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SureFire’s (Nearly Indestructible) Pens Review

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To be honest, before I reviewed the KROMA and U2 Ultra LED Flashlights I had never heard of SureFire. But after using several of their extremely well made flashlights, I have come to further realize that (99% of the time) you get what you pay for. Last year SureFire introduced their first Pen, the EWP-01, and have recently released a second, the EWP-02. Both are constructed of military grade aluminum and stainless steel, coated with a Mil-Spec Type III hard anodized finish, are finely machined, and seem to be nearly indestructible. Point blank, these SureFire pens are built to the same (very high) standards as SureFire flashlights and meant to last a lifetime.

The SureFire Pen I (EWP-01)

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SureFire’s first pen is big and heavy….but in a good way. At over six inches long and weighing nearly two ounces, it is one of the largest pens I have ever used. And while its not the most transportable pen out there it gives you a very enjoyable writing experience, can break glass, and potentially could be used as a weapon, if you are in a pinch.

Hardware Specifications

Casing: Aerospace-grade aluminum body
Colors: Black, Blue, Tan
Length: 6.04 inches (15.3 cm)
Weight: 1.80 ounces (51 grams)
Cartridge: SCHMIDT easyFLOW 9000
Warranty Lifetime

Features

  • Rugged aerospace-grade aluminum body
  • Aluminum body hard anodized to military specifications
  • Virtually indestructible pocket clip with SureFire logo
  • Smooth, tough window breaker tailcap for emergency use
  • Schmidt ink cartridge flows effortlessly
  • Pen adjusts to accept most ink cartridges
  • Ink tip retracts into body; no cap to lose
  • Made in the U.S.A. with imported ink cartridge

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The pen’s pocket clip is made of stainless steel and is extremely rigid. I doubt it could be easily bent without a lot of force. The clip does a great job holding the pen in my computer bag and pockets.

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What makes SureFire’s Pen I unique is its hardened stainless steel tailcap tip. This tip can break tempered glass….pretty cool. Remember the MythBuster episode where Adam was pretending to be trapped in a vehicle that was sinking underwater and he had to do his best to escape. Well, with this pen you could easily escape a watery grave by using the tip to shatter the car window and swim to safety.

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The SureFire includes a Schmidt easyFLOW 9000 high-performance ink cartridge, that writes very nicely. But this pen can use almost any ink cartridge with a simple adjustment of the set screw located within the upper barrel (nice engineering if you ask me).

The SureFire Pen II (EWP-02)

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SureFire’s second pen is engineered and machined with the same precision as their first. And while the EWP-02 is only one inch shorter and 0.2 ounces lighter, it feels much more petite and pocketable than the EWP-01. The only criticism of the EWP-02 that I have is the relatively large ‘SUREFIRE’ logo stamped into both sides of the pen. If it were me, I would have used a similar clip design as to the EWP-01. Where the logo is much more stealth and the pen itself has a cleaner look.

Hardware Specifications

Casing: Aerospace-grade aluminum body
Colors: Black, Blue
Length: 5.07 inches (15.3 cm)
Weight: 1.60 ounces (45 grams)
Cartridge: SCHMIDT easyFLOW 9000
Warranty Lifetime

Features

  • Rugged aerospace-grade aluminum body
  • Aluminum body hard anodized to military specifications
  • Virtually indestructible pocket clip
  • Schmidt ink cartridge flows effortlessly
  • Ink tip retracts into body; no cap to lose
  • Made in the U.S.A. with imported ink cartridge

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The feature I like much better in the EWP-02 than the EWP-01, is that the tip retracts via the push button clicker on top versus the screw in and out of the the EWP-01. But then the EWP-01 would not have its very cool, glass breaking tip then :)

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The EWP-02’s stainless steel pocket clip is just as strong and rigid as it’s big brothers. Definitely holds the pen in place.

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I like the weight and feel of both of these pens. They are great to write with, but as I said before, the EWP-01 is not the most transportable thing in the world. I keep the EWP-01 on my desk most of the time and actually prefer to keep the EWP-02 with me in my pocket during my day/travels.

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I received a Mont Blanc pen for my 40th birthday and while it is a very nice pen, it pales in comparison to either of these by SureFire. My Mont Blanc pen is made of a black resin (feels like plastic to me….) with platinum highlights. To me, the pen is too light, fragile, and has to be babied/protected all the time.

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For the most part, I lead a very crazy, hectic life that includes fieldwork for my day job and many, many construction (home improvement) projects at home. The Mont Blanc pen rarely accompanies me into any situation that might put it at risk. The SureFire pens on the other hand, are the exact opposite of the dainty, less than durable Mont Blanc. Both are engineered to go into the thick of battle and come out unscathed.

I have to admit I was very much looking forward to trying out the SureFire Pen I, for its ability to break glass if nothing else. After playing with it a bit, I came to realize just how big the SureFire’s first pen really is. Added to the fact that I do not need to break glass very often, I carry the SureFire Pen II many times more often that its older, big brother. But that is truly a preference thing, either pen are very well made and great to write with…..it really comes down to what you are looking for.

I know $90 or $125 dollars is a great deal to spend on a pen (especially in these days and times). But I look at it this way, my Mont Blanc was 2-3 times the cost of these pens and I find either one of the SureFire pens equally good for writing and countless times more rugged and able to withstand the riggers of a rough and hectic lifestyle. Those factors in addition to SureFire’s lifetime warranty make the SureFire pens a great value for an incredibly well made, nearly indestructible writing instrument.

 

Product Information

Price:$125 (EWP-01) & $90 (EWP-02)
Manufacturer:SureFire
Pros:
  • Well made/machined
  • Excellent workmanship and materials
  • Nearly indestructible
  • Nice weight and feel
  • The EWP-01 can break glass and fit most ink cartridges
  • Very smooth writing ink cartridge include
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Some people might think the EWP-01 is too big/heavy
  • The EWP-02 SureFire logo is stamped onto the side of the pen

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Sudeep Bose August 9, 2009, 10:47 pm

    As an avid pen collector, I have the mont blanc in both the black resin and silver orientation. I use those pens in Court to impress and present a professional image. However, for everyday scribing I prefer to use the Surefire I. The ink flow from the cartridge is smooth and does not have the blot problems of the mont blanc cartridge.

    One may not get the luxury second-look from the Surefire, but the mechanics are excellent and the cartridge which comes with the pen out of the box is first rate.

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