The Clip Pen by Schon DSGN - Kickstarter

This is a pen I've reviewed in various forms over the years here on The Clicky Post, yet I don't seem to get tired of using or talking about it....

The pen I'm referring to is a ultra-pocketable EDC pen, originally called "The Pen Project" and was launched by engineer and designer, Ian Schon, nearly five years ago on Kickstarter. The first versions were made of aluminum, but slowly over the years Ian expanded his lineup to include materials like brass, bronze, titanium, and even some fancy zirconium models.

Small in size and an easy pen to slip into your pocket, but for some people there was a catch: no pocket clip.

Over the years Ian toyed with the idea of an aftermarket "bolt-on" type clip to fit existing pens, but ultimately the best solution was to machine new pens entirely and offer a new clipped version.

After a good wait (and I say that in the kindest way possible), Ian is back on Kickstarter to launch his new clip-able pen! He was kind enough to send me one of the early samples to check out and to share my thoughts on.

I will state plainly that I really, really love this design, clip or no clip, and so I knew going in that I'd more be checking for usability, whether it changes how I use the pen, etc.

Ian sent me a raw aluminum version of the pen, but the Kickstarter campaign will also allow for a black anodized or polished stainless steel option (no titanium...yet). All included, the pen weighs in around 1.2 oz which is a good heft for a pen this small.

All of Ian's pocket pens come fitted with the Fisher Space Pen refill which is a very versatile and reliable ballpoint, but won't be a writing experience that will be turning heads. The refill is designed for utility in extreme conditions, so it does sacrifice in dark lines. My favorite of the Fisher refills is the blue in a fine tip.

The refills are secured in the barrel through a gold set screw which can now conveniently be unscrewed with the end of the clip.

I haven't picked one up from him as of yet, but Ian also produced a D1 refill adaptor to replace the Fisher. This would allow for refills like the Uni-ball Jetstream, Hi Tec C, Zebra gel... the list goes on, but if you love a particular type of refills one of those may be a sound investment.

Now to the clip...

The clip is extremely sturdy made out of thick bent steel and is fastened to the cap with two domed star bit screws which gives them a low profile. Ian let me know that the final finish on the clips will be different and a bit more refined, but outside of some slightly sharp edges (which a few rounds in a tumbler could polish away) I don't have any complaints. 

From a usability standpoint, it felt very natural fastening the clip to a jeans pocket rather than dropping it down with the rest of the contents. Again, the sharp edges were the only uncomfortable part as my wrist or hand would brush against it when grabbing keys or my phone, but I imagine this will be sorted in final production.

The clip in no way imposes on the writing experience due to the way the pen is designed. Closed the pen is right around 4", but with the cap posted to extend to full writing length it makes the pen closer to 6" (5 7/8" actually).

Five years in the making, I feel the new clip version of Ian's pen is still a winner and a great addition to an EDC. If this is a pen that interests you or you already have one of his others and need (yes, need) a new clip version, go check out his Kickstarter campaign. The pen I reviewed he is offering for $45+ shipping during the campaign.

Thanks again to Schon DSGN for sending the pen for review!  

 

Kaweco Special Ballpoint Pen - New Shiny Brass

The Kaweco Special series is not new, but has always been on more of the "stealthy" side. Although, Kaweco has over the last few years been branching out and offering more variation in their lineup which is a really good thing.

A newer variation on the octagonally faceted Special series is the offering of an all brass finish which gives the lineup a bit of a facelift. When I first saw these I knew I needed to check them out and Kaweco was kind enough to send me a couple to review. 

The first pen in the new brass series I wanted to focus on was the retractable ballpoint, but I will have a review of a fountain pen version soon too.

The standard Special ballpoint is a somewhat lengthy pen coming in just shy of 6" in (about 5 and 7/8") and comes in close to 1.5 oz. I wouldn't consider this to be overly hefty for a pen this size, but it has some weight to it.

What stands out most with this pen is just how shiny it is. The main barrel is buffed and polished to a near mirror finish which is also a stark contrast to the matte black versions of the same pen. A pen like this definitely draws attention and has some "bling" factor.

With a mirror finish, it is prone to fingerprints, and with a softer material like brass it will scratch/ding over time (which may be half the fun, right?).

For some reason when I see this pen it seems to give off a sort of "70's" vibe, but not sure why.

A pen like this is generally completely outside my style zone, but I actually really, really like the way it looks. It is flashy as all get out, but looks fantastic. 

The pen is clipless by design, but Kaweco does make an aftermarket slide on clip if you absolutely need one.

Now, even though the pen is "all brass", the main barrel is a slightly different alloy/finish than the tip and knock sections. These two pieces are obviously machined brass parts while the barrel is done via extrusion which provides a different feel (and even slight color).

After some pretty considerable use, the barrel seems to be holding up to tarnishing quite well (like, almost non-existent tarnishing), but the machined parts are developing a patina. I have no idea how this works the way it does, but it is interesting. Over time though, the tip and nock could go to more of a brown, tarnished color, which might create more of a two-tone effect (which may not be the intended outcome).

Side note, from a materials standpoint I happened to remember tucked back somewhere in my brain that Kaweco also released a glossy silver aluminum version of their Special pencil (which was reviewed a few years back on The Pencil Case blog), but this seems to be a thing of the past now.

The Special ballpoint comes fitted with Kaweco's Sol refill which is a Parker style, so there are options to swap things around if you have one you prefer. It is a good ballpoint refill and about what you expect from a "good ballpoint". 

While writing the tip seems to have some wiggle/rattle, but not terrible in my opinion. If you are hyper sensitive to this, it may be something that is bothersome.

There are a few retailers that carry these now (primarily outside of the US), but they run just over $60 US which I feel is a pretty good deal. Appelboom out of the Netherlands carries them for around this price and you can use the promo code FRIEND for 10% off as well.

Special (see what I did there?...) thanks to Kaweco for sending this one my way to check out!  

Dudek Modern Goods "The Groove" Giveaway Bundle - WINNER!

What a great turnout! Thanks to everyone that entered.

And the winner is:

Maciek Winner

Congrats Maciek! Please connect with my through the Contact page (within one week!) to claim your prizes. 

Special Dudek Modern Goods Promo

In addition to the giveaway I also wanted to run a promo for 10% off any order from Dudek Modern Goods through the end of May by using the promo code MAY2017 at checkout.

If there is a piece you've been eyeing to get your desk more organized, now might be a good time to place an order.  

Thanks again to all who entered!