How Long is a Pen (Size Guide)?

How Long is a Pen

The pen is mightier than the sword, meaning that thought, writing, and the spread of information is the more effective way of influencing people, not just using brute force and violence. But it all stems back to the use of the pen, which is a tiny writing tool that we use to take down notes and write reports. So, how long is the standard pen?

The typical pen will measure between 13.5 and 15.5 centimeters, giving an average of around 14 centimeters or 5.5 inches.

However, the figures above don’t take into account the various types of pens and the sizes of their caps. In this guide, I’ll share with you guys the lengths of various pens made by popular manufacturers, and what sort of pens you can get, and how you can go about choosing a “good” pen.

How Long Is a Pen?

Before you ask yourself, “How long is a pen?” you first have to understand that there are numerous pens out there. This should be apparent, considering that the US produces around 2 billion pens every year, and China makes roughly 19 times that amount!

So, when it comes to pen sizes, you have to consider the brand and the type. Below, I’ll provide a table that describes the lengths of some of the more commonly used pens you can get today.

BIC Cristal14.7 cm
BIC Gel-ocity14.7 cm
BIC Roller Glide13.7 cm
Fisher Space Pen13.4 cm
Hauser XO14.4 cm
Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen13.5 cm
Parker Jotter Stainless-Steel12.3 cm
Pentel EnerGel Gel Pen18 cm
Pilot Acroball14.3 cm
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Pen12.6 cm
Pilot FriXion Gel Pen11.2 cm
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen12.6 cm
Pilot Razor Point13.5 cm
Preppy Fountain Pen13.8 cm
Reynolds 04514.8 cm
Sakura Gelly Roll15.3 cm
Sakura Pigma Micron13.5 cm
Sharpie S-Gel14.5 cm
TWSBI ECO Fountain Pen13.9 cm
Uni Jetstream Ballpoint Pen13.9 cm
Uni-ball Vision Elite Rollerball Pen14 cm
Uni-ball Eye Rollerball13.8 cm
Uni-ball Signo 20714.8 cm
Zebra bLen Ballpoint Pens14.3 cm
Zebra Sarasa Dry Gel Pen14.2 cm
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So, when asking yourself, “How long is a pen?” you will have to consider the type of pen, how much ink it can hold, whether it has a cap or not, etc., etc., etc.

What Are the Different Types of Pens?

What Are the Different Types of Pens

Looking at the table I provided above, you’ll find a few notable terms, such as gel, ballpoint, fountain, and space. These refer to what type of pen they are, but if you a close look at your local office supplies store, you’ll find that it carries numerous kinds of pens.

Let’s take a look at a handful of them right now.

Ballpoint Pens

The classic ballpoint pen is the type that you and I are most familiar with. In the nib is a minuscule stainless-steel ball that quickly draws ink from the tube before turning around the applying that ink to the surface you’re writing on. The BIC Cristal Original is one of the top-selling ballpoint pens on the planet.

Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are more about class and flashiness than they are about writing things down. That said, due to their higher-than-average costs, you can expect top-quality writing performance with one of these tools. Some of them, such as the Gullor 1119, come with actual gold nibs.

Rollerball (Gel) Pens

Rollerball pens are similar to ballpoint pens in how they use a tiny ball to draw ink from a cartridge. The difference is that rollerball pens use water-based ink, which dries slower but produces a darker, bolder stroke. An example of a great rollerball pen is the Parker Jotter Stainless-Steel model.

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Retractable Pens

A retractable pen is a pen that has a retractable nib. By clicking the button on the end of the pen, it produces a satisfying sound as the nib pops in and out of the pen’s nozzle. Check out the Pilot FriXion Clicker Pen, which is also erasable!

Erasable Pen

Erasable pens are exactly what you would imagine—a pen whose ink can be erased. The “erasability” of an erasable pen stems from its thermos-sensitive ink, which is heat-sensitive. The more friction you apply to it via rubbing an eraser on it, the quicker the ink dissipates. Paper Mate makes the classic erasable pen that you might remember using in junior high school.

Stylus Pens

If your tablet or smartphone comes with a stylus, then you already know what this is. Basically, a stylus pen is a pen that uses ink to write on paper, and it also has a metal rod that transmits electrical charges to your smart device, thereby allowing it to register the pen’s movements. SKOLOO makes an awesome assortment of stylus/ballpoint pen combos.

Felt Pens

Another name for felt pens is “markers,” because that’s what they are. They use a felt tip that transfers ink to paper, leaving a dark, oily line. However, because of the ink composition, you have to make sure to keep it capped whenever it’s not in use to prevent the ink from drying out. Again, Paper Mate is your go-to brand for this type of pen.

Things to Consider When Getting a Pen?

Things to Consider When Getting a Pen

For the most part, you can make do with any type of pen you purchase. They are, after all, basic writing tools. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best writing experience, you should keep these 3 things in mind.

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How well does the pen fit your hand? Not only should you think about the length of the pen, but you should also consider the girth and contours of the pen’s barrel. If it fits comfortably in your hand while writing notes, that’s pretty much all that matters.


If you take a quick look at the pens in your local office supplies store, you’ll find that their finishes are limitless. The finish of a pen refers to its construction, grooves, patterns, embosses, and anything else that makes it look stylish. Remember—function over form!


Are you going to splurge on a fountain pen? If so, you might want to ask the seller whether or not they have any insurance policies in place. Fountain pens can cost quite a lot, to say the least, so you should only use them during important times in your life, such as signing contracts and showing them off in front of your colleagues.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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