Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft

Chris sent over a brass pen for me to review - thanks Chris! I love machined pens and this is my first brass pen, so I was really looking forward to its arrival. Check out the ATELEIA Kickstarter page!
Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft
ABOUT

Body Material: Brass
Length (capped): 136.5 mm/5.375"
Barrel Diameter: 9.5 mm/0.37"
Weight: 50 g/1.75 oz
Price: $55USD (early backer) then $65USD
Where to buy: Back it on Kickstarter

APPEARANCE

The ATELEIA brass pen is machined so it has a certain "EDC"-type look about it: one that I always love. Most of the machined pens I have are pretty straightforward, and that's what I love about them. They look tough, they feel incredible, and they perform well. This brass pen shines with these qualities. It's a brass cylinder that, when capped, looks like a brass rod - and that is really cool. I was expecting it to be thick, but it's actually slender and long, which makes it very appealing.
Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft
The cap is very short relative to the rest of the pen and screws on flush with the barrel. There's a small ridge that shows where it closes. It's the only interruption in the body. It's great. Uncapped, there is a large step from the barrel to the tip of the pen, with no grip to speak of. I love the tip and the section is tiny and unique, with threads on two sides and flat facets on the other two sides (for opening the barrel to refill it).
Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft
With use, the brass starts to patina - and I love patina. It's why I love materials like copper and leather. As I held the pen, touched it, used it, shoved it in my bag (and yes, I was rough with it), the places I touched started to change. This is strangely satisfying to see - it's like finishing a bottle of ink or using up an entire notebook. It's something that you're creating by using this utensil.

Overall, it looks great, and is really well put together. There are no flaws visible.

PERFORMANCE

The pen can accommodate the Pilot Hi-Tec-C refills, the Pilot G2, Schmidt Rolling Ball Line refills, and the Fisher Space refills - some big players in the refill world. As is the case with refillable pens like this, you can always hack other refills to make them fit, so don't be shy to measure, measure, measure, cut, and get your favourite refill in the pen. (Then tell us all!) These are some favourites in the refill world, with the Uni-ball Signo refills being a stretch goal and that would really take off, I think.

The Pilot refill that shipped with the pen is black and wrote instantly. When a Hi-Tec-C isn't dried out, it writes so well and I love them. I wrote quite a bit with the pen (I was drafting pen reviews!) and the refill occasionally ran a little dry but some quick scribbling made it inky again - another reason to get that Uni-ball Signo refill stretch goal. For the most part, the pen's weight puts enough pressure on the tip such that the ink flows easily.

IN HAND

The pen is heavy, obviously, but it's also slender and long, so the weight is spread out. I grip my pens pretty close to the tips, and since the barrel runs almost right up to the tip of the pen, it's comfortable and easy for me to hold it so far. It also gives me a lot of control when writing.
Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft
The threads on the section are tiny and makes it a little hard to cap it quickly, especially if you're not really paying attention. On the other hand, it's ridiculously cute.

I read The Pen Addict's review where he noted the brass is soft so to be careful when using pliers to open the tip to replace the cartridge. I'm glad I read that because it's not something I would have thought of. I first tried to open it with my fingers but there was no hope - it's a tiny section and I couldn't get a grip on it. I used my Leatherman Juice XE6 to gently open the tip, with a cloth in between the tip and the pliers to prevent any damage. With the Leatherman, it was a cinch to open. There is a spring at the end of the refill so hang on to it when you're opening it so that it doesn't launch out.
Review: ATELEIA Brass Pen @ateleiacraft
In use, it's very comfortable in hand; the barrel diameter, weight, and shape is great. It's also not too thin for larger hands (tested by someone with larger hands). A lot of machined pens are thicker though, so this is a really nice option. I absolutely love how close to the tip I can hold the pen  - this allows me to have a lot of control when writing, so although there is no grip section to speak of, the design suits my preferences rather well. My fingers tuck under the ridge, preventing the pen from sliding. I love this!

PROS
  • Gorgeous handmade pen.
  • Top notch finish.
  • Affordable.
  • A very usable machined pen for both smaller and larger hands.
  • Aesthetically appealing design.
  • Easy shape to clean/polish.
CONS
  • Cap doesn't post.
  • Cap is small, so don't lose it.
  • Requires a tool to open it to replace refill.
OVERALL

I was really pleased with this pen since using it this week - it's the first brass machined pen I've had the opportunity to review and I wasn't disappointed. I really like the weight, length, and width of the barrel. It reminds me of an Agiel (anyone read the Sword of Truth series?) based on its size and length and I feel pretty cool wielding it. I enjoy writing with it very much and have yet to experience hand fatigue. Check out the Kickstarter campaign if you're interested - it's certainly worth a look. I'll post updates as the brass patinas and the pen finds a longer term home in my pencil case!
I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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