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Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to determine what size Esterbrook you have...

So, by now most of us know that there are three different sizes in the Esterbrook J series. The J, LJ and SJ. For many at first these terms are confusing and it can be hard to tell the difference between them. For us with more experience it can still be hard to tell what the difference is when were looking for Esterbrooks "in the wild". Auction sites often have very cheap picture quality and lacking descriptions making determining which model you're looking at very difficult to do. Here I'm going to describe some tips and tricks to finding out what model is which when you don't have another Esterbrook or a ruler to compare it to.

First, a description of each size and it's exact measurements.
Esterbrook J - This is the largest pen in the J series. This pen is the thickest and longest of all three. It measures 5" when capped.

Esterbrook LJ- This is second down in size from the J. It's as long as the J measuring 5" but it's thinner than the J model.

Esterbrook SJ - This is the "baby" of the J family. It's thin like the LJ but it's also shorter than the J and LJ. It measures 4 3/4" when capped.

So, now comes the hard part: determining which is which when you have no reference handy. Here's the secrets:

Here are the three sizes compared. Not to hard to tell when they're right next to each other. Left to right: J, LJ, SJ.

Just an FYI: Red J, Copper LJ, and another Red SJ.

Here are the pens uncapped. The LJ and SJ caps are almost identical.

Alright, time for trick #1. The jewels. This only applies to the J pen. If you look closely at the Red J (on the left) you'll notice that the cap jewel is bigger than the barrel jewel.

How about an up-close shot. There's a substantial difference here. This is one easy way to tell if you have a J on your hands. This method never fails.

Now for the real giveaway secret: The levers.

Here is a J lever. The lever is almost the exact same size as the distance from the end of the lever to the jewel.

Here's an LJ lever. Same thing as the J, the length of the end of the lever to the jewel is the same as the length of the lever.

Now here is the SJ. The lever length is longer than the distance between the lever-end and the jewel.

So here's the keys to remember. Do these in order and by the end you'll know exactly what model you have.
- First, check the jewels. If the top jewel is bigger than the barrel jewel, it's a J.
- If the jewels are the same size then you've already cut out one option. So now you must find out if its an LJ or SJ. The easiest way to do this is check the lever to lever-jewel ratio (as I call it).

That's it! With these "techniques" you should be able to determine the model of almost every Esterbrook you come across.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
777 - Tyler Dahl

12 comments:

  1. Hey, I didn't know that. That is good to know.

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  2. Useful information. Thanks very much!

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  3. You're most welcome! Glad you found it useful.

    Regards,
    777 - Tyler Dahl

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad you were able to learn something! That's what these tip/tricks are for!

    Regards,
    777 - Tyler Dahl

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  5. Nice tutorial--this will be very helpful. Thanks!

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  6. You're most welcome! Glad it's been helpful to you!

    Regards,
    777 - Tyler Dahl

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great job helping to identify the difference.

    How do you tell if it is a transitional?

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  8. Hello TMac327,

    Determining a transitional is this easy: A trans. will have no bottom jewel on the barrel. It will just come to a flat end. Don't get it mixed up with dollar pens though. The trans. will have a normal Esterbrook clip while a dollar pen has the two-hole clip.

    See these pictures of both a transitional (the grey one) and a dollar pen (the black one):


    Regards,
    777 - Tyler Dahl

    ReplyDelete
  9. Useful, easy and well-thought-out. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're most welcome! Glad it was useful.

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  11. The info on the lever length was new to me. Thanks. Now I do not have to pack my Esties to every auction and estate sale I go to.

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  12. You're most welcome! It is very helpful for me when browsing certain online auction sites with very poor photos. :)

    Regards,
    777 - Tyler Dahl

    ReplyDelete