How Long Is a Pen?


How Long Is a Pen?

Pens come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are often used for writing, drawing, or filling out forms. However, pens can also be used as weapons against enemies.

The term “pen” is derived from the Latin word penna, meaning feather. Pens are usually made of metal or plastic with an ink cartridge that lasts until it runs out of ink and needs to be replaced with a new one. Pencils work differently than pens because they have an eraser on one end and graphite lead on the other end, which is sharpened by rotating it over a piece of paper to create marks on its surface using friction caused by the lead rubbing against the paper’s grain direction. In this article, I will discuss “how long is a pen? “. So let us get started.

How Long Is a Pen: A Detailed Discussion:

Ballpoint Pens:

Ballpoint pens are cylindrical in shape with rounded ends. These types of pens have a semi-circular opening at one end and a tip at the other. Ballpoint tips are made from hard metals like tungsten carbide or steel balls, which offer precision and sharpness in line formation and the smooth flow of ink.

The ballpoint pen was developed by László Bíró in 1938 while working for the Eterpen manufacturer (Eterpen is Latin for ‘universal pencil’). Its invention came about due to the dire need for a fountain pen that would write on rough surfaces such as paper bags etc., or even underwater conditions without clotting problems (as ballpoints do not use water-based liquid ink).

Ballpoint Pens Are Cylindrical in Shape With Rounded Ends

However, they were popularized in the US by Parker Pens only after Bíró applied for a patent to the military.

Ballpoint pens are available in different sizes, colors, and materials such as steel, plastic, or metal. The quality of these pens can be judged by the material they are made from and their tips.

Size of Ballpoint Pens:

Ballpoint pen sizes can vary in length, according to how long is a ballpoint pen, with an average range of 4-5 inches or 10-13 cm (Till date, there haven’t been any regulations on standardizing the size.) There are key chains available for this type of pen as well.  Just like fountain pens, ballpoint pens also require ink refills, and you have a choice of color and other features depending on your requirement.

Rollerball Pens:

Rollerball pens are another popular choice of writers who want to write with precision and smooth flowing ink. This type of pen is cylindrical in shape. It also has a rounded end but does not have a tip at the other end like the ballpoint pens. But, again, the technology behind them is similar to that of ballpoint pens.

Rollerball pens have many advantages over the earlier mentioned ones. They do not use water-based liquid ink, so clogging problems can be avoided, which otherwise occurs in ballpoints due to their wet nature. They are available in different sizes as well as colors and metals. Rollerballs come with refills that can be replaced when empty, and you will find lots of rollerballs on sale these days in the market.

Size of Rollerball Pens:

The length of rollerballs is about 4-5 inches or 10-13 cm on average. Just like the ballpoint pens, there aren’t any regulations on standardizing the size of a rollerball either. Rollerball pens also come as key chains, and you require refills to use them again and again. 

Fountain Pens:

Fountain pens were trendy during the 19th century among writers who wanted to write with a sense of style and finesse. These pens have no caps but look just like an elongated box made from metal alloys such as brass or stainless steel.

They come in different sizes, colors, shapes, and designs, which make for great collectibles and writing instruments. At one time, they were very popular as an essential accessory for a man’s pocket.

The earliest known fountain pen was invented by Lewis Waterman in 1884, who came up with filling the pens with ink from an internal reservoir instead of having to dip it into an inkwell. Fountain pens are also delicately crafted and weigh more than their counterparts.

Fountain Pens Were Trendy During the 19th Century

In addition, they are available in different colors, designs, and sizes that make them both durable and stylish. The longer ones were used by women, while the shorter ones were used by men who usually tucked them in their pockets or waistcoats for easy access when writing notes or sign documents.

Size of Fountain Pens:

The average length of a fountain pen is slightly more than 9 inches. If you have ever wondered how long is a fountain pen, the answer would be, “it depends on the type.” The length varies depending on the design, but the average size usually ranges from approximately 8.5 to 13 inches.

There are also mini-fountain pens that are available in creative designs and attractive colors, which make them great collectibles and an everyday writing instrument. These smaller versions, about 6 to 7 inches, can fit into your pocket or any handbag without being too bulky. Many people find these shorter ones easier to use because they don’t take up so much space when storing or carrying.

Gel Pens:

Gel pens are ballpoint pens that have jelly-like ink. The gel is suspended in a pen by being mixed with alcohol. The original Jotter Ball Pen was created in 1964, and these new gel pens came out shortly after, but they didn’t become popular until 1987 when Pentel Co. introduced it to the U.S. market (Pen World).

The advantage of using a gel pen is that the ink doesn’t smudge or feather around text, unlike ordinary ballpoint pens, and writing can be done on low-quality paper. Gel pens became increasingly popular due to their high visibility of advertisements because they were frequently used on children’s school workbooks and other education-related things.

Size of Gel Pens:

The gel pens are described as being “like a bullet” when it comes to size. They usually measure at 5 inches and weigh about 0.2 ounces (Wolverton). While the average length for an ordinary ballpoint pen is around 5 inches, the most common length of a gel pen is 3-5 inches long.

Also, unlike ordinary ballpoint pens, which have small caps that only cover the tip of the pen, the caps of gel pens are usually longer, and they also cover more than just the tip.

These features make it easier for people to grasp, handle, and write smoothly due to less hand strain from gripping. The thickness of the body varies depending on who manufactured them, but they all tend to be thin and lightweight. For example, the Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen is 0.3 inches thick and described as very light to hold.

Stylus Pen:

The stylus pen is a pencil-like writing instrument designed to allow one’s hand to rest while the stylus tip does the actual writing. Valued more for their functionality than their looks, stylus pens are produced in various sizes, colors, and shapes but almost always have a flat tip on one end and rubber grippers on the other end.

The use of Stylus Pens is increasing with time as human beings are trying to upgrade from conventional ways of writing. In addition, people prefer different tools over the plain paper, such as high-quality tablets that facilitate internet surfing or eBooks that make reading convenient.

Size of Stylus Pens:

Stylus pens are bulky and come in different sizes. They can be long or short, but the most common size is 5 inches. The stylus pen weighs about 0.6 ounces which indicates that they are light-weighted, but one of the obvious problems with this kind of pen is that they might slip off your hand from time to time if you don’t hold them firm.


I hope this article has been beneficial for learning “how long is a pen” and all the relevant information associated with this topic. Thank you and have a nice day!

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