Pens

These days, more and more pens being designed specifically with EDC in mind. An ideal EDC pen has a small footprint, is built to last, and can easily be carried. Lots of EDC pens allow the cap to fit onto the back of the pen (or “post”) to extend an otherwise short pen into something comfortable to write with. Several designs integrate keychain loops so that you never leave the house without a pen on you.

Tactical pens are seen in plenty of tactical and survivalist EDCs, and for good reason. Extending their usefulness beyond writing, many tactical pens double as glass breakers and self defense tools for emergencies. Design details on tactical pens include aggressively knurled sections and ridges for grip, at least one pointed end, and refills that can write under the harshest conditions.

Not all pens have to be “tactical” to be tough. Several makers improve upon your favorite everyday pen by machining new bodies entirely from metal. These pens have more heft, a premium feel in hand, and increased duratbility that blow disposable plastic pens out of the water. Machined pens can accept tons of different refills, so you can be sure to find something to suit your writing style.

In today’s world of smartphones, note taking apps, and the increasing use of technology in every day life, I strongly believe that there is still a place for analog writing tools. Not everyone carries a pen or pencil and paper, but it can be a valuable addition to your EDC that may have more utility than you had thought. There are plenty of reasons why you should revisit analog.

Have you ever had to borrow a pen? Not unlike the feeling when I first started carrying a knife, you may not know how much you will use one until you start carrying one. Whether it is signing a receipt, jotting down a phone number, or taking notes at work or school, there is no shortage of uses for a pen.


Valtcan Tactical Survival Pen

There are plenty of machined pens on the market, as there are tactical pens. To stand out, one needs to bring something new to the table without compromising the usefulness of either use. This is true for EDC especially, since you probably already have a ton of gear vying for valuable pocket space. Valtcan aims to do something different with their tactical survival pen by packing as much utility into a slick machined package, giving you a robust EDC option to cover your bases.

Valtcan's tactical pen comes in polished titanium, giving it that exotic sheen in addition to a nice strength-to-weight ratio. Vents are machined into the pen's body, adding a striking look while giving a better grip, and most importantly, keeping its weight down to just over 2 ounces for ease of carry. The vents also give a glimpse into the pen's internals, where the rest of its tools lie.

Screwed into the the cap lies a whistle for emergencies, while a compact one-piece multi-tool sits in the pen's rear compartment behind its rear tungsten point for glass-breaking emergencies. Unscrewing the main section lets you access the pen, which takes standard 2 3/4” mini refills like the Schmidt 635M or Lamy M21. The pen also comes with a pocket clip for ease of carry to your pocket or pack.

Whether as a pen or multi-tool the Valtcan pen's got some surprising utility under its shell. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below.

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Manker PL10 Multi-tool Flashlight

Sometimes the most useful and impressive results come from the most unlikely partnerships. Despite flashlights and pens often sharing a similar shape, no one's managed to put them together well in the same tool. And while a poor effort can easily end up ineffective in both applications, Manker's taken the best parts—especially the parts EDCers like—from tactical pens and flashlights and put them into the PL10. It's a compact multi-tool that's no jack of both trades.

The PL10 seeks to hit 3 EDC nails on the head: the need for a pleasant and pocketable light, the usefulness of always having a pen, and the robust construction for tactical use in an emergency. As a light, the PL10 comes with a hi-CRI Nichia 219B LED, pushing out up to 120 lumens in a versatile, floody beam. It uses a rechargeable 10180 lithium battery as a power source, which you don't have to worry about replacing since the PL10 comes with a built-in charging port and USB cable. On the pen side the PL10 uses a black refill cartridge. While it does serve to keep the tool compact, this unfortunately means it's a refill you'd have to replace direct from Manker. It's a bit of a compromise, but the two included refills should last you quite a bit.

For tactical applications, you get IPX-6-rated fit and finish in a solid stainless steel body. It's knurled with a deep diamond pattern, with fins and grooves that give added grip when used as a pen or striking tool. A tungsten tip on the cap also gives the PL10 glass breaking ability should you need it. Said cap also comes with a smooth pocket clip that lets you easily carry the tool as you would a light or pen, making it easy to EDC, especially at only 2.1 ounces with its battery.

Whether as a light or a tactical pen, the PL10 means business for both departments. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below, or direct from Manker here.

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Machine Era Field Pen

Your EDC pen should be sturdy, ready to write at a moment's notice, and of course, easy to carry. Machined pens made entirely out of metal have been popular for their heavy duty build quality, but they aren't always the most pocket-friendly. That's why Machine Era overhauled their original pen design with the release of the new bolt-action Field Pen. It features several improvements that make it both easier to carry and write with in a more compact body that's still as sturdy as ever.

The Field Pen has some of the design cues from their original pen, but other than the machined grooves, it’s completely different. Instead of a screw off cap, the Field Pen has a custom-designed bolt mechanism. Machine Era ditched the dedicated bolt seen on most other designs. Instead, the pen’s aluminum clip pulls double duty as both the clip and the bolt. The bolt action means that there’s no cap to unscrew (and potentially lose) and keeps the overall length of the pen short.

At a conservative 3.9”, the Field Pen is small enough to disappear into a pocket, yet not so small that it sacrifices usability. Inside, you’ll find the Schmidt Megaline 4889 refill — the German refill brand’s write-anywhere refill. It’ll also take the popular Fisher Space Pen refill as well.

The Field Pen is available on Kickstarter (already well surpassing its goal) in either brass or stainless steel. They already hit their stretch goal, which unlocked a stealthy black DLC-coated option as well. Hit the link below to secure one of these EDCable pens for yourself!

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Sminiker Professional Defender Tactical Pen

"A pen, seems pretty useless right? Well, this pen is made from Aircraft Aluminium and is far from average. The Sminiker Pro Defender Tactical Pen is equipped with ultimate durability and has a unique carbide tip that allows you to break glass with ease. This pen is compatible with standard refills and weighs a mere 4 ounces for easy transport and usage. With a smooth, anti skid writing ability, and..." (via GearHungry)

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MecArmy TPX22 Tactical Pen

There are plenty of mechanical pens to choose from in the market, each with their own benefits. Premium materials, self-defense features, and a wide range of refill options all try to fit the needs of every EDCer. With the TPX22 (and its big brother, the TPX33), MecArmy get to the point and put together all the features EDCers look for and need in a tactical pen. It's a sleek option for the discerning jotter that makes no compromises with its manufacturing and design.

The TPX22 measures 4.84” long machined from TC4 titanium, with a corrosion- and scratch-resistant finish befitting a tough EDC pen. The hardened shell, compact size, and pocket clip lend themselves well to a pen you can carry every day and everywhere. Fisher Space Pen compatibility gives EDCers a familiar refill, with an anti-roll shape that also provides a comfortable grip to help with long writing sessions. As you'd expect on a tactical pen, it boasts a tungsten tip for breaking glass in emergencies and a slot for a glowing tritium vial makes an unexpected (but welcome) addition.

MecArmy's makes a strong foray into the field of tactical pens, with the TPX22 handily knocking off items from an EDCer's wishlist of features. Add the TPX22 to your carry via the Amazon link below.

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Cross Peerless TrackR Pen

"Cross has a strong history of vast accomplishment and innovation. Peerless 125 is the finest pen that they have ever devised, and with it being designed to celebrate their rich heritage, its not hard to see why its so prevalent. The sophisticated pens come in two colours, carbon black and quartz blue, both beautifully finished with a lacquer and chrome appointments. Now, with Bluetooth technology, the TrackR app, and..." (via GearHungry)

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The Best Bolt Action Pens for EDC in 2017

These days EDC pens are getting tougher and tougher, and it doesn't stop at fully machined metal bodies. Some of the more popular pen designs take inspiration from bolt action rifles as the next step in EDC performance. It's not a gimmick, either — while most pens click, twist, or uncap, bolt action pens really take things up a notch. Besides their unique mechanism, they're built tough, fun to fidget with, and much harder to accidentally leak in your pocket. That's because the deliberate action you have to take to extend the tip ensures that ink stays in the pen where it belongs, and not all over your clothes. In this guide, we're highlighting some of the best EDC-ready pens featuring that sweet, bolt-action goodness.

Schon DSGN Clip Pen

A good EDC pen should be ready to get to writing as soon as you need it. That boils down to two main things: a pocket friendly size and a handy clip to keep it accessible. Schon DSGN made excellent minimalist EDC pens that were as compact as you could hope for, but they were missing one key feature—a clip. Now, their newest version gets even better with a much welcomed addition of a stainless steel pocket clip while keeping its streamlined, minimalist form.

The clip itself is thoughtfully designed with the rest of the pen. There’s a small flat spot machined into the cap so it lays flat despite the curve of the cap. Inside, you’ll find a Fisher Space Pen refill that’ll write anywhere you need it to. The refill is replaced via a custom made brass set screw in the back. Since the clip angles out at the end, it can be used as a screwdriver to swap out refills without any additional tools. Overall, the pen measures in at a scant 4” closed when capped, and a comfortable 5.75” with the cap posted to the back of the pen when in use.

At the time of posting, the Kickstarter project is supported by over 500 backers with $43k worth of funding. This is Schon DSGN's second successful project so back with confidence. Pledges start at $45 for an American-made aluminum pen with a few other options like anodization, stainless steel and titanium construction, and quantity discounts.

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Titanium EDC Ink Keychain Pens

Let's face it: at one point or another, you're going to need to write something down. Whether it's notes for class, a message for someone else, or an idea that came to you in a coffee shop, having a pen in your EDC is pretty handy. The problem, though, is many of them are too cumbersome to carry in your pocket or on a keychain. A few years back, BLANK FORCES successfully funded the EDC Ink series of pens designed for carry on your keychain. Now they're back with a new collection in titanium, taking their pens up a notch in both collectibility and utility.

The EDC Ink pens make the most of the tiny space they take up in your pocket. Both models use the popular D1 refill, housed in a titanium shell machined so precisely, the seam where the cap connects to the body becomes invisible. You have a choice between the smaller T1 model, measuring at 3.2” long and half an ounce in weight, and the larger T2 at 4” and 0.7 ounces. Both models can come with or without a split ring hole, so you have options with how you want to carry them. There are also choices for your EDC Ink's barrel design, with a few beautiful patterns like a blue flame torched finish or useful measuring units engraved right into the barrel.

Adding a pen to your EDC has never been more compact or convenient. There's plenty of time to pledge an EDC Ink tailored to your needs at the Kickstarter link below.

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Lioe Stealth Pen

"If it looks a little different than your average pen that’s because the Lioe Stealth Pen’s wide, aerodynamic shape wants to improve your grip, however you choose to hold it. The skeletonized bead-blasted aluminum body reduces weight ever so slightly and offers a rare view on the cartridge within, all while adding to its unique looks. A Schmidt click mechanism handles the cartridge advancement, and..." (via GearHungry)

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ZeroHour Apex Tactical Pen

If you're on the market for a versatile pen that's tough enough for EDC, your options can be a bit limited. On the one hand you've got minimalist machined pens, and heavy duty tactical pens on the other. ZeroHour's Apex Tactical pen offers the best of both worlds and is now on the market after a successful Kickstarter campaign last year. It has the quality and performance of a machined pen without being clad in the trappings of an aggressive tactical design. It's a great example of ZeroHour's crowdfunding pedigree, EDC gear built with reliability, function, and comfort as their main features.

The Apex is designed around the Fisher Space Pen refill, a community favorite thanks to its ability to write in every environmental condition or orientation. Many tactical pens are so long that they become unwieldy and heavy, but the Apex's total length of 4.7” makes it compact and easy to carry. It comes in 6061 aluminum or grade 5 titanium, popular materials that offer ideal strength-to-weight ratios and also fit the look of many EDC loadouts. Its skeletonized barrel cuts down weight even further and doubles in showing off the brass Fisher refill underneath. Finally, its tail end features a safety-capped tungsten steel tip, a hardened material that lets you use the Apex for emergency situations as a glass breaker or for self-defense.

It's a great pen you no longer have to wait to add to your EDC. Add this feature-heavy but pocket light pen to yours by clicking the link below.

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Inventery Mechanical Pen

"Seamless joints are one thing. But Inventery’s Mechanical Pen doesn’t actually have any seams or joints whatsoever, instead favoring an even more minimal unibody design machined from a brass rod. To change the ink cartridge — a rollerball Schmidt P8126 capless — simply unscrew the all-brass Schmidt SKM88 Click Mechanism at the tail end. Advancing the cartridge is silky smooth, and..." (via GearHungry)

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Pencilest EDC Mechanical Pencil

"Artists, doodlers, architects, and anyone else who likes to draw in graphite will love this collapsible 2.0mm mechanical pencil which hides inside of an aluminum tube on your keychain until..." (via TheAwesomer)
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BigiDesign Ti Pocket Pro

When you think of your favorite pen, what do you like about it the most? It might be the design, but there's a good chance it's your go-to because of how well it writes. You can chalk up that smoothness to its ink cartridge. All too often, when you get an EDC pen, you're stuck with using the one cartridge it comes with. BigiDesign's new Ti Pocket Pro, on the other hand, offers a completely customizable experience. It seamlessly transforms to fit over 80 different ballpoint, gel, and rollerball refills, all while maintaining a pocket-friendly design.

The Ti Pocket Pro is BigiDesign's most compact pen yet, measuring in at just over 4” with a Parker-style refill and a little over a half inch longer with a standard rollerball. The Ti Pocket Pro stands out from the pack thanks to its small size and ability to accept over 80 of the most popular pen refills out there. The key is in its tip mechanism: it's almost like the adjustable clutch on the end of a drill. As you tighten the grip, the clutch clamps down onto your refill of choice. The best part? It gets a just-right fit for a secure, wiggle-free writing experience. On the pen there’s also a beefy, ridged grip section, a sturdy pocket clip, and of course, solid grade 5 titanium construction.

BigiDesign has an excellent track record with Kickstarters, so back with confidence. In fact, the Ti Pocket Pro is currently trending on Kickstarter with nearly 2000 backers and over $100k of funding. Make sure to check out the video at the Kickstarter link below to get a better idea of how this pen works.

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Fisher Space Pen Clutch

When you hear the name Fisher Space Pen, it's hard to not think of their iconic Bullet Pen. Its compact design makes it easy to carry, but for some, actually writing with it leaves something to be desired. Fisher's newest offering, the Clutch, is a full-sized pen designed specifically with hard-use in mind.

The Clutch was designed for use in the oil field industry, so each feature is suitable for the harshest of conditions. The pen’s anodized black aluminum body nicely complements the hefty hexagonal grip. The shape of the grip makes it easy to hold onto, whether with bare hands or while wearing gloves. And don’t worry, there’s still one of Fisher’s popular write-anywhere refill inside. It extends with a solid click mechanism so you don’t have to fuss with a cap to get writing. There’s also a sturdy steel pocket clip that’ll keep them pen securely in your pocket.

If you’ve been looking to add (or upgrade) your EDC pen, the Clutch is an excellent option. You can pick one up for yourself at the link below.

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The 10 Best Everyday Carry Pens 2017

All you need is a pen that's durable, easy to carry, and reliable enough to get the job done. And that's exactly what you'll find in our top 10 picks for the best EDC pens available today.