Pay too much attention to the direction that technology is headed and you might think the written word is dying off. You’d also, however, be a bit misguided. There are plenty of occasions in everyday life in which you will find it more convenient to write things down physically. For instance: at the bank, if your phone dies, or if you come up with a clever idea in the heat of the moment. You’re also more likely to remember something if you actually scrawl it out. But, for all those things, you’ll also need a pen.
And that’s just the beginning. A pen isn’t just something to scribble with – it’s a means by which to turn seemingly fleeting thoughts into something more. For creative writers, it’s a method for remembering important plot details on-the-fly. For inventors, engineers, and craftsmen, it’s a way to convert light-bulb moments into actual blueprints. And for students, it’s a helpful study tool that’s both more reliable and more concrete than typing up notes on a lightweight laptop. Even if you just look at it as a contingency plan, a writing utensil is still worth carrying all the time.
Yes, an everyday carry pen in an invaluable tool to the modern man. But there are literally thousands of options out there available for purchase. So how do you choose which one is right for you? Well, you can start right here. We’ve put together a list of what we believe are the 15 best everyday carry pens you can find. And they range from the sleek and modern to the rugged and tactical. So have a look, see if anything fits the bill, and get to writing.
Zebra F-701 Ballpoint Pen
If you’re not quite ready to jump into the deep end on a high-end writing instrument, it doesn’t mean you can’t get one worthwhile. Zebra’s pens are not quite what we’d call disposable, but they’re not going to break the bank either. Their F-701 is made from stainless steel, comes with an Easy Glide black ink refill, and might surprise you with how resilient it is. And, although it is already quite affordable, it also comes in a 2-pack – just in case you manage to misplace one of them.
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
Fountain pens have a bit of a hoity-toity reputation, but that perspective is both antiquated and incorrect. Sure, they’re a bit more urbane than your average ballpoint clicker, but that’s a good thing. Especially if you are fond of creating artwork or if you dabble in calligraphy. This inexpensive one from Pilot features a medium nib, a black ink cartridge, and the brand’s press-plate converter. And since it’s so affordable, you don’t need to worry about putting it through the trials and tribulations of everyday use. Besides, that’s really what it was made to survive.
Rite In The Rain All-Weather Clicker Pen
If raw ability is what you’re looking for in an EDC writing utensil, go no further. The Rite in the Rain All-Weather clicker is the pen for you. It’s crafted from metal, so it’s quite durable, but the real star of the show is the ink cartridge it comes with. It has the ability to function in temperatures as low as -30F and as high as 250F; can write underwater at a depth of up to 35 feet; and can write through water, mud, and grease without smearing or clumping. And once the ink runs out, you can either purchase a new pen altogether or – if you take good enough care of it – you can save yourself some scratch and just get some cartridge refills and have your pen up and ready for more adventures in no time.
Tec Accessories Picopen
Sometimes, sleekness and discretion are the best route to take. And you can’t do much better than the Tec Accessories Picopen. This tiny wonder measures up at just 3.25 inches in length, making it more than small enough to fit on your carabiner or keychain without weighing you down. It also comes equipped with a rare earth neodymium magnetic cap that’ll stay plenty secure when you’re not using it. Perhaps best of all, it’s even compatible with Fisher Space Pen pressurized cartridge refills, making this an incredibly versatile option. In fact, though it comes with a keychain clip, you can also just remove it altogether, if you’d rather just stash this little wizard in your pocket and save some real estate on your key organizer.
Fisher Space Pen Bullet
It’s rare to see something as seemingly simple as a pen get recognition as a piece of art. But that’s exactly the honor that’s been bestowed upon the Fisher Space Pen Bullet by New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In fact, it’s been on display there for years. And apart from being a beautifully designed minimalist tool, it also has plenty to offer in the realm of capability. For instance, it is only 3.75 inches long when closed, so it’s perfectly pocket-sized – but it also opens up into a balanced full-sized pen. On top of that, it can write under water, upside-down, or in zero gravity – quite the little achiever.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen
Whereas most high-end fountain pens call for careful usage and come with delicate display cases, this offering from Lamy is a bit more world-ready. Meaning you can take it out with you as a part of your everyday carry without worry of roughing it up – as that’s what it was meant for: regular usage. It features a durable and lightweight ABS plastic body, a black-coated steel fine tip nib, and includes one of the brand’s blue ink cartridges. It can also be modified to work with a Z24 cartridge converter, if that’s your preference.
Everyman Grafton Pen
An EDC pen should be durable and adventure-ready, but they don’t all need to be aggressively tactical or overly complicated. And that’s what’s great about the Everyman Grafton – it gives you everything you need for your day-to-day life and nothing you don’t. Its body is constructed from durable anodized 6061 aluminum, it features a sturdy bolt-on pocket clip, and operates by a simple and familiar clicker mechanism. Even better, it is compatible with both Pilot G2 and Fisher Space Pen ink cartridges.
Machine Era Original Brass Pen
Having a capped pen can be excellent if you’re worried about ink-bleed. But, too many heavy duty metal capped pens leave you without a place to put the cap while you use them. Machine Era has solved that crisis with their Original Brass Pen. This handy and sturdy solid brass-constructed writing utensil features a screw top, but also has threading on the opposite end, so you can attach the cap to the back of the pen while you write. It’s also compatible with all standard Uni-Ball refills, is made right here in the USA, and weighs just 1.6 ounces – pretty light for such a tough pen.
Tactile Turn Slider Pen
Bolt-action mechanisms are an interesting and handy deployment method for pens, but some of them can be clunky and unwieldy. By contrast, the Tactile Turn Slider’s is as smooth as silk. And the elegance in its construction gets passed on to its appearance, as well – because, while most other bolt-action pens have a bit of an edge to them, this one wouldn’t look out of place in, say, Don Draper’s office. But it’s still tough enough to weather everyday use, thanks to its all-metal construction. Not to mention compatibility with both Schmidt and Parker style refills.
Big Idea Design Ti Pocket Pro
Titanium is truly a wondrous material. It’s as strong as steel, but at only a fraction of the weight. And it’s exactly what Big Idea Design’s Ti Pocket Pro EDC pen is crafted from. Available in either black or stonewashed finished, this sturdy writing utensil has more going for it than just its materials, too. You see, it can telescope to seamlessly adapt to fit over 80 different refill types. From standard ballpoint to specialty inks and sizes, this pen can seemingly do it all. For an all-around versatile EDC pen, this is a solid go-to.
Karas Bolt Pen
Why choose between a classic clicker or a bolt-action when you can have the best of both worlds in the Karas Kustoms Bolt Pen. This gorgeous and rugged all-metal pen is made in America and works with literally any Parker ballpoint compatible refill. And it operates just as smoothly and easily whether you choose to press down on the piston-clicker or swipe the bolt. Furthermore, Karas Kustoms specifically built these pens to last a lifetime, so you may never need to buy another pen again.
Helic Bolt-Action Pen
Most bolt-action everyday carry pens use little more than repurposed clicker-style mechanisms. But, when the Tin Mill decided to make one themselves, they didn’t want it to be just like all the others. What they ended up with is the stunningly beautiful and unique Helic pen. Rather than operating like a clicker, this one incorporates the sweeping motion of a twist-operating mechanism with the execution of bolt-action. It’s also built from super tough stainless steel, comes with a Pilot G2 Gel fine point refill, and weighs 2.2 ounces.
Tanner Goods Memori Pen
You may be aware of their leather goods, but did you also know that Tanner Goods makes some killer non-leather EDC, as well? As an example, we’d like to submit to you their Memori pen. Machined in Portland, Oregon from solid brass, this gorgeously simple pen is compatible with all G2 sized ink cartridges and refills. And, like all of their offerings, Tanner Goods cut no corners with the execution of this pen. While the end result could certainly be called minimalistic, we imagine that a tremendous amount of though went into making something so slickly designed. And, because it’s made from solid brass, this pen promises to age incredibly well.
Inventery Mechanical Pen
There’s a common phrase that goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And some might say that applies to something as seemingly ubiquitous and mundane as a clicker pen. We, however, prefer the outlook of folks like those at Inventery – those who seem to think, “it ain’t broke, but it can still be done better.” And that’s what they’ve created with their Mechanical Pen. Each of these pens is built from a single brass rod – giving them a stellar and rugged unibody construction. They’re also equipped with a supremely slick and silent Schmidt clicker mechanism – note the fact that, in this case, ‘clicker’ is just a categorical name and not a description of audible sound. And each of these pens is individually serialized and covered by a lifetime warranty – which should be taken quite seriously, as these pens were already made to last your whole life.
Zero Tolerance 0010BLK Pen
If you’re an active member of the everyday carry community, you’ve likely already heard of Zero Tolerance. If not, you should definitely look them up – as they are one of the best knife making brands out there today. But their expertise is not limited strictly to bladed tools. Which is a fact that can be clearly observed in the execution of their 0010BLK pen. This superb EDC writing utensil is as unique as they come, featuring a 6061 aircraft-grade, black finished, 3D-machined body mated to a custom-machined pocket clip. It’s also not likely to fail during operation, as it features a non-retractible tip and, therefore, no moving parts. Instead, it comes with an o-ring sealed snap cap. It also has a glass breaker tip for tactical applications and is made right here in the USA.
The 50 Best Everyday Carry Items
There are a few things, like a pen, that a man should keep on his person at all times. But some pieces of gear are better than others in regards to form, performance, and reliability. Make sure you’re getting the most out of yours by selecting them from our list of the 50 best everyday carry items for men.