SureFire Pen III Review

Several years ago, I reviewed SureFire’s Pen I & II and still use them today. I typically have one of these pens with me daily. Due to its size and form factor, the SureFire Pen II is my pen of choice to have with me on my travels. They are both rock solid and have aged well, hardly showing any signs of wear or use. SureFire recently sent me one of their new additions, the Pen III. I am looking forward to seeing if the Pen III has what it takes to be my new favorite writing instrument.

Like its siblings, SureFire’s Pen III is constructed of military grade aluminum and stainless steel, coated with a Mil-Spec Type III hard anodized finish, finely machined, and seems to be nearly indestructible. SureFire pens are built to the same (very high) standards as SureFire flashlights and meant to withstand the test of time. All of the Surefire products I have used/reviewed are of made of excellent materials, superb quality and built to last a lifetime.

Specifications

Casing:       Aerospace-grade aluminum body
Colors:        Black or tan
Length:       5.80 inches (14.7 cm)
Weight:       1.70 ounces (48 grams)
Cartridge:   SCHMIDT easyFLOW 9000
Warranty:   Lifetime

Features

  • Rugged aerospace aluminum body with Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel pocket clip
  • Schmidt easyFLOW ink cartridge flows flawlessly
  • Ink tip retracts into body, no cap to lose
  • Assembled in the U.S.A. with imported ink cartridge

The SureFire Pen III has a stainless steel clip and tip. The pocket clip is extremely strong and rigid. In my original review of the SureFire I & II I state ‘I doubt it could be easily bent without a lot of force‘.

A true enough comment; but sadly while clipped to a side pocket in a pair of Carhartt pants, the pen caught on my seat while I was getting out of my truck. The clip was bent 45 degrees out from its normal position…..I was bummed to say the least. I tried but was not able to bend the clip back to its normal position.  I called SureFire and asked them what it would take to get it repaired (the operator did not know I was reviewing the pen). Without hesitation the operator said they would repair it under warranty. He gave me a RMA number and off it went to be fixed. Approximately three weeks later, I received the pen back good as new. Definitely great customer service experience – living up to their ‘no hassle, lifetime guarantee‘. :-D

SureFire’s Pen III is available in tan/black and the black/silver version you see above. (I grant you this is a personal preference) While the the tan and black looks nice, the black and silver Pen III appears much more professional and business like (who knows, I might have to order SureFire’s new all black Pen IV just for its  stealthy looks ;) ).

Color scheme not withstanding, the Pen III is well sized and weighted…..a great writing instrument. Its contoured shape has a great grip and is nice to hold. I am partial to retractable ink tips as I hate losing pen caps. Schmidt easyFLOW 9000 ink cartridge writes as well as any pen I have ever used.

Bottom line, I love the Pen III’s weight, balance and feel while writing. Like the Pen I & II, its quality and durability are second to none. The overall writing experience is very enjoyable as well. Priced at $115, SureFire’s Pen III is not inexpensive but in this case you are definitely getting what you pay for…..a pen that will last you a lifetime.

 

Product Information

Price:$115
Manufacturer:SureFire
Pros:
  • - Very well made
  • - Quality materials and workmanship
  • - Nice size and weight
  • - Nearly indestructible
  • - Excellent warranty and customer service
Cons:
  • - Expensive
Posted in: Gear, Reviews

17 comments… add one

  • Twolane April 25, 2011, 12:55 pm

    While I agree that a pen is a personal choice, the price tag leaves a bit to be desired. I much prefer a Parker Jotter myself. I’ve used them in various forms and formats for decades.

  • funkright April 25, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I have to agree, $115 for a pen…? Though I do have Mont Blanc, but that was received as a gift and it was engraved with my name, otherwise I would have sold it on ebay! You can buy allot of Parker pens for the price of one of those (or one of these) :)

  • Jackie Cheng April 25, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Is the clicker part aluminum also? And is the click loud?

  • Dave Rees April 26, 2011, 9:46 am

    I agree, $100+ is a lot to pay for a pen. But as I said in my review, this pen is engineered to last a lifetime (many, many times tougher than a Mont Blanc).

    @Jackie I believe the clicker is stainless steel. The click is definitely not silent but I would not call it ‘loud’.

  • Alan April 26, 2011, 1:52 pm

    As much as I like it I will not be buying one even if it has a life time guarantee! I just lashed out £2 for 10 Bic Biro’s and they ought to last me a while maybe not a life time but hell at that price who cares! :o)

  • JimD April 30, 2011, 6:54 pm

    A $115 pen is just as easy to lose as a $1 pen.

  • Dave Rees May 2, 2011, 12:08 pm

    @JimD: I completely agree.

  • Jack July 31, 2011, 1:29 am

    If anyone is near a TD Bank, you can get all the pens you want for free. They may not last a lifetime, but I bet they write just as well as the $115 model.

  • Gary Carbone December 15, 2011, 9:41 am

    Great pen, I have the black/silver model. For those whose small minds cannot comprehend the price of these pens, try to get over it. These pens are made in the USA and as the man said, they will last forever. Some of us choose to spend our money on quality items made in our own country–proudly.

  • Paris Nikolov January 3, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Thank you Dave. I’m about to buy SureFire Pen III thanks to your review.

    In addition, Thank you Gary for your comment. I fully agree with you.

  • Hiếu March 24, 2012, 7:47 am

    quality and durability of SureFire pens are second to none SureFire Pen IV beautiful

  • Tom Serious April 16, 2012, 7:11 am

    thanks for the review !
    i gues Gary C. comment sums it up nicely, quality has its prize, you get what you pay for ;)
    guess i gonna add the 3 to my collection !

  • John Stone March 1, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Did you get the EWP-04? If so which one has a thicker barrel the 3 or 4? From the pics it seems like the 4 is thinner than the 3.

    Thanks!

  • anon1 July 20, 2013, 8:18 am

    what is the second pen from the left in the group photo? thanks

  • Dave Rees July 21, 2013, 11:52 am

    The pen second from the left is the BenchMade 1210: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/03/13/benchmade-1210-pen-series-review/

  • Robert July 28, 2013, 7:57 am

    This is a review based on owning the ‘III’ for almost three years…not a lifetime. I intended to use it as an everyday pen, since I also own a ‘I’.
    The first model I got was ‘defective’ within three months of light use, so I sent it back for ‘repair/exchange’. The ‘replacement’ faired no better. I have decided that the cost to me involved in shipping this lemon back and forth to have it repaired/replaced is not worth the hassles.
    Those who buy a product, at this price, just because it is made in the USA should expect a product that does not require more than one attempt to correct a defect.
    I have no wish to waste time and money with ANY product that is DEFECTIVE after one attempt at correction…the first is due to quality control, but the second is due to lack of customer respect!

  • Robert January 31, 2014, 8:51 am

    Dave – Does the #III allow interchangeable ink cartridges as the #I does? Thanks

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