How Long Are Pens? Average Lengths of Pens [Guide]

How Long Are Pens? Average Lengths of Pens [Guide]

A pen’s length is a key factor that can make the writing experience either more enjoyable or unpleasant. If you’ve ever written with a pen that felt too large or too small in your hand, you probably know what we’re talking about. And if you’ve ever asked yourself, “How long is a pen on average?”, this article will give you all the answers.

We’ll dive into the average length of pens in general, as well as fountain, ballpoint, and brush pens, and also give you the average length for capped and uncapped pens. So, if you need some inside info into the world of pens from experts in the field, keep on reading.

Actual Lengths of Popular Pens

Apart from quality and weight, length is the third most important factor when deciding which pen to purchase. Generally, the most popular pens are often the ones that fit the needs of most writing aficionados, including those with larger and smaller hands. 

After comparing the sizes of some of the most popular pens that are beloved by many, we found that most are sized between 130 and 140 mm. Then come those between 140 and 150 mm, while the pens in the 100 to 110 mm range are considered most optimal for pen enthusiasts who are looking for a compact pen. 

But there are also differences between the average length of various pens many enjoy using and the average length of specific types of pens, so let’s cover that next. 

How Long Is a Ballpoint Pen?

While we don’t know the exact length of the first ballpoint pen that was patented by Laszlo Biro back in 1946, we do know how long modern ballpoint pens are on average, which is between 130 and 140 mm, the same average length of the most popular pens in general. One well-known pen in this category is the LAMY Logo M+ that’s 136 mm long.

However, you can find a lot of ballpoint pens that are longer and shorter than this. For example, the average length of compact ballpoint pens is between 100 and 110 mm.

How Long Is a Brush Pen?

Brush pens come in similar sizes as ballpoint pens, which is why their average length is the same, between 130 and 140 mm. That being said, brush pens that measure between 180 and 190 mm in length are also quite common.

In fact, their size is actually bigger than any other pen. This is mainly due to them having tips at each size, and some resemble artist paintbrushes, making them quite popular among artists.

How Long Is a Fountain Pen?

Fountain pens are among the most popular pens for calligraphy aficionados and everyone who’s after the smoothest writing experience. This writing tool has been perfected ever since the first fountain pen was made back in 1827 by Petrache Poenaru. This means that fountain pen manufacturers have optimized their size and taken into consideration both the balance and comfort they provide. 

Similar to other types of pens, the average length of most fountain pens is between 130 to 140 mm, and proof of that is one of the most popular and budget-friendly fountain pens, the LAMY LX, that’s 139 mm long. However, slightly longer fountain pens with an average length between 140 to 150 mm are also quite prevalent on the pen market, mainly because they best suit people with larger hands. 

Another popular length category for fountain pens that are compact and make good EDC pens is one between 100 and 110 mm. For example, the Kaweco Sport fountain pen is exactly 105 mm long, which is right in the middle of the average low and high.

How Long is a Gel Pen?

Gel pens have been on the market for over 40 years, ever since the Japanese Pen manufacturer Sakura made the first one back in the 1980s. Throughout the years, gel pens have been made in different lengths, while the most common size is slightly longer than ballpoint and fountain pens and falls in the range between 140 and 150 mm.

Because gel ink is much thicker than fountain ink, it tends to run out much faster. In order to compensate, manufacturers make the gel pen refills longer and wider so they can last longer. And a longer refill needs a longer barrel in which it can fit easily, hence the length. 

If you’re interested in giving gel pens a try, you can find the Monteverde refills for Parker in purple, black, red, and green, and the Monteverde black refill for Montblanc at the Truphae store.

Average Length Of A Capped Pen

The length of capped or retracted pens is 139 mm on average. It’s a size that comfortably fits both those with larger and smaller hands. Popular pens that fall in this category include the LAMY Safari and the Twsbi Eco fountain pens.

Average Length Of An Uncapped Pen

Uncapped pens have an average length of 122 mm. Pens of this length enable a comfortable writing experience, while people with larger hands can also post the cap to extend the pen’s overall length.


What is the average length of a pen?

The average length of most types of pens is between 130 and 140 mm or about 5.11 to 5.51 inches. This is the case for fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and a portion of gel pens. Another popular category is the 140 to 150 mm, which is common for gel and brush pens.

How long is the longest pen?

According to the Guinness world records, the largest ballpoint pen in the world is 5.5 meters long, which, converted to the imperial system, is 18 feet and 0.53 inches. Due to its enormous size, the largest pen in the world is also pretty heavy and weighs 37.23 kg.

How long is a Bic Cristal pen?

The dimension of one of the most popular Bic pens, the Bic Cristal, is 145 mm without the cap, which is about 5.7 inches.

How long can a pen write?

Ballpoint pens can write about 50,000 words or 100 pages before they run out of ink.

What are the tip sizes of ballpoint pens?

Ballpoint pens produce different line varieties that go from fine to thick. 

Ballpoint pens with fine tips produce lines that are about 0.7 mm in thickness, although fine ballpoint pens generally have tip sizes that vary from 0.5 mm to 0.8 mm. Medium-tip ballpoint pens have tips that produce lines ranging from 0.9 mm to 1.2 mm in thickness, while broad ballpoint pens are considered those that produce lines that are 1.3 mm in thickness or above.


By now, you’ve probably realized just how important the length of a pen is. Not only can a pen of the wrong length make your overall writing experience uncomfortable, but it can also make your hand cramp if you use it for longer writing assignments.

If you can’t determine the right pen length for you, we recommend going with the average length of between 130 and 140 mm. Remember that, at the end of the day, comfort while writing is the most essential criterion when purchasing a pen, and the length greatly contributes to this.

What are your thoughts on the average length of pens? Does the average pen size correspond to your pen’s size? Do you prefer longer pens, or shorter and more compact EDC pens? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to leave us your recommendations on the best pens that you have in your personal arsenal.

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1 comment

  • Ted Lee

    I want to make pens using acrylic blanks of the same colour do I need two or one blank to make a pen
    Many thanks

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