I already had a pen that I enjoyed writing with, the PaperMate InkJoy 300RT 1.0M. There are two main factors for this choice: How the ink flowed onto the page and how it felt sitting in my hand. I’ve used this pen for many years, and have found it an acceptable pen. My biggest issues with the pen was that a) it was cheaper to buy a completely new pen than it was to buy refills and b) the ink would occasionally clog and and run dry, requiring me to “prime” the pen by drawing scribble on a scrap piece of paper. This is frustrating; you never knew when the pen would go dry or would need the nib cleaned.
The stainless steel pen from Modern Fuel completely surpasses the PaperMate in every way. The sleek, minimalist design is wonderful to look at and the smooth, uniform finish just feels right sitting in my hand. It is weighted perfectly so it never feels like it is tipping out of the top of my hand or pulling down towards the page. However, it is much heavier than any pen than I have ever used in the past, but in a good way. It feels solid, the sign of quality that will last forever. It took me some time to get used to the weight, but once I used for a while, it was no longer obvious and instead, what I did find was that when returning to a plastic pen, they felt incredibly flimsy.
The barrel is the perfect diameter; not too thin and not too thick to hold either tightly or loose in my fingertips. There are no sharp lines anywhere on the pen; it looks like just a solid piece of metal, and that’s no accident; Andrew designed it to be carved out of a single piece of metal. One of the standout features of this pen is the length. Often, nicely built pens are just too short to hold comfortably; requiring you to bunch your fingertips up near the end of the barrel, making for a less than enjoyable writing experience. The pen from Modern Fuel has the right height to allow for you to hold it wherever you like. Refilling the pen is simple: unscrew the barrel about a sixth of the way from the nib, and slip in the new cartridge. That’s it. No need to disassemble the entire pen and mess around with the mechanism. What I love about both the pen and pencil is how seamless it is; you cannot tell that there is a seam in the barrel, a perfect touch to an outstanding piece.
There are currently two tips that are needed to ensure that you have the best experience: When engaging the pen, ensure that you press down completely on the button to ensure the mechanism engages and the nib extends. However, the team at Modern Fuel are aware of this and a modification is being made to ensure the mechanism engages more solidly. Also, when writing with the pen, ensure that the top of the pen rests on the edge of your basal knuckle, rather than in your purlicue (the space between your thumb and index finger), as the angle can cause the edge of the barrel to scrape along the page and stop the ink from flowing.
For anyone that writes heavily, I cannot recommend this pen highly enough. When I first purchased the original pencil and I found out that a pen was being developed, I was extremely excited. Finally, I could replace all the pens in my case with a single unit. One that can take standard refills, will never snap or deform and I will never need to throw away or replace; this pen will outlast even I.
Modern Fuel website: