Before diving into the review I first want to give enabler credit where enabler credit is due...
Thank you Clint Robison of goodthingsdonewell.com for posting your thoughts and review of the EiMIM Z as it pushed me over the edge to buy one. Your mention of the 25% off deal through January also helped! Great review and thanks again! Even pen bloggers can be swayed to buy...
The Kickstarter campaign for Will Hodges' EiMIM X, Y, and Z pens successfully funded in August and delivery of the rewards started rolling in last month. Will was able to make these pens available right away on his site which is how I was able to get one so quickly since I missed pledging on this one. In retrospect I wish I'd been able to officially back this project.
I really love machined pens and have a certain expectation of them I suppose, but I can say confidently that the Z has surpassed my expectations greatly and I give some major kudos to Will for creating a fantastic product.
His X, Y, and Z pens have a very unique design that I'd imagine people either love or hate. Not a criticism, but the barrels are very minimal without taper and the cap comes to a blunt point...but there is a reason for that. Personally I enjoy the simplistic look to these pens. I opted for the bead blasted machined finish with the steel clip. The matte look created by the bead blasting only adds to the minimalist design of the pen. It isn't shiny which allows the form of the pen to be viewed without heavily catching the light and I find this pleasant.
One thing Will is very keen on is hiding seams in his pens. The Z has what I would consider to be "grip" along the entire barrel of the pen which consists of tightly machined lines (likely one long spiral) literally about 1/32" apart. Visually you can tell something is there, but they are close enough to appear to be one uniform texture. I've shown this pen to several friends and every single one of them was unsure how to open it. Is it a clicker or a twist? The Z is actually a capped pen, but the cap is so well concealed it is astounding.
There is one thing about the pen that I think could be given a second look, that being the threading to take the cap on and off. It appears to be a single thread (I may be wrong) which sometimes makes finding the sweet spot to close it tough. If these threads could be adjusted to a longer section with triple threads it would make it a bit easier. Literally, only gripe.
The cap is only about an inch or so long and the reason it comes to a blunt point (as discussed earlier) is so that it can seat in the end of the pen where there is a concave point of the same dimensions. Inside the cap and end are magnets that pull holds the cap in place.
The magnets are just strong enough to hold the pieces comfortably together, but don't require a set of vise grips to pull them apart. The pointed end makes it easy for the cap to "pop" into place while writing. I've noticed that there is some wear going on where the cap seats on the end of the pen which is likely accentuated by the matte finish, but we'll see how it holds up over time. The other finishes may not show this as much as quickly.
The clip is sturdy and bent out of a solid piece of sprung steel. The clip is attached to the pen via a cap that allows for access to refill changes which also holds an internal spring (to adjust for refill length). The clip has a ring on it that makes it easy to take it on and off as you please. Taking off the spring makes the pen very minimalist in style and coupled with the magnetic base you can buy separate (shown in image below), it turns a pocket pen into an interesting desk pen.
The refill that comes pre-filled in the pen is the Pilot G2 0.38mm in black ink which is a very fine tip, but a good one. The Z can fit many of your favorite "Pilot G2 sized" refills like the Signo 207, Energel, Precise RT to name a few.
I'm going to say again that this pen truly surpassed my expectations and I think it is excellent.