The Patriot Pen

1 09 2015
Hopefully the volatile combination of Doxie Flip Scanner and Pixlr editor on Chromebook rendered this writing sample at least somewhat approximate to reality

Hopefully the volatile combination of Doxie Flip Scanner and Pixlr editor on Chromebook rendered this writing sample at least somewhat approximate to reality

Here we have another successful child born of the Kickstarter penterprise—the Patriot Pen. You may recall I mentioned it before, and now I have it here before me. I have not yet turned into a man from using this pen, in spite of being “knee deep in pure manliness” with every writing session. Nor have onlookers assured me that they knew I was a man of real mettle by virtue of having this pen in my purse (Brad Dowdy did admire the knurling in a bar at the DC Pen Show, but I think that’s a far cry from being a testament to my “complete studliness”). This pen was provided to me free of charge as thanks from the good people of Dimond Point—since I wasn’t a backer, I can’t attest to how they functioned on that end of the process, but they did seem to get their pens out on their actual deadline target.

Hail of bullets not included

Hail of bullets not included

I gave this pen a shout out in the first place because I liked the look of it. A gun-inspired pen that’s tactical, not tacky. The squared-off barrel parts, the long and lanky powder coated spring steel clip, and of course the iconic “muzzle brake” styled tip, all in stealthy black. The only thing I didn’t like was the way the knurled version, when capped, just visually had so much knurling all in a row. I’m still on the fence about it. Posted, the knurling looks good echoed at both ends of the pen, but capped? Capped, the smooth grip style looks better.

Neon orange is such an awesome color that neither my camera nor my Photoshopping ability could adequately capture it

Neon orange is such an awesome color that neither my camera nor my Photoshopping ability could adequately capture it

The threads are well done; it’s easy to get the cap on and off, both capping and posting. However I’ve had the cap unscrew itself and fall off into the pocket of my bag more than once. Maybe I didn’t tighten it enough those times, but the possibility is there. The anodized threads are also starting to show wear already—you can see the metal through the black coating. But I think this adds a personalized ruggedness to the instrument (see Spyderco clip, above).

Doubles as an emergency nail file.

Doubles as an emergency nail file.

The knurled grip is comfortable—if anything would get in the way of my comfort for a prolonged writing session, it would probably be the rounded corners formed by the squared body. The harder you grip your pen, the more those rounded corners may pose a problem.

Unless whatever you have next to the Patriot Pen is made of something hard, like diamond or adamantium, beware

Unless whatever you have next to the Patriot Pen is made of something hard, like diamond or adamantium, beware

Do be careful of putting the knurled grip in a pocket with basically anything else in it that you don’t want damaged—I had it clipped in a bag pocket next to my Bell System Property Wearever twist pencil, and the plastic got quite a bit scratched up.

Quite possibly the longest clip I own?

Quite possibly the longest clip I own?

I couldn’t replicate the smooth pocket-clipping action of the Patriot Pen’s Kickstarter video (but I did come close to ripping my back pocket off), but the clip slides nicely onto papers without assistance (and onto fabric objects if I pull the clip out a little first). I like the texture that the powder coating gives. It makes this pen a delicious sampler of tactile sensations.

brratatatatat! pow pow pow! bang! bang! pyew pyew! wait maybe that last onomatopoeia is for laser blasters ....

brratatatatat! pow pow pow! bang! bang! pyew pyew! wait maybe that last onomatopoeia is for laser blasters ….

The Pilot Dr. Grip refill was a good choice, being common (and thus easy to obtain) while still providing good performance. As I reviewed with the Pilot Dr. Grip pen, this refill is smooth (almost in the realm of the super smooth), sufficiently dark, and held back only by occasional blobs.

AMERICA GEORGE WASHINGTON FREEDOM WAVES OF GRAIN

AMERICA GEORGE WASHINGTON FREEDOM WAVES OF GRAIN

The goal is to eventually add The Patriot Pen for sale on their website, with updates to be announced (possibly on their Kickstarter?) If you’re interested, keep your eyes out!





The X-Pen +prototype+

30 08 2012

My tiniest writing sample yet

This will be my first review of a prototype. Arash Malek emailed me out of the blue, asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of the prototype samples from their Kickstarter campaign, and like always with these kind of review requests (seriously, are these trick questions? who says no?) I said yes.

I guess I should have used normal items of scale, like rulers or coins. Too late now!

My first reaction was a delighted “OH MY STARS AND ENVELOPES; IT’S A TINY PEN!” I love small pens with an eye toward everyday carry convenience. Other notable pens that activate this joyous whimsy include the Kaweco Liliput, the Pilot Petit1, the E+M Workman Pocket Clutch lead holder, the Hi-Tec-C Slim Knock—but this is the first compact felt tip pen I’ve encountered.

You haven’t seen photoshopping this poor since the dawn of the internet

Let’s talk about design. It looks like a battery. Or a robot cigarette. Probably both! (Stay away from cigarettes, kids, robot or otherwise. Except for this X-pen; it’s not actually a robot cigarette.) It’s strange and I like it. I’m not an engineer, but if I were designing a hip-and-with-it engineer, this looks like the sort of pen I would have ever in the hands of that engineer.

Hexes aren’t just for witches and wizards

As you probably know (unless you hate science and fun), magnets are one of the coolest things discovered for the human technological arsenal (sorry to be speciesist, but how many aardvarks using magnets have you seen?). The cap closes and posts with magnets. I cannot stress enough how satisfying it is to close the cap. Yes, it’s also very functional and keeps the cap securely in place, but most importantly it’s way more fun than it really should be. I find myself idly opening and closing the cap just for the fun of it. Functionality bonus!: the hex on the cap unscrews the hexamabob that holds the refill in place.

Note: there’s no finish on this round of the prototype, so the steel sleeve in the front is starting to rust a bit—this was noted to me by the makers before I got the prototype, so I’m not concerned.

You may recall my discovery of the Pilot Fineliner, and my delight in its performance. Well, though my sample came with a Pilot Razor Point refill, you will be delighted to note that the X-pen also takes the Pilot Fineliner tip/refill. MOST EXCELLENT.

Boring ordinary Pilot Razor Points

The Razor Point refill itself is quite nice—though I feel like it takes perhaps a couple of words to warm up, after that it’s nice and smooth, no drying out or whatever other problems exist in the felt-tip writing world. Even though it’s short, it’s long enough even unposted for a normal writing experience; and even though it’s pocket sized, it’s thick enough (thicker than the original Pilot Razor Point body) to be perfectly comfortable.

ACTION! DRAMA! EXCITEMENT! PEN!

From what I’ve seen in this prototype, I think the X-pen will be an excellent pen (IS THAT WHAT THE X STANDS FOR HMM?). It’s very exciting to see some pennovation that goes beyond just another body for Hi-Tec-C refills. Thank you to Arash for providing me with this sample!

Check out the X-Pen Kickstarter campaign, and get in on it while there’s still time!








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