Now most of you will have hopefully heard of the Space Pen. It’s not the pen itself that is special here, but the refill. The Space Pen refill is sealed against atmospheric pressure and pressurised with nitrogen gas so the ink will still keep flowing even if it used underwater or upside down. There’s a joke [I assume!] that NASA spent a million pounds developing the Space Pen in an attempt to find something that would write in space, and the Russians used pencils… Many years back I purchased a retractable Space Pen in black anodised aluminium, and even though it lived at the bottom of my work bag it still looks in remarkably good condition to this day. I never used it much though as I wasn’t keen on losing it. Also, it was a little slippery to use with dirty hands so not ideal in a work environment. No photo as it’s a an old work bag somewhere… A couple of years back I bought a Pilot Down Force pen in yellow, as it was advertised as having a pressurised refill, made of ABS to resist destruction by construction worker types, and was cheap to boot. I was confused by the fact the refills were no different to some of the other Pilot pen refills, so was sceptical about the pressurised claim. I like the Down Force as it suits my job use, being indestructible and write-anywhere. It is however, somewhat ugly, and I am not confident of the clip strength. I’ve not had a problem with it, but there’s always that nagging doubt. It did write quite nicely however. I recently discovered another little pressurised pen called the Tombow Airpress. Reading further, it turns out this does not take pressurised refills either, but Tombow actually bother to fill in the blanks with the crucial info. When you click the pen out to write, it pressurises the normal refill! Absolute genius! Had to get myself one of these.So this amazing idea, why has nobody else thought of it? Turns out, this is exactly what the Down Force does too, they just don’t bother to advertise the fact.
So, the Airpress. Nice in the hand, writes well too and actually feels more sturdy overall (when you take the clip into consideration) than the Pilot. It’s small size encourages me to carry it more, and use it more. Never really did that with the Pilot Down Force, but this one has spent nearly a week on me at all times. This is very unusual for me, but I am carrying and using it. Was only £3.59 from eBay so if I lose it I will be buying another immediately.