Because they’re designed with durability in mind, EDC pens tend to be on the bulky side. Their overbuilt construction ends up getting in the way more than it enhances the actual writing experience. With successful campaigns like the Tactical Marker under their belt, Spiffy Lab sets out to offer a lighter EDC pen alternative with their latest Kickstarter project, the CF2. This rugged pen is made up of lightweight carbon fiber for strength, accented with aircraft grade aluminum on the grip, tail, and cap for added durability. The result is a substantial pen that's not overly heavy or unwieldy. An extra-wide clip securely holds the pen on a bag, in a pocket, attached to a belt, or even on a carabiner. The cap and grip feature ample knurling for both a robust look and improved grip, especially when wearing gloves. The CF2 accommodates the ultra-smooth, readily available Pilot G2 refill— perfect for everyday writing tasks. Secure one for yourself in anodized black, bright aluminum, tellurium copper or aluminum-bronze via the Kickstarter link below.
With most modern note taking happening electronically, it's refreshing to find a pen that combines the best aspects of modern tech design with the usefulness of a traditional writing utensil. Milled from a single piece of aluminum, The Baron Fig Squire is shorter than a traditional pen to better fit your pocket. Its precision-weighted design balances comfortably on the index finger, reducing the strain of writing without the need for a dedicated grip section. The Squire's minimalist design also integrates a twist mechanism that releases and retracts the writing tip, making a separate cap unnecessary. The end result is a pen that looks great, writes comfortably, and sits unobtrusively in your pocket. You can secure a Squire in silver or charcoal at its fully-funded Kickstarter campaign below.Learn More
Let’s face it—a good, affordable EDC pen is hard to come by. It seems that even the most popular pen options have their drawbacks: plastic construction, flimsy pocket clips, or inconvenient screw caps. Everyman returns to Kickstarter with their answer, the Grafton. It’s a clicky pen that aims to reinvent what an affordable EDC pen can be. Constructed from solid aluminum, the Grafton offers improved durability over ordinary plastic pens. Everyman included ergonomic touches like a fully balanced body and a subtle grooved grip section for comfort and control. The pen also features a heavy-duty, brass bolt-on clip that’s perfect for use on both shirt and pants pockets. You can personalize your writing experience using the included refill sizing kit that accommodates Pilot G2 and Fisher Space Pen refills. If you want a full-featured EDC pen that won't break the bank, check out the Grafton at their Kickstarter below.
The gear market is flooded with countless tactical pens and multitools, but many of them are either basic in design or not very versatile. The Tactful (Tactical) Pen & Tool by JP-Tac is an EDC combo that offers an ideal balance of form and function. The Tactful Pen, constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum, houses a tried and tested, write-anywhere Fisher Space Pen refill. It seamlessly incorporates three extra tools in its design: a screw-off whistle at the top of the cap, a fire starting rod in the middle section, and a tungsten steel glass breaker (with fire rod scraper) located at the bottom. For even more functionality in a similar design, there's the Tactful Tool. It’s a practically bombproof take-anywhere multitool that contains an all-purpose stainless steel pry tool and bit driver. Its convenient on-board bit storage allows you to carry two double-sided magnetic-tip bits of your choice. If you're looking to streamline your EDC while adding functionality and style, you can pledge for the combo at their Kickstarter below.
Even if you’ve kept up with all the machined pens on the market, chances are you haven’t seen anything like the Tipe. At first glance, it looks pretty typical of a quality EDC pen. It’s got a solid titanium construction, Pilot G2 refill compatibility (and Fisher Space Pen refills too, with some modding), and a pocket clip. But actually using the Tipe is a different story. It deploys with what The Tin Mill calls “helical bolt-action,” blurring the lines between a pen cap, double helix, pocket clip, twisty, and bolt-action mechanism. This complex engineering improves the pen's durability and functionality (while possibly bordering on mad-scientist levels of innovation, too). If you’re after a sleek, striking, and novel pen, the Tipe is worth a look. Hit up their Kickstarter page to see how it works and secure one in black or natural titanium for your EDC.
Tuff Writer’s Mini-Click may just be the perfect clicky pen. With a history of making large retractable pens, the Mini-Click is their smallest and lightest to date, though it’s still well balanced and fits nicely in your hand. At its heart is a custom Swiss-machined advancing mechanism milled out of 416 stainless steel, making it harder and more reliable than literally every other advancing mechanism out there…
If you want the absolutely smoothest pen to write with, chances are you’d have to reach for a fountain pen. The problem with those, though, is that they’re usually too delicate to keep in your pocket. The new Tactile Turn Gist was designed with EDC in mind to be a smooth fountain pen that you can carry with confidence. It’s available in either a lightweight polycarbonate or an even more durable solid metal body, complete with metal accents and grip. When in use, the threaded cap securely posts on the end of the body for balance, comfort and convenience. The pen’s most unique feature is the Tactile Turn signature ridged pattern. It spans the entire pen, giving you superb grip and control. An included ink converter, sturdy pocket clip, and many other features make it a truly pocket-friendly fountain pen. Ditch your scratchy pen for something smoother. Get the Gist in your favorite body/nib configuration at the Kickstarter below.
A fusion of the classic fountain pen with contemporary, unadulterated design, you’d never guess that the Nova Minimal Fountain Pen hid a fountain nib under its screw on cap. Each Nova is precision machined from either a solid block of titanium or aluminum, the latter in either Comet Grey or Stain Black, for a stunning yet simple aesthetic…
Wouldn’t it be awesome if your pen could do all the writing for you? The Memori Pen from Tanner Goods can't exactly do all the work, but its hefty build makes writing with it nearly effortless. Their newest version is locally machined in Portland from solid stainless steel with a tight fit and finish throughout. Writing is smooth thanks to its weight, balance in hand, and proven Pilot G2 ink refill. The cap pops off to reveal a large, ridged grip section that gives control without biting into your fingers. It’s durable enough to last for ages, but take caution when carrying it around as it lacks some pocket-friendly features like a clip and screw-tight cap. Even still, from the moment you uncap it at your desk, you’ll see this pen means business.
Starting with a block of solid brass, Tanner Goods’ Memori Solid Brass Pen slowly comes into being, milled step by step by machinists in Portland, Oregon. The resulting writing implement is satisfyingly hefty and can fittingly be described as the antonym of disposable, with a build that’s unlikely to ever kick the bucket or need replacing…
Not all pens are equipped for EDC use. One2TenCNC paid close attention to detail when making the TiScribe, resulting in a truly pocket-friendly pen with all the right features for EDC. Its seamless, compact design is short enough for effortless carry, but still comfortable to use. It’s machined from materials like high-polish titanium, copper, and brass for a durable construction that looks better after continued hard use. Unlike other pens with flimsy steel pocket clips that bend or snap, the TiScribe secures to your pocket using a grade 5 titanium clip held firmly in place by a set screw. You can choose a smoother writing experience in their fountain pen unit, or opt for the utility of a write-anywhere Fisher Space pen refill version for your carry at their Kickstarter campaign below.
Update: This contest is now over. Thanks for participating! Congratulations to Mike G for scoring this sweet writing gear package.Who else loves free EDC gear? Every week or so, we'll be giving away prize packages full of interesting gear we get our hands on, or very special single item prizes for you to win.This week's package includes a some lesser-known write-anywhere pens, bags and pouches to organize your daily loadout, and one of my personal favorite notebooks. Special thanks to JetPens for helping us get these hard-to-find goods into your hands.We’ll run the giveaway for a week. Good luck everyone, and carry on!Make sure you're logged in, then head over to our giveaway page for your chance to win the following:Nomadic WT18 Wise Walker Tote Bag: An urban daily carry bag popular in the bustling cities of Japan, this tote seems to have a pocket for everything! ($81)Lihit Lab Teffa Pen Case: A book-style pouch for storing and protecting pens, but with plenty of straps and compartments for other small gear. ($18)Pilot Down Force Ballpoint Pen: It's a pressurized pen capable of writing at any angle on wet surfaces, but with a clicky top for quicker jotting. ($7)Tombow AirPress Ballpoint Pen: Another pressurized write-anywhere pen for getting work done in even extreme conditions. ($10)Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook: A superbly made notebook for the modern professional with some of the best paper you'll write on...
Machine Era made a strong first impression among the EDC community with their elegantly utilitarian minimalist wallet. Since then, they've been expanding their product line with the same design language and precise craftsmanship to other daily essentials. They now offer a black anodized aluminum version of their machined pen. It has the same pocketable form factor, rugged construction, threaded cap, and crowd-favorite Pilot G2 refill of their original brass version, but opts for light weight over heft for those of you who find your pockets on the heavy side. Don't worry, brass fans, Machine Era debuted a solid brass quick release keychain fitted with 10 lb pull neodymium magnets to give your keys and tools security, accessibility, and a bit of bling factor to boot.
Investing in a quality writing instrument has plenty of benefits, and an especially tough pen can easily last a lifetime. In this installment of Carry Smarter, you’ll discover what to look for to make sure your next pen is built to last, and what types of pens might best suit your needs. Lastly, we list 8 of the toughest pens you can buy to make your search (and next writing session) go smoothly.