Although the specific pen type that people reach out for advice on often changes, we constantly see people asking for advice on how they should be storing their pens and if vertical or horizontal storage is the better option. As more and more people are starting to increase their budget for the pens that they purchase, it seems that the interest in optimal storage for the best performance is on the increase too as we have noticed more and more questions with each passing month.
Due to this, we have decided to dedicated today’s article to answering the various questions about storing your pens vertically or horizontally. As the proper way to store your pens will actually depend on the pen type, we will be going over advice for the most common pen types that we see people asking for advice on below to try and better serve our readers.
Is It Better To Store Pens Up Or Down
That said though, the general advice given time and time again from the community tends to be that if you store your pen vertically with the nib facing up, your nib will be dryer, if you store your pen vertically with the nib down, your nib will be wetter, and if you store your pen horizontally, you can get a middle ground between the two with different pen types usually being wet or dry when stored horizontally.
To go with this advice, a wide range of cheap pen storage solutions have made it to market to ensure that no matter your pen type, the best possible storage solution is available. There are popular options for vertical pen storage, horizontal pen storage, and the increasingly popular best of both worlds option that offers both verticle and horizontal storage in the same unit.
Should Pens Be Stored Vertically Or Horizontally
Although we have touched on the dry to wet ratio of storing your pens horizontally or vertically above, another common piece of advice for pen storage is based around pigment usage in the pens ink. Traditionally, it was recommended that if your pen ink is dye based rather than pigment based you can store it either vertically or horizontally without having much of an issue with performance but the pen type does come into play as we will cover below.
If your pen ink is pigment-based then it was often recommended that you try to store your pens horizontally to prevent skipping when starting to use them. For modern pens, this can still be good advice but again, pen-type will come into play and pigment-based inks have come a long way over the years too. Many people still do recommend that you store your pigment based pens horizontally but we would recommend that you prioritize storing modern pens according to their pen-type rather than their ink type.
With storing pens according to their type rather than ink being our recommendations for our readers, we will now be going over our specific advice for each type of pen that we see people reaching out and asking for advice on each month. Although it should go without saying, if your pen does have a cap, ensure that the cap is properly fitted for storage to help prevent any issues with the ink drying out too.
We have our table of contents below to allow you to quickly and easily navigate to the specific section of our article that you wish to navigate. This may help save you time and prevent you from having to skim across the various sections.
How To Store Ballpoint Pens
High-quality ballpoint pens are probably the most popular pen type and we definitely see the most questions asked about how to store ballpoint pens. As the ballpoint pen system requires a heavy, oily ink to work, it is usually recommended that you store your ballpoint pens vertically with the nibs down to allow gravity to keep the ink as close to the ball mechanism as possible.
It is usually not recommended to store them vertically with the nibs up. Storing your ballpoint pens vertically with the tip up can cause your pen to skip when starting to use them again and although there should be no long term damage to the pen, it can take a while to get the thicker than normal ink to reach the ball mechanism to get the pen writing again.
If you are using cheaper ballpoint pens, some brands will specifically recommend that you store them horizontally to prevent the ink from leaking out of the nib of the pen or to prevent the ball mechanism from becoming gummy overtime. This usually is only for cheaper ballpoint pens though with the majority of intermediate and high-end pens not having issues with leaking.
How To Store Rollerball Pens
Although decent rollerball pens do use a similar writing mechanism to a ballpoint pen, their ink is usually water based rather than oil base with it generally being much thinner too. The general recommendation for storing a rollerball pen is to store it in a horizontal position as even more expensive rollerball pens can end up having problems with their writing mechanisms becoming gummy if stored vertically with their nibs down.
Just like their ballpoint pen cousins, it is usually not recommended to store a rollerball pen vertically with the nib up as it can cause the pen to skip when starting to use it again after it has been in storage for a while. That said though, due to their thinner ink, it is usually much easier to get a rollerball pen working again if it does start skipping after storage than it is when using a ballpoint pen.
How To Store Micron Pens
With the explosion in popularity of the Sakura Pigma Micron range, there is no surprise that we are seeing more and more people reaching out for advice on how best to store them. Although we have seen people store Sakura Microns both vertically and horizontally, we usually recommend that our readers store them horizontally and Sakura also recently confirmed that this is considered best practise too.
Although the Sakura Pigma Micron is an excellent pen that has been put together very well, it can have issues if stored vertically. The pens can be prone to temporarily dry out if stored with their nibs up and some Microns can end up leaking if stored with their nibs down. With the Micron range of pens being such a popular options and people usually having a large collection of both different nib sizes and different colours, we would recommend that you pick up some decent horizontal pen storage for them.
How To Store Gel Pens
Although many people used to avoid using gel pens, the excellent quality and low price tag of the Paper Mate InkJoy range has seen a huge increase in their popularity as well as the number of people asking if gel pens should be stored upside down or not. Out of the different types of pens covered in this article, gel pens are the easiest option when it comes to storing and they should always be stored vertically with the nib down.
This ensures that the gel-based ink is always available to the writing mechanism to prevent skipping. Gel pens don’t tend to have any real issues with leaking, clumping, or gumming when stored vertically with their nibs down either where as storing them with their nibs up or horizontally can result in problems. Due to this, just store them vertically with their nibs down and be done with it.
How To Store Brush Pens
Brush Pens are another type of pen that has seen a huge spike in their popularity over recent years with more and more people stocking up on them and adding them to their stationary collection. Although many types of bush pens on the market can be stored either horizontally or vertically without issue, we always recommend that our readers store them horizontally.
The first reason that we recommend horizontal storage for brush pens is due to many of them using a pigment based in with a brush style nib so horizontal storage is usually preferred. Storing them horizontally tends to ensure that you keep a consistent colour overtime without fade towards the end of the ink supply of the brush pen.
The second reason that we recommend horizontal storage for brush pens is due to a large number of brush pens being dual tipped with a narrow brush on one end and a broad brush on the other. Storing the pens horizontally ensures that both tips have a good ink supply and prevents dry out or skipping that can be common when storing them vertically.
How To Store Fineliner Pens
There are multiple options for storing your fineliner pens depending on their ink type. The vast majority of fineliners with water-based ink can be stored however you wish and not end up having issues but most people tend to store their fineliners vertically with the tips down. If your fineliner does not use water-based ink then you should definitely be storing them vertically with their tips down to prevent dry out.
If you are not sure if your fineliners use water-based ink or not then the majority of brands will put it on the barrel of the pen. If it is not on the barrel then it is almost always on the packaging and if you no longer have the packaging a quick Google search can always help. As a quick rule of thumb though, if you are not sure what ink your fineliner uses, just store them vertically with their tips down.
Should Markers Be Stored Horizontally Or Vertically?
Just like brush pens that we have covered above, decent quality marker pens can be stored either vertically with their tips down or horizontally depending on the type of marker that you are using. If you are using a standard, single tip market then vertical storage of the pen with its tip down is optimal to prevent dry out and ensure you have no issues when using the pen.
If you are using a dual-tipped marker pen then we would recommend that you store them horizontally for the same reasons you would store a dual-tipped brush pen horizontally. It ensures that both of the tips have a good supply of ink and prevents one tip from drying out over time.