Author Topic: Fun with a new pen.  (Read 42 times)


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Fun with a new pen.
« on: July 30, 2022, 10:35:21 PM »
Despite writing almost exclusively on my keyboard nowadays  I do like having a good pen around.  I've tried all sorts over the years, but many of them aren't reliable.

One of the best was a Papermate ballpoint.  But around the time I bought my twelfth refill I found I'd worn through the barrel where it rested against the 'scribe's bump' on my finger.  I bought another, but it was lost or stolen early on.

I was taken by the adverts for the Fisher Space Pen, but jibbed at the price at the time.

Well, I finally bought one, for the best part of thirty quid and here's a review, in which I test some of the claims they make.

I don't get paid for this, I'm just sharing my impressions.


   Fun with a new pen

   I bought myself a Fisher Space Pen, as used by Astronauts.

   These come in several varieties. Some of which are insanely expensive and rather flamboyant .  All come with the pressurised ballpoint cartridge, guaranteed to work properly under extreme conditions, such as zero gravity or underwater, and over a ludicrously wide temperature range.

   I bought the bullet pen, in matte black.  It's a delightful little thing, and little is the word.  When closed it's a bit under four inches long, which feels small.  But once you stick the cap on the back end it's perfectly balanced and sits in your hand with a reassuringly solid feel.  It comes with a 'lifetime guarantee', which will still only be 29 years for me if I live to be 100.

   This pen is beautifully engineered, with an under-stated elegance which is a major part of the appeal to me.  I can see no reason - apart from loss - why it won't be around for my girls to argue or negotiate over as part of their inheritance.

   We did, of course, have to test some of its claims to fame.

    My granddaughter and I soaked a sheet of paper, smoothed it out on the work top, and yes, it writes on wet paper.  Over the years this would have been really useful on my various soggy 'reporter's notebooks'.  If you press hard enough to break through the paper all bets are off.

   We soaked a sheet of printer paper and pressed it down on the bottom of the sink, then filled the sink with water.  Yes, it writes underwater.

   They claim it writes at any angle, unlike most ballpoint pens which tend to stop when you are writing on a sheet of paper held against a wall.  I held a sheet of paper on a clipboard and my granddaughter wrote on it from underneath, arms well above her head.

   It writes on polymer paper, like the new 'plastic' banknotes, and on every kind of plastic bag we could readily lay our hands on for our brief tests.

   It even wrote on a kitchen sponge, and has failed to wash off despite much use afterwards.

   Just for the sheer exuberant hell of it I signed a few biscuits which were out on the side, which my granddaughter then ate, 'just because she could'.

   In more pragmatic everyday tests the short length of the closed pen means it will sit snugly across the bottom of most shirt or trouser pockets, and not wriggle out and away as longer pens often do.  This is a useful trait as modern pockets tend to be cut increasingly shallow, compared to those of my childhood.  (There is a reason I like army surplus clothing with capacious pockets.)

   The clip seems very secure.  Certainly locks tight against cotton and denim.  Not tested against slippery nylon or silk.

   I am currently fighting the temptation to deliberately put it through the washing machine on a hot wash, which the specifications suggest it should survive with no damage and no ink leakage.  The only reason I haven't so far is because, with its low 'pocket profile', this is probably going to happen anyway, sooner rather than later.

   Finally, for those who know what a kubotan is, both smoothly rounded ends of the capped pen would work if 'misused' in this way.  Or as a massage tool for unlocking cramped muscles, if you know where to poke without doing further damage.


PS:  Once the backroom boys sort out the current inability to post pictures I'll show you what it looks like.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2022, 10:41:30 PM by Gyppo »