Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Cybernetic Research Labs - Tactical Pen

I've had a few good occasions to make use of this particular item, and thought I should give it a review.I covered the Tactical Pen a while back. I misplaced that pen but 2 is 1 and 1 is none ...

This was another Kickstarter item from the folks at Cybernetic Research Laboratories who previously produced the Tactical Whistle and the Tactical Cache. I wanted to "collect the set" of their products, because that's how I like to test not only the items, but the brand itself. More on that later.

This is a modular pen / hex-tool / stylus / glass-breaker with aggressive knurling and grips.

Machined from aircraft aluminium (with stainless steel and titanium options, too), I had my pen anodised in their "OD green" which matched the OD green their Whistle and Cache, which I must say, is a long way off what I expected Olive Drab to be. This could just be due to the sheen of it, (rather than being a matte finish). I think I should have gotten black.

The pen itself comes in four parts; The end cap, with a lanyard hole and a titanium clip. The main body, which is threaded internally, with three deep gripping groves. It is bored to accept a Fisher Space Pen cartridge from one end only.

Either end of the body can accept one of the various heads, in my case I have; the stylus end, the pen end, the tungsten carbide glass-breaker and the hex-bit driver (which I opted to get in titanium for additional resistance to wear).

Each of the heads have two different threads, one for attaching the head to the body, and the other for securing the cap to the head.

Interestingly, the cap can also take the tool-tips, including the pen with its cartridge.
This modularity makes this tool quite appealing, I tend to keep the glass breaker tip out and exposed, both for potential escape requirements I might have in punching out a window, but also for being a rather unpleasant pointy end to make my displeasure known. I've also used the carbide tip to scribe things onto metal.

The stylus tip is not very effective on my iPhone and iPad, but they did state this would be the case during the Kickstarter.

It's a functional tool, it makes senses as a backup item.

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