Pens

The Best Bolt-Action Pens for 2018

So you want to carry a pen, but you're worried about it leaking or breaking? Those are valid concerns that rule out so many pens as EDC options because they're not durable, pocket-friendly, and easy to use enough for EDC. We suggest a “bolt action” style pen, which draws inspiration from the channel and bolt system of a rifle to extend, lock, and retract the refill. Bolt action keeps your pen from accidentally extending in the pocket, avoiding leaks. They're usually built from EDC-worthy metals for durability, not to mention the action itself is fun to fidget with. In this round-up, we're highlighting a few new bolt action pens from 2018 as well as some tried-and-true classic picks.

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Zerohour Apex Bolt Action Pen

"Zerohour’s Apex Bolt is a titanium ballpoint bolt action pen. It uses Fisher Space pen cartridges, so it can write underwater and upside down. It also has a ceramic tip for breaking glass, and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Nitecore NTP20 Tactical Pen

When you want to carry a truly tactical pen, it should be one that excels at both writing and self-defense tasks. But too often, what we get focuses on one task over the other. You might find something closer to a kubotan that can sort of scribble something down, or decent jotters that are tactical in aesthetics only. Nitecore's new NTP20 tactical pen aims to strike the perfect balance. Their updated pen design gives you a versatile writing tool that fits your everyday needs while giving you the edge you need to defend yourself or get out of an emergency situation.

As a pen, the NTP20 is quite versatile. It's compatible with eight different ink refills, from Parker to Schneider as well as Apex and Senator cartridges. This gives you a wide range of inks and ink styles to choose from, letting you set up the NTP20 to write the way you want it. The body of the pen is made out of a premium titanium alloy which also helps keep the pen light in hand and in pocket weighing only 1.33 ounces. And at six inches long, it's not too big to carry around.  It even has a streamlined clip at the top to aid in pocket carry, with a ceramic ball underneath that makes for a smooth draw that doesn't catch upon your clothing.

The lightness of the pen makes it easy to write with as well, and the grip areas channeled into the body also help you keep your hands on it. Those same grip surfaces help the NTP20 perform its tactical functions. The shape of the pen and its added length give added leverage during defensive use, while its ultra-hard tungsten tip can break glass in an emergency situation.

The attractive styling of the Nitecore NTP20 draws less attention to its tactical applications when you're writing with it or carrying it, making it easier to EDC as well. Grab one for your loadout at the link below.

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Klarus TP20 Penlight

When you think of a penlight, you probably picture a flashlight that's long and slim like its namesake: the humble pocket pen. The convenient form factor makes it both easy to carry and use for up-close inspection work. With their new TP20, Klarus made the penlight even better by taking the name literally. They've combined a rugged titanium tactical pen with a powerful LED flashlight in a lightweight, streamlined design. Now you can write and light with just a single tool in your EDC.

The Klarus TP20's precision CNC-machined titanium body makes it far more discreet than other tactical pens with sharp edges and aggressive styling. While it may not look the part, it's still a useful tactical pen thanks to the tungsten strike bezel that helps with aggressive poking and prodding. It also pulls escape tool duty, doubling as an emergency glass breaker.

And during normal use, you'll find that the TP20 is worthy on its own as a writing implement. A grip section channeled into the side of the body makes the pen easy to hold when jotting things down. The pen accommodates both Schmidt P950M and Fisher space pen pressurized ink cartridges, so it's ready to write anywhere, anytime as well. At 5.9” long it's not too big for your pockets and only weighs an impressive 1.62 ounces when you consider it comes with a light on the back end.

But it's the built-in penlight that sets the TP20 apart. The top of the pen contains a light module featuring a CREE XP-G3 LED that has a max output of 130 lumens.  It'll throw that light out to about 98 feet, with a runtime of a half hour thanks to its micro-USB rechargeable 10180 battery. A simple twist of the crown of the light lets you switch the light on and off, and choose between high and low modes. That low mode brings the light down to a much more economical 8 lumens, extending its useful life to a full five hours.

The TP20's pen and light combination is already novel, but it's also important to note that you can take them apart as well.  By simply unscrewing the light from the pen assembly, you can use both independently from each other when the situation demands it.

The Klarus TP20 marries everything good about having a penlight and a tactical pen into one convenient and useful package. Free up your pockets, consolidate your carry, and pick one of these up for yourself today at the link below.

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Akinak Titanium Tactical Pen

"We love the grippy texture on the body of WarmKnives‘ handmade writing instrument. This particular pen is made entirely of titanium, which makes it durable and..." (via TheAwesomer)

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Fenix Halberd T5Ti Tactical Pen

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. But all too often with tactical pens, designers take that as a challenge. What you get is less of a writing instrument and more of an intimidation tool that draws way too much unwanted attention. The new Fenix T5Ti Halberd tactical pen is different. It's the perfect choice for someone who wants to carry a tactical pen a bit more discreetly. It features a useful tactical design made of premium materials that also looks as good as it writes.

It all starts with the Fenix Halberd's CNC-finished TC4 titanium alloy body. It has a thoughtful ergonomic shape that sits well in your hand as you write. Unlike most tactical pens, it's not blacked out and covered in wicked sharp edges. To the untrained eye, the Halberd will look like a classy pen in your hand, and that's a good thing. At 5.4 inches long, it's the right size for both writing and tactical use. The titanium construction lets it remain lightweight in your pockets at a mere 1.4 ounces. It's also strong and resistant against the elements, making it a pen that you can take anywhere. And because of its pressurized Schmidt P950M ink cartridge, you can write anywhere with it too.

Plus, the machined grip surfaces on the body give you solid control even when things get wet or slippery. That's important for tactical use, which brings us to the other half of the equation. The solid construction of the pen lets you leverage it as a striking tool. It also features a tungsten strike bezel tip that can help when you need to poke and prod in an aggressive manner. The strong tip also functions as a glass breaker, making the pen useful as a rescue tool in an emergency.

If you're looking for a defensive tactical pen that can look good and write well, the Fenix Halberd is for you. It's available in grey, blue, and purple titanium finishes. You can pick one up bundled with Fenix's legendary bombproof E01 flashlight at the link below.

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Makerset Field Pen Compact

For some essentials, bigger doesn't always mean better. Take it from the team behind Machine Era, who has only improved its durable metal EDC gear by shaving off ounces and inches with every new product. They're continuing the trend under a new name, Makerset, with their smallest pen to date. Don't let its size fool you—the new Field Pen Compact is big on features despite its smaller shape. It manages to fit everything you'd want from an EDC pen like full metal construction, multiple refill compatibility, and a precision click mechanism into a tiny, pocket-friendly design.

True to its name, the Field Pen Compact measures in at just 4.19” long. It's short enough to fit into more places in your carry, but long enough to rest comfortably in the hand. Combined with the natural heft of its brass or stainless steel construction, it strikes a nice balance when writing.

Comfort and balance aren't the only things that factor into a great writing experience: the type of ink refill matters too. The Field Pen Compact accommodates D1 cartridges, including write-anywhere pressurized refills like you'd find in a Fisher Space Pen. You can also swap out refills easily thanks to the Compact's quick change cartridge assembly that's accessible in seconds with a quick twist.

The Field Pen Compact even sports a click mechanism, which is impressive when you consider its size. The metal-on-metal click mechanism also comes with a lifetime warranty in the rare event it breaks from regular use. Rounding out its features is a high-strength aluminum pocket clip for easy pocket carry that doubles as an anti-roll feature.

You can pre-order your own Field Pen Compact in brass, stainless steel, or black DLC at the fully funded Kickstarter before the project ends on Saturday, 12pm PDT at the link below.

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