How To Choose The Best Bolt Action Pen For Everyday Carry - Bastion Bolt Action Pen

How To Choose The Best Bolt Action Pen For Everyday Carry

For many people, having a quality pen that's ready to write at a moment's notice is an essential part of their everyday carry (EDC) gear. And when it comes to EDC pens, few compete with the smooth convenience of a stainless steel bolt action pen.

Bolt action pens get their name from the quick extending and retracting bolt mechanism that deploys the pen tip. With just a flick of your thumb, the pen tip shoots out instantly, ready to jot down notes, sign documents, or make quick sketches. Then when you're done writing, a simple push retracts the tip safely back into the pen body. It's this quick access and easy use that makes bolt action pens a top choice for EDC.

Choosing The Best Bolt Action Pen For Everyday Carry

A pen is not just a pen and not all pens are created equal. You need to be choosy and picky since there is a wide variety of brands to choose from. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the best EDC bolt action pens for your everyday carry:

Best EDC Bolt Action Pens

Build Quality

For a pen you'll carry and use daily, you'll want one that's made to last. Look for pens constructed from durable metals like aluminum, titanium, brass, or stainless steel. These will withstand the rigors of everyday use without damage. Also, inspect the bolt mechanism to ensure smooth extension and retraction of the tip. Avoid cheaper plastic pens that feel flimsy or weak. A durable pen with solid built quality will last for years. Consider spending on a pen as a one-time investment like you do for other accessories like watches. Make your pen a cherished souvenir by investing in its build quality.

Ink Type

The two most common ink types used in bolt action pens are ballpoint and gel ink. Ballpoint ink flows freely and doesn't smear, making it a good versatile choice. However, many prefer gel ink for its smooth glide across paper. Gel pens require a little more maintenance to prevent drying out but deliver a more premium writing experience. Consider which ink type best fits your writing style.

Tip Design

Look for a pen tip made of strong metals like tungsten carbide to withstand frequent use without bending or breaking. Also, pay attention to the tip shape and size. A medium point between 0.5mm to 0.7mm works for most writing tasks. Finer tips allow for more precise writing while bolder tips lay down more ink. Choose a tip shape and width suited for your everyday writing needs.

Grip and Balance

Since you'll be using your EDC pen frequently, it should feel comfortable and balanced in your hand. Pens with knurled metal grips, rubber inserts, or textured surfaces allow for a secure grip while writing. Test how the pen feels in your hand and ensure it has ample weight so it doesn't feel flimsy or awkward to use. A well-balanced pen will be a pleasure to write with. EDC fountain pens offer the best grip of all pen types. A solid grip over the pen also makes sure that you write a perfect piece of paper in good and legible handwriting.

Convenience Features

Handy convenience features also improve the functionality of your EDC pen. Look for pens with a strong pocket clip to keep them secured in a pocket or pack. An integrated pen cap that screws into the back end prevents losing the cap. Other features like stylus tips for touchscreen devices, a rear clicker for quick note-taking, or small ruler markings along the barrel all add extra utility.

Convenience Features

Refill Options

When selecting a stainless steel bolt action pen, consider the refill options available. Many quality pens support common refill sizes. This allows you to swap in your preferred ink type from major refill brands. Standard refills are also easy to replace when empty. Pens accepting unique proprietary cartridges can cost more and be harder to find. A choice of bolt action fountain pen will do away the need to carry or buy refills. You only need to fill the pen's tank with the fountain ink that is easily available.


With top-quality stainless steel bolt action pens, you often get what you pay for. Expect to spend $60 or more for pens made of premium metals and components. More budget-friendly options around $20-30 typically cut costs by using more plastic parts. Set a comfortable budget for your needs, a higher price will fetch you a handsome deal and a great quality pen for life with better performance. Focus on build quality and writing experience over cost alone.


With these criteria in mind, you can zero in on the ideal bolt action pen to add to your EDC gear. Be sure to look at established brands known for quality like Bastion and many others. For a long-lasting pen ready to write at a moment's notice, a solid bolt action mechanism coupled with durable construction can't be beat. The right pen will serve you well for years of daily writing tasks.

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