Everyday Carry

How to Choose a Pen Tough Enough to EDC

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.

Ystudio Rollerball Pen

A hallmark of the best everyday carry essentials is the ability to stand the test of time. Ystudio crafts their rollerball pen using a durable blend of heavy duty metals that not only withstand daily wear and use, but also take on a beautiful patina while doing so. Crafted from brass, copper, and bronze, the pen imparts a pleasant heft and balance for a smoother writing experience. Its hexagonal barrel gives this writing instrument that timeless, industrial look, while preventing it from accidental rolling too. Grab this rollerball that'll last a lifetime in your carry at the link below.

BUY

Machine Era Solid Brass Pen

It’s no secret that we’re fans of putting pen to paper. The Brass Pen by Machine Era makes for a great pen to carry thanks to its shorter size, slim profile, and brushed finish. The rounded cap won’t poke you in the leg and the brushed finish will minimize scratches from the rest of the gear in your pocket. There are three rings carved into the middle of the pen body that add some welcomed design flair. This brass pen will age naturally with use, turning from a bright yellow to a rich golden brown. The threaded cap can be fitted to both the front and back of the pen, ensuring that you’ll never misplace it. If you’ve been looking for an everyday carry pen that stands out from the pack, check out this new, limited release from Machine Era.

BUY

Tactile Turn Brass Shaker

If you’ve been looking for an EDC pen that will last a lifetime, look no further. The Tactile Turn Shaker takes common Parker style refills and houses them in a pen that’s more comfortable to write with, sturdy enough for daily carry, and has a much higher cool-factor than cheap plastic. The Shaker is machined from a solid bar of brass, which will naturally age and pick up a beautiful patina. If you prefer your gear to look new and shiny, easily polish it up to a brilliant shine. Brass is a hefty material, but the custom lay pattern grip helps the writer hold on to the pen for precision writing. This pen will have no trouble holding up to everyday use for decades to come.

BUY

Penxo Pencil

A mechanical pencil without any springs, buttons, or actual mechanical parts, the Penxo Pencil is a Red Dot Award winning writing implement that’s probably better classified as a lead holder. Each Penxo is precision milled from a single block of aircraft grade aluminum and naturally clamps down on the contained 2mm lead thanks to its slightly tensioned design…

Mininch Tool Pen Mini

Hot on the heels of the Tool Pen comes the Mininch Tool Pen Mini, a brand new screwdriver that doesn’t simply use the same bits as the original. The aluminum Tool Pen Mini employs a similar Pop-A-Point design that lets you’d select bits like the push-up pencils of old, exposing their sizes and shapes through windows while cycling through…

Learn More via GearHungry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Buying Guide
7 79

15 EDC Essentials Under $15 Part 2

Rounding out your EDC doesn't always have to cost and arm and a leg. In the first installment of 15 Under $15, we showed that a complete and effective carry requires very little investment. If you've been feeling the pinch lately but still feeling the itch for new gear, here are some more of our affordable picks to keep both your carry and your wallet happy.

Cogent Titanium Pen

Although the custom pen market is starting to get a little crowded, Kickstarter veteran Magnus Macdonald has one more hat to throw into the ring. His newest project is his take on the minimalist titanium pen, which has its share of features to set it apart from the rest. Its cap snaps on instead of screws on for easier access and more streamlined manufacturing. Macdonald designed the clip to be stronger than the usual bolt-on offering by integrating it right into the cap. The Cogent is machined out of grade 5 titanium and accepts two different Mont Blanc refills. Backers have a little over a month to make their pledge for a pen in one of three finishes.

Learn More

Review
4 20

Ti2 TechLiner Shorty Review

If you’ve been following along with our Carry Smarter features, you should be familiar with the value of carrying a pen and the allure of titanium. In this review, we’ll give Ti2 Design’s TechLiner titanium pen a closer look. As a writer, I’m particular about my pens. As an EDCer, there’s no other metal I want my gear made from than titanium. So when Mike Bond and the masters of titanium at Ti2 Design sent over their take on the machined titanium EDC pen, I was intrigued. Maybe skeptical is a better word. The pen certainly didn’t look like other pens on the market. No clicky, but a cap instead? A short barrel? An exposed needle tip? Nonetheless, I slipped it into my pocket to begin “testing.” What started as a trial run turned into months of daily use...

Titanium: Understanding EDC's Precious Metal

Learn about one of the most desired "holy grail" materials in the EDC world, starting with an appreciation for classic titanium essentials in the first installment of this three-part primer in the Carry Smarter series.

How to Make Writing a Part of Your Daily Routine

We’ve given you several ideas involving the whys, hows, and whats of carry a notebook and pen. Now it’s time to take a look at some of the more premium pens, notebooks, and accessories. This installment of Carry Smarter touches on fountain pens, full-sized notebooks, some nice desk accessories and planners to wrap up our 3-part guide on writing analog. While each of these items may not exclusively be EDC’d, they are certainly useful on a daily basis and can easily become a part of your ritual.

Interview
3 17

Interview: Tom Medvedich, Photographer

Tom Medvedich is a New York-based commercial photographer who’s had some of the biggest names in basketball and hip-hop on the other side of his lens, such as LeBron James, Eminem, and 50 Cent, to name a few. Besides portraiture, he does still life photography for some of the finest luxury brands around. His unorthodox concepts impart character and complexity to his still life shots to produce stunning, well-executed, and compelling visuals. Join us in this interview as Tom walks us through his work, shows you how a pro takes an EDC photo, and speaks on his favorite gear in fantastic detail.
Since you shoot for so many different clients and you’re constantly changing it up between still life and portraiture, a day on the job must be really demanding...

Ancient Bog Oak Pens

There's something to be said about handcrafted tools. The finished product is a refined result of the maker's experience and skill, and holding it is holding a piece of that maker's history. Bourbon Pens is an online shop out of Alabama that specializes in working with upcycled materials, and their fourth project on Kickstarter makes use of a piece of history from the Earth itself. Ancient bog oak is between 4000 to 6000 years old, retrieved from peat bogs from England and Ireland. While the wood is buried, reactions with minerals preserve it from decay, causing it to harden and darken in the earliest stages of fossilization. Bourbon Pens have crafted this wood into a collection of seven modern pen designs, including a key fob canister, bullet pen, and fountain pen, all in the oak's rich, dark color, outfitted with chrome hardware, and utilizing common refills. Potential backers have just under two weeks to be a part of the wood's continuing legacy.

PRE-ORDER

Kaweco Liliput

Kaweco have taken the fine writing experience and scaled it down into one of the smallest fountain pens you can carry. With its aluminum body measuring in at just 3.81 in (91 mm) long when closed and weighing only 10 grams, the Liliput simply disappears in your pocket yet manages to fit standard ink cartridges. Its threaded cap can post onto the back of the pen, adding length for better balance and comfort when writing with its stainless steel nib. If the reason you haven't tried a fountain pen in your EDC was because of limited pocket space, you have no excuse now! You can grab a Liliput at the link below and pair it with your favorite pocket notebook to really step up your jot game.

BUY NOW

The Graphis by MC Fabrications

At first glance, the Graphis is a simple mechanical pencil. It's a nice, compact size for EDC under 5" and with a 1/2" diameter, has a removable clip, and is machined out of one of five materials including carbon fiber and titanium. Its hidden ability, however, is its lead-swapping mechanism. When the top of the pencil is pushed the internal clutch system releases the lead, making it fast and easy to change writing tips. In addition to a number of choices for lead color and weight, the Graphis also includes an ink adapter which takes common D1 refills available from many bookstores and brands, and a stylus insert for your touchscreen device. MC Fabrications out of North Aurora, IL are presenting the Graphis as their third Kickstarter project, and backers have plenty of options for body material and add-ons.