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Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool

us Offline Buck LeDrow

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Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
on: December 18, 2020, 09:31:31 PM
This is my first post to the Multitool Forum so please let me know if I've done anything incorrect or if there is someplace where my query has been covered. (I just joined a half hour ago.)

I've loved multitools for years, SAKs, Leatherman, Gerber, all sorts of smallish, keychain-y utility items.

I'm a writer and editor and, though I'm mostly using a keyboard or an Apple Pencil, I used to be a pen collector and still enjoy putting pen to paper sometimes.

Where would I find someone who mods SAKs or similar multitools to build me my ideal tool set, likely including some kind of pen that's better than current keychain pens or Victorinox pen options?

In "crazy new enthusiast" fashion, I created a long list of possibilities for placement and important attributes, based on great, usable pens and other SAK tools. But I'm no engineer so I'd love to hash out the ideas with someone who does this and have them make me one.

Any people, places, forums I should check out? Who'd want to hear my ideas and preferences and give practical feedback?

Thanks,
Buck LeDrow
"I'll take 4. One to use, one to collect, one to give as a gift, and one for just in case."


00 Offline Dutch_Tooler

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #1 on: December 18, 2020, 10:21:26 PM

[...]
Any people, places, forums I should check out? Who'd want to hear my ideas and preferences and give practical feedback?

Welcome to  :MTO: Buck!

Intriguing idea... I think you'll find a good ear for your ideas right here :tu:
I have done my share of modding but never thought of integrating a real pen (beyond what Vic offer that is) and I for one am looking forward to your ideas. What kind of pen are you thinking about - ball-point, rollerball?
Cheers!
Dutch_Tooler

Location: Southern Germany, most of the time


ca Offline benbergman

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 04:51:42 PM
I am also interested in your ideas. I've been considering adding a pen to a Leatherman but have no idea what cartridge would be appropriate. I don't want something that will end up leaking, and it needs to be small to fit. I also want something that writes smoothly (scratchy ballpoints drive me crazy). Bonus points if it can write on many different surfaces (paper, plastic, maybe even metal).


ie Offline Don Pablo

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #3 on: December 19, 2020, 05:59:34 PM
The victorinox pen is basically a tiny pressurised ballpoint.
I wonder if integrating a proper large "space pen" is possible? :think:
Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!


us Offline Buck LeDrow

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 04:36:04 AM
I'll try to share some of my ideas, more likely piecemeal than "manifesto style." (My quest for the perfect writing multi-tool hybrid is limited, ironically, by my need to get some work done!)

1. Most likely, I'm thinking of a ballpoint pen. I think a rollerball is problematic. Also, there are a few mini/multi ballpoint options as a starting point. There's the pressurized refill in the Victorinox, which is a standard "mini" size. I've seen it on other small pens, even Montblanc's "Mozart"-sized. Sometimes, it's a standalone refill or adapted to its holder with a little plastic piece on the non-ink end. Then there's the Fisher refill, which is bigger, pressurized as well, and famously robust. This "Fisher size" is probably, outside the Fisher community, considered a standard "Parker" size, though the Fisher refill is shorter (and comes with a little plastic piece on the non-ink pen so it can be adapted to the industry-common/Parker pen.

The smallest ballpoint refill I've seen - on some super-short or telescoping mini-pens - is just over 3cm. It's a ballpoint and very short clear plastic reservoir with ink inside. As far as I know, it's not pressurized, and refills aren't commonly available. I have a few pens with these inside. Most have dried out from lack of use or time. A few still write.

2. Shortcomings with the Victorinox pens.

This is not a complaint; please don't interpret it as such. I'm motivated by thinking of the possibility of asking, "If I had XXX engineering ability, YYY technical ability, ZZZ machining ability, and $$$ money, what would I consider BETTER?"

The Vic pen in the plus-scales (like the Compact, Traveler, SwissChamp, etc.) is good in that it's a long-lasting pressurized ink refill (I think the same size as the 58mm scale-pen and other "standard" mini-sized refills, but with a plastic tip contoured for the scales) and takes up almost zero tool space. If I had to sign a receipt and there wasn't a pen handy, or I needed to write down the license-plate number of a car fleeing the scene, it would work fine. Clearly, by purpose though, it's not comfortable for using on a regular basis, or taking a few pages of notes.

The 58mm Vic pen (non-Alox MiniChamp, Signature, Signature Light, Rambler - apologies if I mix up a few names) is a step up. You have the body of the knife to hold, beyond a bare refill. That's too short to use for very long, but you can extend it by using the non-blade tools that Victorinox - thoughtfully and intentionally, as they typically do - open up in the direction OPPOSITE the pen-tip-extension. This lengthens "the body" of the pen.

If I had no pen available (but paper and, I guess, no other technology) and received a vital, information-filled 20-30 minute phone call, I'm sure I could take notes fine. But it's not ideal. Whether it's the Phillips-cap-multi or the nail file or the cuticle lifter, it becomes at least a little uncomfortable resting on my index finger as I write, especially for that hypothetical vital, information-filled call. Also, it's still a little stubby for long-term or heavy use. Granted, it's longer than the minimum size for the full-sized Fisher refill. (For example, with the "extended-tool" handle of the 58mm, the 58mm is longer than the Fisher Trekker pen, which uses its standard refill.) A little longer would be better. At least it should be on the table.

Finally, I wonder whether there's significant long-term benefit/comfort from having the refill/pen be more "balanced." When the pen pops from a scale, it's essentially off to one side. But that's more a question/thought than something at the top of my wish list. It looks awkwardly off center while I'm using it, and I haven't tried writing 5-10 pages with it and trying to comparing that with a full-sized or "centered" standard pen.

That's all the manifesto-ing I have time for right now. I'm curious about everyone's thoughts. I'll try to return and (a) add some illustrations, (b) talk about other keychain/mini-pens and hear your thoughts about what's good (or where they have THAT forum), and (c) talk about some ideas, from other types of tools, pens, accessories, etc. of how I think this Magic Pen Based Multitool (MPBM - but I need a better acronym, and some vowels in there, but I'll also try to come up with that next time!) would work/look/exist.

Thanks for welcoming me to the group!

"I'll take 4. One to use, one to collect, one to give as a gift, and one for just in case."


us Offline Buck LeDrow

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #5 on: December 20, 2020, 07:47:21 AM
I realized, a few hours after my previous post, that I had made an error. I tried editing the post to include this addendum, but the time for editing a post passed. This is what I intended to add, early in that post, about the Victorinox refills:

[I REALIZED, AFTER INITIALLY POSTING THIS, THAT I WAS INCORRECT ABOUT THIS. The 58mm and 91mm Victorinox refills are different lengths and the 58mm is clearly shorter than the general-industry "mini" stick-like refill. The 91mm plus-scales refill is the same size as that Monblanc/Lamy/general-industry mini, but because of Victorinox's plastic piece at the end to integrate into the scale, I don't know if they are identical refills. I realized this as I was taking a picture of a bunch of refills and pens. In my next post, I'll include that image, as well as plenty of other wish-I-was-getting-paid-by-the-word-for-this stuff.]
"I'll take 4. One to use, one to collect, one to give as a gift, and one for just in case."


nl Offline Reinier

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #6 on: December 20, 2020, 08:10:03 AM
A little longer would be better.



Quote
At least it should be on the table.

That's what she sa... er, :think:

But seriously, nice write-up. I have nothing to add - I occasionally use my EDC Cybertool's pen but that's it. I don't write that often anyways due to some issues I have with my hands and fingers.

And of course, welcome to MTo :cheers:
You should seriously visit vicfan.com. All the hoopy froods are doing it.


us Offline DavZell

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 05:17:25 PM
Don't overlook the Fisher Space Pen's other size.  It is a universal refill with sections on the back that break off to adjust the length.

It's the top (and bottom) one in this image from their website.  Link to the product below.



https://www.spacepen.com/BlackInkFinePointFisherUniversalRefill.aspx
My Mods: 58mm Workshop, 91mm Picnicker, CyberCompact
Some Fav's: long nail file models, vintage unusual stainless
Quirk: I like the metal file more than the wood saw


Offline Trebor Redins

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 10:14:48 PM
Hey, sorry I'm a little late to the game here, but figured if you havent gotten a solution this might be what your looking for.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/HTNWALR25/74mm-victorinox-pen-scale-combo?optionId=150809379&li=marketplace


Offline mandafj

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #9 on: December 19, 2023, 10:10:30 AM
I realized, a few hours after my previous post, that I had made an error. I tried editing the post to include this addendum, but the time for editing a post passed. This is what I intended to add, early in that post, about the Victorinox refills:

[I REALIZED, AFTER INITIALLY POSTING THIS, THAT I WAS INCORRECT ABOUT THIS. The 58mm and 91mm Victorinox refills are different lengths and the 58mm is clearly shorter than the general-industry "mini" stick-like refill. The 91mm plus-scales refill is the same size as that Monblanc/Lamy/general-industry mini, but because of Victorinox's plastic piece at the end to integrate into the scale, I don't know if they are identical refills. I realized this as I was taking a picture of a bunch of refills and pens. In my next post, I'll include that image, as well as plenty of other wish-I-was-getting-paid-by-the-word-for-this stuff.]
Thanks for the information!


Offline mandafj

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #10 on: December 19, 2023, 02:21:27 PM
I realized, a few hours after my previous post, that I had made an error. I tried editing the post to include this addendum, but the time for editing a post passed. This is what I intended to add, early in that post, about the Victorinox refills:

[I REALIZED, AFTER INITIALLY POSTING THIS, THAT I WAS INCORRECT ABOUT THIS. The 58mm and 91mm Victorinox refills are different lengths and the 58mm is clearly shorter than the general-industry "mini" stick-like refill. The 91mm plus-scales refill is the same size as that Monblanc/Lamy/general-industry mini, but because of Victorinox's plastic piece at the end to integrate into the scale, I don't know if they are identical refills. I realized this as I was taking a picture of a bunch of refills and pens. In my next post, I'll include that image, as well as plenty of other wish-I-was-getting-paid-by-the-word-for-this stuff.]


forgot to add, information was helpful
« Last Edit: December 23, 2023, 08:50:15 PM by McStitchy »


us Offline PitCarver

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #11 on: December 19, 2023, 06:19:46 PM
Can't shed any light to the pen discussion, Buck, because I'm still partial to a Bic medium point pen.  Just felt the need to say welcome aboard.
Addicted to sharp pointy things.


us Offline DavZell

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Re: Looking for a pen mod for SAK or similar multitool
Reply #12 on: February 29, 2024, 09:07:33 PM
One hint for those coming back to this:  on 91mm models with the hook, you can put one end of the pen under it.  That makes the whole body of the knife the pen body.  Some people like this solution.

Edit:  the plastic cap will fit in the slot if rotated correctly.
My Mods: 58mm Workshop, 91mm Picnicker, CyberCompact
Some Fav's: long nail file models, vintage unusual stainless
Quirk: I like the metal file more than the wood saw


 

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