Sunshine Products USA Mini Pen Review

Creating a collection of every day carry (EDC) items is obviously a personal thing. What is an indispensable item for one person, may be completely useless to another. However, one item that almost all of us will agree is useful, is a pen. Even though the majority of people reading this review carry a smartphone and may use it to take quick notes, a ballpoint pen is infinitely faster and easier. If I would look in your pocket or gear bag, my bet is that you have a pen in there some where. Pens come in all shapes and sizes, but the Mini Pen from Sunshine Products USA that I am going to show you today, has been designed specifically for EDC fans.

Note: Click the images in this review to see a larger view.

Sunshine Products USA is father and daughter company based out of California. Frank and Ahmy Rossini started out using a metal lathe and drill press and have been offering quality products since 1976.

The Mini Pen is just that… mini. From end to end (with the cap on), the Mini Pen measures approximately 2.75 inches long. It’s available in a variety of materials that include Stainless Steel, Brass, Aluminum, Stainless Steel with Carbon Fiber, Brass  with Carbon Fiber, and Aluminum with Carbon Fiber. The Mini Pen you see pictured above is Aluminum with Carbon Fiber. You can even get a Titanium version of this pen if the $225 price tag doesn’t scare you away.

Another popular EDC pen is the TEC Accessories PicoPen. Here you can see it next to the Mini Pen to give you a comparison. The Mini Pen is the diameter of a normal sized pen (about .25), but just with a shorter overall length.

The pen disassembles into 4 pieces: Body, Lamy ink cartridge (available in Blue or Black), end cap and top cap. If you click the picture above to zoom in, you’ll notice the two rubber O’rings on the end cap. There is an additional O’ring at the base of the end cap where it meets the pen body and there’s another O’ring on the writing tip end, where the cap meets the body. These rings help protect the pen and components from moisture.

The great thing about the Mini Pen is that you can mix and match the components. If you want a Brass body with a Stainless Steel end cap and an Aluminum top cap, you can. You can also choose between a keychain cap and a pocket cap.

One thing to note… the top cap screws on to the writing end of the pen, but does not screw on to the opposite end of the pen. The O’rings perform as pseudo threads though and hold the cap in place while you’re writing.

With the cap on the end, the Mini Pen grows to about 3 7/16 inches long. Although it’s short and very light weight, it is still comfortable to write with. I find it to be more comfortable than the TEC PicoPen, which sometimes causes my hand to cramp.

The workmanship on this pen is excellent. I have no complaints at all about how it’s made. The Carbon Fiber is definitely a head turner. When people see me use it, they almost always ask me where I got the pen.

If I could change anything about the Mini Pen, it would probably be the ink cartridge. The Lamy cartridge writes fine, but I think the ink cartridges in the Uniball Jetstream pens that I reviewed not long ago have completely spoiled me for other pens because the ink is so smooth and fine. That said, I really like the Mini Pen. It’s a keeper and has replaced the TEC PicoPen as my EDC.

Do you EDC a pen? If so, let us know your favorite.

 

Product Information

Price:Starts at $65, $96 as reviewed
Manufacturer:Sunshine Products USA
Pros:
  • Handy
  • Comfortable to write with
  • Well made
  • Stylish
Cons:
  • Expensive
Posted in: Gear, Reviews

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • PC May 14, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I just keep an ohto petit-b in my wallet. It’s a clever design, and I don’t have to try to write with a super short pen like I do with other EDC type pens.

    1
  • WK May 14, 2012, 8:03 pm

    Inka pens – just the best – but not sure they are around anymore- and if they were and updated to a capacitive stylus I would stoked…

    2
  • anson May 14, 2012, 10:18 pm

    the smallest pen i have is the Lamy Pico (which uses the same refill as your refill) I like it because when you click/deploy the pen, it expands to full-length (regular-pen) size! so no cramping :)

    Put i agree with you Julie, im sold on the jetstream refills and ordered a box of 10-.5 and 10-.7

    3
  • Ian Lim May 15, 2012, 7:57 am

    Still carry around one of two Fisher bullet space pens. They’re not the smoothest ball point around but do the job for me.

    4
  • thsu May 15, 2012, 12:31 pm

    I have a Victorinox Manager on all my key chains, which is a 2.25″ Swiss army knife that replaces the toothpick with a a pen.
    http://www.victorinox.com/us/product/Swiss-Army-Knives/Category/Everyday/Manager/53031

    5
  • Julie May 15, 2012, 12:35 pm

    @thsu Isn’t it awkward to write with?

    6
  • Michael May 16, 2012, 4:30 am

    I carry an Inka but don’t use it much. Recently addicted to Kaweco cartridge rollerballs. Good to see another dot grid fan !

    Michael

    7
  • leveretth May 16, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Beware of any EDC item that looks like, approximates, or resembles any form of ammunition (with the cap off, the mini pen immediately looked to me like a bullet) when going through TSA security. They’ll take it from you, sure as shootin’. Yeah, pun intended…

    8
  • thsu May 16, 2012, 4:29 pm

    @Julie, it’s not as awkward as you’d think, because you can open up the file for some added length. However, it’s really an emergency pen, and as such, I’ve rarely had to use it.

    The thing is, if I’m at home, at work, in my car, or have my messenger bag with me, then I’ve got another pen at my disposal. Typically a full sized pen of some sort, meaty for home/office, svelte for car/bag. So all I need on my keys are an emergency pen.

    9
  • Eric May 18, 2012, 10:34 pm

    Re Fisher Space Pen, I carry this one every day, and it opens up (if I bother to unclip the cap from my keyring) to the size of a full pen, nearly.

    10

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