Pressurized Pen: An Ultimate Pen Used In Outer Space

There are various types of ballpoint pens, but most ballpoint pens have ink that hardens and does not write well in cold weather. Or, when you try to write on wet paper, moisture can penetrate the ball and make it impossible to write. That is where a pressurized pen comes in handy.

Here is the introduction of the function and structure of the pressurized ballpoint pen, along with five recommended brands.

What Is A Pressurized Pen?

A pressurized pen is a pen that uses air to push ink out of the pen for writing.

Standard ballpoint pens supply the ink outside by a tiny ball at the pen tip that rotates when you write. In this structure, when you write upward, the air comes down into the pen’s core when the ball turns. Then, you can’t write even though there is still enough ink left.

If this happens, you will have to get a new ballpoint pen lead. To prevent such problems, it is necessary to prevent air from being drawn in. That is why the pressurized pen was invented.

Can be used in extreme conditions

Pressurized ballpoint pens use the power of air to push ink out of the pen for writing. Since the air pushes the ink out, pressurized pens are suitable even in the following extreme conditions that are impossible with a regular pen.

Very fast writing

With ordinary ballpoint pens, if you keep writing fast, the ink will blur or break. Pressurized pens apply pressure to the ink, so you can keep writing without any issues, even if you write very quickly.

rain drops on a window

Wet paper

Usually, if you continue to write on wet paper, you may not be able to write because of the water getting into the pen.

However, we can still write on wet paper with a pressurized pen because the air pressure prevents water from entering the paper. So, it is very useful for people who often write outdoors. In extreme cases, you can even write underwater.

Writing upward

Ordinary ballpoint pens are designed to release ink by gravity. Therefore, if you write on a wall or keep writing upward while lying down, gravity will cause the ink to return in the opposite direction, and air will enter the pen, preventing fluent ink supply. With a pressurized pen, there is no need to worry about this problem.

Extreme Weather

Many pressure pens can withstand extreme cold and high temperatures. So we can use them in all kinds of environments without compromising the writing experience.

astronaut in outer space

Outer space

The idea of a pressurized pen was initially developed in the United States as a pen that could write in zero gravity in space.

Well, it’s not relevant to 99% of the people in the world, including me. But it’s a dream come true to have the technology used in the space program at hand.

Best Pressurized Pen Lineups

Here are five of the best-pressurized pens that make it possible to write under any circumstances.

Zebra X-701

Zebra X-701 pressurized pen
Length133mm (5.25 inches)
DIameter (Ø)12.7mm (0.5 inches)
Weight23g
MechanismKnock Type
Pen Tip0.7mm
Color VariationsBlack

Zebra X-701 Ballpoint Pen has a very sturdy steel shaft and a solid, almost black design.

The Mil-Spec, the standard by which the U.S. military procures its supplies, has been granted for this pen, boasting high shock resistance.

It is also capable of writing from negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to write in any situation.

Tombow Airpress

Tombow Airpress pressurized pen
Length122mm (4.8 inches)
Diameter (Ø)13.3mm (0.52 inches)
Weight15g
MechanismKnock Type
Pen Tip0.7 mm
Color VariationsWhite / Black / Orange / Red / Transparent

Tombo Airpress is a knock-type pen. It has a built-in pressurization system that creates compressed air to push ink out each time you knock on the pen.

The most distinctive feature of the Tombow Airpress is its structure, which pressurizes a regular oil-based ballpoint pen lead. By pressurizing each time you knock, you don’t need a special lead.

The body part is slightly shorter than a typical pen, making it easy to carry around. It is also available in black, orange, or transparent bodies and comes in a wide variety of colors.

Uni-ball Power Tank

Uni-ball Power Tank pressurized pen
Length143mm (5.63 inches)
DIameter (Ø)12mm (0.47 inches)
Weight9g
MechanismKnock Type
Pen Tip0.5 / 0.7 / 1.0mm
Color VariationsBlack / White / Red / Blue

Uni-ball Power Tank is probably the cheapest option with a relatively thin body.

The difference between Power Tank and other pressurized pens is that the refill itself is pressurized. The ink is pressurized to 3000 hPa in the refill!

Pressurized pens such as Airpress usually use a mechanism that pressurizes the lead when you knock, making the pen’s body thicker. On the other hand, the Power Tank uses a pressurized refill, which makes it possible to come with a thin body.

Uni-ball Pure Malt

Uni-ball Pure Malt ball-point pressurized pen
Length132.8mm (5.23 inches)
DIameter (Ø)12.8mm (0.5 inches)
Weight26.3g
MechanismCap Type
Pen Tip0.7 / 1.0mm
Color VariationsBrown

Cheap pens are easy on the wallet, but you don’t get attached to them very often. However, there is a high-end pressurized pen with Power Tank refills, the Pure Malt Pressure Ballpoint Pen Refill Model. It is highly recommended for those who want to have a quality pen.

Pure Malt, as the name implies, is a pen made from the whisky barrel wood. The oak barrels are more than 100 years old and have been used to mature whiskey for 50 years, giving them a warm and austere feel. When you hold the barrel, you will be enchanted by its texture and feel.

Fisher Space Pen CLUTCH

Fisher Space Pen CLUTCH pressurized pen
Length137mm (5.39 inches)
DIameter (Ø)13mm (0.51 inches)
Weight31g
MechanismKnock Type
Pen Tip0.75 / 1.0 / 1.3mm
Color VariationsBlack

The company was founded by Paul Fischer in 1948. Fisher Space Pens have undergone rigorous testing by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and in fact, many astronauts use this pen.

In the Fischer Space Pen, ink is transferred to the tip of the ball by the pressure of nitrogen gas sealed inside the refill. This makes it possible to write smoothly in zero gravity, underwater, and in temperatures ranging from -45°C to 200°C.

In addition, it uses a special ink with strong adhesive properties so that it will not dry out and can be stored for over 100 years. It has a history of being used in the Apollo 11 mission, which successfully landed humankind on the moon for the first time.

Summary

Pressurized pens are the culmination of technological innovation aimed at writing in any environment.

To summarize, here are some situations where using a pressurized pen is particularly recommended.

  • The ink blurs so easily, but don’t know why
  • Writing too fast and the ink blurs
  • Ink sometimes leaks out and stains clothes or hands
  • Often use pen outdoors
  • Often write on calendars, wallpaper, or other surfaces other than the tabletop.

If any of the above applies to you, a pressurized pen may solve that problem, so why not give it a try?

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