Mark Thomas Miller

The best pen for everyday carry

I’ve been looking for a solid pen for quite some time. I wanted to find something sturdy, beautiful, and easy for everyday use, no matter where I was. It needed to fit the following description:

  1. Small and easy to carry. It needed to fit comfortably in my pocket alongside my Moleskine.
  2. Beautifully designed. Carrying an ugly pen wouldn’t be very fun, would it?
  3. Well-constructed. It needed to endure all conditions without breaking, and I preferred pens that were made entirely of metal.

After a bit of research, I found the Fisher Space Pen. It was a designer’s dream at first sight:

Holding the closed Fisher Space Pen in my hand.

The pen is a tiny 3.8 x 0.3 x 0.3 inches and made entirely of metal.

Holding the open Fisher Space Pen in my hand.

Fit the cap on the back to create a full-size pen.

The Fisher Space Pen next to a Moleskine Pocket Notebook, for scale.

Next to my Moleskine pocket notebook, for scale.

(If you want a better look at the pen, I took a (very large) open and closed shot on an iPhone.)

First Impressions

The Fisher Space Pen feels like quality.

It’s made entirely of brass and steel, has weight to it, and it feels good in your hand.

The parts don’t rattle, and it feels solid.

Reliability

According to Fisher, the pen can write at any angle, in extreme temperatures from -30°F to 250°F, upside down, underwater, over grease, and even in zero gravity (in case you’re ever in space). I’ve summarized an Amazon reviewer on its longevity:

“I’ve been carrying one for 20 years… I’ve used it on lumber, on wet items, on greasy items, on glossy items. It’s been through the washer and the dryer. It’s been dropped and abused. If you need a great, reliable pen in a small package, you can’t beat it.” – Amazon reviewer

The Fisher Space Pen is one of the best objects I’ve ever owned. I’d put its elegance in the same category as Apple’s MacBooks and Herman Miller’s Eames lounge chair.

The Fisher Business

I was expecting Fisher to be an old-school conglomerate, but they’re actually a small business with less than 100 employees. The packaging even includes a smiling picture of the pen’s inventor inscribed,

If you are not satisfied with this Fisher Space Pen, return it directly to me for repair or replacement.

In an age of faceless companies delivering highly perfectionistic software products, Fisher feels delightfully artisan and gives you the thrill of doing business with a company that’s just really good at making a simple, mechanical object.

Get the Pen

The pen pictured above is the matte black Fisher Space Pen with clip. Get it on Amazon if you’re interested; it’s around $20 at the time I’m writing this article. If you try one, let me know what you think!