Destructive Testing of Bastion Gear Every Day Carry Pens
In a world full of “tactical” pens, Bastion Gear has taken a more elegant and refined approach to the subject of high-quality EDC pens. Their sleek designs and clean lines are a stark contrast to other EDC pens available that look like Swiss Army Knives or some kind of alien technology.
The idea for these pens is simple: high-quality stainless steel and carbon fiber pens that will survive the apocalypse and keep on writing. Bastion Gear has certainly nailed it with these two pens. The interesting thing is, even though the pens have only one specific purpose in mind – to put ink on paper, they are both capable of incredible feats of strength and usability far beyond every day writing tasks.
Just How Strong Are These Pens Anyway?
You can read my full and more civilized review of these pens here.
My objective for this testing was simple: Throw everything I could think of at these pens to try and destroy them. After all, I want to test products and equipment that is made for military and police use; and part of that testing includes finding the breaking point, so you don’t have to when your life or your team’s lives are on the line.
Both of these Bastion Gear EDC pens are made of stainless steel with the exception of the genuine carbon fiber body on one of them. When I say stainless steel, I literally mean they are basically solid steel, CNC-machined tubes that are absurdly strong. I knew they would do well under stress, but I had no idea just how well they would take the torture-testing I gave them.
The same two pens were used for every test, and all of the pictures and video is 100% real. I’m not interested in making fake content.
Test 1: Fruit Ninja
Starting out relatively easy, I wanted to see how the pens would do with some basic stabbing tasks, using three different fruits as my testing media. First up was a pummelo. (No, I didn’t know what it was either. Apparently, it is part of the grapefruit family.) The pens had zero issues with this one.
Next up was an apple. Again, no issues at all – both pens absolutely destroyed the apple, as if it were nothing at all.
Last on the menu for fruit testing was a honeydew (again, no idea…but apparently, it’s the green version of canteloupe in the melon family). All I can say about this one is that it was another easy task for the Bastion Gear EDC pens to chew through, as if it was nonexistent.
When the fruit proved to be much too soft for the pens, I tried to stab the stump I had been using as a table. The results speak for themselves. Both pens stuck in the stump, as if they were knives. There was absolutely no bending, flexing, or any signs of any damage whatsoever for either pen.
Test 2: Road Kill
Naturally, I can’t have a destructive battery of tests without running over stuff with my car. For this one, I put the pens behind the driver side rear tire of my sedan. Both pens were slowly run over three times each. I thought this test would do at least some kind of damage to the bolt action mechanism, but these pens didn’t appear to have any new scratches after being crushed repeatedly. There was also absolutely no bending or flexing of either pen. I figure I could have driven an armored HUMVEE over them and gotten the same result.
Test 3: Happy Birthday to The Ground
Fruit, wood, and my car were obviously no challenge. How about a concrete sidewalk? For starters, I held both pens in one hand and threw them down onto the concrete as hard as I could from a height of roughly six feet. That made the first visible sign of wear with minor scratches and dents but nothing serious at all. So, I decided to do the same thing again. After the second throw yielded basically no new damage, I held the pens upright and hammered the tips into the sidewalk as hard as I possibly could (totaled sixteen times).
The hammering made some very slight deformations of the tip, but overall, both pens were basically still undamaged aside from the minor cosmetic scratches from throwing them earlier.
Test 4: Leap Of Faith
What do you do with a sixty-foot rappelling and shooting tower? Throw stuff off it, of course! This test included cardio and lots of stairs, so the pens ended up doing better than I did. After climbing the six stories and dropping the pens onto the rocks below, I was honestly a little happy that I had finally made some more significant, permanent marks on at least one of the pens. The full stainless steel pen was basically totally fine, and the only damage done to the carbon fiber pen was light divots and scratches from the rocks on impact. I then proceeded to throw them from the top of the tower two more times, just for good measure.
Test 5: Shattered Dreams
Now we are getting into the good stuff. What happens if you are forced to use one of these Bastion Gear EDC pens to break a car window in an emergency? Could you use the pens to escape after an accident or gain entry to a locked vehicle that has a child inside of it? The short answer is: Yes. The longer more complicated answer is: Yes, BUT automotive glass is extremely hard to break for obvious reasons. It takes a significant amount of blunt force if you’re trying to break a window without using a specialty tool designed for the task.
These pens do not have dedicated tungsten carbide glass breaking tips. I used the smallest point on the pen as my striking point to try and focus as much energy into the smallest area as possible. I also hit the window in the bottom corner, right on the laser etching, as that is the weakest point of vehicle windows. I then hit the window with the strength of a thousand bulls and…nothing happened. Seventeen attempts later, the magical moment of epic window shattering glory was achieved. That single break is the one featured in the above video.
After breaking one window, I tried to break a second but gave up after multiple attempts. The takeaway here is that I don’t actually have the strength of a thousand bulls, and if you need to use your Bastion Gear EDC pen to break auto glass in an emergency, be prepared to repeatedly hit the window as hard as you possibly can for it to actually break.
Neither of the pens was damaged in any way from the multiple glass impacts.
Test 6: Shotgun Wedding at 1250 FPS
Last but not least, I hung the EDC pens from a car door and proceeded to shoot them with Winchester Super-Target Loads from a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. The distance was roughly ten yards, and the impact of the first shot was pretty much focused on the carbon fiber pen. FINALLY, I was able to do some serious permanent damage to the pen! As you can see from the pictures and video, the blast took out a chunk of the carbon fiber sleeve, and the force of the impact bent the pocket clip slightly. Feeling victorious in my quest to destroy the pens, I shot them again, obviously.
This time, the impact was squarely on the full stainless steel pen, and the shot made a pretty sizeable hole in the car door where the pen had been hanging. When I got closer to celebrate my victory of destruction, my exact words when I picked up the pen were, “You gotta be kidding me! WOW… That’s fantastic…!”
I had failed… The two Bastion Gear EDC pens had not only taken the absurd abuse I dished out, they both actually still worked!
The Final Test and Conclusion
After the battery of crazy tests and attempted destruction of the two Every Day Carry pens from Bastion Gear, the final test was to see if they were still able to do their original job of putting ink on paper. Both of the tips on the pens were slightly bent and deformed enough that the ink cartridges could not make it through the opening. Not to be deterred, I helped them out with a hammer and nail to re-bend the opening ever so slightly. Once I did that, the bolt action mechanisms of both pens worked flawlessly. Even the original ink cartridges worked too, after a little encouragement, repriming the ballpoints in that universal fashion of drawing lots of circles until the ink started to flow again!
Overall, these two pens performed far better than I ever thought possible. The strength, durability, and overall design of the pens easily make them the best EDC pens I’ve ever tested. I can easily recommend them to anyone and everyone.
Just want a pen without the “tactical” sprinkled on top? No problem, these pens are very elegant and professional. Looking for a discreet self-defense tool that won’t be confiscated at airports or scrutinized as a weapon by employers? Bastion Gear has you covered. These pens will take just about any kind of abuse you can throw at them, and if you hit an attacker with one of these, I think it would help change their life choices pretty quickly.
Full Transparency Disclaimer: Bastion Gear sent these pens to me for free, in order to test and evaluate them. However, my opinion, comments, and final 5-star 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.