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April 12, 2008

Paint Pens

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Permanent Marking Devices

What is it? Paint Pen

Photo (C) American Marketing Inc.

What does it do? Applies paint to mark a variety of materials permanently.

Why do we need it? Available in a variety of colors, paint pens provide a more distinct way of quickly and permanently marking equipment. For the many things that would benefit from painted signage but do not require formal stenciling, paint pens are quick and effective. Because the pens are personal gear, they do not require HAZMAT handling or storage.

Where can we get it? Office and Grocery supply outlets, manufacturers.

What kind should we get? Try a number of different kinds, but a Sharpie brand is available. Additionally, high (furnace) temperature and industrial versions are available.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Depends on requirement.

How much does it cost? $3-6 each pen. Available in sets.

Why is this better than what is issued? Ink Sharpies are standard issue but mark poorly on dark surfaces. Stencils take a lot of time to prepare, and a lot of administrative overhead to store materials for. Paint pens can be safely kept in a pocket until needed, and with acceptable penmanship can mark a host of objects permanently and visibly.

What stupid things will be done with it? Graffiti. Misspelled words. Bright color stains on uniforms. Tactical equipment marked in ways that assist the enemy. Smeared markings if handled before minimal drying. Bad penmanship. Avoid pastel shades for military purposes because they invite rude comments.

Additional supplies needed? A rag or industrial wiping towel to wipe off mistaken marks. Replacement pens. Additional colors.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.

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