Its often said that you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, and I’m here today to tell you that when it comes to the RNG Products SQ1 EDC PEN the same definitely applies. These were a Kickstarter project, but the website for RNG Products is right here if you want to check it out for yourself. As you can see, these are fairly thin pens, but not too thin. They are also on the slightly shorter side too, but again not too short. For an EDC pen I actually find the smaller sizes to be nice, and as I was alluding to in the first sentence, I think they look really nice.
Sticking with the good points about the RNG Products SQ1 EDC PEN, visually they look amazing. I was sold on them just from seeing the pictures in the original Kickstarter campaign, and having them in my hands, that sentiment remains the same. You might be wondering about that little black fleck sitting under the green version of the pen though. Normally I make sure to clean up any background debris in my pictures, but not in this case so I want to talk about that for a minute.
This picture shows the stylus tip removed, and as you can see its a pretty raw and unfinished looking part of the pen. Now I know that Ryan, the maker of these pens busted his butt and had a lot of unexpected issues come up with these pens, so I definitely respect and understand that. The fact that he worked so hard to get them done and meet the commitment for his backers is highly admirable, but I was still a bit surprised to see stuff like this. The details and small parts of the pens definitely have rough, unfinished, and quite frankly just dirty parts when you take a closer look. Each time I removed the cap, or otherwise took it apart I ended up with flecks of soot, dust, metal, or who knows what on my hands and on whatever was around. That black fleck in the picture above appeared to be a fleck of metal from somewhere in the production of the pens I guess. There were also some issues with the threading for all of the parts being a bit stiff. None of them really twist on or off smoothly, but rather have several hiccups as you turn them. I’m not sure if this was because of the large amounts of machining debris left behind or just that there were adjustments made that didn’t allow them to thread as precisely as planned.
The next picture shows three Fisher Space Pen refills. The cleanest looking one in the front came from the Fisher Trekker Space Pen that has been in and out of my pocket on my Fisher Trekker Space Pen since October 3rd 2010 and sits on my daily use key chain with my car keys. The other two refills were taken out of the two pens in this review, and for some reason look like they have been sitting in mud, water, or battery acid for some time. I think this also contributed to the fact that it took an extraordinary amount of effort to actually get the refills to come out. They were kind of stuck in there and I had to use another Fisher Space Pen refill to force it out by sticking it in the hole of the nose cone. Not sure what happened with these refills, but the fact that they were so stuck in there and came out looking like this gave me some concern.
So back to the functionality of the pen, it has a very well designed spacer that screws in with a 2mm Allen wrench to make sure the refill stays in place and doesn’t rattle around. While I do like this clever implementation, it is a little bit inconvenient to change your refill when the time comes. On the upside, Fisher Space pen refills last forever, so you won’t be refilling this more than maybe every few years at best. The one I referenced before that I bought in October of 2010 has never had to be replaced yet, so that should give you some indication as to the expected lifespan, although I don’t write with it every day.
I do love the finish on the brass parts of the RNG Products SQ1 EDC PEN, it has such a nice patina look to it and the color contrasts really nicely with the colors of my pens. Personally I think thats part of what makes these pens. If you think about it, the body colors that are available are pretty nice, but nothing crazy. Add the nicely antiqued looking accents though and those colored bodies really jump out at you. I felt bad wring such a critical review of the RNG Products pen, but I honestly feel like the amount of effort that went into these was nothing short of heroic, and with the feedback here, a second iteration of them would probably result in something more along the lines of what many of us would probably expect. Here’s to hoping that comes true.