April 16, 2014
I don't care whether a pen will work in the weightless vacuum of outer space, or
at 300 degrees, or standing on my head at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. I
don't care because if I find myself in those conditions I have more to worry
about than whether my pen works.
However, I do care quite a lot whether a pen works outdoors at 30 to 40 degrees
f. Such conditions, if you have to work out in them all day, only make you WISH
you could die. While I'm out there in the cold I need something to write with,
and a standard ballpoint won't do it. The ball locks up in cold temperatures. It
will tear a hole in the paper before it will leave a mark.
The Fisher Space Pen does work in the cold, which is why I always carry one. I
thought the Tombow Airpress might be a good substitute for the Fisher. Not a
chance. It freezes up in moderate cold just like a standard ballpoint does.
It also writes like a standard fine ballpoint pen; scratchy weak line, but
perfectly adequate for utility grade work. Provided it's warm enough, of
Other than that, the pen is short yet fat, an uncomfortable shape. On one side
is a clip that digs unpleasantly into the web of my hand if I hold the pen that
way, on the other a lanyard loop molded in which does the same, so there is no
really comfortable way to hold it. It uses a short refill that doesn't contain
much ink, so I don't expect it to last too long.
This pen is OK for utility writing under mild weather conditions, but for me it
offers no advantages over disposable stick pens that cost much less and contain
a larger ink supply.
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