≡ Menu

Pen Review: Fisher Space Pen AG7

Recently I wrote that I’d bounced back to ballpoint pens after a long period of using the Pilot G2. While I was at it, I thought I might as well post my observations about these pens while I was busy being obsessed.

The Fisher AG7 is the original space pen, and still is the pen issued to astronauts. It’s pretty unremarkable looking, being plain, chromed brass. I’m assuming by the heft that it’s brass.

Here are the pros:

  • It has a great clip, that takes abuse pretty well and can be clipped over substantial thickness of fabric without getting “sprung”.
  • It has a side release, which while not an incredible advantage over the click in/click out design, is very satisfying to use.
  • The knurling down near the point is very sharp, which makes it effective.
  • The pen is built like a tank, good heft, solid threads where the pen separates into two halves.
  • It has no annoying refill rattle – the refill doesn’t click everytime the point touches paper.
  • The spring in the lower end is captive, which means it won’t fall out when changing the refill.
  • It’s just thick enough to avoid the metal toothpick feel that other pens (notably Cross) have.
  • It takes Fisher refills, which write great when used often.

And the cons:

  • It’s pretty expensive at $50+ list price, perhaps $40ish street.
  • The clicker is not quiet to actuate.
  • The knurling is aggressive enough to mar other items sharing a pocket with the AG7.
  • The reveal, that is the amount of the pen that shows above the clip, is pretty much just the click tip, which makes it very hard to pull the pen out of loops in briefcases and the like.

I think what attracts me to it is the indestructible feel it has. It feels like a reliable tool should feel: Heavy, solid, with no annoying creaks or rattles or looseness or play in the components. It’s the kind of pen you take when you don’t know what you’ll be writing on, but you need something reliable and not so valuable you’ll cry if someone borrows it.

5 comments… add one
  • mrw2day October 5, 2006, 12:31 pm

    if you like the fisher refill but hate the pen…Fisher makes the pressurized refills for a lot of popular designs. Check out their website. I sometimes use them in a A T Cross when I’m in a ballpoint mood.

    Cheers!

  • BobK. March 10, 2009, 9:57 pm

    The knurling is aggressive, all right. I guess it’s good if you need to grip it with your gloves, but it sure is rough on my fingers. Otherwise a great pen.

  • Shawn Fuller May 4, 2009, 8:31 pm

    I have purchased three of these pens over the years, and as a hobby I collect pens. I enjoy these pens because they are still made state-side and have not deviated from their original design. To me the AG7 is both nostalgic and patriotic to possess and use. Lastly, price is relative. We have no issue with spending money on coffee or fast food that is gone in a matter of minutes, but often find it difficult to spend money on something that will provide years of reliable service.

  • Shawn February 6, 2011, 4:35 am

    I too collect pens, and out f all of them the AG7 is still my favorite. The above comments sum it up very well. I only wish that ny local office supply chain sold the AG7 instead of the Bullet, I believe many more people would have these wonderful American Made pens.

    • Steve March 2, 2011, 11:15 am

      Yes, the bullet is one of those great ideas that just doesn’t work very well in practice. I have a few but I never know where they are because I keep loosing them.

      The AG7 is not much bigger, but much more convenient.

      For a long time it was either fountain pen or AG7. But more recently the cartridges for the AG7 haven’t been as smooth or nice as they once were. I don’t know if mine are just old and sticky, or what, but the pen doesn’t seem to write as well.

Leave a Comment