Some of the Best EDC Fountain Pens
(EDC? EveryDay Carry - the stuff we carry with us to better deal with all a day can bring)
For most people who share the obsession with EDC, and care very much about what pocketable tools they carry, a pen is included, and it’s usually a ballpoint. To be honest, we get it. They’re convenient and reliable. For something that’s going to be knocking about in a pocket or bag, why risk a fountain pen?
But some people do love fountain pens. And they don’t want to be using a pen they don’t love. Your EDC pen will probably be your most-used, so why not have something you enjoy? And fountain pens really can be practical enough for this kind of use, as long as you choose the right pen.
Of course, as with any ‘best’ list, this will be very subjective - if your favourite isn’t listed, don’t let that stop you using it! But we have a few picks for pens we think work especially well.
Maybe one of the most obvious picks for this list, but that’s with good reason. It’s tiny and pocketable, and tough. We’ve had them knocking about in a pocket with no care whatsoever given, and they stand up really well. They only use cartridges, but there are plenty of choices of short International cartridges, and it’s more practical to keep a spare cartridge in your pocket or bag than a bottle of ink, so we think that’s a pretty reasonable compromise to make in a pocketable pen.
Add in a good range of finishes, so you can pick a Liliput that suits your style, and it’s a pretty compelling little EDC pen.
Maybe not one of the more expected choices, and will need a bit more careful carry than many people would find acceptable for ‘EDC’. But some of you will be willing to use a case or just take a but more care in order to have the convenience of a retractable fountain pen with this wonderful Pilot Capless nib.
TWSBI Diamond Mini
Another one that may need a little more care than some people would want to take, but the payoff is pretty nice with the pocketable TWSBI Diamond Mini. No cartridges, and no converter - it just fills from a bottle of ink. And it has a big ink capacity, so you won’t need to fill so often - and that clear barrel means you won’t get caught out needing to refill, because you can always see at a glance how much ink remains.
OK, this one is maybe an odd pick - a bit more at the luxury end of the market than you might expect for EDC, but hear us out. Some people just love their nice, classically-styled fountain pens. And the Estie JR combines that with a nice compact size that can still slip away easily. You’ll want to take a bit more care with it, but is it worth that to you? If you love it enough, maybe it is.
Sailor Pro Gear Slim Mini
Sticking with a theme, you might not want a Pro Gear Mini to be shaken about in a pocket with your keys, or getting squashed between Swiss Army knife and power bank in the bottom of your bag. But they’re just so nice, you might be ok with keeping it inside a pouch or case where it will be kept safe. And in return, you get to use a Sailor 14k gold nib.
Back to the toughies - the Sport manages a trick even the Liliput can’t quite pull off - becoming full-size in use, but still nicely pocketable when capped. It also manages to fit a converter if you want to use bottled ink, though it is a tiny converter. There’s even a nice range of finishes, including some great value plastic pens that are still impressively sturdy, and a range of metals.
Lamy Safari (or AL-star)
Tough ABS plastic for the Safari, or in the case of the AL-star, aluminium. One of the most-loved fountain pens out there, well-known for its reliability. All good arguments for EDC. It’s not a small pen, though, which is usually, if not a requirement, at least quite desirable. But if the pen part of your EDC is important to you, why not allow a bit more space for something comfortable? You can probably find space in your bag for a Safari.
The emphasis in most EDC setups is stuff that lasts, solid and reliable. Things you’ll buy once and keep forever. But this could be a different approach - a fountain pen that’s cheap and disposable. They’re still pretty reliable, so it’s unlikely to let you down, but if it gets damaged? Grab another.
The lack of a pocket clip might exclude it for some people, but if you don’t need a clip, most YStudio pens are pretty metal. They could only really be more metal if they were a red panda screaming karaoke. And YStudio fully lean into the idea of their pens looking better as they get worn from use, which is very EDC.
The down side of the Diplomat Aero for EDC is that it isn’t very compact, but it definitely has the right style - beautiful and metal, in a way that just looks better as it gets used and worn. If you don’t mind a full-size pen in your EDC, it definitely adds some solid style.