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3 Ways To Keep Your Pens Working Longer

If there is one critical apparatus sitting in your office right now, it might be a pen. A pen makes it possible to write down notes and ideas and is an integral part of your office or school environment. Pens can either be recyclable or single-use. 

At times, you may get attached to your pen such that you would want to increase their longevity. However, the big question is, how long do pens last? Manufacturers understand the importance of making pens that last longer now, unlike the previous pen models in the preceding decades. 

Pens last longer now and are a valuable little investment. Read on to understand how pens work, how long they last, reasons they might not last long, and ways to increase their longevity. You may be thinking - what are good corporate gifts? Pens is definitely a good place to start with that!

How Long Pens Usually Last

Research on the functionality of different assorted ballpoint pens and fountain pens indicates that pens' longevity varies from one brand to another. 

A pen's longevity is affected by the frequency of use and storage, and the writing length is determined by the writing strokes, speed, and downward pressure from an average person. An average pen will write 169 letters, 6207 signatures, 971 Christmas cards, and 5114 phone numbers.

For instance, most brands claim their pens would write about 2 to 3 kilometers. Measuring the longevity with time frames like days or years might not be meaningful due to the inconsistency in pen usage. 

A dry ink ballpoint pen can draw a 1-3km continuous line, while a roller pen can draw 400 -700m a continuous line. The fountain pen is poorer in ink economy and ranges between 100m-200m based on the refill frequency.


Reasons Why They Might Not Last As Long


Air exposure

Your pen might stop functioning even when there is still some ink on the cartridge due to air exposure. Exposure leads to air seepage into the cartridge, making the ink dry up. The ink is naturally thick, and drying prevents it from flowing when writing and completely clogs the pen. 

The ballpoint on the nip is designed to keep off the air, but air can still get inside the cartridge if you expose it to air all the time.


Damage due to impact

If the pens fall with the ballpoint facing the ground, they might be damaged by the impact on the ground; damaged ballpoints lead to inconsistent ink flow when writing. 

Broken ballpoints are most likely to allow air to flow into the pen's cartridge, and they will allow the ink to flow freely, leading to leakages that waste ink and reduce the pen's shelf life.


Ink leakage

Pens might leak due to exposure to high temperatures, and if you leave your pen in the sun, it might explode, leading to leaky tubes and ballpoints. A pen is likely to leak if you wear it in your shirt pocket as your body temperature would heat the ink cartridge, leading to ink overflow. The storage method you choose might cause leakages. 

For instance, if you do not cap or position the pen vertically, slight temperature changes lead to leakages. Additionally, if the ballpoint always touches fabric and paper, the pen will naturally leak, as the materials facilitate ink flow by absorbing the ink from the ballpoint.


3 Ways to Make Them Last Longer


Good storage

You can make your pen last longer by storing them well; the ballpoint pens should be in an upright position when not used to keep the ink in place and avoid leakages. 

You should ensure the pen's ballpoint does not touch any fabric or paper as it facilitates overflowing ink, leading to wastages. Ballpoint pens that use gel ink should stand upright to prevent leakages.

If you do not use a fountain pen for an extended time, you can empty the ink first before storing it. Fountain pens are leaky and might waste the ink when stored with the ink but ensure you clean the pen adequately to prevent the ink from drying on the cartridge. 

Fountain pen pouches and cases are good storage units for the pens and protect them against mishaps. You can keep the original box the fountain pen was shipped in as an extended storage unit.


Cleaning the pens

You can learn how to clean ballpoint pens to increase their longevity. For instance, if the nip has dry ink, you would release the dried ink with heat or scrub the pen on a paper to facilitate ink flow. Moreover, if the ink leaks inside the barrel, you should remove the cartridge and soak the pen in hot water. 

The hot water removes the ink's remnants and holds the pen under a tap for a vigorous rinse. You can insert a cotton swab in the pen for better cleaning results, and you should avoid household cleaners and detergents as they might damage the metal or the ink.

Not cleaning a fountain pen might reduce the lifespan of the pen as it leads to ink drying, which clogs the cartridge. Cleaning the fountain pen is easy, as you use a bulb syringe and flush water through the pen until the water comes out clean. 

You should use high-quality ink all the time when writing; however, if you feel the pen has been tampered with by cheap, low-quality ink, you can wash off the ink to reverse the harm on your pen.


Preventing pen damage

When the pen is damaged, you can gently tap the ballpoint on a surface with a piece of paper wrapped around the nip. If the pen does not write after tapping, you can shake it to make the ink move to the nip effectively. 

If the ink does not move to the nip after shaking, it would be best to write on rubber surfaces like the bottom of the shoe's soles to unclog the dried ink.

A dried-out cartridge can be dangerous and cause harm to your fountain pen. It could be practical to soak the pen for a day to remove old and dried ink. You can also flush the capillary system frequently to prevent future damages. Check the fountain pen's nip to ensure the tines are aligned. Always replace damaged fountain pen tips for a better writing experience.

Pens can write about 1-3 kilometers depending on the brand, and how long the pen lasts depends on the frequency of use. Factors such as air exposure, ballpoint damage, and exposure to heat might reduce the lifespan of the pen. 

If the pen gets air damaged, you can increase functionality by heating the nip or scrubbing it on paper to release the ink. Additionally, good storage can improve your pen's longevity.