Fisher Space Pen

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,885
Location
NYC
I have used Parker Pens a lot but if you don't use it every day, it gums up.
Opposite experience for me. Use them everyday and starts to gum up. A bit of spit on tissue paper folded up several times, give the tip a good twist, and good for a few days. (No, I don't loan out my good pens.)
I have a Cross - too fat for my hands or pockets.
Quality has definitely slipped a bit from the good old days, but Cross still makes their very skinny Century line of ballpoint pens.
 

PaladinNO

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
291
Location
Norway
My go-to digital writing utensil is a full-size Ducky One 2 Cherry MX Brown, with custom keycaps and 50A durometer O-rings. ❤️
I spend so much time typing on a PC, I gladly spent those ~200 USD on a keyboard.

But my go-to pen - my analog writing utensil - is a SureFire EWP-02. Only SureFire product I own, but unlike every single other pen I have ever used, no-brand or yes-brand, the SureFire actually works when I need it to, every time.

I liked it so much, I bought another (shame I did that before I saw the 3-pack gift pack, including the pink one) - got the blue one at home, and the black one, the first I bought, at work. Refills are fortunately easy to get ahold of, even locally, which I checked before buying it.

Had an issue with the clicker a few years back, and SureFire offered to send me a spare, free of charge. Since I knew this would eventually be an issue with my other pen as well (sent them a picure of both pens as proof), I offered to pay for some more clickers, since they were going to send a parcel to me anyway, and some or all of the shipping cost too. I didn't get any more replies, but a week and a half later, a parcel arrived with 6 new clickers.
EDIT:
This reminds me...I sent a final reply back, thanking SureFire support for going way beyond what I expected in terms of service, and promised when or if I could to buy some more of their products. I still haven't done this yet.
/EDIT

I was recently in a meeting including the department head at work (not my boss, but my boss' boss), and I saw he was trying to make some notes. But his pen didn't work at all, so I silently handed him the SureFire across the table. He looked at the pen, looked at me, nodded and mouthed a silent "thank you", and used it to make his notes.

...Then I saw him put the pen in his chest pocket, where he had kept his own pen. And mentally I was like "you take out that pen now, or I take you out the window now". I do not remember what the rest of the meeting was about, because I only focused on keeping track of where my pen was.

When the meeting ended a bit later and we all stood up, I gently asked the guy to have my pen back, and pointed at his shirt pocket. And then I knew it had not been intentional, because his face became a mask of sheer terror. He glanced at the table where his own pen still was, and started apologizing to me profusely, and made sure everyone else nearby heard he had made an unintentional mistake as he handed me back my SureFire pen from his pocket. I equally made a point back to ensure him and those who heard that such mistakes happen and it was not a big deal.

Isn't even the first time this has happened. Almost every time I bring it to a new place or I let someone else borrow either of the SureFire pens, whichever I have with me at the time, for some reason or another, I almost lose it.

As for the Fisher Space Pen, the Russians actually did it better when they brought a pencil instead. And as supposedly for working underwater, I don't know of any waterproof paper yet.
 
Last edited:

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,885
Location
NYC
See, that's why I carry a cheap ball-point pen in my work-bag to lend out to anyone who asks to borrow my pen.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,742
Location
Dust in the Wind
All I buy are the fine tips. Still happens to me.
Maybe is a gypsy curse, I dunno.
I had the same issue. I switched to Cross pens and settled on their clicky. I used one for about 5 years. But now I use a Bookaroo pen with a Parker refill. It came from the greeting card section at books a million.

Zebra pens are pretty reilable.

IMG_3999.jpeg


IMG_4001.jpeg

PK used Fisher cartridges in the PKDL pens.
 
Last edited:

Toulouse42

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
275
Location
Jersey
Opposite experience for me. Use them everyday and starts to gum up. A bit of spit on tissue paper folded up several times, give the tip a good twist, and good for a few days. (No, I don't loan out my good pens.)

Quality has definitely slipped a bit from the good old days, but Cross still makes their very skinny Century line of ballpoint pens.
I used Parkers at work for 30 odd years. I had Blue, Black and Red ones. The colour of the pen reflected the colour ink inside. I only started buying them because I got tired of other people taking my office issued bics. You had to go beg from the office manager to get a new pen. Good thing toilet paper wasn't rationed!

The only Parker I own today is a stainless steel model bought for me by my friends on my 18th birthday. The Fisher, Cross and Waterman were all gifts from family over the years.
 

ItnStln

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
89
Try using a Fine-point Fisher space-pen refill.
The problem you described is extremely common, but only with the more common Medium-point refills from Fisher.
I too found the fine refills to be better than the medium.
 

N8N

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,246
My go-to digital writing utensil is a full-size Ducky One 2 Cherry MX Brown, with custom keycaps and 50A durometer O-rings. ❤️
I spend so much time typing on a PC, I gladly spent those ~200 USD on a keyboard.

But my go-to pen - my analog writing utensil - is a SureFire EWP-02. Only SureFire product I own, but unlike every single other pen I have ever used, no-brand or yes-brand, the SureFire actually works when I need it to, every time.

heh. that could be a whole nother thread. I'm typing this on a Glorious GMMK with Boba U4 switches and dev/tty keycaps... I was trying to replicate the feel (and sound, or lack thereof, so my coworkers don't hate me) of an old Alps board and it is pretty close, but obviously modern and uses Cherry style switches. It replaced an old Filco Majestouch that I'd retrofitted with Cherry Clears and PBT keycaps that I can't remember the name of the maker I just remember they came from China and I can't afford them anymore (and I still have another set squirreled away somewhere in case I decide to put together another good board) and that one now is on my desk at home as it's still quite usable.

I keep thinking it would be cool to have a "1800" style keyboard (I've tried TKL but just can't do it, I do use the numpad) but I am so used to a full sized I'd need the navigation stuff printed on the numpad to use that layer successfully until I got used to it, and I really need PBT keycaps because I'm one of those people who will destroy ABS in a year or less so that really limits my choices. (I also can make steel rust by touching it with my bare hands) Actually I wouldn't mind having a full sized set of keycaps with the nav layer printed on the numpad. If it happened to look exactly like the keycaps on an IBM Model M I wouldn't complain :)

For pens, I'm also boringly Team Parker, but my usual writing implement is a Pentel P209 drafting pencil. (I've tried fancier ones but they inevitably get damaged or lost, while the Pentel ones work great and are cheap enough it doesn't hurt when they die.)
 

PaladinNO

Enlightened
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
291
Location
Norway
I checked the custom mechanical keyboard market a few years ago to find my "dream" keyboard, but there were nothing that really stood out at the time. Now, however, the market is much larger, but the prices are horrible! Am not really ready to dive down that money-swallowing swamp hole just yet. The alphabet being the biggest issue, since Norway is one of the few countries who uses the letters "Æ", "Ø", and "Å". For a full custom, I don't want the typical "nordic" (Scandinavian) layout.

Being both a casual gamer and amateur typist, the ideal would be 2 keyboards (at least I got the desk space for it), with the brand offerings being something like a MX Red TKL plus MX Blue full-size. At work I use a cheap AF rubberdome Cherry KC 1000. The noise - or lack thereof - doesn't matter at my current work, but I bought it when I did some reeducation a few years back, and needed something I could type on in a silent classroom. Damn shame I didn't bring an IBM Model M (don't own one, but I know of it) one day, just to annoy everyone. xD

For actual pens, I was able to help out my mother last year. I didn't even know she had a fountain pen of such sentimental value to her. It was something given to her by her parents when she started studying, she told me, so the thing is older than I am. But the ink cartridge had dried up, and she was so sad when the replacement she had ordered was the wrong kind, and it was the only one even close in design that she could find online.

Was a really lucky coincidence she told me that day, because she had thrown the old cartridge in the trash since the letters on it was almost illegible (at least she couldn't make anything off of it), with the bin being emptied the next day. With her birthday coming up, I dug through the trash without her knowing it on the off chance that maybe I could read anything off the old cartridge. I found it (and fortunately I found it quickly...) and held it under a magnifying glass and a lot of light and managed to read a few letters and numbers.

Turned out to be an old Pelikan cartridge. And typical of the Germans, that cartridge was still being made, albeit with very slight design differences. So I took a chance and ordered a few different colours and cartridge lengths directly from the manufacturer. They didn't arrive in time for her birthday, but they were the right kind and fit her old pen perfectly. And she was so happy she could still use that pen.

Mothers just deserve the best.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
269
Location
Caught In An Airduct
I had the same issue. I switched to Cross pens and settled on their clicky. I used one for about 5 years. But now I use a Bookaroo pen with a Parker refill. It came from the greeting card section at books a million.

Zebra pens are pretty reilable.

View attachment 59135

View attachment 59134
PK used Fisher cartridges in the PKDL pens.
The words "depleted uranium, carbide penetrator, and discarding sabot" come to mind.:love:
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
269
Location
Caught In An Airduct
I never finish them. I end up switching to something else first. I've never had one that didn't smear all over the place in short order. The refills, being pressurized, always get a buildup on the tip and then it gets a bit messy at the beginning of a word before it smooths back out. I hates it.

Other than that, they are reliable and faultless performers. Just not for me.

I do write a lot though. I blow through a Parker refill about once every two weeks. Paperwork is the bane of my existence.
I'm just grasping at straws here, but are your space pens located in an area of significant vibration or impact? Like the front lines of an industrial production facility? I ask because the ink is "thixotropic." That is, it's basically a grease while static and becomes liquid only under dynamic conditions (like moving over the ball when writing), but I could see a potential issue if it spends time at a desk near heavy machinery for instance. I have had no problems with my medium points, but they have sat essentially dormant for years at my desk at home.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
269
Location
Caught In An Airduct
As for the Fisher Space Pen, the Russians actually did it better when they brought a pencil instead. And as supposedly for working underwater, I don't know of any waterproof paper yet.

I had heard that this was an urban legend (at least in the amount that we spent), but here are some specifics (probably).
From Snopes:
"Both U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts initially used pencils on space flights, but those writing instruments were not ideal: pencil tips can flake and break off, and having such objects floating around space capsules in near-zero gravity posed a potential harm to astronauts and equipment. (As well, after the fatal Apollo 1 fire in 1967, NASA was anxious to avoid having astronauts carry flammable objects such as pencils onboard with them.)
When the solution of providing astronauts with a ballpoint pen that would work under weightless conditions and extreme temperatures came about, though, it wasn't because NASA had thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars (inflated to $12 billion in the latest iterations of this tale) in research and development money at the problem. The "space pen" that has since become famous through its use by astronauts was developed independently by Paul C. Fisher of the Fisher Pen Co., who spent his own money on the project and, once he perfected his AG-7 "Anti-Gravity" Space Pen, offered it to NASA. After that agency tested and approved the pen's suitability for use in space flights, they purchased a number of the instruments from Fisher for a modest price."
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,885
Location
NYC
The Fisher Space-pen couldn't apparently do everything that Astronauts needed. So there were also a generic Ballpoint pen that also went up into space. But can't recall the make or model of it.
 

iacchus

Enlightened
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
717
Location
Swamps of the Gulf Coast
I'm just grasping at straws here, but are your space pens located in an area of significant vibration or impact? Like the front lines of an industrial production facility? I ask because the ink is "thixotropic." That is, it's basically a grease while static and becomes liquid only under dynamic conditions (like moving over the ball when writing), but I could see a potential issue if it spends time at a desk near heavy machinery for instance. I have had no problems with my medium points, but they have sat essentially dormant for years at my desk at home.
Nope, none of that.
I figure it's the gypsy curse.
 
Top