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ZT Tactical Pens - Informational

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by West Coast, Dec 17, 2016.

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What would you say is a reasonable cost for an EDC pen?

  1. $150 +

    15.4%
  2. $100 - $150

    15.4%
  3. $50 - $100

    46.2%
  4. $20 - $50

    46.2%
  5. $0 - $20

    15.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. West Coast

    West Coast Empty Pockets

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    For approximately 3 years, I've been lucky enough to have a Zero Tolerance (ZT) 0010BLK "tactical pen" prototype. I received this before the official product announcement. It's definitely a prototype, as it's got some noticeable problems (both that I noticed, as well as the individual who built it). Some of these include minor spacing/tolerance issues, others are things like using carbon-steel tools for engraving, which leaves behind tooling dust to rust. Other things are a rather tight pocket clip, when compared to production models. There's also no knurling where the "finger grip" is. The interior of the barrel is also slightly smaller. The prototype also had some crummy Parker refill in it, which actually burst open relatively soon after I began using it. This was immediately replaced with a blue Fisher refill.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Personally, using a pen with a $125 price tag (MSRP for production models) seemed crazy to me, at the time. So, naturally, I left it at home, and used it at my desk almost exclusively. I do a lot of handwriting at home, so this got me to really get used to it quite a bit - just not carrying it outside of my house. Up until recently...
    With the latest KAI factory sale, I stood in line for hours at the LE/FIRE/EMS/MIL entrance, and was rather disappointed when I got in. Sure, they had auto's this year (at not so good prices) but I did spot the ZT pen, this time in brown, at the sale. I sorted through several of them, found a decent one, and picked it up for $35. Other than some cheap kitchen knives for camping, that was about all I got.
    [​IMG]
    So far, I've been carrying the pen for a couple of weeks, daily, and heavily using it. It's a bit of a beefy pen, compared to what I've been used to carrying around (Fisher bullet) but I lost my Fisher, so this would have to do.
    I must say that I'm really impressed with it. There are some flaws, like having a hardcore cap that can be a little sluggish to get on and off sometimes, especially when compared to the Fisher bullet, but for such a large pen, it's great.
    It's a little odd thinking of the pen in a "tactical" manner, but I think it might I would treat it the same way I'd treat any other pen in my pocket, if the need for some sort of improvised weapon like that came up. The addition of the carbide glassbreaker is new, and pretty useful, but I would never use it, unless absolutely necessary, particularly since a replacement would run me $$$ (and they've just discontinued the pens).
    [​IMG]
    Some things to note about the 0100EB pens bought from the factory sale:
    - Bare pocket clip : no ZT marking or serial number
    - Bare top of cap : No "MADE IN OREGON" engraving
    - RITR cartridge : Comes with a black 37R Rite in the Rain refill
    - Some flaws : They're not perfect, and they have some sort of flaws - mine has a faint scratch around the main body
    - XXXX : If normal engravings are (or aren't) present, there will be four X's engraved somewhere on the pen, usually near the pocket clip mounting area.
    - Different Colors/Finishes : They all have different textures, coloring, and finishes.
    [​IMG]


    UPDATE: 20 DEC 2016: Found my Fisher Bullet Pen, and putting it back to use, although I've ordered a clip, with an idea to modify the pen for some sort of lanyard or placement in a leather case.

    UPDATE: 23 DEC 2016: Received another cartridge/refill from RITR (manufactured by Fisher) for the ZT pen, as the original cartridge felt quite gritty when writing on one side, and almost felt like it was abrading the paper.
     
    Last edited by West Coast, Dec 23, 2016
  2. b.s.

    b.s. Loaded Pockets

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    Great write-up! Where did you find your blue fisher refill?

    How is the balance with the cap posted VS. unposted?
     
  3. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    West Coast: you mentioned the pen had a 'Rite in the Rain' 'cartridge' (usually for bp or rb, they're called refills, but never mind). By any chance does it look like a Fisher refill? IIRC, Rite in the Rain do indeed use Fisher bp refills even though the pens are branded 'Rite in the Rain'.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  4. flatline

    flatline Loaded Pockets

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    I can't speak for the OP, but I have had great luck ordering fisher space pen refills in a variety of colors either from amazon or directly from Fisher.

    --flatline
     
    b.s. likes this.
  5. Dingle1911

    Dingle1911 Loaded Pockets

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    I really like the looks of the ZT pen especially for the $35 the OP paid, although you have to take into account the time spent standing in line.

    I really like pens with caps that snap quickly on and off. In my opinion caps that twist on take too long to operate.

    For EDC pens in general I am willing to pay north of $150 for a pen if it is well made and there is a company that will stand behind the product. That company could be just one person or one hundred. I want to know that if anything goes wrong with the tool that someone will take care of me. That is what I expect if I pay that much for a tool.
     
  6. West Coast

    West Coast Empty Pockets

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    Moshe ben David : I actually just received another refill (they call it a cartridge on their packaging) from RITR today, and at the bottom, it says that it is manufactured by Fisher. It looks very similar, if not identical, other than markings.
     
  7. West Coast

    West Coast Empty Pockets

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    b.s. : Thanks!!
    I don't see a ton of difference in regards to balance with the cap on or off. However, I do like to keep the cap on, since as the end of the pen tapers a bit, I like to have that extra bit of contact with my hand.
    I was actually in Las Vegas a couple years ago, and visited the Fisher factory which was nearby - purchased a few different colors there, as well as a bullet pen and some gifts. You can find the refill cartridges in various colors and widths (bold?, medium, fine) online, or direct from Fisher (they have some items not on their website that you may need to call for).
    The one in the photo is actually a Medium Turquoise Fisher refill/cartridge. It's the #PR9 - you can send $6.00 directly to Fisher and get sent one back.
     
    Last edited by West Coast, Dec 23, 2016
    b.s. likes this.
  8. West Coast

    West Coast Empty Pockets

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    Dingle1911 : Agreed - buying a product, even if it is very expensive, is worth it, especially knowing a company stands behind it. Whether it's a $300 Benchmade, backed by a rather large company, or an $80 belt made by a small business (Snake Eater Tactical), where quality, design, and testing are unsurpassed, it's worth it.
    I agree - I do not like twist caps either, especially when you have to twist more than a few full rotations.
    Time spent wasn't a huge deal - I went with a friend, and typically see other people there that I only see a couple times a year (from the knife community).
     
  9. Ken Watson
    • +1 Supporter

    Ken Watson Loaded Pockets

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    FWIW I use a rite in the rain pen, and the cartridge it came with said fisher on it.

    I voted 20-50, the rite in the rain pen was about 35 Canadian I think. That range is enough to make you care about not losing it, and enough you can get something noticeably nicer than a "normal" pen, but as long as I get say a year out of it, if I lose it beyond that point I won't sweat it. $150 pen for edc? I don't have the guts for that. Hahaha
     
    Last edited by Ken Watson, Dec 25, 2016