On the subject of posting there are four questions: do you ever post? Do you never post? Do you sometimes post? If so, when do you choose to post or not?

I never post. I used to but I found it unwieldy with bigger pens. I gradually gave it up with smaller pens, too. If there is nowhere secure to set the cap I hold it in my other hand.

There are people with expensive new pens who do not post because it will mark the barrel. This is correct; it assuredly will. Part of the reason I don’t post is similar. Most of my own pens are vintage and several models are subject to cracking of the thin cap lip, which can arise from posting too forcefully. That isn’t the main reason for cap lip damage but it’s worth avoiding.

Another reason is balance. I have never written with a posted full-size Duofold, as an example, because it would be uncomfortably back heavy. Through time, I suppose I developed some form of muscle memory about pen balance and now I wouldn’t be comfortable posting even a small pen like a Swan 3160.

There are a few pens I am aware of that were designed to be posted. 1920s and 1930s cheap hard rubber pens were often threaded on the back of the barrel to accept the cap. Conway Stewart’s cheapest pen of the era also had threading on the back of the barrel. I believe it was a pen intended to be bought cheaply in quantity by employers, a forerunner of the Crystal Bic. If I had one I wouldn’t post those pens either. There may be other pens configured in this way of which I am unaware.

For years I have seen discussions on this subject with people posting opposing reasons for posting or not posting. They seem to me to be good reasons but neither are decisive. There’s no real deal-breaker in the world of posting. If you like to post, you post; if you don’t, you don’t. Or maybe you just say the hell with it all and buy a Pilot Capless.

10 thoughts on “Posting

  1. I never post. I prefer holding the cap in my hand or on the table. However, with Kaweco sports, Have no other choice 🙂

  2. I basically never post. No specific reason though, I just almost never do. However, with some safety pens, I post to screw the nib out and then the cap stays posted. And I will post very small pens, otherwise they become amost too small to handle.

  3. I never post. Even with ‘ladies’ pens I can write just as well with it pressed into my palm. Also old, thin caps are just too big a risk to push onto a barrel. I wonder how many of the cracked Duofold caps happened that way?

    I would add the early syringe pens which had a reduced end to slip the cap onto

  4. I usually don’t post a cap unless the pen is a real stubbie (Kaweco Sport for example) because I’m always aware of the tension stress placed on the cap from inside when posted. But with several pens I use regularly, there’s a metal band around the cap end which acts to contain the stress.

    I’m currently using WW2 vintage Parkers (a Vac and striped Duofold), but also several Esterbrooks: Safari and M2 models (not the usual J etc. series). They are usually left unposted as they handle perfectly well that way.

    The M2s by the way were aerometric and cartridge fillers, depending on which version you bought. The Platinum converter works as a substitute for the original Esterbrook cartridge on the M2, but unfortunately it’s too big to fit the Safaris (a black and a red), which are my preferred models,, so I’m refilling vintage cartridges via syringe for those. (Not as tight a seal as I’d like…)

    (Everybody here probably knows about this, but because Pilot made the Solo fountain pens for Cross, the Cross Solo sections screw into the Pilot 73 body perfectly. Wait, there’s more. Wonder of wonders, the same goes for the Solo sections fitting into the 1970s Parker Big Red ballpoint/rollerball/felttip bodies, too. Yep, it’s a Frankenpen, but it’s great fun to use — not to mention the puzzled looks you get when you pull out the Big Red and reveal the fp nib…)

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