The 5 Best Pocket Fountain Pens
To Carry Every Day
We love our fountain pens – they get their own soft cases, spend much of their lives carefully stored on a desk, and some get their own dedicated boxes. Fountain pens are also typically more expensive than a “regular” pen, so we’re less likely to just throw them in our pockets and go. That’s not the case for all fountain pens though. There are plenty of pocket-worthy options out there. These choices represent some of the best portable fountain pens for writing on-the-go. This guide outlines my favorite pocket fountain pens that are great everyday writers. Read on to see what made the cut!
Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen – 4.13″ capped
The Kaweco Sport line is one of the most well-known pocket-friendly fountain pens. These compact pens are available in several different series, like the aluminum Al-Sport, the Brass series, the ART Series (made from acrylic) and the classic plastic Sport series. The secret behind Kaweco’s pen is the elongated cap that posts on the back of the pen. Since it overlaps so much over the body when closed, it makes a “just right” length when posted. These are some of my favorite pens around, pocket sized or not.
BUY – $23
Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen – 3.8″ capped
If you thought the Sport fountain pen was as small as it could get, you are mistaken. Kaweco’s Liliput is even smaller. This minuscule pocket pen is thin and lightweight, yet still has a decent sized nib to write with. Personally, the pen is a bit to thin for me, but if you absolutely must have a fountain pen on your person at all times, consider the Liliput.
BUY – $49
TWSBI Diamond Mini – 4.64″ capped
It’s hard to leave TWSBI off of a list of the best pocket-friendly fountain pens. They have two “mini” versions of their larger pens in their lineup. The Diamond Mini and the Vac Mini. The Diamond mini is the smaller of the two, and features their popular piston fill mechanism. The pen measure in at just over 4.5″ when closed, and around 5.5″ when posted. Unlike the other pocket pens here, you get a large ink capacity with an integrated filling system for a reasonable fifty five bucks.
BUY – $55
Pilot Petit Fountain Pen – 4.3″ capped
The Petit is Pilot’s small, disposable fountain pen. It really is a shame that it’s considered to be disposable, because it really is a great little pen. Measuring in at 4.3″ when capped, this tiny pen is easy to throw in a pocket or bag and forget about. The nib is the same smooth writing steel one featured on the Varsity series. I was surprised at how well these wrote upon first use. They’re a heck of a bargain at under $4 each too!
BUY – $19.50 for a set of 8
Kaweco Supra – 3.9″ capped
The Supra is what I consider the biggest little pen out there. It’s like a beefed up version of the Liliput. It’s much more comfortable to write with thanks to the wider grip, heftier body, and full sized #6 nib. Since the cap screws onto the very back of the pen, it makes for a pen long enough to comfortably write with. What makes it unique is the removable section above the grip. This brass collar makes the pen’s body a bit longer to accept an international converter. If you choose to use a short international cartridge, the pen can be even smaller. Make sure to check out my full review here.
BUY – $102
Sailor Sapporo Mini – This pen is small and pocketable with a great Sailor nib, but it has been discontinued. Bummer. Read my review here.
Tactile Turn Gist – It’s not a true pocket pen, but it’s still pretty compact. The Gist scores extra points for durability as well. It measures in at 5.15″ inches when capped, putting it just out of range. Check out my review.
Pilot Prera – At 4.7 inches, this is also a pretty compact pen. I didn’t include it in the list because I think the Petit is a better value than the $38 Prera. The Metropolitan is also a much better value for similar nib and internals. Snag one at Jetpens.
Kaweco is mentioned a lot in here, because they really do make some of the best pocket fountain pens out there. Their focus is on portable pens that still feel good in the hand, so it makes sense that they dominate the list. I have several of their pens, and I continue to enjoy them years later.
Do you carry a pocket-sized fountain pen? Let me know in the comments below what your favorite pick is and why!
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44 thoughts on “The 5 Best Pocket Fountain Pens To Carry Every Day”
For me it’s the Franklin-Christoph Model 45. Sure it’s more expensive than those on your list but the size is perfect and the pen is surprisingly robust. Add to that the range of nib options you have a great pen, pocket or otherwise.
One may be in my future…
I second this recommendation! I just bought my 2nd F-C 45 today.
I love my Pilot Petit. Also it is not disposable, I have refills for mine. Special for this model only but thats ok with me rather than disposal
The Franklin-Christoph Model 45 and Pocket 66 are my go-to pocket fountain pens. The 45 is the most pocketable, but is on the small side. The Pocket 66 is a comfortable size (grip and length) when posted and sports a # 6 nib, still easy on the pocket. I use either an F nib for everyday use or a Masuyama Needlepoint for Hobonichi use. Advantage of the F-C pens-they’re a heckuvalot lighter than a metal Kaweco.
I agree the Franklin- Christoph Model 45 and Pocket 66 are my daily pocket pens. I have 4 Model 45’s and find them to b e a perfect size and feel in my pocket. All have Masuyama nibs. The Pocket 66 is a tad longer and has the #6 nib which I love. Over all I find the 45’s to be the best pocket pen for comfort in my jeans pocket, feel of pen in hand and writeability for an everyday carry.
Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20 with a Masuyama nib is the best poker carry pen in my experience.
I have yet to get myself a FC pen. For some reason, the designs don’t speak to me that much. I had one of their older metal bodied pens and wasn’t super into it. I think I have to give them another try!
I find it hard to justify the price hike over a Kaweco Sport Classic for one of the metal bodies. That said, I have been looking closely at Karas Kustoms’ Fountain K mini.
I thought that at first until I got the Al-Sport in hand. It’s wonderfully machined in Germany, feels precise and perfectly hefty. Although it’s expensive, I feel like it’s worth it.
I agree. I have both the aluminum fountain and roller ball from Kaweco and with the add-on of the clips (all from JetPens.com), makes the perfect EDC pen set!
Ed, what’s the finish on that Kaweco Sport up top?
It’s the brass edition, they’re around a hundred bucks – http://amzn.to/2oAAxm2
The Pilot Kaküno currently gets my vote because of price, weight, and durability. You honorable mentioned the Metropolitan, but I think the Kaküno wins for pocket use. It’s weightless in pocket.
Very good point, thanks!
I like Kakuno, but it is not so “pocketable” in shirt pocket; for it has no clip (or is there a clip for it?).
There is another super German pocket pen available in (coloured) aluminium, steel, copper and brass: the Scrivere from Dieter von Transehe. I do wear one in my pocket for years now. Apparently it is tested by Lufthansa personnel for its “aircraft resistant” ink system from Schmidt. I have carried it in aircraft regularly and never had any problems. It comes with an M nib but other nibs are available, website (in German). http://www.diepapeterie.de/index.php/categories/schreibgeraete/fuellfederhalter-scrivere-kupfer/fuellfederhalter-scrivere-kupfer-details .
Thank you for the super blog which I do almost always enjoy.
Arie Dekker (Netherlands)
I’ve never heard of these before, thanks for the heads up!
No Pilot Vanishing Point? I know the list could be quite long, but it’s just so dang good for everyday carry.
While I love the Vanishing Point, I don’t think it belongs in this guide. I wanted to keep the pocket pens featured here as small as possible while still retaining functionality. The VP will most definitely be in my upcoming guide for note taking pens!
I bought a Sailor Sapporo Mini specifically to carry in my pocket. Only a few turns, so it opened in my pocket fairly often.
I wish they still made the Sailor Mini pens… A friend of mine had a Pro Gear model and oh man.
Still using my trusty Rotring Esprit telescope Fountain Pen.
(I am looking for a piston or eyedropper to add to the collection in all honesty.
But that has more to do with using other Inks and not having to buy new cartridges all the time.
I carry two Bexley Jitterbugs! https://www.bexleypen.com/Jitterbug-p/3900.htm%5D
Great list! Also would it be too much to ask for a list of the other items that appear in your pictures? I love your posts but man, always bummed out when I can’t find out what watch is what and which knife is which.
Feel free to drop me an email via the contact page if you ever have any questions.
The other stuff shown in the two main pics are:
Notebook – Leuchtturm 1917 Pocket Notebook
Watch – Omega Speedmaster re. 3220.127.116.11.01.005
Strap – AlphaShark Nato by BluShark Straps
Knife – Sodbuster Jr. by Case Knife Co.
Pencil – Caran d’Ache Swiss Wood
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Hey Ed! I am brand new to the fountain pen scene, and about as introductory to the area as possible. I’ve read all of your “for the beginner” articles, and found them very helpful. I was wondering if you could give me some insight to notebooks (I did read your blog entries for those as well). I currently am using a Leuchtturm (and I agree that it does seem to bleed through) and Shinola from Detroit. Are there any good fountain pen friendly notebooks out there that have a table of contents like the Leuchtturm, but with higher quality paper?
Glad they were helpful, that was the goal — it’s nice to know that they helped someone!
I’m not sure about anything else with a table of contents, but you can always dedicate the first two pages to making one yourself (and you get to use the a pen more…). The most fountain pen friendly paper can usually be found by Rhodia. Maybe check out a Webnotebook. If you’re in the USA, send me an email. I may have an extra laying around – firstname.lastname@example.org
As a recent convert to TWSBI Eco, I am always intrigued by the Diamond Mini. However, I’d have real concerns about the wisdom of pocket-carrying a piston-filled design. Does anyone have experience of the piston accidentally emptying ink from the pen in transit? I’ve not explored Kaweco yet, but think it will soon be time to give the Classic Sport a trial. So this was helpful, thanks.
I think it would take some real manipulation to get the pen to empty its ink in a pocket. If the plunger is sufficiently tightened down (don’t overdo it, TWSBIs can crack), I don’t see anyone having an issue with it. You could also pick up a pen sleeve or something as an extra barrier against turning the knob. One Star Leather makes some pretty nifty ones.
One of my favorite mini fountain pens is the Ohto Tasche. It’s only 4″ closed, but when the cap is posted, it’s a full length pen. Takes international cartridges and although the nib is listed as a fine, it’s almost a medium when it writes. A great pen for a pocket planner.
My Kaweco AC Sport goes with me damn near everywhere
Sodbuster and a Spyderco Dice. You have good taste in knives too. Perfect if that case is in CV instead of the wretched surgical steel.
Thanks! I wouldn’t consider myself an all out knife nut, but I have a decent little collection. I actually write over at Everyday Carry too, you can check out my latest stuff here: http://everydaycarry.com/profile/5961/ed-jelley/submissions
I wish the Case had better steel, it’s such a cool looking little knife. It’s not intimidating and is great for pretty much everything I need it for in a day. I think I’m going to be picking up the new Benchmade 319 Proper in green canvas. Have you seen that yet?!
I love pocket pens, especially everyday carry pens. I have Kaweco Sport (various models), Kaweco Liliput, Sheaffer Agio Compact, Rosetta Napoleon, TWSBI mini, Pilot Prera, Sailor Pro Gear Mini Sapporo, Ohto mini, and recently Cult Pen mini by Kaweco. In my opinion, Kawecos are best for rough use, for its construction. But my favourite is Sheaffer Agio Compact. I also have a couple of cheap Chinese made mini pens. The cute little Lanbitou Space pen (I think it is now owned by Jinhao) is beautiful, smooth (extra fine nib), super cheap, and very pocketable.
Still just using a Pilot Metropolitan myself. Love that most of these featured are under the $50 mark. I had to look up the Kaweco Sport in brass, but I just don’t see myself spending that much on a pen right now. Maybe when I’ve got a little more disposable income.
Nothing wrong with the Metro! It’s such a solid pen for the price (any price, really).
Luckily with a steel nib, you’re getting pretty much the same writing experience. Mostly you end up paying a premium for the body materials.
I’ve been loving the Travelers Company BRASS fountain pen – accepts standard short cartridges, and writes very smoothly (more so than my Kaweco Lilliput). It feels really solid, and doesn’t require screwing on/off the cap whenever you want to open it or post it.
I recently purchased a mini Cult pen from The Cult Pens (of course). It is made of metal by Kaweco. 105MM caped, mini for its size. It writes as well as any other Kaweco Sports but better looking and solid. I love it.
These look really cool! Never pulled the trigger on one though, I think I have enough Sports in my collection.
Excellent review. Very much appreciate your pen information, also my compliments to the photographer as well.
Ones slight change: in the Kaweco review it reads “…pen is a bit to thin for me…”. It should read “…pen is a bit too thin for me…”.