How long does it take a pen to "break in"?
FAQ 22.0 by Burt Janz
  Article # 240 Article Type: FAQ


22.0 How long does it take a pen to "break in"?

This is a major "old wive's tale". Pens simply don't "break in" or "wear in". Think about it: you're expecting a ball of iridium, a material chosen for its hardness, to wear down when rubbed against paper during normal use.

If iridium wore down during the "first few weeks" of use (as I have been personally told by at least 3 Montblanc reps - go ahead, sue me!), it would mean that the iridium ball would wear out within the first year of use! Those same Montblanc reps claimed I'd get "years of use" out of the pen.

No, pens do not "break in". The user gets "broken in" to the pen's foibles and oddities. The user finds a comfortable way to hold the pen, a different ink with different lubricant properties, or simply adjusts to the "feel" of the pen.

If you don't like the way the pen "feels" when you bring it home, consider sending it back to the manufacturer for a different nib, or to a pen nib expert like John Mottishaw ( for regrinding. A guy named Jerry Trafford used to do this too, but he seems to have disappeared. Of course, this type of work will void the warranty and not be cheap, but the result might well be a pen that writes exactly as you would like it to.

 Back to List | First | Previous | Next | Last