I recently had an offer to check out some new pen prototypes of a Kickstarter campaign, but due to some timing issues I didn’t get as much hands on time with them as I usually like before a review. I still wanted to share them here though because the first impression was great. The pen is the RIIND prototype pen (via Kickstarter) but you need to jump on these now because the project has soared past its funding goal and ends very soon!
The RIIND pen, although a prototype at this point is a pretty impressive offering. It has a very utilitarian and almost tactical look and feel with its knurled grip, top knob, and intriguingly off-set clip. They come in for different color options: anodized aluminum with polished clip, gray anodized aluminum with polished clip, black anodized aluminum with polished clip, and black anodized aluminum with black clip.
Although the look of the knurled metal grip may look like it would be uncomfortable, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It provides a great grip on the pen and with no discomfort at all. One really impressive thing to notice here is where the grip ends towards the smooth nose cone of the pen. You don’t even see the seam where it screws onto the base. The precision engineering of the pen is evident throughout its entire being.
Here is a closer shot of the nose cone and the grip section separated so you can see that it does actually separate there despite any visual indication of a seam. The pen takes a vast number of different refills, I was able to test it with the Pilot G2 refill as well as one of my favorites, the Pilot Precise V5 refill. Both fit snugly and didn’t have any of the play or rattle that some other pens can have when they take multiple different refill styles.
Speaking of the refills and writing, the RIIND pen has its own proprietary mechanism to retract and deploy the tip of the ink cartridge. With a similar knurled metal finish, the rounded nub flows perfectly smoothly with the rest of the body. The cool part about it is that all it takes is a half turn in any direction to either expose or retract the tip of the pen. The turning action has no start or end either, so you can continually turn it in any one direction retracting and extending the tip. Its a flawless movement that delivers a firm snappy response to let you know the action has completed. Also note here that I didn’t show the back of the anodized aluminum version, only because it doesn’t have the RIIND brand logo on it.
So as for the clip, its clearly pretty strong. I usually do everything in my power to not show the inside edges of my mini photo light studio, but for the sake of this pen I wanted to show it holding firmly onto something. The clip really does a great job holding onto various things, however I agree with what was noted in the review by both Ed Jelley and Mike Dudek of the RIIND pen. They both noted that the clip forces the pen to stick out a bit higher from your pocket than most pens do because of its offset nature.
I really enjoyed being able to put in a Pilot Precise V5 RT refill to test drive the RIIND pen. Its metal construction provides a nicely weighted (about 27g) and seemingly perfectly balanced pen that is as much fun to write with as it is to play with the knob at the top. If you are a fidgety person this pen could become habit forming, in a good way. I would definitely recommend backing this over on Kickstarter because its not only great looking and precisely engineered, but also has a quality feel that makes me think it will probably last forever.