Which style should I choose?
The selection of a pen can seem confusing and overwhelming at times.
Some things to consider are:
1) Whom will be the end user of the pen
2) Do they prefer a heavier or lighter pen
3) Click or twist mechanism for extending and retracting the ink, or possibly a removable cover
4) Modern ink cartridge with a ball at the end or the classic nib of a fountain pen
5) Wood or resin
6) What color(s) do they like
Below is a list of various pen styles, with a short description and approximate length (L) and weight (W) of each.
To help you gauge the weight, a quarter weighs approximately 0.2 oz.
The Sierra is a modern styled pen, which is about equally divided between plated parts and the turned material. It comes in either twist or click version. It uses a standard Parker® style refill, which can be either regular or gel ink. The ink is changed by pulling the pen apart at the middle and unscrewing the transmission. (L) 5.5" (W) 1.5 oz.
The long click is a great pen for showing off a beautiful piece of material. It has minimal plated parts and no breaks in the barrel to distract from the presentation. It uses a standard Parker® style refill which can be either regular or gel ink. The ink is changed by unscrewing the nib. ( metal part at the bottom) (L) 5.75" (W) 1.2 oz.
The cigar is the heavy weight of the pen world, but despite it's weight is very well balanced. It has minimal plated parts and a large surface area to display the material. It comes in either twist or click version. It uses a standard Parker® style refill which can be either regular or gel ink. The ink is changed by unscrewing the pen at the center band. (L) 5.75" (W) 1.8 oz.
This pen, as the name implies, is slim. It is a good choice for those with smaller hands or prefer a very light pen. Though the length of the pen is similar to the cigar because of how thin the barrel is it does not lend it's self to displaying highly figured material well. It is available in either a twist or click version. It uses a standard Cross® style ink cartridge for the twist style and a Parker® style for the click version. The ink is replaced in the twist version by pulling the pen apart at the center band and then unscrewing the ink from the transmission, the click style is unscrewed at the center band. (L) 5.25" (W) 0.8 oz.
Due to the size of the barrels, roller balls are a good choice to display material. Roller balls have different options to choose from. The cap can either be postable or non postable, posting is when the cap is placed onto the end cap while the pen is being used. Roller balls are similar to ball points but are generally made with ceramic balls and use a gel ink so the pen glides across the page. The ink cartridge is replaced by unscrewing the nib ( the front metal piece) (L) 5.0"-5.25" (W) 1.2-1.5 oz.
Fountain pens are elegant writing instruments whose large barrels are a good choice to display material. They can be either postable or non postable, posting is when the cap is mounted onto the end cap while the pen is in use. Fountain pens also have options for how the ink is stored within the pen barrel, they can use disposable cartridges, bladders or piston pumps. With the bladders and piston pumps, the ink is sucked into the pen from a bottle, thus offering the largest selection of ink types and colors. Fountain pens take practise to learn to use correctly and require more maintenance than other pens. The nib and feed will require cleaning and occasional tuning to control the flow of ink and over time replacement. (L) 5.0"-5.5" (W) 1.2-1.5 oz.