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Compact Fountain Pen (Other Than Lilliput)

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I'm looking to get a small/compact fountain pen for travelling, I have a Kaweco Lilliput plus a few different Sports and will probably take the Lillput with me but I'm looking for a small plastic pen to take in case I have any problems getting the all metal Lilliput through customs.


The pen needs to have a very fine nib, the Kaweco EF is ok but I prefer Japanese fine nibs.

I'd like the pen to be able to take standard cartridges so that I don't have to worry about bottles of ink and can easily pick up replacements if needed.

I like screw on caps as they feel more secure to me but I'm willing to use clip on caps if the pen has the above features.


Can anyone recommend any pens that might meet the above criteria please?

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Not EF Nib but the Noodler's Creaper is the smallest pen I own. Also for being a bottle using pen it hold a good bit of ink.


If you really feel adventurous get a Platinum Desk Pen and Slice off the top bit of the pen. That will make it shorter. Then you'll get a EF nib + a short pen. But it does uses Plat's Proprietary Carts.


Another smaller pen I have (Width wise) is the Jinhao 5000. It uses STD-IN carts or converters. (It's metal though)


The Pilot VP is metal but it's a clicky style pen so no cap to worry about. And it seals of up pretty well. (It uses Pilot Prop Carts)


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Icywolfe: Thanks :) I'm not a fan of Noodler's pens, I've had nothing but hassle from the 2 I own. I have a VP that I love and I'd like to take with me but I'd be gutted if I lost it on holiday. The idea of cutting down a desk pen never occurred to me, I'm thinking now that maybe my old Rotring Artpen might be a test patient for that idea :D


mbankirer: Thanks for the reply, I'd never seen the Jean Pierre Lepine-Indigo before but love the look of it, I'm going to see if there's anywhere in the UK that might sell it :)


AG_ORD: Thanks for your reply :thumbup: I actually own an original Pilot Elite with the 18K SF nib, it's a great pen and as I got it for around £20 I've considered taking it with me but like my VP I'd be gutted if I lost it as the new version doesn't have the soft fine nib as an option but if I can't find another pen this may be the strongest contender.


Inga: Thanks :) I own a few Kaweco Sports and really like them but the Kaweco EF nibs are a little wider than I'd like as I use small sketchbooks when out so like my nibs to be very fine. My Classic Sport may end up coming with me as it's a cartridge pen and if I can't get a pen with a finer nib I'll have to make do with what I have :)

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Icywolfe: Thanks :) I'm not a fan of Noodler's pens, I've had nothing but hassle from the 2 I own. I have a VP that I love and I'd like to take with me but I'd be gutted if I lost it on holiday. The idea of cutting down a desk pen never occurred to me, I'm thinking now that maybe my old Rotring Artpen might be a test patient for that idea


I got the idea when I put my Platinum Carbon Desk Pen in my pocket and right before I saw down. In some magical way it was able to orient itself to stab me in my no-no place. X.X That said I didn't cut it off yet. I need a plastic cutter for my Dremel tool apparently those blades are more expensive than the metal cutters. (Makes no-sense)


But if you do chop off the top of the Platinum Desk Pen it will make it 110mm tall. Even shorter than a uncapped N-Creaper.

Edited by Icywolfe


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post-115371-0-99651200-1408152327.jpg Yeah... I use the very small Muji pen, it's very affordable and very replaceable if you lose it, it has a EF nib, and the biggest bonus is it takes MB cartridges which means I could use my favorite Permanent Black ink for drawing. It's less than 4 inches closed, and 5 3/4" when it's open. The nib is very good for the price... and it cost less than $20.




Edited by amcityink
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I use a 30 year old Pilot Long-Short pen. It uses regular Pilot cartridges and has a fine nib very simialer to a Vanishing Point.

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Pilot Stargazer is pretty small. It is also eastern fine.

"Never Say goodbye, because saying goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting,"


-Peter Pan

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sadly the Muji FPs are no longer found in my country so a trip to Japan where Muji is found I couldnt simply resist the temptation and bought the compact pen for myself... but it's in F dont think you can choose nib grades either way but will accept standard sized nibs that fit the TWSBI mini

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Wahl/Eversharp Vest Pocket 5th Avenue.

Waterman 52V.

Sheaffer Tuckaway, 3-20, 5-30 or PFM.

Yard-o-Led Vest Pocket.

Parker Junior.


My Website


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I love my Pilot Elite Mini (18K Soft fine Nib, but can be found in Japanese Fine and Extra-fine... ) for a pocket pen, it's a little thinner than the Kaweco AL Sport, but a little taller, however has a much more comfortable grip than the AL Sport and writes a finer line. Large metal cap is nice for me to pocket.


But if those are too expensive, Speerbob sells the steel nibbed version of the same era (korean made) that is almost identical in every way with the exception of the nib.


And if want it even cheaper than that, the Pilot Petit1 is nearly identical in size to a Kaweco Sport, not quite the same thing, but they do come in a Japanese Fine.


The three "pocket" pens I have. (Metropolitan in there for comparison to something ... "normal" length)








The Kaweco AL Sport Raw was 80$ used (came with a Clear Sport so... technically 60 after I sold the clear sport). The Petit1 was $3, and the Pilot Elite Mini with the 18K Soft Fine ran me $36 shipped from Japan (I lucked out on that, I think they're normally $100-120, much like what you could get a 95S for new).


And I had the steel "big cap" one before that for $23 from speerbob, but overall I like the Elite Mini much more. Never tried the 95S so not sure how similar or different they feel.

Though I am glad I got that Petit1, I have no problems putting that into my pocket or handing it out for people to use, but like you said, the Kaweco is a little thicker on the line width (though I want to get a Kaweco EF nib to see how it compares since the one on my AL Sport is a Medium, but it's not as thick as my Jowo/Goulet Medium). Oddly the "F" on my Petit1 is about as smooth as the M on my Kaweco. Main thing is, it doesn't take standard cartridges, and doesn't take standard pilot cartridges either (but they're still bigger than a typical standard international and easier to refill).


I'm not too crazy about Kaweco's Cartridge-only approach, but I can syringe fill it still. Where as my Elite Mini, can do that 0.9ml cartridge (syringe filled) or just use a con-20 style converter.

Edited by KBeezie
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Algester: I some pens about the size of the Peter Pan pen, they're great fun but are all bottle fill only, I'm thinking now that I'll have to take a small bottle of ink with me as the smallest pens may need either a bottle of syringe to refill while I'm away :)


amcityink: Thanks :) I've never heard of the Muji pen before, it reminds me of the OHTO Tache pen only it looks like it has a finer nib which is great, I was hoping to find a plastic pen to take but as I can get a Muji sent from Japan for £20 I think I'll order one anyway :D


TheDarkFaery: the Stargazer looks great but is a bit more then I wanted to spend at the minute, I love Pilot pens though :)


Algester: As the Petit is so cheap I'm going to order one just to try it, for under £5 I've got nothing to lose in trying one :)


jar: Some of them pens are a little beyond my budget for now, although the Parker Junior is interesting, I like vintage Parkers, especially the press bar fillers and the Junior is around £10-20 so I'm going to monitor ebay over the next few weeks and see what comes up :)


KBeezie: I'm definitely ordering a Petit as it seems like the best cheap option. Thanks for the Speerbob link, for under £20 shipped the EF steel nibbed Elite is another almost perfect solution, it'll feel like my current Elite and have an EF nib but I won't be as precious over it :D




I started thinking about getting a cheap, plastic pen(1) to take away with me but now I've got a list of candidates and want them all....I love this site, my addiction feels normal here :lol:

Edited by andymcc
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Still my favorite modern FP:


_Franklin-Christoph P40


Meets all you criteria:


It`s the size of the Kaweco Sport.

It takes cartridges, converter AND can be used as an eyedropper (there`s a transparent model)!

For an additional 15 bucks you can get a Needlepoint Extra-Fine nib.


I have it for half a year now & I like it so much, that I doubt I`ll ever get another pocket pen :)

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mallymal1: The only downside to the Petit for me is that if I use cartridges I'm stuck with the Pilot colours, although that could be a blessing in disguise as I'd be forced to try colours I never would otherwise :)


Algester: I've only seen photos of the 300, I own a M150, 200 and 400 and like them all, the Pelikan nibs a little wide for me but I love the pistons and the EF nibs are very smooth.


Polanova: Thanks for your reply :) The Franklin-Christoph P40 looks fantastic, the smoke and ice version is beautiful but my favourite is the solid emerald without clip, the price is a bit steep for me at the moment but this is now another pen on my future to buy list:D

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