plenty of flex and spring when writing helping the nib to duplicate the natural movements of your hand when writing. The fact that the standard nib on the m800 is made from 18 carat gold just helps to add the icing to the cake and add that little extra flex and spring to the nib as well as a few other benefits over stainless steel based nibs.
The Pelikan m800 is available with the Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, Double Broad nib sizes as standard without the need for an after market nib. Although only a small number of people opt to use the double broad nib size, the Pelikan range is one of the few brands who offer the option on their fountain pens direct from the manufacturer helping to score them additional points over other brands.
The Pelikan pen range is made in Germany and conforms to the standard western nib sizes meaning if you use any other western fountain pen and you want to keep the same font size when writing, you can opt for the same nib size on your Pelikan. For example, if you are currently using something like the Lamy 2000 with a medium nib size then you can upgrade to the Pelikan m800 with a medium nib size with minimal difference.
That said though, if you are currently using a fountain pen from an Asian brand such as the Sailor 1911 then it is probably a good idea to downsize your nib when moving over to the Pelikan range due to Asian nibs being slightly smaller. For example, if your Sailor 1911 has a medium nib then you will probably want to go with the fine nib of the Pelikan m800 to keep a similar font size when writing.
One of our favourite things about the Pelikan m800 is that its nib is a very wet writer and although some people prefer a dryer writer, the wetter nibs tend to offer a smoother writing experience, especially when writing on lower GSM paper with an extra-fine or fine nib. The wetter nature of the Pelikan nibs can cause problems with smearing if you are left handed though so using a fast drying ink if you are left handed or want your ink to dry as fast as possible is recommended.
Although the Pelikan m800 has some of the highest engineering standards available, accidents do happen so it is good to know that replacement nibs for the m800 are widely available and easy to stock on the off-chance you do drop your pen and damage the nib. That said though, if you take care of your Pelikan m800 then you should have no issues with having to replace the nib and the fountain pen can potentially last you decades.
If you are using a lower GSM paper when writing then the extra-fine, and fine nib sizes of the m800 can have issues with feathering, bleeding, and ghosting but most people should be able to counter this by using 120 GSM paper to prevent the ink from having issues. Upgrading to a thicker paper can also help to improve your writing experience with your fountain pen too keeping the nib super smooth over the paper.n
The Barrel Of The Pelikan M800
Pelikan have strived to perfect their celluloid acetate production process to ensure that the barrels of their pens are as tough as possible ensuring that they are able to take any punishment from falls or knocks without breaking. On top of this, the premium celluloid acetate that Pelikan use for the barrel of the m800 is extremely light too helping to prevent fatigue build up when writing.
Although common at this price point in the market, the Pelikan m800 does use a piston filler system with the Pelikan piston filler being one of the originals that has been perfected over time. We know that the cartridge convertor systems for fountain pens is getting better and better with each new iteration of the system but in our opinion, a piston filler will always be the better option.
The barrel of the standard Pelikan m800 is available in Black, Blue, Red, and Green with the golden trim but you are able to opt for the Pelikan m805 that is mechanically the same pen as the m800 but comes with the silver trim. Depending on your personal preference and if you want the gold or silver trim on your fountain pen, the m805 may be more visually appealing to you.
Just like the rest of the pens in the Pelikan range, there are a number of special edition Pelikan m800 fountain pens on the market that have unique designs and barrel colors too. That said though, they do tend to be rarer and more expensive than the standard m800 due to fountain pen collectors being willing to pay a premium for the unique design on the pen.
The Pelikan M800 Cap
The cap of the Pelikan m800 is made from the same high-quality celluloid acetate as the barrel to ensure that the cap is just as tough and lightweight as the barrel of the pen. The lightweight of the cap also offers you the additional benefit of preventing any issues with back weighting when writing with the pen while posted too. Although back weighting is rarely an issue at this price point in the market, there are still a small number of premium price point pens that can stuffer when posted.
The design of the cap for the Pelikan m800 also helps to prevent it from scratching the barrel when posting or unposting the cap too. Again, this is rare at this price point in the market but there have been reports of fountain pens from other brands having issues with scratching recently.
The Pelikan caps use a twist lock feature when capping your pen to firmly mount the cap onto the barrel offering you additional protection for your purchase. Although the majority of premium price point fountain pens do offer a twist lock system these days, the lower price point ones can have issues with a push lock system releasing the barrel when not in use potentially resulting in damage or the barrel of the pen going missing.
Being a Pelikan pen, the clip of the cap has the Pelikan head shape with the gold or silver trim depending on the variant of the pen that you opted to go with. The Pelikan clips are also tough and firm helping to keep your pen clipped to your jacket pocket or whatever you clip the pen to when not in used without the clip giving way causing the pen to fall.
The finial of the Pelikan m800 has one of the three official Pelikan logos on it showing the mother pelican with her babies. Depending on the production run of your m800, you can have either of the three logos with all three being official Pelikan pens. Although we have seen some people post on forums and social media asking if their Pelikan pen is real due to the logo being different to an older Pelikan pen that they own, this is simply due to Pelikan now having three official logos.
The Ink Reservoir Of The Pelikan M800
The Pelikan M series of fountain pens has a large ink reservoir that offers you a maximum ink capacity of 2ml coming in at exactly double the average for modern fountain pens. Depending on your situation, this may offer no benefit to you as most people will have easy access to their ink bottle for quick and easy ink re-fills when needed but if you do have to travel for work then the larger ink supply may be a key feature.
The piston filler used in the Pelikan m800 is very easy to refill to and although Pelikan do recommend that you go with their official Edelstein ink for optimal performance, this tends to just be brand marketing to try and get as much money out of you as possible. In reality, any premium, refined ink should be fine with many people opting to go with the cheaper Noodlers ink that offers an excellent writing experience and is available in more colors at a lower price.
Pelikan M800 Writing Samples
Montblanc 146 Review
Moving on to our deep dive of the Montblanc 146 and although the Montblanc 146 is an excellent quality fountain pen that oozes luxury, its price tag is higher than we would expect for its actual performance and gold content in its nib. As we touched on earlier, the Montblanc range have done an excellent job of cultivating their products to be the go to for anyone seeking luxary and have the market cornered.
If you are just looking for a fountain pen that offers you the best possible performance for the lowest possible price then the Pelikan m800 or even the Pelikan m600 will be a better option than the Montblanc 146. On the flipside of this though, if you are a fountain pen collector or want to have the prestige of owning a Montblanc then there is no other fountain pen brand in the world that even comes close to the Montblanc range but you will be paying a premium for the privilege.
The Montblanc 146 Nib
The nib of the Montblanc 146 is made from 14 carat gold coming in with a lower carat rating than the Pelikan m800 and although the Montblanc fountain pen does offer an excellent writing experience, the nib does not have the additional flex and spring of the Pelikan. Keep in mind that although many people do prefer a more responsive writing that has flex in the nib, some people do prefer a rigid nib when writing and although the Montblanc 146 is not exactly rigid, it is not as flexible as the m800 and lies in the middle of the two.
When it comes to the nib sizes available for the Montblanc 146, the standard extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad are widley available and although you are also able to get the 146 with a double broad or oblique nib, these do tend to be much rarer and will often have to be ordered direct from Montblanc. As the double broad and oblique nibs do tend to be a small niche with a very small number of fountain pen users opting to use them, this should not be too much of an issue but it will be difficult to source them from your local stationary store or via sites such as Amazon.
The nib of the Montblanc 146 is a fairly wet writer but it is no where near as wet as the nib on the Pelikan m800 but this can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage for the pen depending on your preference when writing. Although wetter writers do tend to offer a smoother writing experience, Montblanc have nailed their nib designed to ensure that their nibs are just as smooth as the Pelikan range without being as wet.
Although you are technically able to swap the nibs on your Montblanc 146, the process is no where near as easy as it is for the Pelikan m800 and replacement nibs for the 146 are extremely difficult to source. Montblanc don’t currently offer stand alone replacement nibs and the circulating supply is usually nibs from other Montblanc fountain pens that have been damages and salvaged for parts.
This alone can be enough to push people over to going with the Pelikan m800 and we can definitely see why. You have to realise though, although the Montblanc 146 is an excellent fountain pen, the target audience for the pen are wealthy enough to simply purchase another pen if they damage their existing one rather than replace the nib on it like a general fountain pen user would.
There is one area with the Montblanc fountain pen range that no-one can fault and that is the writing experience offered by the pens. It really is second to none and their nibs, no matter the size offer a silky smooth writing experience free from scratch, even when writing on low quality paper. Although the nibs have also been designed to drastically reduce the chances of feathering, bleeding, and ghosting occurring, the quality of the paper and the ink you are using will also come into play.
The Barrel Of The Montblanc 146
Although the celluloid acetate used in the barrels of the Pelikan range is outstanding, the Montblanc use their own, uniquely formulated resin that they have managed to perfect over the last few decades using the highest possible quality nitrocellulose and camphor. That said though, although the resin used for the barrels of the Montblanc is technically tougher than that of the acetate for the Pelikan range, it is at a level where the realistic difference is minimal due to realistic expectations of damage to a pen.
The barrel of the Montblanc 146 hides the piston filler perfectly while also offering quick and easy access to the ink fill allowing you to re-fill the ink in the pen as and when required. Although the Pelikan piston fillers go have the best reputation amongst the fountain pen enthusiast community, we feel that the Montblanc system is just as good as the Pelikan one offering quick and easy ink storage and delivery when required for the pen.
The barrel of the Montblanc 146 is available in a wider range of colors than the Pelikan m800 too and also has its own special edition colors available but with it being Montblanc, their special edition pens usually double the price tag of their standard model. Due to this, we would recommend that you just go with one of the normal barrel and cap colors with your Montblanc 146 rather than a special edition layout if you are just looking for a general use luxury fountain pen.
The Montblanc 146 Cap
The cap of the Montblanc 146 is made from the same resin as the barrel of the pen to keep it as tough and light as possible and the design of the 146 ensures that the pen is perfectly balanced when posted. In addition to the lightweight resin, the design of the pen really does help to prevent issues with back weighting and offer a feather light writing experience when holding the pen to ensure that there is no fatigue build up when writing for longer periods of time.
Although some of the older Montblanc fountain pens do use a push lock system for the cap, their more modern models all use a twist lock similar to the Pelikan m800. One advantage that the Montblanc 146 does have over many fountain pens including the m800 is that its threads are re-inforced to reduce the chance of accidental cross threading. Although this may sound basic, the last thing that you want with a fountain pen at this price point is to accidently cross thread it and lock the cap on or prevent the screw lock system from locking correclty.
The clip on the cap of the Montblanc 146 does have plenty of flex to it but is also rigid enough to secure the cap to your jacket pocket as required without it giving way or clipping causing the clip to let the pen fall out of your pocket. Again, when you are paying hundreds of dollars for a premium fountain pen it is well worth ensuring that every possible safety precaution has been taken to prevent the pen from going missing or falling and getting damaged.
Although most of the finials of the Montblanc 146 range do have the snow drop to signify the snow on the top of Mont Blanc, some of their limited edition runs with custom colors do not due to it not fitting with the custom design. If you do have a special edition Montblanc 146 then this is totally normal and does not mean that the pen is not an official Montblanc.
The Ink Reservoir Of The Montblanc 146
The ink reservoir of the Montblanc 146 is a little smaller then we would expect for its price tag but it is still larger than average offering a maximum ink storage of 1.4ml per fill. As we mentioned for the Pelikan m800, provided your pen holds over 1ml of ink, it really shouldent matter as it should easily be enough for the vast majority of people who are reading this article.
Although the Pelikan m800 does have the larger ink capacity, we would class it as a draw between the Montblanc 146 and m800 as the both offer a maximum ink capacity above 1ml that will be enough for most people. Although there are some very specific circumstances where the 2ml ink capacity of the m800 may be beneficial, it is very rare and will probably only effect a very small number of our readers.
Montblanc 146 Writing Samples
That brings our ultimate Pelikan M800 Vs Montblanc 146 comparison article to a close and we hope that you have found it helpful. We really do feel that the majority of our readers will be better off going with the Pelikan m800 as it is a better pen for its price tag. That said, if you do want the prestige and bragging rights that come with owning a Montblanc 146 then go with the Montblanc but keep in mind that you are overpaying for what he pen offers you when compared to the Pelikan.