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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. Tony Sal

    Tony Sal EDC Junkie!!!

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  2. WyOkBuckskin

    WyOkBuckskin Loaded Pockets

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    I have a matte bullet, a Jotter with a space pen refill, a Zebra 701 with a refill and I just got the USA Flag clicker space pen with a fine refill. I like the fine better than the the others.
     
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  3. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    Ever since credit cards started using the "fraud prevention" signature pads, nothing seems to write on them very well except markers.

    My experience is that the space pen writes on more surfaces than other ballpoint pens, but saying it "writes anywhere" is too strong a claim.

    --flatline
     
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  4. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    I'm really digging the Cap-O-Matic!
     
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  5. Sachsen

    Sachsen Loaded Pockets

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    It's really nice. I used it all day today. I really like the matte black coated metal finish, the well-constructed feeling of the click mechanism, the feeling of indestructibility, and the Fisher fine refill I have in it is a good writer and very reliable. Just an all-around great pen that doesn't break the bank. At less than $13 on amazon, it's pretty much a must-own in my opinion.
     
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  6. wildborego

    wildborego EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    They can fit my wallet and I dont have to worry about it.
     
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  7. MNBob

    MNBob Empty Pockets

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    They write when I need them too. Not the best overall writing experience but then again, when I need it to write, it does.
     
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  8. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    The Zebra 701 arrived yesterday.

    It's a really nice pen, the knurling isn't bad (but not sure it will be entirely comfortable for long periods of use). It's remarkable that on such a solid pen they would go with a flimsy feeling clicky!

    I took the tip from the 701 and put it on my 402. I was secretly hoping that a 402 + fine fisher refill + 701 tip would just "magically work" which it does not. It likely requires some more tweaking, the issues being yes I have to widen the 701 tip's internal plastic thingy, and the spring.

    Now I'm kind of wondering if I should just go for moving the 402 clicky part into the 701. While this might be easy for some, it feels like it might be more work than I was hoping to do (which is basically no work).

    My ideal pen would be the 701 with rubber instead of the metal knurling, with a solid clicky, and fisher refill.

    Will keep you posted.
     
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  9. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    It's pretty easy to use the 701 as is with the Fisher refill, stretching the plastic thingy in the tip takes seconds.

    I sent a bunch of tweets to Zebra about how they could, if they wanted to, make the perfect Fisher pen. Wonder if they will respond!
     
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  10. MichiganMan

    MichiganMan Loaded Pockets

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    I imagine they're probably pretty happy with the current circumstances. Think about it. As things are, if you want to make a F-702 mod, (or an F-401 for that matter) at a minimum you're going to buy an F-701 that is sold as a single pen and a F-402 that comes in a two pack. At Staples that's about $16.00 total. Then, if you're like me, you don't want to "waste" the second F-402's silver clicker you buy a second F-701 to use it on. Now you're up to around $23.00. That's probably a little more than what they could sell their actual licensed Space Pen for, given what a Fisher Cap-O-Matic and the Bullet Pens are going for.

    Meanwhile, we're all talking about how desirable Zebra pens are and building up a cool buzz about them online (What?" Pens can be cool... don't judge me) and they haven't had to pay Fisher a cent for licensing.

    I'm guessing that my F-702's (all six of them) are the closest I'm going to get to an actual Zebra Space Pen. And that's fine with me, because for what they are, they're darn near perfect.
     
  11. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    I see where you're going with this.

    I did a 701 only with a fisher refill, so even though I bought a couple of 402s, it's unlikely I'll make a "702". So they didn't actually make any more money than they would've otherwise.

    Also, if they made a 701 (or another pen) that could directly take a fisher refill --- like many of the kickstarter pens (retrakt for one) --- would they still have to license it from Fisher? AFAIK if they called it a space pen then sure, otherwise they are just helping fisher sell more refills.

    I'm already thinking about picking up a few more 701s and more fisher refills, no plans to 702 them.
     
  12. oke

    oke Loaded Pockets

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    (Aside) If you happened to want a new offering that's a more sturdy shell for your Sharpie, there's currently a ks project attempting to provide that idea. Just fyi... :)
     
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  13. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    There's also a stainless steel fine point sharpie for $5
     
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  14. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    MichiganMan tmedina can you (or anyone else) share some advice:

    I am using a fisher fine red refill in a 701. I stretched out the plastic thingy in the tip using the original refill. It appears to be fine and snug with the fisher going through it. However once assembled in the pen, the action is very sticky. When clicked to retract, it doesn't retract easily or by itself always - I have to push the tip in. I'm using the spring that came with the 701 and made no modification to it.

    I tried to stretch out the hole in the plastic thingy some more but the result is the same.

    If the plastic thing is left out, then it works better (not always 100%) but of course the tip wobbles.

    Any tips on making this smoother? Is there any tool you can recommend that might help widen the hole of the plastic then better than using the original refill?

    Thanks!
     
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  15. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Unfortunately, I think it's the action of the clicker in connection with the refill. I'd have to take mine apart when I get home, but I think it's just an inherent element of the conversion.

    It's why I didn't keep my 701 in the fisher conversion - the clicky made me nuts.
     
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  16. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    I hear ya.
    The easiest fix seems to be removing the plastic thingy fully and living with the ever so slight wobble.

    Form factor wise, the 701 feels great. I might have to get one and keep it not-modded.
     
  17. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Yep - I really like the 701 and 402 pens on their own merits.

    I can't swear that the stickiness is from the plastic insert - although you might try a dab of silicone lube to see if that frees it up a bit and improves the click factor.
     
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  18. MichiganMan

    MichiganMan Loaded Pockets

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    I'll bet you its the plastic insert. Plagiarizing an earlier post of mine:

    If you have a problem with the mod, its going to be the plastic piece in the tip of the 701 that guides and seats the nub when its deployed. If your pen isn't working smoothly, its almost certainly this piece. The problem is that the piece is too tight for the Fisher refill. There are three common ways to deal with this. (I'm assuming you are following a guide that taught you to remove it with a straightened paper clip)

    First is to stretch it. The problem area is the very tip of the piece. I've had good luck with some pieces working them over the Fisher refill and then working them backwards over the narrow end of the thicker Zebra cartridge that came with the pen. If you're lucky, doing this and maybe letting it sit for 10 minutes on the Zebra cartridge permanently stretches it enough to where it will work smoothly with the Fisher refill. This is my best-case preference, and my first pen tonight worked with this method right away.

    Then there is the fold-over method where you fold the narrow tip of the plastic piece inward, again working it backward over the Zebra cartridge to stretch it. This worked for me tonight on the second pen when the plastic piece simply refused to stay stretched after the spring pushed against it in the tip. This is my second choice method.

    Then there is the method whereby the modder uses a razor or other implement to cut off the narrow tip of the plastic piece. Its simple and it works first time, but I don't prefer it because, in my experience, its leaves the pen nib just a little bit sloppy. Not much, but enough to where you notice a click when you set the tip to paper to write (if you're looking for it) The other two methods seem to leave the tip suitably reinforced to where there is no play.
     
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  19. IThinkTooMuch

    IThinkTooMuch Loaded Pockets

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    I did. It takes a little bit of shoving as the 701's steel barrel chases the brass threads on the 402 clicky. But once it's in, it worked just fine. I kept the 701 refills as they're my favorite to date.

    One thing that Zebra still needs to work on is the temper on the clip is very soft. I had to double wrap an o-ring around the barrel and clip (one turn under the clip, one turn over) to keep it from bending out with use.
     
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  20. Dedrich

    Dedrich Loaded Pockets

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    So I finally overcame the hesitation to make a 702. I was pleasantly surprised as to how easy it was to remove the steel clicky from the 402 and put it into the 701. Will report back on how it's working out for me.

    Happy new year all!
     
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