The 10 Best EDC Pens in 2019

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The 10 Best EDC Pens in 2019

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.


The Best Pens for Everyday Carry


Pokka Pens

It’s no accident that the brand “Pokka” sounds a lot like “pocket.” These tiny pens are small and easy to carry when capped, but extend to a length comfortable enough to write with when uncapped. The design is relatively simple, but it works really well. When you uncap the pen, simply post the long cap on the back of the writing portion. A generous threaded area and an o-ring ensure that the pen is securely assembled, giving it a rock-solid feel. These little ballpoints are available in a ton of colors and even with a Rite in the Rain refill for some added utility.

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Fisher Space Pen

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.

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BigiDesign Ti Click

BigiDesign is always looking for ways to improve upon their already solid line of writing instruments. The new Ti Click EDC is no exception. They’ve taken the best design features from their line of pens and combined them into a pocketable super pen. The unique collet grip in the front of the pen automatically adjusts to the refill you’re using. It holds tightly onto the refill so there’s no tip wiggle (when the pen’s opening is larger than the width of the refill) — one of the most annoying obstacles between you and the best writing experience. BigiDesign has also made their own custom machined click mechanism out of 100% metal. The pen is machined from solid grade 5 titanium and is built to last a lifetime.

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Everyman Grafton

Everyman's Grafton pen is touted as their “buy it for life pen that won’t break the bank,” and at $35 for an all-metal pen, they’re not wrong. For most, the $35 seems like a lot for a pen but the thoughtful design and solid construction seen on the Everyman can justify the cost. 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 four anodized finishes: silver, gold, black, or gunmetal.

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The James Brand “Benton” Pen

The James Brand is known for their solid set of EDC knives and multi-tools, and now they’ve used their design and manufacturing knowledge to bring a pen to market. The “Benton” is a 304 grade stainless steel pen with some thoughtful design features that make it a great candidate for your go-to EDC pen. First, there’s a pusher-mounted lanyard that makes the pen easy to retrieve from a pocket or bag. Next, there’s a laser-etched dot pattern that improves your grip on what’s otherwise a sleek pen. Lastly, it will accept any Parker Style refills — a format that offers plenty of options to customize your writing experience.

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Schon DSGN Pen

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.

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Boker Plus Cid Cal .45

For those looking for something a bit more tactial, the Boker Plus Cid Cal .45 is an excellent option. This bolt-action pen is made from CNC-milled aluminum with a titanium gray anodized finish. In a pinch, the pen can be used as a self defense tool, similar to how a kubaton is used. Even if you don’t find yourself defending yourself against an attacker on the regular (we hope you don’t), you’ll enjoy the rock-solid construction and entertaining bolt mechanism to extend the refill.

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Parker Jotter

Parker’s Jotter ballpoint pen has been around for ages, 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 under ten bucks.

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Zebra F-701

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 five bucks for a stainless steel pen with a knurled grip, it’s hard to argue against it.

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Tactile Turn Gist Rollerball in Brass

New for 2019 is the Tactile Turn Gist Rollerball. This is the first offering from Tactile Turn that offers a rollerball refill. The writing experience is similar to a fountain pen—smooth and wet, but without the associated hassle of cleaning a pen out and refilling the ink. This full-sized pen is machined from solid brass and features Tactile Turn’s signature machined grooves for grip. Rounded out with a sturdy pocket clip, this pen is sure to be an excellent addition to your carry.

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

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The Space Pen and the F-701 are absolutely fantastic pens, however the Boker can be a little uncomfortable if you cycle the mechanism frequently. The machining is a little rough on the bolt part. I gotta try one of those Pokka pens. Oh, and the F-701 doesn't like dirt. I've had two die on me because of dirt getting in the mechanism.
Plus for fisher space pen.
I like the Makerset Compact Field Pen. A nice solid pen, that's small enough to EDC and just large enough to use.
I really want Machine Era to do a full size Pilot G2 version of the Field Pen. Not sure why that hasn't happened yet.
Surprised the USG TiScribe-Bolt didn't make the list. I've loved mine and recently started using a rollerball refill, which makes it even better.
Just saw this post totally agree.
Ugh, a whole list of metal pens. Metal pens are miserable to write more than a todo list with. If you actually pen to write something, like in a journal, you definitely don't want to try to grip a skinny metal pen for a while (unless you enjoy hand cramping).
Have you experienced the issue with titanium? I used to get that with my brass pens, but don't any more.
Have to disagree. Have used the fisher space pen for years on end. Never had an issue. And, I write in rain, snow, sleet it doesn’t matter. And use it indoors as well with zero issues.
Am totally with you on this! I went back to school and had to write so much, spending 6 to 8 hours writing Chinese characters that I used up one Uniball's/Pentel Energel every five days! The pain and cramps on my hand was unbearable to the point I had to take diclofenac for it and bought an exercise handball for relief. Then I discovered the thicker barrelled fountain pens like TWSBI 580AL and made the switch ever since. Pain lessened by 80%!
No fountain pen? Kaweco Sport should be at the top of this list... $25 for a great pocket pen with a great nib.
I love the Kaweco, am also quite fond of my Lamy Safari, which is also nicely affordable and a joy to write with.
How do we get a FS pen with the EDC.com logo?!?
What no Hinderer Investigator Pen???
Fisher Space Pen could make the list for the next 30 years, easily.
Truth... these articles are just redundant
The F-701 is not the new all-metal pen. This is bait and switch, beware. The all metal is Zebra F-xMD 24380. I almost fell for it.
Perhaps you're looking at older stock of the F-701? Zebra lists on their website that the F-701 is now stainless steel "from tip to clip" - https://www.zebrapen.com/product/f-701-ball-point-retractable/
You should try a Skilcraft B3 aviators pen. It's the size of a regular pen but it has two inks which are red and black and in addition it has a pencil built into the ink rotation. You can buy refill kits when you need to replace the cartridges.
I also carry a zebra v301 fountain pen. It's a pretty nice pen and people ask about it. Give it a try.
Oh look, more pens to buy! I think my pen fetish has become worse than my Flashlight one :P I'll give a shout-out to the Valtcan Titanium Bolt Pen, it takes parker, schmidt, and space pen refills, Is very comfortable to use (i have a larger hand) and is quite affordable for a bolt action titanium pen at around 60$ US
I wonder why pen manufacturers and designers are not making ergonomic pens for adults if they have made them for kids like how Stabilo did and they catered to left handers as well. I would like to see non-conventional fatter barrels to accommodate bigger hands, making it a better experience to write with. Arguably they may not fit the mould of 'sleek looks' but those of us who write a lot would appreciate functionality over form. I would slid a silicone pencil grip over a pen to improve my grip. I would never have imagined that children's pens like the Stabilo Easy range, would be so comfortable to write with as well. I hope designers would also consider making a range that's robust, functional and ergonomic for my EDC.