They are pens – they put ink on paper…so what? Although it is true that they are pens and that they do, in fact, put ink on paper, the stainless version is 2.8 ounces of solid CNC-machined stainless steel and nearly perfect seamless construction. The carbon fiber version is 2.3 ounces and is two CNC-machined parts of stainless steel on the ends with genuine carbon fiber as the main body. What does that translate to for you? It’s a pen that would be perfect in a CEO’s office by day and a backup self-defense weapon by day or night. The smooth lines, rounded tops, and effortless bolt actions contribute to a very aesthetically pleasing and comfortable use of these pens.

When someone uses the word “tactical” before their product, I do a bit of an internal eye roll and categorize that product as most likely cheap and made in China. Saying something is tactical is just like saying something is “military-grade.” Spoiler alert, the military goes to great lengths to buy the cheapest junk they can find, unless you happen to be in a tier-one unit. The bolt action EDC (every day carry) pens from Bastion Gear, however, are not overtly marketed as “tactical,” but I think they could easily be used in defensive or emergency situations, which is always nice to see.

When Bastion Gear offered to let me take a look at these two EDC pens, I was a bit skeptical, initially. I’ve never been a big pen guy, and my normal EDC hasn’t included a pen at all. I’ve been fine with buying whatever cheap pens I could find at Walmart and calling it good. The nicest pens I owned up to this point were a couple of Fisher Space Pens I picked up for taking notes on Rite in the Rain paper when I was in the military.

These EDC pens from Bastion Gear are not your granddaddy’s pens, and they definitely aren’t the pens that belong to your weird, tacti-cool neighbor named Chad either. They don’t have flashlights, hidden razor blades, compasses, zombie defense shields, or dedicated glass breakers. They don’t scream, “I’m super tactical, and I conceal carry a Desert Eagle, bro.” They are much more refined and more like the silent professionals in the shadows. No one would think twice about either of these pens being used to sign a high-level government document or new law. They both would also fit very comfortably in a CEO’s corner office or board room.

Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action Pen close up logo on leather book cover
Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action Stainless steel and carbon fiber Pens on leather book cover

It’s similar to the way an EDC gun belt from Kore Essentials doesn’t look like a gun belt at all, but under the surface, it’s one of the best gun belts ever made. Are these the best pens ever made? I can’t say, but they certainly are quite nice. What I can say for sure is that almost 3 ounces of solid stainless steel and/or carbon fiber, in the convenient shape of a spike, cleverly disguised as pens is a great way to have a handy tool at your fingertips, should the need ever arise.

When I write with these two pens, I feel like I’m penning the Declaration of Independence or something else monumentally important. The subconscious feeling of power and importance from these things is very interesting, to say the least. Let me try to put this in a way that doesn’t sound salesy or gimmicky… The Bastion Gear EDC stainless steel and carbon fiber pens are the best pens I’ve ever held in my hands. They both use Parker Style ink refills, which means you can choose from more than ten colors, three types of ink, and several kinds of tips to turn the pens into your ideal writing, sketching, drafting, or any other pen of your choice. I don’t usually get excited about pens, but these two stole my attention, even before the two D2 steel Braza and Braza Bro knives that Bastion sent along with them – that should say something in and of itself.

Bastion Gear EDC stainless steel pen on multicam notebook
Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action pens with 007 cufflink

When you open the box, you are presented with the pen in a precision-cut foam gift box with a magnetic closure. This is not some clam-shell plastic-wrapped thing from Wally World. It’s a serious pen, and its first impression is equally serious. Then when you actually pick it up, you realize that it is HEAVY. Two point eight ounces doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re reading about it, so to give you some perspective, go find fourteen quarters – that would be equal to the weight of this thing. Don’t have fourteen quarters laying around somewhere? How about six and a half live 9mm rounds?

Not only are these pens physically heavy, but they are also extremely solid and very well made. They are CNC-machined from a single block of stainless steel and use a bolt action opening mechanism, inspired by bolt action rifles. The seam on the full stainless steel version between the removable tip and the body of the pen is so precise, I actually didn’t think it was two separate pieces when I first picked it up! These pens have better CNC work and more attention to detail than I’ve seen on $1,000+ guns. Seriously, they are amazing. I’m sure these things could be used as a self-defense weapon if the need ever presented.

Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action Pens on leather book cover
Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action pens on police handcuffs

So how much is one of these crazy pens going to cost you? As of February 2020, the regular price is $39.99, or you could get one for $31.99 with the coupon code WARRIOR20 at checkout for a 20% discount.

I will be doing several destructive tests with both of these pens to see how they do. So far, my plans include driving over them with a Suburban, throwing them off a sixty-foot shooting tower, shooting them with a shotgun, and leaving them in a car with an IED explosive. I have the best job ever!

Bastion Gear EDC Bolt Action pens next to Remington 700 bolt on Sniper Data book
Bastion Gear EDC carbon fiber and stainless steel pen on Leupold Mk4 scope

Full transparency disclaimer: Bastion Gear sent these pens to me for free, in order to test and evaluate. However, my opinion, comments, and final score are my own. I will NEVER recommend products or services that I do not personally believe in or that are of poor quality. There is no room for compromise when lives are on the line. Hopefully, your life never hinges on your pen selection, but just in case…