The Fisher Space Pen is the best edc pen
- Length: 13.7 cm (5.3 in) open, 9.4 cm (3.7 in) closed
- Diameter: 9 mm (.35 in)
- Weight: 0.67 oz
- Tip size: Medium (1.1 mm); Fine (.9 mm) and Broad (1.3 mm) refills available)
- Model: 400 bullet style
- Pen Colors: matte black, blueberry, brushed chrome, chrome, desert tan, fuchsia, gold, lime green, pink, pink ribbon, purple, red cherry
- Ink refill colors available
: Black, Blue, Brown, Burgundy Red, Green, Red, Purple, Silver, Turquoise Blue (You can buy Fisher Space Pen refills here)
- List price: $22
The Fisher Space Pen is the most successful edc pen in history. It’s been around in various versions for over 50 years. Not only is it the most popular choice for everyday carry, it is also one of the most highly rated. It can write anywhere, including in the rain, upside-down and in space. The pen can handle temperature extremes down to -30 degrees C and up to 250 degrees. Its light weight and small size make it extremely portable, while its smooth “bullet” shape gives it a distinctive look and feel. These factors combine to make the Fisher Space Pen the most popular gift pen in the world.
How the Fisher Space Pen is made
What makes this pen space worthy is its patented pressurized ink cartridge. The cartridge is hermetically sealed and filled with two main elements. First is a thixotropic (any gel-like substance that can turn liquid under pressure, such as toothpaste or ketchup) ink which remains a non-liquid gel when the pen is not in use, which is why the Fisher Space Pen doesn’t leak. Second, behind the ink is compressed nitrogen gas which pushes the ink toward the writing end. Third, a sliding float separates the ink from the nitrogen. At the writing end of the pen is a hardened tungsten carbide ball. When one writes, pressure is applied to the tungsten carbide ball, which turns the ink to liquid and allows the pen to write. And the pressurized gas in the back of the cartridge will push the ink out even when the pen is upside down. This the secret to all Space Pens.
Space Pen Usage and Carry
When closed the Fisher Space Pen is less than 4 inches long, so it can fit anywhere. You can easily carry one in your pants and forget its there. Some people prefer front pocket carry, while others like back pocket carry. You can just as easily carry the pen in a shirt or jacket pocket. Just beware, these smooth shiny pens have a habit of slipping to the bottom of your pockets or entirely out of your pockets quite easily. I suggest the popular matte black finished pen which has a rougher surface and will be more likely to stay where you put it. Additionally, these round little pens roll around and off your desk quite easily, and just as easily can disappear into your sofa. I have heard them called “escape artists”. But if you can keep your pen under control, it will last for up to 30.7 miles of writing, according to the Fisher Pen company.
These pens are perfect for your various emergency bags, such as your day bag, get home bag, bug out bag, and so on. Whatever emergency you face, the Fisher Space Pen will be there for you. They excel in writing upside down, underwater, in a vacuum, on wet paper, on greasy paper, on shiny/glossy paper, even on wood. They have durably survived trips through the washing machine, the dryer and been driven over by cars. Not to mention the whole space travel thing.
One special use of the Fisher Space Pen is in self-defense. The pen is certainly not “tactical” and won’t scare anyone into submission, but that can be a plus. If you get into a fight with a tactical pen some police departments and prosecutors will claim that you were intentionally looking for a fight. That ruins the whole self-defense angle. The truth is that any pen can be used in self-defense if you have the training. And while the Space Pen is small in the hand at 3.7 inches, the average palm size is 3.3 inches for a man and 2.9 inches for a woman, so you can certainly use it in combat. The smooth ends of the Space Pen are great for striking the soft flesh of an attacker’s thigh or arm so that you can escape to write again another day. But be warned, neck and head strikes are considered lethal attacks, use them at your legal peril. Regardless, your best chance of staying out of legal trouble is using a non-threatening pen rather than a tactical pen for self-defense. Finally, any place that restricts weapons, such as an airplane will never allow you to carry a tactical pen. But the wonderful little Space Pen can go anywhere.
The Space Pen is Art
The Fisher Space Pen on Seinfeld Season 3 Episode “The Pen”.
Additionally, Carl Reiner has given one of the pens to both Johnny Carson and Jimmy Fallon on the air. There was even a documentary on TV showing how the Space Pens are made. Moreover, the Fisher Space Pen (Chrome Bullet version) has its own Industrial Art exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art based on its iconic design. When you carry a Fisher Space Pen in your edc kit, you carry a true piece of art and a constant conversation starter.
The NASA Myth
There is a myth that NASA spent a million dollars (in 1960’s money) on developing a pen that could be used in space, while the Russians settled for using common pencils. The story is not true. In fact, the space pen was developed by the private Fisher Pen Company at a cost of $1 million. Then, Fisher sold the 400 space pens to NASA at a reasonable price of $2.39 per pen in 1968. A year later the Russians bought a100 pens from Fisher for their space program as well.
Both space agencies knew that pencils in space were not optimal. The pencil leads are made of graphite which release small particles of graphite dust into the limited air of the spacecraft. This dust is not healthy to breathe, is flammable and can harm electronic equipment on board. Additionally, small pencil leads tend to break off the pencil and float about the cabin. Regular ink pens could not be used as they depend on gravity for the smooth flow of ink from the pen onto the paper. And gravity was one resource that neither the Russians nor the Americans had on their outer space flights. As a result, the Fisher Space Pen has been on every manned space flight for 50 years.
The Fisher Space Pen is an instrument like no other. For a nominal price, you can have a symbol one of the great American success stories and simultaneously be prepared for the apocalypse. It makes a great collectible or gift item as well. Go out and buy a truckload of Fisher Space Pens today!
What are your thoughts on Space Pens and the like? Please comment below.