Looks like it’s time to branch out from purely looking at lights. The newest fad in preparedness gear is the Tactical Pen. Is “tactical” really an appropriate term for a writing instrument, or is this just another application of “Tacti-cool”?
Meat and Potatoes
The 4Sevens (or now FOURSEVENS) Tactical Pen is designed as a precision writing implement for those who require durability in everything they carry. Machined out of solid Titanium, durability is definitely not in question for this jotter. The sides of the barrel are very thick, a fact belied by the tiny weight of the pen. The lightly brushed finish will probably develop quite a nice patina over time, but that is one of the best features of EDC products. They look good used, rather than shelf queens.
The supposed “Tactical” aspect of the pen comes from the optional threaded tips. The standard tip that is included is considered a glass breaker and preserves the sleek smooth lines. Also available are a lanyard loop for attaching (you guessed it) a lanyard, and a tactical strike point, or as I have taken to describing it, the puncture wound tip. This one has three sharpened teeth on it similar to most flashlight strike bezels. I have it on good authority as well that this tip was designed to hold a 6mm airsoft pellet. Using a glow in the dark pellet would actually be a good way to give your pen a GITD locator.
The FOURSEVENS pen’s writing function is based around the venerable Fisher Space Pen refill cartridges. These pressurized refills are a high quality ball-point tip that is capable of writing on nearly any surface in nearly any conditions. Underwater? No problem. Upside down? Of course it can, you’re not even trying. Microgravity? It’s called the Space Pen for a reason. Personally I think that most times I have used a Space Pen (including this iteration) it has felt just a little scratchy, but I imagine that is really a personal preference. It’s never been frustrating enough for me to look for something else to write with.
As far as the various Tactical tips go for this pen, the one to which I gave the most thorough workout is the glass breaker. I can’t leave something that makes a blatant claim like that untested. Oonce I found myself staring at the broken shards of a Pyrex mixing bowl that had been accidentally dropped, I gave it a shot. Now Pyrex is incredibly hard glass, and this one was ¼”+ thick, so it wasn’t just a throwaway attempt. Sure enough, the tiny point is capable of breaking even this tough glass, but it came at a cost. The tip on my pen has now been rounded out a fair bit making it less capable in this regard the next time it is needed. I would suggest that this type of tip would be better made out of some hardened metal alloy (carbide or something) rather than the Ti it currently uses. In the mean time however consider it to be for emergency use only, so that it is still intact if you find yourself actually needing it.
Speaking of interchangeable tips, I love the fact that this pen has been designed as a modular concept. It means that future releases can be made that will fit exactly with your existing hardware. Some suggestions of mine would be a tip that makes it possible to post your pen cap on the tail of the pen when you are writing with it. This would create a longer, more usable pen, though at the expense of reducing the sleek look it currently possesses. Another option (and my favorite one) would be a capacitive stylus tip for use on today’s generation of smartphones and media players.
Though not a true aficionado, I am no stranger to the fine writing tool arena. I have, however, long been a staunch member of the Fountain pen camp. Recently having my EDC of the last 15 years break irrevocably on me, I was definitely in the market for something fresh. This exquisite example is definitely enough to open my predisposition back to the world of ball points. It’s smooth, simple lines, durable construction, and compact size are exactly what I am looking for in a daily carry pen.
Provided for review by the kind folks at FOURSEVENS.