The Kickstarter Fist Looks have been rolling in fast and furious lately, and I am happy to bring you another one with the Mini-Click Pen Project. Jack Roman from Tuff-Writer Pens is back on Kickstarter for the third time with a lighter, shorter click pen with a new custom designed and maufactured clicky mechanism.
Many machined pen manufactuers use the stock Schmidt SKM-88 click mechanism for their retractable pens. It is readily available and works well. Jack wasn’t content with using an off the shelf mechanism for this project and set out to design his own. The result is what you see here, first used in the Mini-Click.
The design, specs, dimensions, and materials are all laid out on the project page, but all you really need to know is that the mechanism works, and it works well. It is solid, smooth, and responsive. When you depress the knock to engage the pen you know you are locked in and ready to write.
The pen barrel itself is made from aluminum, giving it a lightweight yet durable feel, while the clip is stamped from steel. The balance and feel are spot on. The glossy coated anodization on my prototype is wonderful, give it a sharp, crisp finish. Refill wise, the Mini-Click is based around the standard Parker design, and ships with a Fisher Space Pen pressurized refill.
The only issue I have with the pen is the use of o-rings in the grip area. Theoretically, they are there to allow for a better grip when writing. While this is true, the tradeoff is you will be losing them constantly, and hunting for one is like searching for a lost contact lens. When I unscrewed the barrel to get to the refill, I lost the middle o-ring, never to be found again. I’m not the only one either, as eagle-eyed viewers will see Jack in the video writing with a pen at one point missing the very same o-ring after swapping the refill. I would much rather a smooth or machined grip area than have to worry about extra o-rings on hand.
Aside from that, the Mini-Click is rock solid to use. All of the tolerances are tight, the new click mechanism design is great, and it feels good in the hand when writing.
Pledge levels begin at $60 for aluminum finished barrels, with anodized barrels priced at $65. For an American made pen with a brand new in-house designed click mechanism this is a good deal. Head over to Kickstarter and check it out now.
My thanks to Jack for sending me this pen at no charge for the purposes of this review.