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Tom's Studio makes the best pocket fountain pen for people with big beef hands
also it has a big nib
PROBLEM: you want to write on the go, but you have big beef hands. They are large and meaty, perfect for arm-wrestling in a biker bar or tenderizing venison or slapping a brown bear but not so great for fine writing. You have to post the cap on the back of most pens to make writing comfortable, and your efforts to have an everyday carry pen resulted in you once losing a Lilliput in the folds of your basketball-sized paw for two whole weeks.
SOLUTION: the Pocket Fountain Pen from Tom’s Studio. If you typically post your pens due to a chronic case of Giant Ham Hands and have despaired of ever finding a pocket pen that would suit you, Tom’s Studio has come to your rescue.
Tom’s Studio is a UK brand and has accordingly employed advanced TARDIS technology to craft a pocket pen that is very small when closed and almost comically large when open. Simply handling the Pocket Fountain Pen for a moment makes clear that Tom’s Studio put 100% of their effort into coming up with a good design for this pen and, accordingly, 0% of their effort into coming up with a cool name for it.1
When closed, the Pocket Fountain Pen is small even by pocket pen standards—somewhere between a Kaweco Sport and a Kaweco Lilliput.
When opened, however, it dwarfs all the others.
But wait: THERE’S MORE. Here it is compared to a Kaweco Perkeo, Lamy Safari, and Lamy 2000.
And now here they are opened and posted. It basically goes from being a small pocket pen to a medium-sized posted pen. It’s a little bigger than a posted Lamy 2000 and a tiny bit smaller than a posted Safari.
The pen posts with friction, supported by these o-rings at the end of the barrel, which is how the pen is able to get so large without having to screw on the back. It is possible to wiggle the pen when it is posted if you try with both hands, but that is dumb and you shouldn’t do it. It is solid when you use it for regular pen purposes.
The cap is faceted and prevents the pen from rolling around, but the facets themselves have little tiny baby facets so there are no sharp edges.
The barrel has a ridged texture that makes a fun ZZZZ ZZZZ sound if you run your fingernails on it. This is pretty satisfying but not loud enough to annoy other people, which is either a benefit or drawback depending on how much “chaos” is a feature you look for in a pocket pen.
The pen uses a #6 nib and is available in a variety of widths and grinds. The stock semi-flex nib I purchased came with a clear housing, which I really liked—it makes it much easier to see if the feed is clean or not.
The nib wrote well enough but had consistent hard-starting problems for me. While these were probably easily fixable with some patient cleaning and light tuning, I instead ground micro-mesh into the tip and shoved brass shims into the nib until it was basically unusable, realized it would take me longer to fix that than if I’d just been more patient in the first place, and then remembered I had a spare EF Narwhal nib that I wanted to use anyway so I just put that in.
All that to say: WHOOPS. Also the nibs are compatible with Narwhal nibs. I think this is generally the Bock standard.
The pen ships with a cartridge and this little spring-loaded blunt-tip syringe that holds about one cartridge’s worth of ink.
And: I love this thing. I had been using a regular blunt-tip syringe in the past, LIKE AN ANIMAL, stupidly suffering with an inferior tool because my primitive brain didn’t consider other options. After a while the plunger in my regular syringe would catch and then violently rocket forward, spurting ink all over the sink where I fill/clean pens and I just put up with it. This spring-loaded one provides some resistance that makes the plunger easier to control, and the smaller reservoir doesn’t bother me; it’s easier to fill this thing twice than scrub blue ink off of my bathroom wall. You can take it apart to clean it, too.
The packaging for this pen is almost excessively well-designed, with the back of the branded sleeve containing extensive instructions.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and there are two drawbacks to this pen worth mentioning.
First, if you are old you might think it looks like a vape pen, mostly because you are not really sure what vape pens look like but will for some reason decide this might look like one. You might get in your head about this at a church service and feel the constant need to open the pen and demonstrate to your fellow parishioners that it is a fountain pen for notetaking purposes and not a vape pen you are resting on top of your notebook, which can be a little tiresome. (This is a very specific scenario because I am a creative individual with a good imagination and definitely not because I am a neurotic maniac just describing what happened to me a couple weeks ago.)
Second, if you do not have big beef hands—if you don’t like writing with the cap posted on your regular pens—this pen might be too long for you. I myself have Arachnid Hands (that is, Smallish Hands with Eww Gross Why Are Your Fingers So Long), meaning I generally prefer a medium-sized pen with a fatter barrel and don’t post when I write. The Tom’s Studio pen is borderline for me—the girth of the pen is great for my creepy spider fingers, but it’s longer than I prefer and the barrel is too short to use on its own.
That said, there’s something about this pen that I find really satisfying. I ran it dry with the Narwhal nib, cleaned it, and set it aside as I knew I’d need to put the original nib back in to photograph it for this post. But I then realized I wanted to keep using it so I refilled it and just dealt with the mess of having to swap out the inked-up nib with the original—that’s how much I like it.
In conclusion: do people give you nicknames like The Gorilla or Captain Crush or Jeremy because your giant paw results in painful handshakes for friends and business associates? Did your kindergarten have to order an adult-sized glove so you could play softball? Do you have to avoid showing your appreciation through clapping because the shockwave can down small planes?
Or does none of that apply but you like pocket pens?