I’ve long had a love-hate affair with my my Fisher Space Pen AG-7. It’s one of the most practical, usable, and durable metal ball point pens out there, which makes it a great pen to have around. You can read my Fisher AG-7 Space Pen review here.
For long writing sessions, though, the grooves at the grip of the pen get a little uncomfortable. It’s also a smidge thin.
Today I discovered a simple way to fix both problems. Heat shrink tubing. Either 3/8″ or 1/2″ tubing will work, with the former being tighter at the pointy end of the pen, but the latter ending up a little thicker and softer. You can get heat shrink tubing at the hardware store, in the electrical section – a few dollars at most.
The pen ends up with a nice smooth slightly grippy surface that is skin-friendly, and the pen ends up nearly a 1/16″ bigger in diameter, so it’s girth improves a bit. It also makes the pen more pocket friendly with other items, like my iPhone. So far I’m loving it.
And, if I ever discover I want to go back to the regular tubing free pen, a simple cut with a razor blade has it off in a few seconds with no residue.
A few tips:
- You’ll need a heat source to do the shrinking. A heat gun is ideal, and handy for lots of other uses. A stove burner is nearly as good.
- Expect to do it more than once. Getting the tubing positioned and shrunk evenly is an easy skill to master, but you may not get it on your first try.
- Some places may have the tubing in colors other than black, so it may pay to look around.