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Why do people love the Space Pen?

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by Dedrich, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    What's all the fuss over Fisher Space Pens? Why do people love them / use them so much? The negative reviews on Amazon are pretty negative --- blobbing, cap problems, rolling away (bullets), clip issues (again, bullet).

    I'm currently using a sharpie stainless pen but I'm interested either in a clicky, or the bullet since everyone makes it sound like a must have. Looking for viewpoints on what makes the fisher pen great, why people love them, hate them, and / or recommend them.
     
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  2. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The "Space Pen" is not what someone reaches for to have that "quality writing experience". They reach for it because they need to write in rain, or crappy weather, or at an awkward angle, on bad paper, what have you.

    The Bullet pen is also frigging tiny - it's a brass shell wrapped around a Fisher pressurized cartridge. You can slip it in your pocket and not remember it's there until you need it.

    Now, the cons:

    1. The ink can blob. Until very recently, the tip was only available in a medium point.
    2. The clip is garbage. You can superglue it in place, but otherwise you can expect it to disappear in short order.
    3. The bullet pens are relatively expensive and, accordingly, disappear absurdly fast. I've lost more of these than I care to think about.
    4. There are cheaper "pocket friendly" options out there - not pressurized, but still very functional (Zebra F-301 is a personal fave).

    So, basically it's a great emergency pen - keep it with a "Rite in the Rain" pad and tuck it in your car. But I don't know of too many people who actively buy Fisher pressurized cartridges because they enjoy writing at length with the pens.

    When I'm EDCing a pocket pen, I usually opt for a Zebra F-301 compact. If I were headed out to the great outdoors, in whatever fashion, I'd probably take a Fisher for emergency purposes.
     
  3. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    ^Yeah!
     
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  4. MangeD700
    • In Omnia Paratus

    MangeD700 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The only pen that writes on a piece of iced paper.... A great Geocaching pen!
     
  5. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks!

    This is really helpful. Given that I rarely, if ever, find myself in the wilderness and am looking for more of an active use -- it sounds like the space pen is likely not for me. At least not now. Will check out the Zebra pens.
     
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  6. JHGM

    JHGM Dinosaur Supervisor

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    I use the space pen cartridge in my Parker Jotter...

    Works well for my use (mechanic; often write on various greasy surfaces).
     
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  7. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The pressurized aspect works well for anyone outside - not just the wilderness. Think truckers signing clipboards in all weather, for example. Or security guards. Delivery folk. And so on. (EtA: or mechanics writing on greasy paper - thanks Jarhead! :D)

    A happy compromise for pressurized and accessibly-priced is the Uniball "Power Tank".

    All that said, if you're looking for specifically a pocket-friendly pen, I repeat: Zebra F-301. :D Although the Zebra "Expandz" pens has gotten good reviews - don't care for them myself.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    I've just got one. Stainless bullet I think with a clip (which as previously mentioned doesn't look like it will stay the distance). It rights ok but it's just nice. It's tactile. I took it with me to a meeting (didn't need it in the finish) but it just sat nicely in my pocket. I suspect it will evolve into my desk pen, I think it will work best for me somewhere it's less likely I'll lose it. I've a fisher wedge with same cartridge to the best of my knowledge that I'll happily use but not attached to in the same way I think I will be with the bullet. Design icon maybe?

    The pen that's always with me and always works is a telescoping zebra (expandz?) I paid about £4 for which lives happily in my wallet.
     
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  9. Sharaz_Jek

    Sharaz_Jek Loaded Pockets

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    I've had one of the chrome bullet style pens for years. I like it because it writes on just about everything and fits in the pocket nicely. I did lose it for almost a year exactly until I was cleaning and found it under the couch. lol!

    It's a nice EDC pen but for serious writing sessions I use a Pilot Dr. Grip.
     
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  10. pduds

    pduds Loaded Pockets

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    Basically what the 2nd poster said. it's reliable. After I lost my Fisher military pen, I just bought a Rite in the Rain pen, which is the same cartridge just not as good looking. I keep on in my backpack and one in the car.
     
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  11. Red_17

    Red_17 Loaded Pockets

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    I have one and keep it in my car with a Rite In The Rain pad. I'm not a fan of the way they write. I tend to like gel pens though. I picked up a couple metal Energels made by Pentel for work and they work pretty well. They look nice but they're still cheap enough that I don't need to worry about beating them up or losing them.
     
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  12. theotherroche

    theotherroche Loaded Pockets

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    Fisher Space Pen has the best warranty, period.

    And how is it loosing an item a fault of the item? Ever time I misplace an item it is due to operator error.
     
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  13. tdb

    tdb Loaded Pockets

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    Its pen for when you don't want to carry a pen. I like to carry my Tuffwriter, but when the most writing I'll be doing is signing a receipt and I don't want the chunk of steel in my pocket the space pen is perfect. Not to mention the cool factor is pretty high, they're relative cheap, and they're made in the good ole USA.
     
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  14. jazzbone1031

    jazzbone1031 Loaded Pockets

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    Just my $.02, I actually washed and dried my Space pen. It came out no worse for wear. I did notice that a bit of the finish (I have the black) came off later, but I have no idea if that was in the wash or just due to use. But washed and dried and no problems?! Yep, that's worth the "crappy" writing experience to me, especially since I rarely write for extended periods. Oh, yeah...the washing and drying was an accident. Didn't do that on purpose.
     
  15. Sachsen

    Sachsen Loaded Pockets

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    Blobbing - problem with medium point but not with fine. And the fine isn't really very fine, more like a 0.7mm. Switch to fine point, no blobbing problems.

    Cap - never had a problem with my bullet

    Rolling - my bullet remains in my pocket when not in use, so no rolling problems

    Clip - my bullet goes in my pants pocket. No need for a clip

    It's not my all time favorite pen but it has some very definite uses and advantages. I actually carry a Cap-o-Matic in my RITR EDC notebook cover. Use it to write on things that other pens struggle with, like plastic bags, Christmas gift labels, etc. Perfect for wet or messy conditions (I work outside a lot.) My bullet is my go-to pen when I need one in my pocket and am not carrying my notebook case.

    If you don't need the write-anywhere-under-any-conditions ink, then there are plenty of other good pens out there. I would recommend Jetstreams or Zebras.
     
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  16. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    Is this the same as the fisher shuttle pen? I love this pen.
     
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  17. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I carry an X-Mark Space Pen virtually every day. Why?

    1. It always works - no matter what I do to it (including running it through the laundry)
    2. It's small
    3. Excluding the clip, I've never been able to break it
    4. It writes upside-down
    5. It writes in sub-zero temps on virtually anything
    6. If I lose it, the replacement is less than $20
     
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  18. BalancedEdge

    BalancedEdge Loaded Pockets

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    I used to carry one of those matte military space pens. Cap kept unscrewing in my pocket and it was too thin and very uncomfortable to write with. Never had any trouble with the ink though. Tore the pen apart for scrap metal and kept the refill for another pen.
     
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  19. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    Bingo!
    This is the big draw for me.
    Seeing as it is -10F here right now, and thats Mild compared to some days, if I go out with a ball point, or even a gel right now, it will stop writing about 30 seconds after leaving my pocket, IF it was warm enough in the pocket to write at all to begin with. The space pen solves this! Too bad I don't have one now though... This actually happened to me early in the week, my Zebra Telescopic was too cold to write... :rolleyes:

    the "writes over grease" aspect is nice too for those of us in automotive, or home maintenance etc type work, where grimey hands can leave even a slight film on paper that a ballpoint or gel won't write over worth a darn, if at all.
     
  20. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    These might be famous last words... I work a desk job, and that desk is in my apartment. Aside from the usual reasons to leave my apartment (groceries, out with wife), the only times I ever travel is to see clients which is mainly airport to office building to hotel to airport to home. Also being a New Yorker (that now lives in DC) that lived through 9/11, I can't imagine a circumstance where I would actually need the ability to write upside down, on water proof paper, notwithstanding a Walking Dead Apocalypse and all. Again, likely famous last words here...

    That said I picked up the Zebra F-402 2-pack today while at Staples. the 701 looked really cool but seemed like it would be not great for long periods of use. The rubber on the 402 was the attraction.

    I like the idea of the space pen, well, just for the fun of it. This has been a great thread thus far and totally get why, in the right circumstances, this is a great thing to EDC.