For most people, a spy pen is something that they’ve only seen in the movies, or online. But for others, it’s an important device that adds security to their office, or one that allows them to record their teacher’s lecture so they can recall more easily later on. Whichever it is, if it’s your first time buying one, you might have a hard time using it. Some are easier to use than others, but it’s a good idea to have some kind of general understanding on how to use spy pen if you want to make the most of it. But first things first …

What is a spy pen?

A spy pen, at first sight, looks just like a conventional pen. Unless you know exactly where to look and what you’re looking for, it’s very difficult to distinguish it from a regular pen. However, for the one using it, it might be an invaluable tool.

Take a look at the best spy pens here.

It’s got a whole camera setup hidden inside, with a lens that you point towards what you want to record, and it will capture things with a pretty wide field of view. At one point, most of them also recorded audio as well, but this is something that’s illegal in many countries, so the manufacturers reworked them to be video only.

Why would you need it?

There is certainly no shortage of uses for such a device. Whether you put it somewhere in your home office for an added bit of security, or you put it in your jacket’s front pocket to record video while you’re in a meeting, you’ll realize that what it does can’t be easily replaced by another similar device.

How to use a spy pen?

So, now that we’ve got what it is and why you need it out of the way, how do you use it? Well, first things first, you should ensure that everything works as intended. When you get your pen, unbox it and take a look at the contents of the package. Chances are you’ll also get a USB cable that you use for charging and data transfer, and if there’s no built-in storage, you might even get a memory card, but that’s not something many manufacturers offer.

First things first, you should charge it up completely. While charging it daily will usually take around an hour or two, the first charge should be at least a few hours, to make sure it is fully charged and working as intended. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to test it.

Try turning it on to see if it works. This is usually done by pressing the button at the top once, and you should be good to go. Some of the spy pens will also have a small flashing light that will indicate the pen is on, which is a nice addition. One thing to note is that with some pens that don’t have built-in storage, you might need to insert a memory card for them to work.

When you’ve made sure the pen works as intended, it’s time to put it to use.

Take a peak at the best tactical spy pens, where we have detailed reviews of the best models.

Setting it up

The most important thing if you want to make the most of it, is to set it up well. Various pens will have the lens at various positions, but most will have it in a way so you can have it pointing at the front when your pen is hooked inside your shirt or jacket’s front pocket. This is important because it will dictate the recording angle, and because you want to keep the lens unobstructed at all times.

When you’ve set it up, it’s time to start recording. With your battery full, and your storage empty, turn the pen on. You’ll have two options now. The first one is to start video recording, which is done by holding the button at the top for a couple of seconds. Again, if there’s a light on the pen, it should flash to let you know it’s recording. Ending the video recording is as simple as pressing the button again, and you’re done. The second one is to only capture a photo. This is done by pressing the button once, shortly, and again, the light will tell you whether you’ve done it or not. Simple as that.

Here is a list of the best spy pen recorders.

Is any maintenance necessary?

Using a spy pen is an extremely simple thing, and maintenance is just as simple. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first one is to give the lens a clean every once in a while. This will eliminate the chances of you getting a smudged video or picture quite a bit.

Next up, you should always make sure the pen is charged completely. The batteries inside such pens are oftentimes small and won’t last more than a couple of hours, so if you want to make the most of it, charge it regularly and keep it charged when not in use.

Last but not least, you should keep the storage empty. When you’ve been using it, transfer the footage to your computer as soon as you’re done, and erase the memory card or internal storage. Note that some more premium models might give you loop recording, which overwrites the oldest footage in favor of the newest one, making sure your fresh footage is always available. This is something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of, if present, just make sure to transfer any important footage before it gets overwritten.

Wrapping things up

As you can see, knowing how to use spy pen is a rather simple thing. There aren’t many complications included, it’s a simple, one-button operation, and all you’ve got to do is make sure your battery is full and storage is empty when you’re going to be using it, and you’ll be able to make the most of it without much trouble.