As a bigger guy, I have some sizable hands to match. That's why, when it comes to my fountain pen preferences, I often lean towards larger pens because they fit more naturally in my hand. Now, not all big pens are for gentle giants like myself. In fact, they have benefits that others might find appealing. Larger pens can sometimes be better for long writing sessions without tiring the hand if the weight isn't too much, which helps individuals with hand ailments feel more comfortable when writing. Oftentimes, big pens also have bigger nibs, and who doesn't love that? Plus, an oversized pen can make for a larger canvas for unique materials or artwork.
Because I represent the larger end of the hand spectrum, I thought sharing my favorite big fountain pens and what I like about them would be insightful.
Usually, many big pens come with an even bigger price tag. But that's not the case with the Jinhao X159. This affordable fountain pen is the thickest and sturdy of any pen at this price point. The X159 has a massive #8-sized nib, a relatively newer offering from Jinhao that only came out within the last year. At 27 grams overall and just 17 grams in the body, it's a bit lighter than its predecessor, the 159, which is nice as long as you can fit that baby in your hand!
Conklin All American
One of the best things about the Conklin All American is the many variations they've come out with over the years. They've done metal, solid wood, segmented wood, and resin versions of almost every color. While many of them end up being special editions that come and go, keep an eye on this model, as you're likely to come across one that will strike you. What I like about the All American is the minimal trim that gives an unobstructed view of whatever material you have. The All American can get pretty heavy, especially in pens with a metal body, but the wood and resin bodies are lighter than you'd think at around 18 grams.
The Edison Collier has been available at Goulet Pens since they started making them a decade ago in Milan, Ohio, and it's established itself as a go-to recommendation in the pen community, particularly for people with arthritis or other hand troubles. This medium-large pen is relatively lightweight, with just a 15-gram body. I'm a fan of the contoured grip, and if you want, you can even eyedropper-fill this pen to get an incredible 4.3 ml ink capacity, turning the Collier into a daily writer that's easy on the hand.
Visconti Opera Master
There are very few pens whose size truly wows me. The Visconti Opera Master is one of those pens. It's a distinctive pen with its squared-circle shape, double-reservoir power filler with a substantial 3.6ml ink capacity, and hefty weight at 51 grams overall with a body of 31 grams. This pen can post, but I don't because that 20-gram cap is just too much weight on the back of the pen for me. There have been many different colors of the Opera Master, including limited editions that might only be available in the double-digits worldwide. We've had the good fortune of having several Goulet-exclusive Opera Masters over the years, my favorite being the Luna, which had a brilliant blue resin. The Opera Master is just a big, heavy, and formidable pen!
Sailor King Of Pens (KOP)
The next pen on my list is the flagship model from Sailor, the King of Pens (KOP). You can get this fountain pen in either the flat top Pro Gear or the round top 1911. This is one of my favorite daily writer pens because it fits my hand well, and it's pretty light at 34 grams overall and 22 grams in the body, which is a perfect size and weight ratio.
On the KOP, you get the humongous 21k Sailor nib, which I adore. Sailor's nibs on their smaller pens are usually stiffer, but I prefer this one because it's nice and bouncy, especially with a broad nib. The nib is equivalent to a #8 size nib, which you don't see on many pens. In the U.S., the KoP has limited color and nib size options. But, we've recently seen KOP pens start to feature unique materials like ebonite, Urushi, and maki-e designs. Hopefully, Sailor continues to provide enthusiasts more options because the Sailor KOP pen is a massive canvas for impressive materials and artwork.
The Pelikan M1000 is the premier pen in the Pelikan Soüveran series and has a prestigious presence. The overall design looks similar to the rest of the Soüveran series pens, but when you get into the M800 and M1000, not only are they bigger, but there are more metal components in the piston, which add to the weight and heft of the pens.
The M1000 has a huge 18k nib slightly larger than a #8, which is glorious. Not only is it large, but it's beautiful, smooth, springy, and wet-writing. The piston filler holds 1.5ml of fountain pen ink, the pen's weight is 33 grams overall, and its body is a hefty 23 grams, though it's still light enough to write comfortably for a long time. They don't have a lot of regular editions, but they'll do some special and limited editions that look incredible. It's a pretty obvious upgrade if you're already a Pelikan fan and want the largest version of a Pelikan you can get.
Pilot Custom Urushi
Next is the Pilot Custom Urushi, a relatively new offering. Pilot developed a new nib for this pen, which is the second largest in Pilot's lineup, coming right behind the Namiki Emperor. The Pilot #30 18k gold nib on this is stunning visually and with how it writes.
This is my grail pen – yes, after more than a decade, I still have grail pens of my own! While the Custom Urushi might look like a plain black or red pen, it's coated with exquisite Urushi lacquer, a tough finish applied by hand, and comes with the CON-70 converter that will hold about 1 ml of ink. This pen fills my hand in a way that's hard to explain. In fact, I feel this way with the King of Pens, M1000, Custom Urushi, and the last pen on this list.
Initially, my last pen on this list was going to be the Namiki Emperor because fountain pens don't get much bigger, more interesting, and more beautiful than those. The #50 nib is pretty much the biggest commercially available nib today, and for the times I've used it, it's felt like a whole other level of writing. Because of that, it was too obvious a choice, so I pivoted to the Emperor's close cousin: the Namiki Aya.
It's a very recent offering that's only been available for a few months. It has the same #30 size nib as the Pilot Custom Urushi but features the Namiki design with Mt. Fuji, which is perfect for this pen. They have four different colors, all hand-applied maki-e using urushi lacquer, with themes of nature, including scenes of grassy hills, water, wind, and a sunrise, embellished with silver and gold powders. The Tokiwa Green is my favorite because of the sprinkled in raden abalone shell, which looks stunning.
There you have it – that's my list of best big pens! Now, this is a very subjective list based on nothing but my opinion. When formulating my choices, I didn't necessarily use a specific grip diameter, pen length, or overall weight to narrow anything down. Still, I think I've pretty well steered clear of flirting with any sort of natural cutoff.
I encourage you to try these pens out for yourself, and if you have any questions, contact our Customer Care team for assistance. Write on!