Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fisher Space Pen Review

Key Info
  • Pressurised ink cartridge, will write at any angle, underwater, on metal, through dust, grease etc. 
  • Works at temperatures from -35*C to +150*C.
  • Brass construction. 
  • Tungsten Carbide nib – prevents damage when writing on very hard surfaces.

The Fisher Space Pen (model reviewed, Fisher Bullet Penmay look like just a nice, ordinary ballpoint, but, in fact, it far exceeds standard pens in terms of performance. It uses a pressurised ink cartridge, which enables it to write in many adverse conditions, where a normal pen would be useless. It also has a nice brass construction, so it should survive being sat on a few times! 

How does it work?
Most ballpoints have a gravity fed nib, meaning that the force of gravity causes the ink to flow down the cartridge and into the nib. This is alright for normal, day to day use, but when conditions become tough, it fails almost immediately. If you turn a ballpoint pen upside-down, or even sideways, it will cease to function, as gravity is no longer pulling the ink down into the nib. Also, if you try to write underwater, it won't work, the same being true if you try to write on a dirty surface. In high temperatures, the ink will run out of the cartridge and go all over the place, making a mess, and meaning the pen no-longer works, and if the temperature is too cold, the ink will become thick and sticky, so it doesn't come out the nib at all. Contrary to popular belief though, a ballpoint will work in zero-G! 

All of these problems, plus a few more, are resolved in the design of the Fisher Space Pen. The cartridge is pressurised, so the ink is forced out, meaning it will work at any angle. This also means that you are able to write on many different types of surface, even if they are wet or dirty. Another great thing about the Space Pen is that the ink is special too! Due to the ink's (thixotropic) formula, this pen will work at temperatures from -35*C to +150*C! The ink is also waterproof, and combined with the pressurised cartridge this means that you can write underwater. The space pen also has a Tungsten Carbide nib - nearly as hard as diamond - meaning you can write on stone, metal etc. without damaging the nib. One thing I have noticed, however, is that the ink does fade to a brown colour over time if left in sunlight, but in my experience, this takes a few years and isn't much of a problem. 

Another thing worth noting is that the Fisher Cartridge (SPR4) comes with an adapter meaning that it will fit any pen that accepts Parker-style refill, which is very useful for converting your existing pens to space pens. 

The Fisher Bullet Pen is, in my opinion, one of the best pens you can buy, partly due to its excellent cartridge, but also because the pen itself is really nicely made and perfect for the pocket. They come in a wide array of finishes. The model reviewed is Chrome, but my personal preference is Raw Brass, which develops a lovely patina over time. If you want a lovely little EDC pen that won't let you down, even in the toughest conditions, this space pen makes a great candidate. (Space Pens are available on 

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