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Pocket Carry Bring-Everywhere Use-Anywhere Pen: Pilot Elite 95S, Decimo, Or Other?

pocket carry edc e95s pilot elite decimo

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15 replies to this topic

#1 KLscribbler

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 03:57

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--

 

Elite 95s

Pros:

- 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.

Cons:

- 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 (!)

 

Decimo

Pros:

- 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

Cons:

- 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.



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#2 pensinpictures

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 04:40

If you like the Decimo, have you tried the Fermo?  I loved the VP for many years, but found that I didn't care for it as a pocket pen as I often pressed the plunger by accident and would get ink on my hands or occasionally on my clothing.  The Fermo requires a twist mechanism, and, while it is marginally larger (and I really do mean marginally), it's still more than slender enough to act as a pocket pen.  That said, I believe it has the same nib as the Decimo and VP, so you wouldn't be losing anything in that regard.

 

If price is no object, check out the Conid Slimline.  It holds a ton of ink (a solid 2ml), is insanely durable, and is slender enough to fit your needs.  The only downside is the price, clocking in around $450, depending on the exchange rate, but mine lives in my pocket and comes with me daily.



#3 KLscribbler

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 09:18

If you like the Decimo, have you tried the Fermo?  I loved the VP for many years, but found that I didn't care for it as a pocket pen as I often pressed the plunger by accident and would get ink on my hands or occasionally on my clothing.  The Fermo requires a twist mechanism, and, while it is marginally larger (and I really do mean marginally), it's still more than slender enough to act as a pocket pen.  That said, I believe it has the same nib as the Decimo and VP, so you wouldn't be losing anything in that regard.

 

I have handled all three current VP variants (Decimo, normal VP, Fermo), I just felt the normal VP and Fermo too heavy for my preferences. Weight comes into play when writing, but also when a pen is clipped to light and loose clothing - the difference between feeling a bit of weight, and feeling like a lead weight is tugging down your pocket/shirt placket/etc.

 

By the way, you're the first person I've seen to say that they have often accidentally pressed the VP plunger by accident. When I mentioned this concern to others who have had a VP, the response I got was always "oh don't worry, it's never happened to us before." I guess whether or not such accidents are likely depends on one's method of pen carry, and miscellaneous factors like sitting style  :mellow: 



#4 pensinpictures

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 15:38

 

I have handled all three current VP variants (Decimo, normal VP, Fermo), I just felt the normal VP and Fermo too heavy for my preferences. Weight comes into play when writing, but also when a pen is clipped to light and loose clothing - the difference between feeling a bit of weight, and feeling like a lead weight is tugging down your pocket/shirt placket/etc.

 

By the way, you're the first person I've seen to say that they have often accidentally pressed the VP plunger by accident. When I mentioned this concern to others who have had a VP, the response I got was always "oh don't worry, it's never happened to us before." I guess whether or not such accidents are likely depends on one's method of pen carry, and miscellaneous factors like sitting style  :mellow:

 

Totally fair statement.  In the cooler seasons, I keep my pens in a coat pocket, but during the summer I have my pens clipped in my pants pocket.  On more than one occasion, I've sat down and had my leg press the plunger resulting in accidental nib extension.  It's not common, but it happens.

 

As an aside, Have you looked at the Montblanc Heritage 1912?  It's not inexpensive (and a little thick), but the length, nib retraction, and piston fill may be useful for you.  Also, it has one of my two favorite nibs on any pen I own.


Edited by Out0Mind, 24 August 2016 - 15:38.


#5 setriode

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 15:44

Sheaffer Tuckaway?

#6 ac12

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 18:10

Ohto Tasche and Rook.

The Tasche is slimmer than the Rook.

Both store in an overlapping manner, the cap overlaps the barrel by a significant amount.  So you do not have the problem of the weak plastic section of most pens at risk of cracking in half.


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#7 majorworks

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 15:49

Don't overlook the Kaweco Sport as an EDC pen. Durable, easy to deploy, and, if you convert to eyedropper, holds lots of ink. They're also relatively inexpensive so if you should lose one, it won't break you.


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#8 flyingfox

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 16:56

+1 for Kaweco. If you don't want to take a risk converting it to eye dropper, it is easy enough to carry a few extra international cartridges. No fuss, no mess...

Ohto Tasche is nice too, but it is a slim pen, which you might or might not like....

#9 Cordovian

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 17:09

Stipula Passaporto is my pocket, knock about pen of choice...



#10 migo984

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 17:33

As the diameter is an important criteria for you, thus making pens like the Kaweco unsuitable, would the Pilot Prera perhaps meet your requirements? The barrel diameter is 10-12mm, as opposed to the Decimo's 10mm, but it is a shorter pen. However it does have a slip cap as opposed to a screw cap, albeit one that closes with a definite, solid click. The clip is very robust. I have a few Prera pens & have given some of them a hard life, but they never failed me.

Perhaps not as convenient as the Decimo re single-handed use..........

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#11 ehemem

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 20:27

Pilot Myu 701 or M90...



#12 SpecTP

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 01:07

I've been carrying my yard o led victorian pocket fp around ever since the dc pen show where Mike made the nib into perfection. I don't mind cartridges so I carry a tin of jherbin ink refills in my bag.


Edited by SpecTP, 26 August 2016 - 01:08.


#13 hankjgg

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 06:40

I use a Caran d'Ache Madison. It's pencil thin but posted fits my big hands just fine. Plus it's a stunner, looks wise.

#14 KLscribbler

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 20:48

Was browsing through some old posts when I realized I haven't come back here with an update. Mea culpa.

 

So here's the ending to this story. As with most things in life, the result was quite unexpected.

 

I eventually started to pocket carry a Parker 45 Flighter. I had not considered it when I started this thread - I'm not sure why, since I already owned several of them at the time. I think I was biased in favor of short pens back then; although I did not end up selecting the Decimo, thinking about it led me to widen my search to include longer pens, and it was then that I realized the answer lay under my nose all along.

 

Anyway, the 45 Flighter filled the pocket carry role very well. Sturdy, secure when capped, quick to deploy, writes first time every time. Theoretically, I worried that the plastic section threads might crack under stress, but in practice it proved not to be a problem because I always slip the 45 into a pen sleeve on the side of my cellphone pouch. The straight, rigid bulk of my phone protects the pen from lateral bending forces, so the section threads don't get stressed.

 

But that is not the end of this story.

 

I have a Lamy Logo, a pen which I use in a "redshirt" role - to carry in rough situations (read: hiking) with the expectation that it might not make it back in one piece. That pen handles all sorts of harsh situations with aplomb - the section and barrel threads are all metal so there is no weak point there, the nib is easily and cheaply replaceable, and the strong spring loaded clip opens far enough that I can clip the pen to rucksack straps, ropes, lanyards and so on.

 

One day, I thought to myself - hmm, a pen that is so convenient and handles the abuses of the hiking trail so well should also be great as a pocket pen, right? And that was when the P45 was usurped from this role. :rolleyes:

 

As a footnote, I did end up getting a Pilot Elite after all. Not the E95s, but one of its vintage forebears with a crosshatched steel cap. It's a beauty. I fear that one day I shall succumb to Pilot Elite Multiplication Syndrome, but that is a subject for another thread.


Edited by KLscribbler, 26 January 2019 - 20:50.


#15 ehemem

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 23:57

 

 

As a footnote, I did end up getting a Pilot Elite after all. Not the E95s, but one of its vintage forebears with a crosshatched steel cap. It's a beauty. I fear that one day I shall succumb to Pilot Elite Multiplication Syndrome, but that is a subject for another thread.

 

 

Ah, but there are so many of the vintage model Pilot Elites to collect, like the sterling silver barrel and cap...



#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 00:47

the decimo does have a habit of being possible to click itself open or pressure on the button can open the door for the nib and it can dry out if left in that position for 5-20 minutes

 

For a more "normal" pen, look for a pilot stella95s or stargazer (same thing) they're discontionued but still everywhere. #3 pilot 14k nib, very nice, metal body. Capped they're not even a centimeter longer than an e95s.

 

For more savings, look for a vintage pilot elite from japan. They pop up on american eBay regularly for under $15. They all take standard pilot converters and cartridges, and even 14/18k models can be found for under 30 bucks. They can also be fairly flexible (my vintage 18k model is a solid semiflex nib) but they'll have minor cosmetic wear.

 

the E95S is a really, really good pen though. I will say the cap is a little prone to scratch (I had mine in a pocket with keys and it got a nice scratch the first time I ever used it) but aside from that, it's got a very handsome inlaid nib and my EF writes a treat.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pocket carry, edc, e95s, pilot elite, decimo



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