Multi-tool pens may not be quite as popular as multi-tool pocket knives or even multifunctional smartphone cases, but there is a small yet lively market of pens that can also save your hide in dicey situations. The Endure Survival Pen is one of the latest, putting a tiny flare launcher, fire starter and other emergency tools inside your shirt pocket.
Unlike full-sized multi-tools or survival kits, pens are typically quite limited in the number of tools they can offer while still maintaining the general size, weight and shape of a writing implement. So "survival pens" usually only pack an extra function or two alongside putting ink to paper. The Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen includes a glass breaker and the UZI Tactical Defender Pen carries a rather morally dubious handcuff key alongside its ink cartridge and glass-shattering tip.
The Endure Survival Pen packs a few extra onboard tools over those other survival pens, and it has some rather interesting ones to boot. A ferro rod resides opposite the pen stored inside the Endure's outer casing, with the hardened steel clip on that casing doubling as the striker, allowing the user to spark up a fire. And if they have trouble finding tinder, the core of the attached bundle of 3.5-ft (1.1-m) FireCord paracord is designed for just that purpose; simply separate it out and ignite it into flame.
Like the two other survival pens we mentioned, the Endure also includes a glass-breaking tip. Endure's designers call that tip a multi-use spike and say that it can also be used for digging and creating a snare.
The Endure really separates itself from the pack in its one standout function: flare launcher. When self reliance fails, simply unscrew the spike tip and screw a flare in its place. The spring-activated firing pin sends the flare shooting up into the air as a last-resort call for help. The Endure works with various types, including standard flares, bear bangers and whistlers, sourced from TruFlare USA, which also offers its own line of mini launchers.
The Endure offers all that functionality from inside a tiny package. It measures 5.5 in (14 cm) long by a 0.5-in (1.3 cm) in diameter. Thanks to its titanium construction, it weighs just 2.4 oz (68 g).
NMB Creations, the party behind the Endure, is trying to raise Kickstarter funding to bring the multi-tool pen to market. It is offering the Endure for pledge levels of US$100 and up and plans to begin shipping in September if everything works out as planned. It is close to half its $25,000 goal with 27 days left to go.