The Pilot’s Pen Review

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Here’s the scenario: You’re in the dark and you need to write something. By some weird coincidence, you’re not a mutant that can see in the dark (if you happen to be a mutant that can see in the dark, well yay for you). So, now what do you do? You use the Pilot’s Pen from Britta Products, that’s what. What is a Pilot’s Pen you ask? It’s a pen for pilots. Duh.

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Package Contents

Pilot’s Pen
2 AAA batteries
2 ink cartridges
Red tip for aviation use

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The Pilot’s Pen looks like a your every day run of the mill ballpoint pen. It has a Black aluminum housing and a metal pocket clip.

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On the end is a click button that activates and deactivates the built in flashlight in the opposite end of the pen. Directly below the click button is a collar that twists to extend the ink pen tip.

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Click on and the tip glows. Click it off and it goes off. Easy.

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The tip unscrews to reveal 2 White LEDs that have a life of over 100,000 hours. The LEDs are powered by one AAA battery that provides up to 20 hours of illumination.

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The ink pen tip is exposed by twisting the cap on the power button end of the pen.

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A Red tip is also included with this pen. Actual pilots, law enforcement and military people tend to prefer the Red tip because the light won’t bother their eyes as much in the dark.

Using this pen makes it easy to read and write in dark environments. It’s a pen. It’s a light. It’s easy to use. There really isn’t much more to say about it. The all metal construction (except for the interchangeable tip at the end) and $20 price tag seems like a good deal to me, considering that two batteries and 2 ink cartridges are also included. This pen would make a great inexpensive gift for your favorite pilot or other non-in-the-dark-seeing-mutant person that frequently works in the dark.

 

Product Information

Price:$19.95
Manufacturer:Britta Products LLC
Pros:
  • Easy way to write in the dark
  • Includes extra battery and ink
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • None
Posted in: Gear

12 comments… add one

  • Smythe Richbourg August 9, 2009, 4:05 pm

    Nice review. I’ve seen these pens, and I think I still may have one, but they rarely take normal batteries. These are very popular with directors (theatre, not film) and reviewers who must make notes during performances in darkened auditoriums. As nice as those little mini squeeze lights are, they are too bright to use without disturbing those around you.

  • Gabriel Novo August 9, 2009, 4:48 pm

    Sounds interesting, but how does the pen write? Is it a sticky ballpoint ink or more of a gel pen? Are other refills compatible with the barrel (i.e. Parker, Cross, etc)? I could definitely see picking one of these up unless it writes like crap.

    Thanks for the review, I wouldn’t have known this thing existed otherwise.

    • Julie August 9, 2009, 5:39 pm

      @Gabriel It writes great. It has a fine point and uses regular ink. I’m not sure if other refills will work with it because they are really small cartridges. You can see one in the 2nd image in the review. You do get 2 when you buy the pen though.

  • Neil August 9, 2009, 7:34 pm

    Just to clarify a bit, the purpose of the red light is so the user doesn’t lose his/her night vision. It is also less obvious in use, so for law enforcement purposes a pen like this with the red tip would be useful when conducting night time surveillance for example.

  • greg August 10, 2009, 8:12 am

    I have one of these or let’s say it looks exactly the same.
    Bought it from DX for a fraction of the price: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9138
    I have to add that every kaychain flashlight is more usefull than the light from this pen … and the ped is a little to big for me to feel comfortable.

    • Julie August 10, 2009, 9:34 am

      @greg It’s not supposed to be a flashlight. It’s just supposed to help you to write in the dark. :) The pen is thicker than a normal pen, but it doesn’t feel bad to me.

  • Tony C August 10, 2009, 12:00 pm

    @greg Your DealExtreme pen IS identical, or at least an exact knockoff (is yours aluminum?), judging by the price tag. PilotsPen.com is making a HUGE profit if you can get this thing for $3.48 (or less in quantity) without the red tip (easily solved with a sharpie) or the nifty box.

  • lloyd August 10, 2009, 2:29 pm

    “You’re in the dark and you need to write something. By some weird coincidence, you’re not a mutant that can see in the dark (if you happen to be a mutant that can see in the dark, well yay for you).” Full of win!

  • greg August 11, 2009, 9:57 am

    @julie: You’re right. First, it’s supposed to be a pen. And it’s a good pen for the $$ (the DX one of course ;). I gave it to a friend who is a business jet pilot. He never saw a pen like this before and maybe pretended to like it to be polite. He’s likely not gonna use it in the cockpit since they have all kind of little lights in there. But for normal people it’s a great idea.

    @Tony C: I’m not sure about the knockoff. A lot of stuff are “invented” and produced in China – especially the cheap ‘give aways’. PilotsPen probably just buy them in bulk and put their brand on top of it. I’m pretty sure they all come from the same manufacturer.

    @ lloyd: I’m some kind of EDC guy and always hope to run into these situations. I’d love to use all my tools I carry around but these coincidence rarely happen. And if they happen, you can usually make 5 steps into a brighter spot next to you.

  • Catran1 August 12, 2009, 2:31 pm

    Know anyone who drives a truck at 0300 doggone dark in the morning? I do and they could really use a pen when they get to where they’re going. Yeah, trucks have interior lights, but believe me when you are tired (and you always are on that shift), you don’t want bright interior blinding you. I’ve seen cheap versions of this pen around. Is it pretty sturdy? This would be a nice gift for a friend!

    • Julie August 12, 2009, 2:38 pm

      @Catran1 It’s all metal. The only plastic part is the clear or red tip :) So yes, it’s sturdy.

  • Dave B. May 10, 2012, 5:52 am

    Im a truck driver who uses a log book to record my hours.
    I found one of these and have to say…it’s about time!
    Doing my logs at night was a pain as the overhead lights made shadows exactly where I needed to write.

    This product eliminates that.
    Thank You, it really helps.

    Dave B.
    Aston PA.

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