Portable Pens for Overly Prepared People

If you’ve ever been forced to rely on the pen charity of strangers, you’ll know the frantic nature of such a request. Soon it becomes apparent that you are doomed.It’s usually accompanied by a flurry of activity as you fruitlessly rummage through various compartments and bags. No pen is going to materialize. Or worse, someone hands over a dried-out husk of a Bic.

To help you avoid this fate, here’s a guide on portable miniature pens—they’re perfect to have on hand for jotting on business cards, signing checks, recording directions, or writing quick notes.

CONSIDERATIONS
Type of Pen
Different types of mini pens

Different types of mini pens
From classic ballpoint pens to sophisticated fountain pens, mini pens are available in a variety of pen types.  Choose your favorite pen type or what you’re most comfortable using.Even typically bulky multi pens can be made into svelte mini pens! See all the different pen types as we recommend in the conclusion table at the end of this post.
Extension Mechanism
Extension Mechanism

From top to bottom: capped pen, retractable pen, telescopic pen
Most mini pens are either retractable, capped, or telescopic:

  • Capped pens have a detachable cap, which can usually be posted on the back of the pen for a more comfortable writing experience. People with bigger hands will appreciate this feature.
  • Retractable pens have a button on top that you push to extend or retract the pen. If you tend to misplace things, stick with a retractable pen—there’s no cap to drop or lose.
  • Telescopic pens start out small, but extend by pulling at one end of the pen. Some extend into a larger pen, while others merely reveal the pen tip as seen in retractable pens.
Clip
Mini pens with clips or without clips

Mini pen with a clip (top) or clipless (bottom)
Mini pens can come with or without a clip. Clipless pens are streamlined and often easier to hold as a clip may get in the way while writing, especially when the pen is so small. However, clips are useful to secure the pen in place, whether it’s on a notebook, pocket, or the inside of a bag.
PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS
Everyday Carry
Everyday Carry (EDC) refers to the items that you carry on a consistent basis to help with everyday tasks. Having a pen in your EDC is a no-brainer. The EDC mini pen has to survive the wear and tear of everyday use, so choose a rugged, metal pen with a clip to secure it in your bag or notebook.

Top Choice: Pilot Birdy Switch Multi Pen

Pilot Birdy Switch

Pilot Birdy Switch
Don’t be fooled by the delicate look of this pen—it actually holds a mechanical pencil and ballpoint pen in one body! Switch easily between the two by taking the cap off one end and posting it on the other. Although it’s extremely slim, the sturdy metal body will last a long time even with everyday use.
Also Consider: JetPens Mini Aluminum Fountain Pens

JetPens Mini Aluminum Fountain Pens

JetPens Mini Aluminum Fountain Pens
The JetPens Mini Aluminum Fountain Pen is perfect for fountain pen lovers who need a portable pen to carry everywhere. Its small size allows it to conveniently fit into pockets and bags, and its smooth metal body is pleasant to hold. The cap posts snugly on the back of pen, making it comfortable to write with. Its attractive and modern bullet design is the cherry on top!
Pocket Picks
Rounded, smooth, and slim pens are a lot easier on the pockets. They won’t snag on loose threads or poke you with strangely protruding pieces. A pen with a good cap ensures that you don’t end up looking like a walking rorschach test. If you keep a pen in your back pocket, choose one with a clip to secure it as it’s apt to slip out when you’re not paying attention.

Top Choice: Pilot Petit Series

Pilot Petit Series

Pilot Petit Series
The Pilot Petit pen features a small, rounded body that is lightweight enough to slip inconspicuously into any pocket. This adorable pen comes in three pen types: fountain pen (Petit1), marker (Petit2), and brush pen (Petit3). The different pen types and color offerings allow you to pick and choose a pen based on your mood.
Also Consider: Lamy Pico Pocket Size Extendable Ballpoint Pens

Lamy Pico
Lamy Pico
For those who would rather go clipless, we recommend the Lamy Pico. This sleek, telescopic pen slides neatly into any pocket when retracted and extends into a larger size for added writing comfort. It has a high-tech, gadget-y look that will have you channeling James Bond.
Wallet Pens

Wallets come in all shapes and sizes, but a typical single fold wallet measures about 4.5″ x 3.75” when closed. Any pen venturing into its depths must measure less than 3.75” long in order to fit inside. For larger wallets, such as continental or flap wallets, consider pens that are slim, uniformly thick (so they don’t mess up the alignment of your wallet), and durable enough to withstand being crushed in your back pocket.

Ohto Minimo

Ohto Minimo
Possibly the smallest and thinnest pen we have ever come across, the Ohto Minimo lives up to its mini name. At an impressively tiny 3.5 inches in length with a 3.7 mm diameter, this pen will fit into any wallet with room to spare. To prevent the pen from getting lost, it comes with a flexible plastic card holder that tucks neatly into any wallet.
Also Consider: Pentel Slicci Techo Mini Gel Pens

Pentel Slicci Techo

Pentel Slicci Techo
The Pentel Slicci Techo is not as short as the Minimo, but it is still extremely slim, perfect for storing in larger wallets. The space between the clip and pen body is slightly wider than in other pens, making it ideal for clipping on the thicker, leather folds of a wallet.
Planner Pens
Organizing a planner is an art form. Planner people already have an arsenal of tools that they use to painstakingly schedule and maintain their hectic lives. However, you can’t always lug around a multitude of colorful pens and highlighters—so what happens when something comes up unexpectedly? These mini pens will keep you on track without compromising your planner’s high standards.

Top Choice; Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock Gel Pens

Pilot hi-Tec-C Slim Knock

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock
The Hi-Tec-C gel pen has long been a planner favorite for its small but smooth needle-point tip that’s great for writing in planners. The Slim Knock line has the same smooth-flowing pen tip of the regular Hi-Tec-C, but in a portable, miniature form. Use the clip to secure it onto any planner and carry it around with you wherever you go! For more on the Hi-Tec-C, check out our blog post here.
Also Consider: Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Gel Pens

Pilot FriXion Ball Slim

Pilot FriXion Ball Slim
The FriXion series is another planner classic that’s famous for its erasable gel ink. The Slim model features the same ink and many of the delectable colors from the FriXion line. Though not as small as the Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock, the FriXion Slim is slender enough to slip effortlessly into any planner—however it is clipless, so be sure to secure it with a pen holder or stick it in your bag. To see a guide on all the FriXion lines, click here.
Professional Use
Working professionals should consider a pen that has a sleek, sophisticated look. Whether they’re resting in a crisp front pocket or helping you jot notes and sign documents in a business meeting, our recommended pens are sure to impress your coworkers and clients.

Top Choice: Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pens

Kaweco Liliput

Kaweco Liliput
This small but luxurious fountain pen comes in a variety of body styles from lightweight aluminum to rugged brass. Whatever the finish, the Liliput fits as comfortably in the business world as it does in your pocket. The cap is threaded so you don’t have to worry about it falling off when posted or capped. When posted, the pen is a great size for ergonomic writing. The Liliput is also available as a retractable ballpoint pen. Check out our video here for the full Liliput lineup.
Also Consider: Ohto Tasche Pens

Ohto Tasche

Ohto Tasche
If you prefer having a clip on your pen, consider the eye-catching Ohto Tasche. This stylish pen extends to the size of a normal pen when posted, making it easy to write with. When capped, it’s the ideal size for clipping onto your front pocket. We love the metallic satin finish—it adds a touch of luxury that belongs in a professional setting.
Write on Anything
If you often find yourself in harsh or strange conditions, go for a pressurized ink pen. These specialized pens can handle anything you throw at them, including extreme temperatures, wet or greasy surfaces, and even zero gravity. They’re great for wait staff, swim coaches, explorers, and those who hold field jobs.

Top Choice: Fisher Space Pens

Fisher Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen
The original pressurized pen, the Fisher Space Pen has a futuristic bullet design that is attractive and stylish. Miniscule when capped, it extends to a full-sized pen when the cap is posted, providing a comfortable writing experience. This pen writes at any angle, underwater, and over grease. Though it doesn’t come with a clip, you can purchase one separately.
Also Consider: Tombow AirPress Ballpoint Pens

Tomwbow Airpress
Tombow AirPress
Unlike the Fisher Space Pen that uses a pressurized ink refill to wield its magical qualities, the Tombow AirPress leverages a retraction method that injects air into the cartridge to pressurize it. This compact but hefty pen comes with a sturdy wire clip that affixes securely to any pocket, notebook, or clipboard.

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