The 10 Best Everyday Carry Pens

The 10 Best Everyday Carry Pens

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Update: We've published a newer guide with more recent product recommendations here.

Even if you're not a germaphobe, pulling a pen out of the cup at the doctor's office isn't exactly something we'd put at the top of our to-do list. Besides helping you avoid the flu, bringing your own everyday carry pen has its benefits.

You'll never know when you'll have to leave a note, take down directions, or write an important reminder. Sure, most of us have smartphones that can handle all that. But swiping through menus and app folders while an idea's still fresh in your mind just isn't as convenient as picking up a pen. We don't necessarily mean a fancy luxury pen, either. 

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.

The Best Everyday Carry Pens Available Now

Zebra F-701

EDC pens don't have to be expensive, and the Zebra F-701 proves it. This all-metal pen is a favorite with readers because of its solid construction and knurled grip. It may look like pens that are many times its price, but the F-701 comes in at right around six bucks.

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Fisher Telescoping Space Pen

As an everyday carry pen, The Fisher Telescoping Space Pen doesn't get the attention it deserves.  While it's often overshadowed by the massively popular Fisher Bullet Pen, the TLP has a few key advantages. It's around the same size as the Bullet Pen, but instead of a cap (that can be lost or misplaced), the TLP's body extends to expose the pen. The grip is a little bit wider too, making it more comfortable to write with. And the Telescoping Pen is still a space pen after all. It uses the same write-anywhere refill that Fisher is known for, letting you jot upside down, in the rain, or in space.  

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Tactile Turn Slider and Glider

Bolt action pens are great for EDC. They're easy to operate with one hand and don't have a cap to lose or break. The bolt mechanism is also less likely to accidentally open in your pocket than your standard clicky pen. The all-metal Tactile Turn Slider and Glider pens take several different refills, letting you customize your writing experience.  The deep carry clip lets the pen sit nice and low in your pocket, so you'll hardly notice it's there.


Pilot G2 Limited

The Pilot G2 is one of the most popular pens out there, and for good reason. It might even be your all-time favorite. You probably already know how its gel ink glides onto the page nice and smooth, leaving a deep, dark line that doesn't fade as it dries. But the biggest thing holding the Pilot G2 back is its flimsy plastic build. The G2 Limited comes with a premium metal body compared to the standard plastic one, giving you a heftier feel in hand and overall improved durability.

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Machine Era Solid Brass Pen

If you like a hefty pen, look no further than the Brass Pen by Machine Era. This heirloom-grade pen is built to last for years. Although it's heavy, the machined brass is nicely balanced so that it's both satisfying and comfortable to write with. The pen ships with a Pilot G2 refill to get you writing right out of the box.

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BigiDesign Ti Arto

If you're the type who loves trying out different pens and ink refills, the Ti Arto is the upgrade you've always needed. It accepts over 200 different ink refills thanks to its unique clutch design. The insert in the grip securely holds the tip of nearly any pen refill for a seamless writing experience. EDCers will appreciate the titanium construction and sturdy pocket clip.


Karas Kustoms EDK

When one of the most trusted names in machined pens creates something specifically for EDC, it's hard to ignore. This short rollerball is built like a tank. It's made from thick metal with precise threads and a stainless steel clip. The Karas Kustoms EDK is available in several combinations of brass, copper, and anodized aluminum for a unique, two-tone look.


Uniball Jetstream

The Uniball Jetstream makes an ideal EDC pen for both lefties and those on the go because of its fast-drying ink. The unique hybrid ink is as smooth as gel, but dries like a ballpoint. Unlike a ballpoint pen, which can blob up with ink, the Jetstream leaves a consistently crisp line on the page.

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Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen

The Gerber Impromptu does more than your average pen. It's a tactical pen, meaning you can also rely on it in an emergency to break glass or for self defense (with proper training, of course), thanks to its tempered steel tip and grippy metal body. It features a click mechanism and Rite in the Rain ballpoint refill that'll still write even if your notebook gets wet or dirty, which tends to happen in the field. Pick one up in black, flat dark earth, or grey at the link below.

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Lamy 2000 Multi-Pen

When we said you don't need a fancy luxury pen, we meant it. But if you're looking to splurge on a luxury pen, get one that's well-designed and fully functional, like the Lamy 2000 Multi-pen. The unique color selection mechanism makes this pen stand out from the rest. Simply rotate the pen so the color you want is facing upwards, and click. It accepts common D1 ink refills, so Zebra Gel Pen and Uniball Jetstream refills will fit with no problem.

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Did your favorite EDC pen not make the list?  Let us know what it is in the comments below!

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Discussion (41 total)

I absolutely love the Machine Era Solid Brass Pen, I have it in my pocket every day - all day.
Thanks for using my submission for the picture. :)
Looking at adding a machine era or Krause custom to my collection soon. Thanks for your review.
Thank you, Ed Jelley for introducing the pilot G2 limited. I use as a nurse the G2, and it's the most convenient for me. Now they have a metal version, I immediately bought her. Thanks again.
Very welcome. Make sure you let us know how you like it!
The best in this lineup is easily the Ti Arto. I've had the pen since it's inception on Kickstarter and it simply has a superior design. From the countless refill options, beautiful titanium finish, weight balance and comfort.
Very surprised you haven't listed the Boker .45 Cal. My ESC of choice for the past four years after getting one for my 40th birthday. Always carry it in my pocket. Use a Lamy fountain pen in work.
Like that Fisher TSP, hadn't seen that before. I have the TT Slider and love it. A great pocket carry. I have the stainless steel and kinda wish I'd gotten the titanium. Also good for people who like to fidget.
I got the stainless steel slider one today actually. There is a design flaw though. When you push the circular "tip/screw/dial/bolt" down the half moon cutout and then back up, over time the bolt unscrews and has the potential to fall out. also inadvertently
I love the pen though, I'l try loctiting it in to prevent the bolt from eventually unscrewing out of the pen over time.
Sorry I didn't see this earlier. Had the same problem. Loctite works great. I'd almost lost the bolt a couple times, but it's on there tight now. Kinda annoying since I think Will was supposed to do that, but not a huge deal.
This is is quite an old post, but I'm quite shocked no one said anything about the Parker Jotter.
I have tried the Ti Arto pen. A great pen, but they need to add a slide on/add-on gel grip of some kind. The metal grip on the pen is complete crap.
Have been loving the newer tactical pens, real rugged for times when you need it exploring, note-taking, thanks for the list!
I've been using the Cross Tech3+ (chrome) and it has been a wonderful experience. I use the black and red tips all the time, especially since I have to do a ton of legal proofing.
These pens are really expensive, but they are pretty cool :)
No tuffwriter ... I think you are a bit biased!
Wow I gotta step my pen game up
I use both the Karas Kustoms EDK and the Render K. For on the go, the EDK is perfect, for longer stints of writing I prefer the feel and style of the Render K.
I completely killed a Zebra F-701 doing the fisher mod. I've since settled for a Rite in the Rain clicker. AFAIK, it's actually a rebranded Fisher clicker. Beautiful, except for the odd ink-skip.
what is the fisher mod?
With a small amount of tinkering (allegedly), you can fit a fisher space pen cartridge in the zebra f-701. I ended up with an unusable pen and a spare cartridge for my eventual RITR clicker.
Yes, I've done this. But I have to admit, I've never found the mod worth it. Even when it works, you end up with a mediocre writing implement at best. I just don't get the EDC community's obsession with this pen. It's only part metal, and Fisher cartridges are pretty terrible anyway.There are dozens of better choices out there. .
I never leave home without my Kaweco Sport aluminium fountain pen. It's compact and great, and it gets me TONS of compliments everywhere I use it.
I have a Sport in both aluminum and brass, it's a great little pen! If you like the Kawecos, check out the Supra, it's like a giant Liliput with a #6 (larger) nib.
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