Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen Review

The Sailor 1911L lives up to Sailor’s reputation for incredibly smooth nibs.

This fountain pen adds to their reputation as a smooth writer with its 21K gold nib and incredibly smooth writing experience. There just aren’t the appropriate adjectives to describe the smooth-as-silk experience here. I’ll try…

Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen
  • Timeless Design
  • 21K Gold Nib is Unsurpassed On Smoothness
  • The Nib: No Feedback, Smooth Glider
  • Consistent Performance Across All Types of Paper
  • Screw On Cap – Delays Writing Time

Watch Me Test Drive A Sailor

Design of the Sailor 1911L

The Sailor 1911L is a beautiful resin pen, I used the black with gold trim finish. The fountain pen is entirely black with three gold rings at both ends and the cap band.

The 1911L is available in these finishes:

  • Black (Gold or Silver Trim)
  • Maroon
  • Black Matte

It’s also available in these nib sizes:

  • EF Extra-Fine
  • Fine
  • MF Medium-Fine
  • Medium
  • Broad
  • Zoom
  • Music
Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen

The nib on this pen is slightly larger than the 1911S which is the Standard size, this is the Large size.

Not only is it larger, but it’s also 21K gold, where the S is 14K gold and yes, you can feel the difference, absolutely.

I may not have noticed such a stark contrast if I hadn’t used them the same day. I actually made a writing sample of each (below in performance section) and used them back-to-back on the same page to try and figure out what the difference was that I felt. I kept gravitating back to this pen after using the S because it’s just a beautiful writer. I WANTED to write with it. I had five fountain pens nearby, some a couple of hundred dollars more than this one, and the 1911L is the one I wanted to continue to carry to try and find a weakness for you and to enjoy the writing experience.

What it boiled down to was this fountain pen having the smoothest nib I’ve written with yet and the 1911S having a slightly less smooth (yet still buttery) finish.

There’s nothing wrong with the S, it’s a fantastically smooth writer too. But you can feel the difference, and you’ll pay for what you feel, the L retails for double (yes, you read that right) what the S retails for. But this pen is just so much more… well… awesome. There’s just not a better adjective.

Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen

Sailor 1911L Performance

The Sailor 1911L is the all around renaissance man of a pen. It’s stout (but not obnoxiously large,) it performs well on all types of paper, and it performs well in at all speeds.

You can kick out a hasty note writing fast and furious and the ink supply keeps up, or you can meander through your thoughts and it’s happy to please.

Impress it will though. It’s classy design, exquisite feel, gorgeous 21K nib, it’s a stunner, but it’s a stunner that holds its own in the performance department.

Although it’s not truly a flex nib, it has enough give to add character and if you write enough, you can see the emotion in your own writing just by the character of the lines, pressure of the strokes, etc. I can see in my notes where I rushed, where I carefully crafted my thoughts and where I was brain-dumping thoughts to paper to get it all out. All of that shows up not only in your penmanship but in the character of the lines a great nib lays down.

This is it folks. This pen is Superman. They should make a navy with red trim finish to highlight that fact.  Now if it could only do laundry…

Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen

Writing With the Sailor 1911L on Anything and Everything

I tested the Sailor 1911L fountain pen on journal paper, notebook paper, printer paper, receipts, I literally used it everywhere for a week and a half because I just wanted to. This is a pen to own and use everywhere, it’s not a pocket queen only to whip out for signing checks to impress people.

I wrote a full page of notes on notebook paper about the pen itself to help inspire me to write this review and there was no bleed-through to the back of notebook paper. It’s not a wet or dry writer, it’s a perfect writer. If you want a thicker line, press harder, thinner, let up… the nib responds.

The only drawback I could find that isn’t the pen, but Sailor ink, was that the ink takes slightly longer to dry than most so Sailor ink isn’t for leftys and it will smudge if you accidentally drag your wrist across it within a minute. Not a big deal to me, just something to be aware of.

Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen

How Big is the Sailor 1911L? I mean is it HUGE?


It’s not huge, but it sure is big. This one weighs in at three-quarters of an ounce, right on the money for a resin fountain pen and easily portable in a shirt pocket.

The cap is less than half its weight as it should be, but that doesn’t tell the full story, this is one well-balanced pen. A Parker Sonnet rivals this pen in terms of balance, they’re both top tier fountain pens.

There’s nothing a 1911L will leaving you wanting for except a pull off cap. If this baby had a pull off cap, I’d officially be in an intense and serious love affair with this fountain pen. That would pose a problem because I love them all so much I can’t stay tied down to just one… right now… maybe one day.

Rest assured this Sailor isn’t fat, it’s a middleweight boxing champion and its dreamy nib will capture your heart on top of its fierce performance. Or maybe I should reference Popeye due to his anchor tattoo and fierce performance.


  • 132mm Capped
  • 10mm widest point on body
  • 8mm grip point
  • .75 ounces total weight
  • 114mm uncapped
  • 13mm widest point on raised cap band
  • .30 ounces cap weight
  • Wish I had one more measurement for balance 🙂
Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen


The Sailor 1911L comes with everything you see below in a gift box.

What’s interesting about Sailor cartridges is they flex. I haven’t experienced that with other brands, but you can squeeze it right in the center and force air down to the vent hole when you swap cartridges, what a creative feature.

The cartridges are smaller than many other brands, so if you plan to use cartridges, just prepare to re-ink more often than other brands. I love inking my pens, so it’s not a big deal, but you may prefer cartridges or there’s a model called the REALO that Sailor makes that’s the 1911S pen but outfitted as a piston-fill.


Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen

Overall Value Sailor 1911L

Who is this fountain pen best for? Everyone.

Yes it’s a little bigger than many pens, but the grip point is 8mm which is average so it doesn’t FEEL bigger like a Sheaffer Legacy does.

It is such a well designed fountain pen. The nib is buttery smooth. If you want a nib with a little feedback, this pen is not for you. But if you want the pen to glide across the page so well you wonder if you are touching the paper at all, the 1911L is your fountain pen. It’s an excellent gift pen, although I’d recommend giving this gift to yourself. You’ll be so glad you did!

Get a price on the Sailor 1911L on Amazon. Still not convinced? I respect that… Check out my review of the Sailor 1911L v. Montblanc 149. Hang onto your hat, that is a wild ride!

Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen