This is a post I have been excited about, I've been playing around with a prototype from the Kickstarter campaign by RIIND where they're aiming to 'rewrite' the pen as we know it. You've likely seen this pen elsewhere within the pen blogging community, and rightly so. It's a machined aluminium pen, built to take almost any gel refill including the ever popular Pilot G2.
There are four key elements to this pen that have been highlighted in the campaign that set it apart from others, the continuous cam (twist mechanism), it's 'Super Clip', the textured grip and the refills it takes.
You cannot doubt the design of this pen, it's clean and it's streamlined. A straight and smooth barrel, a rounded cap and tip with knurling on the grip section and twist mechanism. It's currently available in four different colour variations and they each look crazy smart. The model I was sent is the grey anodized aluminium with a polished clip. They also have a clear anoized aluminium model with a polished clip, black anodized aluminium with a polished clip and a black anodized aluminium with a black clip. All of these options look really fantastic, especially the sophisticated all black model. Although I hope in the future they will think about adding some more colour options as I think this pen would really suit some bright blue models. (hint hint)
Lets start with the thing that has me most interested in this pen, the continuous cam twist mechanism. If you're like me and need something to play and fiddle with throughout the day you're going to absolutely love this. The end of this pen twists limitlessly 360° left or right. No matter which way you turn, each half turn will either retract or extend the tip of the pen with a satisfying click. When you get used to the motion it quickly becomes second nature.
The pocket clip on this pen has quite a unique and striking look. It's asymmetrical design pivots from two points on the pen, rather than the material bending as it would in a generic pocket clip. This means that no matter the thickness of material you're clipping your pen to, it will have the same 'clip-force' to keep your pen in place and stay easily accessible. This does have one draw back which has been brought up by a few fellow bloggers, with the clip attaching at two different points, the pen sticks out just under an inch and a half. Most of the time I keep a pen in my back pocket, while it has caught on things once or twice I haven't found it to be much of an issue.
Two parts of the pen have a knurled texture to help with grip, the grip section itself and the cap at the end of the pen. These are generally the two places you'll be holding the pen, to write with and to extend the pen tip itself. I'm a huge fan of the look of knurling, the process leaves a remarkable pattern behind. But it's main function is to increase grip making it an easier tool to use. The increased grip means the pen requires dramatically less pressure to write with, this makes increased periods of use incredibly comfortable. Does it do that? Yes. Could it be better? Maybe. The purpose of knurling is to roughen up the surface and increase friction, but when I first picked up the pen it felt a little too rough and for some people abrasive on the skin. Over time I've adjusted to the texture, but I think a finer knurling would take this pen to the next level.
All of this aside, one of the most important parts of any pen is the ink. That's where this pen is a dream come true. If you have a favourite gel pen refill, this pen will most likely take it. It accepts any 110mm ink cartridge and they have compiled a huge list on their Kickstarter campaign of some of 35 examples that you could use. Each pen comes pre filled with a Pilot G2 0.5mm black ink cartridge, arguably one of the most popular gel ink choices in the pen community.
But not only does it fit these cartridges, it fits them well. When the pen tip is extended and being written with, there is literally no wiggle room. The tip stays secure and sturdy without shifting at all during use. I think I was most impressed by this, the meticulously snug fit makes writing with the pen a delight. All you have to do is decide which ink fits your needs and you're all set, but you really can't go wrong with the Pilot G2.
I think it's safe to say I like this pen. It has quickly made it's way into my everyday carry and use, which is surprising for the size, by no means would I consider this an EDC sized pen. In comparison to some of my other most used pens it's definitely on the larger size. I generally find thinner more slimline pens to be the most comfortable to use but with the well balanced weight of this one I have and will continue to enjoy using it.
The Kickstarter campaign for this pen has already exceeded it's goal almost three times over and ends next week, July 28th 2016. So if you want to secure your own model from the first run of pens from RIIND, make sure you back their campaign.
Shortly after receiving my prototype model I got an email from Clayton, one of the creators of RIIND, telling me about an impressive price drop. Originally each model was priced at $125 (approx. £95) which some considered to be quite pricey, which is fair. With the massive success of the campaign, reaching their goal within the first week, they were able to increase their volumes securing a discount in manufacturing. RIIND wanted to add more value to their products so reduced the price of the pen to $95 (approx. £72). I applaud their business ethics and approach to making sure their customers/backers get the most for their money, not enough companies are like this.
Don't forget to check out the campaign for full details of this pen and to get your own.
Thanks to RIIND for supplying this prototype for review!