Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: SchonDsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon

After I had posted a picture of a bunch of metal pens on Instagram, Ian contacted me to see if I'd like to check out another metal pen - his own! Thanks to Ian for sending this one over!
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (16)
ABOUT

Length closed: 4"
Length posted: 5 3/4"
Diameter: 1/2"
Weight: 1 oz
Refill: Fisher Space Pen
Price: $58.00USD
Where to buy: Schon Dsgn
Follow schondsgn: Twitter | Instagram

Ian Schon designed these pens as an interpretation of an everyday writing implement. They are manufactured right outside of Boston, MA and the refill is from Boulder City, Nevada. The packaging tubes are also made in the USA! If you're in the US, you're buying pretty local. If you're in Canada, you're supporting your boots. What?

PACKAGING

Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (1)
This Schon Dsgn #01A Classic Aluminum Pen was packaged in my favorite style - a small, cute, minimalistic tube. The cardboard tube was just big enough to hold the pen and that's it. No wasted weight or space. It's perfect. The pen arrived in perfect condition, all the way from the US, and I love its simplicity. I also appreciate that the tube was made in the US.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (4)
APPEARANCE

The pen, like the packaging tube, is small and cute. It fits in my hand. It's round, with male threads on the flat back end of the barrel. The top of the cap is flat with three grooved rings around the top of the cap. The back of the barrel has a brass screw in it. The cap and barrel come together at the middle, with no trim, just a seam. The section starts with a set of threads. The section is long and round, straight towards the tip, with a small, tapered nose cone.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (6)
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (8)
There is not much else to the pen's appearance. This is supposed to be a simple, straight forward design. It is a bit of a blunt design, which I imagine won't appeal to everyone. Some people prefer sleek, rounded pens. I like simple, cute pocketable ballpoint pens, so I'm not complaining.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (7)
The pen is raw aluminum, and was brand new when it first arrived. As such, it was smooth and shiny, with not a single buff, scuff, or mark on it. As I used it, dropped it (on purpose and by accident), carried it around, stuffed it in pen cases with other metal pens, keys, into pockets and bags, and more, it developed a lot of character. I even took a Leatherman to it to see how it would hold up to serious abuse. Not too shabby. It picked up small scratches, big scratches, all sorts of changes to the surface which changed the smooth, polished finish, but in the way that says hey, I've been used! I love that about metal pens. If you only like pristine metal pens, raw aluminum is not for you. The pen will age, change, develop character, and look very different after you start using it.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (11)
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (21)
I love how it looks with some character. In fact, I couldn't wait for it to get scuffed up a little. It's like having a new pocket knife of multi tool. Sure, it looks nice when it's brand new, but when it's used and scuffed, it's a badge of honor.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (22)
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

I looked at this pen when I took it out of the tube, and I thought to myself: "there is no way this is going to work." I didn't think it could be comfortable to write with. I didn't think it would be easy to thread the cap on for posting. I was completely wrong!

First, the threads are clean cut and hard to miss - they are not the thin type that will cross thread. It is easy to quickly line them up and post the cap. They are really smooth and a bit addictive to fiddle around with - uncapping the pen is so fun. The cap spins off easily.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (18)
The little brass screw at the back can be removed quite easily with a multi tool (don't we all have those lying around?) or something else that can be used to remove screws. Like a screw driver. Don't lose it, it's small. It's also very easy to replace the screw; the entire procedure is very smooth. All the threading on the pen works really smoothly - it's very fun to sit around, capping and uncapping the pen repeatedly. Less fun for those who have to listen.
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Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (19)
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (20)
The pen is very comfortable in hand. The refill Ian selected is great - super smooth and flows well. My experiences with these Fisher refills have been positive in the past, so I'm happy with this one. It's also useful because you can write at unusual angles.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (14)

The section feels a little thin and if the pen is unposted, it feels too light, thin, and unbalanced. I found it a little slippery sometimes, if my hands were a bit greasy, especially because the metal is smooth. Of course, it was designed to be posted, so post it, and you have a super comfortable, well-balanced pocket pen that has become a full sized pen. I wasn't expecting it to be so comfortable - typically with pocket pens, I found them very usable, but not my favorite to write with for longer writing sessions, so I'm pleased this pen is one of those I am happy to use for longer sessions.
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (12)
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (13)
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (15)
The point is: it feels really good. It's a pretty awesome, cute, every day carry pocket-able pen.

PROS
  • Perfect packaging (for my preferences).
  • Portable.
  • Easy and convenient to use.
  • Smooth, easy to use quickly threads.
  • Great refill choice.
  • Easy to replace refill.
  • Lightweight in hand, so when you post it, you can use it for long and fast writing sessions.
  • Pen will wear scratches and scuffs like a badge of honor.
  • Comfortable.
  • Affordable (relatively, anyway).
Review Schon Dsgn Classic Aluminum Pen @The_Schon (9)
CONS
  • No features on the design, so it can roll.
  • If you don't post it, it's very light and thin to write with.
  • If you don't like metals that will show character, steer clear of raw aluminum!
  • Section is a little slippery, as it is basically a straight tube.
  • You need a tool to change the refill (I tried to use my fingernail, unsuccessfully).
OVERALL

I love machined pens. I love great, portable ballpoints - yes, I love ballpoints when they're cool - and I love pens that pick up scuffs and scratches with use. This is a light, comfortable pen that I find useful to slip into a pocket for a day out. My only real complaint is that the section is featureless. Since it's unlikely anyone will write a novel with this pen, one can get around that, but it's just an observation. Something like some engraved rings in the section, or light knurling, might be helpful, although this would disrupt the minimalist design of the pen. I can't wait for this to get more scuffed up! A used tool is a loved tool, right?

If aluminum doesn't appeal to you, check out the site and you might be able to grab a delectable candy finish!

I received this item 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. 

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