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The 10 Best EDC Pens in 2021

Gabriel Colin
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The 10 Best EDC Pens in 2021

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An important part of what it means to be an EDCer is self-reliance. So instead of being that person asking to borrow a pen next time you're waiting to put your name down at a restaurant or filling out paperwork at the post office, consider adding a pen to your set of daily gear. It's quick and convenient to use, especially compared to fumbling through your phone for a specific note-taking app. We're not talking about fancy luxury pens either. The best pen for everyday carry is the one you have with you, and that usually means it's durable, reliable, and pocket-friendly. In this updated guide we're highlighting our top 10 picks for the best EDC pens available today.

Fisher Space Pen Bullet

Fisher Space Pen Bullet

Purchase
Key Features
O-ring sealed cap
Pressurized ink cartridge
Removable pocket clip
Specifications
Material
Brass & steel
Length
3.75" closed
Weight
1 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
It’s hard to write a list of the best EDC pens without including the Fisher Space Pen. Not much has changed on the bullet pen over the years, but that’s more of a testament to Fisher getting it right the first time than a lack of innovation. The Bullet Pen is slim, sturdy, and writes anywhere. The pressurized cartridge inside allows you to write in the worst of conditions - underwater, upside down, through grease, and yes — in space.
Zebra F-701 2018 Version

Zebra F-701 2018 Version

Purchase
Key Features
All-metal design
Silent click mechanism
Steel pocket clip
Specifications
Material
Stainless steel
Length
3.3"
Weight
1.12 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Zebra F-701 is one of the most popular EDC pens out there. They have a cult following and are widely cherished for their affordable price and solid construction. Many EDCers go as far as modifying the F-701 with the click mechanism from the lesser F-402 model. Thankfully, this is no longer a necessary mod. Zebra seems to have noticed that the plastic mechanism was a shortcoming amongst fans of the pen and now includes an all-metal clicky on the F-701s. At around 10 bucks for a stainless steel pen with a knurled grip, it’s hard to argue against it.
Parker Jotter

Parker Jotter

Purchase
Key Features
Timeless design
Clicky mechanism
Pocket clip
Specifications
Material
Stainless steel
Length
3.3"
Weight
0.8 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$
While Parker’s Jotter ballpoint pen has been around for ages, people still carry it to this day and for good reason. It’s a quintessential click pen that just simply works. There are tons of variants available in metal, plastic, and a mix of the two. You’ll appreciate the classic looks, especially the iconic arrow-shaped clip. As far as affordable pens go, the Jotter is one of the best options out there with plenty of variants available around 15 bucks.
CRKT Techliner

CRKT Techliner

Purchase
Key Features
Magnetic pull-off cap
Fisher Space Pen refill
Pocket clip
Specifications
Material
6061 T6 Aluminum
Length
5.06"
Weight
1.4 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$
CRKT often collaborates with high-end custom knife makers to bring premium designs to a more affordable price point. The CRKT Techliner is their production version of Mike Bond’s Ti2 Techliner, with the same great magnetic magic that makes it convenient and satisfying to use. With a handle made out of 6061 T6 Aluminum, this pen is not only highly durable, but also quite light at 1 oz. A unique trait about this pen is that it features magnets on the cap and both ends of the pen. This way, you can attach the pen to metallic surfaces and the cap is firmly secured when you post it. It comes with a Fisher Space Pen refill right out the box, allowing you to write under any condition, making it a true all-conditions pen. An included pocket clip makes it easy to carry and retrieve.
Everyman Grafton

Everyman Grafton

Purchase
Key Features
Clicky top mechanism
Pilot G2 and Fisher Space Pen refill compatible
Heavy duty bolt-on pocket clip
Specifications
Material
Anodized aluminum
Length
5.71"
Weight
1 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$
Everyman's Grafton pen is touted as their “buy it for life pen that won’t break the bank,” and at under $50 for an all-metal pen, they’re not wrong. The body is made from anodized 6061 aluminum, complete with a bolted-on heavy duty clip. There are several ridges machined into the front of the pen that provide a solid grip. Weighing in at 1 oz., the Grafton is right in the sweet spot between too heavy and too light. You can snag a pen in one of seven eyecatching anodized finishes to suit your style.
BigIDesign Ti Pocket Pro

BigIDesign Ti Pocket Pro

Purchase
Key Features
Compatible with 100+ refills
Auto-adjusting collet tip
Adaptable length
Specifications
Material
Grade 5 titanium
Length
4.11"-4.65"
Weight
0.6 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$
If you’re a pen enthusiast and have one or more favorite ink refills, chances are the BigIDesign Ti Pocket Pro can accommodate them all. This titanium pen is compatible with over 100+ refills for convenience and versatility to adapt to whatever writing experience you need. The way this works is with a unique “telescoping” mechanism that extends or retracts depending on the refills. An auto-adjusting collet grip ensures a wiggle-free fit at the writing tip for a solid feel all around. The pen can even adapt its length to the refill it’s holding—either 4.11“ or 4.65”—both relatively compact lengths for an easy carry. An included, grade 4 titanium pocket clip stays strong and springy. Thanks to its titanium construction, the pen manages to weigh in at a featherweight 0.6 oz while still being tough enough to handle the everyday carry and wear.
Tactile Turn Bolt Action Pen

Tactile Turn Bolt Action Pen

Purchase
Key Features
Curved bolt-action mechanism
Multiple length and refill compat
Made in USA
Specifications
Material
Titanium, copper, bronze, zirc
Length
5.4", 5.1", and 4.4"
Weight
Varies
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
If what you’re writing with still feels like an afterthought, it might be time for an upgrade. These made in the USA pens will not only give you performance, but also customization. These can be precision machined out of four different materials: Titanium, brass, copper and zirconium. They’re also available in two different sizes, Standard at 5.6“ with a 0.7mm Pilot G2 ink refill, Short at 5.1” with a Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 refill, and Mini at 4.4“ with a Pilot G2 Mini 0.7mm refill. The Short model tends to fit better inside shirt pockets, with its included clip. Secondly, but just as important for many people, it deploys via a bolt-action mechanism. This will not only prevent accidental activation, but will also provide you with hours of fidgeting fun.
The James Brand Stilwell

The James Brand Stilwell

Purchase
Key Features
O-ring sealed pull-off cap
Lanyard or keychain carry
Extends to full size
Specifications
Material
Titanium, brass, or aluminum
Length
3.5" closed
Weight
0.71 oz
EDC Rating


Price
$$
It can be hard to find the pocket space to carry around a full-sized pen in your EDC. All too often you’ll have to sacrifice a comfortable, balanced writing experience for a more compact design. The James Brand Stilwell is an exception, with a compact, travel-sized design that extends to full length when it’s time to use it. Machined out of brass, aluminum or titanium this pen measures 3.5“ when closed, for a more convenient carry, but extends to a 5.4” when you post its cap on its back. While this pen might not have a pocket clip, a lanyard hole is machined into the back of the pen to easily attach it to a keychain, bag, or zipper. Finally, a D1 Style Replaceable Ink Cartridge will lay down a smooth line down on the paper.
Schon DSGN Pen

Schon DSGN Pen

Purchase
Key Features
Threaded cap
D1-sized refill compatible
Optional pocket clip
Specifications
Material
Machined metal
Length
4"
Weight
Varies
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
Schon DSGN’s classic machined pens are made completely in the USA. Designed by Ian Schon, these EDC-able pens are built for the long haul. You can pick one up in one of many different metals and finishes, each with their own unique characteristics. New for this year is the crystal titanium offering. The price is on the higher side, but the material is all new. Schon DSGN actually played a part in the making of this new material that looks unlike any other.
Machine Era Field Pen Twist

Machine Era Field Pen Twist

Purchase
Key Features
Lock-in twist mechanism
Made in USA
Parker-sized refill compatible
Specifications
Material
Stainless steel
Length
4.95"
Weight
1.4 oz
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
This metal pen not only looks good, but it also features a utilitarian design and a smooth writing experience. It’s their first offering to be compatible with Parker-sized refills, equipped with an Itoya Aqua Roller refill out of the box. The metal body measures 4.95" and is fully machined from stainless steel. The pen weighs in at 1.4 oz with a balanced center of mass to make even longer writing sessions feel more comfortable. Once you twist the rear cap to deploy the pen tip to its full length, the tip locks in place until you twist the rear cap back in the other direction. Rounding out this American-made pen is a spring steel pocket clip for easy carry.

Need a great notebook to go with your next pen? Check out our latest buying guide to the best EDC notebooks here.

#machine-era #schon #the-james-brand #tactile-turn #bigidesign #everyman #crkt #parker #zebra #fisher #best-edc-pen-2019 #edc-pens #pens #pens-stationery #buying-guides #best-edc-pen-for-the-money #non-peaking-pens see all



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Discussion (9 total)

BRANDON M FISHER ·
I have at least one of almost all of those. I wish there was a Space Pen refill that was grl ink, for us gel maniacs. Either by Fisher or another company.

And I LOVE my Machine Era Markup pen, and it was one of my first HQ EDC pens. However, I would NEVER buy another one because of their TERRIBLE pocket clip design. If you just look at it wrong, it falls off and is anything BUT reliable to use outside of the house IMO 🙂 Such a shame too because I might've stopped my EDC prn search with my first purchase!!! So mine has been used ONLY at home since shortly after buying it. Its a great quality pen, if only they'd make a much more secure pocket Clip. Either having it screw on with screws like most other pens, or have it physically go onto the body with a locking mechanism on top of it. But i wanted to let everyone know if you plan on pocket carrying it like almost every EDC'er would use it!

And my ALL-TIME favorite pens are my Bigidesign Ti Arto EDC and Ti Pocket Pro pens. I have one stonewashed Ti Arto EDC, the stonewashed and DLC Black Ti Pocket Pros, and a brass Pocket Pro, and well, I honestly don't plan on buying any other pens for the LONG foreseeable future! Something really unique and radical would have to come out.

And for anyone wanting a nice, HQ bolt action pen, without breaking the bank, check out the Refyne EP1 pens. I have 4 of those too. The black and grey PVD SS ones, and my two favorite, the Titanium and Copper EP1's. They might not be quite as nicely machined as my Tactile Turn Ti with Damascus pocket clip, but for their lower price, they're more than worth it IMO 😎👍 And Alan from customer service is a really top notch guy!!!

Obviously, I love my 15+ Space Pens too. I have a ton of bullets, including the newer one with the stylus and rubber grip, and the rest are most the cap-o-matic click pens. Plus, an added bonus, my last name is Fisher LoL 😁

And as far as the Zebra F-701's go, AMAZING pens for the money. And without ANY modding, you can swap out the stock ballpoint refills for a Space Pen refill and bam, now you have a nice clicky Space Pen for less than $15 😊 I've also had some success with putting some gel Parker G2 style refills in my F-701's, but they require a slight modification that takes less than 5 minutes. You have to pop out the piece of plastic in the tip of the 701, and cut the tip a HAIR bigger with a good pair of scissors that are VERY sharp, and place it back in the tip. Then try some different Parker G2 style refills. You just need to remove the plastic piece at the BACK of the refills with a pair of pliers. Its just hit or miss really and depends on the F-701. I've had success with the Schmidt EasyFlow, the Schneider Slider XB ballpoint and Gelion 39 gel refills.

And obviously, the Parker Jotters are simply classic!!! Again though, not a very strong pocket clip. And if you plan on using any gel refills, id avoid ALL clickers if pocket carrying or you'll find out the hard way that if a gel refill tip touched ANYTHING, including clothing, it will dispense itself and go everywhere 😅

So for EDC carry in a pocket, id recommend the Space Pens, even the clickers, since ballpoint ink doesn't dispense itself like gel does, along with the Bigidesign Ti Arto EDC and Pocket Pros, since the EDC is capable and the Pocket Pro's are twistable, as well as the Tactile Turn bolt action pens. And if you like the Everyman Grafton, they also make twistable EDC pens too, if you prefer gel ink like I do!!!
Tyler Cranford ·
Hey Gabriel, you've listed the materials available for the Tactile Turn pens as zirc, brass, copper, and stainless steel, but it's really zirc, brass, copper, and titanium. Cheers!
BRANDON M FISHER ·
I instantly noticed titanium wasn't on the list yoo hahaha 😂
Mikey Bautista ·
Apologies and thanks for that, we've fixed it! A little slip o' the steel. :)
J.S. Leonard ·
No fountain pens??? Kaweco, Schon Design, Conklin, Karas, TWSBI and Travelers Company all make outstanding pocket fountain pens. Nothing writes better than a quality fountain pen.
BRANDON M FISHER ·
After just checking, the Monteverde refills that DON'T fit in my Refyne EP1 pens, and likely many others, are the Monteverde 19A Softroll ballpoints. They DO however fit the standard Monteverde P15 Softroll ballpoints though 🙃

Sorry to nerd out and post such long replies, but im obsessed with most of my EDC gear. Mainly my pens, wallets, watches, watch bracelets/bands/straps, knives, multitools and keychains and accessories.

I just figured if I could help someone select the proper pen for their EDC, then all of that writing was worth it 😜

And im sorry for the spelling errors. Im usually ALWAYS on top of that, and catch so many spelling errors on just about every website i visit, but losing an hour of sleep last night and watching my godson overnight, has me very tired today 🤤🥱😴
BRANDON M FISHER ·
Also, like I've already said, the Refyne EP1 bolt action pens come highly recommended from me. I mainly use a Parker G2 Quink GEL refill, but they'll fit just about any Parkrr refills except the oddly shaped Monteverde ballpoint refills. They DO fit the Softroll's and ceramic gel tip refills, but I can't remember off the top of my head what Monteverde ballpoint rhey DON'T fit. Those refills just have a weird "head" shape on them in front of the body and behind the tip, but I really like the Softroll's as a ballpoint refill, and I don't like very many ballpoint refills. My absolute FAVORITE is the Uniball RT hybrid refills though. For a ballpoint style refill, they're my favorite even above the Schmidt EasyFlow 😎👍 But they have a very slim and odd shape to them so I can only use them with my Bigidesign pens.

Anyway, I carry 3 pens with me at ALL times. They are, in my favorite order, the Bigidesign Ti Arto EDC or Pocket Pros, usually with a green or red Pilot G2 refill (.7 & 1.0mm), or a blue Pentel Energel 1.0mm refill (probably the smoothest refill i have out of my 125+ refills), a Refyne EP1 Titanium or Copper (with a blue Parker G2 Quink GEL . 7mm) and the newer Space Pen with the stylus and rubber grip (i can NEVER keep track of the Space Pen model numbers LoL 😁) with a SPR4 black refill. That way my bases are covered, depending on what type of ink necessary ATM

And to mention the Machine Era Markup pen again, its a wonderful pen, that's very nicely machined and takes my favorite gel refills, the Pilot G2's. And just because the pocket clip comes off easily shouldn't deter you away from getting one. Even without the pocket clip, its still verry EDC ready because the cap screws on, and therefore you can just toss it in your pocket without having to worry about losing it or gel ink going everywhere in your pocket and ruining whatever it comes into contact with! And a real highlight and my favorite thing about the pen, is that it has ZERO parts inside of it that will eventually break or go bad like springs. Its built to fit a Pilot G2 refill PERFECTLY and will no doubt outlive ALL of us and will last for hundreds of years, if not longer because of its all SS design!!! The only other pen that I know of that doesn't have ANY moving parts like springs, is my Bigidesign Ti Arto EDC. It has a collette at the tip like a drill has, and you simply twist it to lock onto whatever of the 800+ refills it will accept. And it also has a screw on cap like the ME Markup. However, the Bigidesign Ti Arto EDC has a VERY heavy duty pocket clip, that's also removable. Not to mention it's made of titanium and will likely never corrode, at least for the next milennia LoL 😆

So if you are interested in two pens in my collection that don't have ANY moving or breakable parts, and want something that will truly last the test of time, with screwable caps that eont leak any gel ink, I can't think of any other EDC pens with that DNA, from my memory anyway 😉✌️🙏
Stephen Taylor ·
Stop the presses.

The Modern Fuel Adjustable Bolt Action Pen went on Kickstarter last week, and it looks like the perfect (high-end) EDC pen.