A few days ago I shared a link with you to the X-Pen project on Kickstarter that is an aluminum body for the Pilot Razor Point or Pilot Fineliner refill, and it only had a few days left before the funding was set to end. Right now there is about one day left (it ends on Saturday, September 8th) before it ends and it has cleared the funding hurdle, and I actually have my hands on one to test out.
The X-Pen with its aluminum body measures in at 4″ long, plus an extra tiny bit (maybe 1/16″) on the cap because of the hex-nub used to open the back to get at the refill compartment. Side note…you just saw history, I believe I just invented the word “hex-nub” I hope you enjoyed that. One quick thing to note about this pen too is that it is still just a prototype, so the body is not technically finished or anodized the same as a final version would be. It is hard to see in the pictures but the body and cap of the pen have a VERY fine set of grooves that circle the entire thing, kind of like a the surface of a record (you know those things that came before MP3s, CDs and tapes….but after 8 tracks and records) does, but even finer.
With the cap posted, the aluminum X-Pen measures about 4 1/2″…and this might be one of the most fun things about the pen. Posting the cap and recapping the pen both take advantage of the magnet in the cap, so there is a cool and reassuring sense when you feel the magnet take hold and latch itself to the body of the pen. If you are the type of person that obsessively clicks the plunger of a retractable pen, this magnet action on the X-Pen might become a new addiction for you.
So remember the “hex-nub” that I mentioned before? Here is a shot of it after it has removed the screw that closes up the back of the pen. It is a pretty snug fit which is nice so there is no feeling like you might strip it by accident, the measurements are pretty tight and there is pretty much zero play at all. Unfortunately they didn’t send over one of the pen tools that are being shipped with these once they start getting made, so I did’t have a chance to play wth that while refilling the pen. It arrived with the cartridge in it already, but it was pretty easy to get the refill out and pull out the tip with a pair of pliers.
I won’t get into the writing experience as it relates to the refill itself because this review isn’t about the Pilot Razor Point or Pilot Fineliner but it is about how they work with the aluminum body of the X-Pen. Personally I do love the feeling of this shorter and chubbier pen body than I’m used to. It fits great in a pocket and other small places, better than longer skinnier pens would so that is a definite benefit. My only issue with these pens, and almost all Kickstarter pens so far is the lack of a clip, because this pen will roll on you if you lay it down. Other than that though, I do like the feel and its definitely a fun pen to have, so thanks to the X-Pen project founders for sending over this sample.