Caring For Your Handmade Pen

Your handmade pen is just like any other quality instrument, it needs occasional cleaning and maintenance. A pen is a bit unique, it gets handled every day, tucked away, bumped around and generally used (and occasionally abused) on a regular basis. So, how do you keep your handmade pen in tip-top shape?

The Problem

A pen is a natural target of abuse. The oils from our hands eat at the finishes on the pen body and hardware. Dirt and other abrasives come into constant contact with the pen, which can lightly scratch the surfaces of the pen. These fine scratches are what causes a pen to become duller over time. The dirt and oils on the pen itself causes it to become dull. Oils tend to hide fine details in the body of the pen. The good news, it isn’t hard to keep your pen looking and working like new.

Since a Handcrafted Pen is a delicate writing instrument, it should be kept out of extreme environments. Do not leave your pen in the car during the summer when it can get very hot or in the winter when it can get very cold. These temperature changes can cause the ink to dry out prematurely, cause the wood to expand or shrink, and potentially cause finish problems. Some woods (exotic burrs) are very susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity.  Please take care not to drop your pen as the materials can chip or break. Treat your pen with respect and it will give you many years of writing pleasure.

Regular Use

Pens should be used, not stored away in a drawer. Enjoy your pen. Treasure your pen. but please use your pen. This is especially true for rollerball and fountain pens, whose ink will dry out over time if not used. By using your pen regularly you will continue to enjoy years of use. Please note that fountain pens should generally not be shared with others, as the nib wears according to your personal pattern and style of writing.


Treat the pen like you would a piece of furniture as it has the same type of finish. If your wood pen has a clear topcoat (looks like the wood is under glass), you can use a fine plastic polish, or automotive polish or Renaissance Wax to keep it in good condition.


Over time, your pen will run low or out of ink. Replacing the ink is straightforward. If it is a ballpoint pen, then remove the old ballpoint cartridge and replace it with a new one. If it is a rollerball pen, then replace the ink cartridge. Fountain pens can either have a cartridge or can be manually refilled.

How do I store my pen to prevent drying out?

Storing your pens correctly is important to keep it at its best for as long as possible.

Store your ballpoint and rollerball pen on its side or with the tip facing down. This prevents the ball from rolling down away from the opening of the nib, exposing the ink to air and allowing the solvents to evaporate. It’s the evaporation of these solvents that makes your ink dry out and stops your pen from working.

Always put a cap on your rollerball pen

Rollerball pens should always be capped when they’re not in use. Ballpoints that can be retracted either by twisting or clicking should always be closed after use, and if they have a cap, the cap should always be replaced.

Finally, thank you for choosing a CraftyNick handcrafted pen and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

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