So, I was just thinking over the state of my EDC pen flock, and noted that the one niche in my daily routine not yet filled by a fountain pen is a true pocket carry pen. My previous pen for this purpose, one of those Zebra compact telescopic ballpoints, has just been demoted from pocket carry status because its cap-top jewel had an annoying tendency to work itself loose once every couple of days, causing the jewel, the pen clip, and a washer under the cap jewel to fall off - into my pocket if I'm lucky, or more often, strewn on the sidewalk leaving me to retrace my steps for a good number of minutes.
Hence, I'm now looking for a fountain pen that would be good as a pocket carry. First, let me describe the manner in which I usually use my pocket pens:
> Manner of carry: clipped to shirt pocket (less often, as many of my shirts don't have pockets), or trouser pocket (more often), or a side pocket in my cell phone pouch (very often), or a small side pocket in my tablet computer pouch (also very often). The pen I pick as a pocket pen cannot be too thick, as the side pockets in my mobile phone and tablet pouches, in particular, are quite slim. (A TWSBI Mini is already too thick, for instance.)
> Manner of use: mostly on-the-go jotting. This includes things like jotting down grocery and to-do lists while on the bus/subway, writing down random thoughts in my pocket notebook, the occasional journal writing outdoors when I carry just my journal and a pocket pen, and signing of documents and receipts when I have forgotten to bring my bag/pen case with me.
> Other notes: I am mostly a bottled ink guy and do not much like cartridges, so I would not like a pen that is cartridge-only, although ability to use cartridges when needed is good, as I occasionally go on trips where it would not be convenient to bring a vial of ink, so I (grudgingly...) resort to cartridges.
With these considerations in mind, I looked around and thought the Pilot Elite 95s, or the similar vintage Pilot Elite models, seemed a good fit for this use case. However, I also thought I should give some consideration to the Pilot Decimo, since many have recommended that pen as a pocket carry/utility/on-the-go pen as well. (The standard VP is too thick, so out of consideration.) To my mind, the pros and cons of each are as follows--
- Compact and slim, will fit into all of the locations I normally carry my pocket pens.
- When posted, seems likely to be more comfortable for longer writing sessions due to its shape. Not that I expect to use my pocket pen frequently for long writing sessions, but when I journal outdoors, that is a consideration.
- Many commentators have noted that the nib on this pen is very nice to write with.
- Doesn't have the click-to-write convenience of the Decimo, one-handed use may be less convenient
- Looks like it may not be as tough/durable as the Decimo? But that is only speculation based on how it looks...
- Might be a little too pretty and eye-catching, not necessarily a good thing when used in places like on a bus or subway.
- Not sure how durable the clip is- I have seen one review on Goulet Pens where someone said the clip broke off after a few days of use (!)
- Click-to-write convenience, especially good when used one-handed
- May be tougher and more durable than the Elite? But this is just speculation...
- Clip looks stronger and more durable (also just speculation...)
- Seems less likely to attract unwanted attention
- Much longer than my usual pocket pens, would require significant changes in my usage and carrying habits (a major con, in my view.)
- Fear of accidentally depressing the button and extending the nib - many have commented that this almost never happens in practice, but since I do carry my pocket pens in my trouser pockets, this fear still exists.
- Less comfortable for long writing sessions. The clip position and design only bothers me a bit- I have an almost-standard tripod grip, but my thumb is typically placed slightly higher than my index finger, enough that it often rests on the side of the clip. Not enough to be a major turn-off, but it does start to annoy me a bit after writing for, say, more than ten minutes in one sitting.
So what do you folks think? Any suggestions or comments on this? Or any other pens you think I should consider as well?
(And before anyone mentions it- the Kaweco Sport series is not in my consideration because they are too thick, and the Liliput is also not in consideration because it is cartridge-only. Same goes for the vintage Sailor and Platinum pocket pens, the converters for which are no longer available.)
Thanks in advance for your comments and thoughts.