Tuesday, July 30, 2013

100 Uses for a Bic Pen

A few days ago I was using a classic Bic Pen in a project and thought about how amazing this little device is. It may not capture quite the pinnacle of human achievement that the Bic Lighter has, but it comes awfully close.

Surely, someone must have cataloged all myriad of uses for this nearly 60 year old object, right?. But alas, I could find a comprehensive list. So I set out to create one of my own.

Here it is: 100 uses for a Bic Pen.

Some uses are obvious, some uses are a stretch and some uses exist only in my imagination. The two populations that seem to get the most out of Bic Pens are prison inmates and pot heads. The former I expected, the latter I didn't. I had no idea how many forums exist on the web dedicated to the discussion of illegal drug use. Shows what you what a sheltered life I live.

My favorite ideas: #37, #63, and #82.

So what usages did I miss?

  1. for writing
  2. as a straw
  3. as a toy "telescope" for kids
  4. to unlock a bike lock (link)
  5. to make a crossbow (Link)
  6. for an improvised tracheotomy (on TV, anyway) (Link)
  7. as a paper punch
  8. to store & pass secret messages (pop out the tube of ink, insert a small paper scroll, put ink back)
  9. to make a chandelier (Link)
  10. use the sharper end of the pen top to scrape away excess glue
  11. as an improvised stabbing weapon (Link)
  12. to shuttle back and forth messages: run a long string through the tube, tape a message to the tube, send on its way
  13. as a source of plastic to melt down (Link)
  14. as a wire guide
  15. use the ink to ruin a perfectly good white shirt
  16. use the pen top to enhance your key chain flashlight (Link)
  17. create a blow gun / spitball delivery device
  18. use as a ruler
  19. remove the guts and use to carry toothpicks or other small objects
  20. as a building material kids projects (think Lincoln Logs, but using pens)
  21. make it into a syringe (Link)
  22. make a tattoo gun (Link)
  23. as finger splint
  24. to perform an Age Test (Link)
  25. to make an antique radio alignment tool (Link)
  26. to make a home made resistor (Link)
  27. to make a Gamebit screwdriver (Link)
  28. to make a Smart Phone Stylus (Link)
  29. to make a Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Toy (Link)
  30. take two and melt / shape ends into a pair of chopsticks
  31. as container for geocaching
  32. use the ink to refill a fancy pen (Link)
  33. to build a Tesla coil (Link)
  34. to make a coil gun (Link)
  35. to draw amazing portraits (Link)
  36. to amaze your friends with a bout of Pen Spinning (Link)
  37. to unlock push button (privacy) locks using the ink cartridge (Link)
  38. to pick gunk out of your teeth using the end of the cap or ink cartridge
  39. to leave reminders on the back of your hand
  40. to help produce anonymous snail mail by writing in all caps using a Bic Pen (Link)
  41. to make a mini key chain pen (Link)
  42. to capture a fingerprints (press your finger into a large smudge of ink, then onto white paper)
  43. to rewind cassette tapes (Link)
  44. as a paint stirrer
  45. two pens (with ink removed) + pots = a toddler drum set
  46. to depress recessed reset buttons
  47. as a travel size duct tape container by wrapping the outside of the pen with several feet of tape (Link)
  48. to make a good impression by having a pen ready to give away
  49. to tighten a tourniquet (Link)
  50. to make a fishing lure (Link)
  51. to make a hide-in-plain-sight backup handcuff key (Link)
  52. as a sheath for for pointy objects (Link)
  53. to turn into a set of eating utensils (Link)
  54. to make a whistle (Link)
  55. to create expensive looking art by adding a feather (Link)
  56. as replacement piping (Link)
  57. as a bubble level (Link)
  58. as a fake "poke in the back" weapon (Link)
  59. to poke an eye out (Link)
  60. as a magic wand
  61. to construct a set of scales
  62. as a probe
  63. to conduct a horizontal gaze nystagmus test (Link)
  64. to make a model rocket (Link)
  65. to fashion a crafty clay pen (Link)
  66. to create a scytale cipher (Link)
  67. to create a practice morse code key
  68. to create your own Rorschach test (just bust open the pen cartridge on a sheet of folded white paper)
  69. hold your hair in place with a chopsticks style hairdo (Link)
  70. chew on for stress relief, or bite on during bullet removal
  71. for use as a guide for drawing straight lines
  72. to make a mini spud gun (Link)
  73. to play an improvised version of spin-the-bottle
  74. as a shim
  75. to make a fishing pole (Link)
  76. to draw perfect circles (use a thumb tack, string and pen)
  77. to find out which way is North (Link)
  78. to keep track of the growth of (relatively short) plants
  79. to make a THC pipe (Link)
  80. to magnetize the pen for easy storage & access (Link)
  81. to hold a wilderness survival kit (Link)
  82. as a covert seed carrying device and planter (Link)
  83. stash one behind your ear for memorable effect when meeting the Queen (Link)
  84. to make a Bic Pen bat and play pen ball indoors (Link)
  85. to create new slang (there's no definition of Bic Pen in urbandictionary.com) (Link)
  86. to determine trajectory of shooter by inserting into a bullet hole
  87. to pick up evidence on a TV crime drama without leaving finger prints
  88. to create a pin-hole camera (Link)
  89. as a back scratcher (Link)
  90. to power your own, fancier, pen shell (Link)
  91. to do popsicle stick math (Link)
  92. to make a orange peel gun (Link)
  93. to make Pen Man (add googly eyes and decorate) (Link)
  94. to make a kid's treasure box (Link)
  95. to create train track for a homemade train set (Link)
  96. to perform the Bic Pen magic trick (Link)
  97. to create a Lego sized catapult (Link)
  98. to make a pencil holder, that allows you to use small pencils (Link)
  99. to create dummy AA batteries (Link)
  100. to show scale in photos by putting an object next to the pen (Link)


  1. 101. As plugs for stretched earlobe piercings. 20 years ago, I got mine up to a point where a Bic pen I had with a swirly psychedelic pattern on it, sawed it to 1" and stuck them in my ears. Worked great. Until I stretched them bigger.

    102. To store hand rolled, herbal cigarettes. Take an old, dried up insert, cut it right back, insert hand rolled, herbal cigarette, replace the insert, and it's a discreet way to carry said hand rolled, herbal cigarette. Not that I would know anything about said activities of course.

  2. Thanks exploriment!

    I think I found your explanation of #101 on edcforums.com. However, I was reading ear plugs as the noise-dampening kind, not the piercing kind.

    Again, shows what kind of sheltered life I live ;-).

    Thanks for the contributions.

  3. 1)to scratch on an itch on body
    2) to pen fight
    3) to improve concentration by focusing on the nib
    4) to mix the contents of a good item

    1. To bite when getting bored during teaching