What’s an EDC and My Research

Early on in my fountain pen adventures I was learning the lingo. Like NPD or NID. Then I heard EDC. At first, I thought it was a pen company name or a type of ink.

Every Day Carry or EDC. I learned that as one progresses through the fountain pen world (or called the infamous rabbit hole), certain pens become favorites. They can last a day, a week, or even months. Because new pens appear and replaces the old ones. I call it a cycle or pen rotation.

My EDCs tend to be the five pens I reach for consistently and constantly. It could change when I rotate my pens (clean and store) every two or three weeks. My worst case scenario was last year when I had 30 pens inked at the same time. There was no way I could write with every single pen inked everyday. Now, I will typically have at most 10 pens inked at one time. Five of them will be my EDCs.

My five EDCs will have one pen with an EF nib (to write on cheap paper), one with my favorite ink of the month, two will have my Masuyama italic nibs, and the fifth one would always be a TWSBI. So how, did I come about and develop my own EDC love? Please read on.

As I progressed from one pen manufacturer to another, I started to recognize my likes and dislikes for the way the pen looks, how it feels in my hand, and how it writes with my handwriting style. Let me say fountain pens are like eye candy. I have a lot of experience under my belt (a bit over 1-1/2 years now) and know what I like.

I will see new pens flash before my eyes and start drooling over the colors, the pen style, and more so if the pen has sparkles. I’ve learned to drool for five minutes and if my mouth gets dry, I move on. Sometimes a beautiful pen will get thrown into a shopping cart waiting for me to hit the “pay now” button. Then the pen gets removed from the cart. This could go on for several minutes. Add. Remove. Add. Remove. It could also happen over several days. Monday – Add/Remove. Tuesday – Add/Remove. Add. Remove. I agree. This is funny. It’s also very real.

I’m getting good at doing my research. There are several things I look for in a pen. One is the size of grip or the section. I have some joint issues (from gluten intolerance) in my right hand. More specifically in my middle finger. Occasionally I will have some issues with gripping objects. My favorite grip size will be pens starting around 10mm. I am a tactile person, but metal grips do not bother me. Neither do threads on a section.

Next I look to see the nib brand is. I prefer #6 JoWo nibs. The #6 size works well with my handwriting. The JoWo nib units can be swapped between different pen manufacturers as long as they use the same screw-in nib units. There is an exception that I know of from experience. Conklin pens with JoWo nib units can not be swapped with another pen manufacturer. The threads on the Conklin nib units are different. Plus if you look at the underside of the Conklin feed, it looks different than the standard JoWo nib unit.

A few of the boutique pen manufactures who custom grinds their nibs (Masuyama, Nagahara, etc) use JoWo nibs. I have taken my favorite Masuyama nib unit that I purchased from Franklin-Christoph and put it into my Esterbrook Estie fountain pen. It feels like I have a new pen. My shopping cart is still empty.

We all love a beautiful pen. We also would love to have a grail pen. You know. The one that you think might be the ultimate fountain pen. The one that others strive to obtain. That one pen that sits on a wishlist for months or for years. I used to think that a certain Visconti pen that had swirls of blue and teal (reminded me of the Caribbean Sea) was my grail pen. Until. I went to my local pen show. Saw it in person. Absolutely beautiful! Held it in my hand. Huge let down.

I walked away from that pen show with a lot more knowledge and became smarter about my pen acquisitions.

Any new pen has to speak to me. I do love a pen that can grab my attention and keep it. Like the Abalone I have and definitely the Sparkles pen from Esterbrook. They are both stunning to look at and mostly they write beautifully. For me and with my handwriting.

Functionality also plays a part in my pen acquisition. Can I swap nib units around? Can I purchase additional nib units for my pen?

I will still drool over a new pen. I let my emotions go with the flow for about five minutes. That’s how long it takes for me to recover and move on. Hahaha!

Here are my current EDCs:

Kaweco Black Crystal, Conklin Endura Abalone with Chrome, TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Prussian Blue, Esterbrook Estie OS Sparkle Montana Sapphire, and Opus 88 Omar

I think I have a theme going on with my current EDCs. At least colorwise. I do love my teals and olive greens.

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