I talk a lot about unintentionally accumulated “mini-collections,” where I buy a lot of a seemingly-random type of pen over a period of months (or years) and then decide that the accumulation wasn’t really random at all, but rather says something about my changing needs and work habits. Over the past two years, I — like the rest of the world — have been working remotely, either from home, or outside or in a corner of the local library. A recent review of my collection shows that since that first quarantine period in early 2020 (and probably starting slightly before that), I’ve picked up more metal pens, especially pocket pens, since they’re durable and useful for working on the go.
I’ve not been a huge proponent of machined or all-metal pens in the past, generally finding them heavy and awkward, but in recent years certain makers have revolutionized the writing experience by using different machining techniques to reduce weight and improve the ergonomics, particularly with respect to the grip section. If you enjoy the look of a machined pen, fountain or otherwise, you no longer have to sacrifice comfort and usability over long writing sessions. Today I’ll discuss a few considerations that I take into account when selecting a metal pen, all of which relate to their usability as daily writer (or “workhorse”).