Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Seriously Underrated: Fisher Space Pen Cap-O-Matic

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They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I just had to learn that lesson the hard way. I’ve been carrying my brass Cap-O-Matic with me for a number of weeks while running around on my summer to-dos and a few days ago my pen went missing. Only once my trusty companion was gone did I realize how much I had been enjoying the pen.

The Cap-O-Matic

I’ve owned Fisher’s Cap-O-Matic pens for some years now, in fact here is a video review from 2018 about the pen. I had always had the less expensive model, the one with plastic barrel and silver metal upper half. I liked the pens well enough, but mainly saw them as a cheap way to buy a pen with a Fisher refill.

Then, somewhat randomly a few months ago, I landed on the store page for the M4RAW, the raw brass Cap-O-Matic. This model is closer to $30 and replaces the plastic barrel and unnamed “metal” upper with raw, unfinished brass. It’s a big step up from the other versions.

The raw brass model is heavier than the plastic models (17.7 grams vs 12.6 grams) and feels like a nicer pen. It arrives looking like polished gold but will immediately start to tarnish as you use it. After a few hours it’ll look a little dirty, like it needs to be wiped off, but that’s just the awkward teenage stage of the patina.

After a few weeks the patina will be built up and the pen will look like a well-worn piece, like brass that’s been through hell and came out the other side looking great.

Brass Pens

I normally shy away from brass pens because they pick up nicks and dents and they are rather heavy. Neither is true with the Cap-O-Matic, which is bordering on being too light and seems to be relatively tough, as if the brass was a coating over a tougher metal.

Fisher says the brass Cap-O-Matic is made of “85% Copper and 15% Zinc” and nothing else, so my feelings could be off, but the pen hasn’t picked up the micro-dents that I’ve associate with my machined brass pens, like my heavyweight Kara’s Kustoms. The copper in the blend gives the pen anti-microbial properties, something which has proven to be surprisingly effective given that it’s simply accomplished by using copper and doesn’t require some fancy sprayed-on nano-coating or something that will wear out over time.

Cap-O-Matic Take Two

After a few days of searching I knew my brass Cap-O-Matic was lost. While I briefly considered switching over to a Fisher Bullet Pen or plastic Cap-O-Matic for my pocket pen, but the wound was too fresh and a new brass M4RAW was just a few clicks away.

So I went ahead and bought one — they are easy to find these days, with Fisher pens being widely available online.

Yes, my patina was lost and the months of micro-scratches and tarnish I had built up would all be restarted, but that’s OK. I would be that much further away from the wonderful feeling of using up a ballpoint pen refill, which actually hurt a bit more than the lack of patina, which comes back surprisingly fast.

For now my Cap-O-Matic is back in my pocket and I plan on being extra careful about where I put it down.