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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Loose Esterbrook clip? - Another how-to tutorial!

Have you ever had an Esterbrook with a clip that was bent slightly away from the cap making it loose? There's a very easy way to fix that! Here's a picture-heavy tutorial with detailed steps showing how to bring your clip closer to the cap. Lets begin!

Note: Please use gentle care during this tutorial. Performing any of the steps improperly, or overdoing any of them can result in damage of your pen.

What you'll need for this tutorial:
A pair of scissors
A straw (the kind that you drink with)
A butter-knife or any other kind with a thin blade
An Esterbrook with a bent clip

Step #1 - Get out all of the listed materials for this tutorial. This Blue  J Esterbrook (in the picture) came to me with a lightly bent clip...

Step #2 - Examine your clip. This pens clip is bent upwards. This is a very not-severe case. This trick can work on much worse clips than this.

Step #3 - Using scissors, cut a piece of straw big enough to slide over and cover the whole clip. This will prevent the clip from scratching the surface of the pen during this process.

Step #4 - Slide the straw piece over the clip.

Step #5 - Insert the knife under the clip. I position it near wherever the bend is. This bend was near the base of the clip so that's why the knife is positioned there.

Step #6 - Turn the knife slightly upward. What this does is bend the clip upward and create a pivot point where the blade meets the clip.

Step #7 - The, while maintaining slight upward pressure on the knife, gently push down on the end of the clip.

Step #8 - Examine the pen. If it needs more bending then go for another pass. If you accidentally bent it to much then flip the pen over and press the clip against a flat surface such as a table. This will bring it back into shape. If all goes well then you're done! Your Esterbrook should now stay securely in your pocket like it was manufactured to do so.

Hope this helps any of you out there with loose Esterbrook clips! Please drop me a comment and tell me what you think of this tip/trick tutorial!

Best Regards,
777 - Tyler Dahl


  1. Thanks for the tutorial and photos---very useful! There is an alternate way to fix a bent Esterbrook clip using a common house/lock key. I read about it on FPN:
    Similar principle, but one less tool needed :)

  2. You're most welcome!

    I actually designed this tutorial because of the one on FPN. Though it requires less tools it's a bit more, perhaps unsafe. Some keys are to thick and others are to sharp to be jamming under your clip and twisting.

    I think the butter knife eliminates most of these problems provided that you:
    1 - use the drinking-straw piece
    2 - when twisting with the knife, ensure that the non-serrated edge is pushing against the pen.

    Either way both work well!

    777 - Tyler Dahl

  3. ..or use a non-serrated knife to begin with, eh? ;)

    In any case, great tutorial and photos...and I agree that a high degree of caution is warranted in pen repairs!
    Cheers ~Maja

  4. Tyler, thank you so much for this new "tech"(refering to video), sharing your knowlegde is very kind all your videos are very explicit. Now i have a quetion about this tutorial does not the knife dent the cap of the pen when you "create a pivot point"?
    Please continuo with your work I woul like to se diassembling a aerometric "51" since icould see the vacumatic thanks to you.

  5. You're most welcome for the video!

    No, the Esterbrook plastic is sturdy enough, where with moderate pressure, it will not deform in any way. I suppose with a lot of force it could dent. But anything like fixing a clip wouldn't cause this type of pressure.

    An Aerometric 51 has the exact same front end as a vac-51. The only difference is the filler unit. I'm not sure if/when I'll make a video of that. :)