Review of Fisher Space Pen M4B


Reviewed by:
On January 8, 2015
Last modified:May 19, 2016


The Fisher M4B will write on the inside of a butter wrapper... underwater.

IMG_0562 (1)I, like most people, carry a camera everywhere I go. Bouncing along in the same pocket though, is a marvel of both modern and ancient technology, a weapon of mass creation, and something everyone should carry at all times—an ink pen.

Mine’s not just any pen though. I carry the Fisher M4B Non-Reflective Military Matte Black Cap-O-Matic Space Pen. It’s heavy and tough, just like it should be; writes on waterproof maps just as easily as the pages of my Moleskine Journal (another everyday carry item); and looks as good in the office as it does on the river.

Functionality ★★★★★
It’s a pen that writes in space. I don’t expect to be doing reviews from Mars any time soon but I’ve written in some pretty inhospitable places and never had a problem.

The ink’s smooth but doesn’t smear. It’ll write on the inside of a butter wrapper… underwater. I don’t have a good reason for knowing that except that curiosity got the better of me. Feel free to try this at home.

The ink cartridges are a really cool, functional feature. About the diameter of a .22 shell, these little guys are charged with nitrogen, providing a steady, smooth stream of ink regardless of gravity or grease. Just touch the pen to your writing surface and the ink flows.

Design and Aesthetic ★★★★
Simplicity’s my favorite feature in outdoor gear. Does it do the job without extra (read: breakable) parts? That’s the one I want. The Fisher M4B is simple. It’s sleek but not shiny or pretentious. It’s the anti-hipster of writing tools.

The matte black finish looks and feels good. The weight’s substantial but not excessive. The little clip at the top is well built and durable. Everything works and fits together nicely. Well, almost…

After a few weeks, the cap and body struggle to stay together. They’re secured with long screw threads so, if you write often, it’s easy to notice before one escapes—you just tighten it down and the problems fixed. Temporarily. It happens again and again with more and more frequency but there is a solution.

I put a drop of thread lock on the inside and don’t think about it again until I have to change the ink cartridge. Since those never seem to end, it’s an easy solution for a mild annoyance.

Durability ★★★★★
The pen’s metal and it has a solid spring driving the cap-o-matic click top which is the only moving part. I’ve used mine to dig holes and pry up rocks then wrote without a problem. Try that with a Bic Crystal Stick.

Value ★★★★★
The Fisher M4B’s $12 on Amazon. Compare that to the cost of replacing a pair of pants due to a broken plastic pen and you’ll be ready to click “Add to Cart”. I’ve had the same one for three years of writing. It looks and feels right, doesn’t break or bleed, and can write upside down on a plastic bag.

Fisher’s M4B is the perfect tool for signing in the box or writing about the time you thought outside it. Get one and go write your own story.

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