Is that a pen in your pocket, or are you just... arrgh.
September 19, 2006 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Can I keep fountain pens in my pant(s) pocket? There's

I currently use a Sakura Pigma Micron pen, and I carry it in my right pant(s) pocket. Because it's the only pen I use for all my needs, all the time, I tend to wear it out pretty often -- and so now I've decided buy a long-term fountain pen.

I'm thinking of getting a Lamy Safari pen, extra-fine nib to use with Noodler's ink -- but I'm wondering whether it's possible to store the pen in my jeans pocket. I know you're supposed to keep fountain pens upright, but is this a ink-clogging-cosmetic-convenience issue, or a nib-damaging issue? What would happen if I carried a fountain pen around like this?
posted by provolot to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
in the years i used fountain pens, i never ever kept them in my pants pocket. too easy to have the cap come off and have ink everywhere.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2006

I haven't used the Lamy, but in my experience carrying fountain pens upright is more of a not-getting-ink-all-over-your-clothes issue. If the Lamy's cap fits tightly enough, of course, anything that spills due to jostling will get on your fingers later when you open it. Why not clip it upright in your jeans pocket?
posted by RogerB at 11:31 AM on September 19, 2006

I occasionally keep my Aurora clipped upright in my pocket, but I'd never keep it upside down. Hell, I'm wary enough when it's clipped. Too much risk, too little benefit for me.
posted by The Michael The at 11:40 AM on September 19, 2006

Definitely depends on the cap.

I use fountain pens almost exclusively, and do keep them in a pants pocket if I have a shirt without a pocket, but always upright.
posted by briank at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2006

(and I don't think I've ever had a fountain pen leak on my clothes...though I can't say the same for cheap ballpoint stick pens)
posted by briank at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

My Rotring Newton/600 travels around in my pockets, bags, and occasionally on airplanes. It has never leaked, and still looks like new. It seems to be made out of a solid block of steel.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:47 AM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't put my Mont Blanc, Sheaffer, or Waterman pens in a pants pocket, as trust me, doing so will guarantee, eventually, more inside indeed, due to attitude changes when sitting, at least for my ample posterior.

Moreso if you fly in jetliners with partially pressurized cabins, or even if you work in a sufficiently tall building that atmospheric pressure changes are a regular occurence. My big Mont Blanc pens love to burp under these conditions, but they write well, and I don't fly commercial so much anymore.
posted by paulsc at 12:24 PM on September 19, 2006

I carried a fountain pen (cheapish waterman) in my pants pocket for a few months. Never leaked or anything, but the ink would spread around the nub of the pen, making for extra wet or uneven strokes at times.

If it's extra fine and you've got a cap that closes tight you're probably okay.
posted by cowbellemoo at 12:42 PM on September 19, 2006

I used to use fountain pens exclusively and carried them in my pockets. I got tired of telltale stains on my pants and/or my thigh and/or shirt tail.

If you want to carry it in your pants, maybe you should wear pants that exactly match your ink?
posted by plinth at 12:44 PM on September 19, 2006

Ditto for the Rotring 600 experience (fabulously leak-free) but I hear that model is now discontinued.

I kept mine clipped in my back pocket long enough for the clip to loosen and, one day, catch on the torn seating of a taxicab and come off -- leaving the pen in my pocket, but clipless. So my pen, previously always-upright-and-in-the-same-place, was now flopping all around my back pocket, and, being made from a solid block of steel, was painful to sit on when rotate 90 degrees from its expected orientation.

My solution -- and what I suggest for you -- was to sew a narrow sub-pocket into the habitual pocket on all of my pants, a dedicated place to keep the pen upright and staid-put.

Now that I am suggesting that someone else do this, it strikes me as moderately bizarre, actually.
posted by xueexueg at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2006

I use a Namiki (Pilot) Vanishing Point which is a retractable fountain pen that doesn't have a cap. It's a great pen. You wouldn't want it in your pocket face down, but you could clip it to the edge of the pocket so that it sat in there "point up" and that would work. I keep mine clipped to my shirt, not in a pocket (my shirts don't have pockets) just between the top buttons on the inside. You can barely see it.
posted by The Bellman at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2006

Ditto for the Rotring 600 experience (fabulously leak-free) but I hear that model is now discontinued.

I think the one I bought was the "600," but the new "Newton" model looks identical.

I use a Namiki (Pilot) Vanishing Point which is a retractable fountain pen that doesn't have a cap. It's a great pen.

Another fine pen, but the matte black finish began chipping off of mine after 9 months or so.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:47 PM on September 19, 2006

I've carried a few versions of the Lamy Safari in my pants pocket for a long time (well, one at a time)... a couple of thoughts:

first, the clip on the cap is large, which makes it easy to catch on other things if you hang it on the edge of the pocket. Also, there is perpetually the risk that the cap will stay and the pen will detach, inking your pants or creating an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

secondly, the Al-Star (metal) models seem much more durable and hearty, with respect to cap-detaching. They also have a sleeker feel in the hand, but may be too conspicuous for your everyday situation.

Regarding the ink, I've never used Noodler's, but I can say that some inks can clog the XF nib. Scripto ink didn't work for me, but Waterman ink was writing bliss.
posted by zachxman at 7:15 AM on September 20, 2006

« Older Why doesn't her laptop work on one Ethernet port?   |   Reliable hosting provider Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.