Everyday Carry: The 10 Best EDC Pens

Whereas everyone used to keep a fountain pen in their pocket or their office desk, the move to a paperless world means that EDC pens are a dying breed. While every man can still get utility out of an EDC knife, packing a pen in their pocket just doesn’t seem to have the same payoff. But that isn’t true. A quality pen is a last line of self-defense, an unbreakable companion that can track the route on maps when coupled with a quality compass, let you write field notes and observations, make carpentry marks on the fly, and help you show your classic, debonair style.

Just picture it: You’re in the line at a bank or post office, the woman in front of you is digging through her purse, hunting for a writing implement. But she’s helpless until you swoop in with your stylized pen that is made to be shown off. You’re the hero of the day and even have something to write her number down with. All thanks to one of the 10 best EDC pens on the planet.

Stainless Steel Sharpie

Stainless Steel Sharpie

Broad Strokes: What’s better than a Sharpie? Well, a Stainless Steel Sharpie is the only thing we can think of. For the person who needs an EDC marker as part of their everyday carry kit, this hardy hunk of stainless steel with refillable reservoir is ready to handle the wide marks or slapdash autographs you need to do on a daily basis. All the ink is waterproof, smudge-proof, life-proof, and fade resistant so your boxes will forever be marked “Kitchen” come hell or high water.

Purchase: $5

Zebra F-701

Zebra F-701

The Machinist: Zebra pens tend to fall in the category of exceptionally tough pens for the forgetful guy. The body of the F-701 is stainless steel from root to tip so that there is no risk of them getting crushed, mashed, bent, or broken while riding in the toughest of pockets, but they don’t cost so much that your budget will be broken should you lose it. Top it off with a knurled grip that is easy to use even with grease-covered fingers, and there isn’t a garage this doesn’t belong in.

Purchase: $7

Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151

Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151

Bin Bound: These are exceptional for what they are, which is plastic, disposable EDC pens that aren’t going to be heirlooms and might not even survive the day. If losing pens is part of your purview, but you still want a hardy everyday carry item that will take all but the most severe punishment, the UM-151 will stand by you steadfastly and provide a smooth, gel-writing style that works under innumerable conditions without failing or faltering.

Purchase: $14

Fisher Space Pen 0

Fisher Space Bullet Pen

The Write Stuff: As the name suggests, this pen is designed to head into the final frontier. Able to write at any angle it can even scrawl down a grocery list in zero gravity, should you need to do some shopping on the International Space Station. With the ability to work in -30 or 250 degree temperatures, you can take it to the arctic or into the volcano and still jot down your thoughts.

Purchase: $20

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

Quick Change: There are more impressive fountain pens on the market, but an everyday carry pen isn’t about blowing everyone’s mind, it’s about finding something that can stand up to the rigors of day to day life. We found the Lamy Safari to check all the boxes for an everyday carry pen in that it is tough, reliable, easy to refill, and even easier to change out nibs and cartridges as needed so it can accommodate you throughout years of use.

Purchase: $20

Kaweco Classic Sport

Kaweco Classic Sport

No Frills: To keep the price at a minimum, Kaweco didn’t tart this EDC pen up with a lot of pomp and circumstance. Instead, it made it function like a pro. The design is a little on the inelegant side, because it’s meant to be a minimalist workhorse. With multi-faceted sides, it won’t roll away, making it ideal for workbenches and car hoods where real men do real work. Beneath the surface is a 23k Gold-plated steel, iridium tip with a solid flow that goes the distance.

Purchase: $28

Rite In The Rain All Weather Trekker

Rite In The Rain All Weather Trekker

Wet Ink: The world has been experiencing some wacky weather patterns in recent years, and you need a pen that is prepared to deal with that. The All Weather Trekker will work under the scorching desert sun or as you stand in the path of the hurricane. It writes in the rain. It writes upside down. It writes in freezing weather and would probably make notes while on fire if you could get the paper to live through the experience.

Purchase: $32

Machine Era Original Brass Pen

Machine Era Brass Pen

EDC Specialist: After making a name for themselves in the world of wallets, the crew at Machine Era decided to expand their everyday carry offerings into the world of pens. And boy did they deliver. Just like all of the goods from the young startup, each Original Brass Pen is built by hand in their Virginia-based workshop. Whilst its good looks and solid construction are enough to have us chomping at the bit, it’s the little details like the threaded cap to allow it to be screwed onto the back end of the pen that really set this thing apart. And thanks to its solid brass body, you can expect this EDC pen to grow even more beautiful as it ages.

Purchase: $38

The Move Pen

The Move Pen

Mini Marvel: There’s a lot of competitors in the mini pen world, and a lot of those are failures. Being able to balance fit, feel, mechanics, writing, and pack it all into a small package is a job that many do, and few do well. Among the best is Oliver Sha’s Move Pen. The bolt action mechanism is smooth and easy to use, fitting well with the sleek lines that hide the machining process for a pen that looks like a solid piece. With the built-in keychain attachment, anything else is second best.

Purchase: $52+

Karas Kustoms Bolt Pen

Karas Kustoms Bolt Pen

Bolt action: First and foremost, this is a pen that will get you noticed. Pull it out on the job site, at the office, or in the boardroom and people will ask about it. Machined in the good ole USA by the fine folks at Karas Kustoms, this pen gets its name from the firearm inspired action. Each one is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum (also available in brass and bronze), and utilizes Parker ballpoint refills (including the Fisher Space Pen refill) when your ink starts running dry.

Purchase: $65+

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