Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Long is a Pen in Inches? (Average Length)

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how long is a pen in inches

In our daily lives, pens are a common writing instrument, but their size can vary depending on their intended use. Some pens are shorter and more compact, while others are longer and more suitable for specific tasks.

How long is a pen in inches? On average, a pen is 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) long, depending on specific uses. Explore to know more about ways to measure a pen and why pen length is important.

How Many Inches is a Pen?


The length of a pen can vary, but the average length of a pen is around 5.5 inches. Many types of pens are available in the market with different lengths, ranging from small pocket-sized pens to longer ones.

We can divide them into two main types of pens: capped and uncapped ones.

1. Capped pen


On average, a capped pen is typically around 5.5 inches in length when the cap is placed on the end of the pen.

The length of a capped pen can vary depending on the specific model and brand. In general, it is slightly longer than an uncapped pen due to the added length of the cap.

However, depending on their intended use and design, some capped pens are shorter or longer than this average range.

For examples:

  • A Cristalpen has an average length of 5.78 inches
  • A Lamy Safari fountain pen is about 5.5 inches long

Some capped pens are designed to be more compact and portable, while others are longer and more substantial for a more comfortable writing experience.

2. Uncapped pens


An uncapped pen is typically shorter in length than a capped pen due to the absence of the cap.

  • On average, an uncapped pen is around 5.1 inches or 12.88 cm.
  • The most popular length of an uncapped pen, like a Stabilo worker, is 4.88 inches, or 12.4 cm

The length of an uncapped pen can affect its portability, ease of use, and overall writing experience.

What Are the Lengths of Different Pens?

1. Ballpoint pen


The ball pen size is around 5.11 to 5.51 inches in length (13 – 14 in cm), depending on the particular pen.

The ballpoint pen was invented in the 19th century by William A. Spencer. The initial design was made of a platinum pen.

It had a distinctive structure that included a small spring-loaded mechanism, pushing ink from a storage area into the pen’s writing tip.

2. Bic Cristal pen


As mentioned above, the average length of a Bic Cristal pen is around 5.78 inches or 14.9 cm.

The Bic Cristal pen is a popular ballpoint pen that has been in production since 1950. It is produced by Bic, a French company that specializes in disposable writing instruments.

The ink is oil-based, allowing it to dry quickly and resist smudging or smearing. The pen also features a transparent barrel that allows the user to see how much ink is left, making it easy to determine when it is time for a replacement.

3. Brush pen


How many centimeters long is a brush pen? Commonly used brushes are usually 13 to 14 cm in length; the rest are about 18 to 19 cm long (about 180 -190 in mm).

The brush pen tip is typically bristled and made of synthetic fibers that are soft and flexible, allowing various line strokes and widths. Brush pens are commonly used for calligraphy, lettering, and illustration.

The lifespan of a brush pen can vary from a few months to a few years with proper care and storage. The tip can be changed frequently if you often use it.

4. Fountain pen


Fountain pens come in many sizes, such as 10 to 11 cm for the compact and 13 to 15 cm for the medium. The fountain pen was patented in 1827 by Petrache Poenaru in France.

Fountain pens use capillary action to draw ink from a reservoir into a feed mechanism, delivering the ink to the nib.

The nib is typically made of metal and has a split at the end, which allows it to flex and spread as it moves across the paper. This creates a line of varying thicknesses and produces a unique writing experience that many people find enjoyable.

5. Gel pen


Gel pen dimensions are about 14-15 cm (about 0,14 – 0,15 in meters). Instead of oil-based ink, the ink of gel pens is a water-based gel that is pigment or dye-based, which provides a smoother, bolder, and more opaque line than traditional ballpoint pens.

The first gel pen was invented by Sakura Color Products Corporation, a Japanese company, in 1984.

The refill tube of a gel pen is usually wider and longer than that of other pens like ballpoint pens or Bic Cristal pens.

6. Pilot G2 pen


The Pilot G2 pen is about 5.6 inches (14.3cm) long, slightly shorter than the Bic round Stic pen. This is a type of gel pen that is manufactured by Pilot Corporation, a Japanese company. The pen features a retractable tip and a contoured rubber grip that provides comfort and control during use.

The pen has an ink refill design, and a pen is typically used for about 2 to 4 weeks.

What Are the Shortest and Longest Pens?


  • The shortest pen is a ballpoint one that measures 0.7 mm. The Pilot G2 fountain pen is the prevalent type employed in the United States, featuring a tube length of 2.5 inches and a diameter of 3.25 inches.

Its ink color is confined to black or blue, but it provides a broad assortment of hues from independent producers. The Pilot G2 is favored for its easy writing and ink replenishment.

  • The longest pen is a brush pen, approximately 7.5 inches or 19 cm long. Most brushes are 18 cm to 19 cm long (mm sizes are 180 -190).

They have a tip on either side, so they are longer than most other pens. The size of a pen can be equivalent to the size of a paintbrush.

Why is Pen Length Important?

Knowing a pen’s length is important as we can easily choose the right pen that fits our hand. This will make the writing process more comfortable as you use just enough energy to write.

If you often write letters, the 8-inch long pens will be the perfect choice. If you are a student and often take notes in class, choose a pen that you find easy to hold and write on, depending on your preferences.

Factors That Affect Pen Length


There are many different models of pens produced based on the specific needs of the writer, so their length is also different. For instance, a pen designed for writing lengthy documents or for use in an office may be longer than a pen meant for casual use.

Parts of a pen can affect the pen’s length also. For example, some pens have caps that add to the overall length when they are closed.

Tips to Measure a Pen


To measure a pen, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Check the pen’s type: Before measuring the pen, you need to identify what type of pen you are dealing with since the pen measurements may differ.

Step 2. Obtain a measuring tool: A ruler or measuring tape can be used to measure the pen.

Step 3. Measure the length: Place the pen on a flat surface and measure its length from one end to the other. This will give you the total length of the pen.

Step 4. Measure the width: The width of a pen can be determined by measuring its circumference.

If you don’t have a measuring tool, you can wrap a string around the pen and then measure the string’s length. Make sure to note the number of wraps, as this will impact the measurement.

Step 5. Take note of the measurements: Ensure you record the measurements accurately for future reference.


How long is a pen in inches? The length of a pen is about 5.5 inches, depending on the pen’s type. Measuring the pen’s length is crucial, and using a ruler or measuring tape can help you achieve this.

The length of a pen may seem like a minor detail, but it can impact the comfort and usability of the pen. Therefore, understanding the factors that affect the pen’s length can help you choose the perfect pen for your writing needs.

5/5 - (3 votes)