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Fisher Space Pens are known for using pressurized ink cartridges. This lets ink flow at any angle, at almost any temperature, and even in space1!
It’s also a tough little tool, being made from durable brass. That brass can be covered in a variety of finishes, such as chrome or matte black.
The Bullet is on the smaller size so it fits in your pocket without poking you when you set. The cap posts on the end so it’s a full-size pen when you’re writing with it so its small form isn’t a negative factor.
All this good stuff means it has to be expensive, right?
Actually, the Bullet is fairly inexpensive for such a high-quality pen, and you can pick one up for under $30!
The Uzi Tactical Bolt Action Pen is great for anybody who wants a simple yet effective EDC bolt action pen that can also be used as a self-defense weapon in a pinch.
Best Fountain Pen for EDC – HongDian Black Forest
Honestly, I’m a fountain pen enthusiast. Whenever I can, I use a fountain pen instead of a ballpoint, rollerball, or gel pen.
The smooth writing, minimal writing pressure, lack of waste, variety of inks, and just plain good feeling you get when writing with a fountain means one is never far from my hands.
However, my most commonly used pen (a 1.1mm stub nibbed TWSBI ECO currently inked with Diamine Skull and Roses) is made of a bulky and somewhat-fragile clear acrylic body. I don’t want to risk losing or breaking this fine pen, or having its nib bent by someone borrowing it.
Twisting the pen to retract the point is a bit finicky
Who's it For?
The Uzi Defender Tactical Pen is an excellent addition to your kit if you need to travel in sketchy areas but are unable or unwilling to carry a firearm to defend yourself. Though, it’s a backup weapon at best.
Best Titanium Pen for EDC – Fisher Space Pen AG7-BTN
Titanium, despite its reputation as a wonder metal, isn’t a good material for making pen bodies.
However, it is a great material for covering other metals.
The Fisher Space Ben AG7-BTN takes uses a black titanium nitride finish to upgrade the solid brass body, making for a hefty-feeling and damage-resistant pen.
Like many pens, the AG7-BTN uses Fisher pressurized refills.
This lets you choose the color you want along with your preferred point size. Plus, you get the ability to write in any orientation.
Pressurized ink cartridge capability without being expensive
Won’t hurt the bank when you drop it in the wilderness and have to replace it
Not as durable as a pen with a metal body
Who's it For?
Uni-Ball Power Tank pens are great for when you want to be able to write in the rain but don’t want to feel pain when you drop your pen in the marsh.
What to Look for When Choosing a Pen for Everyday Carry
EDC pens have to accomplish two objectives:
Last long enough for you to write with them
They don’t have to look fancy or anything silly like that.
For much of my life, this meant my EDC pen was a Pilot Precise V5. I still have a few, in fact.
Some people like their pens to also be viable self-defense tools, a third objective.
Let’s look at each of these objectives.
A pen that won’t write is useless in its intended role.
The standard for EDC pens is a ballpoint tip fueled by pressurized ink. This removes gravity from the equation so you can write at any angle.
More importantly, though, such pens can write under wet conditions.
Anybody who works or spends lots of time outdoors will want a good pen with pressurized ink so a bit of mud or rain doesn’t stop them from taking notes.
Fisher makes the most famous of these ink cartridges, though other manufacturers have stepped up to fill in this niche as well.
If, however, you don’t tend to find yourself writing on a soggy notebook, you can pay more attention to writing comfort.
Gel and rollerball pens are similar to ballpoints but require less pressure on the page, reducing writing strain.
And, if you want to enter into another hobby, fountain pens continue to provide a smooth writing experience no disposable pen can provide. They take maintenance and care, though, and dry out faster than other pens.
An EDC pen has to be able to withstand your day-to-day life.
This is why so many pens with the label “EDC” are made of aluminum, brass, steel, or titanium.
The importance of metal in your pen is overstated.
A good plastic pen can withstand a year’s worth of abuse. It may not look as nice afterward but it’ll continue to write.
That said, there is something nice about using a pen with good weight.
Just don’t get caught up in the hype about stronger materials. Their advantages are more often in the manufacturer’s bank account.
Thick aluminum is good enough, though brass is better.
A good self-defense pen will be strong enough for you to jam it into an assailant’s pressure point to get them to stop attacking you. A great one will have a dedicated strike end and will include design elements to improve your grip.
This means a good, all-metal pen can be either a pain-compliance tool or a striking weapon2.