Bolt-action pen hides a tactical twist
The pen is mightier than the sword. I for one subscribe to this – a sentiment acknowledging the power of the written word. It holds less water if you want to use your pen as an actual weapon, though. Imagine bringing a pen to an actual sword fight – embarrassing! Enter Zerohour's new Apex Bolt: a "premium writing instrument" meets "glass breaker" cum screwdriver and defensive weapon rolled into one Kickstarter-busting gadget that aims to close the usefulness gap between rapiers and writing implements. And it has a novel release mechanism to boot.
The Apex Bolt is the latest inky iteration of Zerohour's Apex tactical pen. Its name comes from its built-in bolt – its answer to that enduring problem of making that difficult transition between not using your pen, and then using it. Lids, as Zerohour points out, add time to your work (and can go missing), while click pens are at risk of ink-spillage if activated accidentally. The horror!
The Bolt's bolt action, meanwhile, needs a down-a-bit, along-a-bit, and up-a-bit action that, while still achievable with one thumb, should prevent these sorts of hideous accidents. "For all the fidgeters out there, bolt action also gives you a new way to play with your pen, unlocking your imagination with a fun and simple tactile release," says the Apex Bolt's Kickstarter page. Brilliant.
The other headline feature is probably the ceramic tip which essentially weaponizes the pen to all for "self-defense to strike an assailant in close combat." If like me you're not so into fighting, know that Zerohour also points out the tip is good for breaking glass.
What else? Oh yes – let's not forget the tactical pen's hidden hex-bit screwdriver, compatible with a number of Zerohour products and, usefully, your glasses should their arms get a bit flappy. An interchangeable set of screwdriver heads will follow in due course, apparently.
It uses Fisher Space Pen refills so the pen has all the benefits of Fisher's pocket-wonder: zero-gravity writing, underwater writing, zero-gravity underwater writing – that sort of thing. This has helped keep the length down. At 5.5 inches (14 cm), Zerohour claims this is one of the shortest multitool pens available.
The Apex Bolt has tripled its US$10,000 goal with 24 days left on the clock. For now, Zerohour is offering the Apex Bolt in three finishes: matte black aluminum, polished titanium and sandblasted titanium. Pledges begin at US$59, with dangly carrot of a black pen, while early-bird offers last. The titanium early-bird options are offered at $84. They're hoping to deliver come October, but as you know by now, crowdfunding campaigns carry a degree of risk so don't spend what you can't afford.
As multitools go it's not the most versatile pen we've seen – it lacks an ear pick, for one. Its feature-set puts it much more in line with Gerber's Impromptu Tactical Pen we saw in 2013. I quite like the idea of a pen with decent build quality that doubles as a screwdriver. Heaven forbid you'd need one to escape a burning building or fight off an attacker – I prefer not to live in fear of such things. On the other hand, be prepared and all that, I suppose. There's a video below.